Congratulations! You are engaged. How incredibly magical, and no doubt you are both over the moon! Now it’s time to kickstart your wedding planning, right? Obvs. But (as I’m sure you’ve gathered) it’s not quite as easy as that.
The most common question I get asked as a wedding planner is ‘where do I start?’. And it’s a good question too! Wedding planning can be so exciting, but it’s also a complete minefield. So many choices, so many decisions, and – more often than not – you’ve never done this before; how on earth are you meant to know what to do?
Obviously, you could hire a qualified wedding planner (aka, me…). Which is something I would absolutely suggest doing, if you’re able to. Having someone who knows what they are doing is actually priceless, and can relieve so much stress. At the same time, you might just want a quick answer to know where to start… I’ve got you covered.
Kickstart Your Wedding Planning
If you are thinking of having an extra pair of hands, whether thats just for some supplier recommendations, on-the-day co-ordination, partial planning, or the full works… I’m your gal. Let’s have a chat – no obligation – and see how I might be able to help. Honestly, it’s not as expensive as you might think. Plus, not only have I spent my whole adult life working in the wedding industry, I’m actually qualified in it too.
You might not be able to hire a wedding planner, and that’s fine too. As a blogger, I love giving information away for free (lucky you…). I’ve recently added a resources page to my website where you can access graphics I’ve created to help you with your wedding planning… Hooray! I’ll be adding to it fairly regularly, so keep your eyes peeled!
The first graphic in the resources page is a guide to help you kickstart your wedding planning, or at least know where to start. The second is a fun ‘guestlist manager’ to help you decide who you should and shouldn’t consider inviting… Enjoy!
For my third wedding planning ‘top tips’ blog post series, I thought I’d explore choosing your suppliers. I’ve touched on this subject before in a couple of previous posts, but again sometimes it’s useful to have some tips all in one place!
As a wedding planner myself, it’ll come as no surprise that I found choosing my wedding suppliers by far the easiest part of planning my own wedding. Having worked with a range of brilliant – and not so brilliant – suppliers, I know how to spot the good from the bad. But there’s also more to choosing suppliers than ‘good & bad’. There can be such a thing as a good supplier who is bad for you!
Top Tips for Choosing your Suppliers
Find or create your wedding ‘vibe’. Are you having a beachy-dream? Or vintage romance? Eclectic modern, with a hint of sparkle? You need to know what kind of wedding you want to know what suppliers are the best fit for you. If you’re not sure then don’t worry, this isn’t as complicated as it sounds. The easiest way to do this is (begrudgingly) Pinterest. Create a secret board, search for wedding inspiration, and start pinning. Anything & everything you’d love for your own wedding, and you’ll start to see a pattern emerge. Sometimes you then need to re-pin from the board you’ve created to narrow down your overall ‘look’, but either way you’ll soon get a feel for the type of wedding you want.
Take advice from other suppliers. Wedding professionals (suppliers) will almost always be familiar with other professionals in the area, and will have probably worked with them before. If a supplier you trust/respect warns you off another supplier, listen. There will always be a reason! Plus, you don’t want to have two suppliers working together on your dream wedding if they don’t see eye to eye…
Ask to see more of their work. This is especially important for photographers, but goes for most suppliers. With photographers, you always want to see at least 2 or 3 full wedding galleries. I’m talking hundreds of images, not just a few highlights. This is because you need to know that the photographer is consistent, and – more importantly – consistently good. Anyone with a camera can take a good photo every so often, but a really good photographer will have an amazing gallery full of millions of images from all their different weddings! And the same goes for other suppliers, or certainly visual ones. A cake maker may have made one outstanding cake but dozens of terrible ones. The same goes for a florist, videographer, hair stylist, and so on… And if they’re reluctant to show you more of their work, then that answers it’s own question…
Make sure they get you, and you get them. Having suppliers who understand what you want from them is essential. If you’re not vibing with them then they’re not the supplier for you. And there’s nothing wrong with that. They could be a world renowned wedding supplier, but if you’re not feeling comfortable or confident with what they can offer (or even just them as a person!) then don’t be afraid to walk away.
I could go on for hours about wedding suppliers, but I don’t think that’s overly helpful. After all, everyone is different and will have different tastes etc. But those are the 4 things that I would say are a ‘must’ for choosing your suppliers. And if you need an extra helping hand, head over to my Wedding Planning page!
In my last post, I wrote about my top tips for wedding dress shopping. Today it’s all about bridesmaid dress shopping!
If you keep up with my Instagram, you’ll have seen that in June I met up with my 3 best gals to go bridesmaid dress shopping in London. And although we haven’t quite nailed the bridesmaid dresses yet, it was such a wonderful day (which I can’t wait to do all over again!).
However, it’s not just about giggles and bubbles (I mean, it’s mostly about that, but I suppose finding dresses for the bridesmaids is sort of important too…). And going in with a rough plan, and some handy tops tips, can’t go amiss!
Bridesmaid Dress Shopping Top Tips
So here are a few top tips to get you started…
Before you go, figure out your criteria. Do you want long or short dresses? Have you got a very specific colour in mind? Are you happy to mix & match styles and/or colours? The most important thing – in my opinion – is that your bridesmaids feel comfortable with what they’re wearing, but you also have to remember that these are the dresses the girls are going to be wearing on your wedding day. If you figure out roughly what you want the dresses to look like then it gives your girls and the shop stylists a criteria to work from.
Be flexible. Having just said you need to figure out what you want… you also have to be flexible (figured!). It’s no good demanding everyone wears something super specific that they clearly hate. And equally, if you are so set on a particular dress/style you might really struggle to find one that matches exactly what you’re looking for. Basically, by not being flexible you’re making hard work for yourself!
Consider mix & match options. Whether that’s mix & match colours, necklines, shapes, or general styles, sometimes letting your bridesmaids each choose a dress they’re happy with is the best solution! A huge number of bridesmaid dress companies now create their collections with this exact idea in mind. Meaning the different dresses are designed to work together as a collection, rather than just multiples of one dress.
Have fun! The most important thing is – as always – to enjoy your appointments. I’ve said countless times before that your engagement period/wedding planning time should be filled with fun & excitement, and be all about making memories. Don’t get stressed, it’s just not worth it (take it from me!). And how many times will you be dress shopping, prosecco in hand, with your best gals all together? Exactly… Make the most of it whilst you can!
It has been far too long since I’ve written a blog post… Where have the last two months gone?! Safe to say I’ve been super busy, but it is wedding season so only to be expected. I wanted to do a few quick-fire blog posts with some top wedding planning tips, starting with wedding dress shopping.
I’ve touched on this subject before in more than one blog post, but instead of going through a whole load of info I thought I’d quickly put my top tips in one post. Easy to read and easy to refer back to if you need to!
Wedding Dress Shopping Top Tips
So, here we go…
Keep an open mind. It’s really good to have an idea of what you want in your head, but don’t be so sure you’ll go for exactly what you think you will. Keep an open mind!
Trust, listen to, and take advice from the bridal stylists. It’s their job, they do it every day, and (unless they’re terribly useless) they know what they are talking about. Having worked in bridal fashion, I know first hand how much you learn from even just a couple of years of working with wedding dresses, let alone some stylists who have been doing it 5, 10, 20 years! Unless you think it’s just a sales pitch (avoid those types of shops like the plague), the bridal stylists will genuinely want the best dress for you/your shape/your personality etc. So listen to them!
Don’t take many people with you. Seriously, don’t. I know the temptation to take every single one of your friends with you, or all the female family members you have, but trust me when I say you will not enjoy it. Take one or two trusted people with you, who you know will be honest & constructive, but also genuinely elated for you. And if you have some friends you want to include, just do a few more appointments with them instead! You can’t focus with too many people, and everyone will want to have an opinion – you’ll just get confused! (Plus, it’s really annoying from the shop’s point of view…).
Research the shop/designers first. Just because you’ve heard a shop is good, it doesn’t mean it’s the one for you. I made the mistake of going to a couple of shops where I hadn’t done my research properly and genuinely hated most of the dresses. It’s a waste of your time and a waste of theirs, too!
Enjoy it. This is the only time you’re ever going to get to do this, so just enjoy it! Take your time, and don’t make any decisions without knowing they’re definitely the right ones to be making. Try to relax and not feel the pressure, because it is a very daunting thing. Oh, and bubbles help too!
More Top Tips!
I hope you enjoyed a very brief overview of my top tips for wedding dress shopping. Next up will be some top tips for bridesmaid dress shopping… And if you want to read more on this subject, check out these posts below:
If I’ve got through a viewing appointment without discussing confetti then you’ll probably find pigs are flying… Basically, I am always getting asked about it! Most venues will allow biodegradable confetti, but how biodegradable is it really?
I was genuinely shocked when I read how long some “biodegradable” confetti can take to disappear. So, being the little research nerd that I am I decided to look into it some more…
The Maze that is Confetti
Nowadays there isn’t so much of the ‘traditional’ confetti around, and thank goodness! If the confetti doesn’t say it’s biodegradable, then it’s probably made out of microplastics, mylar, or even some form of metal component – and we all know how bad they are for the environment!
You’ll probably find that most easily accessible confetti will be tissue confetti, and will be billed as biodegradable. The time it takes to actually disappear is mostly weather dependant, and can hang around for quite some time. You’ve probably seen churchyards littered with the stuff weeks after a wedding has occurred! Generally speaking tissue confetti isn’t necessarily bad for the environment, but it’s not great either. So yes, it’s ‘technically’ biodegradable, but also misleading.
Also – be warned! If the confetti has a slight shine to it – even if it says it’s biodegradable – it’s probably made with some kind of metallic component.
Biodegradable Confetti Solutions
If you’re really keen to have properly biodegradable confetti, the best route to go down is petals (real ones), leaves, and dried flowers. Or basically anything completely natural! Rice has been popular over time, but it can be slippy and it’s just not as pretty.
Something like lavender works wonderfully – and it smells gorrrrgeous! We will most definitely be having properly natural confetti of some sort – possibly a mix of leaves and petals. But you’ll have to wait & see!