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

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 i completely understand this is a very real problem…..)

1. Planning

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. If you achieve today’s or this week’s most important ‘to do’s’, give yourself a pat on the back and reward yourself with a bit of a break.

2. Time Out

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. Yawn

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. Remember there are other things going on in the world than your big day – however excited you may be.

 

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. Make time to pamper yourself before the big day. Even if you think you will be far too busy to find time for then you should probably make time as a priority. Those last couple of days are undoubtedly easier for having had a nice de stressing massage in the run up to the big day itself.

 

7. Accept help (when offered).

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 involved. Speak with them honestly about whether they want to be involved – but try not to be offended if they say no too.

 

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 – it can start to feel a little familiar as you go along. 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 happy bride is a healthy bride!

 

10. Delegate.

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, only 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. Yours isn’t the only wedding!

A little goes a long way – 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 (this happened to me once) 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. Also 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! May 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 good at what they do. 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 one 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. And so to bed.

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

 

19. Hold on a minute.

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. Last but not least

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 of course – Good luck from me!

Table Names, or Table Numbers? Here’s a list of 20 ideas…..

Table Names, or Table Numbers? Here’s a list of 20 ideas…..

 

The fun part of planning your wedding must surely be making it all about the two of you.

 

There are so many ways to put a personal ‘stamp’ on your special day and your guest tables is a fantastic place to start – after all they will be spending quite a while here after the ceremony!

Many couples just can’t decide what would ‘work’ as a name theme for their tables, and often end up taking the easy option of numbering them. But I think there are lots of fun ways to really make it your own, here are a few suggestions.

1. Names of places you have been together, that make special memories

Paris, London, New York… or town names like Nottingham, Loughborough- maybe they mean something to you. It could be a fun game for your guests to work out why they are special to you.

2. Favourite colours or shades of a colour

Lilac, Purple, Aubergine, Lavender, Orchid for example.

3. Precious gems

Diamond, Pearl, Ruby – This could also work to represent how many years you see together in the future, aim for Diamond, always!

4. Numbers, but not the traditional kind

I love the idea of a table lay out that uses numbers relative to the couple getting married and the guests can have fun working out what they mean. How many days you have been together, how many days between ‘going out’ and getting engaged, how many days you will spend on honeymoon, how many times you watched your favourite film… there are lots of fun ways to get this list together too.

5. Names of your favourite couples

They could be celebrities, or special members of your family like grandparents, great grandparents, couples in favourite films or plays.

6. Sweet treats

Name your tables after your favourite sweets. You could also incorporate this theme into your favours. Love Hearts, Dolly Mixtures, Liquorice Bootlaces.

7. Nature lover? how about favourite country walks you’ve done together

Tissington Trail, Aysgarth Falls.. or perhaps National Trust properties you like.

8. Planets in the solar system

I have done stationery going one step further incorporating constellation names!

9. Favourite films

Moulin Rouge is ours, it is so romantic and has some special memories for us too.

10. Something personal to you both

It could be quite random, what about places you have been to while dating, or maybe brands you both like to buy.

11. Cars you have owned together or between you over the years

Astra, Punto, Captur to name just a few of ours. I’m sure there are far more interesting but maybe your dream sports cars would be another idea.

12. Favourite animals

Think about what kind you like and if their pictures would look cute if used to really theme your stationery.

13. Family members

This can work for you if you want to remember lost loved ones, you could use their names for your tables. I have seen it done.

14. Pets

Names of pets you may have owned or favourite family pets.

15. Glamour

If you are going for a glamorous theme how about Hollywood Movie Stars, or perhaps styles of shoe – Stiletto, Platform, Kitten Heel

16. Sci Fi theme

naming your tables after characters in Star Trek, or favourite sci fi films. Its a great way to get your other half involved if they are struggling to get excited with the wedding plans.

17. Favourite Books – characters and/or quotes

How about Mr Darcy, Elizabeth Bennet, Georgiana Darcy…. or Bridget Jones and Daniel Cleaver!

18. Numbers

Again.. but what about in a foreign language to add romance to the theme… Un, Deux, Trois.

19. Bird watcher?

No problem, think of your favourite birds, or best places to go bird spotting.

20. Favourite chocolates

Now there’s a mouth watering theme with many favourites! My current favourite is Marvellous Creations!

 

And what a perfect ending to today’s list!

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.

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).

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.

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!

 

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!
Love,
Jacqui xx
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!

Picture

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.

Picture

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!)

Picture

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

Picture

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