1/ prioritise your personalised vows
Image by Pat Moyer Photography (cover image by Bin Thi U)
This is the kind of advice that puts all that planning stress into perspective. We all know that vows are incredibly precious; the declaration and promise of love and loyalty are fundamental to a wedding. If you keep them at the heart of your planning - writing, reviewing and practising them every day (or as often as you can) - it helps to ground the whole planning process in what truly matters.
2/ Break in those shoes
Image by Ether & Smith
New shoes: beautiful, but they can often mean a world of discomfort for your feet! Break them at least a few weeks before the wedding date by wearing them around the house. If they’re a pale colour, you could even put a pair of blue shoe-protectors on them to prevent scuffing or other dirt!
3/ Make time for all parents
Image by Levien & Lens Photography
The bride’s father walks her down the aisle, and often the bride and groom dance with their father and mother respectively at the reception. Get creative and find thoughtful ways to include the other parents – the mother of the bride and the father of the groom – too. Consider presenting them with a handwritten thank you note, having them make a speech or arranging a joint walk down the aisle!
4/ Choose items with a dual purpose
Image by Josh Gruetzmacher Photography
Save on money and effort by opting for items that do double duty, either on the wedding day or afterwards. Wedding favours are a classic choice for this: add a name tag to turn them into escort or seating cards, or gather them creatively to double up as centrepieces. Set up some beautiful vases on a table for yours and your bridesmaids’ bouquets to create additional décor while also providing a practical place to store the flowers! Make your gifts to your bridal party something they can use on the day – a clutch, jewellery or another accessory. Or choose wedding décor – suitcases, lanterns, potted plants – that you can use at home later.
5/ Consider personality types for the wedding party
Image by Brancoprata
Often brides and grooms-to-be have excellent instincts for who will make a good bridesmaid, groomsman or other members of the wedding party. But before you’ve made your final decisions, stop to consider the balance of personalities you’ll have around you.
Do you have someone who’ll bring the fun? Be trustworthy and reliable to support parts of the planning? Keep you calm, or listen to you if you need to vent? Weddings aren’t all positivity and excitement, so it can be so rewarding to have the right group of supportive and loving people at your side through thick and thin!
6/ Hire vendors that feel like friends
Though you’ll first and foremost have a professional relationship with your vendors, working so closely with people on something so personal and significant will be a great deal easier if you have a friendly rapport!
7/ Put jewellery on last
Image by Sposto Photography
Residue from hair spray, perfume or other mists has the potential to dull your beautiful gems! Make them the finishing touch to ensure they stay gleaming.
8/ Make a list of things you want to keep
Image by Carlie Statsky
Avoid disappointment by making a plan for any items you want to keep for the future. Whether a copy of the programme or menu, a boutonniere, your groom’s handwritten vows, or pieces of décor, be sure you gather them together yourself or delegate someone to do this for you!
9/ Set up collaborative systems
Google documents can be shared, reviewed and edited by multiple people, making it the ideal place to compile a shared to do list (e.g. between the bride and groom, or different members of the bridal party). Something like Google Drive or Dropbox can also lighten the amount of back and forth correspondence and attachments – you can use them quickly and easily share images and documents with others.
10/ Put guests’ needs first
Image by Patina Photography
In many ways, it’s your day, but each guest’s attendance signifies their love for you and their desire to celebrate and share in your joy. Make them a big priority in the planning and on the day by personally greeting and thanking each guest for their presence, being considerate of any needs or requirements when it comes to food, accessibility and seating, and sending prompt and thoughtful thank you notes afterwards.