Many women have dreamed of their wedding day since they were little girls. Although I didn't and had no idea what I wanted on my big day after getting engaged. I had to start getting some ideas together and make what felt like a million decisions. It was fun but it was stressful. To cut down the stress for other brides I wrote my wedding planning book. Hopefully it will make the journey easier for other brides. In the meantime, here are some tips for creating your dream wedding.
Your Dream Wedding: Wants And Compromises.
You may have a specific idea of your wedding in mind but the reality will probably be different. This doesn't need to be a bad thing. Just choose the things that you are not willing to negotiate on. When you know what is most important and worth spending money on you can focus on that and then look at cheaper options for other things. Or rope family and friends in. Most will be happy to help.
This is the tough one but you need to work out what it is and then you need to stick to it. Enquire if any family members can help and then sit down with your fiancé and have a proper discussion about what you can and cannot afford. There is no point in going into debt for a wedding or taking out a loan. It is only one day of your life, an important one, but one day. You can have an amazing wedding on a small budget. No one should start their married life in debt. Watch out for the 'W' bomb. As in 'wedding'. The W word makes everyone vastly put their prices up.
Always overestimate. That way you won't be left short. Always remember VAT. Some venues and suppliers will be coy about whether VAT is included but ask them and get a direct answer and then make a note of it.
How much it will cost.
This is the question. The answer is: quite a bit. My husband and I managed to get married for less than £10,000. We paid for the majority of this ourselves but did have some family members contribute. Not bad when the average wedding costs £21,000. Spreadsheets are your friend. Negotiating will also be your friend. Try to get money off everything. Don't take the first quote and rope family and friends into the planning if money is tight.
This is very important. Watch out for VAT and always account for everything. Use a spreadsheet if you can. Keep an eye on the small things as they can all add up.
Dealing With Suppliers.
When dealing with suppliers always remember that you are the customer. Be polite but always be firm. Read the small print and make your wishes clear. More importantly, don't pay any final invoices until everything has been checked. One supplier charged us for VAT despite the fact they said they wouldn't. Hmm. Always be careful.
Hatton Gardens is the area in London where all of the jewellers are located. You can get a very good deal here.
Spreadsheets are your friend. If you don't know how to do one then quickly brush up your skills. They will be your saving grace. Have one for your wedding budget and one for your wedding guest list. For the wedding guest list one, leave space for information such as dietary requirements, RSVP received, gift given and thank you card sent.
Have everyone's contact details to hand. Use spreadsheets and have plenty 'to do' lists. Make sure your partner pulls his or her weight. Weddings are hard and stressful to organise, don't go it alone.
Wedding Planner: To Go It Alone Or Hire Help.
If I had the money I would have hired a wedding planner in an instant. However, they are expensive and you don't really need one. I am not saying that in a rude way, they will save time and probably a lot of money but weighing up the cost is important. Your venue might have a wedding planner or venue coordinator onsite. If so, this is a tremendous bonus.
If you get a wedding planner make sure you check their recommendations and also have a clear idea of what you want. It is their job to take your ideas and make them into the wedding of your dreams. Don't accept anything less, budget permitting.
If you are getting married then get your hands on a copy of The Wedding Survival Guide: How To Plan Your Big Day Without Losing Your Sanity. It has great advice on planning your perfect wedding and is written by our editor, Catherine Balavage. It is also available in Ebook format and is a great guide for wedding planning.