So we got married 18 months ago and we had it just how we wanted it in terms of a serious part and then a really fun and silly part with lots of dancing, drinking and foods, so here is my A-Z of ideas for wedding planning.
Aisle – Take the aisle slow, take in every moment of walking down it to meet your other half. My dad rushed so fast even though we had a massive church aisle and I didn’t enjoy it one bit, it ruined my experience, it was like he couldn’t wait to get it over with whereas I wanted to take it all in. On this same note enjoy your day, it goes way too quickly, all the months of planning and then the day goes by in the blink of an eye, just like the 9 months of pregnancy culminating in a birth.
Bouquet – All brides will usually have a bouquet to throw for the next lucky bride to receive. These aren’t the cheapest but you can make it cheaper with fake flowers or try car boot sales for second hand ones, they barely get used so can easily look like new.
Car – Transport to the venue and then reception needs to be thought about and also how many guests are you taking to each. We would have loved to have a bus to transport the guests but the prices we couldn’t justify so we let them drive themselves between each one. I also got a Beauford wedding car which only housed 3 people so the car did 2 trips, this was my choice, even though others suggested I should fit more people you have to put your foot down and remember this is your day.
Dress – Ideal to book your appointments for wedding dress shops around 12 months before you are getting married so they can order them, sort alterations and save it for you. There are also quite a few bridal outlets around where you can pick up an off the peg dress for between £100-1000.
Entertainment – Music is great for the reception so decide whether you want a vocal performance, a swing band or just a DJ to play your favourite tracks for the reception. It also includes your first dance, there are some lovely couple first dances on youtube where they create their own dance moves and perform them for their guests, me and the husband did practise at home but we were crap so we just danced a slow dance.
Flowers – Many people like flowers as decoration for the wedding, for the church aisles and for the flower girls to carry. These can be booked in with the florist around 6 months before the big day, just pick a design and colour scheme, give them the details and you can pick them up on the day or many will go to the venue and decorate for you.
Groomsmen – Groom and Groomsmen suits can be hired from a few stores, the hiring prices aren’t much cheaper than what you can buy a suit for though and if your only using it for one day it can be quite costly. If you pick a neutral colour like black and white, then most people have a dark suit so you only need to purchase a toe or cravat.
Honeymoon – If you can’t afford a honeymoon after the wedding, one idea would be to ask for Travel agent vouchers for your engagement party that way you get a cheap honeymoon. Another option is to get married abroad, which means your already on holiday with all your special people.
Invitations – Essential really as we wouldn’t have any guests without them, many outlets such as ebay offer pretty personalised invitations or you can nip to the card factory if doing it on a budget. The invites should give an idea of gifts you want as well, not that we get married for gifts but guests like some idea of what you want.
Juniors – Don’t leave the kids out of your wedding. Obviously we have 4 kids and wanted them to be involved loads. Our daughter did a speech, our son was page boy, daughters were flower girls, they came in the cars, they enjoyed the sweetie cart, photo booth and also the outdoor activities. If you have kids I think it should be expected they have fun, attend and enjoy the wedding too.
Kissing – The first kiss when you become husband and wife is so special. It has its own announcement ‘you may kiss the bride’. Although slightly weird snogging In front of your parents, in laws and kids.
Love – The reason you are probably getting married in the first place, remember this when you are booking your wedding, yes the day is special but you don’t need to spend a fortune to prove your love and have a good day. The day should centre around your love for each other and what makes you happy, if that is getting married on a beach then so be it or even jumping out of a plane on your big day (Remember the don’t tell the bride episode? )
Marriage certificate – The legal document that says you are married that you need to change all the documents when and if you change your name. You sign the certificate with your witnesses at the ceremony so you need just 2 witnesses.
Naughtiness – Garters for the man to take off with his teeth some time around the first dance. For the sexy underwear you wear for your first night as a married couple (Even if most couples are so drunk and tired after their long day they promptly fall asleep after eating the remnants of cake and still in their wedding dress as no one can be bothered unlacing it all and undoing that many dress buttons.)
Organist – A nice idea especially in church to have an organist playing while the guests are arriving and while they are waiting for the bride.
Presents for the people that mattered in your wedding, usually called favours, we didn’t actually bother with these as the main people involved where are children and one of each mine and husbands best friends and we only had a small wedding. We did provide a sweet cart though so everyone could take yummy sweets home.
Quirky Activities – We had an assault course for our wedding, the more drunk people got the more people we got on it, the kids loved it, my son split his trousers and we had a wail of a time. It cost around £150 and entertained people for ages. I wanted a rodeo bull but doubt very many of our guests would have ridden it considering most were over 60. We had a ball pool for the little kids and then also some fun games they could play to keep them amused. There are many fun and quirky games you could include such as the wind tunnel with the money inside.
Rings – Go to ring shops and try them on, get a feel for what you like, especially since they have to sit with your engagement ring. Because of my large style of engagement ring hardly any of the wedding rings matched it well, my husband even suggested I changed my engagement ring but I had chosen that one specifically. (We aren’t superstitious or conventional) Many of the high street jewellery shops will measure your finger, you can even buy a ring sizer off amazon or ebay if you want to order your ring online.
Save the date – Always worthwhile sending out cards for save the date before you send invitations depending on your chosen date, if it is more than 12 months definitely send save the date to let guests know not to double books themselves as a special occasion is occurring. These will be followed by invitations around 6-9 months before the wedding
Toast – This is usually given by either best man, father of the bride or even bride and groom, just a few words about the Bride and Groom to say how special they are and how people are happy they found each other, how perfect they are for each other and wishing them the best for a happy future with each other, they may also include a few anecdotes about the couple.
Used Items – Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue as the old saying goes so make sure you have one of each for good luck.
Venue – This is a big one as you want somewhere you can actually wed so this could be a registry office and then on to a local community centre or pub for a party. It could be the church and then a community room or a luxury hotel that has a ceremony room and then a room for food and a room for a party. A venue will take a huge chunk of your money so this is a major decision. It is definitely worthwhile making a list of all the ones that you want to visit locally, most of them will hold Wedding Fayres so you can go along and find some suppliers while you are at the Fayres, sample the cakes, sweets and try out the activities they have available (This was so fun, we loved all the free samples and wedding fayres – I actually missed them when we got married)
Wedding Fayres – They do have a very large annual wedding fayre held in Manchester each year to show the latest trends and fashion in the Wedding market and to meet a variety of suppliers, however I worried that the suppliers wouldn’t be local enough to Yorkshire to make the travel worthwhile.
Xylophone playing at the reception or while people eat for background noise.
Yes I will, the words that mean you are legally married in front of a vicar or registrar. The only words you need. You will probably also say vows and some other words as instructed. It can also be really nice to make your own vows, much more personal.
Z-List – This is in reference to your guest list for your wedding, remember if you are inviting many people the cost per head will tend to shoot up, do you really need to invite your parents neighbours from childhood who you haven’t seen for 15 years or the cousins that you only see at funerals? Or the 40 people you only see on social media who like your pictures occasionally but don’t talk to you in the sheet. Categorise your guest list into A list (people closest to you – Z-list – Just random acquaintances and then decide where to cut off depending on budget.