It’s wedding season and lots of you who are preparing to tie the knot this year messaged me to ask advice or about some behind the scenes of my wedding last year.
First of all I am truly chuffed by the compliments and, although event planning isn’t my expertise, I am happy to give my opinion on some dos and donts if it can be of any help.
Let’s get started…
DO – DESTINATION WEDDING
Having different nationalities – for whoever doesn’t know us Paul, my husband, is English and I am Italian – meant that either Paul’s family or mine should have travelled so we decided to “meet in the middle” (not literally though). We needed a destination which would be desirable for both sides to travel to, and not too far either. Tuscany was a no brainer! Going to pick the wedding venue and tasting the menu’/picking flowers, meant we had two little holidays too. Win Win!
DON’Ts – PICK VENDORS WHO DON’T CONVINCE YOU
I initially had a wedding planner, who was recommended to us. For some reason though there was something about her who didn’t truly convinced us. On our April visit to the venue – the last one before the big day – she still haven’t organised a sample of the flowers, neither was aware of what was there tor use at the venue (she found me a make up artist that would cost me €400 and a hairstylist for €500, for a total of €900 just for my hair and make up, which definitely didn’t resonate with my budget!) .
We then decided to go ahead without her. Luckily I had a clear idea of how the day should go and how I wanted the venue to look like – thank you Pinterest!
Plus the manager of the Agriturismo was very helpful in recommending vendors/help with the decor. Everyone from the chef, to the make up artist were lovely to work with. And I think this is very important given that the day can be very stressful.
DO – STATIONERY DIY
Being on a budget meant that we naturally gravitated towards doing some things ourselves. Starting with the wedding invitations, the programmes/fan, to cut/paint the wood signs. It has been fun. We ordered what we needed on Etsy and every weekend we did a little bit, of course you need to be organised and start enough in advance. If you are short with time/you get stressed easily I wouldn’t recommend it. But we both enjoy DIY plus we got to spend time together so it is another win win situation!
DON’T – LOSE TRACK OF YOUR BUDGET
Keeping track of your expenses is one of the most challenging aspects of the wedding planning process, but it’s also essential. There are so many little things that goes into it that you can easily find yourself minus on your bank account: be prepared and factor them in. Postage, legal stuff, bridal party outfits, hotel and travel costs, decor, overt-time costs…They all sound little expenses but when added to the mix they do make the difference! I’ve used an app to track the budget, which would also allowed me to find and communicate with vendors, do tables infographic and build a basic website – matrimonio.com. I’d truly recommend it and I know there are similar ones depending on the country you are getting married in.
DO – ADD A PERSONAL TOUCH
Wording the invitations and programmes. Having my cousins playing at the ceremony – they are all siblings and each of them play a different instrument: too cute! Having “Don’t Disturb” door handles custom made with a little thank you note for the guests. Have your own vows. Having my mum painting the back of my leather jacket for the evening. You call it! But definitely it makes the difference and your guests will appreciate it.
DON’T – FORGET TO GET FAMILIAR WITH THE DRESS AND THE SHOES
Take every measure possible to ensure you are comfortable on your big day. One way is to wear in your shoes. You don’t want sore and blistered feet on your wedding day! I was wearing them in the house and taking them to dance class. Yes the groom seen them BUT that meant that I was able to wear them up until the first dance on the big day!
Similarly, try on everything you’re wearing before the wedding, including your jewellery and underwear, just to get a feel for, well, how it will feel together on the big day. You don’t want to find out that your bra digs into your back thanks to the design of your wedding dress or that your earrings are so heavy, they hurt. If you do it early, you’ll have time to find replacements.
DON’Ts – CUT COST ON PHOTOS/VIDEO
Those are the only thing that will remain from your day (besides of course your memories of it!) If you’ve got a friend or family member who fancies themselves as a bit of a photographer/videographer and has offered to take on your wedding photos, think again (unless, of course, they’re a professional wedding photographer themselves). The value of a professional wedding photographer/videographer cannot be underestimated and will become apparent once you see the results. Besides it makes the day very stressful and not enjoyable for them too, so if you want them to have fun with you, perhaps choose to cut cost somewhere else.
DO – HAVE A LIST OF PHOTOS YOU DEFINITELY WANT
Write down how the day will go and highlight the moments that you want definitely to be captured. We had both professional photographers and videographer (I can guarantee you: it worth the money!), but I relied on them knowing what to do and ended up with no preparation of the groom with the groomsmen in both video and photos – it is not very common in Italy to have them, so I should have probably warned them – and no pictures with my gorgeous nephews.
They might not sound a big deal right now, but they will be after when you are looking at them after..
DON’T – FORGET TO HAVE A BOOGIE WITH YOUR PARENTS
It will be one of their favourite memories of the day.
DO – ENJOY YOURSELF!
There’s always gonna be something that doesn’t go to plan: may be the flowers, the menu, the table plans. Something won’t be or go how you imagine it. Ignore it!
It’s your day and it’s too late to worry about that!
Stop. Breath. Have fun. Enjoy the experience!
Laugh lots and often.
There is such a build up to your wedding day and, I can guarantee, it goes by like a flash.
It’s important to be in the moment and spend time with your spouse celebrating your love and the love the ones around you have for you two!