I loved planning my wedding, but of course there were challenges along the way. Here are the things that made my day, and the planning process, a fun and memorable experience. Plus a few tips I wish someone had given to me!
DIY -Do It Your Own Way!
Since we were children we have been bombarded with images of the perfect “White Wedding” in magazines and movies. It’s easy to feel pressure to compete or conform to someone else’s idea of what a wedding should be. Remember this is your day and you shouldn’t be afraid to put your own stamp on it. For me, I didn’t want to wear white. This upset some of my family and I ended up compromising and found a stunning ivory sheer overlay with gold embroidery all over it. But not before I had to argue with a sales assistant (in a designer store, in a shopping centre, not a bridal store!) about combining it with another dress! But I stuck to my guns and I still love that dress.
Getting your craft on is a great way to put your own stamp on your wedding and save a few pennies! I designed and created many things for my big day. I had a great time designing my own invitations and shopping for the paper. I loved cooking so I spent a lovely day with a dear friend making my own white chocolate mud cake and froze them! I visited a cake decoration store to by candy flowers and spent the night before the wedding putting the finishing touches on it.
Take Your Time
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed with everything that needs doing or to just get over excited and take a scattergun approach. Plan your wedding like you would a project at work and don’t try to do it all at once! I’m a theatre director to planning is in my blood. I love a good spreadsheet or gantt chart. Draw up a monthly calendar and work backwards from your date and put milestones in. Some things will need immediate attention, like booking a function centre, as a popular one can book out up to two years in advance. Other things, like your hairstyle or invitations can probably wait until closer to the date.
Keep Calm & Carry On
Planning such big event can be stressful. Not only are there many things to attend to there can be family pressures and opinions to navigate. It’s important you look after yourself and take time out to look after your self. When it is starts to get too much (because it will!) take some time out. Let that stress go on the dance floor or at the gym and remember, while your wedding is important, it isn’t the be all and end all.
Share The Joy
Another way to both reduce your stress, save some $ and increase your enjoyment is to invite friends and family to help! My friends were honored when I invited them to be involved. Have a craft day to make the invitations and of course what gal-pal isn’t going to love coming dress shopping with you!
I asked a friend to drive us in her flashy sports car and another to play the violin as I walked down the aisle. It made my memories all the more meaningful to have them contribute something from their hearts.
Its easy to get lost in the romance of it all and there are little things you might not think of. Set a budget and stick to it. We overspent and had to call our parents from our honeymoon to borrow spending money! Oops.
One thing I was really glad we did was stay in a hotel close to the reception centre before we flew interstate the next day for the honeymoon. The last thing you need after such a big day is a wait at the airport and a long flight! We stumbled out of our reception at 11pm after being awake from 6 am. We were relieved to tumble into the spa bath and enjoy some quiet moments together.
FOMO – Fear Of Missing Out
Fear of missing out can get you in two ways. Firstly, you get so panicked you will miss out on the perfect reception centre, dress or honeymoon you rush your decision and end up actually missing out on other cheaper or better options.
The other way FOMO can get you is through indecision. There are endless options to choose from and it’s easy to get decision fatigue. I remember standing at office works staring at all the paper colours. I felt paralyzed! Make a short list and give your self a time limit. When I made a list of my favorite colours and gave myself a colour palate for the whole wedding it made so many things easier.
Ask An Expert
While DIY is fun and can be liberating, don’t be afraid to ask an expert. In early stages of planning it’s a great idea to go to wedding expos, meet the celebrant and ask friends who have been married recently. They will give you ideas and be able to recommend where to find services you need. And if it all gets too much (and you can afford it) hire a wedding planner
Make It A Bonding Experience
And most importantly, share it with your partner! This is about both of you and you are building memories to last a lifetime. My husband and I had a great time doing a long wine tasting to choose beverages for our guests!
Don’t forget to have FUN. All going well, you will only do this once. Enjoy it. Do it the way you want and make memories you and your partner will treasure for years to come.