When you start to plan your wedding it can feel a little overwhelming. There is a lot to plan and a lot to remember to include. There can also be the pressure of your expectations. There may have been a few things that you would have wanted in your wedding, since you were quite young. Some of us have been planning our dream wedding since we were much younger. So when the prospect of it is becoming a reality, it can lead to mixed emotions. You’ll be excited but it could be quite a daunting prospect. You want your day to be perfect and go just as you have always imagined it.
With all of these thoughts flying around your head, it can stress you out. We don’t want any stressed out brides-to-be, though! Here are a few steps to take, to make sure that you achieve your dream wedding, with as little stress as possible.
Pick a Date
This first step might seem like an obvious one. But you must start at the beginning; it’s a very good place to start! It can be hard to pull of a big dream wedding with short notice. In most cases you will need to have at least six months to plan it all. The best thing to do is to start with the location. This can help you to decide when the wedding will be. Quite often we might have a season or month of the year that we are leaning towards. So if you have always wanted a summer wedding, the location will decide the date for you. If your dream wedding is a big church wedding, you need to make sure what dates the church you want to get married in is available. If you have always wanted to get married in a certain country house or barn, again, you need to check availability. Quite often this narrows down the dates that you have to choose from. Once you have the date, so many more things can be arranged. Some of you readers may remember that Match and I picked a date, and then had to change it after we’d put down deposits and everything! Lucky for us it worked out, but it is definitely not something I’d recommend!
Your Wedding Dress
In most cases, you will want to get trying on dresses as soon as you know you are engaged. This is quite wise, to be honest. If you have imagined a certain style of dress for a long time, the chances are that you will get a dress adjusted or made. This can take around nine months to get just right. So if you are having an engagement of about a year, you should try on dresses sooner rather than later. Here is a quick timeline of the wedding dress and things to bear in mind.
Nine months before the wedding you will want to pick your gown. This will involve paying a deposit in most cases. About half the cost of the dress is common. The dress will be made just to your measurements. Around three months before the wedding, the gown will be just about finished. You will go for a fitting and any adjustments will be made. About six weeks before the wedding you will have another fitting. This will be an important one. So don’t go and lose too much weight after it. Or equally, don’t go and only eat doughnuts from then until the wedding! Some minor changes to the dress will be made if needed. A month before the wedding you will have a fitting with the headpiece and veil if you are using. It is important to take the underwear you will be wearing for the wedding too. Trying it on altogether is a must. The final fitting is usually two weeks before the wedding. The dress will be done and it is important to have everything with you to try everything on. So have your shoes, veil, jewellery, tiara or any other accessories with you for the final fitting. You might take your dress with you then. Sometimes dresses are only picked up a few days before the wedding. At the final fitting, you will pay the balance of the dress and any extra for alterations. There is more about the timeline of your dress over at www.theknot.com/.
Hair and Makeup
Now you have thought about your dress; you need to think about the style of hair and makeup you will have. You might have always wanted your hair in a certain style. If so, it is important to find a friend or hairdresser that will be able to recreate the style. If you aren’t sure what to go for, make sure you attend a few trial sessions. You could try a few different hairdressers too. You want to have the look that you have always wanted. Think about what style will look good with your dress too. A higher neck might suit an up hairstyle better. Something with a wider neck, or without sleeves, might suit a hairstyle where a lot of hair is down. Try out a few things and see what you like best.
Like you should have trials for your hair, you should have trials for your makeup. Unless you are a makeup guru, it will eliminate a lot of stress if someone else does your makeup on the day. Look up some pictures online of wedding makeup to give you some ideas. If you normally don’t wear a lot of makeup, your wedding day isn’t the time to start to wear dark, smokey eyes. So think about what you normally wear and go for a similar, but slightly more dramatic look. It is important to think about the run up to the wedding too. Make sure you are drinking plenty of water in the weeks leading up to it. This will help to reduce the chance of getting spots and pimples. You will want your skin to look flawless!
Planning the Ceremony and Reception
The best way to plan the ceremony and reception is to know what budget you have in mind. You can have a fantastic wedding on any budget. The good thing about them is that they can be completely personalised. If you have always wanted a string quartet as you walk down the aisle, then you could get one. Calling on friends and family with talents is a great way to save yourself a lot of cash too. Have you got friends that play the violin or play in any musical groups? They could be recruited to organise the music if that is what you have always wanted. My cousin played guitar while I walked down the aisle, and it was beautifully done. I just wish someone had thought to record it!
You might have always wanted to have a wedding with a bit of a ‘wow’ factor. Have you always wanted to fly off to your honeymoon in a private helicopter? Have you always wanted to have fireworks as you leave the evening reception? It could all happen, depending on your budget and plans. For something like a firework display, it is a great idea to get a professional in to run it. You can find out more information about having a firework display at www.fireworksinternational.co.uk/wedding-firework-displays/. I wanted to have a photobooth at our reception, and I wish I had budgeted for it. They are so fun, and would have provided that wow factor we wanted.
To be able to remember your dream wedding, you want to have an amazing photographer. If you look back at your wedding photos and are disappointed, it will not leave you feeling positive when you look back and think about your wedding. For photographers, in can be very much a case of ‘you get what you pay for’. You will need one that is in your budget, but you want to see a lot of their previous work to get an idea of their style.
It is important to meet the photographer in person too. Take them to your wedding location of that is possible. Then they can get thinking about what pictures they could shoot. Give your ideas and listen to theirs too. One good thing is to have a list of the pictures that you want to have. You may have always wanted a certain style of a picture with your groom, or with your father, for example. The photographer needs to know that, or you will be disappointed if the picture doesn’t happen. You can’t rely on remembering on the wedding day. There will be so many things you will be thinking about and photography won’t be one of the priorities for you!
One of the best pieces of advice is not to listen too closely to other people’s unsolicited opinions. You might find people telling you that you shouldn’t have a certain colour bridesmaid dresses for a certain season. If you want to have dark blue bridesmaids dresses in spring, then you can have dark blue bridesmaids dresses in spring. You will find a lot of people have opinions about the smallest of things when it comes to weddings. My mother-in-law to be told me that lilies were for funerals, but I told her they were my favorite. I’m glad I didn’t compromise!
Just remember it is a special day for you and your love. You are the two people that will make the decisions. You won’t be able to please any one, particularly when it comes to something like a seating plan. Just make sure those people are the two of you.