Wedding day Tips…From a Planner and a Bride….

After all the prep, mountains of invitations sent and probably a lot of aching fingers from crafting the hell out of your big day, its suddenly here, upon you quicker than you had ever imagined.

I have met brides who are so chilled, breezy and relaxed before their big day that a quick guest drop out or  last minute gluten free meal request (happens all the time!) wont cause a flicker of panic and then I’ve met brides who go into complete melt down and nearly call off the whole day because a shade of purple on the chair cover is so slightly (and I mean sooo slightly) different to the ribbon on the church service booklets – Come on! Serious first world problems!! Meeting all these lovely ladies gave me an upper hand and great indication of how I wanted to feel and act on my big day…Perks of planning many a wedding before my own you see!

Here are a collection of tips for the night before or the day of your wedding to ensure you can really soak it all up and keep as calm as possible.

Disclaimer, anyone who knows me knows that I really believe in the prep and organisation so if you are like me then I hope these nuggets of info will help.

Prior to the day:

Allocate jobs, share the ‘to do’ list among friends, drop off your centre pieces, place cards etc to the venue with instructions on how to set up the tables or even better you set up the tables a day or so beforehand, eliminate that stress late on the night before or on the actual day!

Make a weekend of it, the day itself goes so quickly that I wanted to plan a little BBQ with my closest girls and bridesmaids the night before, a chance to share stories and build up the excitement together and of course more memories to look back on. One of my friends had family from north travelling down so they had a 4 day party with loads of laughter and photos, the wedding was just the icing on the cake!

Grab an early night, it seems obvious but often I hear many brides say they didn’t sleep well the night before. Set yourself  to unwind and allow yourself time to just try and switch off, come the morning the house will be full of people again and you want to make sure you had as much sleep as you possibly could have.

On the day:

Stop and take it in as much as possible, its easier said then done but it is true when people say the day flies by! Plan to be with your husband as much as you can,  the demands of the day may pull you in different directions but its nice to get together and watch all your hard work unfold and all the people you love having such a good time.

Plan your photo schedule, not only will most photographers require this but it means you’ll capture the important moments as well as saving time on the day faffing with awkward poses and take up valuable mingling, prosecco drinking time…

Following on, don’t drink too much! Yes enjoy some fizz, god you’ve deserved it! Just don’t drink too much, you want to remember every part of this day and no one likes a sloppy drunk bride, just a merry one!

Talk to the people you really want to; This is something I really told myself to do, I didn’t want to waste precious time with people I don’t normally see or have even met (sorry to offend) I wanted to chat to my lovely family and best friends,  share the giddiness together… not get stuck in small talk with someone that didn’t even know my name! To be honest the majority of my guests were all close, even if there were 135 in the day…our families are big!

Dance with your friends , again another biggie for me, I didn’t want to miss out on all the fun and fab music. I wanted to party with the girls I normally party with, re-live our usual dancefloor antics so that’s exactly what I did and it still remains one of my favourite memories!

Eat the cake, the cake you’ve carefully picked, probably in your favourite flavour but its something I missed out on and I was truly gutted! Cake is one of my favourite things in life anyway but my amazing friend had lovingly made my Wedding cake and I didn’t even get to sample the finished result! Don’t miss out on your cake, plus calories after your wedding taste amazing, lets face it you’ve probably dieted or ‘carefully’ eaten beforehand!

Lastly anything you haven’t done already isn’t important and often the small details your guests wont even notice, they are there for you and your husband/wife so remember there’s nothing worse then a miserable bride (and believe me I’ve seen some! )

Enjoy your day! Love Harriet x

Other Wedding posts here and here

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Planning your wedding…..Budgeting and Choosing your suppliers

This is the second post in my Wedding planning mini series..I’m going to cover 2 subjects here..budgeting and choosing the correct people to supply your BIG day; as with all my wedding posts I will be wearing my wedding planner hat and my ‘once been a bride’ hat.

Big factor obviously when planning a wedding is budget..Budget is the backbone and a major staring point of any planning. Budget can cast a bit of a shadow over your dreams and bring you down to reality with a bit of a bang, so lets eliminate that harsh thud and make sure you are well equipped from the get go!

Right before I even started looking at venues, dresses and other finer details, I created a spreadsheet listing all the items you would be paying for -wedding magazines and google are great places to get a substantial list! Don’t forget factoring in presents for your wedding party or honeymoon costs, there’s a lot of random things to remember! It doesn’t have to be a massive formulated technical mass of excel but a handy place to store all your info and if you are a dab hand at =sum**blah blah,then even better.

Once I had my list, I  prioritised what was important to us… I knew that a photographer was important to me by my experience of being a coordinator, an experienced photographer is priceless; they don’t interrupt your day shouting at your guests to huddle in a group shot, make you stage those -insert cringe emoji here – moments and generally take over or worse over run delaying food service ahhh can you tell I’ve witnessed these disasters?!

Flowers were another thing that I wanted to spend on and as I crafted a lot of my own decorations and favours saving money that way meant I could factor a higher cost of some beautiful blooms. On the flip side, I didn’t want a fancy car or need to add extras such as canapes, so I cut back on things like that in order to balance out the budget.

Another tip is to shop around, ask friends for recommendations and source multiple quotes then share your findings with other suppliers they may match that figure in order to secure the business! OoOhh don’t forget to check whether quotes are inclusive of VAT or if this is to be added on..that can sting!

Along with budget, another important part of planning is choosing suppliers, these people can really embellish your day or add elements of unwanted stress if not planned properly.

From an industry perspective, we at our venue have a list of our favourite suppliers, we’ve seen their work and are happy to point them in our clients direction…this is quite a big deal and I recommend you speak to your venue to see who they think know will enhance your day and perhaps have created a similar vision before. Asking the venue for recommendations also means it will save you a load of time trawling the internet and getting lost in all the companies plus the supplier will know the venue therefore, eliminating a bundle of questions, they will know what works well and offer experience and guidance.

When the venue recommends a trusted supplier, they have their contact details so they can chat on the day meaning the Bride and Groom wont be hassled also the venue can rest assured  that they will turn up and perform to the highest quality, sighhh of relief for the Wedding party!

One final tip, Wedding fairs..not only great places for free cake samples and leaving on a sugar high but a fab place to see the best suppliers local to the area, a casual place to chat and meet companies without feeling to formal. Suppliers also demonstrate their work and bring portfolios to look at sooo its a quick way of narrowing down your search without any awkward encounters.

I hope this helps a little but any questions then free to tweet, comment or email..

Love Harriet x

 

 

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Planning your Wedding….Choosing a Wedding venue….

I’ve decided to write a little mini series of posts that will wedge between other content on tips for when planning your wedding. Its becoming that time of year where wedding season booms so these posts will be little snippets of things I’ve learnt in my 5 years of being a wedding planner along with my own thoughts gathered whilst planning my  very own wedding nearly 3 years ago.    The first subject is tackling the biggy….The venue…The venue is what sets the tone/ theme and feel of the day, it can have limitations or can open up a whole range of ideas for you to explore. In my opinion before you get into the depths of planning the finer details, you need to get the venue pinned down and booked up.

The venue will tell you how many people you can invite and also if they have any restrictions on supplying food or sourcing outside caterers. It will shape exactly how the day will turn out to be.

You may have your heart set on a particular place or you may not have a clue where to start. If you don’t have a clue then I recommend booking a few different places to view, the more variety the better, the barn you discounted may actually be a hidden gem! Plusss you have places to compare and new ideas to take with you.

When visiting a venue I 100% recommend firstly booking an appointment.  Make sure you have designated time with the wedding coordinator and can access the space; if you just turn up it will be likely you may not get quality time, feel rushed and leave not seeing all that you needed to see!

Take a list of questions with you, you’ll need to know the capacity, will it fit all your guests in??? What catering packages and menus do they supply? What time does the bar close? Do they have areas for photographs? can you throw confetti? You will know what elements of the day are important to you and your fiancee (no matter how big or small) so make sure these are all agreed before you book and part money with your cash! No question is a silly question and the more random us planners actually really like!

Something I think is important and still surprises me when talking to brides is that with some venues you will meet your coordinator, build a relationship throughout the planning process to find that they actually aren’t there working on your wedding day!! Lots of venues pass over the details to a catering supervisor and I’m sure they are fully qualified but for me I think its so important the person you are emailing for a year, who knows your dream and vision is the one making sure its all running smoothly on the day. This means you don’t have to think of anything other then enjoying yourself and soaking it all in….Being a coordinator myself, I always make sure I am there on the Wedding day, not only to make it the smoothest day ever but to share the joy and make sure all that hard work has pulled together, also having been the bride myself I know that it takes alot of stress away from the day!

There are so many elements to making sure the venue is right for you and of course any extra advice you need please do get in touch but my final piece for this post is the feeling you get somewhere, you’ll know if its the right place, if your vision will come to reality or if perhaps you still need to continue the search..

Happy venue hunting…

Love Harriet x

*Photo credit- Exeter Golf and Country Club, Devon – exetergcc.co.uk

 

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