Helpful wedding tips for normal people

Did you know that 60% of engagements happen over Christmas? Spoiler alert, I just made that statistic up in my own head, however, my social media feeds assure me that there are many engagements that happen over Christmas. In fact, I just googled it as my fake news made me curious to know the actual facts, and it turns out 40% of proposals happen between Thanksgiving and Valentine's Day, so turns out I was definitely almost 100% accurate and am, in fact, a genius.

ANYWAY, seeing that we have well established that there are a lot of happy couples come January, I thought this might be the perfect time to divulge some top wedding tips, from a normal person who got married, planned it all and didn't have a Kardashian sized budget. I know hardly anyone does, but you wouldn't think it from reading wedding magazines and social media - 10 foot peony adorned cake wall anyone?

To the tips!

1. Accept you might not LOVE your dress

I wrote a whole post about this when I was planning my wedding back in 2015, so have a look at that for an in depth analysis, but to sum up, wedding dress shopping is not like in the movies, and in reality you may have to choose the best dress available from the options you find (and it makes little difference to how good a wedding day you will have!) Accessories are your friend - you can make your dress so much more 'you' with a well placed adornment or seven.

2. Consider other people but also yourselves

I feel like advice about this is usually a bit too black and white, either 'if your parents are paying they deserve to invite millions of people you've never met' to 'ignore your mum she doesn't know what's good for you'! I think there can be a nice middle ground - for example, my mum really wanted me to have a cake, I wasn't so bothered. To make her happy we got a cheap (ish - it has the word wedding before it after all) cake from M&S which the florist decorated for us. Turns out, we got one of my favourite photos out of it because my hungry nephew stood behind it with his mouth wide open whilst we were cutting it and it was super funny - win/win. Money can be a tricky subject, especially if you don't have a particularly close relationship with your parents. Personally, I am of the belief that if someone gives you money towards a wedding they should give it without an agenda, but I get that this just isn't the reality for some people. So try and find a middle ground - talking openly and honestly is always the best way forward in my opinion.

3. Realise you can’t see the venue beforehand

You can plan until you're dreaming in spreadsheets, but the thing with a wedding is there ain't no rehearsal. Unless you're American and you literally do have a rehearsal dinner. Is that an actual rehearsal of the wedding though? Americans let a girl know. Anyway, I digress. I planned my table decorations down to the last sprinkle of confetti but on the day, turns out the tables were big and the small centrepieces felt a bit lost, the table name cards were a bit floppy and my 'F & R' signs leaned to the side. None of this really matters of course, but I'm not going to lie and say I didn't notice. In hindsight, I would have done a mock up table setting at home, and tweaked to my heart's content.

4. Flip flops are your friend

One of the best things I did was put a basket of flip flops on the dance floor. People LOVED it. I realise I didn't make this idea up, but i'm telling you it was a winner.

5. The food will cost the most

Remember that even if you decide to get married in January, you get your dress from a charity shop and your mum grows your flowers, it will always be feeding and watering people that will cost the most. The more people you have, the more it will cost. You kind of have to decide to have a big wedding and invite your entire extended family, or have a super small wedding and only invite your immediate family and a few close friends. That middle ground gets awkward hella quickly.

6. Assign someone to feed you

If you don't ask your maid of honour or a bridesmaid to save you a plate of canapes and some of the welcome drinks, you ain't getting none of them. Everyone wants to talk to you, or photograph you. Then in a blink of an eye, it's time for the wedding breakfast and you're starving. Not to mention, girl didn't pay shitloads of good money for something she doesn't get to eat amirite.

7. Get make up/hair trial on a day you’re going out anyway

When else would you get your make up and/or hair done all fancy (and pay for it), then just sit in your front room and watch Netflix? Might as well make the most of your great face and excellent hair - the people deserve to see them.

8. Book a car

I wasn't bothered about this - I'll just book a standard taxi I thought. At the last minute though, I decided I wanted to get something a bit more fancy, and I'm so glad I did! The driver was lovely, he waited patiently for me, helped me carry my dress getting in and out and talked calmly to me and my dad in the car. Your average taxi driver wouldn't have been half as accommodating.

9. Make sure your dad isn’t wearing tinted glasses

Sure, this is quite specific but it's an example of a little detail that can easily be missed - my dad wears the type of glasses that become sunglasses in the sun, and so it looked a bit like he was my bouncer in the getting out of the car photos! The details, THE DETAILS.

10. Realise you will probably spend more

Trust me, you will get carried away. Try to budget a smidge more than you bargained for.

11. Do you need to go far away for your hen do?

This was a good point that a friend who recently got married made. She had her hen do in the next city over, and said that she didn't feel the need to go to a distant place because she wasn't planning on doing anything specific to that location. I thought it was a good point - I went to Newcastle for my hen do and whilst it was so much fun, I didn't do or see anything that was specific to Newcastle. Maybe I could have gone somewhere a bit closer to home that I didn't have to fly to?

I hope these were helpful - looking for photos for this blog post has made me want to have my wedding day all over again!

Happy Planning :)

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