“How to plan a wedding?” is the question that most couples ask once they are engaged. Most couples do not know where to start; there are so many aspects to think about and decisions to make, not to mention suppliers to find. However a lot of the work is fun and of course it is very rewarding when you turn up on your wedding day and see your vision and dreams come to life. So here are some top tips to get you started:
I hope that these ten tips will give you a good head start in planning your perfect day – keep checking back here for more tips, advice and inspiration!
Welcome to my new website, my name is Angela Gibson and I am a fully qualified Wedding Planner having achieved a Distinction in The Advanced Certification in Wedding Planning, Design and Management.
I love to help couples plan their wedding and I love using my knowledge and experience to help others achieve their wedding day dreams and bring joy to those I help.
Over the coming weeks I will be starting a series of Blogs called “Magical Planning” that is aimed to help couples plan their wedding, I will be covering advice, ideas and how to manage problems, as well as talking about the current hot wedding topics. I can’t wait to read my readers responses, so check back here soon to start enjoying my blog.
Many destination wedding planners offer wedding packages where the themes and colours used during the wedding day are pretty much identical from one wedding to the next, they quite often use the same venues, the same suppliers and the same items. This is because they know this programme works successfully and produces a stunning wedding.
But what if you don’t want a wedding the same as every other bride who has walked down that wedding aisle before you?
Then it is essential that you find a wedding planner who will design you a wedding to match your own unique colour scheme and wedding theme. I ask all of my couples about their dream wedding day and ask them to share their Pinterest with me, I then produce every couple design mood boards. Once they have fallen in love with a theme I work hard to implement this into their wedding day while keeping within their stated budget. They get to choose the type & colour of flowers and the style of their cake, we can adapt the lighting, table linen, centrepieces and furniture, right down to the colour of the wedding aisle carpet.
So does this mean I miss out on those pre-selected wedding packages?
This all depends on the service that the wedding planner offers, so find out from your wedding planner what they offer in terms of design and implementation. I offer this service as part of my packages for every single wedding I manage, I understand how important it is that your wedding day reflects your personalities and style, even if you only have a small budget.
It is my job to design, plan and produce you a wedding that you are proud of and will give you and your guests, joy, not only today but in years to come when you look back at your photos.
Get in touch with Angela’s Weddings in Spain now to secure your uniquely styled wedding.
Tel: (+44) 07976 981341
Planning your wedding is incredibly joyful, but there is always one area that most couples struggle with and this is the guest list. It brings out the family politics in most families. Maybe your budget is tight or you just want to have people who are in your life daily there to celebrate with you, whatever your reasoning, there is always someone who objects to your choices; perhaps your Mother wants you to invite all of those aunts, uncles and cousins that you never see, or you want to invite one cousin because you get on really well with them but the others will feel left out. It is always an area of wedding planning that is full of hurdles and logistics. So here are some tips to guide you through:
Firstly before you accept financial help from your family, ensure that they understand your dreams and ideas for your wedding day, including guests. This way you won’t feel pressured by them to invite people they want at your wedding just because they are contributing to the cost.
If you have chosen your venue already, then ensure that you stick within the numbers quoted by the venue so that you are not over capacity, it would be a disaster to have to un-invite guests later.
So how do you decide who to invite? Well the first thing is to agree some rules, such as: If you have not spoken to them in 3 years don’t invite them. If you feel guilty about not inviting them (perhaps because you attended their wedding) – don’t invite them. If you want an adults only wedding (maybe because you can’t afford that many kids or want your guests to have more fun without them) – don’t invite them. If you don’t want to invite single peoples plus ones – don’t invite them. You get the picture! Once you have made these rules, stick to them.
Secondly make a big list of all of those that you would like to attend your wedding. Break this down into four categories: Category 1 – essential must have guests. Category 2 – Would really like to attend. Category 3 – could invite if we have the space after we receive the first lot of RSVP’s. Category 4 – Evening Only.
Then with any luck category 1 &2 will fit within your limited guest number, if not you will need to remove some from Category 2.
Work on the basis that around 10% of those invited will not attend, so if your total number of invited guests is slightly over and is within the 10% you may be ok, but tread carefully as you don’t want to have to un-invite guests later. You could always do your invites in two batches and once you have the RSVP’s and know how many are not attending, you could invite others, but beware of people communicating between themselves and feeling left out, or feeling like a second choice.
As always the important thing is to remember that this is your special day and you should plan it how you want to, explain to people your reasoning in a fair and clear manner so that they understand your decision and that it is not personal against them in any way and people should be considerate to your feelings.
Also, your guests will make your day more perfect, more memorable and more joyful, so enjoy this part as you imagine your offer day with those you love.
Brides Daring to be different?
Nowadays the fashion conscious bride does not have to wear white, ivory or even blush, there are a wide range of dresses available in a variety of colours. Maybe you want to be completely out there with a bold choice of colour, or perhaps the idea of a traditional white, cream or ivory dress just bores you stupid. So how do you make a statement but also remain classy and sophisticated and yet ensure that you still look like the bride, and not a bridesmaid or prom queen?
Well the first step is to think carefully about the colour you are choosing, how does your partner feel about it and how does this work with your chosen venue and style? Once you have chosen the colour, visit a boutique where they are able to help you with a coloured wedding dress, perhaps you have the budget for a dress to be designed and made especially for you, or maybe a white dress can be dyed to your chosen colour, take advice from your boutique, after all they are the professionals.
Consider how you will dress any bridesmaids so that they look different to you, perhaps they could have a simple or shorter dress, in a different colour so that you stand out as the bride.
Once you have chosen your dream dress, accessorize as any bride would do so that you definitely look like the bride.
Remember there is no rule book for choosing a dress, it is completely up to you what you wear and the dress should be a statement of who you are and it should reflect your personality.
So beautiful brides of today, what colours are you wearing on your big day?
Different types of wedding photography explained:
One thing that most couples think is going to be easy is to choose a wedding photographer, but actually when they start to look into it they soon realise it is a lot more complex than they thought. This is because nowadays there are a variety of different styles of photographer. I am here to explain the differences to you so you can make an informed choice based on your personal preferences.
Reportage / Documentary Style:
This style is capturing images in a natural style, there is no posing for photos; the photographer follows you and your guests and captures stunning shots, capturing a natural moment in time, often without the person knowing they are being photographed. This is ensures that your wedding album tells a story of the day, of what you and your guests did, with their natural expressions and with calm and flair.
Traditional / Classic Style:
This is the style you will have seen in your parents wedding album, a selection of posed images, maybe of the couple alone, or the full wedding party. The list of required images is drawn up by the couple prior to the wedding and the photographer and his assistant gather the guests and instruct them where to stand. Some might say that a selection of posed shots is essential for every wedding, such as the cutting the cake and signing of the register, but also the group shot containing all of your guests together.
There are other less common styles of photography such as contemporary/modern where the emphasis is on creating high impact and visually appealing images that would not look out of place in a modern art gallery. They might use bright saturated colours, flash effects or unusual angles to create dramatic shots.
This might be the style of choice for your vintage themed wedding; where the photographer uses warm tones and soft processing or pronounced scratches to make the images appear like an old 60’s Polaroid.
This is a little more unique and the photographer is looking to perfectly capture the beauty of a fine art image, the images are often described as beautiful, timeless and dream-like. It is about creating an image that you might find in a fine art gallery.
A Blend of Styles:
Many photographers will provide you with a blend of Reportage and Traditional, so that you can have a collection of relaxed and natural shots, but also have a few of those important traditionally posed pictures too.
As you can see you need to think about what you want to achieve and how you want to look back on your wedding day in the future – what do you want to see in your album? Research photographers, and take recommendations from other couples or from your venue. Going to wedding fairs is a great way to meet a selection of photographers and look through their albums and get a feel for their work. Once you have selected a photographer then meet with them and talk through how you see your day unfolding and how long you want to spend away from your guests being photographed. Most importantly ensure that you feel comfortable with them, after all they are going to provide you with the long lasting treasure once the fizzy bubbles have faded away!
Do I need a wedding photographer?
Many couples choose to keep the costs of their wedding low by having a friend do the photography, if you are considering this, then please take my advice; cut the costs somewhere else and have a photographer, in my opinion they are essential. I have seen enough crying brides now to realise that even though you have a friend who is great with a camera, they are not skilled enough to produce the images you are hoping for.
I have spent ages with couples trying to find one decent image so they can have at least one photo of their wedding day on the wall in their house. I have seen collections where the bride has a 5 mile an hour road sign behind her, the perfect loving look is ruined by a tatty old car in the background, the photo of the three cute little bridesmaids have bins behind them. None of these were noticed by the ‘so called photographer’ and don’t get me started on the photos after a few glasses of fizz, let’s just say drunken images don’t get much worse.
It is truly heart breaking to see these couples when they realise that apart from memories, all they have are some dodgy photos and an album full of blurred, wonky or just plain rubbish photos, and how they wished they had cut the costs elsewhere and spent the money on even the most budget friendly package offered by a photographer.
So please don’t let this sad couple be you, your wedding day is a once in a lifetime experience, surely you want to be able to treasure those precious moments for the rest of your lives, and gaze back at those beautiful photos with fond memories.
Come back to my blog soon to read about the different styles of wedding photographers.
The Plunging Neck Wedding Dress – Conceal or Reveal?
With many brides getting married in a civil ceremony the world of the classic white wedding dress has vanished never to be seen again, no longer should your bust and back be respectfully covered up, but the more skin on show the better. Sexy plunging necklines and elegant low cut backs dresses have become a fashion statement that most brides will consider to some extent. However many people disagree that having so much skin on show is appropriate for the ‘innocent’ bride dressed in white. So when is it appropriate to wear the low cut plunging neckline?
Well some may say that “if you’ve got it flaunt it” and that keeping in fashion on your wedding day is key, but you need to make sure you look classy and sophisticated and not like you are on the pull! So how do you ensure that you look classy? Well essentially by making sure the dress you choose is beautifully fitted, that you are not exposing too much boob, the underwear you have is appropriate for the dress, and that you cannot ‘fall’ out of the dress – after all you don’t want to give your new father in law or best man an eye full on your wedding day!
So can you wear one of these super stunning dresses to church? Well if you really wanted that plunging dress but didn’t feel comfortable in church, you could of course have a lace illusion jacket made to fit with your dress, of which you can remove after the ceremony, thus creating two stunning wedding day looks.
So fashion conscious brides of today – what is it to be? A sexy plunging neck line and exposed low cut back, or something a little more modest?
Pre Wedding Photoshoots
The traditional engagement photo shoot has changed over the years and is now classed as a pre-wedding photo shoot – it’s no longer is related to becoming engaged, it’s part of the wedding prep.
Years ago the photos would be incredibly posed, now they are done in a relaxed environment at a venue of your choice, designed to show off the couples personality and emotion in the run up to the big day.
You may be thinking that with the cost of the photographer I can’t really afford a pre-wedding photo shoot as well, but I would recommend that you have one. It gives you and the photographer the opportunity to get to know each other and enables you to relax and feel calm in front of the camera so that on your big day you are ready and relaxed for a photo sesh. Choose a venue that you feel will highlight your personalities or have it at your wedding venue to give the photographer the opportunity to become familiar with the venue and the best places and angles to shoot, it’s also a great chance to walk around together and get a feel for the agenda of the day.
A photo shoot is great fun; you can have fun in front of the camera and enjoy looking at the images after. A great idea is to have one of the best photos blown up and mounted with a white border, all of your guests can sign the white border and afterwards it can be framed – a great replacement for the traditional guest book.
So while a pre-wedding shoot may seem like a waste of money, think again, it’s a really important part of the preparations to make the day and the memories it will make, perfect!
Pop back to my blog soon to read “Do I need a Professional Photographer”?
Wedding Guest Dress Code
Weddings nowadays are full of themes and colour schemes, so what if you want to extend the dress code to your guests, how will they react and how do you go about asking your guests to wear a dress code.
The first thing is to choose a dress code that people will be comfortable in and can get hold of without too much trouble. Consider the time of year and how appropriate it is for those guests and how easy it will be to purchase.
I had a couple who chose to have all of their guests wear white, and the wedding party wore cream and the bride wore a soft gold. The plan was for the wedding party to stand out against the crowd and of course for the bride to stand out most of all. They detailed the dress code on the invite but unfortunately had a lot of queries from their guests, the wedding was at the start of June so everyone was going shopping in April and early May and of course none of the shops had white, so everyone, particularly the men protested. However everyone turned out beautifully in white, including all men and children, and it was amazing, the overall look of everyone wearing white was fantastic, and all guests could now see the couples thinking and agreed that it was worth the effort.
So while your guests may protest, keep in mind that you know what your vision is and how amazing it will look on the day, try to be as helpful up front with the guests about what you are trying to achieve, why and how they can get hold of the clothes they need. I can assure you it will be worth the effort in the end.
How to cope when you have had enough of the planning:
After you got engaged you were singing from the roof tops and shouting; “I am the luckiest girl alive” “I absolutely love planning my wedding” and “my new career is going to be a wedding planner”. Now though you can’t face even looking at the checklists, you have missed so much sleep that there is no way you are going to look like a beautiful blushing bride and every time your partner mentions something about the wedding you snap their head off! You just want to go back to life pre Wedmin. So much for loving every minute of planning this wedding!
But please don’t worry, this is a normal stage of the planning process, you can come back from this full of enthusiasm and excitement again, and you will go back to looking forward to the wedding, I promise. So you may be thinking – how is that going to happen now?
Well, here are a few things you can do to get your mojo back:
Planning a wedding is a really amazing adventure, there will be ups and downs throughout the process, but mostly up’s, it’s how you deal with the downs that is the issue; you need to make sure the hard parts are short lived and that you can move on happily to the next phase quickly. So going forward; ensure that you give yourself some time out away from the planning, keep up those breathing exercises and continue to enjoy those hobbies. There is still so much to look forward to, and yes you can retrain to be a wedding planner once you return from honeymoon, after all you will have learnt so much already!
Top tips – keeping within the wedding budget
The sun is shining, the birds are singing, you have chosen your dress, the venue and most of the suppliers are booked – life is great – your wedding is going to be great – and you just love buying bits and pieces here and there! But whoa! Stop the bus, the budget keeps creeping up and your partner is concerned about how you are going to pay this all off at the end of it.
While all those little things here and there don’t actually cost that much, they do add up over time and they can actually break the bank, so here are some scenarios to get you thinking carefully over what you need to spend on and what to not.
“I have seen the shoes to die for, they are just perfect and those sparkly bits are just going to look sooooo amazing in the photos – the only down side is they are £150, but hey it’s my wedding day, if I can’t buy expensive shoes for that, when can I”?
Well let’s just think about this for a minute; are they actually going to be visible under the dress, how many people are going to notice them when they are looking at your stunning outfit and are you really likely to wear them again? I am sure you can find some stunning shoes at a fraction of the cost.
“My Bridesmaids and I are going to have massages and spa treatments on the morning of the wedding, I have worked through the schedule and have time before we need to get ready, these are just going to make me feel so good and nice and relaxed before the ceremony”.
I know it’s your wedding day and you deserve to feel special and pampered, but are you really going to have time without having an impact on getting ready, and do you think you will actually relax knowing what is coming that day? Spa treatments and massages are quite an expense, so think carefully if this is an essential and if you will actually benefit from it as you expect.
“I just love these little personalised favours; our guests will treasure them forever and they will look amazing on the tables, they are only £5 more expensive than the ones my partner likes, so I think I will just go with these”.
£5 more doesn’t sound like a lot, but if you have 100 guests, that is £500 more to find, your guests are not going to mind if their favour is a small bag of chocolates or an expensive gift, they are going to love your wedding day because people they love are getting married, so maybe the cheaper alternative your partner likes are the ones to go for!
“I think that these large urns full of flowers will look amazing at the entrance to the aisle at the church, they cost around £200 each but I know they will be worth it and everyone will be wowed as the enter the church”.
Flowers are a stunning asset to a wedding, but think carefully about how much they cost and where they will be used, and how much they will be seen. Are the flowers for a church wedding going to be left at the church after the ceremony? If not how are they going to get to your reception before your guests, even though they cannot be moved out before your guests leave the church. Also is your florist going to charge you an additional fee for moving them? If flowers are only going to be placed in a ‘walk past’ zone, bear in mind that yourself and each guest may only see the flowers for around 1 minute in total, is that really worth the expense just for that minute?
“I am going to put personalised labels on all of the bottles of wine, I think this will be such a lovely touch”.
Personalising wine bottles is a nice idea, they will look great on the tables, but as before think of the cost versus reward, the first and maybe second bottles of wine may be picked up, emptied into the glasses and removed by the waiter who will put them in the bin. The life span of the label may be short lived and no-one will appreciate the cost and effort that you have been through in relabeling them.
So while there may only be a handful of examples here, you can see that it is easy to get carried away and pay for things that you think will make the difference, but actually you wouldn’t even notice if they were missing. It is true that it is all the little touches that make a wedding day personal, but as always less is more; do the things that you will remember and will have an impact on you and your guests, consider if you could spend that money better on something else, like additional canapés or an extra glass of fizz on arrival, or maybe just keep the money in the bank instead! The most important thing to make your day perfect is you and your partner having fun and there is no price tag on that!
Do you dream of getting married on the beach, but don’t want to get married abroad?
Well look no further, there are some stunning venues in the south of England where you can actually say your vows on the beach.
Just imagine one of those stunning blue sky days, with your toes touching the sand while you declare your love for one another, sipping champagne overlooking the most gorgeous coast, and those dreamy beach wedding photos just like you see in the magazines!
All of these venues have stunning bad weather back up rooms which overlook the beach and sea, just in case the weather isn’t so perfect. One venue I have in mind is a stunning grand historical building with the most gorgeous beach, rooms and gardens, another is a beautiful hotel with an outstanding coastal outlook, and another is a beach side wedding venue.
Contact me now to find out more about these stunning venues and get those beach wedding dreams started.
Welcome to 2018, with a New Year brings the start of planning the best day of your lives for many couples. Now that the turkey has been eaten and the decorations have been put away, it is now time to get focused and think all things weddings. But you might be asking where do you start? So here are the first ten things to do:
Once you have secured the venues and your celebrant/registrar you can now relax knowing a huge part of the planning has been done, you can now focus on some of the fun parts like choosing your outfits and buying favors. Use online check lists and ask friends for help, but most importantly, you only get to do this once (normally!) so make sure you take time to enjoy the planning and have lots of fun!