Morning everyone! I’m off out for a day of fun at the science museum (hey – everyone needs to let off steam somehow) but first I thought I’d share some of my thoughts with you about wedding planning. With just two and a half months to go until the big day (and a lot still to do) I was reflecting last night on the things I wish I’d known before I started planning. I’m sure I’ll do another one of these after the big day but I feel like I’ve reached a point where there are definitely some things I would have done differently.
So voila, it’s…
The six things I wish I could go back in time and tell myself about wedding planning
Be realistic about your budget
I really wasn’t. We underestimated on absolutely everything, left out the hidden little extras as things we could deal with later and overestimated on how much we could save. We’ve sort of got it sorted, but unless you want to end up staring down the barrel of a wedding you can’t afford, be really honest with yourself. It’s easy to convince yourself you can afford things when you really want them, but try to be realistic about your time scale to avoid losing out on things you’d love to have. If you need another year, give yourself another year. And start saving from the minute you say “yes” – you’ll thank yourself later.
Take your time
I rushed a lot of the decisions I made out of sheer excitement. Some of them I ended up regretting. Even worse, some of them I ended up undoing. You don’t want to reach your wedding day having let go of bridesmaids, changed venues and generally having had cold feet about every aspect of your planning. Take your time when you make these decisions, do your research.
Don’t invite people straight away
I don’t think I’m a particularly difficult or argumentative person (maybe John and my parents would disagree). I think I used to be but I’ve become slightly calmer in recent years. But the wedding represents this looming social deadline and it feels so important to get it right. When I look over the guest list from last year, it’s radically different to how it looks now: perhaps there was someone who made no effort over recent months and I no longer see a lot. Perhaps there’s someone who a year ago I would have sworn was my best friend on the planet who has since left my life due to us simply growing apart. What you have to remember is a wedding changes you. Getting married changes you. The whole process makes you look at your life and your friends differently – so even if you think someone is irreplaceable in your life, just wait before you invite them or ask them to be a wedding attendant – you might end up wishing you didn’t.
Don’t do anything because you’re expected to
I’m fine with my huge family. But do you really want your extended bunch there? Do you want a religious wedding or is it for your parents’ benefits? Do you want a formal reception or is that what you feel you’re expected to do? Along the way I’ve changed my mind about a lot of things because I suddenly felt I was doing them for other people. I wish I’d had the guts to tell people “no” from the very beginning instead of doing things for them and feeling bad about it afterwards.
Assign roles from day one
I’m not talking about your wedding party – I’m talking about your immediate family and you as a couple. Have the money conversation right away (who’s contributing what) have the roles conversation right away. I should have put someone else in charge of logistics because I’m bad at it – instead I took it all on myself. Make sure your parents understand how much input they can have and what’s unacceptable to you – make sure your fiancé(e) understands what’s expected of him / her. It will be a lot less frustrating in the long run if everyone knows what they’re supposed to be doing.
Keep some things a surprise
Because of my job, everyone pretty much knows everything about this wedding before it’s happened. I think half the world and his dog has seen my dress – mainly because it’s so easy to get overexcited and carried away and basically to tell everyone everything! Try to keep some things as a surprise for the big day. Not only will it be more exciting for everyone, but it will relieve of the pressure to follow through with all your plans.