Quintessentially Weddings fabulous planning tips

Today we’ve got a lovely guest blog post for you full of wedding planning tips and personal incite from Quintessentially Weddings in-house bride. Over to Sophie…

My mother always claims I was born to be a bride. But it has taken trying to plan my own wedding – even as someone who works in wedding planning – to realise that it is so much harder than it looks. I don’t say this as a melodramatic promotion of the services of wedding planners.

We offer our time, ideas, vision, contacts as well as our insider and industry know-how, to help brides and grooms who simply find the whole notion of designing and organising their big day a little bit daunting. Even more so if they are after a wedding day straight from all of those swoony, beautiful blogs. Many are so strapped for time that they barely have time to breathe, let alone plan the most important day of their lives in a stylish, meaningful and magical sort of way. Because that’s what a wedding is – a testament, and a little piece of the endlessly enchanting thing that is love. And if we can do all the legwork, haggling, inspiring, soothing and find the things that turn your wedding from nice to something staggeringly ‘wow’ then we’re happy. Any opportunity to support and guide brides and grooms throughout their special day is truly an honour.

The thing is, when you’re self-planning and juggling the day job it’s all too easy to lose perspective. Doubly so, if it’s a job in anything wedding related or creative. You’re going to be overwhelmed by ideas and forming style crushes that change your vision in a mere second thanks to a real wedding in one of the bridal magazines. Many of us will not have done this before, or be oblivious to wedding planning pitfalls until they have us cornered.

Nearly every bride and groom will end up in a whirling fog of budgets, suppliers, deadlines, arguments and decision making pressures as time slips past -scarily quickly! That’s the other thing no-one ever tells you. I have less than six months to go until our wedding day having had a good two year run of being engaged. Plenty of time to get it nailed you would have thought. Yet I have next to nothing done besides the venue, dress, cake (thanks Mum) and caterer booked – and the panic is rising. Some of you will have less until your summer weddings, and just be looking at those last finishing touches, getting your RSVPs in and starting to get excited. But there will no doubt have been moments where time has not been on your side, and I think (I’ll whisper here) it’s very common for all weddings to suffer little glitches, testy arguments beforehand with ‘Bridezilla’ and ‘Groomlin’ and dare I say it… a little disappointment can be surface by the time the big day comes itself.

I was fortunate to have one of my bridesmaids gently step in as I went into wedding meltdown and help me see that if I focused on the bits that mattered most to us, I couldn’t go far wrong. And that it was ok to get a little ‘Bridezilla’ when it was to do with aspects of the wedding that were precious to me. Like using seasonal English wildflowers, the woodland bar area, my blew-the-budget-out-of-the-water wedding dress that makes me feel like I’ve never felt before. I’m just pairing it with my old leopard print stilettos now to cut back elsewhere, rather than the fancy new heels I’d hoped to wear. By all counts it’s about being realistic, but also about planning a day like no other.

Quintessentially Weddings’ top wedding planning tips:

– Always tackle the formal ‘musts’ of a wedding first, such as booking the ceremony, registrar, choosing your readings and finding a caterer so guests are well-fed and watered. Do this before the prettier bits!

– Make friends with the list, and divide tasks into short and long-lead so that you can prioritise.

– Play safe, and always have a contingency fund – 77% of weddings go over budget.

– Breathe! The stress hormone cortisol ups your adrenaline levels, increases the likelihood of mistakes and aggravates your skin. Relax, go for a walk and come back refreshed and tackle things anew.

– Agree on three key focuses for your wedding planning that are most important to you as a couple (so perhaps flowers, lighting, food), then if you manage other details it’s just an added bonus.

– When haggling, don’t mention the ‘W’ word but simply make enquiries about ‘a private party’ at first to gauge prices. Then be nice but firm, and pitch at 2/3rds below what you hope to pay and be prepared to negotiate up. Try saying  ‘I was hoping for something more like £X’ , and leave suppliers to decide.

– Get good at asking: You’ll be surprised at the extras some kind suppliers will offer, and also how flaky some of them can be with providing receipts or confirmation of bookings etc. You’re not being a nag if you do it nicely.

– Smile – it has a radiant effect and comes in handy when negotiating.

– Keep everything together in a box so that you can easily find items and paperwork if panic sets in!

Check out our BLOG for more wedding planning inspiration and wedding tips and please do talk to us – after all you’ve got a wedding planner friend indeed!

Thank you Sophie for sharing little snippets of your wedding day planning and providing us with some top wedding planning tips. I’m sure they’ll come in handy. If you’ve got a wedding tip or something you wish you knew before you’re wedding and want to share, we’d love to hear about it.

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