Last week we shared some examples of wedding traditions and etiquettes that some people might agree with us are not so important to focus on in the wedding, that could be downscaled or perhaps even left out. In this weeks Wedding Planning post, we present you with the areas that we believe are more relevant.
(For your own interpretation, of course!)
Dress – When I say relevant, I do not mean you need to expect to go into the “Say yes to the dress rapture”, but you need to feel comfortable and feel great wearing the dress. You might have seen a fab gown in an advert. But if you don’t love wearing it for the right reasons, you will regret it later. A more expensive dress is not necessarily going to be any better or more fabulous. Guests will not appreciate your appearance more because you spent more! Find a dress that feels “you” and remember that trends go out of fashion quickly so rather aim for a design that will age well. Remember there are several dresses out there that could be “the one” – you will know when you are wearing one just by how it makes you feel.
Hair– unless you are a hairstylist with serious skills it will be very hard to get your own hair right, even if you are going for a hair down boho style, you need a pro to make sure it is looking perfectly un-done and stays that way.
Wedding rings– it is for life – get something on the less “complicated” side, that way you wont grow out of it in 10 years. They are precious and symbolic to you and your husband and will always be a reminder of your love and commitment. Get wedding bands that you will identify with for a long time ahead, and don’t be afraid to custom make if you are not sure what you love the most. Classic and simple will be more durable for the test of time than trends.
Photography and videography – The big names can seem really expensive, but it is probably going to be worth it. If you don’t want to spend a third of your budget on photography and videography, do seek out up-and-coming photographers instead who are not yet as established, whos work is most likely going to be just as good.
Whoever you end up choosing, be sure that you LOVE their style and previous work. They must also be able to make you feel comfortable and natural – so use that engagement shoot as a way to test the chemistry out and get used to the idea of being in front of the camera.
The pictures and videos are going to be your memories and documentation for the rest of your life – so the photographer and videographer talent and technique is everything!
New thing worth spending on: having a wedding gopro or even a drone to capture the ceremony, the venue and the wedding reception like nobody else saw it.
Ceremony music– If you go for live ceremony music and performance, make sure they are really good. Broken violins or off-key voices are not befitting for the special occasion and start of your marriage.
Officiant – ideally choose someone you really click with. This part of the day is likely to be the most special to you and your groom and he/ she will say words of huge significance to you and your guests, so you don’t want to let budget decide when choosing officiant. Rather go for personal chemistry, recommendations and previous work records. Meeting and and communicating with the several times before the wedding is key.
Seating– never go for plastic budget chairs! It is worth spending more to create the appropriate seating for your guests. Comfort is most important, so before you pick chairs, sit in them to make sure they feel good, and if possible have a seat cushion too. People will remember if they were uncomfortable for the whole night. Make sure the elderly guests will be comfortable too, maybe they need a few extra cushions or a more supportive chair. Lounge seating and barstools are equally important for the mingling hours – no one likes tired feet. Ps. Make sure that all chairs are clean and not broken!
Having a weather plan B – needless to say, we can never be in control of the weather, and even if the wedding is in the middle of summer you can never be too sure. If your wedding is outdoors, have a marquee or other structure where you can seek shelter. If parts of the day needs to be outside, it’s a nice idea to provide umbrellas or rain jackets for guests to borrow. Likewise, have blankets to hand out if it gets colder later in the evening, and a few gas heaters are also a good idea. Guests will go home sooner if they cold! It is not nice be too hot either – so that tent will be crucial to provide shade. Some fans and sunscreen is also a good idea.
Young guests will require entertainment or you wedding might turn chaotic. Games, drawing pads with crayons, activity book, and do consider a special kids area and appointing a child minder, so that the parents can focus on enjoying the day with you. appropriate food for children should be a priority – a hungry and frustrated child can quickly become a loud and demanding monster. Having children in your wedding can add a wonderful atmosphere, it can turn the other way too though. Don’t feel obliged to invite children, everybody will understand.
Entertainment for guests – if everyone can find something to do, your wedding is gonna be so much more enjoyable. Especially if there is a period of waiting in between ceremony and reception, do provide guests with something to keep occupied with. For example an upbeat live band, lawn games, mad libs, a huge canvas to paint on, guest book (make this a fun and interactive one), lounge seating with comfortable cushions, finger foods, plenty of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drink options, wedding bingo or other Q&A competition, etc. Create different zones and make it unique and fun – happy guests and laughters makes for the best wedding atmosphere, and all those interactive things to do will ignite conversation and make the guests familiar with one another. If the activities are a bit ridiculous that is good – you are creating life long lighthearted memories!
Wedding night hotel – Don’t go for budget options, but do tell the hotel (after) you have booked that it is for your wedding night. Ask them to leave a bottle of champagne and chocolates for you, or whatever you may like. The bed needs to be comfortable and the room quiet and secluded. Go for luxe and comfort and make sure they can deliver breakfast to the room- this is a once in a lifetime night so indulge yourself! Make sure the room has a large bathtub so you can enjoy a relaxing, unwinding post wedding romantic bath. Do NOT stay at home!
Food and Drink – cut décor and wedding party costs and rather splash on amazing food – this is what guests will be taken aback by and remember for years to come. I am not a food and wine connoisseur, but I can ensure you what a great difference there is between a good vs bad tuna steak or Chardonnay. Rather go for flavour and abundance as opposed to trying to impress with fancy presentations and pretentious sounding names.
Special touches – What guests really are going to love and remember about your wedding are special personal touches (not Pinterest touches – sorry). So think together with your groom what you as a couple love, represent, and live for. For example: you love travel and you met in Mozambique on a charity project. Can you add a node to these aspects of your life to you wedding? Perhaps one or both of you have a hobby which can bring an influence. If you own a horse or a dog why not include it somehow? Walk down the aisle to your favorite Guns N Roses song. Serve dim sum as starters or other favorite dish. If you are into cycling, have a miniature bicycle on top of the cake instead of the usual plastic toppers. And so on and so forth. – How can you make the wedding truly you? Don’t be afraid to let your imagination guide the way!
Another lovely way to individualize your big day is to involve friends and family in the making of your wedding. Maybe somebody makes the best brownies. Your uncle might have an impressive collection of patterned ties that the groomsmen can borrow. Maybe somebody is even legally able to officiate? Not only for saving cash, but more so to involve and personalize – everybody you ask will feel honoured to help out, and coming together as a group for a great cause is a perfect way to strengthen family bonds.
Economize in the areas that feel less meaningful to you, so that you can make the parts of your wedding that matters extra special. Make it your day, your way. Be less concerned with following norms and traditions that doesn’t resonate with you, and concentrate on creating a fabulous and non-fussy day filled with memorable moments that you can proudly say it’s yours.