Notebooks at the ready ladies, as today we have some golden advice for you, courtesy of the most recent brides to have graced our pretty pages.
Keen to share what they learned along their own wedding planning journey, these clued-up newlyweds are passing on their top tips to you fellow brides in a bid to ease the stress and boost the enjoyment.
It goes without saying that organising a wedding can be both daunting and time consuming, but these pearls of wisdom should help you to realise where best to invest your efforts, who you can call on for support and remind you not to lose sight of what it’s all about along the way.
There is practical advice, such as researching suppliers, drawing up lists and budget spreadsheets and allocating tasks to others, as well as emotional support, including not getting hung up trying to please others and making time for you as a couple, both in the run up to the wedding, and on the big day itself.
We’re also delighted to hear how Brides Up North played a helpful and inspiring part in the planning of these brides’ stunning celebrations; from taking ideas from our beautiful featured real weddings, to using our handy online directory to locate top local suppliers and also visiting our Luxury Wedding Shows that we host at top venues across the north. And with our Spring season of events continuing through much of May, there is still time to get in on the action.
Now, on with those priceless pieces of advice as our featured brides complete the following sentence – “My top tip to other Brides Up North would be…”
Click on the links to see each wedding in full.
Louise says: Spend money on photographers and food. Don’t get too bogged down in the small details and trying to please everybody. They all just want you to have the best day anyway, so it doesn’t matter if there are a few things that aren’t 100% perfect.
If you are going to plan it yourself, you need a wedding planning book or lots of lists. Excel is also your friend!
I also used the Brides Up North Facebook page when planning; mainly for inspiration, venue locations and styling ideas.
Rebecca says: Organise everything straight away and then there is nothing to be stressed about. Don’t leave anything to the last minute. I also made sure I did my homework with all my suppliers, which also helped our day to be perfect.
Jessica says: Firstly, trust your vendors, as they are the ones you need to make your day run smoothly. Don’t stress over things they can sort for you!
Secondly, don’t take yourself too seriously in the run up. The vows are important, and as long as the legal part is booked everything else is a bonus. Everyone is there because they love you, and they might appreciate your expensive, bespoke perfume but that’s not going to be their overriding memory of your day. They’ll remember the feelings, and how much fun they had, and how much you love each other. Don’t lose sight of that in the madness of planning.
Also, throughout my engagement (and a little before!) I followed the real wedding features on Brides Up North, loving how every couple makes their wedding their own. I love the features on the site and the Instagram feed too, which is genuinely a bride’s best friend.
Charlotte says: Have your day filmed, it goes by in the blink of an eye so to be able to watch the video means you will see different things every time you watch it. We watch our video more than we look at our photos!
Nicole says: Do it your way and how you imagine it. Do not be pressured by others, family or Pinterest!
Also remember to make the time for the little things you want to do. Time runs away with you especially in the last few months before the big day, trying to fit everything in alongside normal life is when the stress creeps in. And it can definitely be avoided. Just remember to plan your time well.
I’ve been a wedding coordinator for over five years now and loved every part of the journey on the other side of the coin. Working in this industry, my ideas and inspiration have jumped from lots of different areas and platforms over the years. It’s sometimes hard to be involved in and see so many weddings and not think of them as ‘work’ so when planning my own, the main points really came from who we are as a couple rather than what I’ve seen and witnessed over the years. Of course, I picked up a few hints and tips along the way!
Sarah says: The day goes so quickly so make sure you get to spend time with each other and stop to make note of what is going on.
Don’t get too caught up in the small details, in particular the décor – on the day you actually don’t notice all the small things that you have stressed and spent money on. I think the important things are feeling comfortable in what you are wearing, having amazing food and drink, and inviting people who are going to make a difference to your day.
During the planning, I used Brides Up North for inspiration and to check for local wedding fairs.
Michaela says: Don’t scrimp on the floristry, I think it’s a lot more important than people realise when it comes to the overall look and atmosphere of the venue and it really shows up on photographs.
Also, I would ask bridesmaids to just check over and ensure no adjusting is needed to your hair or makeup before going for photos.
Natalie says: Plan the wedding you want and don’t worry about sticking to traditions if they aren’t for you. We had a small, intimate, romantic wedding with just 20 people in attendance and loved how personal and special the day was, it gave us the chance to take everything in. We then had a big evening reception party for all of our family and friends two weeks later at Charnock Farm, a rustic barn venue close to home, easily accessible for all our guests. It meant we could relax and party and spend time with all the guests. We had a singer, DJ and confetti cannon – it was a real party atmosphere! Splitting our wedding like this was a bit unusual but worked perfectly for us!
Matt’s top tip is for grooms to give themselves plenty of time to prepare their speeches!
During the planning, I loved looking at the styled shoots on Brides Up North for ‘professional’ inspiration, but also loved looking at the real weddings section to see what great ideas real brides and grooms had brought to life at their weddings and what advice they had given.
Rebecca says: Go with your gut feeling and don’t sweat over the small details – we organised our wedding in under four months so didn’t have time to agonise over minor things and I think this made it all the more enjoyable.
Zoe says: Don’t get carried away spending too much. There are a lot of Facebook groups and Pinterest boards with the ‘perfect wedding’, but you don’t need to spend lots of money on everything. I prioritised a photographer and the flowers and then kept the rest of it simple. It was also less stressful because I didn’t have to worry about lots of little details that can creep up on you. For us, the main focus was our nearest and dearest…and good food!
Cat says: Stick with what you and your partner want from the day. It’s a day about the both of you. A day when you’ve invited others to share your public commitment and celebrate with you.
We were lucky in that we paid for the wedding ourselves so were able to outline exactly what we wanted without having to take on other people’s ideas. If your family are contributing towards the wedding, have an honest conversation about what their contribution means, does it come with an ask for certain guests to attend, or table set up, or suppliers to use. If so, you need to make agreements. Having this conversation up front with mean less upset and stress later down the line.
During the planning, I used Brides Up North for wedding inspiration. I always love to look at other real weddings, take inspiration from them and tips from brides going through the same thing I was going through.
Cara says: Enjoy the build-up and the day itself. I know everyone says the day goes quickly, but so do the few weeks before. Make some time for yourself and to be just the two of you. And don’t get too hung up on the planning and finer details.
Hannah says: It’s all about planning and preparation – neither of us got stressed at all because we started quickly and made sure the ‘big things’ were booked early and sorted. Get a spreadsheet done on Excel and use a checklist to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything. At the end of the day – we both felt that it’s one day for us to enjoy and definitely not worth getting stressed over! As a result, we both enjoyed the day as well as all the lead up.
We used Brides Up North during the planning for inspiration, suppliers, other local weddings and generally getting ideas and tips!
Amy says: Focus on entertainment! So many of our guests have remarked about how much they enjoyed our wedding. I think guests will always remember the experience of the day rather than something like an expensive decorative item that you may think is important but no one else really remembers, or notices!
Megan says: Don’t get into debt, save where you can and don’t worry about cutting corners. We literally did the bare minimum for our wedding and it was perfect. We paid for our wedding ourselves and we couldn’t bear the thought of being left with debt after getting married, because for us, it just isn’t worth it. We splurged on our photographer because we knew that, when it’s all over, it’s the photos that are left. Choose wisely where you spend your money, and make sure that it’s you who will benefit from it, because it’s your day and it really is about you. Shop around, and don’t be too proud to go looking for a bargain!
And lastly, don’t listen to people who tell you that being married doesn’t feel any different…it does, it feels 1,000 times better.