When I (Laura) was a little girl I always dreamed that I would get married in my local church and all my friends and family would watch me walk down the aisle. The reception was held in a grand manor house. It was truly magical.
Will our wedding day reflect this? No. Our wedding day is actually the complete opposite and we couldn't be happier with what we have planned for our special day. Small and intimate, surrounded by our close friends and family in the beautiful Cornish countryside. We will say our vows to one another outside, under a handmade wooden arbour (weather dependent) and we will be dancing the night away in a cosy marquee. Our English countryside garden wedding is more 'us' than the wedding that I had always envisioned. This brings me to the first piece of advice that I would give to all the lovely 'bride to be's' in the early stages of wedding planning.
Sometimes you have to take a step back to realise what you both want for your wedding day.
This may not be easy. Loved ones will voice their opinions from how the flowers should look, to how you should have your hair and your venue choice. Make sure that what you choose is what you want and not what others want you to have. After all, this is your special day and you only get to live this day once (hopefully!). Your loved ones care about you and want to see you happy. If you choose something for your wedding that they weren't expecting you to choose, they will get over it in time when they realise that this is what you want.
Kris proposed to me in May 2016. We had been together for 7 years so if I say that I hadn't been waiting for this to happen then I would be lying. I was so excited and got onto planning straight away. People were surprised when we told them we had booked our venue in September 2016 for June 2018. They thought we were too organised ...
It is never too early to start wedding planning.
Time has really helped us figure out what we really want and what we can afford. Being organised and planning your wedding with lot's of time allows you to generally relax throughout the process. If something goes wrong you know you have time to fix it. This has happened to us on a couple of occasions. For example, we ordered our rings from the jewellers where Kris bought my engagement ring from in early 2017. We found out that Kris' ring arrived to the store in the wrong size and they had to reorder it. This meant it didn't get to the shop for another 5 weeks. We knew we had plenty of time so we were very calm in what could have been quite a stressful situation. Another example is that I ordered our bridesmaid dresses in May 2017 and one arrived to the store with a stain on it. Again I was very relaxed as I knew there was plenty of time to order another one. Hopefully I will still feel this chilled next year!
Do not rush into booking your suppliers
It is very important that you are happy with the suppliers you have chosen. After all some of them will be with you throughout your whole wedding day. I would suggest meeting up with people before booking them for your special day where possible. This gives you chance to form a relationship with them and ultimately feel comfortable around them on the day.
Work out your budget
You will soon realise that weddings are very costly. I would suggest creating a spreadsheet in the early stages of planning. If you and your partner are putting money towards your wedding, work out how much you can put aside each month. From that calculate how much you can save by the time it arrives. Don't forget there are plenty of D.I.Y alternatives to cut costs on things like invitations. Pinterest has helped me out a lot and given me a lot of my inspiration.
Most importantly enjoy the wedding planning process
This is an exciting time so make sure you take it all in and really treasure every moment of it. For me wedding dress shopping has been my favourite part of wedding planning. I have taken my time with this and I have only booked an appointment at one dress shop at a time rather than cramming them in on one day. That could inevitably make the whole process of finding your dress quite stressful. Instead, I made a day out of it with my bridesmaids and mum by going out for a glass of bubbly afterwards. This gives us chance to look through the pictures that have been taken of me and discuss what we like and dislike about each dress. Even though I have now found 'the one', this isn't going to stop us all getting together. We have arranged a lovely Saturday going to the bridal studio so I can try on my dress (just because I need to see my dress one more time and have that wonderful feeling all over again!). Make the most of this time and involve your loved ones as much as you can. They will really appreciate it and it is a truly wonderful feeling having your loved ones around you whilst you are planning your special day.
Happy wedding planning!
Lots of love