Essentials You Can’t Do Without When Planning Your Wedding

There are some things you simply needs when planning your wedding. A significant other is the main thing! However, there are many more that you may not immediately be aware of when you get engaged.

A great girl crew 

I chose just one of my friends to be my bridesmaid, as we’re having a smaller wedding. However, my other friends have stepped with offers to help and are currently in the stages of planning a huge hen do! 

Your gals aren’t just the people that will be with you on the big day. In fact, they are the ones that can support you all the way through the planning process, as well. From choosing your wedding dress to helping you DIY your decor to save some money. 

Of course, that means you really need to choose your maids wisely. Additionally, being very clear about how much of an involvement you want them to have in the preparation stages right at the beginning, can be a good idea. That way, they won’t be shocked when you ask them to take over some of the wedding or hen do responsibilities. 

Some professional input 

Another thing that you cannot do without when planning a wedding is a little professional help. In fact, you might find that people involved in weddings for a living will have a much better grasp of what you need for your special day. Whether it concerns your flowers, dress, or your photos. 

There are also luxury party planners out there that make it their business to organise weddings too. Our wedding planner has been so helpful and has brought up things to think about that I’d not even considered. In addition, it’s nice to have someone to simply take the pressure off and take the reins; you don’t want to be so frazzled by doing everything yourself that you can enjoy it when it comes around! 

Great communication skills 

Being able to communicate what you need to your loved ones, wedding planner, and vendors is essential when planning a wedding. Unfortunately, not everybody is naturally skilled at communication. Although even if you are more of an introvert, finding a line of communication that works best for you can be very helpful. 

For example, some people do much better over the telephone, while others prefer email. In fact, in this modern world where everyone has a smartphone in their pocket, communicating with those that have a role in your wedding electronically is probably the smartest option. 

I find that writing a good email, whether it’s to my wedding planner or photographers, bullet pointing each concern or area for discussion really helps to make sure everyone is on the same page.

A bit of time out

Sometimes, things can get just that little bit too overwhelming when planning your big day, especially if you have taken on the majority of the responsibility for getting it right. To that end, taking a step back and chilling out with your girls is usually the best approach. 

Trust me, the wedding anxiety can get all too real, sometimes!

In fact, if all the stationery samples are starting to look like the same colour, it’s time to crack open that wedding planning wine and get the girls over.  You can get everything off your chest, and should be as right as rain in no time! 

How To Make The Most Of Your Honeymoon

Couple on a beach at sunset

Source – CC0 Licence

Following the huge effort you put into wedding prep, the honeymoon can seem like an afterthought. It may feel so far away that you don’t even need to worry about it. 

Actually though, I think that the honeymoon is a crucial part of the entire experience. It’s likely going to be the biggest and most special trip you’ll ever go on with your favourite person. 

Whilst that sounds like a lot of pressure to make things perfect, it’s all about ensuring you both have a great time, it doesn’t need to be absolutely planned to the final detail like the wedding. I mean, I love a good list and itinerary, but this is your opportunity to relax after months of planning!

Here’s how to make the most of your honeymoon.

Balance the relaxation with exploration

Some couples like to go traversing mountains on their honeymoon, others want to lounge by the pool. However, you want to ensure there’s a decent balance. When you’re looking to make it something you will remember for the rest of your lives, you might want to document it some way, perhaps by getting a honeymoon photographer, or planning a few events during your honeymoon so that you haven’t wasted it completely by the pool. 

When we were in Thailand last year, we spent weeks exploring and trying to fit in as much as we could. However, we made sure we had a week or two at the end to literally just….be. Nothing planned except lying on the beach, reading books and choosing where to eat for dinner.

With all of the planning that you put in for the big day, you have absolutely earned the right to relax! Just make sure the balance is right.

Pick the right time

Your honeymoon doesn’t have to be right after the wedding. These days, some couples opt to go on a mini-moon which is a shorter trip, perhaps even a weekend away. This means that you can still plan a honeymoon for later on in the year or when your finances are back up to scratch when your wedding invoices are FINALLY paid off. 

In addition, if you have a place in mind for your honeymoon, please do some research and make sure you’re going at the right time of year! There’s no point in planning a huge trip around SE Asia if it’s Monsoon Season. Google is your friend.

Get eating

Not that you need to, but if you’d been dieting and putting in the gym work before the wedding, the honeymoon is an opportunity to let loose a little. Be brave and try all the local delicacies, no matter where you go. Additionally, let your hotel know ahead of time that it’s your honeymoon. You never know, they may upgrade you to a better room or give you a cheeky bottle of champagne. You won’t know if you don’t ask!

Most importantly, make sure that your honeymoon is about you and what makes the two of you happy. Don’t go for a two-week beach holiday to the Maldives if you know you’d prefer hiking up Kilimanjaro! 

We’re in the early stages of planning our honeymoon and have a super long list of destinations we’d like to go to. I think we’re going to be lucky enough to be going on a mini-moon straight after the wedding, and then going on a longer trip later on which gives us some flexibility on where we choose. 

Where are you going for your honeymoon?

Three Simple Ways to Make Your Wedding Kinder to the Environment

Pink flowers on a table set up for a wedding

Image Source: Pexels CC0 Licence

Even if you’re committed to reducing the environmental impact of your day-to-day life – by recycling, using paper straws, for example – you may find that a wedding could throw your sustainability goals off completely. 

However, if you plan far enough ahead, your wedding can be a series of small – and some not so small – opportunities to make sure you don’t do lasting harm to the environment. A sustainable wedding can’t be achieved and it’s an opportunity to stay true to your values.  

While you may not be able to manage eco-friendly everything, these tips will help you make your big day’s footprint as light as possible.

Go Biodegradable or Reusable

Planning a wedding offers several good opportunities to opt for biodegradable or reusable materials in place of more traditional or convenient options. For example, use recycled paper to make decorations, or get some inspiration for DIY wedding invitations from Pure Invitation to see how simple paper invitations can come to life. When it comes to table décor, go for sustainable glass whenever possible, like old jam jars, vases or tea-light holders collected from charity shops.

Revitalise The Confetti Toss

Another eco-friendly switch could be achieved for your confetti. The all-important confetti toss is one of those charming wedding traditions that serve no genuine purpose, but we all love it, don’t we? (Imagine your wedding photos without a snap of the confetti blizzard when you step out, having tied the knot?) 

But hang on: how is tossing polystyrene all over the place good for the planet? Opt for water-soluble or biodegradable confetti, or forgo the traditional look in favour of “living confetti”. You can use lavender, rose petals, or herbs, going for either fresh or dried, depending on the season.

Bride and groom having confetti throwing confetti at them

Image Source: Pexels CC0 Licence

Eco-Friendly Wedding Dress

We all know that the bride’s dress is the most important part of a wedding – it’s a huge factor in mine and something I’ve dreamed of for years. Previously, you may have had to go to the local bridal shop and chosen from there. Nowadays, in the age of online shopping and the ability to get whatever you want from anywhere, an eco-friendly dress isn’t too out of your reach.

Luckily, you’re not forced to choose between the dress that twelve-year-old you would have dreamt of, and a dress that blends with your environmental concerns. Sustainable wedding dresses are au fait now, or perhaps try a vintage dress (custom-made, of course) from an ethical wedding dress designer.

If you want your wedding to be true to your values in terms of environmental sustainability, these tips will set you create the eco-friendly wedding of your dreams. 

Just remember, don’t be too hard on yourself if you can’t always manage to find an eco-friendly solution to a wedding-planning quandary. Just do your best – at the risk of sounding like Tesco’s, every little helps. Have a fantastic wedding!

How To Get As Many Photos As You Can From Your Big Day

Guests toasting with wine at a floral wedding table
Image by alessandro bonini from Pixabay

If, like me, you’re engaged to be married, you love photos and want to have as many as you can get on the big day, you can do this easily without having to give everyone a disposable camera. With a luxurious wedding venue and a few extra touches, you can create a beautiful setting that your guests will want to take photos of and create memories that will last a lifetime. Not only will you have all your professional snaps, but you’ll also get hundreds of fun and candid photos of all your friends and family.

We have gone with a great photographer who I heard of through word-of-mouth. Their images are quirky and different – none of the standing around awkwardly posing. We wanted something a little different, and candid is perfect for us.

Here are some other ways to get the best pictures of your day without breaking the bank.

Serve your drinks differently

Forget the norm when it comes to your drinks. Champagne flutes and cocktail glasses are all very well, but they are standardo. When it comes to weddings, there are some more creative ways to get your guests boozing. Remember the old tradition of tying tin cans onto the back of the happy couple’s car? You could give this tradition the nod to by serving signature wedding cocktails in tin cans. Not only will your drinks taste amazing, but people won’t be able to help themselves snapping selfies of them holding their drinks.

Play games

It’s always a good idea to have entertainment at weddings for the times when your guests are waiting for you to have your photos taken. Games are a great option for you to get everyone having fun, as well as providing something else for people to take photos of. If you have space in your venue, then you can get huge garden games now fairly cheaply, and of course, you don’t have to be having a garden party to use them. My friends recently had a game of ‘Mr and Mrs’ which was excellent fun whilst we were waiting for dinner!

Go with a theme

Creating a theme for your wedding can create some excellent photo opportunities. Dependent on the theme, you can go the whole hog and have guests arrive in specific outfits or costumes. Ancient Greece is a beautiful theme for a wedding; it’s romantic, classy, elegant, and straightforward to do. Using plenty of grapes and gold strewn throughout your venue, you could even dress your ushers up like Spartans. God, could you imagine if I got the football boys to do that, they’d lose their minds with excitement!

You could also opt for something a little more ‘out there’ and choose a movie-inspired theme. A Harry Potter themed wedding is very popular, and I’ve seen people recently jumping on the bandwagon with Joker themed weddings! Something like the Great Gatsby could work, as not only does it combine one of the most memorable books and films, but it also includes all of the glitz and glamour of the 1920s. Just imagine the over-the-top vintage jewelry, the embellished ball gowns, and all the bling from your decorations.

Create a wedding hashtag

What better way to get everyone posting about your wedding than having everyone having a wedding hashtag to include in their social media posts? You can get really creative with your hashtag – I’ve seen some excellent ones. We’re definitely going to have one, but it’s pretty bog-standard at the moment. Do you have any ideas for me?

Read more about our wedding here.

The Jones Wedding Update – June 2019

Oh wow…how has THIS much time passed since my last update on our wedding plans?

I remember thinking that May 2020 was AGES away when we first got engaged. Now, we’re six months to Christmas (!) and I feel like we’re running out of time – we’re 100% not, though.

We’ve now been engaged for almost six months. I’m still really enjoying it and still haven’t got over it. I really can’t wait to marry William in May next year BUT I definitely think I’m going to miss being engaged. It’s so fun and exciting.

Here is what we’ve been up to over the last three months…

Had an engagement party

In the end, I had nothing to worry about and the party was fab. So many people turned up and we were just overwhelmed with all the love. I felt amazing and Will looked so handsome. My only regret is that I didn’t take any photos at ALL – I’ve got a few from other people but no group shots.

Couple at engagement party in Ealing

Met with the venue

We met with the venue last week, armed with about 100 questions that had been rattling around in our heads. We came out feeling much more chilled and with a better idea of how our day is going to be and what it’s going to look like. Our wedding planner Michelle is amazing – she knows everything and there are no silly questions!

Gave our notice of marriage

This was CRAAAAZY. This is where you go to the actual registry office to give your actual intention of actually getting married. It felt so grown up and formal (which I suppose it is). This is where you confirm the venue and time of the ceremony and they ask you a heap of questions to make sure your marriage isn’t forced, or that you could potentially be related!? We headed to brunch afterwards to celebrate and it was just the perfect Saturday morning.

Arranged our wedding party

I asked Lucy to be a Bridesmaid like one week into the engagement as it was such an easy decision for me. We then confirmed one witness. More recently, Will asked some of his closest friends to be Groomsmen. We still need to confirm the Best Man and one other witness, but it’s something we want to do face-to-face so I’ll hold off saying anymore until the next update.

Gypsophilia flower or Baby's Breath in differet colours including pink, blue, yellow and green

Tried on more wedding dresses

I know the exact style of dress I want and can see it in my mind – I just haven’t found it yet. I’m also really concerned I’m going to buy one then regret it. I do need to get a move on though, as I want to leave enough time for adjustments. I just want it to be RIGHT.

We’ve been doing a great job of working as a team whilst planning and still haven’t found anything we really disagree on (except perhaps Will’s choice of First Dance song – Jurassic Park? No). I’ve been practising my second name and have booked a few restaurants under the name ‘Jones’ – it’s SO strange but I’m loving it.

We desperately want to go on holiday as we’ve both been working really hard and planning for a wedding can be stresssssssful, but we’re also aware of money so need to have a break on as much of a budget as possible. Again, we’re doing great as a team for saving so hopefully we’re on the right track.

There’s still so much to look forward to and we can’t wait!