Seven steps to the perfect wedding
Congratulations! Taking the decision to spend the rest of your lives with each other is a very special commitment.
The wedding party itself is also a magical occasion, and can often involve quite a hefty financial commitment, so it’s important to get it right. Whether you are hiring a planner to do the hard work for you, or you want to organise it all yourself, there are a number of important things to keep in mind.
Top tip No #1 – Set your budget and stick to it
You may want 300 guests in a fairy tale chateau and to wear a wedding dress designed by Amal Alamuddin, but if you haven’t got the money to pay for that, you need to set your sight’s a little lower. Weddings don’t have to be expensive – particularly if you opt for rustic over glamorous as your theme – but your budget will be the driving factor for many of your decisions. If any family members are to contribute, chat with them about what they’re comfortable with spending. Once you’ve decided how much you want to spend, stick to it!
Top tip No #2 – prioritise what’s important
Maybe you’ve always dreamed of walking down the aisle to a choir singing Shubert’s Ava Maria? Perhaps your partner really, really wants to dance the night away with you to a rock ’n roll band rather than a DJ? Sitting down and working out what your priorities are is a crucial first step. What are the three most important aspects of your big day? The food? The booze? The photographs? Understanding what each other wants will make sure that no one ends up disappointed or frustrated, and will help you stay within your budget.
Top tip No #3 – paint a picture of your wedding day to family and friends
You and your partner want to keep it small and intimate, but your father is insisting on inviting all his friends from the golf club. You want to break from tradition and wear something other than white, but your mother nearly fainted at the mere suggestion. It can be very easy for other people to take over (especially when they’re contributing to the cost) and for your dream wedding to escalate into something you don’t want it to be. Sitting important family and friends down at the beginning of the planning process and painting a picture of what you want can help set expectations and stop things from getting out of control.
Top tip No #4 – Find your style
Are you shabby chic, rustic or minimalist? A city or country girl? Whatever the style, you will want to set the ambience of your day. Think about lighting to create an atmosphere; candlelight creates romance whereas coloured lights create drama. The style of wedding you want will influence many of your key decisions, including the time of year, outfits, venue and menu. Create a mood board and colour palette on Pinterest, set the scene and take inspiration from fashion, art, flowers and furniture. But don’t overdo it; simple is often the most the most effective.
Top tip No #5 -Use vendors you trust
It doesn’t matter whether you are using a wedding planner or organising it all yourself, it’s really important to choose vendors you trust, and who you feel ‘get you’. Make sure they appreciate your business so you don’t feel bad when you inevitably have to call and ask questions, or change your mind about what you want.
Top tip No #6 – Stay organised
Some people use lists, others use spreadsheets, some like to use online tools, such as Trello or WeddingHappy. You can use whatever works for you, but try and keep everything together in one place. Breaking actions down into small chunks and setting mini-deadlines can help prevent overwhelm and keep things on track. And don’t forget to talk about things with your partner. Organising your wedding is much easier and much more fun when you do it together.
Top tip No #7 – Have fun
The most important thing of all! This is your wedding, don’t forget! Don’t get hung up on the tiny details and remember to keep in mind what’s important – a life full of love, laughter and happiness with the person of your dreams.
Becky Slack is an experienced organiser of events for 10 people up to 1,000; Becky Allen is a stylist and designer who has worked with the likes of Channel 4 and the BBC. Together they can help you plan your dream wedding in southwest France. Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Book before 31 January 2019 and receive a 10% discount on the overall fee.