Ten Things I Learnt About Weddings
1. Money matters
Nothing prepares you! Even though we made cutbacks on so many things the week before the wedding we had pennies in our bank account because we just hadn't factored everything in and it is impossible to do so. My tip, set your budget and then add an extra £1000 on to that for all those items you haven't thought of.
2. What does the wedding mean to you?
Think about how you want to spend your day. Do you want it to be just the two of you, do you want to dance with your friends, greet all your guests? I made sure that I said hello to every single person that came to the wedding but at the expense of spending any time with my friends, bridesmaids and even new husband!
Having a few tricks up your sleeve is no bad thing. I am a bit of an over-sharer so I wanted to tell everyone everything about the wedding because I was so excited. I managed to hold back on a few things however and I was filled with glee at the look on everyone's face when my Dad, Husband, Brother, Brother-in-Law and Best Man took to the stage to perform in their very own band.
4. Let Go!
This one was particularly hard for me as the wedding was my baby and something that I had been working on for 16 months. I spent quite a bit of time on the day getting stressed about the things I shouldn't have, but as I told my MoH, I was never going to just be able to relax on the day! Looking back I do wish I had let go, my MoH and brothers had everything covered for me. Once the cake was cut, the first dance was done and the band came on I think I let out my first real breath of the day, which was hard given that I was corseted in!
Speaking of which, add extra time to your activities. If you are getting married somewhere with a built in Wedding Planner you wont have this problem as they will know the best format but if you are doing it without then think about your timings. I thought that I had it sussed but we ended up running nearly two hours behind schedule which had an effect on everything from the DJ, Evening Guests and Photographer.
This website became my life. I designed our wedding website, downloaded the app, checked guest RSVP's, noted menu choices, created the seating plan and created spreadsheets with my wedding data. I would have had a whole different wedding without this app to help me organise. If you aren't sure the best way to go about storing all your information I would highly recommend this website!
7. Seating Plan
I found this part to be surprisingly easy! I knew exactly where I wanted people to sit and who I wanted them to sit with. There were, of course, some changes that had to be made but overall this was one of my simpler tasks, which I was lucky with, as seating 120 people could have been a real challenge! If you do have concerns about this start working on the plan as soon as possible, seat everyone that you have invited even before their RSVP is returned. This was you have given it some consideration and it will be easier just to swap their seats out if they RSVP 'No thanks'.
I am a people pleaser. I can't help it, and so for me as much as the wedding was about marrying my husband it was also about putting on the best damn party that I could. If I was spending that much on one day I needed people to walk away and say ,'That was a good wedding'. I wanted to make sure that our guests had the best time. And it worked! The one recurring comment from our day was ,'That prosecco just kept coming didn't it?!' which to me is a sure sign of a good party!
9. Taking it in
I tried so hard throughout the day to remember moments. Your wedding day is a core memory, something that will stick in your mind for the rest of your life but I wanted to remember the details as well. This provided easier said than done. I remember trying to get a breath before I walked down the aisle, I remember my dad telling me to slow down, I don't remember the processional music at all! Just try and remember as much as possible because that day has provided me with some of my favourite memories to look back on. My tip: Make sure you look at all your wedding guests before you head down the aisle as a married couple, you will never see so many happy faces from people that all love you in one room again!
It's cliched but true, find time through the day to see your new husband/wife. I made sure that I had factored time in to the day, including just after the ceremony where it was just the two of us and a bottle of champagne. Those bubbles never tasted so sweet! Remember why you are getting married and revel in a day that is all about the love that you have for each other. I married my best friend and you can tell from the photographs and video that we had such a fun day. That's what marriage is really, bringing joy and love to each other 'til death do us part.