Today I am going to be chatting about all things wedding, how exciting! I’ve been engaged to my fiancé since April of last year, and I’m getting married June 2018.
Sam and I had always talked about someday getting married. Nevertheless, if you were taken by surprise when the proposal came along, like me, at first it can all be very overwhelming. One of the first questions you will probably get asked by family members when you get engaged is “So when’s the wedding?”. I know I got asked this question by excited friends and family almost straight away when telling them the news. My thoughts were along the lines of, Err, I dunno I literally got engaged 5 minutes ago! Then a fair bit of panic as the realisation that I would actually have to plan a wedding kicked in.
Hence, my first piece of advice to newly engaged couples is to enjoy being engaged! This is a big step in any relationship and it’s worth taking a step back and just celebrate and be happy with your other half.
Pinterest and Wedding Blogs
After the initial anxiety, I soon relaxed and got down to the fun stuff of wedding planning i.e. reopening my dream wedding Pinterest board, that a fair few of us ‘secretly’ have and start to flesh out my ideas via pinning, and as Sam and I decided that we’d get hitched around spring/summer 2018 that gave me plenty of time to bounce my ideas around and discuss what kind of wedding that we would like. Before I was engaged, I also followed a couple of wedding blogs like Rock ‘n Roll Bride and Rock My Wedding, so I became a more regular visitor and added a couple more blogs to my Bloglovin’ reading list.
I always imagined having a simple outdoor ceremony in the middle of a forest, very intimate and in a true hippy style. However, not all of this vision was exactly feasible for us as a couple. Firstly, the setting meant having the hike somewhere remote where most likely my dress and shoes would get covered in mud. We live in Scotland, and there are certainly enough places with stunning scenery but how could we account for the unreliable weather, no matter the season, for an outdoor ceremony? What about disabled and/or elderly relatives? My grandparents have passed away, but Sam’s maternal grandparents certainly would not be able to hike. Finally, having a very intimate ceremony would surely mean discluding family members out of our day. I quite liked the idea of eloping, but Sam definitely at least wanted his parents to be with him, and he also felt that a wedding was a family event to bring everyone together.
Thus, when you first start wedding planning you quickly realise the vision you had for your day might not 100% match the wedding you end up planning. I am still planning my ‘dream’ wedding, as I am taking elements of what I loved about my old daydream but the path to get to the real day is different from what I had previously imagined. Dreams can change, and what really matters is the people you take on the journey with you.
This is the second thing you quickly realise when it comes to wedding planning: weddings are expensive. I mean, we all hear brides and grooms talking about how expensive weddings are, but seriously, they are really expensive. I was in the lucky position where my parents have offered to pay the bulk of the cost. However, we still needed to work out a budget, let’s be realistic: how much could we really afford? Sam and I didn’t want to be overly lavish, and I’m totally up for some DIY when it comes to decor to save some sweet dollar. Still, the cost of some things are just what they are, and you have to quickly accept that weddings cost money. I totally admire people that have a minimum budget and make it work for them, such as the real weddings shared on The Budget Savvy Bride! I think of ourselves of having a mid-range budget and I’m really trying to stick with it, even if it has meant that we have said no to certain things.
My 3 tips for budgeting are:
- Stick to your guns. Know how much is too much, or when you are getting taken advantage of.
- Prioritise. For example, we knew we didn’t want to scrimp on the photographer as when the day is over your photos are what you have left, or the entertainment as we want our guests to have lots of fun, however, I will be getting creative with some of the decor and favours!
- Make a spreadsheet to try and work out how much of your budget should be dedicated each area e.g. ceremony, venue, flowers, stationery, transport and so on.
Personally, I found My Little Wedding Book from the Etsy store Pearl and Mason to be wonderful in helping me plan my wedding budget and useful for working out a timeline for booking certain suppliers. (I will note that my copy did arrive a little damaged with some marks on some of the pages but I didn’t mind this too much.)
I am also using the app WedHappy and finding it simple to fill out my budget and tick off my to-do list.
Next, is trying to work out how many guests you are inviting and what are the rules. Sam and I agreed 100% that all rules need to be universal to be fair to both parties. This created problems early on in the planning when my parents wanted exceptions but only when it suited them. I have to say this was the most stressful part of the planning so far, and I was warned that it would be, however, we have resolved the problems that arose and we are all happy with the compromises that were made. My advice to couples dealing with this problem is a little paradoxical: try not to stress too much. It will all work out in due time, and it can be upsetting while the arguments are occurring but try to stay calm and know when to make the compromise and when it is just not reasonable to compromise.
P.S. mum and dad, if you are reading this, I am so grateful for your financial support for the wedding and I’m relieved the arguing is over.
This was one of the most fun mother-daughter activities that we have done in relation to the wedding (granted we have not gone wedding dress shopping yet!). After booking our venue, the following week we went to the Wedding Collective January market at the Glue Factory in Glasgow. We had a nosey around the suppliers for ideas and inspiration. There were some incredible people that we met and I have used some of the contacts so far in my wedding planning. We each got given a cocktail on arrival and a copy of ‘Tie the Knot Scotland’ and the ‘Scottish Wedding Directory’ to share. I planned on taking some gorgeous snaps of the event and brought my DSLR camera, unfortunately for me said camera requires a battery inside to function (doh!). So below are the only pictures I took from the market using my iPhone, but there is a post found here with a rundown of all the suppliers and some pretty images of the day. I strongly recommend going this type of event during wedding planning with either your mum or bridesmaids, as you meet some suppliers in person and can have a chat about prices and what they can offer, and get a little more inspiration to what you would like for your wedding, and as well as realising things you don’t want.
Finding a venue perfect for our day took around 7 months of searching in my free time, and bookmarking, then narrowing down. Before visiting our venue that we have booked, I made a criterion for our ideal wedding venue. I drew this up from the discussions of what we wanted our wedding to be like, and from the budget we were given from my parents. I fancied getting married in a castle, or a rustic barn and emailed around places that were admittedly higher on our radar from the images I saw online than what we choose. These places also meant we would have to travel further away to get married. The prices I was quoted from the other venues were just well out of our price range, to be frank, as although my parents are footing the bill I didn’t want to bleed them dry!
I was a little disheartened at first but carried on looking, as I didn’t want to give up my idea of having a venue with more character than a standard hotel. I want to emphasise here that there is nothing wrong with a hotel or pub wedding it just wasn’t what we were looking for. I then came back to Rowallan Castle during my internet searching – the venue we have now booked – and saw that there was an upcoming open day, and the price for exclusive hire was much less than anywhere else that I had previously enquired at.
We were lucky that it was the first venue that we visited that we fell in love with and just knew that we didn’t want to get married anywhere else. It was also the closest to where we live in our top choices.
Set the Date
There are a few different ways to set the date. The way that we set our date revolved around booking the venue. When we attended the open day with my parents we booked there and then to secure the time of year we wanted. We simply asked which Saturdays were available in June and picked one. We had previously toyed around with getting married on a Friday as this can be cheaper at some venues. However, this was not the case with Rowallan, and for the convenience of our guests, a Saturday wedding would be more ideal!
My last words for this admittedly lengthy post is that wedding planning comes in chunks. There are some periods of time (like the last few weeks for myself) where you feel like you are running around like a headless chicken booking lots of things and sorting out different aspects of the wedding, followed by a period of calm where you almost forget that you have more wedding planning to do, followed by more craziness. I found joining some wedding Facebook groups alongside other brides quite reassuring, as everyone in the group is going through similar things. Plus other brides love to discuss all things wedding, whilst some of your friends, family, and even your other half may get a little tired of your excited wedding chat. It’s not that they don’t care exactly, it is just they aren’t quite as excited about table arrangments as you are!