How To Plan The Perfect Wedding

Ella and Will are sitting at a table in a pub, playing a card game. They are smiling at each other.-this is a contributed post-

Whether you have spent your life dreaming of the perfect wedding, or you have only recently come around to the idea of getting married, you’ll want the day to be perfect. But with so much to think about when it comes to having a wedding, where do you even start with the planning?

There is a great deal of stress associated with planning a wedding – trust me, I know! So how can you cut down on the stress that you’re under so that you can relax and enjoy what should be one of the best days of your life? 

Getting Inspiration

When starting out on your wedding planning journey, the first thing that you should do is look for inspiration for the wedding that you want. There are hundreds of different styles ranging from glam, to rustic, to full-on themed weddings.

You may have a clear idea in your mind about what you want already, but having a visual guide to the ideas that you have in your mind will make it easier for you to communicate your wishes to your wedding vendors. Start a scrapbook or a Pinterest board to collate all of the images that relate to your wedding concept. 

Booking Your Venue

One of the first things that you’ll need to do is to book your wedding venues. If you plan on marrying in the same place as you host your reception, this will be easier, otherwise, you will need to check that there is availability at both the service venue and the reception venue for the date that you want. 

You may want to look for an Exclusive Use Wedding Venue. This will mean that you will have the run of the entire venue to yourself and your guests and you won’t have to think about whether there are any other parties going on nearby.

Styling Your Wedding Your Own Way 

While many people will opt for a very traditional wedding, you don’t have to if you don’t want to. This is your wedding, and you should do it your own way. Check out some alternative weddings for some inspiration of how wild you can leave your imagination run. 

Hiring a Photographer  

Your wedding should be one of the most memorable days of your life. That is why you’ll want to have a photographer there to help to preserve the memories. 

When choosing a photographer, don’t be persuaded by the price that they charge. You will get what you pay for. Don’t just rely on a friend with a camera to take all of the pictures for the day either – you’ll have these photos FOREVER – do you really want to cut corners?

A good wedding photographer should cost a sizeable chunk of your wedding budget. You’re paying for someone’s time for the entire day and potentially dozens of hours sorting and editing the photos so that they are the best that they can be. 

Remember, your wedding is your own though, so you should always do what is right for you – don’t get persuaded into choosing what other people want. It should be fun and not stressful, so make sure you find the time to enjoy the actual day.

The Jones Wedding Update – August 2020

Man and woman in front of hen do and tag do balloons drinking prosecco and orange juice

I know I say this EVERY time – but I can’t believe how MUCH time has gone by, yet again. Last update, we had accepted that we’d not be able to go ahead with the 23rd May, as COVID-19 had well and truly sunk its claws into 2020 and wasn’t letting go. 

We arranged a new date of 3rd October 2020, not thinking by any stretch of the imagination (possibly naively) that things would still be as bad. Well – haven’t we been mugged off.

The May date passed by, and while we had a lovely day by ourselves, with all of our friends and family supporting us from a distance, it was still so sad knowing that we were supposed to have been married that day. Although, the weather was shit to be honest, so maybe best. 

As we sailed through June and July, we slowly came to the realisation that we just wouldn’t be able to have the day we’d planned in October, especially with the guest limitations.

So, rather than postponing again, William and I have decided to carry on with our wedding ceremony on 3rd October, and push back the big wedding day until next year. This way, we get to have a tiny, intimate ceremony with our parents and siblings –  and still look forward to a celebration with everyone who’s supported us, in 2021. 

Although it’s sad we can’t have the full day in October, we just really want to be married to one another and don’t want to wait for what is essentially a party.

So, here we are – only 39 days out until we’re officially Mr and Mrs Jones – the closest we’ve ever got.

We can’t wait! x

4 Ways to Enjoy Your Wedding Day – Despite The Pandemic

Apple laptop, a white pen and a clipboard with a piece of white paper which says wedding list on it
How are we already in August, guys?

What a real rollercoaster ride this year has been so far, and it’s definitely double the headache if you had or still have wedding plans to organise for 2020. There’s an update to come from me about ours…stay tuned!

Some areas in the UK are slowly easing the lockdown restrictions and along with that, venues are allowing for social gatherings – although they are still limited in number. Importantly it means that you can still go ahead and marry the person of your dreams. COVID or not, you are going to enjoy your day and I wanted to share with you to ensure you can do just that.

Have a wedding run-through

Although most venues and registrars have done this hundreds of times before, it’s likely this is the first time you’ve been married, so it’s not surprising that you’re not sure what to do, where to stand, where to walk. They will probably offer it, or just ask your venue if you can have a little run through with your main wedding party – who stands where and when people come into the room. When I found out my venue offered this, I was over the moon as I was worrying about people getting all mixed up and confused. Ease your mind and have a practice run.

Plan your party ahead of time

After the wedding ceremony is over, it’s time to kick back, enjoy and celebrate with your friends and family. Although numbers are still limited, I’ve seen plenty of wedding entertainment still going ahead – we’ve been offered small jazz bands, for example. Whether you prefer a DJ or you are looking for live music for your wedding, the decision is ultimately a question of personal taste. However, before you make your decision, there are some other things you need to take into consideration. Firstly, consider the size of your venue – is there enough space for the band, DJ and dance floor? How long should the band play, and how loud? What is your music style or your preferred genre? Once these details are all ironed out, and the entertainment is taken care of, then you can place your focus on other areas of your wedding.

After all that organising, share the load!

A great way to make sure you enjoy the day is to share the load. I’ve got a lot of suppliers coming in on the day and I will be so focused on – you know, marrying the love of my life – that I won’t want anyone to bother me. However, I’m the one who organised my wedding day, and I’m the one who knows all the details. My photographer told me a great way to get round this. If you know that you’re a control freak, then before the day arrives, consider making lists beforehand. Have a list of everything that has to be done on the wedding day, as well as a list of the day’s schedule and contact details for each supplier and whether they have been paid or not.

When the day comes, simply hand over your list to someone reliable (or a couple, we’ve chosen people who are less likely to get hammered) who can iron out any last minute details to ensure that your day runs smoothly.

Get rid of your phone

Another way to have a stress-free wedding day is to consider either giving your phone to a bridesmaid or to leave it somewhere out of sight completely, like in your hotel room. Sorry to say, but that phone is going to be ringing off the hook because you’ll be surprised by the amount of guests who will call unable to find the location – like you have any time for that! You’ve hired a photographer for the photos and no one wants to be perusing social media on their wedding day – so leave it behind! Like the lists, hand over last-minute details to someone who you trust to cover them.

I’m so excited that weddings for 2020 are still going ahead and like I say, stay tuned for our update soon. It’s such a lovely light at the end of the tunnel when back in March, we were all faced with our perfectly planned days crumbling in front of our eyes. We’ll all get there in the end!

Lots of love,
Ex

5 Top Tips For Choosing Your Wedding Venue

-this post has been contributed-

Getting married is one of the biggest adventures of your life – it’s a fulls day of romance, and celebration. Choosing the right venue is one of the most important aspects of your planning. You might already have an idea of where you’d like your wedding to take place, or perhaps you’re undecided. Either way, these five top tips will ensure that you make a well-informed decision.

Consider your budget

When you’re planning a wedding, it’s important to carefully determine the budget of each different element. When you’re feeling excited, it’s easy to get carried away and end up blowing the budget! Of course, you want your big day to be perfect, but if you commit to a venue that you can’t afford, you’ll only end up getting stressed out. One of the best financial tips for planning a wedding is using a financial app. Popular apps include Spendee or Mint. Good Budget is also a great financial app, perfect for couples in particular. Remember, you don’t have to spend a fortune to get a great wedding venue. Your wedding decorations (or theme) will enhance the space.

How much space do you need?

When you are choosing your wedding venue, it’s vital to choose an appropriate venue size. Choosing a huge venue for a smaller wedding will leave the building feeling empty and negatively affect the atmosphere. On the other hand, a venue that’s not quite big enough will create an environment that’s cramped and stressful. It’s best to have a solid idea of how many guests you’ll have before you start shopping around. That way, the manager of your venue can make the correct recommendations.

The best location

Location is everything when it comes to wedding venues. You need to consider where your guests are coming from, how they will travel there, and if there are suitable hotels close by. Rural locations are often beautiful, but if your guests aren’t able to get here, this will likely affect your decision!

Take your time 

It’s important to take your time when you are looking for a wedding venue. Shop around and see several different options before you make a choice. You might be worried about the venue getting all booked up, but if you rush your decision, you could end up regretting it. With careful decision making you’ll be sure to get everything on your wedding wish list.

A great wedding planner 

Above all, it’s vital to choose yourself an amazing wedding planner to support you with your wedding planning. Choose a service with plenty of experience; your wedding planner should be able to give you advice on everything from the venue to the catering, the theme, and the dress. Take the time to look over the weddings that your planner has been responsible for in the past. Write down all your wedding-related questions, so you can ensure that this wedding planner can meet all of your desires.

Things Your Wedding Guests Have On Their Own Wishlist

pink and coral drapes on bamboo chairs on a wedding aisle

Your wedding is primarily about you and your soon-to-be husband or wife. However, the biggest thing I worried about (and still am!) in the lead up to our wedding was the guest’s wishlist and their comfort. Will they enjoy it? Will they LOVE it? 

Thanks to COVID-19, I still don’t know the answer to these questions, but there are a couple of things I know our guests will definitely want.

A Well-Stocked Bar

A given on any wishlist, especially with our friends. It’s not for everyone, but drink, especially in the UK, is an integral part of any wedding day. Whilst it’s less common to have an open bar – which is more of a US way of doing weddings, making sure there’s one in sight and ready to go is very important. For any of our guests reading – don’t worry, we gotchu.

A Selfie-Booth

Picture Blast photo booths are finding their way into more and more weddings. Photo booths are a great ice-breaker, are a lot of fun and provide guests with a memento of their day immediately that aren’t the official, edited shots. 

Lots of Delicious Food

This is super important. When we first started planning the wedding (I’m talking early days), we planned to go super simple to try to cut costs slightly. We quickly realised that this would be a huge mistake as whilst we may save a few pounds, we’d be cutting corners and our guests would not only be starving, but also may not have a great lasting impression of our day. To make sure everyone is as comfortable as possible (and to soak up that booze I mentioned), lots of food on offer is a must. Whether that’s a sit down meal, buffet or canapes – your guests need feeding. Don’t forget you need to eat too – it’s tiring work getting married.

A Selfie-Booth

Picture Blast photo booths are finding their way into more and more weddings. Photo booths are a great ice-breaker, are a lot of fun and provide guests with a memento of their day immediately that aren’t the official, edited shots. 

A Creche For Kids

We didn’t go for having children at our wedding – barely any of our friends have them and it was just easier to have an adults-only event. However, some people have large, extended families and many children who waddle down the aisle as flower girls, or cute little page boys. When the party gets started, you may need someone to handle the children.

For creches to work, you can either hire somebody to attend the wedding to help with the children, or create a guest rota, where a couple of people keep an eye on the children while everyone else gets on with having fun.

An Emergency Kit In The Bathroom

This is probably something your guests didn’t think they’d have on their wishlist, but something that will be a lifesaver for them. I’ve planned to have a little box of ‘essentials’ for any guest emergencies whilst the party is going on. I’m talking hair pins, plasters, paracetamol, deodorant, face powder and tampons. Anything you can think of that will ensure your guests have the best time ever and not be feeling blue about anything except the night ending!

Is there anything you’ve incorporated into your wedding for your guests? Let me know!