Member Advice on Wedding Planning
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Review of "Member Advice on Wedding Planning"
I tell you what ladies and gents, when my other half got down on bended knee over a Chinese meal in our kitchen I thought I was just going to burst! The cogs in my brain were going overtime thinking about all the fun Id have planning my big day! I was quite heavily pregnant at the time and so the wedding planning was a welcome distraction from the achy legs, and all the charming stuff that goes with pregnancy like a gazillion trips to the loo, the stretch marks, the swelling from excess fluid... how on earth I could see past all that at the time I don't know, but I was determined to have the wedding of my dreams (our dreams!!)I was so into it that I spent my maternity leave before the baby arrived fawning over wedding magazines, picking out dresses Id like to try when I lost the baby weight and I even began talking about bridesmaid dresses 17 hours into labour! I was in danger of becoming a horrendous bridezilla. To cut a long story short, my baby arrived, I fell in love with him, fell in love with my other half all over again and spent the next 6 months in blissful oblivion with my new family. I decided a big wedding was not something I really needed; I would marry my fiancé in a field wearing a sack, just to be able to say I was his wife. So my planning slipped down a notch. It didn't last long, as 10 months before our set wedding date we decided to just 'go-for-it' and have everything we could think of for the big day… as hubby-to-be said; we're only young once. So that is where I will begin telling you about our big day and how it all panned out for us.
We are Irish, and if anyone has ever been to an Irish wedding they will know that we like a good old knees-up. The initial plans for the day were a guest list of 250, the wedding mass at 12, followed by a welcoming reception, dinner, a band and a disco. The Church had to be booked over a year in advance and we were lucky to get our reception venue as it is booked out until 2009. That is my first tip… Book the important things as early as possible. Of course a simple wedding can be arranged within weeks, it's totally up to you what you want to do.1) Book Early!
We booked our 2007 wedding in November 2005. My younger brother is getting married in 2009 and he has just booked his too, so here it is necessary, although I can't be sure if it's the same in the rest of the UK. We had to book the church and the reception venue first, then I had a very specific idea of the type of photography I wanted and the photographer I wanted is very much in demand so I had to book her in Feb 2006. The band was my next most important thing and so by the end of 2006 I had all of these in place. By booking early you get the pick of the bunch and you can also catch bargains as the people you book may not have decided on their prices for the next year yet so will give you a quote on the current year's prices.
2) Have a weekday wedding
Weddings at the weekend seem to cost that little bit extra. By choosing Friday instead of Saturday we saved a few hundred here and there.3) Tips for Dress Shopping
I had my eye on a particular dress in a magazine but had never seen it in any of the bridal shops I went to. I had almost settled on another dress but as fate would have it I happened to find a bridal store that had the dress I wanted. I tried it on, and there and then put my deposit on it. When you finally settle on the one, it is worth pulling your hair up to roughly see what it looks like, trying it on with a veil, asking for a mirror to see the back of it. This was one area that it was worth asking for discount. I bought my 3 bridesmaids dresses with the same shop and they gave me one free when I asked for discount.Try on dresses even if you don't like the look of them on the hanger. We saw some horrible dresses hanging up and when I tried them on they were really quite nice. So keep an open mind when dress shopping.
Wear some make-up if the shop allows it as you get a better idea of how the dress looks on you, and it is really worthwhile taking the dress to a tailor when it arrives in the store if it is loose or too long. I had mine brought in at the bust (I couldn't afford a boob job to fill the gap!) and it was also taken up at the front to help me to walk.4) Make Great Use of the Internet
I Ebayed Everything I could, bar the important things I've listed above. I made my wedding invitations from craft bits I bought from a seller, my wedding shoes were brand new, but only cost me £12.51 in an auction. My Favours were little bags of toiletries for the ladies and Seaside Rock for the men, again, all bought from Ebay. I saved hundreds buying my veil and head-dress there too. These little touches cost me next to nothing, but they made the day so special for my guests and they all commented on the little things. If you have a strict budget you can make a lot of the bits and pieces yourself and it really saves a fortune.5) Relax in the final Week
By the time the final week rolls around you could drive yourself mad with preparations. I soon realised that I had no power over anything that cropped up so late and so was happy to just lay back in the beauty salon and let the girls transform me from a ragged mother to a radiant bride. They really did their magic and I would totally recommend booking professionals if you aren't very sure of doing your own make-up. I was so happy with mine. Although I am in a tizzy most days I was remarkably calm when it came to the wedding day. If you can arrange to have your beautician come to your house on the morning of the wedding it is a great help. We were eating sausage butties at 8am while the hair dressers put up our hair in the living room. It's unlikely I'll ever be pampered like that in my life again so it's extra nice to have had that experience on my wedding day.6) Wear Water proof Mascara
As dad and I drove to the church together I felt very emotional and a few tears rolled out. My dad was so sweet he said 'please don't cry or I might cry too' and I just told him I was so happy and that was why I was crying. He just smiled and it was one of the most poignant moments of my day.7) Grab your hubby at every opportunity
As you are the important people on the day, it is inevitable that your guests want to have a chat with you, or take you out to dance and so, if it is anything like our wedding was, you will find yourselves separated a lot. Any time I saw my husband on his own at the reception I made a Beeline towards him, just to check-in and say hello.8) Dance, Dance and Dance some more!
And get as many old relatives up to dance as you can. It gets the atmosphere going. The dance floor didn't empty all night, and last week when we were watching the wedding DVD we could see all the smiles and laughs of the people out dancing and they seemed to be having a ball. Since the big day 2 weeks ago we've been told that it was a mighty days 'craic' and neighbours say they never danced as much in their lives.9) Be prepared!
So many things can cause little hiccups on the day and it really helps to be prepared. Have one of your bridesmaids carry a little pack including a safety pin (the arm hook on my train came loose and followed me up the aisle! I had to pin it in so I was very thankful for the pin! Lip-gloss is an essential, you kiss so many people on the day so it rubs up very quickly, a handy pack of deodorant wipes was a great thing to have too when we had all been dancing. Hair Pins are essential if you have an up do as little wispy bits of hair fall down all the time. We had a long drive through traffic from the church to the reception and photographs took over an hour so we were also so very glad of a little book of snacks my aunt had left in the car for us.10) Marks and Sparks Cakes are fantabulous!
I did want to save wherever I could and so we had an M&S cake. It tasted divine and was a lot cheaper than one of the £500 quotes we had gotten for a cake! We spent £120 and people said it was delicious so that was good enough for us.11) Get a DVD of the day if you can
I don't really rate DVDs, but my husband really wanted a DVD of the day so he booked a family friend. If it had been up to me I would not have had one, but now that we have it; I am so glad to have a record of the day. As the bride, your day flies in, and so you miss a lot of what is going on around you. The DVD gives you the opportunity to see all the special things.12) Make sure to do your paperwork!
As we are Roman Catholic we were urged to do a pre-marriage course a few months before the wedding. This detailed all the paperwork we needed to do and was a godsend for us as if we had not have went it is very unlikely that I would have had all the forms in on time. For R.C. marriages in Northern Ireland you need to visit your priest and sign a pre-nuptial form which states that you are not married before and that you are not being forced into this marriage. If your husband comes from another parish they will need to visit their own parish priest and arrange to have their baptismal cert sent to the church where the marriage is taking place (generally the woman's parish although this isn't necessary)You also need to fill in your civil forms and send them to your 'Births deaths and marriages' office around 12 weeks before and no later than 2 weeks before the wedding. Your intent to marry notice will be placed on the wall there and you will be told that you can collect your 'schedule'. This is VERY important- the schedule must be in the church the morning of your wedding or you will not be able to get married! Our priest told of a groom who had to drive 40 miles the morning of his wedding as he had forgotten the schedule!
13) Most importantly… Have the wedding you want.There is a lot of pressure put on brides and grooms about things they should have at their wedding. The most important thing is that you stick to your guns and have the day you want. If you want a quiet, intimate affair then do it, if you want a raging party that lasts a whole weekend (yeah!) then do it. Neither way is wrong or right. And the thing to not lose sight of is that fact that you are doing something very special that day. We had an absolute ball on our wedding day but I am glad it is over. It was a heck of a lot of work, but our guests were terrific and we will always look back on our day as a fabulous one.
Was it the best day of my life? No! It was the second best! No day can compare to the day we became parents, but it gave us and our families something to really look forward to. Thanks for reading.
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