Tuesday, 22 October 2013

DIY Wedding: My Learnings And Tips

Good Day Everyone,

This is going to be the last of my DIY Wedding mini-series. If you've missed the first four posts then click on the following; first, second, third and fourth post.

To wrap this up, I’m going to touch upon some of the learnings from my experience of getting married and what I’d suggest to one of my girlfriends about to take the plunge. Now there’s lots of advice and tips I could give, in fact I think I could write a whole book on it as there’s so much that goes into planning a wedding, but for the purpose of this blog post I’m just going to focus on a few key ones that stood out the most for me.

Leverage Contacts:
Do ask for help and sound people out for you never know who might know someone/something that could help you out and save you money. For example, I was on the phone to my best friend (who happens to own a wedding dress shop in the North of England (website), although I didn't wear one of her dresses) about how expensive hiring chair covers through the wedding hotel was. I was having a bit of a grumble about not having time to shop around when my friend reminded me that her sister had a wedding chair cover business (how I did not recall this myself I do not know! Clearly my mind was over flowing with too much information!) and that she would probably do me a mates rate, which she did – Thank you Josephine (website). Not only did Josephine provide us with the chair covers and organza bows, she also lent us a runner which we used for the aisle with pink rose petals lining the edges and it looked stunning! It was also my best friend that told me about a wedding and floristry wholesale suppliers called Country Baskets (website) where I was able to get all the little bits and bob that I needed for our wedding e.g. wedding cake boxes, organza bags for wedding favours, diamante pins for the bridal bouquet, helium canister for the balloons, vases for the table flowers and so much more. I'd definitely recommend checking that place out if ever you're planning an event.
Shopping Around:
Make sure you shop around! If someone you trust makes a recommendation, even when you think you've found what you’re looking for, check it out. My hubby and I had actually decided on a wedding cake maker, about a year before our wedding and then several months later a friend suggested a local baker that she had used and so we explored this option and ended up saving £150 on our wedding cake.
Sleeping Before The Wedding:
If you’re getting married at a hotel and spending the night before your wedding there then I would recommend spending at least two nights before your big day there rather than one. This is because, if you’re anything like me, you’ll struggle to sleep that first night in a new place as the surroundings are all unfamiliar, as is the bed. You don’t want to wake up on your big day with huge bags under your eyes because you didn't get a good night’s sleep. Therefore I recommend you check into your hotel at least two nights before the wedding day itself, so that your body and mind has time to get used to your new surroundings.
Get Some Space:
If possible, book yourself a suite (rather than a room) at the hotel because trust me you are going to need the space when you’re getting ready, especially if bridesmaids/friends are getting ready with you. Even better, would be to book somewhere with a bit of outdoor space just so that you can get some air, if you need to. We booked a suite with an alfresco balcony which was amazing! The balcony gave us out door space to store the flowers and that’s where we made the table flowers and bridal bouquet. It was also great to have the patio doors open for a bit of fresh air whilst I was getting ready on the day of the wedding and just that bit of outdoor space meant that when there were several of us in the room it never felt too crowded.
Delegate And Ask For Help:
Now I’m a bit of a control freak who loves to organise (just a bit!) but even I realised that I could not be in more than one place at a time on the wedding day to oversee the decorations of the wedding room and the layout changes. So I delegated and explained to a couple of close friend’s as well as my hubby (who understand and are sympathetic of my control freak nature) of how I would like the room and tables to look in terms of decoration, and how I imagined the space working when the room was transformed from the wedding ceremony layout to the wedding breakfast and reception layout. This meant that I could relax with confidence knowing that this was being taken care of. We also had friends on the morning of the wedding helping with the helium balloons, arranging the aisle runner and music.In addition, we had one of my best friends help with the flowers and she even wrote the place cards for us.
A Bride’s Right Hand Woman:
Make sure if you’re the bride that you have a great right hand women. Someone who works well under pressure, is resourceful, trustworthy and detail orientated... gosh that sounds a bit like a job interview! I had one my dearest girlfriends come over from the US for my wedding and she was my right hand women. She thought of all the little details that I just didn't have time to think about. For example, whilst my hubby and I were mingling with our guests at the wedding reception, she arranged for housekeeping to come and tidy our suite, she cleared away all my makeup clutter, hair tools, ironing board, clothes steamer and everything else that was used in the process of getting me ready that morning. She made sure that at the end of the wedding day, the table flowers, cards and gifts were moved from the wedding reception into our hotel suite, our bed was scattered with rose petals and she even made sure we had a fresh bucket of ice. What a gem! I love you M :o)
Everyone's A Cameraman/woman:
Get anyone and everyone to take lots of photos for you as you or your designated camera person cannot be everywhere all of the time. You never quite know when someone might take that gem of a shot!
Lastly, just remember to breathe and enjoy the day. Don’t worry if there are little hiccups along the way, just focus on the reason why the day is taking place... to celebrate and unite you and your partner. Everything else is just the icing on the cake :o)

Love Sheen xxx

P.S. What tips / advice would you give to someone getting married?

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