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" A thousand mile journey begins with one step” Chinese Proverb
From the beginning, your wedding planning journey may be a daunting prospect. Where do we start? What is the right venue for us? How much will it cost? Who should we invite? Who can we trust? What have we forgotten?
These will no doubt be just some of the questions racing through your mind. Now, throw in a few bridal magazines, a few million Pinterest and Instagram images, conflicting advice from various wedding suppliers (all with their own agenda and perspective), a good dollop of pressure from relatives and friends to announce your plans to the world yesterday and some very real budget concerns and you have a recipe for a soup of confusion and stress. It’s enough to have you run screaming to the nearest registry office.
I totally get it. I’ve been planning, styling and coordinating weddings for fifteen years, so I have a pretty good idea about the panic inside your head right now. I talk brides down from that ledge almost every day. Rest assured, help is at hand. The first thing you need to do is relax! That mix of excitement, panic, terror, joy and confusion you’re feeling is totally normal. Millions of brides and grooms have been there before you and most have made it through with their sanity intact and if they have, so can you!
Two thousand years ago, the Chinese had the right idea - simply putting one foot in front of the other is the way to negotiate every journey and you can think of your wedding as another of those journeys. The trick is knowing where to begin. Over the coming weeks, I’ll be blogging on this very subject. I’ll be drawing on my fifteen years of personal wedding planning and styling experience to give you some of the best advice and tips I’ve learned, including how to navigate the wedding budget, the pros and cons of professional agents versus DIY, how to find the very best suppliers, clever ideas that will save you big dollars, plenty of wedding do’s and don’ts and a little more on Two Little Rows and where I’m from. Oh, and I’ll be throwing in some wedding inspo from some of the weddings I’ve styled and planned over the years. Phew! That may take more than a few weeks!
So, you’re newly engaged and staring into the wedding abyss. Steel yourself because you’re in for the ride of your life – fun, fear, excitement, pain, laughter, disappointment, joy – you’re about to experience it all. It’s a roller coaster of emotions that ends in a day to surpass all the clichés. Be it a small elopement for 2 or a pull-out-all-the-stops blast for 500 guests, it really will be, in a profound way, one of the best days of your lives. Together, let’s make it one of the least stressful!
The very first thing I ask my clients is what are their wedding priorities? These will determine almost every aspect of your wedding. Do you want a small ceremony for just the two of you or a huge party with 200 guests? Is fabulous food and wine important to you? Then you will need to choose your venue accordingly as you may want to bring in your own chef and alcohol. Not all venues will allow this so you need to determine this before you book. Do you swoon over a fabulous view? Then this will be your number one consideration when choosing your venue. Are you absolutely insistent that your day will be 100% stress-free? Then a professional wedding planner and on-the-day coordinator is a must. Is a church service vital to you? Then you will need to choose a location with access to a church or at the very least, a religious officiant. Are incredible flowers, decorations and lighting your thing? Then you need a professional florist and stylist to achieve this for you. Wherever your priorities lie is where you will place the bulk of your wedding budget.
Think of it like this; A good wedding is like a good marriage. Focus on the things that are important to you and compromise on the rest. Make a list of what matters to the two of you and use that list as your mantra to keep you on track throughout your wedding journey. Choose your venue and all of your suppliers based on this and your wedding will be a true reflection of who you both are. One of the best compliments I receive is when wedding guests congratulate me on creating a celebration that is an exact reflection of their friends / my clients. Although I hear it all the time, I never tire of it because it means I’m doing my job and my clients are beginning the lifelong process of a marriage with a celebration that is uniquely their own. That matters to my clients and is the very core of my work.
So, your first wedding task is to sit down with your partner, a cup of tea or a glass of wine and chat about what’s important to the both of you. Describe your dream wedding – how it would look, who will be there, what you would eat and drink, what the music would sound like, what will happen, what kind of photography you want, etc – make it as detailed as possible. Now compare notes.
Those things that you both connect on are the things that will likely form the essence of your celebration. Write them down in order of priority and then let that list sit for a few days before you revisit it - you will likely have some fine tuning to do once all the excitement has abated and you have had time to think things over. You may even want to discard some of the wedding traditions that mean nothing to you. As I always tell me clients, the wedding police won’t come along and arrest you if you decide not to have a first dance or a cake.
Once you have this list completed, you will have the foundation of a wedding that is a unique and beautiful reflection of the two of you and your wedding journey will have begun in earnest. The next step is to beginning choosing a venue and suppliers and my next post on the wedding journey will include vital tips and advice on getting this right for you.
Have a question or would like to see a blog post on a particular topic?I’m happy to help, so if there is something you want to ask me please feel free to post it here or email me at email@example.com