Things I wish I had known 12 months ago!
One of the most frequently uttered phrases on our site from brides after their wedding day is “don’t sweat the small stuff”. Now this is wonderful advice, but when you spend hours cutting and pasting invites, sewing fabric flowers, and making tissue paper pom-pom’s it can be difficult to find perspective.
People will also tell you that it’s “your day, your way!” But when it comes to weddings, everyone is an expert! They will tell you what you “should” have and that they have never seen anyone do what you are doing. For the most part you can ignore those people, but when it comes to family there are just some things you can’t ignore! Guest lists, seating charts, who will be in your bridal party?
When all is said and done, I know my wedding day will be a success, if Craig and I are married and our guests have a good time. So I thought I would share my tips with you – and if someone invents a time machine, I will go back and tell my past self all this stuff!
- Set a realistic budget and stick to it – do some research, work out what style you both like – get some approximate costs and then work out your budget. Don’t assume the cost of anything, you might think your dream dress will only be $1,000 but what if it’s $5,000?
- Work out what’s important! You don’t have to have every element of a typical wedding as a part of your day. Craig and I knew we wanted a venue with a spit roast menu, a fantastic celebrant and a great photographer – everything else was just details.
- Make sure you factor in everything – or add an extra $1000 to your budget. The Wedding Planning Tools on our site are great. It’s a comprehensive list of everything you will possibly need. Have you thought about where you are the girls are getting ready – how will you get to the ceremony? Wedding lingerie will need to be factored in, most girls can’t wear their comfy t-shirt bra under their wedding dress! Are you getting any beauty treatments? You get the picture! Better to over budget and have spare cash for the honeymoon than be short of cash and have to sell a kidney!
- Judge your creativity objectively! DIY Invites – fun you say? I’m going to rain on your parade! DIY invites can be a great way of saving money – as long as you factor in everything. Printer ink, card paper, printing paper, glue, a cutting mat, stamps, envelopes etc. You will also need to factor in for any mistakes you make – so you will need to order an extra 5 of everything! Invites weren’t a big deal for us, and I made ours myself, in hindsight, the hours spent bent over a desk with a stanley knife in one hand and 3 fingers on my other hand super glued together don’t seem worth it!
- Keep it simple! There are a million different things you can do on your wedding day, try not to get carried away! Yes the hand made place cards with vintage lace that matches your grandmother’s wedding dress with calligraphy names are going to look awesome, but will anyone else notice? I have DIY’ed a few things and in retrospect could have saved time and money if i’d bought something.
- Surround yourself with positive people. There is always going to be someone who is going to have a negative spin on everything you plan, stop talking to them! You don’t need to make everyone happy, not everyone is going to love the hand carved maple guest cards you spent hours scouring the darkest corners of the internet to find. Plan to make yourself and your partner happy, that’s all you can and should do!
- Buyer beware! If you are buying online, you are going to find a million options and save a bit of cash as well. Just make sure you actor in shipping costs and the potential for what you ordered to not be exactly right. Finding a replacement after you have already spent money can be frustrating.
- Everything will happen in the last 2 weeks – and it does! You can plan down to the last detail, you can work at a wedding website, you can have lists and charts up to your ears. You will still find a million things to do the last two weeks before your big day. I also had to factor in public holidays, nothing is open on Good Friday, so everything has to be ready by Thursday.
- This is the biggest PARTY of your life. You’re getting married to the man/woman you love, how exciting! You have spent 12-18 months focusing all your time and energy into this day. But at the end of all of it, it is just a party to celebrate the fact that you have married the man/woman of your dreams! Try to keep your expectations realistic, it might rain, the limo might get a flat tyre, your venue might serve the wrong kind of beef; but in the grand scheme of things does it really matter? Remember to breathe and count to ten.
Of course I can now be put into the “everyone is an expert” category! I am by no means telling you how to plan your day, just a few tips I picked up as I went. For the most part I have had a blast planning our wedding. From painting cake toppers to scouring the internet for shoes, I have had so much fun. My team at work knows more about this wedding than Craig! They have been my cheerleaders and biggest supporters and I am very grateful they have been here! I think I have even emailed a few sneaky Ask Samantha‘s in!
So in 4 days when I walk down the aisle, I will be thinking about how amazing it is to finally get there! And also hoping it doesn’t rain!
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