I am actually ashamed that this is the first time in almost a year that I've sat down to write some form of ANYTHING on this blog. I had all intentions of keeping to a regular schedule and keeping you guys looped in with all the major life changes that were happening at the time like buying a new house, settling into my new job and finally starting to plan our wedding but you know how it goes; life takes over, things happen, a global pandemic strikes and before you know it, it's almost a year later. Sorry.
Our wedding was set to be a lovely summer soiree on the 28th of August 2020. We had started planning soon after moving into our home and made a lot of progress during the months that followed with only a few things to finalise like the food, some bits of decor, invitations and the like. Unfortunately, just as we were prepping to finalise these last few bits and bobs, the world got hit with Corona Virus and well and truly threw a major spanner in the works.
At first we were hopeful and thought we had loads of time between March and August even in the midst of a pandemic to sort everything that needed sorting. The plan was to ride the government imposed lock-down out and do what we could from our home and re-convene with whatever was left to do once lock-down was lifted. Our hopes were soon crushed, when businesses started closing down, travel was severely limited and appointments came and went without making any desired progress. It was at this point that we started thinking about possibly postponing our wedding and started getting in touch with our vendors to see what our options would be in the event that we did postpone the wedding.
Fast-forward to today and the decision to postpone has been made and confirmed. We liaised with our venue and our vendors and settled on a date early next year. We're hoping that things will be back to normal by then; whatever normal even is at this point. Making this decision has relieved a lot of stress that was beginning to wear us down and we are just so blessed that our vendors have been so amazing, flexible and understanding every step of the way and it just makes us all the more certain that we've made the right decision for us.
With that being said; planning is still kind of paused for now due to COVID-19 but there's a been a lot of things that I've learned over the past few (sometimes stressful) months of planning our wedding that I thought I'd share with any future brides out there that were maybe wondering what it's actually like to plan a wedding.
Marcus and I decided on a budget early on and checked into how much things would cost. We wrote out the obvious things like the venue, the food, attire, photography and videography etc. but every big-ticket item has its add-ons and not to mention the little things that get overlooked. Weddings require insurance, photographers need to be fed, outfits need alterations, deliveries have fees, napkin holders, arches, flowers, rentals, it all costs money. Granted you don't have to have every little thing and you can DIY or opt-out of things you don't see as essential. My advice is over budget and give yourself some wiggle room so that you don't get a shock when things start to add on.
Good vendors are hard to find and chances are they're booked up months and years in advance so start looking early and go off of recommendations. I found a great photographer and videographer on Instagram and after scrolling through his page and seeing that he had worked with some people I loved, I got in contact and booked him for our big day.
I soon realised I'd made a big mistake when he fell off the face of the earth for months and stopped returning our calls. It was only at this point that I decided to get in contact with some people he'd previously worked with who proceeded to tell me how he had been absolutely terrible with them too! Long story short, after months of chasing him and many threats he returned my deposit and we parted ways. Moral of the story, take your time finding the right vendors and always ask for reviews and recommendations.
Everyone will have an opinion - whether you ask for it or not. What food you should serve, where you should have your wedding, what type of ceremony, the order of service and how you should do your hair. It gets very jarring very quickly and to keep yourself from going insane just remember it's YOUR big day and no one else's. Do not cave in to the pressure of trying to make everyone happy and prioritise what you and your partner want always.
Make use of your friends and family and delegate where you can.
If you're anything like me and like to be in control of everything this may be very difficult but honestly, you can't do it all alone and it helps when you have someone you can rely on to take some of the pressure off.
Vendors will mess you about, global pandemics will hit, things will go wrong and your vision for certain things will go out of the window. Keep calm, take a deep breath, re-group and carry on. Deal with your new circumstances and try to find a solution, even if that solution means postponing your wedding!
People are not going to remember what fancy trinket you had wrapped around your napkins or what kind of flowers you had in your centrepieces. They won't care about what paper your menu is written on or what artistic font is on your invitations. Don't get too caught up with the tiniest of details. Yes, expectations can be high when it comes to weddings but do your guests have somewhere to sit? Something to eat? Good music to turn up to? If the answer is yes then all is well. If people are judging you for not having gold cutlery that matches your gold invitation writing or not having flowers on every possible surface then they have no business being at your wedding. PERIOD.
Once you decide on your number of guests and start sorting out your guestlist, get ready to hear complaints from people who aren't invited and get ready for not so subtle nudges from your parents and in-laws on people they think should be added to your guestlist.
Your mum's cousin's uncle's wife who you can't put a face to the name does not need to be at your wedding. A long lost friend from primary school who you recently bumped into while doing your shopping doesn't need to come either and same goes for your close friend's latest squeeze who will be replaced in a matter of months does not need to come too. It sounds brutal but weddings are expensive and as much as you don't want to hurt people's feelings, not everyone can come.
Your wedding day should be an intimate affair with people you really want there and can't imagine getting married without. Anyone else after that is eligible to get the chop as far as I'm concerned.
Wedding planning is stressful; I mean trying to wrangle a small group of friends for a meal or a night out can be stressful so you can only imagine trying to do that for a wedding! There's so many details to consider, so much money to spend and so many things to coordinate in order to make sure the day goes off without a hitch. Even with all this, try your best to steal some moments of fun where you can.
Plan a lovely day of dress/suit shopping with your best girls/guys plan a lovely getaway for your hen-do/stag-do, savour the make-up trials and lap it up at your food tasting. Have as much fun as you can, when you can; you'll only regret it if you don't.
Don't lose sight of what's most important which is you and your partner's public declaration of your love for each other, the merger of two families and the beginning of a wonderful life together. Keep the thought close to you at all times, especially when things get particularly stressful. If you hold on to that, nothing will shake you and you'll have the most amazing wedding day ever even if things go wrong - and they will.
I've had a lot of people give their unsolicited opinion about how weddings are a waste of money and totally unnecessary but guess what, if you want to drop money on a ridiculously expensive party, exchange vows in the presence of your family and friends, eat good food and drink way too much wine then you do you boo! Do what you want, within your budget and exercise some of the tips I've shared above and it will all be totally worth it!