It’s been a grand total of 19ish months since I last wrote a post. I was going to do this elaborate spiel about how busy I’ve been and why I haven’t had time. But I’m not πŸ™‚ I haven’t done a post because well, I just haven’t! Yes, I’ve been busy – in the last year and a half. I’ve had a few holidays, bought a house and been doing a bit of essential (not essential) decorating to said house. Plus various other bits and bobs going on in my personal life. Altogether, it’s meant that spending a bit of time putting pen to paper (fingers to keyboard) has had to take a bit of a backseat.

Alas, I am very much in the mood to start writing again. I find it so therapeutic and have thoroughly missed rambling away on here. And the biggest thing that I didn’t even mention in my ‘reasons for not blogging spiel that wasn’t a spiel’ above is I got married!

This has probably been the most time-consuming thing of all over the last year and as the big event only happened just over a month ago, I wanted to share a few things I learnt from the planning process.

As always, I love a cheeky 5-tip style post, so here goes:

Don’t forget it’s YOUR wedding

I will keep this blunt. It’s your day, do not listen to other people if they say they don’t like what you are doing or when they suggest something else. And by all accounts, most people have ‘that’ person (or people) in their life who is/are likely to do just that. Choose everything you love, however random or untraditional. New traditions are there to be set! You only get one wedding day (hopefully) and you only get one life. Don’t be swayed by trying to keep other people happy. You won’t keep everyone happy no matter what you do but as long as you are happy, job done.

Get the big stuff done early

By the time we actually tied-the-knot we had been engaged for just over a year and a half. Obviously, I’m biased but this felt like the perfect amount of time. You have given it long enough to be able to book your first choices for all the important stuff: venue, caterers, photographer etc and you’ve also allowed enough time for you to be able to just enjoy being engaged without having to do 24/7 wedding planning from the moment he or she slid that ring on your finger. Work out a budget and choose a venue – the most popular venues are booked up at least a year in advance anyway, and then have a think about any other specific suppliers you would like and if you would be disappointed to lose out on them.

Get used to all the opinions

Kind of linked to point 1 above but I wanted a bit more room to elaborate and this isn’t just about doing what you want. I said this recently to a friend who got engaged just after me and she didn’t believe it until she experienced it herself but people WILL tell you exactly what they think. They will tell you why they didn’t choose something you are doing for their own wedding, question your venue, question how much you are paying for something and gasp when you tell them and you’ll have people who are more than happy to tell you why they don’t like something you are doing. It’s crazy. It’s probably why they made that show where women had to mark different couples on aspects on their wedding (Four weddings?) People do actually act like that in real life. But this is why this point related to my first one above – and you’ve guessed it – do not listen. Nod and smile or say whatever you want to say back but fundamentally if you want something for your wedding and you can afford it, then have it.

Everything is expensive

Set the scene. You go into a shop, you find a balloon and you take it to the counter “Hi there, Can I buy this balloon please?” The shopkeeper (‘shopkeeper’ – apparently we are in Victorian times) replies “Yes madam, that will be Β£5” (It’s one of them fancy foil balloons, Florence Nightingale loved them apparently). You hand over the money and walk out. (With your balloon obviously).

Now let’s set the scene again.Β You go back to the shop, you find a balloon and you take it to the counter “Hi there, Can I buy this wedding balloon please?” The shopkeeper (yep still in Victorian times) replies “Yes madam, that will be Β£500”. Whaaaat!

And here endeth the slightly odd lesson. All you have to do is stick the word ‘wedding’ in front of anything and you can pretty much guarantee the price will be multiplied by 100000%.

What can you do about this? Not a lot really. The wedding industry knows exactly what it’s doing and sadly for most of the expensive things you need you have to declare it’s a wedding so you can’t really get away from it. I would say though, buy online where you can. The usuals; Amazon, eBay, Etsy, very random small online shops (always check the address says https) have been a Godsend in terms of saving money on a lot of things. Plus obviously look out for sales & non-wedding specific items where you can. But in general, prepare for your eyes to water and get used to paying a LOT of money for pretty much everything.

Research is key

By this, I don’t just mean researching price comparisons although definitely do that too,Β  but also spend a bit of time looking into where you are thinking of purchasing certain things. Recommendations are everything but if you are branching out on your own then do your research. It makes such a difference to your experience. Read reviews, give the supplier a call and talk through ideas or just be a bit cheeky aboutΒ how you go about something to get the answer you want.
For example, I’ve heard so many horror stories about wedding dress shopping and I’m not a massive fan of trying on clothes even on my own in a normal situation, so I didn’t just want to go anywhere.

Firstly I had seen a dress I really liked online and so was on the designer’s website trying to hunt down the shops in my area that stocked it. I found a few and decided to contact each of them to see who sounded the nicest on the phone or what their email responses were like. This gave me a good indication of the type of people I wanted to share the day with, simply by what they said in their responses to me so I ended up going to Isabella GraceΒ in Tunbridge Wells, Kent and sure enough the dress I had seen online turned out to be the one. But most importantly their service was second to none and I’d recommend then to any future (and slightly nervous about trying on dresses) brides without a doubt.

Well I hope you enjoyed that little run down of things I learned. I will be sure to share some more across future wedding related posts.

Have you just got married? What surprised you most from the planning process? Are you in the midst of it now and are pulling your hair out from the stress of it all?! Let me know down below, let’s have a chat!

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