Wedding Planning. An alternative guide.

This is one of my actual save the dates. From Paper Chase (Their whole selection of wedding stationary is here)

The average cost of weddings in the UK reached £15,000 in 2017 (Source) and the more research I did for this post the more websites I found quoting £30,000 and it's pretty fair to say it's going to be at least near the top of the most expensive things you will do/spend money on. There's a lot of other pressure when planning a wedding too from social expectations to time restraints. Everyone has an opinion on what you should or shouldn't do, where you should spend your money and what you absolutely have to have or its "not really a wedding".

Me and Matthew got engaged in October 2017 and we're getting married later this year. We're pretty private people and I wont be sharing specific details cause it's our day but I will pass on a few tips and a few things I'll be trying to do myself as we plan the wedding.

Sounds like basic advice but after the joy of getting engaged it's worth having a serious chat about what you want and what you dont want. If I'm really being honest I would suggest you have this conversation before. We did and it quickly became obvious what we agreed on and what we didn't. Get this bit out of way so you avoid any disagreements later which will really suck the fun out of whats meant to be a nice thing to do.

Again, really really simple but if I had invited all my friends and family the guest list would of been significantly bigger than either of us would of wanted or wanted to pay for. Sounds a bit cheap maybe but each to their own. For us we want a marriage, not a big fancy wedding we need to eat beans on toast for weeks to pay for or asking parents to pay for. We're both pretty shy anxious people so 100 guests was never going to happen either.

Get Organised Early
I popped to paper chase and got myself a folder. As its a small wedding I dont have massive lists of stuff to tick off every weekend but its handy at least have somewhere to put our smaller lists and any receipts we have too. I also have a spreadsheet with what our budget is (and when we have the budget, as we're paying for 90% of the wedding out of our own money and not even going into savings - trust me this is a lot easier if you're keeping your budget as low as ours). The spreadsheet has all the elements we know we're going to have and a rough amount put against each one. As we book/buy each thing Im putting in the correct amount and this way we can see where we have more or less money to spend on something else.

Talking about lists; I went all over the Internet and found various ones listing all the things you HAVE TO DO, how much they will be and when you need to book them. If this sort of thing interests you try this one, this one or this one. Super handy if you really do want that big fancy wedding with everything "normal" weddings have. It's also handy to look at these lists and do a quick fire test to see if you and your person to be wants those things. We're having a small wedding without a lot of the usual things. Theres no bridesmaids, no photographer and no, the bride is not wearing white (I can hear the gasps already) etc. and we made a lot of these decisions straight away. For us it was all about weighing up the cost and the pay off. I tried on and even bought a wedding dress but it didnt feel right. I'm not close anymore to the girls I would of picked to be bridesmaids. All of our friends know how to take a photo and we hate standard "wedding photos" anyway - so why would we pay through the nose for all these things? We're spending the money mostly on the things we thought we're more important (mostly the food and well you know, the rings you're gonna wear everyday of your lives) to us. But at the end of the day, its your day.

Do you
Talking about it being your day, here's a little reminder; Just because someone says they are or aren't having something or spending x on something for their wedding doesn't mean you have to do the same. What works for one couple wont for another. If you want to spend £5K on a wedding dress, enjoy it. If you want to spend £1K on flowers (we're not having flowers either!), enjoy it. If you're like me and the idea of inviting everyone you've ever met scares you half to death, don't do it. Do what you want, when you want, for the amount you can afford/want to pay. Don't ever think that you have to do something because its expected (a great approach to weddings and the inspiration for our tiny day was Anna's wedding, Q&A here but she also had a wedding video and also her make up tutorial and a few other videos on there) or not do something either.

I mean, of course you're going to breathe but I mean really take a breathe. Planning a wedding is super stressful. Theres a lot of elements and therefore a lot of things to go wrong. Just know that probably something will go wrong (we ordered our wedding rings and the sales assistant ordered the wrong size and weight for one of the rings. While we we're stood there telling her what we wanted, she still got it wrong) eventually. Just know that something will go wrong, you will have to re-order or wait longer or do multiple returns. Just try and breathe and get through it without killing each other. There's no point in getting angry. You got this, it'll be okay.

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  1. My sister started wedding planning proper yesterday (aside from booking the venue, which she's already done). She's going for the full-on traditional thing, which means I am able to give her literally zero advice since mine was about as far removed from traditional as you can get without eloping...

    Hope you have a wonderful day when it comes, that is properly "you".

    Lis / last year's girl x

    1. I am practically doing the same thing and people are so confused! I did loads of research into "normal" weddings though and I think it would be fun to arrange someone elses but who has that kinda money and cares that much? Matt wanted to elope (vegas was mentioned a lot) haha xx


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