Bride to be
Firstly, congratulations on your engagement and on becoming a bride to be! Planning your wedding is such a fun time. There’s so much to think about; the dress, the rings, the venue, the accessories. But, it can also be really stressful time as well. There’s so much to think about. The time will fly between when you get engaged and when you get married. Here’s a few hints and tips on what you might want to think about when planning your wedding day.
1. The venue
The venue is probably one of the first things you should consider when booking your wedding date. If there’s a venue that you really like, it’s worth checking in advance if they’re available. You don’t want to miss out on your wedding date.
Some venues offer discounts for out of season weddings, in the winter months. This can save you an awful lot of money that you can then use for something else. They can also offer discounts for Sunday weddings and weekday weddings. You might want to consider if your guests are available on these days. Most people are happy to take the day off work for their nearest and dearest to celebrate. The guest numbers might also impact on which venue you go for. Some venues cater for large parties whereas some are more suited to smaller groups. It’s a good idea to go and visit some different venues. It’s an opportunity to get some prices and see how it would fit in with your ideas.
There are so many different types of venues on offer now. You can go for a country house hotel, city centre venue or converted barn. You may want to go for a traditional church ceremony followed by a reception at a hotel. Some people want to get married and have the reception at the same venue. This can mean that you have less time travelling to and from venues. It also gives more time with your guests. Most importantly, it’s also nice to have some time to yourselves before the reception begins. It’s something to think about.
2. The dress
One of the most fun parts of being a bride to be, is choosing the wedding dress. There are so many different styles to choose from. It could be that you try something on that you wouldn’t usually go for, and it looks amazing.
3. Photographer & videographer
The photographs and wedding film are some of the most important keepsakes from the wedding, as they last forever. It’s so lovely to be able to look back on the day and see all the smiles, hear the vows on the video and watch the guests having a good time.
The Spring and Summer dates can get booked up pretty quickly. Make sure that you secure your date as soon as you can with a deposit. The full amount isn’t usually payable until about a month before the wedding. Your photographer and videographer will be with you all day so it’s important to book people that you like!
Think about what type of shots you might like. It’s always great to have a confetti shot like this one below.
If your whole wedding day is in the same venue, it’s not necessary to have a wedding car. However, I’ve known some bride to be’s to book one anyway. They wanted some alone time with their new hubby after the ceremony.
When you have a church wedding followed by a reception at another venue, it can be a good idea to have a wedding car so they can chauffeur you around for the day. They also look great on the photos and video. Camper vans a re really popular know but the classics never go out of fashion.
5. Make-up & Hair
This is another fun part of the day for a bride to be. It’s recommended to have a hair and make-up trail before the day of the wedding. There wouldn’t be anything worse than getting your hair and make-up done to find that you feel really uncomfortable.
The stylist will be able to give advice on what they think will suit you. They also know what will look good on camera. You might want to get some ideas by looking at Pinterest.
6. Flowers & table decorations
The colour theme for your wedding can tie in the bridesmaids dresses, flowers, table decorations and favours. It’s a good idea to get some inspiration for all these elements, as there are so many options! I love this New York themed wedding below. The Tiffany style favour boxes and table names of places in New York are gorgeous. The bride and groom used this as it’s where they got engaged.
7. The rings
Don’t forget the rings! It’s always a worry for the best man when he has to keep hold of the rings. You can almost see the relief as they hand them over safely during the ceremony. I’ve seen a few dogs deliver the rings. Although, one of them did go missing when the dog decided to go walkabout during the ceremony. An owl is an unusual way to transport the rings as well, which they do at Peckforton Castle. It’s quite funny when some of the guests aren’t aware of what’s about to happen.
8. The vows
The vows are the most meaningful and important part of the day in my opinion. There are variations of the vows and some places will give you options on what you want to say. Some brave people opt to write their own vows. It’s quite a hard thing to do but it is really nice. Here’s some examples of wedding vows from Brides.com if you decide to go down that route.
9. The readings
You can choose to have readings during your wedding ceremony, whether it’s in a church or conducted by a registrar. You may have something in mind already. Here’s a few ideas from Marie Claire magazine if you’re having a non-religious ceremony. Also, here are some popular bible readings for a church wedding. It’s worth noting that if you’re married my a registrar in a non- religious ceremony, you aren’t allowed to have religious readings.
It’s nice to ask someone close to you to do a reading. It might be a member of the family that’s not a part of the bridal party or a close friend. If you have a church ceremony, there will be a rehearsal beforehand. This is when the readers are asked to do a run-through. It allows them to see where they need to go on the day, what their cue is and how loud they need to speak.
10. The food
Food, glorious food; one of my favourite parts of the day. It’s great if your venue offers a food tasting evening. You can sample the different menus and choose the right ones for you.
Wedding breakfasts don’t have to be formal three course meals. It’s quite popular now to have a more informal wedding breakfast and opt for a hog roast, afternoon tea or a buffet instead. This can mean that you have more time to mingle and it can be cheaper too.
11. The music
The music can add so much emotion and atmosphere to the day. You may want to choose songs to walk down the aisle to and to be played during the signing of the register. Make sure that you choose quite a few songs to be played at the start of the ceremony too, when your guests arrive.
Your DJ will probably ask for songs that you would like to be played at the evening reception. Make sure that you give them the list of songs well in advance. This gives the DJ time to get them if they don’t have the songs already.
It’s quite a nice idea to ask gusts to contribute to the song suggestions. That way, they all get a song played that they like. That way, they are more likely to get up and dance!
12. The entertainment
Some brides to be may just go for a DJ at the evening reception and that covers their entertainment needs. It may be that there will be lots of children at the wedding and they need some form of entertainment. I’ve seen children’s entertainers, clowns and lawn games are always a hit.
It may be that you have dreamed of walking down the aisle to a string quartet or a harpist playing your favourite tune. These sound great on the wedding film. It’s usually the case that they stick around and also play for a while at the drinks reception. This keeps the guests entertained while you have your couples shots done.
If you fancy a band to get everyone dancing at the evening reception, this can be a popular choice. They can really get the celebrations underway.
13. The gifts
Brides and grooms can sometimes give out gifts during the speeches to the mums, dads, and wedding party. This happens when all the thank yous are said during the groom’s speech. Sometimes, this is done at another time if you’re strapped for time. It’s not a must to spend lots of money on gifts, as you’ve probably spend a load on the wedding already but a little thank you goes a long way.
14. The timings
The venue will be able to advise you on the timings for the day. They will have a good idea of what works for their venue. The make-up and hair stylist will let you know how much time they need in the morning for bridal prep. This will depend on how many bridesmaids you have etc. Make sure to give yourself plenty of time so that you’re not stressed out before your wedding.
Usually, the wedding ceremony is anything from 30 minutes to an hour, depending on whether you have a church ceremony or are married by a registrar. The groom tends to get to the venue about 45 minutes before to greet the guests.
After the ceremony, the group photos and couples shots get underway and can last up until you go for the wedding breakfast depending on how many group shots you have asked for and if there is any travel time involved after the ceremony to another venue. Leaving at least a couple of hours between the end of the ceremony and the wedding breakfast means that there is enough time to have a drink, mingle and have the photos taken.
It’s more traditional to have the speeches after the wedding breakfast. However, some people like to get it out of the way so that they can enjoy the meal and not worry about the upcoming speech. If the wedding breakfast is first, it can last about 2 hours and then the speeches are given after the desserts.
Before you know it, the evening guests will be arriving. This is usually at about 7pm, after the speeches and before the first dance. While you greet your guests, the team at the venue work hard to turn the room around for the evening celebrations to begin.
Your cutting of the cake and first dance can happen anytime between 8pm and 9.30pm. It’s a good idea to do this at a reasonable time because it gets the guests up on the dance floor after you. At this time, the photographer and videographer usually disappear so that everyone can let their hair down and not worry about looking tipsy on camera!
If you have any questions about planning your wedding day, don’t hesitate to ask. Most suppliers will be more than happy to help. We work at weddings all the time so we have a good idea of what works.