Your invitation wording

Your invitation wording

When you first start planning your wedding invites, you probably don’t think straight away about the wording that will go inside it.

But with years of experience I do know that it is so important to get this right.

So I wanted to spend some time today talking you through the ins and outs of wording your wedding invites. There is a lot to think about, so grab yourself a cuppa, get comfy and take notes if necessary.

There are a few things to consider here.

First of all, who goes first?

This is a 2 parter.

The first thing I want you to think about is how do people know you as a couple? Are your names shortened? Are you Bruce & Jacqui (using mine and my boyfriend’s name as an example here), Jacqueline & Bruce? Or something else?

Much of the time, couples are talked about in a certain way, it’s a funny little thing and can depend on which family or friends group it comes from but when you send your invites, the names on the front of your exquisitely crafted pocketfold will be the first thing they see. So you want them to recognise it instantly, the excitement for your big day often begins right here. You may have initials, so remember to put them the right way round.

The second part of this is what happens inside the invitation.

The same rules may not necessarily apply here. Traditionally, the bride’s parents paid for the wedding, so their names would go at the beginning, with the bride’s full name minus her family or surname going first, followed by her fiance’s full name. Both would include any middle names that may not ordinarily be used (this usually raises an eyebrow or two).

Like this:

Mr & Mrs Tom & Sarah Chamberlain
Request the honour of the presence of

……………………………………………………………………………………..

At the marriage of their daughter

Helen Marie
to
Phillip Peter Carrington

Or you might choose to begin with something a little more inclusive for both families, such as:

‘Together with their parents
Helen Marie Chamberlain & Phillip Peter Carrington
Would like to invite……’

When I sit down with my couples at a consultation we talk about everything to do with their invites and they are given various wording choices from the more traditional (see above) to something like this more modern one:

Helen Marie Chamberlain & Phillip Peter Carrington
would be delighted if
……………………………………………………………………….
would join them to celebrate their marriage at…

There are some lovely verses that can be used, more light-hearted fun ones and I do need to say it is really important that what you choose reflects your personalities. You want both of ‘you’ to shine through, so your recipients know absolutely that your special day will totally have your stamp on it.


If you are getting married for the first time, you want it to be the biggest statement you can ever make. Or perhaps it is your second time around, and this time you are doing your day, your way, rather than following the more traditional rules you did when you got married before. It isn’t something you are going to want to rush, so take your time to get this right. For more inspiration, check out my brochure with wording ideas here.

Details, darling.

Hopefully it goes without saying that there are several important details that must be included on your wedding invite wording.


A/ Names – both of your names, and your parents if you are going for the more traditional option.
B/ Wedding Date – remember to put what day of the week it is.
C/ Wedding Time – can be formatted however you wish – 13.00 or 1pm? The choice is yours. If you are being a little more formal the 24 hour clock works well.
D/ Wedding Venue (and reception, especially if they are different).
E/ Wedding Breakfast– try and remember to include if a wedding breakfast follows – there’s nothing worse as a guest than not knowing what to expect. I had one couple who had to make a last minute alteration to their invites because it said the wedding was at 1pm and was followed by an Evening reception. That’s all very lovely but what happens in between? Where are they supposed to go, will they get a drink? Try not to have too much text but remember the vitally important information.

My couples often choose something like:


‘Drinks and Wedding Breakfast to follow’
Or
Followed by a Wedding Breakfast and Evening Reception at….

Guest names.


You may have spent some time drafting your guest list, this is usually the case, it might have been painful and you are relieved you now have your short list.

So when it comes to wording your invites, be clear on who – specifically – is invited, if sending to a household.

You don’t have to have guest names printed (although with my invites, guest names are printed as standard, with no additional charge) but if you opted for the sort of wording that’s a bit more relaxed, for example something like this:

Helen Marie Chamberlain
&
Philip Peter Carrington
Request the pleasure of your company at the celebration of their marriage

Stop for a minute and think, who is ‘your company’ referring to?

***real life story-time***

I always use the example of an invite I received a couple of years ago for a family wedding. Now you would think working in this industry and especially in the job I do, that it would have been automatically understood but on this occasion I was a little embarrassed.

An invitation, with the envelope addressed to me arrived. It was for a wedding celebration after an overseas ceremony. Excitedly I began making plans for myself and my boys (I was a single mum at the time) to travel down south and find somewhere to stay so we could party the night away with the family.

My boys don’t actually enjoy parties that much as it happens, but I chatted to my mum and then it was mentioned in passing that ‘oh, there are no kids invited, their names weren’t on it were they?’. Well, no, but because there wasn’t anything to tell me that it was adults only I (again, how did I manage this in my job!) assumed it was for ‘us’.

Not a problem, a weekend letting my hair down was actually just what I needed so my plans changed a little and we all had a great time, no children required. (as you can see from the following pic!)

So you can see that it’s actually vitally important you either specify names, or make allowances for the fact that some may bring their children, some may not.
In either case, it’s important to be clear, especially if you are sending to a household that maybe has older children living there, there are all kinds of scenarios for that these days.

If you are specifically stating there will be no children, here are a couple of simple one-liners you can use:

‘Due to restrictions in numbers, children are not included on the invite
unless named’

‘Children are not invited to the whole day’

‘I am afraid it is a no kiddies event so please let your hair down, relax and celebrate by having a drink or 2, or 3…’

Evening reception.

It can be helpful to your guests to mention on your wedding invitation is what time the evening ‘do’ is likely to start.
This will help your guests but can also take up valuable space if you are struggling, in which case include it on the gift information or elsewhere within the invitation. And remember, when calculating how many invites you need, you only need evening invites for those not already invited to the day – see my 10 top tips here for more advice on that subject.

I realise there is a lot to consider here, and this is a much longer article than I had originally intended because there is so much to say – I haven’t even got started on other information to be included so I will do additional posts on those, to give you time to think about how you can make your wording work best for your special day.


I am always happy to help if you are trying to include something and don’t know how. Drop me a line if you have a quick query, or to find out more about my tea-room consultations where we can get all of this sorted for your big day.

I have also written some of the gift poems in my brochure so have a look for ideas there too – I am sure we can find something that will work perfectly for you. For now, I have LOTS of sparkles to be working on so I will scoot. Much love,

What is a Pocketfold?

What is a Pocketfold?

I know you have probably been looking around for a while at the various options for inviting your guests to the wedding.

It can be a bit overwhelming when you see so many different ideas, how would it all work with what you NEED for your wedding though?

You really just need to know what you are looking at will be suitable, don’t you?

Let’s take a look at Pocketfolds, for a minute.

Adorn Pocketfold
  • They are kind of like a ‘folder’, of the most beautiful sort, with a pocket to keep all your additional information safe.
  • They will often have a beautifully decorated ‘flap’ or enclosure of some kind, which is even more exciting because you can’t even guess what it might look like inside.
  • There are lots of different layouts and ways to present the first peek of your special day, and when guests receive them, they are certain to be thinking a lot more about your wedding.

Rather than ‘just’ a card (there is nothing wrong with sending these, if they are well made!) the additional info cards can then be kept to one side when the gorgeous keepsake has been tidied away (which will happen eventually, I’m sorry to say). The pocket is perfect to store the info cards, which might have the following information on them:

  • An RSVP card
  • A Gift List
  • Menu card/Response to Menu requests
  • Venue Booking information
  • Directions (I am finding this one less and less nowadays, with just a postcode being enough for most people – although if the reception is held somewhere other than the wedding venue, it can come in useful)
  • Additional information about Music choices for the reception, transport options, flight details if getting married overseas.

Looking at that list you might now be thinking Whaaaat? How many inserts? But you won’t need all of them, you might not even want to have a gift list (I often find this with my couples, but once the lovely poems available to choose from are read at an appointment this can change too) and I always say to my couples there is no MUST include. And I always suggest printing on both sides, which can help save unnecessary inserts and postage costs – it all adds up!

Your choices for all of these are going to be quite personal to you, depending on what you have for your wedding.

Just in case you haven’t done it yet… now would be the perfect opportunity to grab yourself a FREE wedding stationery checklist, it will help you figure out what you actually need! And don’t forget I am only an email away if you have any questions at all…

The thing about Pocketfold style invitations is they are such a nice neat way to send all the information, and your guests will undoubtedly feel like you really want them there, having gone to all the trouble of having invitations like these made specially.

When you get one of these sent to you it really does feel very special – I received one myself, for a friend’s wedding a few years ago – I had actually made it as well so that was a bit surreal but there you go. It really was a lovely thing to get from the postie instead of a bill!
I’m perhaps a little bit biased as pocketfolds tend to be the style of invite I make the most. But I think that says a lot about how popular they are.

Stunning Pocketfold wedding invitations
A gorgeous selection of pocketfold invitations available from Fuchsia Fairy.

They are beautiful, practical and perfectly neat all at once. They can be personalised, to match in with your colour scheme and any themes you might have too – What a great way to announce to your friends and loved ones that you are tying the knot and you would love them to be there!

I hope you find this helpful. If you are still puzzling over your invites why not check out this post about how to prioritise your invites and stationery….. and of course, there is plenty more to come!

TTFN, Jacqui x

A-Z of Wedding Stationery

A-Z of Wedding Stationery

It’s amazing how many things I thought of once I started writing this list, which is by no means an exhaustive list – and there will be many things I could add to it – but for today here is an A-Z of wedding stationery to help you with your planning.

A
Activity Packs: Treat younger guests to a beautifully coordinated activity pack on the day to keep them occupied during speeches and give mum & dad a break!

B
Bespoke: If looking for something a bit more unique, be sure to find a designer by recommendation who specialises in this sort of work, it can be very time consuming and not all stationers will be able to create all different types of design.

Catering: Do your invites need to include the option for menu choices? Be sure to allow enough time for this when stating the RSVP date. Find out if your stationer can accommodate printing these on your daytime stationery too. And remember you need to have a menu tasting before confirming the meal choices, it all takes extra time.

D
DJ: Does your DJ have the option for guests to choose songs for the evening reception? Be sure to include this info on your RSVP cards.

Embellishments: Are your invites heavily embellished? Remember to allow for this when posting them out, it will cost you more than a standard stamp, are they protected enough in the post? Nothing worse than arriving in a flimsy or damaged envelope.


Favours: It can finish your table settings beautifully to have your beautiful decorated favour boxes to match the rest of your stationery. It’s all in the detail!

GGuest Book: You don’t have to have a traditional ‘book’ for your guests to leave you messages, there are lots of ways you can get your guests signing, maybe a large signing board with a photo, signing snapshots from the photo booth, a wishing tree. Be creative.


Honeymoon: Struggling for ideas when guests ask what to buy you? Why not use a fun rhyme to ask for donations towards your honeymoon? See here for more ideas.


Inviting: Your invites truly set the scene for your special day so make it count. Invite your guests in a way they will remember forever. Get them excited about your big day from the beginning.

J June: It used to be one of the most popular months to get married but anything goes these days. If you are getting married in a popular month, such as summer holiday season be sure to book your suppliers far enough in advance, and prepare to wait a little longer for them to get back to you during these busy periods too.

K Keepsakes: It’s lovely to have something from your stationery you can remember after the big day, order yourselves a spare invitation or Order of Service to add to your memory box.


Lettering: It’s all the rage, have your stationery carefully hand written or signage for the venue carefully hand drawn by a reputable supplier.

M
Marriage: Whatever you do, don’t forget what this day is all about. It’s about the 2 of you, together forever, sometimes that can get a little bit lost in the planning!

Name change: Remember when giving your stationer your seating plan details that the tiny detail of your new married name (if relevant) needs to be taken into account! It amazes me how many couples forget about this when preparing their seating plans.

O Order of Service: Not essential but particularly helpful if you are having a church wedding, check with your church if they have a template you can use if having them specially made, equally useful to note if having a ceremony at the venue, a framed Order of the day to match your seating plan can give your guests a little guidance to what happens when, and looks beautiful too.


Planning: Ask your stationer if they have any way of helping you keep everything organised? I send out a free spreadsheet to contain all the info you might need in relation to your guest list and responses.


Quotes: Find some lovely quotes that are relevant to both of you to use on your table stationery, it looks so lovely and makes it all the more romantic (or funny if that is more your style). It really adds both your personalities to the proceedings.

R
RSVPs: If you are having these sent back to you by post, do you need to provide your own envelopes or are they included in the cost of your invites? Something for you to consider. Allow plenty of time for the RSVP date to overlap/you to alter your guest list if needed.

S 
Seating Plan:Don’t waste hours figuring this out from the beginning of your wedding planning journey. Your time is valuable, wait until the RSVPs have been returned and you have a better idea who is actually attending, it could save you a lot of stress.

Tradition: The age-old tradition of invites being addressed from the bride’s parents is long gone. Some couples still do this, but it stemmed from the parents being the ones who paid for everything, and these days that often is not the case. Make sure your wording in your invites reflects both your personalities and feels right for you both. There are many options out there. Here are examples of the wording used my some of my lovely couples.

Underestimating: Don’t be fooled into thinking that needing to send invites 4 months before means you only need to sort them a couple of weeks before that, this is often not the case and disappointment can cause additional delays and stress. Allow more time for this than you may think you need, a good stationer will advise on realistic timescales and not offer empty promises.

V   Value for money: Good work ain’t cheap, cheap work ain’t good! Be sure to check what you are getting for your money before booking to get something made that looks too good to be true, and make sure you have seen the work first hand as well. (a good clue is don’t opt for anyone who spells it stationary…)

W
Wedding Party: Have your VIPs, eg parents, bridesmaids and best man all been included on the invite list?

X Xtras: Have you considered everything you need in the costs quoted for your stationery? Guest names or other additional printing, spare invites, personalised menus, addressed envelopes, delivery to your home address or the venue on the big day if relevant? Be clear what is included and what is additional to your quote.

Y
Yonks: Be a little wary of any supplier who seems to take an age to get back to you, yes they may be busy but you deserve to be made to feel as though you and your big day are important to them.

Z  
Zilla: Keep calm, count to ten and don’t unleash Bridezilla (more tips about that here) if anything doesn’t go to plan. Always keep in contact with a supplier if you have any doubts, they will be happy to reassure you if they are worth their salt.

Do you need Save the Dates?

Do you need Save the Dates?

I’ve met with so many couples over the years, so many are puzzled by what a Save the Date is, what’s the point of them and do they actually need to send them?

Save the dates have been around for quite some time now so I thought I would take a moment to explain what they can be useful for, as it may help you decide if you need to bother with them at all!

Innocence collection,white embossed, save the date, sparkles, butterflies, beautiful luxury stationery

A ‘Save the Date’ card, whether it be a postcard, a fridge magnet, a cute little calendar style design with the date marked on it for future reference, or any of the myriad of ideas available out there, are simply designed to inform your guests to keep the date free.

It can save you a lot of time and trouble if you just started planning your wedding and have no other information to hand but definitely want VIPs and any other guests to ‘Save the Date’.

You might be planning to get married in 2 or more years from now (I have met couples planning for as long as 4 years) or perhaps even less but you know you absolutely must have those guests coming to your special day. There is no way they would want to miss out and the first they hear of your date is a lovely keepsake reminding them of it, whether that be so they can book the day off work, book a flight somewhere hot, or just make sure they don’t make any other plans.

I would never tell any of my couples they absolutely must send Save the Dates because I feel it’s a very personal thing, there are times it can be very useful to have already sent them though, for example:


You are getting married on a weekday in the middle of June. It’s possible that some of your oldest friends will be booking their holidays soon and you can’t get married without them there.


It’s an overseas wedding, they will need to book flights and make reservations but the details of the wedding day haven’t yet been finalised.
It’s in 18 months and there’s still so much you haven’t decided about, but you know you need them to see you get married.


You will need to send out menu choices with your invitations, but haven’t got a tasting booked in at the moment and it might delay the final wording, at least this way they will know when to book their babysitters for.

Any of these would be the perfect example for a good reason to send a save the date.


What I wouldn’t do is spend any of your budget on save the dates if you are already halfway to having your invites printed, even if you don’t get married for a year. You could just send your invites a little earlier than planned and save the extra money for something else.

If you are: getting married in less than 12 months, getting married out of ‘peak’ holiday season (May – September) or have already told many of your guests when the big day is happening, you could quite honestly save yourself some money and not worry about sending Save the Dates.

It might be that you are only thinking about sending them because you feel like it is expected – don’t worry about that, it is your day and you can do things in whatever way feels right for you.

Every time I talk to my couples I make sure they know that there are no right or wrong answers to the ‘hows’ and ‘whens’ but by getting our heads together and talking about your wedding we can figure out whether these things are needed at all. I will gladly buy you a cuppa while we go over all the details so if that is something that you feel would help you, get in touch here and let’s get something in the diary.

It would be my pleasure to help you. Jacqui x

10 top tips when planning your wedding stationery

10 top tips when planning your wedding stationery

I have been asked these questions so many times over the years, so here is a quick guide to 10 things you really should think about once your venue is booked, before you seek out a supplier or confirm your wedding stationery booking. Some of them may be questions specific to your supplier, in which case don’t forget to ask them before you go ahead and book!

1. When?

You will be asked this question a lot as you visit wedding fayres and make enquiries with suppliers, but it’s not just about when you get married.

For a wedding stationer, they will need to know when you want to send your invites. You may be a little hazy on this, it’s not as simple as ‘4-6 months before the wedding’, if you have a wedding in the school holidays, or mid-week for example.

Have a think about when you would feel comfortable requesting your RSVPs back by. If you can trust your guests to reply quickly, great!

But if you think it may take a while then allow extra time and work backwards from there. Often for a summer wedding I would be preparing invites to go out in January, but they might have been booked in for as much as 18 months by then, so don’t take too long to decide if you have found someone you really want to work with.

Here is another helpful blog post about just how long it can take to make up elegant, handcrafted wedding invitations like the ones available in my portfolio.

2. Invitation Styles & Colours

Do you know what kind of style of invitation you want? Have you seen a design somewhere that made you ‘ooh’?
Does it reflect anything else about your day, such as the kind of venue, any theme you want to follow, or do you just LOVE it?

There is no right answer here but they are things to consider if you really want to wow your guests with the storytelling of your big day from the beginning. It is worth considering if you will need your chosen colours to be incorporated in some way too.

There are many ways this can be done but it will depend on how your chosen supplier works.

3. Your guest list – Daytime and Evening guests

Have you started on your guest list already?

Usually you will have some idea before booking your venue, but this can often change along the way, for lots of reasons.

Remember as you begin to sketch this out that it can be helpful to have some flexibility, and be aware that not every person on your first list will necessarily be able to make it to your big day.

If you are having a separate evening ‘do’ you can always bump up any chosen guests if those ‘decline’ messages do make an appearance. This can all help with number 4 too…



4. How many?

When working out how many invites you need, to get a more tailored quote, remember one vital thing: If you have 100 guests, you don’t need 100 invites.

Usually it works out around 2/3rds of that number as a rough guide (one per household). Also, it’s worth remembering, for the evening guests, to make a separate headcount in the same way, rather than the final number of guests (you already invited the daytime guests so no need to send them anything more!)

And however much of a sales tactic this sounds like (it really isn’t), always allow a little room in your budget for spare invitations. Whether you think you will need them or not, it really is a good idea to add a few on just in case.

You can leave the name part blank and then just fill them in yourself as you go, it would be a disaster if you needed them on a quick turnaround (more often than not) after all the trouble you went to for the perfect invites, only to find out your supplier can’t fit them in due to other weddings.

5. Quality, Samples & Proofs

Make sure you are looking for a quality supplier, who uses quality materials – you should be able to request to samples of their work quite easily.

Find one who will set your mind at ease during the process. One who will provide you with a sample that helps you feel like they understand what you want, and one who always signs off the proofs to make sure everything is correct before they are printed.

6. Printing

Do you want your invites to be completely personalised, including having your guest names printed?

If its important to you, as it gives your invites the truly ‘finished’ look, put it on your list, sure to check if this is available as an option – and find out whether it costs any more money.

Talking of printing, are you looking for someone who prints everything in house, or has pre printed ‘fill the blank’ invites?

If they do the printing themselves you will find it to be a much more personalised service, it will give them the control they need over producing your invites and not having to rely on anyone else to get it right for you.

7. HOW much?

When it comes to requesting a quote for your wedding stationery, keep your budget in mind. Remember too, that the figures won’t just have been plucked out of the air, every wedding supplier spends time carefully calculating their quote based on your requirements.

Give serious consideration before responding, especially if they have already made it onto your shortlist of ‘must have’ suppliers. There are usually options to help you spread your payments too and if you are being quoted for all your stationery you may not need to pay for everything all at once anyway.

Just as with any other enquiry, receiving the quote does not guarantee availability if you haven’t paid any kind of deposit – always remember to check how long the quote is valid for as well.

8. Matching daytime and venue stationery

It’s a lovely idea to consider having the rest of your stationery on the day to coordinate with your invites, so remember to ask if this is available too. Not every design is always able to be used within a venue setting or on a seating plan so if this is important to you, think carefully.

If you are getting married in a church, you might want your Orders of Service to match the rest of your stationery, especially as this is often one element of your big day the guests might want to keep as a souvenir!

Also, just a cautionary tale from me, please wait until you have your RSVPs before you begin planning out your seating arrangements. It can be helpful to picture who will sit where when you are doing your invites, I know, but this can often feel like a waste of time when you find out family member Y won’t be coming anyway and family member Z can quite happily sit with your best mates girlfriend.
So just wait a while, if you can.

9. Delivery/Collection

If you are ordering through a website, its quite likely that your order will be posted out, but if you are meeting with the supplier in order to build up a good working relationship, it is worth asking how you will receive your invites.

Do they deliver them to you, or will you need to collect them? Also, how do the invites come? Are they ready to send out or do you need to put the additional cards together with the pocketfolds?

It may sound like a minor detail but its good to know what to expect for your money.

I often get asked if I am the one who sends out the invites to the guests too. This is a premium service not currently available but its always worth checking with your own supplier if it isn’t clear who does what.

And last but definitely not least…



10. Wow factor!

So you’ve been looking at ideas, and sourced quotes and maybe even ordered a few samples.

But which one gives you that eek, it’s real kind of feeling?

Which one can you picture sending to your guests to really wow them and get them all excited about your special day?

Is there one that does that more than the others? Or did you only have one to begin with?

The feeling is so important, because you will remember that excitement in years to come and when that happens seeing your invites as you look back on your wedding day will give you goosebumps all over again.

I hope you have found this list helpful. I am only ever at the end of an email if you have more questions you need answering. Of course you could always book a tea room appointment for a more personal touch.

While you’re here, why not pop your details on the mailing list for more helpful hints & tips, and that all-important wedding stationery checklist! Just follow the link here. TTFN, Jacqui xx

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!