In June 2014 I got married. It was wonderful, stressful and feels like a very long time ago! There are a lot of things I wish I’d known beforehand so here is my list of the 10 things we learned after planning a wedding. These are half serious, half tongue in cheek so please don’t take this as preachy. Weddings are, or should be, very personal to you. So if take one thing from this, it is to do what makes you happy!
Top 10 Things We Learned After Planning A Wedding
- This is far and away the most important point. NO ONE CARES AS MUCH AS YOU. It sounds harsh and you probably won’t believe me, but it’s true. Not your best friend, not your maid of honour, not even your parents. You will obsess about every detail, get yourself wound up about tiny insignificant details and have many sleepless nights worrying about things, and people will listen and tolerate hearing about it. But deep down… they don’t care. It’s not that they don’t love you, it’s just that it’s nowhere near as important to them as it is to you. You will remember your wedding day forever, they will just think of it as a fun party where you looked a bit more presentable than usual.
- Excel spreadsheets are your new best friend. When planning a wedding, you hemorrhage money and it adds up ridiculously quickly. I kept seeing little bits and pieces and buying them without thinking about the costs building. Once I started keeping track of the outgoings it was a lot easier to budget. And it sometimes stopped me buying more stuff. Sometimes.
- Introductions are key. We had a family meal the night before for both families to meet (my parents live in France, Aaron’s parents lived in Dubai at the time, and most of his family were based in Scotland so this was the first time they’d all been in a room together). The meal was a lot of fun and meant that by the actual wedding day there were no awkward introductions and we didn’t have to worry about families stood on opposite sides of the room like boys and girls at a school disco.
- Be smart when you order invitations – I ordered enough for the number of guests plus some spares in case of mistakes. What I forgot was that most of the guests were in a couple or a family, so only needed one invitation between them. So we ended up paying for about 40 extra invites that we didn’t need!
- Don’t get ahead of yourself. I had my first wedding dress fitting way too early. I found my dream dress more than a year before the wedding and had my first fitting a year before. My body changed so much in the run up to the wedding that by the time I had my final fitting, I’d lost 5 inches from my waist and I had to pay for extensive alterations!
- DIY (to a degree). I have an unhealthy obsession with Pinterest and it all started when I was planning the wedding. I had boards for every aspect of the day, but my favourite was my DIY wedding board: I had so many ideas and so many plans. In the end, I stretched myself a bit too thin, left too little time to make all my decorations and ended up throwing away a LOT of papier mache and crepe paper!
- Personalise it. There were lots of decisions that I had to fight for: from having red nails and red shoes (my mum was unconvinced until she saw the whole outfit together!)…to a Dr Seuss poem as one of our readings… to having a man of honour! But we wanted our wedding to reflect us and that meant making some non-traditional decisions!
- Pull in favours. We had a friend design our invitations, another friend perform during the reception, a family friend do the decorating… these decisions not only saved us a lot of money but meant that the details of our wedding was full of people we loved.
- You are not a DJ. We saved more money by not hiring a DJ, we just had a PA and our enormous Spotify playlist. We spent a long time making this playlist but we still didn’t get it right because we forgot an obvious rule: the wedding reception is not a private party for you. We chose songs we loved and that we would want to dance to, completely forgetting at times that the ages in the room varied from 23 to 84. My grandma is a very good dancer but she wasn’t too keen on bopping to Public Enemy…
- Take a moment. Everyone says this but the day FLIES BY. You have so much adrenaline and happiness and it’s overwhelming. I didn’t get to talk to a lot of the guests as I was constantly being pulled away for photos and introductions. I would really recommend sneaking off, just you two, to say hi and be those idiots that call each other husband/wife and then giggle in a nauseating way. I felt like I saw Aaron for about 5 minutes during the reception but those 5 minutes were lovely.
And there we have it: the 10 things we learned after planning a wedding. Writing this has made me want to do it all over again! If you’re married, what would you do differently or what advice would you give?