Susie Young and Claire Knill, from Knot and Pop wedding planners, know a thing or two about the stress of nuptials, so have shared their top tips with us. Read them and you will feel infinitely better.
Remaining stress-free when planning a wedding is crucial. So we’ve enlisted the expertise of wedding planners Susie Young and Claire Knill, from Knot and Pop, to help us figure out how to approach those upcoming nuptials with a clear head. Here are their must-know pointers:
To create your day, your way, start the planning process by having a fun session with your partner to discuss and share your vision for the wedding. It may be there are certain formalities that you’d like to follow for the ceremony, or maybe you both want to embrace doing things differently. Use this time to tease out your tales, to find a narrative for the day, so that your shared loves and personalities are reflected. From there you will have a base to build on, both for the suppliers that will suit your vision, and the elements that will make your wedding unique.
Weddings are the most popular category on Pinterest so you won’t be short of inspiration. Start a Secret Board to house all the gems you find, whether it’s for floral displays, ideas for feeding and watering guests or, of course, for all your dress desires. It is, however, very easy to have inspiration overload these days, so decisions are never made, or are always changing. Avoid falling into this trap by producing a final mood board, that once created acts as your guide to keep you on track.
Set Your Budget
Amidst all the flowers and all the rails of gorgeous dresses, there is a budget that you need to bear in mind. Set this with you partner up front – before you book or buy anything. Then drill down to how you’d like to carve that budget up – how much are you willing to spend on flowers, rings, a photographer, and put those projected costs into your budget. Keep the budget updated with true costs when suppliers are booked so you always know where you stand on spending. You will soon discover the joys of wed-min weekends.
It’s best to get your guest list written before you start the venue search. The number of guests that you invite will determine the size of venue that you choose. Although obvious, it’s surprising how many people get carried away by finding the perfect venue, only to then realise that it doesn’t have the right capacity, which is always heart-breaking.
Time Is Ticking
It is very important to get a timeline in place to list out every aspect of the wedding and the dates you plan to book or buy things by. The guest list, venue and invitation design will be the earlybirds that you need to decide on first, whilst your seating plan will be something that you do with three months to go (if opting for one, that is), once you have received all of your RSVPs from guests. There are many considerations and elements that go into organising a wedding so make life easier by having it all written down in this checklist.
Location, Location, Location
There are lots of gorgeous locations in the UK, that make the perfect wedding backdrop. It’s best to first pinpoint where in the UK you’d like to get married – will this be in your home town, county, where you live now, or somewhere else that holds a lovely memory for you both? With the area decided, then imagine what type of venue you’d both like. From manor house, to boutique hotel, marquee or campsite, there are lots of options for you to consider. Dependent on the type of venue you envisage there are then various ways to research. There are great location listing websites, but if you want something a little more off-beat then try alternative searches such as checking out the venues at Festival Brides or renting one of the grand houses on The Big House Co.
Who Will Make Your Day?
The suppliers you choose for your wedding day are so important. From a florist that understands your taste and style, to a caterer that will get your guest’s mouths watering and who has staff that are super attentive – carefully research who your favourites are. With some it’s also about ensuring you have a great personal connection – this applies in particular to your photographer and a wedding planner who you’ll be spending significant time with, and also who need to totally understand you as a couple, so they best reflect you.
Ask friends and family for supplier recommendations – always a great starting point – and if you need to cast the net a little wider then always make sure you ask for testimonials and meet in person to get a true understanding of what they offer.
Let the hunt commence. And let it commence early. Once you have your venue decided it’s best to begin the dress quest. Start by trying on a variety of silhouettes so that you hone in on the style that suits you best. With style decided, certain designers will come to the fore. For a lean silhouette and a love of embellishment, you can’t get more perfect than Jenny Packham, whilst for a whimsical look Claire Pettibone is your lady. The wedding fairs always have rails upon rails of dress designers, so it is worth getting along to a couple of these to get an understanding of their collections.
Do take out wedding insurance to cover yourselves from any unfortunate events. This is crucial.
Honeymoon Vs. Mini-Moon
The popularity of the mini-moon is increasing as couples decide to take a few days to relax after the busy lead up to the wedding, then plot in their main honeymoon for a few months later. This gives them something else on the horizon to look forward to (and can help to reduce any post wedding withdrawals) and companies such as Black Tomato create the most incredible bespoke honeymoons in the most gorgeous of destinations.
Get A Wow Wedding Planner
With hundreds of guests to organise, suppliers to source, a venue to locate, a budget to watch and a theme and scheme to create, it’s no wonder that hiring a wedding planner is increasingly popular in the UK. Weddings take many long hours to plan, and wedding planners with their expert knowledge, contacts and experience, can reduce stress levels, save you time and also add that extra something to make your big day even better. Whether you need help with a certain aspect or with the whole thing, a wedding planner can be flexible to both need and budget. If your budget is tight though, then enlist help from friends and family, or apportion a section of your budget to having an on-the-day wedding planner, but above all, don’t stress.