Every bride is different and that fact is reflected in the entire wedding celebration – from the choice of dress to the overall planning and format of the day, no two weddings are the same. Modern weddings often adopt an eclectic mix of cultures and customs rather than sticking to one group of traditions, but you are also free to completely ignore tradition and plan your wedding in whichever way you and your partner like.
Some brides organise the entire day themselves. Some take an active involvement in the arrangements but adopt a more hands-off approach, leaving the ‘project management’ to close friends and family. Others employ a wedding planner to take the reins on behalf of the whole wedding party. There are pros and cons to each of these avenues for planning your wedding. In our blog post Do I Need A Wedding Planner? we cover the benefits of hiring a professional wedding organiser to arrange your special day for you. In this post, we’ve covered the advantages of going solo and organising your wedding yourself.
Pros of organising your wedding yourself:
- No planner fees
- Guarantee that your wedding is entirely personalised
- Active involvement and control over the process
- Satisfaction of seeing your vision become a reality
If you do decide to organise your wedding without a planner, we have plenty of helpful tips for making it a smooth and enjoyable experience.
Every bride is different in the extent to which they want to be involved in the planning process of their wedding. However, with so much to think about it’s likely that from time to time you will need some kind of support from your friends or family. Aside from anything else, there could be days when you’re unwell or other commitments come up which mean you can’t answer phone calls or collect purchases from suppliers. Often the best project managers are pros at delegating, so give some items from your wedding to-do list to your friends to help lessen your load and spread the organising around.
Make use of your network
It’s advisable to make use of your loved one’s passions and areas of expertise. For example, if your best friend is a professional musician with lots of connections, they could organise the music bookings. If a close friend happens to be a professional florist, let them take care of the flowers. So long as you trust them and they’re important to you, you can rely on your nearest and dearest to do a sterling job. Plus, they wouldn’t offer to help if they didn’t want to, so there’s absolutely no need to feel guilty about seeking their assistance. This also saves time having to find and choose suppliers for an endless list of options.
Choose your team
Having a core team can make it easier and more efficient to track and get through the wedding planning to-do lists. When everyone’s clear of their responsibilities, they can get on with their allocated tasks without any over-thinking (the phrase ‘too many cooks’ comes to mind!). As we said before, delegation is key to any well-managed event, and weddings are no exception.
Little by little
Regardless of the style, format and size of your wedding celebrations, some tasks will require more time to arrange than others. Prioritise those that need to be planned and booked in advance and schedule to look at the remaining items later. The key is to break down the tasks a week or so at a time. Looking at one long list of every item that needs to be booked and finalised is enough to raise any bride’s blood pressure! Our blog post How To Plan A Wedding outlines a rough timeline for what you should organise when to help you prioritise tasks above others.
If you’re happy with the first supplier you meet, fantastic but we still recommend meeting with at least two before you make your decision. Even if you’re confident you’ll go with the first one, ensure you get the best value for the service by asking for quotes and doing some research before you settle. All of these companies will want your business so pricing is competitive.
Set a budget
Whether you stick to your budget is up to you! But have a figure in mind before you begin booking the various different elements. If you can estimate roughly how much each element of your wedding will cost, you can then prioritise which aspects you’re willing to give less budget to which will help to narrow down your choice of suppliers. Planning a wedding is fun and exciting so it’s very easy to get carried away, especially as you learn more about the options available.
Limit your options
One of the first phases of wedding planning is exploring what wedding themes you and your partner like to start forming a rough idea of what you want your wedding to look like. Finding inspiration through creating multiple idea boards and asking for input from lots of different people is fantastic, but it’s important to not overwhelm yourself with too many options and styles. Having too many options can simply lead to you being unsure of what type of wedding you want to have. Budgeting helps with this point, as it will affect the types of venues and wedding decorations you choose.
Keep everything in one place
Separate and prioritise tasks into ‘sub-lists’ but have one place such as a box, file or a digital file where you will keep the key contacts, recent communications, invoices and booking confirmations. This makes it easier for you to find information when you need it, keep track of progress and to pass on tasks to helpers as and when you need to.
Don’t put your life on hold
However close to your wedding date you are, and no matter how much there is left to do or to save up for, don’t stop doing activities that keep you in a positive place mentally and physically. Whatever you used to do to reset or de-stress before your wedding was on the cards, keep doing it! Planning a wedding should be an enjoyable process, so it’s important to schedule in time for the things you love. If you’re beginning to feel under pressure or overwhelmed, read our blog post on How To Deal With Wedding Planning Stress.
One of the most important parts of wedding planning is choosing your wedding dress. We understand that finding your perfect dress is a personal process unique to each bride, which is why at Andrea Hawkes we take the time to get to know each of our brides and offer our expert advice on dress styles and accessories. To experience a more personal approach to bridal dress shopping, book an appointment at our London studio here.
From wedding dress ideas & inspiration to how-to guides and expert know-how. You'll find everything you need in the run up to your big day and beyond on our bridal blog!