It’s time for us to slow things down here at Brides Up North HQ and wish all of our readers, clients and friends a very merry christmas!
We’ll be back in the New Year with our double daily dose of wedding inspiration, lots of brand new and old favourite (and more epic than ever) bridal shows, new projects and schemes (always thinking!) and some brand new web spaces to share (all the eeks and whoops and whathaveyous)!
As always, whilst we’re off necking the prosecco and scoffing the mince pies – and hopefully finding some of the goodies from this morning’s post under our trees (can we hint enough people?!) – we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule as we recap our 10 real wedding picks of 2017. Pop back in everyday from 27th December to see which weddings gave us that extra “ooh!” and to see if your big day is featured again.
Meanwhile, we’re finishing our year of blogging ‘proper’ with what’s always one of our very favourite posts as we look to our featured brides from the latter part of 2017 to pass on their gems of wedding planning advice to those of you soon to be saying your “I dos”.
These gals have only recently experienced the emotional rollercoaster of organising a wedding, and so we think they’re best placed to share a few words of wisdom that could help make your big day all the more amazing. From tips on where to spend the budget and how to allocate duties to others, to some pretty awesome ideas on how to make the proceedings personal to you and your partner – our #Bride(sUpNorth)Squad has it covered!
So, notebooks at the ready as our wise brides complete the following sentence – “My top tip to other Brides Up North would be…
love, julia, rachel and the team x
Donna says: If you are doing a DIY wedding, planning all the minute details in advance (although laborious) is really useful to ensure you can completely relax on the big day. There is an impossible amount to remember, things will be forgotten in the rush of the day before – and day of the wedding itself – so where possible assign specific tasks to people in advance and give specific instructions. Have checklists but, above all, if things don’t go exactly to plan on the big day – don’t sweat the small stuff.
Abigail says: Think about yourselves! Take a step back and worry a little less about pleasing everybody else, think about what makes you laugh, what you love about each other and how you want to celebrate that. Focus on making memories together, with your friends and with your families. Let go of your dress, let it get dirty, dance until your hair gets loose, cry until your make up smudges and don’t be afraid to take a little time out in the day for the two of you. One of the best things we did was organise a family get together after our church rehearsal, the night before the wedding – that way we were able to get our ‘hellos’ and introductions out of the way before the big day – it really helped us relax on the day itself.
Jane says: Suppliers get booked up very early, so make sure you have done your research and booked them in ASAP. You don’t want to lose them to another couple! Also, have a list of the photos you want on the day to make sure they are taken, get a good night’s sleep the night before the wedding and – most importantly – have fun!
Rebecca says: Keep a wedding spreadsheet to stay on top of your budget, guest RSVPs and then to keep a record of gifts to help you out with the thank you cards afterwards. Though, be prepared for the wedding spreadsheet to become your nemesis in the final weeks before the big day. Also accept it’s probably quite normal to argue about lots of things during the planning! Finally, an “oh my God I’ve made the wrong dress decision/will look terrible/have not spent nearly enough time in the gym” moment (or three) just before the wedding is normal (or it certainly was for me!). But trust me, you will look the best you ever have, and you’ll not give a hoot on the day itself!
Laura says: Be realistic about how much things cost. At first, we looked into doing things a bit more cheaply but, to be honest, it really wasn’t worth it for us. Try not to argue about the guest list and, most importantly, try to take a step back from everyone during the day. Even if it’s just for ten minutes, it’ll allow you to enjoy each other’s company and look on at the amazing day you’ve both managed to create.
Clare says: If you want to do something, go for it! People will tell you not to worry about the details, that no one will notice them – but if it’s important to you, that’s all that matters.
Fern says: Accept that there may be problems but if you surround yourself with trustworthy people they will help in any way possible. Also, definitely ask suppliers about who they would recommend as it takes the stress out of the searching. Finally, I’d recommend taking out wedding insurance. We got ours from Debenhams and also got a gift voucher from them. We didn’t need to use the insurance, but it gave us peace of mind.
Kerry says: Get a good photographer, and allocate a decent budget for photos because it’s the thing you have afterwards as a reminder of the day.
Christina says: Do the planning together. Nick and I made every decision together, because wanted the wedding to reflect ‘us’ as much as possible. We even broke a few traditions here and there: Nick helped me to pick my dress, and I helped with his suit. As a result, though, there were no nasty surprises ahead of us and we both felt so proud at the end of the night.
Zorina says: Have a mid-morning wedding. The day goes so quickly that having an afternoon wedding simply isn’t long enough. I’d also say get a videographer – it’s one of our big regrets that we didn’t. Also, ensure your photographer will be there from getting ready to the disco.
Melanie says: Enjoy every second of the run up, as much as the day itself. We loved the menu sampling, meeting the florist, picking songs for the string quartet and outfit appointments, and didn’t feel stressed at any point as we just wanted to enjoy everything.
Dawn says: At the wedding breakfast, we didn’t have a top table. We just had a table for my husband and I, which was so special as we got to have our first dinner together without trying to talk to everyone on the top table. Try as you might, you cannot please everyone so the best thing to do is please yourself, it’s your day and it goes fast, so have everything that you want – even if it’s not conventional.
Fiona says: Listen to your suppliers. You chose to work with them for a reason, and they really know their stuff. Secondly, tell your story. Your wedding is about you and your partner bringing together all of your loved ones. A lot of people will have a lot of opinions and suggestions – but make sure the day speaks to both of your characters, as that’s what people are there to witness and celebrate.
Natalie says: In the run up to the wedding, I read lots of the real weddings on Brides Up North, which really inspired our style for the day. I also attended the wedding fairs – it was great to see suppliers and their products in the flesh!
Rosie says: Don’t let other people influence your decisions. When I said that I wanted the ‘Ritz in the Woodland’ theme, people said I was crazy. I ended up having the perfect day because I stuck to what I wanted.
Emma says: Share the day and get everyone involved. We had people collecting jars and gin bottles for months, everyone helped us get the venue ready and we really made it a family affair. It makes it really special and everyone takes ownership of the day. Then, when it’s a success, everyone feels delighted! Also, if at all possible, make a weekend of it. It creates a sense of community and allows everyone to relax. Plus, it’s so much fun and it all doesn’t fly by like everyone always says!
Aimee says: Make sure you get a good best man and bridesmaids. Our best man was fantastic for us on the day, organising everything behind the scenes and really going above and beyond. It ensured we could concentrate on really enjoying ourselves and not worrying about all the things we’d booked going to plan. We made it our mission to have a good time and because we did, everyone else followed suit. Also, make sure you are first for the food in the evening. Too many brides and grooms miss out on this because they are working the room and hosting too much.
Rebecca says: Do it all your way. There are no rules when planning a wedding, so don’t do something just because it’s what normally happens. If you don’t want speeches, don’t have them. If you want ice cream, burgers, cake and pizza (in that order), go for it! The most important thing is that you both have fun.
Alana says: You don’t have to break the bank to get the look you want – where you can, source your own ideas and search to get things within a budget. We spent a lot of our budget on the venue, as we fell in love with the beautiful setting. We created our theme around what we love, and decided that we wanted a chilled-out, relaxed fun atmosphere. We sourced as much as possible ourselves, and searched for the right style of clothes and decorations, which kept costs down but also linked up with our style.
Jess says: Our top tip to pass onto other couples came from our celebrant – ask the venue to arrange a little room for you to disappear into after the ceremony. Take five to ten minutes with your new wife/husband just to enjoy each other’s company and take it all in. The day flies by so make sure you stop to be in the present and appreciate it.