Wedding Information

A Rainy Wedding

By | Wedding Information

In today’s blog post, we talk about Rain, or more precisely A Rainy Wedding Day.

The Great British weather is so unpredictable, so whether your wedding is in the middle of July or the middle of January, the threat of rain on your wedding day is a reality.

Many couples get nervous about the possibility of rain ruining their special day.

There’s nothing any of us can do to stop the rain on your wedding day, so you have just got to embrace it. You can still get some stunning and fun photographs.

With these simple steps and a little forward planning, you’ll be sure to eliminate any additional stress on the big day and keep spirits high. Should the heavens open!

Consult with the Venue – the thing to do if you have planned for an outdoor wedding, is to speak to the wedding co-ordinator. They will be able to advise on all the options for the day (rain or shine). They will be familiar with this situation, and will be able to advise you on a Plan B. A common option is to hire a marquee (if the venue and space allows), this allows you to shelter from the rain, and still have the outdoor wedding you planned. They will also be able to advise on suitable indoor spaces to take photographs.

The Ceremony – you might have your heart set on a lovely area on the lawn for your ceremony, with all your guests lined up behind you. Ensure that there is a room big enough for all your guests, should your ceremony need to be moved indoors.

Consider your Guests – when looking for a venue, think about how any indoor space can be utilised in case of rain. You need to have somewhere for your guests to go.

Always have an Umbrella – hopefully it will not be required, but it’s better to have one just in case. Check with your photographer, as any decent one will have one to hand, and it will be a pretty one that looks good in the photos.

Waterproof your Make-up – make sure you wear waterproof mascara as it is both good for those happy tears and those rainy days. Make sure you discuss this with your make-up artist. Also wear lip balm, as your lips tend to dry out in cold weather.

Hair Styling – It’s also worth taking a hair dryer and good quality hair spray to touch up throughout the day should you get caught in the rain.

Wrap Up Warm – to ensure your dress doesn’t get completely soaked, make sure you have a cardigan or jacket to hand (just in case). Make sure you get a hot drink between photo sessions to keep warm.

Footwear – if you are looking to wear heels, make sure you have a pair of flat shoes or even wellies that you can use outside. You don’t want to make walking on wet ground harder than it needs to be.

Tissues – make sure you pack a pocket-sized pack of tissues, just in case your eyes water or your nose runs. Let your bridesmaids or other half look after them for you.

Check the Weather Forecast – keep an eye on the forecast right up to your wedding day. You may find out that it will only rain during certain times of the day.

Changes to the Plan – don’t be afraid to switch around your plan/timeline. Rather than taking all your photographs in one go, you may need to pop out in short bursts when the weather lets up.

Trust your Photographer – never let the rain stress you out, there is nothing you can do about it. Smile for the photos and most of all, enjoy your day. You may need to get the formal photos done inside the venue, and then go off for a short period of time to get some shots in sheltered areas with your other half and smaller groups. You may be surprised by what fun photos you can get in the rain.

Getting Wet – occasionally the best wedding photos, are the ones in the rain, when the umbrella goes down and the happy couple start to dance in the rain.

I hope that these steps will help you with your wedding day planning and take away some of those worries about a rainy wedding day.

If you are a wedding vendor or you know of any vendors who would like to contribute a post, please get in touch with me through my contact page.

If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe to my mailing list, and you will be emailed when the next post goes live. I’d also be very grateful if you’d help it spread by emailing it to a friend or sharing it on Social Media.

Thank you!

Wedding Planning Checklist (Part Two)

By | Wedding Information

Welcome back for the second part of the Wedding Planning Checklist, this week I cover from 3 months before your Wedding Day right up to your Wedding Day and beyond.

Don’t forget to drop me an email for a FREE printable copy of my Wedding Planning Checklist.

Here we go!

3 Months Before

  • Research and Order Table Favours/Decorations

Whether you’re looking for cheap and cheerful or you want to get creative with some D.I.Y wedding favours, now’s the time to start thinking about them.

  • Wedding Dress fittings

With three months to go, it’s time to make sure your dress fits perfectly!

  • Hair and Make-Up Trial

Explore your options and discover what suits you by going for a trial with your hair and makeup artist – if you can, arrange it so it coincides with a night out, so you can really put your makeup to the test,

  • Write your Wedding Speeches

If you’re giving a speech or know someone who is, now’s the time to nudge them. Firstly, you must decide on who will be giving the speeches. Speeches take time to perfect and the more you can practise them the better they’ll be. Write it from the heart, and then practice, practice, practice…

  • Menu Tasting

Narrow down your wedding breakfast and canapé choices to a few options and then attend a tasting to see which ones you like the most.

  • Initial Table Plan Layout

When creating your table plan, figure out who can sit next to who, and who cannot sit together, you don’t want anything to ruin your day. Just don’t have a singles table.

  • Start having Facials

To ensure your skin is healthy and glowing on your wedding day. Think of all those wedding photos!

  • Send out Invitations

Traditionally they are sent out 6-12 weeks before the wedding, but you can send them sooner if you prefer. Include information for your guests on overnight accommodation, transport, parking and any dress code if appropriate. Include reply cards to ensure they all RSVP and ask your guests if they have any specific dietary requirements.

  • Choose your Wedding Vows

The little words that marry you and your spouse give meaning to everything else that happens during your wedding day. Additionally, the promises that you make to one another during the ceremony set the tone and parameters of your marriage. You want vows that are perfect for your big day.

  • Choose your Wedding Music and Readings

By choosing some poems and readings to be performed it will add to your whole wedding ceremony. Also consider any music you want to be played. Speak to your minister/registrar as they will be able to advise further.

  • First Dance

The first dance between the bride and groom is the most awaited moment for the newly-weds as well as the guests. It shows the love and unity between the new couple. Whether you go for a song that you both love, or a style of dance that maybe nobody has ever seen you perform (due to those secret lessons you have both been taking), make sure you plan it out and enjoy every second.

  • Create Song Lists

Your chosen DJ should be able to cater for whatever songs you want playing at your evening party, put together a list of the main songs you want played, and sent it over to them with enough time to incorporate them into their set list.

  • Purchase Gifts for the Bridal Party

As well as bouquets of flowers for the mothers of the bride and groom. Personalised gifts with your own message engraved make very special keepsakes.

  • Have your Stag and Hen Parties

There was a point when the stag and hen parties took place just before the wedding. Now it’s wise to get your celebrating in a few months before – this allows more time to focus on the last-minute details ahead of the big day and gives any bruises/shaved off eyebrows/embarrassing anecdotes time to disappear.

2 Months Before

  • Confirm Ceremony Details

Finalise all the important details for the order of service, then you can get them designed and printed.

  • Buy a Guest Book

Purchase a guest book so that all your guests can write a personal message to you both, you will then be able to look back at the book in years to come and reminisce over that special day.

1 Month Before

  • Arrange Final Wedding Dress Fitting

Bring along your mum, sister or best friend too, and then don’t lose any more weight!

  • Arrange Final Fittings for the Bridal Party

Get the final fittings done for all your bridal party, make sure everybody is happy and ready to go.

  •  Choose your Wedding Day Perfume

Your wedding day scent should be a natural extension of your signature fragrance, enlist your mum or a close friend to come with you, this will double the available body surface for testing—and follow your nose to pick up a fragrance you like.

  • Confirm all Supplier Bookings

Speak to them personally and make sure you have confirmation of dates, places and times in writing from them.

  • Confirm Honeymoon Booking

Check the booking and timings with your travel agent and ensure everything is paid up.

  • Confirm Wedding Day Schedule with your Venue

Make sure that you get the timings of the day in writing, so you can pass this onto the photographer/videographer, if you have the ceremony in the same room as the wedding breakfast, there will be time needed to alter the layout, this will give the photographer a set amount of time to carry out the wedding photos. Also check out what types of confetti can be thrown and where on the premises (ensure that you pass this detail onto the photographer).

  • Confirm your Witnesses

Both civil and religious ceremonies require two witnesses, you need to decide who you both want, and don’t be swayed by others in the decision. You are not going to upset anybody by choosing your best friend over your sister.

  • Arrange Church Rehearsal Day

A few days before is ideal and you could make an evening of it by inviting all your bridal party along to a dinner afterwards too.

  • Chase up Guests who are yet to Respond

The venue and the caterers will need to know final numbers at least 1-2 weeks before.

  • Finalise the Seating Plan

Pass on your table plan details and food requirements for the Wedding Breakfast and supply a copy to your venue and the caterer, and other suppliers who need to know.

  • Create & Order Place Cards and Table Plans

Get those place cards and table plans designed and on order, now you know the final numbers of those attending, and where they will be sitting, you can put the final touches to the plan.

  • Agree a Date to pick up the Suits

Also make a note of when they need to be returned – assign that task to your best man.

  •  ‘Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue’

Ask your mother or grandmother for something old, the rest is easy also a Silver sixpence is meant to bring good luck.

  • Make your own Favours and Table Decorations

If you are making your own favours and decorations, now is the time to get them finished.

Two Weeks Before

  • Supply your Photography Shot List

Ensure that you have fully discussed what shots you want on your wedding day, but don’t make everything too formal, as you will spend more time in front of the camera than enjoying your day. Let the photographer offer you advice on what will also work with the venue chosen.

  • Arrange Final Payments

This is crucial if you want all your suppliers to turn up as expected! And it’s also a satisfying feeling to have totally paid off your wedding.

  • Wear your Wedding Shoes

Don’t wear bridal shoes outside but do wear them around the house to make sure they’re comfortable on the day.

  • Go through your Wedding Day Plan with the Bridal Party

Make sure all your bridal party know where they need to be and when they need to be there – including any hair and make-up times for bridesmaids.

  • Arrange any Vaccinations

If required for your honeymoon.

  • Order Foreign Currency

Don’t leave this until the last minute, and then cause you a mass panic.

One Week Before

  • Create Emergency Kit

Include make-up, a compact mirror and powder, lipstick, tissues etc – anything you think you might need on the day. Ask one of your bridesmaids to carry your emergency kit for you.

  • Have your Beauty Treatments

Go for pre-wedding and honeymoon waxing or fake tanning in good time before the big day. Get eyebrows shaped and anything else that needs attention done the week before, not the day before. 

  • Groom Haircut

Make sure that groom gets his haircut a week before the wedding, so that it is how you like it for the day, and he doesn’t come with any surprise on the day.

  • Pack for your Honeymoon

You’re going on the holiday of a lifetime!

  • Issue the Final Wedding Day Schedule

Give the list of all the wedding suppliers involved in your wedding day with their contact details and times they are meant to arrive, in case they need to be contacted, to your best man. Also add the running order for the day to the list.

  • Purchase Honeymoon Items

If you need any last-minute items for the honeymoon, ensure that you get these the week before the wedding, do a checklist for everything you need to take so that you do not forget anything.

  • Write Thank-you Cards and Wrap Gifts

Make sure that you have written the thank-you cards to bridesmaids, best man, groomsmen, parents etc. and then wrap any presents you have purchased. Give the responsibility of taking them to the venue to your partner.

  • Finalise Timings with Hair Stylist/Make-Up Artist

Make sure that the timings for when the hair stylist/make-up artist will arrive are agreed, as well as the running order for each member of the bridal party. 

  • Bride Hair Trimmed and/or Coloured

Only do as planned in your hair trials – this is not the time to experiment with a new colour or drastic style changes!

  • Wedding Rehearsal

This will help you know where to stand and when to speak and will prepare you, so you don’t feel nervous on the day.

  • Pick up your Wedding Dress

If you haven’t already, it’s finally time to bring your wedding dress home. Make sure you don’t show your partner, so it might be worth leaving it at a family member of friend’s house.

  • Collect any Hired Items

Do not leave this until the morning of your wedding – especially the grooms wear. Make sure you check each item to ensure it’s what you’re expecting too.

The Day Before

  • Drop off Essentials at the Wedding Venue

Look to drop off any accessories like the guest book and pens, decorations, table favours etc. at the venue the day before the wedding, this will also allow you to check that everything is in order for the big day.

  • Withdraw Cash

If you must pay any of your suppliers on the day with cash, make sure you have enough cash to pay them, you might want to let your best man or a family member sort this out for you.

  • Give Rings to the Best Man

Give the rings to the best man to look after (as long as you know he won’t lose or forget them).

  • Double Check Suitcases and Passports

Make sure that all your cases are packed, ensure that you have all your documents in place, especially your passports and travel money. 

  • Have Everything out Ready

Get everything out ready, have your wedding dress hanging up in its storage bag, then have all your accessories in place so you know that everything is there and ready.

  • Get Pampered

Book a manicure for the afternoon to avoid chips and breaks. Make sure your hands are wedding ring ready.

  • Relax

Don’t go to work, spend the day with friends or family and don’t do anything too exhausting.

  • Set the Alarm

You might want to remember to set your alarm, although it is highly likely you will wake up early.

Wedding Day

  • Eat Breakfast

Make sure that you both have a good hearty breakfast on the morning of your special day. This will help to settle your stomach.

  • Check the Wedding Flowers

Get one of your bridesmaids to oversee that the flowers have been delivered and everything is in order.

  • Check the Rings

Make sure that your other half doesn’t let his best man forget the rings. Although I’m sure he will try and wind him up beforehand and say he has forgotten them!

  • Practice the Speeches

Have a trial run through your speeches so you are more confident when it comes to the main event. If you can say them without reading from a piece of paper, it will keep your guests more engaged.

After the Wedding

  • Return Hired Items

Pass this task onto your best man, as you might be on the beach in Barbados when they need to be returned.

  • Write Thank-you Cards

Once you get back from your honeymoon, get those thank you cards ordered/written so that you can thank all those people that gave you such beautiful presents while your special day is still fresh in their memory.

  • Clean your Wedding Dress

Get your wedding dress cleaned before you decide to pack it away. That way it will look like brand new when you decide to bring it out of the closet again to reminisce. 

  • Order/Choose your Wedding Photographs

By the time you get back from your honeymoon, your photographs will be ready to view, and you will be able to decide on which images you put into your album, or what images you would like to purchase to make your own album.

  • Enjoy Married Life!

Finally, now everything is done, it is time to get on with married life, enjoy every minute of it.

That’s it for part two, thank you for taking the time to visit my blog, and hopefully the information shared over the last couple of posts, will make your wedding planning go that little bit easier.

Don’t forget to email me for your FREE Wedding Planning Checklist.

If you are a wedding vendor or you know of any vendors who would like to contribute a post, please get in touch with me through my contact page.

If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe to my mailing list, and you will be emailed when the next post goes live. I’d also be very grateful if you’d help it spread by emailing it to a friend or sharing it on Twitter or Facebook.

Thank you!

Wedding Planning Checklist (Part One)

By | Wedding Information

You can plan a wedding in a few weeks, but do you really want that much stress when planning the event of a lifetime.

As soon as you set the date, the countdown begins.

Due to the amount of stuff covered in this feature, I have decided to split this blog post into two parts so as not to overwhelm you, today’s post will cover from now until around 3 months before your Wedding Day, then next week’s post will cover right up to your Wedding Day and beyond.

I have put together an easy to use checklist to make things go that little bit smoother. If you would like a FREE printable copy of my Wedding Planning Checklist please drop me an email.

Take a Breath, here we go!

12 Months in Advance

  • Set the date

Aim to start your wedding planning as soon as possible to ensure you get to book the venues and suppliers of your choice at the very best prices.

  • Are you Planning your own Wedding?

Will you plan your own wedding; or look to hire a professional wedding planner.

  • Send out your Save-the-Date Cards

This is key, if you want to make sure your guests will be able to come and do not miss your special day.

  • What type of Ceremony will you have?

Will you be having a religious wedding ceremony or getting married in a civil wedding ceremony? This can shape your choice of venue – you could go for a wedding venue with a church nearby, a venue with a chapel onsite or a venue that is licensed to hold a civil ceremony.

  • Wedding Theme and Colour Scheme

You need to agree on a wedding theme, whether it be related to something you both have in common or a favourite hobby, the colour scheme may come from your favourite colours.

  • Agree your Wedding Budget

Be sensible when it comes to your Wedding budget. Make your budget realistic and only spend what you can afford, so that you will not go into debt, also ensure that you add in a contingency as well. Decide who is going to pay for what, so you know where the money for the wedding is coming from.

  • Set-up a Dedicated Bank Account

So that you do not spend your wedding budget on other things, open a wedding bank account that you can then put all your money into and pay suppliers through, this way you do not get caught out when you have already spent the money elsewhere.

  • Research Venues

The sooner you book your venues, the easier the rest of the planning will be. You’ll need to book a venue for your ceremony (either a church, registry office or other licensed civil wedding venue) and a venue for your reception (if different to your wedding venue). Make sure you consider the seating capacity, room hire costs, catering options, both indoor and outdoor settings for photographs.

  • Wedding Insurance

It’s not that costly but don’t scrimp on it, and it could save you thousands of pounds, if a supplier suddenly lets you down. It’s worth it just for peace of mind when wedding planning! It helps to have peace of mind that your money and wedding are protected.

  • Book the Reception Venue

Once you have decided on your wedding venue, make sure you book the date and pay your deposit, to ensure that you have it reserved.

  • Meet with the Minister/Registrar

They’ll be able to answer all your questions about the ceremony, and help you find suitable readings and music

  • Book Church and Registrar

If you’ve decided on a church wedding, you’ll need to book the church, and if you’re having a civil ceremony, you’ll need to book the registrar. Make sure they’re available on the same day you have your venue booked for!

  • Give Notice at Registrar Office

Notice for all marriages must be given in the 12-month period before the date of the marriage. You must send your notice early enough to allow the registrar to make sure both parties are free to marry one another. Normally, notices should be with the registrar about eight weeks before the marriage. But if either of you have been married before, the notices should be with the registrar 10 weeks before. The minimum period is 28 days before the date of the proposed marriage, but if you leave things as late as this you could be faced with the need to postpone your marriage.

  • Start a Wedding Scrapbook

Put together a scrapbook or mood board, which can contain all of the ideas you both have for your wedding, you can also start to gather photos up of things you want at your wedding, along with ideas for how you want your hair and make-up to look, the type of dress, style of photography you like.

  • Prepare a Draft Guest List

Planning your guest list can be a bit stressful. Aim to make your guest list equal so you keep both families happy. Aim to break up your guest list into two categories – people you absolutely must have there, and people who you’d like to have but are not essential. Have a separate evening reception guest list if you want to invite additional work colleagues or friends of the family to come but you don’t know them well enough to invite them to the ceremony and the wedding reception.

  • Decide on Bridesmaids, Best Man etc.

Make sure you have your very best friends or close family, who will be able to help you plan – no one wants to deal with a bad bridesmaid who they asked in haste.

  • Look for your Wedding Suppliers

Start to look for your wedding suppliers, you should do as much research as you can on each one, including looking at testimonials from previous clients. There are going to be quite a few suppliers, so you might want to put together a spread sheet with all the details on for quick reference.

  • Start Wedding Dress Shopping

Let the fun begin! If you’re having a custom wedding dress made, then you’ll need to start this process now. If you’re ordering a designer dress then you should allow up to 6 months, and if you’re buying an off-the-peg or a second-hand dress, you can get away with up to 6 weeks before. Assemble your closest friends and family and head to the bridal boutiques and start trying on gowns. Give yourself plenty of time when it comes to dress shopping – this will allow you to take your time making the decision and allow for any alterations that might be needed.

  • Start Bridesmaid Dress Shopping

When you know what style of wedding dress you’re having, you can start shopping for bridesmaid dresses to complement it.

  • Book your Photographer

Popular Wedding Photographers book up quickly. Find a Wedding Photographer who offers the style of photos you are looking for (traditional, contemporary, reportage style or a combination), meet them personally, ask to see their portfolio.

  • Book your Videographer

Find a Wedding Videographer who offers the style of video you are looking for, again meet them personally, and ask to see examples of their work.

  • Book your Wedding Entertainment

You might want to book a DJ to dance the night away, you may also look to hire a live band for the evening party, as well as classical musicians for your reception. Some couples like to book magicians for their wedding just to add a sense of fun! The best bands and DJs will be booked up a year or two in advance so make sure your party doesn’t suffer by getting in there early to book them up.

  • Book your Wedding Caterers

If the reception venue you have booked is not doing your catering then you’ll need to consider hiring outside caterers or, if your budget is tight, you may ask a family member or friend to sort out the catering for you

  • Book your Wedding Transport

If you’re not hosting your wedding day all in one place, you’ll need to book one bridal car for you and your father, you may also want to book further cars for your mother and bridesmaids. You may want to consider making it fun by booking a Wedding Bus to take your family and friends to the venues.

  • Book your Florist

Decide what flowers you would like and where. Make sure you have a good discussion with your florist and take their advice especially on what flowers will be in season at the time of your wedding.

  • Book your Toastmaster

You might think you don’t need a Toastmaster (also known as a Master of Ceremonies). They’re worth their weight in gold for ensuring everything goes to plan at the right time, in the right place and with the right people.

  • Book time off work (Honeymoon)

Make sure that you book time of work for your honeymoon. Don’t leave it too late, and then you have your holiday request declined.

  • Healthy Eating and Exercise Programme

Whether you want to lose weight or simply tone up for your wedding day, why not start NOW! Going to the gym together as a couple will help you spur each other on and help you with your wedding day goals.

  • Finalise your Guest List

Re-look at your draft guest list, now you know how many guests you can have to the ceremony, reception and evening party, you now need to whittle the numbers down. Try to avoid getting caught up in family politics…

  • Research Guest Accommodation

You might have guests coming from afar, so consider whether they can stay close to the wedding venue, or if there are hotels within a short taxi ride.

  • Book your Hair Stylist/Make-Up Artist

Start researching hair stylists and make-up artists to make sure the one you like the most is free for you to book for your big day. When you book them for your wedding, check that a trial is included so you can test the look you want before the big day to make sure it suits you. Then book a hair and make-up trial complete with your tiara and veil if possible.

9-12 Months Before

  • Order your Wedding Cake

Picking your wedding cake is a fun part of planning a wedding. You may only decide to include cupcakes or other cake ideas you may have. Make sure you taste some examples of the cake bakers work, to ensure that you like the taste of their cake.

  • Order your Wedding Dress

Make sure that wedding dress is officially ordered now – it’s decision time! This will leave you plenty of time for any tweaks and alterations that might need doing.

  • Book Honeymoon

Whether you’re planning just a honeymoon or whole wedding abroad, book it in your maiden name and use your existing passport, then change all your documents to your married name when you return. Ensure that you also get your travel insurance sorted if you are not using the travel agents.

  • Book additional Wedding Entertainment

You might want to look at Magicians, comedians, or just centre pieces like Chocolate Fountains, Ice Sculptures amongst other ideas.

  • Check your Passports

If you are either having your wedding abroad or going oversees for your honeymoon, ensure that your passports are valid.

6-9 Months Before

  • Arrange Suit Fittings

Once you’ve got the dresses sorted for the bride and bridesmaids, it’s time to start thinking about the grooms wear. Will you buy off-the-peg, commission a tailored suit or hire an outfit?

  • Order/Make Wedding Invitations

Don’t forget all the other wedding stationery that will include orders of service, place cards, table layouts and thank you cards.

  • Purchase your Wedding Shoes and Accessories

Once the dress is officially yours, it’s time to accessorise. Get your shoes in good time for your first dress fitting, and your tiara and veil in time for your make-up and hair trials. Also look to choose what jewellery and any other accessories and underwear you might wear.

  • Purchase your Wedding Rings

Make sure they are both the right size and that your wedding ring will sit comfortably alongside your engagement ring if you plan to wear them together.

  • Plan your Stag and Hen Parties

With the help of your best man and chief bridesmaid respectively.

  • Finalise and Set-Up your Wedding Gift List

Choose what kind of wedding gift list you want and where you will host it (make it available on your wedding invitations), and then start setting it up. Put in a range of products so there’s something for all budgets if you’re going for a traditional store based one.

  • Discuss the Order of Service

Start thinking about what’s going to happen in the ceremony based on what time it will start, by knowing your order of service, it will help everything run smoothly on the day. Discuss this with your vicar or registrar.

  • Book the First Night Accommodation

Lots of wedding venues will have accommodation for you and potentially for your guests too, but if you’re marrying at a venue without accommodation, make sure you’ve sorted out somewhere to stay on the night.

That’s it for part one, don’t forget to email me for your FREE Wedding Planning Checklist.

If you are a wedding vendor or you know of any vendors who would like to contribute a post, please get in touch with me through my contact page.

If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe to my mailing list, and you will be emailed when the next post goes live. I’d also be very grateful if you’d help it spread by emailing it to a friend or sharing it on Twitter or Facebook.

Thank you!