Your Ultimate Wedding Guide – What To Wear, Who To Invite, And How To Make It Stress-Free

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Whether you like it or not, it’s wedding season. So if you’re planning your own – or going to someone else’s – it’s hard to escape it.

At HuffPost UK Life, we launched The Wedding Edition, dissecting the ins and outs of one of the biggest events of a couple’s calendar. From hen and stag dos to that dreaded guest list, we hope to make the process a little easier for you.

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If You’re Planning Your Own Wedding:

You don’t have to spend £20k to have a dreamy day – we spoke to the couples who spent £5k or less on their wedding. Claire and Royston had their perfect, DIY Greek wedding on a beach in Anaxos, on the island of Lesvos in front of 65 guests – and spent £5k in total, which included the flights and hotel, the ceremony, wedding outfits, and food and drink for their guests.

Don’t want to go traditional? You don’t have to. Being comfortable is key, so we found the best trainers for brides and grooms on their wedding day. Amp up the cushioning so you can party all night long.

As if there isn’t enough stress in the lead up to your wedding day, another pressure seems to be the expectation that you’ll be dieting. We spoke to brides about how they felt about this.

When Leah Anidi-Ryz married her wife Enor in 2015, she said she’d felt pressure to lose weight, so embarked on an intense exercise regime alongside a restrictive diet. The day was still filled with happiness, but Leah feels she doesn’t look like herself in her wedding photos. Looking back, she says: “I wish I hadn’t made myself feel so ill and I wish I hadn’t been so hard on myself leading up to the wedding.”

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Is it all it’s cracked up to be? We spoke to couples who loved it – and others who swapped sex for snoozing. Faustina, 41, who got married 13 years ago, told us: “[Wedding sex] dominated all talks amongst my friends and classmates way before I got married. So I thought it was something that was bound to happen. However, on the night we both were too tired and fell asleep in the bathtub.”

If you fancy a guarantee of sun on your wedding day, accept that some people won’t be able to make it – and that’s okay. Try to make things affordable for your guests, and don’t be afraid to run things past them as you’re planning.

We got tips and advice from those who have been there.

Weddings come with a whole host of traditions – from enormous cakes, to romantic first dances or brides wearing long white gowns. But increasingly, when it comes to the latter, some brides are making different choices: opting for dresses in shorter lengths, or ditching them for white jumpsuits. What are your other options? We found out.

Hannah, from Jersey, decided to postpone her wedding after finding out she was pregnant – and got married when her son was 11 months old. So if you have kids on your wedding day, how can you make sure the day is still perfect? Hear from the parents who have been there, done that.

Eight years ago, Emily Macdonald and her husband got married in Cornwall with just six guests. They intended to have a bigger wedding, but soon realised that the marriage was most important to them. “Our simple theme was pink – reflected in the flowers, dresses, and campervan we hired for the week – and the day was fuss-free, and personal.”

It’s the kind of subject where everyone has an opinion: Who gets a plus one? Is it okay to exclude kids? Which guests get an evening invite and which come to the whole day? Our guide will sort you out.

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If You’re Going To A Wedding:

Sorry, but it is. In 2019, Brits will each spend an average of £391 to attend a wedding, according to research from American Express – an increase of £88 on last year. Hotels are the largest expense for attendees this season (£72), followed by outfits (£68) and gifts (£66). Better get saving, eh?

When it comes to wedding outfits, men’s suits risk feeling a bit work-y and as if everyone is cut from the same cloth. But fear not, there’s an easy way to stand out from the crowd or add your own sense of style: a new jazzy tie. See our favourite picks.

“Guests were given a list of rules in advance, including what colours they were allowed to wear and not to address the bride by the groom’s surname. The bride also asked a friend who was deemed ‘less pretty’ than the bridesmaid to model as the bridesmaid in a photo reshoot – because the original bridesmaid allegedly upstaged the bride due to her looks.” - Carolyn

It’s not a second-class invitation, so embrace it. Buddy up with other evening guests and have a few drinks or dinner before you arrive, so you’re not turning up at the wedding alone. We’ve pulled together the dos and don’ts.

Are you in charge of organising the hen or stag do? Before you get planning, have a think about what traditions your bride or groom may or may not want. You don’t have to stick to the stereotypes. We spoke to hens and stags who think the traditions are outdated.