Dream big first.
Many guides to wedding planning start by telling you to reign in your budget and realistic. Taking that approach will lower your mood and excitement, dashing away your hopes and dreams before you’ve even started. Instead, start brainstorming and imagine how your perfect wedding would look if money was no object. Be as ridiculous about it as you like.
Allow yourself to really have fun picturing your perfect wedding. Get creative with drawings, collages and Pinterest boards. It’s important to let your imagination flow completely as you might stumble on some ideas you hadn’t thought of before. By getting things out on paper you are freeing yourself creatively and emotionally. Planning your wedding should be a joy, not a chore.
Now you’ve dreamt big, plan accordingly.
So it turns out you can’t afford to hire an entire castle and have all guests arrive on horseback for that ultimate Robin Hood themed wedding you wanted when you were 7. But now you have a solid dream to work towards. How can you make your dream achievable for less? You could have a castle on your wedding cake, food menus printed on parchment scrolls and meals served on golden plates for a similar effect.
Focus on your theme.
By now you should have some good ideas for how you want your wedding to look, ranging from the big picture to smaller touches. Hone in on the finer details by choosing your theme of colours and styles. Create a mood board that you can keep looking back at throughout your planning stages. Choosing everything from dresses to table décor will be so much easier if you can quickly confirm whether it will fit in. It will also spare you from the agony of choice that comes with having too many options.
Picture the weddings that you’ve been to as a guest. Think about what worked and what didn’t. If you attended a wedding with the most incredible cake find out who supplied it. Ask other couples for advice and recommendations, they will likely be happy to help as you’ll be letting them to remember their special day. This help can stretch further than expected too – if you have a photographer in mind ask them whose flowers always look amazing.
Balancing your budget.
Decide what’s important to you. Perhaps a stunning dress will be the the thing that matters to you the most, or it might be a specific fabulous venue. Make a list of all of your essential things – cake, flowers, music, clothing, entertainment and so on – and give each of them a number between one and three depending on how important they are to you. Prioritise your budget accordingly by giving most weight to your number ones and cutting back on your threes. Remember to put aside a portion of your budget as a back-up fund for potential unexpected costs such as tailoring alterations, beauty treatments and invitation re-printing.
One of the easiest ways to keep a wedding budget down is by shortening your guest list. In exactly the same way you prioritised your budget above do the same again with your guests. Put your closest friends and family in your number one category and work through all your possible guests of cousins, co-workers, parents’ friends, neighbours and so on assigning each of them a relevant number. If you need to start trimming, start with your number threes until you have reached your desired number. Bear in mind that not everyone you will invite will necessarily be able to make it.
Cake tasting, touring venues and trying on dresses isn’t all doom and gloom, so make your appointments fun. Always get a second opinion and investigate other options and prices before you settle on something that you like and want to go ahead with. Don’t be afraid to ask for any additional requests you might have and try to reach a deal – if you don’t ask you’ll never know!
Hire people you know (and trust).
Friends are often the best source of help. You might have friend who’s into graphic design that could supply your wedding invitations. This will give your invites a unique personal touch, could save you a lot of expense and will definitely consumer a lot less of your time and energy than designing them all yourself. And when your guests ask who made your wonderful invitations you can point them in the direction of your talented friend.
Have a look online for ideas. With everything from ice cream stalls to casino tables and fairground rides as potential entertainment choices nowadays you’re bound to encounter something you won’t have thought of. A popular option is our Magic Mirror Photo Booth, giving a traditional photo booth a modern twist with animations, video recording, green screen options and games and more included to keep everyone entertained affordably. They offer instant photo prints and digital photo galleries that your guests will love.
Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will your wedding. Get a separate calendar to use just for your wedding, take a look at the months ahead – depending on how far away your date is – and plan to tackle things in small steps, such as one thing a fortnight. You could plan to arrange your flowers to coincide with when blossom starts to appear on the trees, which will get your inspiration flowing. You’ll be less likely to rush into decisions and have regrets if you aren’t trying to juggle everything at once.
Live happily ever after.
It can be so easy to get overwhelmed at the prospect of planning the best day of your life to perfection. But don’t panic. Remind yourself regularly to focus on the most important thing, that you are planning to spend the rest of your life with the person you love.