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Planning Advice

Your 1 Week Prior Wedding Checklist

It’s nearly the week before your wedding and you, rightly so, want to make sure you have everything ready. You’ve spent months and months planning and want the week leading up to your celebration to run smoothly. So, here it is, my 1 week prior checklist to keep you on track, stress free and ready to go.

You may find not every point on this list is relevant to you and your unique day, however I do hope it helps you to double check no detail gets missed or overlooked.

1 Week Prior

Attire & Accessories

  • Pick up your wedding attire & accessories – wedding dress/wedding outfit/suits
  • Pick up your bridal parties outfits – bridesmaids/flower girls/groomsmen/page boy etc.
  • If you are hiring suits and they are being delivered, make sure you have confirmed arrival time & location with the hire company
  • Collect your wedding rings

Top Tip

Make sure each outfit is packed separately in it’s own garment bag. That way you can keep everything needed for that outfit in one place, helping to keep everyone organised and calm when it comes to getting ready.

Pampering

  • Relax & enjoy having some pamper time getting your pedicure, manicure, tan, brows, hair cut/colour, beard trim

Top Tip

If you are planning on pampering yourself before your wedding e.g. hair cut/colour, brows, tan then my advice would be to book this for the beginning of the week.

You want to give your tan & new hair colour time to settle before the day. We all know we look our best a couple of days post pampering.

Get Packing

  • If your staying away from home the night prior pack your bag for this & the night of your wedding
  • Pack for your honeymoon. Make sure to pack this in a separate suitcase/bag to your wedding night so you don’t have to re-pack and faff later on
  • Pack any styling & décor details you are providing for your ceremony & reception set- up
  • Get yourself as organised as possible for setting your wedding breakfast tables. Make sure all the décor, linen, stationery etc. for each table is packed in a separate box and labelled with the table name/number. This way when you get to your venue it is easy to identify where everything is going and saves so much time

Top Tip

If you are setting up your wedding yourself without the help of a wedding planner or stylist then get organised.

Create a plan for how set up is going to run and what details will be on each table. Make sure you pack each table separately. This way when you get to the venue you know exactly what is going where.

Set-up can take hours so don’t add to your work by not coming pre-prepared.

  • Pack an emergency kit – needle & thread, pain relief, hair pins & bobbles, tissues, hand wipes, deodorant, perfume, lipstick & snacks
  • Packed any wedding gifts which are to be handed out by your wedding planner/venue coordinator during the day. Make sure each one is clearly labelled with who it is intended for
  • Make sure your vows & speeches are finalised and printed ready
  • Have your wedding playlist ready to go including music for your ceremony, drinks reception, wedding breakfast & evening reception (if you’re providing this yourselves)

Check-in with Your Venue, Suppliers & Bridal Party

  • Re-confirm timings & logistics with your venue & team of suppliers – if you have a wedding planner they will do this on your behalf
  • Make sure your venue & caterer has an updated version of your guest numbers, seating plan & menu pre-orders
  • Make sure you have made all payments necessary & have a plan for any on the day payments (either your wedding planner will take care of this or allocate a member of your bridal party to do this)
  • Re-confirm morning prep timings with your bridal party. Make sure everyone knows what time they have to be up ready for. Remember you will need to be in your wedding outfit 1 hour prior to leaving for your ceremony. This will give you plenty of time for photos and additional hair/makeup touch ups.
  • Create a plan for the morning of your wedding. If guests are staying over the night prior make sure they are aware of breakfast times, where they can grab a coffee etc.

Day Prior

  • Set-up all your styling & decorative details ready for your arrival (if your venue allows)
  • Final details meeting & walk through with your venue coordinator
  • Ceremony rehearsal (if you are having one)
  • Rehearsal dinner (if you are having one)
  • Try to relax. Maybe you have plans to spend time with family & friends or just chill, whatever your plans enjoy them!

Top Tip

Try to make sure that you don’t leave any jobs to the last minute. The last thing you will want to be doing is rushing around, packing for your honeymoon or creating your playlist the night prior to your wedding.

I hope you’ve found my week prior checklist helpful in getting you thinking about the lead up to your wedding. To keep updated with all my latest top tips and wedding planning videos follow me over on Instagram @hannahrachaelweddings.

On My Instagram

Want to double check that no detail has been missed or unaccounted for ahead of your wedding day? Want to double check you have everything confirmed and ready to go with your venue and team of suppliers? My Wedding Planning Hours are the perfect opportunity to run through your wedding plans and make sure no detail has been missed.

Want to know more? Then just pop me a message and I’ll send you over some more details!

Image Credits – Hannah Brooke Photography / Hannah Rachael Weddings / White Orchid Print and Design / Whitehouse Event Crockery / Yorkshire Yurts / The Little Flower Hut

Planning Advice

How To Enjoy Planning Your Wedding & Avoid Overwhelm

Happy New Year!

I hope you had an amazing festive break and are looking forward to getting started with your lovely wedding planning even after the latest lockdown announcement.

I want to say a massive welcome if you are new to my blog. This is definitely one of my little happy places. It’s where I come to discuss all things weddings, share my top tips and help you to navigate the wonderful, but sometimes overwhelming world of wedding planning!

And what better way to kick start 2021 than with a new blog post – how to enjoy wedding planning and avoid overwhelm! I don’t know about you, but I find a new year tends to be filled with anticipation and a lot of excitement for what’s to come. It’s a great time to start or re-start your wedding planning and to put some wonderful ideas into motion. While that may all feel exceedingly exciting I also understand just how quickly this can turn into feelings of stress and overwhelm. Which is something I want to help you avoid at all costs!

This is why I want to dive straight in with a few vital top tips to stop this from happening. All to help avoid the unnecessary pitfalls of wedding planning.

Let’s get started

I can’t promise that you won’t find certain elements of your wedding planning slightly stressful or without overwhelm. However, what I do hope is that my top tips help to limit the amount you feel this!

So, where to start?

1. Start by sharing your amazing news

I know everyone says it, but it really is important to enjoy being engaged. It’s such an exciting time and an amazing next step in your life. One which deserves to be celebrated.

I know that might be tricky at the minute (due to Covid) but don’t let it stop you telling all your friends and family. Take some time out to enjoy being engaged before throwing yourselves deep into wedding planning. Have fun collecting wedding magazines and losing yourself in different blogs. Fill your heads with excitement and the newness of being engaged.

2. Identify your priorities

I always advise my couples to start by identifying their priorities (in other words their ‘must haves’). These are the things you just can’t imagine your wedding without. These ‘must haves’ are your ticket to creating a day which is truly unique to you.

Here are my favourite questions to get you thinking about your wedding ‘must haves’

What words would you use to describe your personalities?

What do you enjoy doing to relax, what hobbies & interests do you have?

How would you describe your dream wedding? (e.g. fun, informal, relaxed, elegant etc.)

When would you like to get married? (think about the season, day of the week, year)

What types of food & drink do you love & why?

Where in the world do you see yourselves getting married & why? (abroad/close to home/where you grew up?)

These questions should help you to identify what makes you stand out as a couple. They should get you thinking about what you love doing, eating and drinking. What you enjoy doing in your spare time and where you like to go on holiday. And most importantly why you love these things so much! By asking yourself why you will start to focus on your ‘must haves’, the elements you just can’t see your wedding without.

Remember

Your wedding is a representation of you as a couple, your loves and most importantly your personalities. Identifying your must haves, the elements you can’t see your wedding without, will help you to prioritise these the further you get into your planning.

3. Create a budget

Next up is budget, the one thing every couple hates talking about.

Believe me, if you don’t take the time to establish your wedding budget early on you run the risk of overspending very early on. This in itself can be stressful.

By prioritising your budget from the beginning you therefore have a clearer understanding of what you can achieve and what you have to spend on each element.

Questions to ask yourselves when identifying your budget

Roughly how many months are there until you get married?

Will anyone else be contributing financially to your wedding?  If so, how much?

Total amount you have to spend?

Because establishing your budget and wedding priorities is such a big topic, I have decided to release a wedding planning guide all about it. To get a hold of your copy when it launches (and the rest of my free planning guides) just click the button below.

4. Give yourself plenty of time

Now you’ve identified your wedding priorities and budget, give yourself plenty of time to explore your options. You don’t have to, or need to, do everything right this minute, all in one go. Yes, some suppliers do get booked up 12 to 18 months in advance, but rushing this part of your planning won’t secure your dream team.

Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook are some of my favourite places to start researching venues and suppliers. Think of these as the perfect way to get to know suppliers, their style and what they can bring to your wedding. Treat their profiles as their portfolio.

When looking for your suppliers ask yourself, does their work, imagery and personality align with your wedding vision? Do you like what they stand for? And can you see them being a part of your day?

Top Tip

Don’t be afraid to reach out to suppliers. Feel free to ask them questions about their work, their services and their processes.

Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook are also a brilliant source of inspiration. Use these as a way to gain a better understanding of what you like and dislike. Save images which catch your eye and inspire you.

Remember

The further you get into your wedding planning, the more you get to know your style and the overall aesthetic you’ll want to create for your day. So don’t worry if you feel as though you don’t have a clear idea of what you want just yet.

5. Book your venue & your ‘must have’ suppliers 1st

I know this may sound a bit contradictive, as I told you to not rush earlier, but it is never too early (once you have found your favourite suppliers) to secure your wedding date in their diary.

The first supplier I advise you to secure is your venue. Your venue really does set the tone for your whole wedding and should align with your ‘must haves’.

For instance,

If catering is important to you make sure to ask each venue about the different options available, menu choices and if this is something you can outsource.

If you want an outdoor ceremony, check the venue can accommodate and make sure this complements your vision.

Once you have your venue and your date secured, the next step is to book your ‘must have’ suppliers. As I mentioned earlier, it’s never too early to start discussing your wedding and choosing the right team for your day. By securing your ‘must have’ suppliers first, you then have an idea of your remaining budget and where you want to allocate this.

6. Don’t leave things to the last minute

The final key to avoiding wedding planning overwhelm is to not leave everything to the last possible minute. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to tick off your to-do list, sign your contracts and pay your deposits and to do your research. Because if you don’t you will end up rushing and forgetting to do those small but very important tasks.

Top Tip

Create a spreadsheet or checklist of everything you need to do and when you need to do it by.

This way you have a clear direction to your planning and avoid missing any important details.

Make sure your to-do list/spreadsheet is accessible at all times. Print it off and put it in your wedding file, have it saved on your phone or stick it to your fridge. Having this written down and easy to access will help to keep you on track and motivated.

So, there we have it, my top tips for how to avoid overwhelm and to enjoy your wedding planning. There really is no denying that wedding planning, at times, can feel like an extra job on top of everything else you have going on in life. However, with a little bit of pre-planning and some helpful tips along the way, it really doesn’t have to feel overwhelming and stressful too.

Want more tips and wonderful tricks to help you through the many stages of your planning? Then sign up to my mailing list to receive my free wedding planning guides.

On My Instagram

Image Credits – Freya Raby Photography / Ponden Mill / Kelly Hanks Hair Design / Natasha Jane Makeup / Jessica Steele Jewellery / Haworth Menswear / The Aisle Ilkley / Emma Cox Floristry / Where The Ribbon Ends / Hannah Rachael Weddings

Planning Advice

The Benefits Of Creating A Wedding Website

Now I love a wedding website, so I’m delighted you lovelies asked me to write a blog post all about them!

I know the idea of creating a website for your wedding sounds quite overwhelming, but believe me it really is the opposite. Setting up a website for your wedding not only saves you so much time in the long run, but is an invaluable tool for keeping your guests up-to-date and in check.

A wedding website allows you to take control of your wedding. By creating one place where guests can find all the information they need, not to mention how much time it saves you chasing rsvp’s. It’s also a great way to keep all your need to know information in one place.

Now who doesn’t like the sound of that?

So why do I love a wedding website?

1. They help to keep your guests updated

Guest’s can’t help themselves, they like to ask questions. They want to know all about your wedding and they want to know it now. I know this is something a lot of you struggle with, as it’s a topic we’ve discussed before! It can be hard when guests bombard you with questions, especially if that’s a part of your planning you haven’t gotten to just yet.

Setting up a wedding website allows you to update guests quickly and easily. You can send guests details of your wedding website when you send out your invites, meaning they can access all the information they need anytime they like. If you have any updates, change of plans, timings or dates then this can all be easily by modified too.

Most websites will allow you to customise their design and content to complement your wedding. You can usually include details such as; timelines, location, rsvp’s and so much more. Making it really easy for guests to navigate and find out all the information they need ahead of your day.

2. Easy way to record RSVP’s

One of the most frustrating parts of wedding planning can be chasing guests for their RSVP’s. With a wedding website, guests are able to RSVP, record menu choices and dietary requirements easily and normally works one of two ways;

  1. You can send an email to each of your guests from you wedding website asking them to rsvp. This then allows them to rsvp via a link from the email. Their information then gets stored on your website for you to see at anytime.
  2. You can send your guests login details to your website in your invites. They then use these details to login to your website and record their attendance, menu choices etc.

This saves you hours following up and chasing guests for their rsvp’s, which believe me really is a horrible and time consuming task.

3. See more wonderful photos from your day

Most wedding website allow you to create a gallery of images. This means that after your wedding guests can upload images onto your gallery.

This is a brilliant way for you to get hold of some lovely photos of your wedding day. Chances are you won’t have had time to take many yourself, so this gives you a way to have a few sneak peeks while waiting for your professional gallery to land.

My Favourite Wedding Websites

Hitched

Why I recommend Hitched;

  • It’s really easy to use and to add all of your wedding details to.
  • Acts as a 2-in-1 wedding tool. It helps store private wedding planning information such as your budget, supplier details and checklist, as well as allowing you to create a website for guests to access.
  • Has a wide variety of design themes for you to choose from and customise.
  • It is free to use.
  • You can also download their app, so you can gain access to your details anytime, anywhere.
The Knot

Why I recommend The Knot;

  • It walks you step by step through the information you need to include.
  • Loads of easy to customise themes and templates.
  • It makes it easy to send updates via email to your guests.
  • You can edit which pages are visible to guests so you can easily amend and update as you go.
  • No overwhelm, really easy and quick to get started.
  • It is free to use.

Bonus Tips

Here are my bonus tips on what to include on your wedding website.

  1. Map – the location of your ceremony and reception venue. It’s even helpful if you can add an image of your ceremony and reception venue too.
  2. Details of parking – at both your ceremony and reception venue.
  3. Timings of your day – a lot of websites have a setting which allows you to create a timeline of your day. Key timings to include are; arrival, ceremony, wedding breakfast, evening guest arrival, evening food and carriages. This also gets them excited about what to expect.
  4. Guest List & RSVP’s – most websites allow you to create a guest list where you can store your guest’s rsvp’s, menu choices & dietary information. This is so vital as it allows guests to respond easily and quickly and keeps all your information in one handy place.
  5. Accommodation details – whether this is somewhere guests can stay onsite or local recommendations. If you are able to offer accommodation onsite, it is always helpful to make guests aware of check-in, check-out and breakfast details.
  6. A gallery of images – create a gallery of your favourite images, it makes your website personal to you and guests love having a flick through.

If you’re unsure as to whether a wedding website is for you or not, I’d urge you just to spend half an hour having a go at setting one up. Both Hitched and The Knot are really easy to use and within a matter of minutes allow you to start building and customising your website. I honestly can’t stress how beneficial having a wedding website is. They are really easy to manage, keep all your guest informed and make retrieving RSVP’s bearable.

Want even more top tips and helpful resources for planning your big day?

My brand new free Wedding Planning Guides are designed for couples looking to create a day which is unique, exquisitely planned and full of detail. I cover everything from sourcing your venue, to what to consider when styling your wedding and everything in between.

Why risk missing any detail when you can have your own mini wedding planner with you every step of the way? Keeping you on track and up to date with everything you need to know.

Want to get hold of yours? All you need to do is click the link below.

On My Instagram

Image Credits – Anete Lusina / Hitched

Planning Advice, Wedding Planning Guides

What To Consider When Choosing Your Wedding Caterer

So here it is! The next in the series of my mini Wedding Planning Guides and this has to be one of my favourites! Why? Because it’s all about the tastiest part of your wedding, your wedding catering!

You might not know but before I created Hannah Rachael Weddings I was a Senior Event Manager for a Yorkshire based wedding caterer. So, this is definitely a topic which is very close to my heart and one I know a great deal about.

And believe me this really is something you want to get right!

The food served at your wedding is likely to be one of the biggest investments after your venue, so why take any risks?! I’m here to give you my 3 top tips on what to consider when choosing your wedding caterer. As well as my 5 MUST ASK questions.

Top Tip 1

Taste the food before you commit to your caterer. This is so important! Just because everything looks amazing on Instagram unfortunately doesn’t mean it is in real life. Make sure you arrange an initial consultation and where possible a tasting before putting down your deposit. Your wedding catering is likely to be the biggest investment after your venue, so make sure it compliments you and your day.

Top Tip 2

Be true to yourselves. Food is such a big part of your day and you cannot please everyone so honestly don’t try to. It’s your day. Use it as the best excuse to have what you want, whether that be a five-course tasting menu or a dirty burger and fries. Eat the food you truly love.

Top Tip 3

Canapés are so important! They bridge the gap between your ceremony and wedding breakfast stopping guests getting hangry (which you definitely don’t want). Guests get peckish, especially if your wedding ceremony falls over lunchtime & they’ve had a few champagnes. Believe me, your guests will remember feeling hungry, so do not let that be the lasting impression of your day.

Now on to my 5 MUST ASK questions. My new Wedding Catering Guide is full of them, but these are my top 5. The 5 you need to ask in your initial consultation in order to get to know the caterer and to understand if they are the right fit for you!

Must Ask Questions

  1. How would you describe your catering style?
  2. What menus do you offer? (plated, BBQ, sharing, buffet etc.)
  3. Can you create a bespoke menu for our wedding?*
  4. Have you worked at our venue before and what do you require from our venue?
  5. Do you offer a menu tasting before we book and is there a charge for this?

*Not everyone will require a bespoke menu for their wedding, however if you are looking for a specific dish or themed menu, you must ask this at your initial consultation. Some caterers do not specialise or offer certain cuisines or variations from their set menus.

I could honestly talk about this ALL DAY LONG. Not just because I love food, but because it is such a pivotal part of your day. There is just so much to talk about from menu styles, service and presentation to how to use your food to tell a story.

But what I really want you to take away from this is; the food served at your wedding is what brings your guests together. It’s what gets everyone talking and will be what everyone talks about, good or bad, long after your wedding. As well as showcasing who you are as a couple.

You spend so much of your wedding day eating, so make sure it truly represents you and is something that you’re excited about. You only get one shot at this, so make sure your caterers are the best fit for you and your unique day.

Now this really is just a quick sneak peek into the world of wedding catering. Everything you need to know, including all my must ask questions can be found in my free Wedding Catering Guide. To get hold of your copy all you need to do is click the button below!

Use my Wedding Catering Guide as a tool to help you hunt out the most delicious menus you can possibly find.

My Wedding Planning Guides are designed for couples looking to create a day which is unique, exquisitely planned and full of detail. Why risk missing any detail when you can have your own mini wedding planner with you every step of the way? Keeping you on track and up to date with everything you need to know.

On My Instagram

Image Credits – Freya Raby Photography / The Outside Kitchen / Ponden Mill / Kelly Hanks Hair Design / Natasha Jane Makeup / Jessica Steele Jewellery / Haworth Menswear / The Aisle Ilkley / Emma Cox Floristry / Hannah Rachael Weddings

Planning Advice, Wedding Planning Guides

Why To Go Bespoke – Your Guide To Bespoke Bridalwear

I am delighted to of collaborated with the wonderful Felicity from Felisiti Greis to bring you my next blog – bespoke bridalwear. We cover so much in this blog including why it is crucial to find the right bridalwear designer for you. How the design process works. As well as the benefits of going bespoke and what you really need to consider when doing so.

I honestly can’t wait for you to venture into the world of bespoke bridalwear with us!

Thoughts from Felicity

Your wedding outfit is without doubt one of the most important outfits you will ever get to wear. You have probably been dreaming about every single detail that pertains to your wedding day and you probably have a clear vision of your dream wedding attire by now. There are so many different options available to you in terms of which journey you want to embark on, in your quest to find your dream wedding outfit. The different options available to you are; bespoke, made-to-measure, made-to-order, off-the-rack/ready-made.

Here are some top tips on how to choose the right bespoke bridalwear designer. As well as how to get the most out of your bespoke experience.

What makes a bespoke wedding garment so special & how can you make the most out of the experience?

Just For You

A bespoke wedding outfit is made with you in mind and is your dream and vision. The final design should be the embodiment of who you truly are. This is why it is so important that you choose a bespoke designer who has the ability to design an outfit that speaks to your individuality. Make sure to express all of your ideas to your designer in order for them to bring your vision to life.

Visualisation & Experience

The bespoke process offers a beautiful experience. One that builds an anticipation towards the completion or final fitting of your wedding gown. Most bespoke bridalwear designers will create a sketch of the final design for you to see and approve before construction of your outfit begins. Since a sketch is all you will have to go by, it is very important to choose a designer who listens. One who has the ability to beautifully translate your ideas into a sketch. This will help you visualise your wedding outfit before it is brought to life.

Trust & Expertise

The bridalwear designer you choose, like any other wedding supplier, should be one that you have total trust in. You should trust them as a person and also their expertise. This is the person/company that you will be working very closely with to bring your dream to life.

To do away with any doubts, it is best that you ask your designer as many questions as you possibly can. Make sure you are happy with all the answers you are given. I also advise to carefully look at the designer’s portfolio and past work to see if they are an expert in their field. Look out for clues like their attention to detail, finesse and the overall fit of their pieces.

Fit

Bespoke has a reputation for a great fit. The process a bespoke wedding attire goes through, requires on average anywhere between 3 to 5 fittings. The first fitting is usually what is called a toile (a toile is an early version of a finished garment made up in cheap material so that the design can be tested and perfected). Once the design is perfected, the designer will then usually start the process of creating the actual wedding outfit. The aim of the toile fitting is to perfect the final design of the garment. Therefore, you should take full advantage of this part of the process and all subsequent fittings.

Voice out any concerns, changes or alterations that you may want made to the design. This part; like any part of the process, requires complete trust in your designer as you see your beautiful dream take shape and come to life right before your very eyes. A great designer offers an impeccable fit and a flattering silhouette that compliments your beautiful body shape.

This is a topic I could talk about all day! With a background in fashion and bridalwear myself, this is something which is very close to my heart. It’s also an area I feel most couples aren’t aware of when looking for the perfect outfit(s) for their wedding.

Going bespoke means you are able to create something which is personal to you. To your style and your vision. Another way to make your wedding truly unique to you.

This is exactly why Felicity and I cover so much more about bespoke bridalwear in my new Wedding Planning Guide! Click the download button below to get hold of your free copy now.

This guide is full of questions to ask your designer, things to think about and how to navigate the bespoke process. You really don’t want to miss out on all this wonderful information.

On My Instagram

Image Credits – Emma Ryan Photography / Felisiti Greis / Hannah Rachael Weddings / Ponden Mill / The Petal Studio / Amore Headwear / Unity Rhodes Bridal / Aminaa Beauty

Planning Advice

The Importance of A Wedding Timeline

The Importance of A Wedding Timeline – another wonderful blog post voted by you. This is one I’m really excited to get stuck into as I know it’s a part of wedding planning that a lot of you find challenging.

Wedding timelines are something you will hear me talking about A LOT! This is because your wedding timeline is absolutely crucial to the smooth running of your wedding, set up and supplier coordination. It is fundamental to making sure all the plans you’ve put into place come to life just how you imagined.

Top Tip

Do not underestimate the importance of a wedding timeline! It’s one of the main reasons your wedding day runs smoothly and to plan.

So here is my run down of the elements you need to be thinking about when establishing your wedding timeline.

1. Venue Access

This is a big factor – the time you/your suppliers can gain access to your venue from. This plays a big part in the setup of your wedding. If you can gain access to your venue the day prior, then bonus. If not you will need to be even more organised with your schedule.

Things to consider

How much time your suppliers need to set up. This will vary depending on your suppliers, their needs and the elements they are providing for your day. The main suppliers to consider will be your caterers, florist and stylist. These suppliers will usually have the most to set prior to your arrival onsite.

The earlier you can gain access to your venue the better, you can never have too much set up time.

2. Your Ceremony Time

This is the most crucial timing of your whole wedding day – the time you get married. The length of your ceremony will vary depending on the style of ceremony you opt for.

A Civil Ceremony will usually last for 30 minutes whereas a religious ceremony will take longer. For instance, a church ceremony will usually last 1 hour.

Things to consider

I would always advise you to be in your wedding outfit ready to go 30 minutes before your wedding ceremony, no matter which ceremony style you choose. This gives you plenty of time to have a make-up refresh, grab a drink of water (or bubbles) and make sure you can have a couple of photos. The morning of your wedding will fly by so give yourself plenty of time to get ready.

Do factor in time to travel to your ceremony. If you are getting married on site, then you may only be a 2 minute walk away. However, if you are getting ready off site, make sure to factor travel time to your ceremony into this.

If you have opted for a civil ceremony be mindful that you will both have to meet with your registrars before your ceremony. This pre-meeting will be conducted separately, so they can ask you a couple of questions in private. One of you will usually meet the registrars up to 30 minutes before and the other 15 minutes before. You must be on time for this, your registrars keep to a very strict schedule on wedding days.

3. Carriages

Now consider the time you have your venue until, the time your bar closes and your epic wedding party has to come to an end.

You now have the 3 crucial timings which the rest of your day will be factored around. Now you need to work out which details will fall where in relation to these timings.

Top Tips

Always liaise with your suppliers. Most of your suppliers will advise what they need from you before your wedding day. For instance, most hair and makeup artists advise how much time they will need per person to get everyone ready. Your caterer should advise how long your wedding breakfast should take to serve. Your florist should let you know what they require from your venue and how long they will need for setup.

However, don’t be afraid to ask these questions yourself. Don’t wait for your suppliers to tell you. You can never be too organised when it comes to the timeline and the logistics of your day.

Remember there is only so much you can realistically squeeze into one day. Be mindful of this, step back and really consider what is involved in your day. Make sure you have allowed time to enjoy your day.

You can almost overfill your day, remember sometimes less is more.

1. Setup

Identify who needs to be at your venue for setup and how long they require.

2. Wedding Prep

Liaise with your hair and makeup artist to establish how much prep time you will need to make sure everyone is ready prior to your ceremony.

Discuss with your photographer what time they will be arriving to take ‘getting ready shots’ prior to your ceremony.

Make sure to give yourselves plenty of faff time – time to eat, drink, have a chat and take a breather.

3. Ceremony

Guests will typically arrive up to an hour prior to your ceremony. Make sure you have someone on site to greet them.

After your ceremony factor in time for photos.

4. Drinks Reception

Be mindful of travel time – if you have to travel from your ceremony to reception venue allow for this in your timings. This will be crucial for your caterers to know.

Your drinks reception typically takes 1 hour 30 minutes and allows the perfect amount of time to say hi to your guests and have photos taken.

5. Wedding Breakfast

Be mindful that you have to get your guests seated – I would typically allow 15 minutes to seat 100 guests.

Speeches play a big part in the timings of your wedding breakfast. This must be communicated to your caterers prior to your wedding day as it can play a big part in service. Be strict with your speeches, make sure you set a time limit on these and stick to them.

The timings of your wedding breakfast vary drastically depending on your guest count and menu choices.

6. Evening Guests

The time your evening guests arrive usually depends on when your wedding breakfast finishes.

7. Band/Evening Entertainment

You need to be mindful of when they require access to your venue to set up.

As well as what time they will start playing.

8. Cake Cutting & 1st Dance

Both traditionally happen once your evening guests arrive.

Your 1st dance usually kicks off your evening celebrations.

9. Evening Food

Again the timing of this depends on what time you have your wedding breakfast and when your evening guests arrive.

One of my favourite times for evening food service is 9pm. Not too early, but just when guests start to flag after all that dancing.

So there we have it, my insight into not only the importance of your wedding timeline, but what to consider when creating yours. This is by no means an exhaustive list as there is just so much to consider. Please remember every wedding is unique and will involve different factors, so this really is only a guide.

Creating your wedding timeline can definitely feel overwhelming, so why not take the stress out of it by creating yours together? Take advantage of my little Christmas discount. I’m offering my wedding consultancy hour at £35.00 per hour instead of £45.00 until 31st December 2020. This is the perfect opportunity for us to discuss and create your wedding timeline. To make sure you have all the little details of your day accounted for.

To redeem your wedding hour all you need to do is contact me via the get in touch button below. As long as your wedding hour is confirmed in my diary before 31st December 2020 (your consultation can take place anytime in 2021) it’s secured at the discounted rate of £35.00.

I can’t wait to help you create your beautifully detailed wedding timeline.

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Image Credits – Freya Raby / Emma Cox Floristry / Ponden Mill / Kelly Hanks Hair Design / Natasha Jane Makeup / The Aisle Ilkley / Haworth Menswear / Hannah Rachael Weddings

Planning Advice

3 Reasons to Hire A Wedding Planner

As you lovelies voted for my next blog to be all about wedding timelines, it really got me thinking. Thinking about how important it is to have a plan for your wedding day.

By now you’ve probably spent numerous hours planning your wedding, choosing your suppliers and the wonderful elements which will make your day special. But have you thought about how all these details will come together on the day itself? The running order, the timings and the set up? Probably not so much and why should you of? You’ve most likely never done this before. So, I wouldn’t expect you to know all the in’s, out’s and tiny details which make up your wedding day.

So, this is exactly why I wanted to put together this bonus blog. Your wedding timeline only works if you have all these other details accounted for. This is why I discuss why a wedding planner may just be the best decision you make for your wedding day. They make sure every logistic and every timing has been accounted for and that no detail has been missed. All to make sure you don’t have to worry about a single thing!

1. Knowledge

Hopefully, if you choose your wedding planner wisely, they will have worked in the industry for several years before setting up their own business. They will be able to provide you with a wealth of knowledge gained from their experience working in a variety of sectors within the wedding industry.

They should bring a wide skill set, professionalism and guidance to your planning. All to save you an abundance of time searching for answers, looking for suppliers and working out the logistics involved in your day.

2. Experience

Your wedding planner should be able to provide you with knowledge of the industry and how suppliers operate. As well as why certain elements of your day will need to be conducted or laid out in a specific way and how to get the most out of your budget.

Working with an experienced wedding planner can be the difference between you feeling stress and overwhelm instead of fun and excitement when planning your wedding.

3. Support

Unwavering, real and honest support. To guide and advise you when you’re just not sure which direction to take. Someone who knows your wedding inside and out, just like you do. Who is just as excited about your day and who wants to help you create a day like no other.

Someone on your team who can think ahead of time and make sure everything is on track, so you don’t have to worry about a thing.

I want you to have an amazing experience while planning your wedding. I want it to be fun, exciting and personal to you, without causing any overwhelm, stress or confusion. That’s exactly why I work with my couples in an extremely bespoke and detailed way in order to bring to life their wonderful day.

I appreciate that you are unique and therefore, so is your wedding and your planning. That’s why I’m with you every step of the way. Making sure you are on track, happy and supported throughout the whole process, right up to the day itself.

Checking nothing has been missed or overlooked. All so you can relax and enjoy one of the most exciting times of your life!

This is a topic I discuss and delve into in much more detail in my mini Wedding Planning Guides. Make sure you don’t miss a thing by signing up to get your guides as soon as they launch!

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Image Credits – Hannah Brooke Photography / Freya Raby Photography

Planning Advice, Styling & Décor

My 5 Wedding Breakfast Styling Tips

So not to disappoint here is my latest blog post (as voted by you) – My 5 wedding breakfast styling tips to help you to narrow down all your styling ideas. This blog will walk you through the 5 details I consider when designing a wedding breakfast.

1. Colour Palette

I always start with my colour palette. Your colour palette sets the tone for the whole aesthetic and decorative details. I use my venue to draw inspiration for this.

I consider the style of room where the wedding breakfast will take place, how the room is decorated and any prominent features it may have. I also like to think about what season the wedding will be taking place in.

Then I go on to create a colour palette consisting of 5 key colours which I will draw from for my florals, linen, table settings and décor details throughout. Adding more colours than this can overwhelm and almost over power the overall aesthetic you are hoping to achieve.

Remember less is more when it comes to your colour palette. Keep it refined, considered and cohesive for optimum impact.

2. The Venue

The overall aesthetic of your tablescape should align with the style of your venue. You want to chose decorative details to compliment your venue not contrast it!

Start by considering which 3 words you would use to describe your venue? Now think about your wedding vision and the way you want your wedding to be described.

Once you have these words consider the different ways in which you could compliment and encapsulate this vision.

This is something I go into much more detail with my couples during their wedding consultations and venue site visits. Do remember, styling your wedding day is a progression of ideas and does takes time and a lot of consideration. Don’t worry if this is something you feel you keep coming back to and evaluating.

3. Table Style

What style of table will you be having? This is such a crucial factor to consider and one which plays a big part in the whole design of your tablescape.

I consider different layouts and details depending on whether I am styling a long trestle or a round table.

With long trestles you tend to have less ‘spare space’ you mainly have the space which runs down the centre of the table. Whereas on a round table you tend to have a larger amount of central space to work with.

Next I consider what the tables look like and the setting of the wedding breakfast.

Traditionally most round tables will need clothing as they tend to be pretty ugly (in my experience). However a lot of long trestle tables are designed with beautiful wooden tops and work really well unclothed. These tend to work best in a more rustic or outdoors setting such as a barn or marquee. Therefore you may feel like adding a simple table runner down the centre of each trestle to add a hint of colour and texture.

If you have opted for a stately home or hotel, for your wedding breakfast then I would definitely recommend the addition of table linen. This adds a level of sophistication and crispness to the overall look and styling of your wedding breakfast. A beautiful base layer for you to style as you wish.

4. Menu Choices

This is a big one and one a lot of couples don’t consider! Your menu choices make a significant impact on your styling choices and the way your tables are laid out.

Think about the menu choices you have made; have you opted for sharing or plated?

If you have opted to include sharing elements then you need to consider, where these will be placed on your tables and how easy it will be for guests to reach and share these dishes amongst one another. I personally find sharing menus work best with long trestle tables. Most trestles divide between 6 guests (perfect sharing numbers) and have the ideal amount of space down the centre for sharing platters.

If opting for sharing you may find you have less space for decorative details. Therefore make your food the star of the show! Create varying heights using risers and trail soft foliage along the centre of the tables to add detail and colour. Why not consider dotting bud vases, taper candles and tealights along the table to add interest and detail.

If however you decide to opt for a plated menu then really the only thing you need to make space for is salt and pepper and accompaniments. Therefore you have more space to dress and style the space on your table as you like.

5. Height Variation

Considering height is crucial to a successful table design. If your guests can’t see one another it makes it really difficult for them to engage in conversation. Your wedding breakfast is a key element to your day and takes up a big proportion of time, therefore you want guests to enjoy themselves.

You can create height variation in so many different ways including;

  1. You could mix and match the centrepieces you have on each table (this works really well if you are having round tables). Opt for a hurricane vase with pillar candle on one and then a high floral vase arrangement on the next.
  2. You could opt for one tall floral arrangement as a main centrepiece then decorate the outside of this with small votives, tealights, bud vases etc.
  3. Or why not vary the heights of the floral/candle arrangements you have running down the centre of your table. You could achieve this by alternating between taper candles, tealights and varying floral arrangements.

I do hope you’ve found my 5 wedding breakfast styling tips a useful starting point.

This is definitely an area I spend a lot of time discussing and reviewing with my couples all to make sure the venue and vision for their day aligns. If you would like to find out more or want help with elements to consider when designing your wedding breakfast then do get in touch.

I’d love to hear from you!

Image Credits – Emma Ryan Photography / Anna Beth Photography / Freya Raby Photography

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Planning Advice, Styling & Décor

Identifying Your Wedding Style

The style of your wedding is very personal to you, who you are as a couple and your likes and dislikes. So, let me help you to identify your wedding style with my top 3 tips!

1. Identify Your Loves

Write a list of the things you love – your hobbies, colours you love, favorite restaurants, favorite tipple, days out, holiday destinations etc.

Now discuss what you enjoy about each of these. Is it the social aspect, time with friends and family, the style of food, the smells, the ambience, the way it makes you feel? Whatever it may be make a note of it.

Now start to consider which of these details you might like to incorporate into your wedding, how they represent your personalities and the things you love. Your wedding is personal to you and these fundamentals will be crucial in building the foundations of your wedding style.

2. Identify Your Dislikes

You’ve probably been to a couple of weddings by now, have scrolled through various wedding blogs and Pinterest and probably have a pretty good idea of what you don’t like.

So, what I want you to do now is discuss what elements you didn’t like about the weddings you’ve attended? What you would do different and why? What would of improved your experience? This is a real eye opener and will really start to give you a foundation to work from (believe me, you’ll have some strong opinions on this one!)

Now go through your ever growing Pinterest board and think about what draws your eye? What colour are you loving? What themes crop up time and time again? What’s the overall mood of the images you seem to be pinning? Is everything bright and light or is it more cosy and autumnal etc.?

It is so important to consider what you don’t like just as much as what you do like. Making sure you are both on the same page throughout your wedding planning will help making joint decisions a lot easier. Yes, you probably won’t agree on everything, but if you build a good foundation now and discuss the elements you both love and dislike, then it will make your wedding planning a lot smoother.

3. Your Venue & Season

Start by thinking about what season you want to get married in. Why have you chosen this season? Is it beacuse you love the colours, the flowers, the darker nights or that it’s lighter for longer? What is it that draws you to this season?

Now consider your venue. The venue you choose has a surprising impact on your style and décor, as well as the ambience and feel of your day. Your venue sets the tone for your whole day so, whatever you do don’t underestimate how important this is to get right!

Identifying your wedding style can feel like a big task, but believe me once you have a clear vision of the direction you want to take with this, everything will slot into place. You’ll find it easier to identify which suppliers you would like to work with and how you want your day to feel and the experience you want your guests to have.

To find out more about how I can help you with identifying your wedding style then feel free to contact me by clicking the get in touch button below.

Image Credits – Freya Raby Photography / Hannah Rachael Weddings / Emma Cox Floristry / The Aisle Ilkley / Haworth Menswear / Ponden Mill / Kelly Hanks / Natasha Jane Makeup / The Outside Kitchen / Whitehouse Event Crockery / Somers Creative

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Wedding Planning Guides

5 Reasons to Download My Wedding Venue Guide

I’ve worked super hard over the last couple of months to create a selection of mini Wedding Planning Guides especially to help all you wonderful couples planning your unique wedding. Each guide is absolutely jam packed full of top tips, advice, must ask questions and so much more to keep you on track and up-to-date throughout the many many stages of your planning.

Planning your wedding can be such a mix of emotions from happy and excited to overwhelmed and stressed all within a matter of minutes. That’s why these guides are on hand to keep you focused and on top of all your wedmin.

Just think of these as your own personal mini wedding planner. What more could you ask for?!

1. Let’s Start at the Beginning

So, I thought it was only right that my first wedding planning guide covered one of the biggest aspects of your wedding planning – your venue! Be under no illusion, this guide is packed full of industry knowledge, top tips and must ask questions (the types of questions you will need & more importantly want to know the answers to before your wedding day). It is designed to help you from now until the day itself. Whether you’ve already sourced your venue, or are yet to find the perfect one for you, this guide will be your best friend in making sure you don’t miss any detail, no matter how tiny.

2. Top Tips

I have worked extremely hard over the last 9 years to build my knowledge and understanding of the wedding industry and want to be able to share this with you. I really don’t want you to miss a thing when planning your day and appreciate just how much time, effort and consideration goes into every aspect, every decision and every plan you make. That’s exactly why I’ve designed these guides! They are created to give you helpful tips, tricks and advice to make your planning as seamlessly stress free as it possibly could be.

My wedding venue guide discusses the 3 things you should consider before you even look to book a venue viewing. Saving you loads of unnecessary hours look at venues which are just not the right fit for you and your day.

3. Must Ask Questions

I don’t expect you to know or be able to remember everything you want to ask when visiting venues and that’s exactly why this list of must ask questions will be your best friend.

Each section is broken down into a separate part of your day, for instance, set-up/ceremony/wedding breakfast/evening reception etc. etc. These walk you through every detail you need to discuss with your venue from your 1st visit right up until your final details meeting. There is plenty of space for you to take notes, so gone of the days where you spent hours hunting through your emails and note pads looking for all the various scribbles you made.

4. No Overwhelm

Believe me there really isn’t an aspect I haven’t thought of when creating this guide. Absolutely everything you need to is here, all so you don’t have to worry about missing a thing. Each guide is completely free, super easy for you to print off at home and has been beautifully designed (you really will want to print this off and take it everywhere you go). It is yours to use however you want to, so why not print off one for every venue you visit? Making it really easy for you to compare your notes when you get home.

5. Cost & Budgeting

Now this is definitely a big topic when it comes to planning your wedding. It’s something I know you want to avoid discussing for as long as possible. It almost feels impossible to decipher. Well don’t worry, I’m here to take the stress out of budgeting! This guide has a full section dedicated to cost and budgeting. It allows you to breakdown the cost of your venue. While allowing you to see how much you have left to spend on the rest of your day. All with absolutely no fuss and definitely no hassle.

Planning your unique wedding takes up enough time, so let me help by saving you even more time and effort with this super easy, gorgeous mini guide.

To get hold of your free Wedding Venue Guide then all you need to do is click the link below.

I can’t wait to to help you plan your perfect, stress free wedding!

Looking for even more wedding planning tips? Then why not visit my Industry Insider Blog.

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Image Credits – Hannah Brooke Photography / Phoebe Jane Photography / Wynn Davies Photography

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