Blog Series – Let’s talk about Daytime Stationery. Part 2

Blog Series – Let’s talk about Daytime Stationery. Part 2

If you want to know more about planning the stationery for your Wedding Day then look no further!

I am here to guide you through the various items needed for your Wedding Stationery on the big day.

Welcome to the 2nd in my mini series.

In the 1st post, I talked about why it can make such a difference having all your stationery made to match throughout your wedding planning – it really can make a big difference you know.

Here is the first instalment which will help you understand how important your wedding stationery is in capturing your guests imagination on the big day.

So what are all the different elements of daytime stationery? (let’s call it that, as some of them wont be used anywhere near the table!)

 

Here is a breakdown of some of the first few things you might need – more to follow soon!

 

Welcome signs:

Sometimes, it’s not all that clear upon arrival at the venue where your guests are meant to be going, depending on the type of venue of course – so why not have a lovely personalised sign pointing them in the right direction? I have seen many different styles of these over the years and I can easily make something that co-ordinates with your other stationery – depending of course on the style of your venue. There may also already be something arranged by the venue if it is something they consider your guests to need a little assistance with for whatever reason, perhaps there are additional rooms at the venue and a little guidance is needed.

Order of the Day:

These might be found on an easel or similar as your guests enter the venue, laid out clearly for all to see, it guides your eager guests to know what to expect, and when – what time can they expect a welcome drink, or the speeches to start for example? When should they be poised with their cameras at the ready to photograph your first dance? All of this information can be incredibly useful for those guests who are keen to find their space at the wedding breakfast table (or perhaps have small people to keep amused for the duration). These look lovely if you have them done to coordinate with your seating plan at either side of the wedding breakfast room as guests enter – or perhaps outside of it so they can read it while they’re waiting. Its also a nice idea to have something on your tables using the gorgeous 3 sided cards I have available, to give your guests all the info they need as they are sitting down listening to the speeches.

 

Table/Seating Plan

Ohhh, now here’s one of ‘those’ subjects. (You know, the ones that are likely to keep you awake at night!)

Are Table and Seating plans the same thing? Yes, it is just a different name.

If you want to be clear where each of your guests are sitting, which table, who they are next to, I would (and I usually do) call it a seating plan. This can be one of the particularly stressful areas of wedding planning, as if you really want your guests to mingle, or perhaps know some of them would prefer to be on a quieter table, you will probably have spent hours trying to figure this out. Read here for a few ways you can keep this simple. As this is probably the case, you don’t want all that work to be wasted when your guests arrive at the venue and battle to sit with their best friend because otherwise they won’t know anyone!

These look really beautiful when professionally done – carefully created to match your theme, all the guest names carefully spell checked and printed underneath the appropriate table name or number. It all helps everything to flow so perfectly on your special day, because who wants the guests trying to find a quick 5 minutes to check with you who they’ve been sat next to?

 

 

It can also help immensely if your guests have carefully chosen what they would like to eat on the day, nothing worse than pickled people as they all try to remember what main course they wanted 3 months ago when the invite came through.

 

***Top Tip***

I have seen this done so often, please save yourself a little time by not thinking you need to know who is sitting where when you plan out your invitation list. There may well be a proportion of your guests that aren’t able to make it, and you will have spent hours poring over these ideas only to have to rearrange everything again. You don’t have to know everything from day one of your wedding planning, you really don’t!

 

Table Name or Number Cards

 

These are essential if you have already gone to the trouble of carefully seating your guests on the seating plan.

It will make it much easier for them to find their way to the corresponding table (these can be named or numbered, depending on what you have decided, but here are some helpful suggestions if you need them).

So imagine you have 6 tables and the top table – you might not think its necessary to point out which is the top table, and that’s absolutely fine, but if you did want everything to fully coordinate then its another way you can just perfectly finish it off. For the remaining guest tables you will have decided which one is number 1, and may have a list of between 7 and maybe up to 12 guests sat there, when they see they are named on table 1, a prominently placed card on the actual table will help them find their way quickly and easily.

This may seem obvious but you would be surprised how many times I have this conversation at wedding fayres so I thought it would be helpful to write a little more about what exactly they are. It’s also worth noting at this point that you have choices as to whether they are done on a freestanding card which can sit just nicely in among beautiful centrepieces you will have carefully thought out, or you may prefer to have a single sided one that sits in a little holder and raises it proudly above everything to help them stand out a bit more. It can depend a lot on what is going on with the rest of your table, you don’t want it looking too ‘busy’ either.

Gosh. I have surprised myself with how much there actually is to say on this subject – there are still lots more items to talk about so I will continue it in the next couple of posts rather than overwhelm you with all the information at once. Does that sound like a good plan?

 

 

You can always contact me using the pretty sparkly box above if you need me in the meantime.

I will leave you to think a little more about how this could work with your dream wedding table layout –  I might even be able to put you in touch with someone who can help with the décor if that is still in the planning!

I do have a brand new freebie in the making right at this moment so by the time I have written the next post – you will be able to get your hands on it with any luck! But just for now, if you haven’t already got your hands on the fab FREE wedding stationery checklist, pop your details over to me by clicking on the pretty picture beneath, and I will be right in touch with it for you.


I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Super sparkly love,

Blog Series – Let’s talk about Daytime Stationery. Part 1

Blog Series – Let’s talk about Daytime Stationery. Part 1

Are you sitting comfortably?

I have a lot to say on this subject, but first of all, let’s be clear what exactly I am talking about.

What IS Daytime Stationery, and do you need it for your wedding?

Throughout your planning you’ve probably heard various jargon used for the items on your must have essential list (by the way, you can download a fab free wedding stationery checklist below to help you along the way) but what are all these different things and do you actually need them for your wedding?

Click here for your free wedding  stationery checklist

Having beautifully hand finished stationery to really set the scene can make all the difference

in a warm welcome for your guests as they arrive at the venue. The personal touches like seeing their names on the carefully arranged seating plan (see post here for how to make that a bit less painful!) as they are welcomed into the wedding breakfast room, to a beautifully coordinated matching place name at their designated seats all helps the day run smoother and wows them just a little bit more.

Diamante,pastel pink,sparkle place cards

Captivate Place cards in Pastel Pink

Helpful tip:

If you have any kind of package with your venue its worth checking what exactly you get with that.

As an example, I often have conversations with couples who seem convinced they have a wedding planner to take care of everything on the big day, leaving you to enjoy the moment without a worry in the world, but what they actually have is a wedding co-ordinator, their point of contact at the venue to help things run smoother on the day (not someone to liaise with every supplier about every tiny detail, there is a world of difference).

How is this relevant? Well, if you have the kind of package that includes a ‘table plan’ then you’re sorted, right? I would definitely check exactly what you receive if this is the case, as it may well just be a sheet of card printed up with where each table is, and a simple list of your guest names.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with this, it does a job, but if you are looking to wow your guests then having something that really captures their imagination, matches the beautiful invites they were talking about from the start, then it will be important to get this right.
Similarly you will be looking for table cards that match up to this exactly, to allow everything to flow.

I am not telling you that you absolutely must have all this stuff, but if these things are important to you, then you should definitely consider your options carefully!

 

pastel pink,rhinestone,sparkle

Captivate daytime stationery in Pastel Pink

 

And once you have gone to all the trouble of setting out your guest names carefully it will make sense to provide them each with a personalised place card to guide the way. You can add so much detail to these if you really want to, there will be much more to follow on this subject in the coming weeks so be sure to bookmark the pages and pop back soon.

You can add to this your Orders of Service for the church, Signage for the venue, Menu cards, personalisation of small token goody bags to keep the younger guests amused, guest books and matching post boxes too. Its all possible and you can have it all to match if that is what your heart desires.

 

Personalised goody bags for the younger guests.

Obviously this depends on your budget but

the more items you buy from one place the more of a harmonious feel it will have on the day

(there’s nothing worse than several different shades of lilac when you asked for Cadbury purple!)

Luxury Framed Seating Plans

 

I have barely touched on what all the options are with these items but that’s why I have decided on a series of blog posts which will all follow on from this one in the coming weeks, to expand a bit more on what exactly you can use each of the different items for and to hopefully help you figure out if you actually need them! Of course you are always more than welcome to drop me a line if you need to discuss it in a bit more detail, I am here to help so if you really can’t wait then get in touch.

 

I will be back next week  to give you a bit more food for thought, talking of which its a bit chilly here so I’m off to make something heart-warming for dinner. Mmmm yummy!

Toodle pip xx

 

Just in case you didn’t get it the first time.. here’s that checklist again!

How long is a piece of string Jacqui?

How long is a piece of string Jacqui?

A question I am always asked, but can never give a straight answer to.

Of course, I am not talking about string here.
I had a fan-tabulous day on Sunday at the very first wedding fayre of 2017, and my goodness, what a busy day it was!!! I have never seen so many couples so keen to find inspiration and answers to the things they need to know most.
What is the question I am asked the most at a wedding fayre?
It sounds so simple – how long does it take to make my invitations?
I honestly can not give a straightforward answer to this, do you know why?
There are sooo many factors involved, and it isn’t just about how long it takes to physically make the invitations, either (which is ALL done by me by the way).

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I dedicate time to each of my couples when they book me

Every single one of my couples has a space allocated in my diary to allow enough time and care to be taken over their designs and orders.
One reason I cannot give a clear answer is because I need to know firstly when you will be looking to send your invites. Have a look at this post
here to find out just how important your invites are!
There are 2 very important reasons why I need to know this: the 1st one is because as my diary books up there is not always much time to play with – and with summer being a popular time for couples getting married many want to send them around the same time! The 2nd one is because the couples who are already booked in will always take priority as they have been waiting patiently, perhaps for months sometimes for a year or more to see their beautiful invitations brought to life and as such are first in line, so to speak.

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But isn’t it just printing & sticking pretty stuff on a card?

 I’m tempted at this point to say ‘I wish’ but that would honestly not be the truth. I LOVE creating such miniature works of art when I get to work making invitations and other items of stationery. Even then, that is not ‘all’ that is involved. There is the time taken with couples to make sure that what they are requesting is exactly right for their big day. The time afterwards to prepare a quote and keep in contact with them about the creation of their invite sample. Not forgetting all of the other administrative work and preparation of the proofs for every single stage of the booking, this can take a couple of hours on its own sometimes. So it really is a labour of love.

Are you looking for a creation like no other, with intricate detail in the design?

I hope it goes without saying (but I will say it anyway) these designs are not quickly thrown together – so the style of design can greatly affect the amount of time needed to create it. With some of my designs less is definitely more, but with the finer handcrafted creations I have to clear my diary so I can fully focus on getting them exactly right – down to measuring each and every piece of ribbon used in the design!

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I don’t work forwards from now, I work backwards!

By chatting to you in depth about your big day and getting a better idea when you need your invites ready to send, we can work out from that how long we have and where there is space in the diary to fit you in!

Don’t let this put you off asking!

I would hope that after reading this you have a clearer idea why sometimes there isn’t a straight answer to this question. There is absolutely nothing stopping you from asking me and I will give you an approximate idea based on the information discussed above, I am very approachable (I don’t bite!) and always happy to answer questions if you have any.
I would love you to ask any questions at the bottom of this post and see how we can work together on your special day.
Must go, sticking and gluing of pretty sparklies to do!
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How is your seating plan looking?

How is your seating plan looking?

It’s May, the sun is out (and warm) at last!
I’m seeing and hearing from a lot of couples now who are ready to deal with…
***drum roll***

The Seating Plan!

Now I know there will be plenty of you who will feel very anxious about this, so I just wanted to share a few ideas to make it easier for you!

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Don’t stress!!!

First of all, I just want to say (easier to say than to do!) don’t panic about it.
The seating arrangements for your day don’t have to take on any formal set up – not if you don’t want them to.
I am often asked

‘Who is supposed to sit on the top table’?
The truth is nowadays with changing families, step parents, and far more couples who already have children getting married there is no ‘right’ way to do anything.
It’s YOUR day. So enjoy it.
If you are really struggling to work out who you reeeeally want to sit with you for your very first meal as husband and wife (the reason it is traditionally called a Wedding Breakfast’, then keep it simple. Traditionally 
The bride sits with her new husband to her left and her father to the right, with her new mum in law next to him. The mother of the bride then sits next to her new son in law, with his father next to her. You can then have other members of the bridal party if there is room, bridesmaids, or the best man and an usher but these are really down to personal preference.

A sweetheart table, with just the two of you is a lovely modern and rather romantic way to begin your lives together.

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So WHO is going to sit with WHOM?

There’s a nice easy way to plan this out.

1. Get a pad of post-it notes, and have to hand your completed guest list, after receiving all RSVPs.

2. Using a large sheet of paper/roll of lining paper or something equally large, sketch out roughly how many tables you can fit in your reception venue, or how many the wedding coordinator has advised you will need for your numbers (This varies from venue to venue but is usually a minimum of 8 guests per table and an absolute maximum of 12, depending on the size of the room!)

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Get writing!

3. Using each post-it, one per guest write out their names and start to place them on the tables you think they are likely to be sitting on, with the people you would like to sit them next to.

4. As you change your mind or it becomes apparent there are too many on one table, you can simply chop and change the notes around to work with what you feel will be the most comfortable on your big day. Remember that it is your day and if you would feel unhappy to have 85 year old Auntie Ethel sat next to your work friends, then move her.

The beauty of this is you can switch and swap to your hearts content without re writing or getting frustrated with your slow computer or whatever method may otherwise drive you up the wall!

Take your time with this! It is the one part of planning the day that could make or break the atmosphere, and you won’t feel relaxed if you are fretting that your distant relatives aren’t mixing with any of the other guests – nothing wrong with mixing things up a bit

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Remember…..

There’s no right or wrong here. It is a good thing to get so that it ‘feels’ right, but don’t make it something to cause you upset or anxiety, it isn’t really that big a deal. As long as you are together with the people you love on your special day and you have your new husband or wife by your side, what else is there?I hope you have found this helpful, would love to read your comments below if you would like to share them!

Many thanks, and happy planning!

Jacqui xx

Choosing your Wedding Invitation style.

Choosing your Wedding Invitation style.

Postcard or Pocketfold?
How do you choose which style of invite to send?

Here’s a helpful and easy to understand guide.
When choosing the stationery for your special day, there can be so many styles of invite to consider, and that’s just for a start.
If you have already chosen a wedding stationer you will hopefully have some idea that they are going to bring together everything you want your stationery to be. You may only have an idea of the colour scheme but not yet have decided on anything else.
Brides I meet at wedding fayres are often torn in 2 directions – those who want everything to co-ordinate from the very beginning, to really wow their guests from the very start with choices of colours and style, then those who don’t want to give anything away and surprise their guests on the big day.
I can help with whichever approach you prefer.
It’s very important to me that its you who makes the decisions about what will work best, with expertise and guidance from me. When I spend time with couples or brides and their mums, whoever it may be, I like to make sure they are happy with their choice, however long it takes. Although, if you are still not sure what style you are going to need, that may not help!

Here is a simple guide to help you work out what you need.

Adorn Pocketfold

The Pocketfold Invitation:
A stylish way to send all the information required, usually incorporating a couple of extra inserts for additional information with the invitation section being the focus of it. These can open down the side, like a card or a book if you like, usually with a flap which has been decorated in some way, or across the centre so the invitation flap drops downwards when opened. Often tied or finished with ribbon, jute or whatever works with your theme these are a popular way to wow your guests.

Colours can be easily incorporated into these, whether you have one extra colour or more and there are many ways to do this, using layers of card or lace,ribbon, crystals or embellishments. These are the most popular way to send something which also feels so substantial to the recipient, like receiving a small package which just adds to the excitement about your big day.

The Chequebook Invitation:
A simpler way to include any extra information, in a format familiar to many laid out like a traditional chequebook (remember those?) with pages which can be perforated for easy removal if they need to be returned.
Your design choice can be easily introduced to this style of design, some are tied with ribbon, lace or other medium, some are glued down the left hand edge or fold, and usually there will be a decoration and appropriate wording on the front, maybe printed or on a decorative panel or using an image or embellishment.
We are finding these more popular as a modern alternative to the pocketfold as extra pages are very easy to add.
The Wallet Invitation:
These are similar in style to the pocketfold but the main difference is they don’t open out. Styled more like a ‘pop in’ wallet, the wording insert can be easily pulled out, sometimes with ribbon attached for ease, and additional inserts are then found inside. We usually find brides like these if they don’t want too much fuss but the traditional style of invitation doesn’t offer enough space.
The Swing style invitation:
Although we don’t currently have this in our portfolio our invites could be easily adapted to send information out to your guests in another simple way. Layers of printed card have a hole punched through – sometimes in one corner, sometimes at the top, with the invite on the top and other information layered behind, then tied with ribbon, lace or whatever is your preference.
These are a fun alternative to the chequebook format and would be priced in a similar way.
The Card style Invitation:
These come in all shapes and sizes, and may incorporate a wealth of colours and themes. Whether you prefer square, long or the classic rectangular shape (typically A6 or 7×5 inches) you invitations can be decorated exactly to suit your colour choices and ideas.
If you don’t have too much information to send your guests or time is of the essence this may be the best choice for you.
We are still finding many brides opt for these, sometimes its because they just want to ‘get the job done’ and sometimes they would prefer to let their guests choose their own way of responding to the invitation – some often just include an email address or a contact number to keep things simple. We have many ways to bring your colour scheme into the designs we offer and are very adaptable when it comes to altering the designs in our portfolio, as well as offering bespoke work for a small additional charge.
The Flat ‘postcard’ style Invitation.
We find this works best as an additional option for evening invitations when you need to save a few pennies in your budget.
Simple styles using flat sheets of card either printed on or decorated on one side as preferred with additional information on the reverse,  these are a great way to get the message across to your guests and saving some of your budget for whatever you need.
All our designs offer this as an option and we are finding it increasingly popular.
Prices range from £1.75 to £3.25 to include the flat card invite plus printing on the reverse with an envelope for sending and can bring in your colours and themes exactly the same as with your daytime stationery.
A few things you may not have yet considered regarding your invites which can make a big difference:To send Save the Date or not to Save the Date???
Here’s a question we are often asked. Nowadays we are finding more and more couples planning further into the future. I always advise that you don’t have to send them to every single one of your guests, of course that is up to you but if there are special guests that your wedding day would feel wrong without, make sure to send to those at very least.
If you are planning 9 months or more into the future this can be a good idea and doesn’t have to be too costly if you go for something like our Postcard option which start from £1.25 each. It also buys you a little time while you iron out the finer details! You may have booked the church or venue but not even have thought about colours and don’t want that to delay the sending of invites etc, this way you know they are aware you are planning a wedding and will keep the date free, especially if you get married in the peak summer months and they might likely book a holiday otherwise.
When do you need to send your invitations?
This can be a tricky one. First of all, find out when your venue need confirmation of the numbers for catering. If you are sending personalised menu choices you need to allow extra time to get all these back to the venue and this may be required as much as 2 months in advance. That means if you send them the usually suggested 12 weeks before there isn’t much breathing space! Alternatively you may have bought a package which allows you 80 guests and therefore you know you will have 80 guests so don’t need to allow as much time.
I usually advise 4-6 months before to take all of this into consideration, usually easier if you have sent Save the Dates first but also remember to factor in peak times like sending around Christmas allow for Christmas post, or bank holiday weekends, or getting married or requesting the RSVPs returned in the summer months.

Have you allowed for spare invitations?
Always remember that approximately  80% of any guest list is likely to be able to attend, whether it be a party or a wedding or any other event. If you factor that in when working out how many invites you need, then request a handful of blank invites if you are having names printed, or add a few extra to your order if not, this could save some stress in the long run,
especially if your wedding stationer is very busy.

Are you going to be sending many through the post?
The style of your invite could be costly to send if it is more than 5mm thick or weighs more than 100 grams. Also remember that any embellishments need to be protected in some way if sending through the post.
We offer a ‘Sparkle Guardian’ for 20p each which is a simple printed card sheet with a little message to say it is protecting the invitation in transit – therefore when the guests open them they are not greeted with a mangled envelope and a damaged invitation!

Do you want to pay more for matching RSVP cards?
Many couples now choose not to especially when having the pocketfold or chequebook style but it can be a nice touch. Check the prices for these and work out if it’s within your budget.

Does your stationer charge for printing your guest names?
This can make a big difference to the feel of your invitation. A more professional finish would be to have the names printed, and many couples opt for this but there is another therory that it de-personalises the invitation. It is of course a personal choice but if you are at all worried about making a mistake when writing these out (especially if they have been expensive) then I would advise to have them printed.
We prefer these to be emailed in a document rather than handwritten and will always send a proof for checking to cover any errors and email when printing has begun – changes after this point become chargeable.

I do not charge to print your guest names in your invitations

Here’s a little list of things to help you work out which of the above is more suitable for you.

1. Do you need a detailed RSVP from your guests? For example, to incorporate meal choices?

2. Are you planning to send a gift list?

3. Do you need specific meal choices for each guest? Some venues offer this option, it can complicate things but is a lovely way to really personalise your wedding breakfast.

4. Would you prefer to leave something to your guests imagination?

5. How many invites are you sending? Budget can often influence what style of invite you send.

6. What sort of timescale are you working with? If you need to send them as soon as possible this can influence what your wedding stationer can fit in due to other wedding bookings.

7. What kind of invite is more ‘you’? Less is more? Or the bigger the better?

8. Do you need to give them a lot of information about getting from the wedding venue to the reception?

9. Are you providing transport and need to advise your guests of this? For example a double decker bus or minibus?

10. Are you a ‘no frills’ kind of couple? Would you rather just send your invite and let your guests come to you if they have any questions?

When it comes down to it, you may just see something, fall in love with it and ‘have to have it’.
Even if it is outside of your budget or goes against everything you thought your invitations would represent, if the design is right for you, you will know.
I find now that many of my couples like the design before worrying about the price tag, and are happy with the price quoted anyway.

Whatever the case with your wedding invitations, I hope your journey is an enjoyable one and that we are able to help you with it even if only in some small way.

Thank you for spending a little time and happy reading!

~X~ Jacqui ~X~

Keep Calm! Its ‘only’ a Wedding! 20 tips to keep your inner Bridezilla (or Groomzilla) at bay!

So you’ve booked your venue and started thinking about all the things that are going to make your day special. In fact you can’t stop thinking about it and don’t seem to be able to hold a conversation without slipping it in there somewhere!
You are not alone!
Here is a fun, light hearted look at some of the ‘wedding things’ that can turn the calmest nearlywed into a fire breathing Bridezilla!
(Genuinely not intended to be patronising, with years of experience in the wedding industry we do understand this is a very real problem…..)

1. Make a plan and try to stick to it. You’re probably buzzing with ideas and you may feel like your head will explode if you don’t get them all out asap but don’t let it stress you out.

2. Make quality time for you and your fiance together – without talking about the wedding! Try if you can to set aside one evening a week or arrange a ‘date night’ where the ‘W’ word is banned.
After all, a wedding is one day your marriage will be for life.

3. Don’t become a bridal bore, especially when out for an evening. People are likely to ask ‘how is the wedding planning coming along’ and genuinely want to know, but try and limit your answer to maybe ten minutes. They may well have other interesting things happening in their lives too, so make time to show an interest.

4. Details, darling! There are going to be lots of finer details that will make all the difference to you on your big day – but don’t sweat the small stuff! Remember that even though you know how you pictured your special day, others won’t know about those little tiny pieces of the jigsaw which may or may not go to plan. The important thing is to remember how you feel about marrying your sweetheart – not what shade of pink your table sprinkles are.

5.    Girly time! Make a night to spend with your friends and enjoy being ‘you’. If Bridezilla shows up at your BFF’s house you could lose out on a quality friend (at least for the time being). A good friend is for life not just to hold the train on your dress.

6.    *Relax* and be HAPPY! This is the most exciting thing you can plan for and you need to enjoy the journey. The best piece of advice I was given before my big day 11 years ago was make time to pamper yourself before the big day. I had this idea that I would be far too busy to find time for that so I made time. Those last couple of days were undoubtedly easier for having had a nice de stressing massage in the run up to the big day itself.

7.    Get people involved if they ask! A problem shared and all that. A girly get together to ask your friends for a little help with the planning might be appreciated. As bad as a bridal bore is a bride whose friends feel they are no longer important enough to be asked. Speak with them honestly about whether they want to be involved – but try not to be offended if they say no!

8.    Review your plan if necessary. If in the first few months you feel you’re not getting anywhere, then prioritise. Is deciding on what flowers to have in your centre piece more important than the colour scheme? I would say not. You don’t have to know everything about your big day over a year before. Some of these details could easily change with current trends and you might even change or get bored of your colour scheme along the way. If all’s going to plan –great! Pat yourself on the back and relax for a bit!

9.    Stop worrying! There is quite simply no point in panicking about things that ‘might’ go wrong. Worrying will do you no good and can only take away from any enjoyment you may find in today.  A healthy bride is a happy bride!

10.    Decide on a 2nd in command. Choose one person you can trust implicitly to deal with anything you either can’t or don’t have the time to deal with. Explain to them from the start that its not for the faint hearted but that you do trust them enough to be your first choice – and that you would do the same for them.

11.    Show your appreciation! When friends or family (maybe members of the bridal party) go out of their way spending their own free time trying to find you the perfect killer heels or sweetheart necklines, be gracious enough to say thank you. Don’t just assume that an invitation to be your maid of honour is thanks enough.

12.    Shop and spend wisely. If you’re going to be planning your wedding for the next 2 years, don’t buy the entire contents of your local craft or homeware shop on day one. So many times I have seen brides trying to sell different styles of centrepiece because the fancy took them when they got up one Sunday morning. You’re not looking to open up a shop afterwards! If it’s a special or limited offer ‘must go today’ that can sound great but just remember – those silk chrysanthemums might look nice on your dining table but do you really want them at your wedding, on the most special day of your life?

13.    Don’t torture yourself! You booked your photographer, onyly to find they had a special offer on 3 months later. Or that your friend’s Brother’s Auntie paid less for them last year. It is a pity but it really won’t ruin your big day – you picked them for a reason. Know that they will do the job you have paid them for and ultimately you chose them, so you have got the supplier you wanted.

14.    Choose your suppliers carefully, pick ones you can trust. Cheap work isn’t always good, and good work isn’t cheap! If you take your time and choose/use quality wedding suppliers (by recommendation is a good way) build a working relationship with them. They have earned their reputation by looking after their brides, not just by fulfilling an order/request. Your wedding is equally important to them. If you can trust them to produce your wedding favours to the standard you want, to shoot the photos you asked for, to make the eye-catching, mouth-watering cake you saw in a magazine, then there’s a whole lot less for you to worry about. Have faith in them.

15.    Don’t forget they have other brides too. Be courteous to keep them on side. That late night amendment to the wording on your invites is super important to you, but emailing it at 10pm, then texting at 7am and ringing at 9am on the dot to check it has been received is probably pushing the boundaries a little. If you have trust in them from the start all will be well. Daily emails hounding for more and more updates may be a little extreme. Be aware of the seasonal shifts when trying to contact them. An unanswered phone call mid August to a photographer for example doesn’t mean they have gone out of business, but they may simply be at another wedding! June to September can be incredibly busy for many wedding suppliers often working between 10 and 14 hour days – that was probably one of the reasons you chose them, because they are busy! Please just bear that in mind when you’re about to post a rant on their facebook page.

16.    Just breathe! If for whatever reason your planning does go belly up, remember the 7-11 technique. Maybe your venue has double booked you, or changed hands and raised the cost of your wedding package (this happened to a handful of my brides this year). Whatever the case, it will all be okay in the end – as they say, everything happens for a reason. Stop thinking for a moment, breathe in through your nose to the count of 7, and out for the count of 11. This decreases carbon dioxide levels in the blood (while also giving you something else to focus on), reducing anxiety and panic attack type feelings.

17.    Contain your ideas. Either get yourself a pretty box file or a small treasure chest type box – even just a plain cardboard box if finances are an issue. Use it both as storage and as a symbolic tool for your mind. When you are planning you can rummage through everything in there to get your ideas together, when you feel like you’ve had enough, literally just put everything back in the box and close the lid. When the box is closed, you don’t need to be thinking about whats in it, giving you a little bit of space and a clearer, calmer mind.

18.    I love the quote ‘Never let the sun set on an argument’. In the same way, make a pact with your fiancé not to discuss the wedding as the very last or very first topic of the day – even if you’re thinking about it!

19.    If things go wrong (as they sometimes can) with any of your suppliers, your venue, or any of your plans, or if they make a mistake, don’t pick up the phone to a friend or rant it out on social media – make a point to resolve it first. Contact the involved party and try to find a solution – they should be keen to do this anyway. The more you think or talk about the problem the bigger it will become and if you haven’t first tried to find a way around it then it can never be fixed. If they don’t know you have a problem they can’t help.

20.    Lastly, if planning your wedding seems to have taken over your life, find yourself a new hobby, go for long walks with your fiancé or join the gym together. Focus on something you can continue to do when the sun has set on your wedding day, you return from your honeymoon and seem to have a whole lot of time to spare! It could save the potential anti-climax from all those months of planning.

And last of all – Good luck from me! 🙂

X Jacqui X