It’s easy for a wedding budget to spiral out of control, and for the financial pressure of planning your dream day to take its toll.
- At the beginning of the planning process, sit down with your partner and make a list of everything you need to budget for.
- Work out your priorities, making sure you have the important basics, such as adequate food, drink and shelter, covered.
- Eliminate some extras such as guest favours and luxury wedding transport.
- Consider trimming your guest list – if you’re having trouble prioritising, only include people who you are confident will still be in your life five years down the line.
It’s only natural for parents to have a vision of your wedding day, especially if they’re paying, but when their ideas intrude on the bride and groom’s, problems can arise.
- If you want total control over your wedding day, consider paying for it yourself.
- Create a mood board to communicate the style and ambience you are after to your parents.
Too Much to Do
Weddings have a way of sneaking up on you and before you know it, your to-do list can seem completely overwhelming.
- Write detailed lists of everything that needs doing.
- Set realistic timeframes for when tasks need to be completed by.
- To make sure you stay on track, schedule to-dos for specific days.
- Delegate tasks to those around you.
- Complete as many tasks that can be done in advance as possible – think place cards and seating plans, even if you’re still waiting for a few RSVPs.
Our climate can be temperamental at the best of times, so it pays to have a back-up plan rather than risking a roomful of water-soaked, disgruntled guests.
- Marquees provide a fuss-free wet weather option, and allow you to weatherproof an outdoor setting by merely rolling down the flaps.
- If wind is a possibility, consider recreating an al fresco setting indoors by incorporating natural elements such as miniature trees or water features.
- If you have your heart set on marrying outside, request on the invite for guests to bring pashminas and adequate footwear, and keep an array of parasols or umbrellas on hand just in case.
Bridal party bust-up
It may be traditional for your bridal party to assist you with planning, but don’t expect them to be at your beck and call.
- Choose your bridal party based on their strengths, the depth of your relationship and their availability. Be realistic with your expectations – if your chief bridesmaid works from nine to five with three kids, she probably won’t be able to do much.
- If preparation becomes too stressful, consider looking beyond your wedding party for help – this is a good opportunity to involve friends who you couldn’t nominate as members of your entourage.
No matter how much research you did, sometimes a vendor or supplier doesn’t provide the level of service you expected.
- Address any concerns as early as possible with an email or phone call.
- If you continue to doubt their ability to follow through, you may have to pull the pin – make sure you have a backup option first.
It is not uncommon for couples to have a complicated family situation or friendships that require a certain level of sensitivity and careful planning.
- Talk to parties in question and explain how important it is to you that the day runs smoothly.
- If you find it easier, include a handwritten note with their invitation. Throw the ball in their court to make the final call on whether or not they attend.
Groom is missing in action
Not every groom is cut out to be a wedding planner so it can sometimes feel as if the event is your solo project.
- Keep realistic expectations of what your groom is capable of, and make him responsible for tasks he is likely to enjoy, such as the cars, music and suit hire.
- Book ‘business’ meetings to talk about your wedding. Limit them to one hour and hold them at reasonable times in a neutral space away from your living arrangements – this will stop you talking about your wedding during every waking moment together.
Guest list drama
Finalising a guest list that fits within your budget can be a huge source of stress.
- Create an alternative, less formal gathering – such as a high tea – for work colleagues and friends who you can’t invite to the wedding.
- If you do have to invite guests you aren’t happy having there, try and limit contact with them in the week leading up to the wedding.
In some instances, a person very close to you, such as an elderly grandparent, a heavily pregnant friend or a family friend in hospital may not be able to attend the wedding.
- If possible, visit absentees the day before the wedding or a few hours prior to tying the knot. Alternatively, factor in time to see them between your ceremony and reception.
- Save them a piece of wedding cake or flowers from the tables.
- Display photos of them at the entrance to the reception.
- Ask if there is anything they’d like said on their behalf on the day.
- Set up video links via Skype or Ustream – this way, even people on the other side of the world will see your special day unfold.