Planning a wedding is no joke! You are faced with months of to-do-lists, checklists, ideas that need to be researched, stuff that needs to be sourced and many, many decisions.
Today we want to share our modernized top tips to help all newly engaged couples to a ride which is a little bit smoother, but also more individualized and bespoke.
This day and age it is more than OK do to things your own way, not adhering to traditions at all times. Planning a modern day wedding, you won’t need to feel inclined to being led by trends, colors and themes, but rather choose modern, contemporary celebrations creating an ambiance or a mood which is reflective of your personalities. Don’t be afraid of making a statement which is your own, and not a tradition or Pinterest induced statement!
We want to remind you to not only plan the best wedding, but also a wedding day which is uniquely yours and not just following a formula. Wedding are no longer “traditional” or “boho” and planning a modern day wedding should not need to adhere to either category – that way you are likely to achieve a unique wedding in easier, often cheaper and more meaningful ways! (And your wedding guests won’t necessarily need to endure the bouquet toss or sparkler send-off just for the sake of it!
Working the budget
The financial side of getting married can be daunting when you begin to realize what it can cost to put on such a big party. The budget will dictate all the decisions you make throughout the wedding, from your dress, the entertainment and down to the cake topper. Allocate only what you can realistically afford, and make sure add a contingency for unexpected costs and vendor tips in the budget, too.
For every planning decision you make sure, ask yourself if this is truly important to YOUR wedding? You might not need the fancy decorations, trendy details or even amount of guests as traditional weddings might imply. Being ruthless and realistic is OK – your wedding will still be the best day ever.
The hunt for your dream venue
Before you look for venues, you’ll have to first have an understanding of your budget and how many guests you want to invite. A bit of math is required so it is a good idea to figure out the numbers before you book appointments at venue candidates as it will make the selection easier.
Already found the venue of your dreams? You will probably need to figure our the remaining budget and amounts of guests you can invite accordingly. If you have a fixed idea of guestlist and budget, you’d choose a venue that fits your numbers. It is a question of priorities!
The venue should reflect the wedding you’d like to have. If the place of your wedding already contains the atmosphere you are hoping to achieve, you’ll have a lot less decor and “stuff” to worry about later.
Similarly, a naturally stunning venue wont need as many details, flowers and decor. Booking a more basic venue could be false economy. Look at the whole picture when choosing your venue.
When decorating your modern day venue, think more about the atmosphere and vibe rather than matchy-matchy everything. It is more than ok to drop the two-color theme mindset and rather include an array of colors for a creative and cheerful wedding atmosphere. Colors take up more “space” meaning less other decor items are required.
Good to keep in mind: An all inclusive wedding venue will make engaged life so much easier! In recent years alternative venues such as warehouses, castle ruins or the desert has gained popularity (and for all the right aesthetic reasons) but think about it: if the venue is not normally set up to host weddings, you will need to bring everything needed for the party and all the styling elements yourself which, as you can imagine, adds a lot of logistics to manage – and expenses, too.
Whether you opt for a wedding in an Instagram worthy banquet hall or in your local pub doesn’t actually matter – as long as it is a place where people can come together and celebrate your love in a way that feels achievable and meaningful to you.
Nail the wedding guest list
The guest list is ultimate the biggest expense in your budget, so reserve it for the few that really mean something special to you. You don’t need to invite every person you know to your wedding! You might feel the pressure to include distant relatives, plus ones and high school friends, but this is really not necessary.
A smaller, intimate wedding is easier to plan, afford and manage, and will save you both stress and money for life afterwards – or your dream wedding dress or honeymoon. You will have more opportunity to talk and connect with your guests too, as opposed to just a fleeting hug.
If you are struggling to narrow it down, use the ” One Year” rule. Have you not seen or spoken to this person in the last year, you don’t have to invite them. (For relatives, perhaps it is the “Two Year” rule instead).
A smart way to compromise is to invite everyone to the ceremony, providing the chosen space can accommodate of course, but only invite closer family and friends to the reception. They will all be part of the most special moment (the kiss!) and you can have a more focused party with the favorite people in you life after.
Win big on taste
Serving formal food and three course menu is no longer a must! A contemporary wedding menu can be enjoyed in a more casual manner such as from food stations, maximalist grazing tables and help-yourself bars. Guests will love being able to choose their favorite pickings from an indulgent spread and eating whilst mingling, and topping up their drinks as they please.
This concept is especially popular for cocktail hours, replacing the traditional starter, and for the dessert. They create a sense of abundance and simple luxury, and make for beautiful and impressive displays too!
Serving a solely vegetarian or vegan menu is something many modern wedding couples choose to do, not only because of environmental reasons but also because of the colorful creativity it offers. It will also save the headache of dietary requirements as everyone can enjoy the same menu!
The presentation of the food and drink is also part of the culinary experience. Consider a maximalist approach when styling your tables, such as a wide range of china and glass to create interesting tabletops. Even the simplest food can wow guests when served from a creative display.
Dessert tables or wall displays with a selection of treats can double up as favors – just provide small paper bags and guests can pick their own take-away mix for the road.
The midnight snack is also a winner – who doesnt want a savory bite such as popcorn or mini burgers after dancing to sober up before bed?
Remember to always over-cater for grazing tables and dessert walls – guests eat more than you’d think! If you have leftovers, arrange for it to be delivered to a shelter the next day, and you’ll know that nothing has been wasted.
Staying on top of the game
Spreadsheets, apps and online wedding planning platforms are really helpful – but nothing beats a regular calendar and note book for keeping ideas and lists in one place. Print out a comprehensive time line and to-do list, save copies on your phone and mark the progress as you go along. It is good to set up a separate email account for planning purposes to keep it all together.
In the last month before the wedding, make a detailed timeline of your wedding day containing all the key events and what time they should occur. Make sure to be generous in your estimations as it can take longer than you think to move people from A to B.
Email this timeline to each of your vendors. On each emailed list, you also want to but detailed instructions to the specific vendor, such as a shot list for your photographer, mood board to your wedding stylist and song list to your DJ.
Also send the general timeline to all involved family members, wedding party, MC and those doing speeches. If you have hired a caterer independently (not through the venue) he or she must also know at what times to send out food and serve drink.
A timeline is the structure of the day. It will help everyone stay organized, ease stress and prevent confusion.
Even if you have not hired a wedding planner to organize the entire event, you will be immensely relieved to have a professional day-of-coordinator to oversee the day, make sure the timeline is followed and that everyone involved is at the right place at the right time. Should any day-of emergencies occur (touch wood) there will be someone who is specifically there to sort it out.
This eliminates a huge amount of stress leading up to the day as you know you will be in safe hands, and you can enjoy being the newly-weds without worrying about practical details!
Social media channels are wonderful for inspiration and ideas, but it can get to the point that you end up feeling inadequate by all the picture perfect wedding out there. Instead of trying to replicate what has already been done, think of ways to make the wedding about you and your Groom. This way you will create a unique wedding, and feel more genuinely satisfied with your efforts too.
Good to know – you will be receiving tonnes of advice, especially from those who are already married or those currently dreaming about getting married themselves. Although they mean well, their wedding ideals might not apply to yours. If you feel bombarded, learn how to politely deflect and don’t be afraid to say no.
On the other hand, remember to let your Groom be involved in the decisions too!
If you get overwhelmed or need support, make sure to ask for help – don’t try to do everything yourself. Involve your bridesmaids and family in the errands – they will be honored to be of assistance.
Make sure to ENJOY the process! It can -and will- be quite hectic at times, but this time is really special so savor each engagement day and wedding planning task and take the adventure in your stride!