When I say ‘planned person’, I don’t mean a person who was meant. If you were the thirteen year gap surprise little brother that nobody knew they needed, you are valued and loved and probably get away with murder so stop whingeing, ya big baby, away and play with your nerf guns.
What I mean is a person who is organised, prepared, ready for all eventualities and, if I’m honest, that’s not me. In my own niche work life, I’m sorted but advising you how to plan your entire wedding is beyond my puny powers.
Thankfully, there are experts who thrive on keeping things running smoothly and, right up there is the bum-bag wearing fairy of the top of the Wedding Planning Christmas tree, the very organised Cat Duthie at Fin Flukra…
Tell us, O Wise One, how does someone plan their wedding better?
When I was asked for my “super duper, all time amazing top tips” to help couples planning their wedding I was stumped. There are so many planning tips I could give people, what would be most helpful? Should I talk about wedding budgets, about guest lists, about decor or food or choosing a celebrant [Edit: hello! Claire x]…
Then it hit me. There’s one thing I say to every single couple I speak to and from that single phrase everything tends to fall into place.
“You do you”.
Yep. Simple. Right? You do you. Plan a wedding that you would love to attend. Plan a wedding that reflects the two of you and your relationship. It sounds simple but there are so many wedding options out there. So. Many. Options. Which means that giving two recently engaged people such a vast, all encompassing list might freak them out a wee bit. So, I’ll condense it down.
How do you start to plan a wedding that feels completely and utterly ‘you’? Here are my top three tips.
Number One Tip: why are we doing this?
No, no. I’m not getting you to assess your relationship and ask yourselves why you’re getting married! The answer to that is easy. It’s all about love!
The ‘this’ in my Number 1 Tip is all about your wedding day. As you’re planning each part of the celebration, keep one question in the back of your mind,
‘Why are we doing this particular thing?‘
If the answer is ‘because it’s tradition’ or ‘because we know we have to’ then I’d say you can ditch it! The answer should always be some kind of variation of ‘because it sounds like it’s going to be a fab addition to our day and we are going to love it!’
At its very core a wedding needs three things – you two, somebody legally authorised to marry you and a couple of witnesses. Everything else is up to you and is completely optional. Once you keep that in mind then you’ll find you’ve given yourselves permission to do absolutely anything you want on the day.
Number Two tip- What are your priorities?
For some couples they want amazing food, for others they want their day to be an epic adventure into the Highlands and I’ve known couples who love music and want that to be the biggest feature of their day.
Sit down together and chat through your thoughts. You might both have slightly different priorities to the other, you might be on completely the same page for everything. This wedding planning lark is probably something neither of you have put this much thought into before so it’s always good to talk and see what you’re both thinking.
You’ll probably end up with a big old list of priorities and that’s ok. You can start whittling them down to the key ones. I always recommend that couples have a top three must haves which then helps you to start allocating budgets and working out what to spend more on and what you can ditch completely.
Number Three Tip: Manage expectations
It’s all well and good me saying “you do you” but we all know that wedding planning doesn’t exist within a bubble.
Well meaning friends and family like to get involved. Sometimes with not so welcome advice. This can be particularly tricky if family members are contributing to the wedding budget and feel like they should have a bit more of a say in things. Asking for certain events to have for emotional reasons can also be hard to hear and navigate too. Especially if it’s around first looks or aisle walks.
I can only ever recommend clear communication here. Have open and honest discussions about why you do (or don’t) want a particular thing or event included in your day. Nine times out of ten I’ve found that people just want to feel heard and like to understand the reasoning behind decisions. Weddings have changed so much over the years that sometimes it’s as simple as older family members have no idea that you now can take or leave traditions and do things your own way. I’ve found that once they’re aware of this, they tend to fully embrace the day and plans.
There you have it. Three tips to help you start to plan a wedding day that feels right for you both. I hope that’s helped in some way and you can begin planning an amazing celebration.
PS. My alternative top tip was going to be both a cop out and a marketing coup – “hire me as your wedding planner”. But my ego just couldn’t let me go there. Of course if you do want to chat about your wedding planning and how I can help, just head over to my website and get in touch!
Thanks to Walnut Wasp for the smashing featured image