Before you set off dress shopping, there are a few things you should have already decided on. Where are you getting married? Church, castle, country house, art gallery, beach and what time of year is it? Will it be sunny, snowing, raining? These factors are going to have an effect on what type of dress you choose. A 20-foot train isn’t going to work if your getting married in a marquee in the middle of a field!
Also before you step foot in a bridal boutique, set your budget. It’s very easy to get carried away when you see lots of amazing gowns and overspend. Be very strict with yourself and only look at dresses within your price range. Select boutiques to visit that cater to your price range….because if you’re anything like me you’ll always love the most expensive dress in the shop without knowing the price tag.
Look online and in magazines to get names of designers you like. Check the designers websites to see which local boutiques stock these gowns and make an appointment to try them on.
Try on lots of different shapes, what you like in a magazine you may not like when its on and vice versa. Strapless dresses have been very popular for years and a-line gowns are a timeless silhouette; they are great for making you look taller and slimmer. The mermaid shape is currently a huge trend with lace being the most favoured material.
Stella York 5878
Make sure the fit of the dress flatters you and that you feel comfortable in the dress. If you keep touching your stomach or pulling up the dress you’re probably going to be doing that on your big day.
Don’t expose too much flesh. If your arms and legs are on show, cover up your cleavage. You want to reflect your sense of style, but you also want to look elegant on your big day.
Sophia Tolli Y21372
Try on accessories with the dress. See how it looks with a veil, different headpieces and of course shoes. These can be the finishing touches that take it from OK to WOW!
Leave plenty of time to search for your dress. You need to order it, ideally, at least 9 months before your wedding so it’s best to get searching about a year in advance.
Are you ready for the ugly truth??? Planning your wedding is not going to be all sunshine and roses….there are going to be times when you want to give up and elope! Of course you’ll still love it and miss it like crazy when it all comes to an end.
To help you make it through the perils of wedding planning, I thought I would give you the heads up on things that no one will have thought to warn you will happen!
You’re going to argue….a lot!
He wants R2-D2 and C-3PO as cake toppers, you want lovely sparkly monograms. You’re not going to agree on everything, so there will be some petty little squabbles over the smallest of things. This is normal, don’t worry and try and come to a compromise that you’re both happy with. You want both of your personalities to show in the wedding, be prepared for a bit of give and take.
Your wedding is not going to be the same as your childhood fantasy.
The wedding you dreamed of as a kid isn’t going to come true. Half that stuff doesn’t exist and if it does it will nearly bankrupt you! Remember that this wedding is for both of you and as much as you might want a Disney Princess wedding, he might want to throw up at the idea! Plan a wedding that reflects both of you (as adults) and it will be perfect.
If you were a Girl Guide and were taught to always be prepared, if you think you’re an organised individual, think again. You will be planning your wedding like a military operation! You’ll have files, spreadsheets, lists and who knows what else to help you plan…….and if you don’t…..God help you!
You’re not superhuman.
Everyone needs a little help. No matter how organised you are you will not be able to do everything yourself. You need to delegate. Give your groom, parents and bridesmaids little jobs to do so you have more time to spend on the big things. Try not to micromanage them…..I’m sure they will do a brilliant job of anything you ask them to do.
You will have a Bridezilla moment.
Even the most laid back brides will find themselves having a bridezilla moment. It might be to do with the guest list, when out dress shopping or when you are just sat watching TV! But whenever it happens, remember you are entitled to get a bit stressed out at times, just don’t take it out on the people who are trying to help you.
There’s going to be lots of tears.
Make sure you have a good waterproof mascara and a big box of tissues permanently at the ready. Your going to be putting blood, sweat and tears into planning this wedding so you’re going to need them. There is so much emotion involved in wedding planning, so even if you’re not the crying type, a few tears are bound to escape now and again. If you are the crying type, expect the flood!
You’ll want to become a wedding planner.
Once your big day is over and done, you will miss the planning so much that you’ll want to do it everyday for a living. All I can say is that planning other peoples weddings is totally different from planning your own. You don’t get to make the decisions, you might not like their choices and it’s nothing like the film at all!!!!
But with all that said, planning your wedding is one of the most special times of your life. Enjoy as much of it as you can, embrace the tantrums and the tears, remember why you are getting married and try not to kill anyone!
This is one of the most frequently asked questions. Everyone wants their wedding to be amazing in their own special way, but most people can’t afford everything on their wishlist. I’ve listed a few ideas of how you can save money without compromising quality.
Personally, I think there are a few areas that you should never skimp on. I always recommend using a professional photographer, your photographs are one of the only things you will have in years to come and if they go wrong you will never be able to recreate those moments ever again. I’ve never had a bride wish they hadn’t booked a professional photographer, but I have mopped up many tears from those who wish they had! A videographer is another must for me, your photographs will capture many an amazing moment, but a videographer will capture your vows, speeches and your first dance. Those are things you will never hear again without a videographer, and again it is always best to use a professional. My final thing are your wedding rings. These should last a lifetime. I know you can buy new, more expensive ones in time but they aren’t going to be the ring you put on your finger that day. Try to get something that you want to wear for years to come and that will also last.
With that said, if you follow some of my tips below you should be able to save some money and spend on what you find the most important parts of your big day.
Marry out of season – Summer is still the most popular time to get married. Choose a less popular month like January or October and venues and vendors may offer you a discount. This means you could be able to afford that manor house you’ve always wanted but never dreamed of affording.
Avoid a weekend wedding -Most venues get booked Friday – Sunday. If you can marry Monday-Thursday you may be able to book a venue at a reduced cost. If you give your friends and family enough notice, there should be no issues with people attending through the week.
Watch out for a jewellery sale – Most jewellers have sales throughout the year. Wait for a sale before buying your wedding rings and you could save upto 50%. Either get the ring you wanted for less, or splash out on a better one!
Hold your ceremony and reception in the same place – Look for a venue that has a civil marriage licence and that also hosts receptions. You can normally get a deal when holding the whole wedding in once place plus you save on transport costs. It’ll also keep your guests sweet as no one has to worry about driving!
Get your dress in a sample sale – Keep an eye out for any sample sales taking place in your area. Lots of boutiques have a sale to get rid of stock before new stock arrives. You can pick up a brand new dress, most are in excellent condition, for up to 70% off the full price. Remember to factor in your alteration costs as many boutiques don’t offer an alteration service on dresses bought in sample sales or off the sale rail.
Consider DIYing your wedding cake – If you’re a little crafty (as in arty, not sneaky!!!), you can buy iced wedding cake tiers from the high street and decorate the cake yourself. This can save you £100’s. If you’re not confident, please leave it to the professionals!
Work out how many people you can afford to invite and stick to it! – Don’t keep adding to your guest list. If someone declines your invitation, do not invite someone else in their place, take the opportunity to save that money! Invite less people to the daytime and more to the evening, this can save you around £50-£75 per head.
Use flowers that are in season – Ask your florist what flowers are in bloom for the time of year you’re getting married. They will be much cheaper than sourcing something that’s not in bloom. Also ask your florist what will have the biggest impact for the least money, they should be able to help you make a large impact for a smaller budget if your not set on certain flowers.
Something borrowed – it’s lucky to have something borrowed on your wedding day, so ask around and see what you can borrow and save money on…you’ll be amazed what your friends and family will have lying around!
Compare vendors – Before booking a vendor, make sure you have looked around and compared quality and prices. Don’t book the first vendor you meet. Make sure you know what you are getting for the price agreed. Remember, the cheapest is not always the best deal. Always use a professional and check they are insured.
Look at dresses on the High Street – There are some amazing wedding and bridesmaid dresses available on the high street. Check them out before hitting the designer boutiques.
Debenhams Debut Wedding Dress £199
Ditch the favours – You have paid for your friends and family’s food and drink…do you really need to give them a present for coming too???
If you have any other ideas on how to save money without compromising on quality, I would love to hear them! Feel free to leave a comment or drop me an email.
Destination weddings have surged in popularity. A lot of couples don’t want the stress of organising a UK wedding so opt to marry on sunny white sands or a little chapel in Las Vegas. Others opt to get married abroad because of the costs of getting married in the UK; the average UK white wedding will set a couple back £18000 while the average cost of a destination wedding is £8000.
But before you decide to jump on a plane with your nearest and dearest, there are a few things you need to think about.
Before you decided on a destination you need to check that the marriage will be legally binding in the UK and what paperwork you will need to take.
Check out how long you will need to be a resident in the country before you can get married. You will need to take this into consideration when booking flights and accommodation.
Look into using a UK based wedding specialist for that destination rather than a travel agent. They will have full knowledge of the laws and customers in that country and will also have many contacts to help you plan your big day and make it more personal.
As soon as you book your wedding, make sure you take out specialist destinations wedding insurance as well as travel insurance. This will make sure you are covered for any eventuality.
Get everything in writing before you pay. This is common sense with any wedding but is much more important when you are planning everything at a distance.
Once you have booked your flights, contact the airline and tell them you are getting married abroad. Book extra hand luggage so that you can take your dress on the plane as carry on luggage.
When you arrive, run through all the details with your wedding co-ordinator, then you can relax and enjoy.
The most popular European wedding destinations are currently Italy, Greece and Cyprus. Popular long haul wedding destinations include Las Vegas, Hawaii, the Carribean and Thailand.
It’s very difficult to hold a legal ceremony in France unless you are a resident there. If you would really like to get married in France, consider having a legal marriage in the UK followed by a non legal ceremony and reception in France.
These are 14 classic wedding mistakes that are easy to make but can also easily be avoided. Make sure you don’t make the same mistakes by reading my guide and following my advice.
1. Buying a wedding dress that is a size too small telling yourself that you’ll be able to lose the weight by then. This is a very common mistake….a dress can be made smaller but not bigger!!! Always buy the size that you are when you order, it’s going to save you a lot of worry in the long run.
2. Buying accessories before your dress. If you try to find a dress to match any accessories you’ve already bought, your’re heading for dress shopping meltdown. Odds are, you’ll find the dress of your dreams and it’ll not match anything you’ve bought. The dress should be chosen first then the accessories should be chosen to complement it – not the other way round!
3. Booking your venue before checking the registrar is available. You’ve found your dream venue, decided on a date and want to get everything booked as soon as possible. But what if the registrar isn’t available that day or at a time you want? Put a tentative hold on the date with your venue, most venues will hold the date for 7-14 days without a deposit. Once your venue is held, call the local registrar to make sure they have availability. Once you know they are free it’s full steam ahead.
4. Not buying wedding insurance. Wedding insurance can cover you for most things from your venue burning down to your florist having the flu. Insurance costs from as little as £20 so what it your excuse for not having it???
5. Leaving too big a gap between the ceremony and wedding breakfast. This is when your professional photos are taken, but if it takes longer than an hour and a half your guests are going to get bored. Book some entertainment like a magician or pianist, organise games or serve canapes during this time to keep them occupied.
6. Not leaving enough time for hair and make-up. Ask your hairdresser and make-up artist how long it will take to get everyone’s hair and make-up done. Set your alarm so you have plenty of time and are not rushed.
7. Wearing your hair up, when you or your fiance have always preferred it down. You don’t have to have your hair up just because it’s a wedding. The more you stick to your natural look, the more comfortable and confident you’ll feel.
8. Not getting a manicure. Your hands are going to be looked at and photographed all day. Getting a manicure is a must!
9. Not getting your engagement ring cleaned. You may have had your engagement ring for a few years, so when put next to your brand new wedding ring it’s going to look less than it’s sparkly best. Get it cleaned the week before the wedding so it looks brand new.
10. Forgetting to eat on the day. You’ll be so busy you will be amazed how easy it is to not eat on your big day. Schedule time to have breakfast before getting ready and ensure that you sit down and eat your wedding breakfast. Also make sure you make it to the evening buffet…you’ve paid for it so it would be a shame not to sample it!
11. Not saying hello to all your guests. The line up is used less and less at weddings, but it is the perfect way of speaking to every one of your guests if you’re having a large reception. Say a quick hello and thank you for coming to your evening guests too, they will appreciate it.
12. Not getting a picture with your mum, grandparents, best friend. It is very easy to forget certain photographs. Speak to your photographer before the wedding and make sure they know who you want photographs taken with.
13. Forgetting to feed your wedding suppliers. Your photographer and videographer are with you all day, they need to eat too. They don’t need a seat with your guests eating the same as everyone else, but a hot meal is normally much appreciated. You can then invite them and your band/DJ to help themselves to the buffet in the evening.
14. Getting worked up over little things. You can’t do anything about rain on your wedding day, no one will notice if the table isn’t laid exactly as you discussed with your venue. Yes it’s a little annoying but concentrate on all the good stuff and all the little niggles will disappear!
These are the most common mistakes people make. If you have any questions or need advice on any of the above or anything else while planning your wedding, leave me a comment or email email@example.com.