Wedding Planning & advice 101

Wedding 101 by Laura Lewis
As some of you may know, I am getting married in what is now only a matter of weeks and, I have to say that the process so far has not seen me become flustered, panic stricken, stressed or feeling too overwhelmed.

I know I have already shared a few planning tips on here, but I thought I’d do a roundup of what I’ve learnt over the last 18 months since I started planning. Hopefully they may be of some help to make planning your day as plain sailing and stress free as possible! 

When planning a wedding, there are always things that are good to know, and there are things you need to know. I've been given a some little words of advice from a few lovely friends that have planned their weddings and, I've adopted some from my 9-5 job as well. 

#1: Money, Money Money
I would say, this is the most important aspect of the planning process. Mainly as you need to know how much you have in the pot before you start booking a venue and suppliers. Setting a budget from the start will eliminate venues and suppliers you simply can’t afford. Once you've done that, you can spend the next few months keeping track of your saving and where the money needs to be allocated to. To keep an eye on what we’ve spent, we have a spreadsheet set up that update on a regular basis.

#2: Inspiration
At the beginning, I set up several Pinterest boards thinking they would be my number 1 go to for all things Wedding inspired. Hands up, I have to say it’s actually been Instagram that I’ve got most of my ideas from – I honestly found Pinterest a little too overwhelming. I also subscribed to Rock n Roll Bride magazine which is by far the best Wedding magazine / website out there for ideas, tips and awesome advice.

#3: Channeling your inner Monica Geller
Ok, well I didn’t have ‘The Book’ but I did go out and buy a notepad. Everytime I thought of an idea, or came up with a plan I wrote them down. This helped me massively as I found I went back to my notepad on a regular basis. I have so many amazing suppliers that I found, I can see me never getting rid of the notebook! (FYI – I’ll be doing a post solely on the suppliers I used, and others I can recommend after the wedding)

Which leads me to…

#4: Excel is your new BFF
I use Excel on a daily basis in my job so when it came to planning my own wedding, I knew that I would have several. I’ve had one for the budget, one for guests / table plan and one for suppliers, etc. 

#5: Help, I need somebody! (or a lot of bodies)
One of the most popular pieces of advice married friends have given me is “Don't be afraid to ask for help”. Being a control freak, and I will put my hands as high as they will go to admit this, I have managed to stop and ask myself if a certain job can be given to someone else. 

We’re very lucky that we have a lot of friends and family that have offered to help - don’t be afraid to ask them as well! A bunch of my lovely friends came over a few weeks ago to help me make a huge amount of wedding decorations - I just plied them with Prosecco and snacks for the afternoon. Another one of our friends has designed our invitations, and all the other wedding stationary we need (table plan, menus, etc) and I’ve also assembled a team that will be at the venue the day before to help us decorate. I’ve even pulled in a few favours from past work colleagues that have loaned us some lighting and AV equipment, and will be knocking up a cocktail bar for our friends to use. 

#6: Do it Yourself
This goes back to budget. If you are on a tight budget, you may want to go down the route of doing a lot of things yourselves. Nowadays, this is a really common thing and, I will be chatting more about what we did after our wedding day has taken place. Expect some photo heavy posts on here in September / October!

However early you start the DIY there will always be a scramble at the last minute. From creating your own place names, to the table centre pieces or flowers, there are a lot of elements of a wedding that can be done without having to hire a company. But if you do decided to go down this route, I would say try and start as early as you possibly can - this, I can't stress enough.

#7: The night before
We're setting up the venue the afternoon before our wedding day. So, I'm hoping that I won't loose any sleep over bits and pieces that night. Once it's done, it's done and there is no way that I will be setting foot in the venue the morning of our wedding. I'm staying in a hotel the night before on my own which, I'm secretly looking forward to. My bridesmaids are joining me for pancakes on the morning of the wedding so, I will be turning my phone off and getting a very early night. 

That covers my last minute tips! 

If you are engaged, or soon to be, I hope my wedding planning tips / hacks have been helpful! If you have any additional questions, feel free to pop them in the comments below.