Groom’s post: Taking over wedding planning

Morning all – sorry this post is a little late today, it’s been a busy week planning something pretty exciting! So please give John some love on the blog today with a new groom’s post about taking over our wedding planning! I hope you enjoy.

So, towards the beginning of the journey from proposal to wedded bliss, I posted a piece about how involved a groom should be, and how involved I was going to be, in the planning process. Little did I know that seven months later, I’d make the move from self-titled “helpful groom” to an actual helpful groom.

A bit of background here: I think that neither my amazing future wife, nor (more pointedly) I, realised exactly the scale of the logistics involved in pulling off a great “big day.” And, as helpful and supportive as I tried to be (more the latter, really, than the former – I’m a great cheerleader!), Sara realised that between running this incredible blog, styling the wedding, arranging suppliers, and everything else, she’d probably bitten off a bit more than she could chew. At the risk of spoiling any images of me as the dashing husband to be offering my help, I do need to admit I had to be asked, then cajoled, then prodded into action. I’m not a great organiser, but seeing my beloved so upset and at wit’s end trying to juggle everything spurred me to action.

So, prospective fellow well-meaning-but-really-out-of-your-depth grooms, I’d encourage you to stay more involved early on to avoid the blind (but well hidden) panic I felt when I said I’d take over the nut-and-bolt logistics of our wedding. It helps to understand the vision of the day and who’s involved in order to put the grease on the right wheels, so to speak.

Wedding planning isn’t always fun and games

So, what have I learned in the last two weeks of wedding planning?

 It’s important to think about electricity if you’re having a marquee wedding! We’ve just found this out the hard way. If you’re planning an outdoor day, you need to think about the following: Do you need a generator? Can you pull enough power from nearby buildings to get the lighting, band, PA system and anything else running? One thing we have to bear in mind is that the closest building is old, with old electrics, designed for an age of few lights and fewer guitar amplifiers. Bear in mind you may be dealing with venue staff who, while being smart people, aren’t electical engineers and may not get what “watts and amps” are. If they’re not used to hosting things outdoors, you may need to do a little more research.

 All sorts of liability insurance and certificates for your suppliers. Electrics need PAT testing in the UK to ensure that insurance is valid – luckily my future father in law is dealing with this, but it’s worth knowing. Catering staff need to have basic health and safety training and certification. The venue usually likes to know who will be on site when – get suppliers to talk directly to the venue is possible.

 On the fun but serious side, see if you can do a deal with a local business to supply alcohol and refreshments. While nothing’s signed and sealed yet, I’ve been talking to the owner of my local off license – he has access to products and wholesale prices, is local enough to arrange a tasting, and is eager for the business as it means a lot more to a small shop than to, say, Sainsbury’s.

♥ Most importantly, don’t be afraid to ask for help yourself, be it from your parents, future in-laws, suppliers or friends. Everyone is eager to help to make sure the wedding day is as special as you and your partner want it to be. Ask and you shall receive. My parents, while living overseas, have already asked when they need to be in-country and for a list of things they can do. The future in-laws are more local and are helping with the food, band, and PA system. We have friends helping with the decorations and favours. They don’t have to, but they want to – you and your partner are their family and they want you to be happy.

♥ Don’t forget to liase with the registry office so they know what you are expecting and what needs to happen.

I wish I’d been more involved earlier on and before it reached breaking point – but with just over 3 months to go, I’m grabbing the bull be the horns. Hey, worst case, we get some guests on exercise bikes wired to generators, right?

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