Your wedding day is very special indeed, here are a few tips on making it as wonderful and stress free as it should be.
Get organised – Produce a time line and put points in your diary as to when you have to have things done by or when suppliers need paying etc.
Decide on your budget and stick to it, try not to get in to debt or go over budget if you can, this will just add to the stress.
Photography, Catering and Venue are in my opinion the three key areas to a successful wedding, try to get the best that you can afford in these three areas.
Research your suppliers thoroughly and spend time checking them out.
Make sure you leave plenty of time to find your dress, order it and for alterations to be done.
Try to order all your stationery at once because you may get discounts for bulk orders. This also ensures that all the stationery will match and co-ordinate.
Never have the Hen or Stag do’s the night before the wedding.
Consider Save the Date Cards, these are normally given 12 months before the wedding and give guests advance notice so they can make sure they keep your date free.
Consider adding RSVP cards with your invitations and pending budget enclose a stamped addresses envelope for speedy responses. This helps with numbers for caterers and other suppliers and you can keep on top of your budget.
An information sheet/pack included in your invitations is a must, especially for guests who do not live in the area. These can provide directions to the venue, a map of the area, local hotels, B&B’s, Taxi firms, dress code, timings, menu choice (if you are having this), very useful for your guests and will be much appreciated and will also save you receiving lots of questions before the big day.
Give great thought about who you choose to be part of your wedding/bridal party. The best man and chief bridesmaid are very important roles which can have a big impact on both your stress levels and the success of the day. Choose someone who is known for their reliability, punctuality and level-headedness.
Delegate jobs to appropriate family and friends you trust, but give them plenty of notice and make sure they understand their role completely. Lists are a very good way of doing this; provide a bullet point list to all members of your wedding party so they know exactly what their roles are. This will also prevent questions to you on the morning of the wedding.
If your venue does not have one included, hire a wedding coordinator or toastmaster to help your day run smoothly.
Consider your guests after the ceremony and whilst the photos are being taken, this can take a while, an aperitif of some kind, pending budget, can be anything from Buzz Fizz to Champagne. Canapes are also welcomed especially if the wedding breakfast is not until later in the afternoon.
Remember to cater for those people with special dietary requirement, use RSVP cards to gather important information like this.
Spend time over your seating plan, there is nothing better than seeing all your guests chatting, laughing and having a good time.
If there are a number of children attending it would be wise to invest in a crèche facility or children’s table with activities to keep them entertained for example during the speeches.
All speeches should be will prepared and rehearsed.
Encourage guests to make sure they sign the guest’s book by mentioning it in the speeches or delegating this to a bridesmaid or usher.
Any Family ‘issues’ need to be dealt with early on and delegated to a member of the wedding party so you can relax on your special day.
Post Boxes are great at weddings, many guests come armed with cards with vouchers enclosed, even cash, this is a great way to safely keep everything in place.
If you are having a DJ, ask whether they can provide back ground music as well during the drinks reception and wedding breakfast, music can really add to the atmosphere and ambiance.
If you are providing favours, make sure your guests know they can take them home.
Try to think of ways to involve and include your guests in the day.
Have a quiet room where people can go and chat if they want to away from the music/band etc.
Send out thank you cards in a timely manner and make sure you keep a list of who has given you each present.
(Image courtesy of Andy Chambers Photography)