Kickstart Your Wedding Planning

Kickstart Your Wedding Planning

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.

every goose guest blog post lila bailey blog

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.

Let’s have a chat!

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 Lila Bailey Resources Page

Happy Planning!

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!

Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and keep up to date with daily happenings!

Bridesmaid Dress Shopping – Top Tips #2

Bridesmaid Dress Shopping – Top Tips #2

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.
bridesmaid dress shopping top tips lila bailey blog mix & match bridesmaids
  • 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!

Some Bridesmaid Dress Brand Recommendations

Maids to Measure

Rewritten Bridesmaids

Dessy Group

Hayley Paige Bridesmaids

Two Birds

Biodegradable Confetti & The Environment

Biodegradable Confetti & The Environment

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

biodegradable confetti blog post life with lila bailey blog

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!

The End

Hopefully that gives you a bit more of an insight into the world of confetti and what to be aware of. If you want to keep up to date with the latest blog posts, sign up to my mailing list. And don’t forget to follow me on Instagram!

The Guest List – Wedding Planning Update

The Guest List – Wedding Planning Update

Here’s a big one! The infamous guest list. Everyone’s favourite and dreaded task, all rolled into one. If you’ve found this part easy then you have no idea how lucky you are. If you’re struggling with the guest list, then grab a cuppa and make yourself comfortable…

The Guest List – A Journey (Part 1)

When Euan & I got engaged, the guest list was the first thing we did. Not only that but we were weirdly excited to write it. Looking back, I actually cannot for the life of me think why. Lol! If I were to guess, I’d say it’s because once the guest list is written it all starts to feel super real/exciting. Anyway, it’s safe to say the excitement dwindled slightly…

The easiest way to explain is I think we got a tad carried away. And I think that’s pretty normal. One of the things I’m most grateful for is deciding to have a longer engagement because these decisions you make in the excitement of being newly engaged are more often the wrong ones to have made. And if you’ve not got huge amounts of time until the wedding you just run with them and regret it later. Luckily for us we had loooaaaads of time (still do!) to make decisions (and more importantly, go back on them).

Anyway, initially we had a guest list approaching 150 people. No, just no. Don’t get me wrong, if that’s the route you want to go down then by all means do it! But it was not what I wanted. To be able to fit 150 people, we would’ve needed a marquee in the field. Which is 1. a huge expense that in our case could be avoided, and 2. I’m just personally not a fan of marquees.

The Guest List – A Journey (Part 2)

The dilemma was the barn vs the marquee. The barn’s capacity is max. 100 people, so that would mean cutting our guest list by 50 people. Or going for the marquee and being able to invite 150 people. But, anyone who has thrown a wedding will know that the likelihood of your entire guest list actually coming to the wedding is pretty small. The stats are roughly 25% of your guest list will not end up there on the day. We ran off the basis that 25 of our 150 people would not end up coming (which is less than 25%) which meant that we’d be hiring a marquee for the sake of 25 people, possibly less… Madness, right?!

(Maths: 150 guests less 25 non-attending leaves 125. Barn capacity = 100. So the difference between barn capacity (100) and people likely to attend (125) is 25 people).

I knew in my heart that I wanted the barn for our wedding reception, and when we worked out the figures I put my foot down. There was no way I was comfortable with hiring a marquee for the sake of a handful of people. So, the guest list culling commenced. And it actually wasn’t as difficult as we thought it would be, especially as a lot of people could be switched to the evening without it being a big deal.

The Guest List – Where are we up to?

We have now managed to get our 150 down to approx. 114 day guests, including babies. We’re predicting that possibly 10 people won’t come, and 4 of those 14 are babies/toddlers – perfect! What it does mean is our evening guest list is slightly bigger, but that’s great!

The downside is that we don’t have room for children (apart from babies and very close friends/bridal party). And we also don’t have room for plus 1s. But to be honest the expectation of being able to bring a plus one these days is pretty non-existent. Everyone understands that weddings are expensive, and couples can’t be expected to provide for someone they don’t know!

The only tricky thing is the line between who counts as a plus one and who counts as being invited in their own right. To combat that, we’re just making it perfectly clear on the invites who is invited and who isn’t!

The Guest List – Top Tips?

  • Firstly, it’s important to establish who is paying for the wedding. As the couple, if you are footing the entire bill, then I really don’t think parents should get a say. If one or other of your parents are paying for the wedding then it’s only fair that said parents should get at least small say. If you’re paying for most of the wedding, but parents are contributing it’s important to establish from the get-go what their contribution entails. It’s not an easy topic to approach, and I’ll talk more about this another time.
  • Don’t be afraid to say no. As you’ve probably discovered by now, my favourite saying is ‘it’s your wedding’. If you don’t have room for plus ones, or you don’t know them well enough, just.say.no. Likewise if you’d rather not have children, just.say.no. There is – of course – a way of saying these things, and always be flexible for certain circumstances. But in all truth on your wedding day you should be surrounded only by people who you genuinely want there.
  • Don’t be put off by the thought of a guest list cull – it’s actually quite refreshing! If your venue has max numbers that are smaller than your ideal guest list, don’t write it off straight away. Sometimes having to cut your guest list is actually a blessing in disguise.

So that’s the guest list! I hope you’re enjoying these blog posts, please do leave feedback if you’d like to! And you can also sign up to my mailing list where I’ll send you a cheeky little email when there’s a new blog post. Sign up here.

And take a look at my previous post, and Instagram page if you have a mo!

Our Suppliers – Wedding Planning Update

Our Suppliers – Wedding Planning Update

Today I’m chatting about our suppliers; where we are up to, any problems along the way, and what’s left to do!

Our Suppliers – Where are we up to?

I’d say I’m about 50% of the way through the planning process now. And I definitely prioritised certain suppliers because I know they get booked up fast!

So what suppliers have we booked? The following have been ticked off my list…

  • Photographer
  • Florist
  • Cake Maker
  • Videographer
  • Evening Band
  • Caterers
  • Wedding Co-ordinator
  • Stationery

I’m also in the process of having my wedding dress made, and about to book hair & make-up. Phew!

As I’m fortunate enough to work with an abundance of amazing suppliers, I pretty much knew who I wanted and booked the first 6 almost immediately.

Our original wedding co-ordinator fell through, and at first I was pretty cross about it. But as it turned out I’m actually so glad! I went on a little hunt for wedding planners and found a wonderful lady on Instagram. I’m thrilled she’s now our wedding co-ordinator and I can’t wait for her to be part of our day!

Our Suppliers – What’s left to do?

Sounds like I’ve got it pretty sorted, right? Oh I wish! There’s still a lot to do… (not that I’m stressing or anything…!). So, what is actually left?

  • Bridesmaid & flower girl dresses
  • Bridal accessories (shoes etc for me & the girls)
  • Gents outfits (Kilts for Euan & his best man, suits for the ushers, and outfits for the page boys!)
  • Transport
  • Decor, all the decor!
  • Tables & chairs
  • Linen, cutlery, crockery, glassware… etc etc
  • Honeymoon (eek!)
  • Gifts for various people
  • Daytime music/entertainment

No doubt I’m forgetting some crucial things… Some of the above are urgent, others not so much. But it all still needs doing! Luckily, our church is booked. So if all else fails, at least we are actually getting married (and I’ll have a dress to wear).

Our Suppliers – Any problems?

Apart from the original wedding co-ordinator, we’ve actually had it pretty smooth-sailing so far (touch wood!). I just want to start really getting the smaller details sorted and then I’ll feel loads better. Anyone who’s previously been a bride-to-be will know those awful wedding dreams (nightmares) where everything is going wrong, or the day is happening earlier than it should, etc etc. But luckily I’ve used those nightmares as planning motivation, so whatever went wrong in the dream I’ve then sorted in real life and they seem to go away! (Until I start worrying about the next thing).

Supplier Top Tips

Okay so top tips for choosing suppliers…

  • Ask another supplier’s advice. Obviously this requires having actually booked a supplier, but you get to know a lot about different suppliers when you work in the industry so it’s well worth asking around for recommendations.
  • If you don’t know where to start but have a friend who’s been married or – even better – works in the industry, then ask their advice.
  • If in doubt, trust your instinct. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t rush into making a decision. Take your time and trust what you feel!
  • With photographers, make sure they send you a link to galleries of more than one full wedding. And if they don’t, just ask. It’s important that photography is consistent across not one wedding as a whole, but multiple weddings too. And if they’re reluctant to send you a gallery then that answers your question for you!
  • With florists, make sure their ‘style’ is in keeping with what you want from your wedding. They may be very talented, but just not your cup of tea. And you want your day to feel like yours so don’t be afraid of going for someone different who suits your style more.
  • Feel comfortable. With any supplier, but especially those who are going to be there on the day, the most important thing is that you feel comfortable. Yes, recommendations are super important but if you don’t feel comfortable with someone who has been recommended to you, keep searching until you find someone you do feel comfortable with. This is your day.

Previous Post

Take a look at my previous post to find out more about our venue. And don’t forget to follow me on Instagram if you don’t already!