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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

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!

On My Instagram

Image Credits – Hannah Brooke Photography / Freya Raby Photography

Planning Advice

5 Things To Consider Before You Start Pinning Your Dream Wedding

Massive congratulations, you’ve just got engaged!

You’ve told everyone you know and are super excited to start planning your big day. Before you excitedly rush to Pinterest to start pinning your dream day make sure to consider these 5 things. You don’t want all you hard work and hours of planning to go to waste.

1. Take time to discuss your core values

Now what do I mean by core values? Your core values are your likes, dislikes, your hobbies, things that interest you, your family values etc. They are the things that make you, you. Now the both of you will probably have slightly different takes on these, but that’s ok and is why it’s good to talk through them now.

2. What makes you unique & individual as a couple?

Take time to think about what you enjoy doing together. The places you like to go on holiday. What your favourite restaurants are. What type of music you love.

It is really important to consider this details early on as they they help to build the fundamentals for your whole planning process.

Remember, your wedding is a reflection of you and what you enjoy. Without knowing what is important to you, how can you select the perfect team of suppliers for your big day? The suppliers you choose should compliment your individual style and vision.

Image by Taryn Elliott

3. What do you want out of you wedding?

How do you want to feel on your wedding day? How do you picture your day from start to finish? What and who do you see your dream wedding including?

This includes thinking about the location of your wedding. Is it local to you, your family home or could it be your favorite holiday destination? Considering this now. This will have a big impact on the overall feel and atmosphere of your day, as well as how you picture it.

Understanding the answers to these questions will help you narrow down what style of wedding your are looking to achieve. The how you achieve it will follow as you take to Pinterest, flicking through magazines and start visiting venues and speaking to suppliers.

Many couples try to skip this stage and go straight onto looking for inspiration. However, without discussing these points your research will soon become an overwhelm of unrelated images and web links with no direction.

Image by Kumar Saurabh

4. The guest experience

No matter the size of your guest list, you want your guests to enjoy your wedding day as much as you will. To achieve this I suggest you consider the following;

  1. Who do you see around you? Are you really social and just can’t see your day without everyone you know? Or would you prefer to keep it a smaller, more personal affair by inviting only your most nearest and dearest?
  2. What atmosphere do you want to create? Do you just want a big party with lots of music and dancing? Or would you rather opt for something a little more laid back and relaxed, think cocktails on the terrace?

There really is no right or wrong answer to these questions. It all comes down to your core values and identifying what is important to you as a couple.

Another reason why it’s so important to have this conversation early!

5. Narrow down your priorities

Now this is not always the easiest of thing to do. However, it does make the rest of your planning much easier and provides direction throughout your planning process.

I would recommend by starting with a list of everything you would like to include in your dream day. Make sure you take the time to consider your initial guest numbers when doing so. By doing this, it will provide you with an understanding of the size of your wedding. Does this fit with how you picture your day and who you see yourselves celebrating it with?

From this list you now need to establish your top 5 priorities

These are things you just can’t see your wedding without. Go back to your core values and what makes you unique as a couple. Take the time to consider how you might look to reflect these in your day.

For example, do you love live music? Then why not incorporate this into different aspects of your day? You could have a guitarist play an acoustic version of your favorite song as you walk down the aisle. A harpist for your drinks reception. With a band playing your favorite songs to conclude your evening.

Whatever you establish as your core values, now is the time to workout ways of incorporating them into your perfect day.

Image by Ben Rosett

Identifying your style as a couple is a crucial step in your planning process. It builds the foundation for every decision you make and is so much more than just how you want your day to look. I know it may seem hard, but considering these 5 points will help you to create a wedding day which truly reflects who you are as a couple.

Now is the perfect time to start pinning and researching your dream day. For tips on where to start why not check out my post on all things wedding planning – Help! Where Do I Find Inspiration For My Wedding?

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