10 Secrets To Planning Your Wedding
You know how magicians never reveal their tricks? Well, caterers don’t buy into all that smoke and mirrors nonsense, we’re too busy feeding the masses and washing up. So, there’s no catering council to tell us off for revealing these 10 secrets to planning your wedding… there is Environmental Health, but we don’t think they will mind.
1 Tick Tock
Decide on the timeline for your day as early as possible. Booking the ceremony time slot is key here. So, to get it right, decide how much time you want for each part of the day and then work backward from carriages to the ceremony to pin point when you should time this.
Then, get in touch with the relevant registrar team, celebrant or religious group as their availability will be essential. This way you’ll be able to allow all the time you need to make the most of every part of the day!
2 Just because they did it, doesn’t mean you have to!
Remember when parents used to say no, you can’t have/do something just because your friends did it… well this applies to weddings too!
If you try to have/do everything you’ve seen at any weddings you’ve recently attended, not only will you break the bank, but you’ll end up with a carbon copy Big Day. It’s great to take inspiration from other fun weddings. It’s even better to note what didn’t work. But make sure you only have/do things that are unique to you and your partner, that really reflect you and help everyone to celebrate you.
Never feel like you should have something, just because someone else did. Make a concise list of everything that your budget needs to cover, traditions you want to honor (if any!), personal touches you would love to include, and then anything that doesn’t make the list, doesn’t matter.
If your budget won’t cover everything you’ve written down, don’t fret! Make some cuts, call in some favours, then revisit that list and repeat the process until the budget starts to look friendlier. Believe us when we say that you’ll love your day so much, it won’t be the things you don’t have that you’ll notice on the day!
3 Collate your data
Zzz, don’t let the word data send you to sleep here. Honestly this is such a great tip we should be charging a wedding planner fee for it. You don’t need 10 Secrets to Planning Your Wedding, you just need this one!
Use a super simple spread-sheet to track outgoing invites, RSVP’s and dietary requirements. Having all this info on one document makes keeping track and sharing info with suppliers so much easier. You’ll be able to track guest numbers, assign tables, note allergies and menu choices.
Scared of spreadsheets? Don’t be, you just need a list of names of invitees in the first column and then a column for each bit of info you want to keep track of alongside – no fancy formulas required. You and your suppliers will be able to filter exactly the info you need from this one document.
You could add further sections for things like your wedding timeline, all of your suppliers contact information, or even rooming lists if you’re providing accommodation.
Online programs like google docs are extra efficient in that you just share a live link with everyone. Then at any time your suppliers can access the most up to date version. Told you it was a good one!
4 Hire, don’t buy
This is both economical and ecological, win win!
From ovens to furniture to styling items, plenty of things you might need for your Big Day can be hired. There are dozens of wonderful companies hiring small decorative touches and fabulously fun statement props, as well as practical things like tables and chairs.
Specialist companies are out there to suit everyone’s style. Hiring instead of buying helps combat the single-use environmental impact that weddings are notorious for. You should be able to get hired items delivered and collected too! I guess that’s actually win, win, win then.
Keep your pool of suppliers as manageable as possible. It’s likely that your suppliers have awesome connections with the local wedding industry. So, lean on them to help you streamline your efforts.
Does your photographer know a great videographer they already work fabulously alongside? Can your venue help you hire furniture? Can your caterer source linen and glassware? Will your baker supply a cake stand? Does the prop company supplying your candle sticks also supply candles for these?
Less is more, as they say, so by outsourcing supporting vendors through suppliers you’re already working with, you’ll have fewer people to keep in touch with about plans. That’s fewer emails, fewer phone calls and way less time researching for you!
6 Take your seats
Utilise free online resources like digital table planners to help you create informative table plans. You can play with these to decide where everyone should sit. These can also be handed straight over to the suppliers who need them.
They let you plot your room plans, table positions, table shapes and relative sizes, add the right number of seats in specific positions at tables, assign names to each seat so suppliers can see where Aunty Jane, who’s allergic to shellfish, is sat, or where little Susie’s colouring pack should be placed to occupy her during speeches.
No reels of paper, pins or sticky notes required… or tipex when the Bestman dumps his partner two days before. Ideal!
7 Final countdown
In the final weeks ahead of the Big Day, you’ll need to schedule final meetings with certain suppliers and finalise orders with others. To make these final few weeks as smooth and easy as possible, think way ahead about when to set these meetings.
Set yourself deadlines from the very beginning of your planning, right up to this point so that you’ve ticked off as many tasks as possible as early as possible. That way, when these final catch ups come around you should already have all the info you need to submit to finalise plans. Like on your amazing all in one wedding bible spread-sheet 😉
Your suppliers should be able to advise deadlines for the info they need from you – like shot lists for photographers, timings for venue coordinators, dietary info for caterers etc. If you don’t live locally to your venues or suppliers, you’ll find that lots of these final catch ups can be just as efficient over the phone. No need to plot travel time.
8 Prepare to party
Plan to do as little as you can the day before – prioritise relaxing, celebrating and sleep!
The more organising and prepping you can do ahead of time the better. This goes right down to the little things like removing packaging from items like candles before packing them for transport to venues, or arranging place names in neat piles separated by table, or instructing vendors how to arrange your decorative items for you…
Basically anything you can hand over to a supplier or to a helpful member of your wedding party, do it!
You might dream of setting everything up, ticking off items on a clipboard the day prior, placing every candle, fork or posy yourself, but don’t take it ALL on… it’s tiring work, believe us! Trust your team and let go so that you can enjoy it all on the Big Day.
9 Do me one last favour?
No thanks. Ditch wedding favours! They are often ‘throw away’ tokens. So unless you have an idea for something that you’re really passionate about sharing with your guests, simply don’t bother. Save your time and money. Instead…
10 Thanks a million
A personal thank you card after the wedding, whether for a present or just for your guests presence, is a lovely, affordable touch. It rounds off the planning process for you perfectly by getting you reliving the day while writing them. Vendors love them too BTW 😉 You’re welcome!
Sounds easy doesn’t it! We should rename this guide ’10 secrets to planning your wedding to make every wedding planner in a 100 mile radius hate us’. Oopsie.
Good Luck x