Planning a wedding is no mean feat, add a pandemic and things get even more complicated.
After a year and a half of planning and two postponements (third time lucky!) here are my top tips to make the most out of the wedding planning experience, celebrate the little things and most importantly you as a couple!
1.It’s all about YOU!
It can be very overwhelming deciding what type of wedding to have as there are so many wonderful options. I recommend starting with what feels right for you as a couple. What do you want and imagine for your big day? Is it a tipi in a field vibe, a destination beach scene or a chic town hall affair? Have fun thinking about your guests, where it might be and what you love and hate. Bring YOU into your day rather than getting swept up by what other people have done. We enjoyed spending time together to really focus on who we are as a couple and what our day might look and feel like for us and our guests. I think it’s easy to forget that when you hear the words ‘wedding planning’ but just remember to do you and that way you’ll create a day that is so unique and special.
2. Wedding Wednesdays!
Having planned parties and events in the past even I hadn’t realised quite how much there is to organise for just one day, it really is mind blowing. I absolutely hate the word ‘wedmin’ there’s an immediate sense of dread that just isn’t necessary. Instead we decided to dedicate every Wednesday evening to our wedding planning and so ‘Wedding Wednesdays’ have become our thing and way to keep things fun and us motivated. We’d mix ourselves cocktails at home or treat ourselves to dinner at Wild by Tart before getting down to the details and the very long to do list. We’d also bookmarked Jones Family Kitchen and Pantechnicon as must visits.
3. Get Organised
I love a list and really planning a wedding is just one long to do list. We started in our notebooks but swiftly realised we needed to up our game when it came to tasks and what we needed to do. I’m a huge fan of Trello and use it regularly for work so we created a Wedding trello board. We added a to-do list for each of us to tackle as well as things we needed to do together. We can track progress on each card and then move them to complete when we’re done. It’s a great way to communicate too as we each knew how the other was getting on and could then catch up each Wednesday.
4. Set a Budget!
Avoid any arguments or compromises by setting your budget from the get go. We created a google sheet to track our spends and also set a budget forecast so that we could align our spending with what was important to us. For example the blooms are a big one for me, we originally wanted to have a June wedding because it is peony season and they are my favourite flowers. So I wanted to make sure we had a good amount in our budget pot for the floral decoration. We’re both massive foodies so food is another one we didn’t want to compromise on. Setting expectations from the get go really helps as you get more and more stressed towards the big day and means the budget doesn’t go out of the window as you just need to get it sorted.
5. Get Creative
My fiance and I are both very creative which helps when you’re trying to visualise decor for your big day, it gave us a good steer of what we wanted. If you’re not sure where to start my best advice is to make a moodboard (or multiple moodboards). I suggest heading straight to pinterest, type in weddings and you will be amazed at how many ideas there are. Zack and I both created our own boards with images that inspired us and of things that we liked before coming together to share what the day looked like for us both. Unsurprisingly we both had a very similar picture in mind. We drew inspiration from our venue which is in a nature reserve in Kent and our love of nature. A theme is a great way to make sure you have something to come back to when looking through inspiration. It can help you curate your ideas and bring them together.
We’ve been beavering away crafting bits and bobs for our wedding and enlisted the help of our friends and family. It’s a great way to get everyone involved in the wedding and make them feel part of your big day. Whether it’s making your own natural confetti or wax sealing save the dates. I was also keen to sign up to a beginners class at Studio Pottery (their space looks incredible) to make some dishes for the dessert table! The world is your crafty oyster.
6. Shop Small
There are some incredible independent designer makers, florists, dress makers, cake designers, stylists and more to enlist for your big day. Not only are you supporting a small business you’re also getting a bespoke service. I headed down to Belgravia for some inspiration, there are some gorgeous boutiques. Check out Moyses Stevens for flowers, they are one of my favourites. It was also an excuse to stop at Peggy Porschen’s for afternoon tea (not that I needed an excuse!). It’s a great way to get in the wedding mindset and get inspired. I’m also planning on booking in at London Grace for an appointment with my bridesmaids and mum to get our nails done which will be such a treat. My hens booked us in for cocktails at The Berkeley for my hen party which was such a surprise and made me feel very fabulous indeed!
7. It’s the little things
I am a magpie for details, Zack and I both loved thinking about the ways we can make our wedding really special for our guests. After the year we’ve all had we are most excited to see our loved ones and cannot wait to celebrate with them. Leaving little welcome baskets filled with chocolates from Roccco or treats from Summerill and Bishop for guests staying onsite and hand painted signs for where to go when they arrive. A drink or snack before the ceremony and other thoughtful touches are a lovely way to make the day even more unique to you and show how much you love your guests too.
8. Think sustainably
As much as we can, we’re trying to avoid waste at our wedding, it’s going to be a plastic free day and we’ve worked with our suppliers to try and ensure their values align with ours too. We’ve made sure to use FSC certified paper for all of our stationery too and over the past year I’ve been drying petals from any flowers we’ve been sent or bought to use as our confetti. Weddings can be so wasteful but they needn’t be and it’s a great way to celebrate guilt free if you are giving back to the planet in some way.
9. Don’t leave it until the last minute
We didn’t have as much time as we’d hoped to get all our ducks in a row for our first date (pesky pandemic) which means we did have to be very organised with our time to get everything we wanted ready in time. Start with your priorities and work backward from the wedding date. I really wanted to make sure we had a restful couple of weeks before the wedding to get away for the weekend and just have some us time without the to do list hanging over us. I also planned some treats for myself like getting my nails done with our bridesmaids and hair and make-up trials as well as an afternoon tea with my mum. Belgravia is the perfect place for a day out as you can do everything in one place especially if you have people spread out around the UK it’s so easy to get to.
10. Have fun!
Most important of all is to enjoy the process, when else do you get to spend so much time together talking about all things you. We’re genuinely going to miss not having a project to work on together we’re going to have to start planning something else!
The Belgravia Wedding Showcase with Zeena Shah and RIXO Bridal