THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO PLANNING YOUR WEDDING
Whether the question has been popped, and you’ve said yes in a romantic haze; Or whether you are much more practical and have decided it’s time to do something sensible and keep Nana happy for the sake of her will, you need to contemplate what the nitty gritty of planning a wedding!
You might follow traditions and have a huge rock on your third finger, or you might have matching tattoos, whatever floats your boat! Ideally, you would do a smug post on Instagram after you have let your nearest and dearest know the good news. Have a vague date/year in mind for the ceremony, and expect a battle with people trying to sway you! (On time of year, not on getting hitched!!) But stick to your guns- it is your day after all.
Now, even before you get stuck in to the juicy stuff, you will have to decide whether you want a church wedding. If you do, you are going to have get your booty to the church pretty quick! (If you are not already a regular attendee that is). Most churches will want you both to come to mass for at least six months before walking down their aisle; Oh and it’s vital that you meet the priest/vicar and make sure that you want him/her to be the one who ties your knot.
Alas we cannot offer the whole wedding shebang in a tipi, as laws state that in England and Wales, a legal wedding can only take place in a venue that is licensed for weddings and cannot take place in the open air, in a Tipi or marquee, or in any other temporary structure. However, we are perfect for a post Registry Office blessing or humanist ceremony with a Civil Celebrant. This is just like a mock ceremony, with the legalities having taken place beforehand.
So you’ve both decided on a church wedding and tipi party, now it’s time to get back to logistics! Location, location, location. You need somewhere fairly flat and preferably grassy so we can plug the poles in. We don’t necessarily need a power source, as we can supply generators, but we will need to come and do a recce so we know you have the right size!
Next you will need to stick to these basic guidelines…What’s your budget? How many guests? What style of wedding do you want? Are you going to supply the booze? What’s the colour scheme? Who’s your Maid of Honour and Best Man?
Once you’ve got the date in the bag- send out ‘save the dates’. People will need to know, especially if they are from out of town. The official invites (another thing to budget for) can be in fitting with your theme. You might be thinking festival, and want to organise bell tents and make a weekend of it (we can recommend some ace suppliers), or you could get in touch with local B&Bs to see if they do any weekend wedding deals. Pop this info on your invites for the guests to consider, and don’t forget to ask for any special dietary requirements.
On that note, planning your guest list can be a drama. But it needn’t be. In my opinion, less is more and why bother tracking down that girl you sat next to in sixth form, just because you are friends on Facebook? If you want to look popular, invite all the B listers to the evening reception. You will need to decide at this point whether you want kids (at the wedding, not in life!) If not, don’t feel bad.. it’s your big day after all. And you can have some serious fun with seating if you have any single friends! Decide now if you are going to offer a plus one, and be vigilant with the RSVPs, as you will need to know exact numbers for table plans.
Although you might be tempted by other people’s Pinterest, but remember to stay within your budget and don’t get carried away, as there will always be last minute considerations. Finalising food and flowers can be left a lot closer to D day and definitely need to be rota-ed into your costing.
Wherever the money is coming from (bank of mum and dad?) once you have an idea of the kitty, reach an agreement with your other half on what your priorities are- whether it’s the food, the music or the location, but give each section a cut off price; It will be a good idea to note this on an Excel spreadsheet. Who said romance was dead! But lingerie is definitely another wedding day luxury, and should be planned for accordingly (!)
The suppliers you will need to consider, are the caterer, bar staff, photographer and band/DJ. Ideally they will only work on your wedding on said day, as having someone rush off will get you stressy for no need. There are thousands of other brides out there who are in the same position as you, so the sooner you can get them booked in the better.
In actual fact, you might realise that I haven’t mentioned the ‘wedding dress’ yet! Even though this might be the most fun part for many brides, it isn’t actually top priority! Remember to give yourself a budget for this, and plenty of time. Take your bessie, or your mum and try on as many frocks as you fancy. By now you should have a theme for the wedding, so you may be drawn towards boho, modern vintage, sleek or puffball. With added veil, shoes and jewellery you can style a dress anyway you like! If you’re having bridesmaids, now is a good time to think about them too! Are you buying their dresses? Do you know their sizes? Do they have to match? The groom might as well check out some wedding suits too- have you rota-ed the budget to buy or hire?
Remarkably, you can leave the cake planning until quite late on in the proceedings. Scour Pinterest for something that tickles you, and contact local suppliers. They should be able to give you a sample and make tweaks to your particular requirements. Make sure that someone else is responsible for getting the cake to the venue though..that will not be your top priority on the day!
Once you have these basics in place, you should begin to work out the finer details like décor and hire items. Perhaps you want a photo booth, what’s your first dance going to be? What font do you want on the place names, menus etc? Is this in your budget or can you get a fancy-fingered friend to write it for you?
There are so many ways to save money at a tipi wedding celebration, and nobody will ever know! Why spend money on a make-up artist? After all you’ve been doing your own for countless years and you want your hubbie to recognise you and not see a drag queen when you walk down the aisle! You may want to treat yourself to a hair stylist though, especially if you are wearing hair up or a veil…
Traditionally couples will take a bridal car to get from the ceremony to reception. There are lots of options, and the most economical will be to hire from somewhere close to the venue. However, if you have your heart set on a VW Campervan or Rolls Royce, be sure to check out the T&Cs so you know when it has to be returned. Personally, I am a big fan of the double decker party bus, which means you can travel with your guests and drink fizz en route!
Wedding planners do this all the time, so planning one wedding shouldn’t break you! Take one evening a week to talk weddings, and don’t let it take over you and your fiance’s lives! Don’t fret about the weather or whether your mum will approve of your breakdancing best man! It’s your day and it will be fun. Make it one to remember, and remember to send us some images!