Having worked with many couples over the last 10 years, nearly all of them share the same few stresses when it comes to the build up to their big day. A lot of couples planning their weddings don’t realise they need help until they’re in the depths of organising or until something goes awry.
Is that you? Well you’re not alone.
Here’s just a few of the common challenges couples face when wedding planning and a few pieces of advice from me…
Money Money Money
The budget. It’s horrible, there’s no denying it. This is probably one of the biggest purchases of your life (other than your house) and there’s a lot of pressure to ensure your pennies are spent well.
My advice on this topic is – be realistic and stick to it! There’s no point planning for a wedding that’s going to cost you double what you’re able to save in the amount of time you’ve allocated. You can have an amazing wedding whatever your budget, you’ll just have to be savvy with your choices and shop around. And unless you win the lottery in the lead-up to your big day, then stick to your budget – money doesn’t just appear out of thin air (unfortunately).
This can often cause arguments between couples when one of you wants to invite someone that firmly isn’t on the other person’s list. Or when one of you invites your ex or a troublesome Great-Uncle. Or if you’ve written 200 names on your list, but your fiance thought you were having an intimate do.
Whatever the reason, coming up with that definitive guest-list is tricky business and it’s not a task to be undertaken lightly. But try to keep an open-mind and communicate with each other throughout the process. Compromise is key in this area and you’ve both got to be happy.
Trying to please your family
Depending on your personal circumstances, your family may be heavily involved in the planning or your big day. In most cases, you’ll at least have a few different opinions to manage and this can become really stressful and put a negative taint on your special time.
My advice when trying to please everyone else is, remember why you’re doing this. This wedding is about the two of you and ultimately, everyone should support that fact. You have to have the wedding that you both want and that you feel represents you as a couple, regardless of other people’s opinions. Be polite and firm, you’ll be grateful in the long run, even if it feels awkward at the time.
The good old British weather
There’s no getting away from this, the weather is out of our control. Even the best of planners can’t foresee a freak flood. But, we can plan for most eventualities and come-up with contingency plans – this is the key to successful planning.
If you want an outdoors wedding, you need to make sure that you’re happy with a good indoors alternative. If you have your heart set on a summer wedding, you need to be aware that you just might not get the glorious sunshine you want. It’s all about expectations and again, being realistic. You don’t want to be disappointed on your big day, when you could have easily worked around it. There’s a whole section on weather and things you need to think about if planning an outdoors wedding, in my downloadable Ultimate Wedding Planning Guide.
Making sure your hard work pays off
And once all the stress of planning is over, all my couples want to know that everything goes just the way they want it to!
No one can guarantee that your wedding will go 100% EXACTLY as you planned. But a good planner should get you 99% of the way there. The last thing you want is for the venue to forget to put out those favours that you spent days painstakingly making and personalising for each of your guests. You don’t want your flowers left at the church when they could easily be brought over and used in your reception venue. You don’t want the cars to turn up half an hour late, delaying the entire day.
Well good planning, a solid running order and delegation of management on the day will ensure that your wedding goes off without a glitch. You don’t have to hire a wedding planner like me (though of course, it helps). There are other people that can help ensure things go to plan (like the venue coordinator or a member of your bridal party). Again, I talk about this at length in the final section of my Ultimate Wedding Planning Guide.
Don’t get me wrong, planning your wedding can be a really enjoyable and rewarding thing…if you do it right. But don’t be like some of the couples I’ve met who wished they got help earlier. Seek help and guidance if you need it and always have realistic expectations and you’ll be just fine.