A Bride’s Guide to Planning a Wedding
You probably already know I’m so passionate about your day being amazing that I’m super happy to help with the planning process and the timelines.
Why? Well because anything I can do to make your wedding day amazing is all part of the service in my mind. That way we can make sure you get plenty of time with your friends and family, time together with your other half all the time getting amazing photos. There is more on this in the articles below.
But it’s also important to look from the other side at how you can/should plan. So I reached out to one of my bride’s, the very lovely Beth, to help you understand how she approached it, what she did and didn’t do etc. I’ll leave you in Beth’s hands.
So when Phil asked me to do this, I really didn’t know what I’d say. But actually putting pen to paper made me realise that there are lots of ways to do things, but putting them in order first was the best thing I did!
I’m a very organised person anyway, planning a wedding to me is ideal, I just love planning anything! So to get us started, we made a trial budget which was so important. We just wrote down everything we thought we may need on a piece of paper, did some research and put a rough price and worked from there. Once we’d done this, we took a good look at the list and then worked out what was essential, what were “nice to haves” and which items we realistically didn’t need or could cope without.
Getting a wedding planning book or notepad and writing everything down in one place is key! This gives you a really solid base to start with, and lets you focus on the most important items first.
Once we’d done this, I turned it into a spreadsheet. I love a spreadsheet! I even went a little crazy and started adding colours into it to show me what I had done, what I did arranged and what I still needed to do. Everyone will have their own colour scheme, but I did red for not covered, yellow for discussed or on route, and green for complete.
One of the best things for me was finding Phil. He’s been pretty amazing at walking through with us what we’ve planned, what we’d like to do and coming up with some extra ideas to make everything epic. He sent us over a timeline to look at that he’d put together for us based on our plans. I then went a step further and made timelines for me, my fiance and our families just so they couldn’t be in want of any further details. I’ve now given these timelines to Phil so he can pass them on to his other clients in case they prove useful.
One thing I will say is that it is very important to have a really good communication flow with your fiance before you do any of this. This is my day, of course it is. But it’s Tom’s day too and therefore I really wanted his buy in and understanding of why I wanted to do what I did.
We made sure we could have an evening where we wouldn’t be interrupted and sat down and discussed everything. Colours, places, parties, who our wedding party was and so on. This way I knew that we were on the same page and that going forward would be a lot easier. It does help massively that Tom trusts me to make decisions on my own, but I think it is really important that you don’t let this go to your head and you keep your fiance looped into everything. If you are able to sort this kinda stuff before the money side of things, it’s much easier and stress free!
How have we made the decisions we have? Well the first thing is trying to ignore all the noises coming at you from hundreds of directions. It’s very easy to get distracted and make decisions and have ideas that aren’t really you and wouldn’t add to your idea for what your day should be.
You should also make sure it’s not a competition: I’ve seen some of my friends turn their wedding day into a competition to go one better than other weddings they’ve seen. This is NOT what your wedding day is about.
Making sure I could focus on what Tom and I wanted and not taking too many other ideas into consideration was so important to us. By doing this, we were able to make our wedding ours, with little bits of our personality and quirks on show through the choices we made. You MUST make sure you are doing this and making yourself smiling as you do so. It’s your big day, have what you want, not what others want you to have.
If you have Phil as your photographer, use his ideas and bounce your ideas off him too. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve fired over little thoughts and he’s helped give me little extra things to consider, given me back an even better idea or reminded me that actually this is not what our wedding was meant to be about. It’s really lovely for me to have someone else outside our family that is so invested in our special day and wants to make it complete for us.