I recently got married, and while I always thought I knew what I wanted for our big day, I found the planning of our wedding rather challenging, and you’d be surprised by the reason why.

I didn’t really know what we wanted.

It’s super easy to find a wedding venue, identify a theme, find a dress and decide on a menu…or so you would think. However, when you have so many options to choose from, it just isn’t as simple. And of course, you have that thing called a budget, to consider…all the time.

So, to help you navigate the maze of wedding planning I have put together a few tips I wished I had known when we started planning our wedding.

Weddings are expensive!

There’s no way of getting around it so your best bet is to book the best service providers you can afford. Personally, we decided to spend a large part of our budget on our photographer, venue and food. Rather try and save money on smaller items such as favours and bottled water. You could even try your hand at some DIY decorations to save a few pennies here and there. Unexpectedly (as I am no DIY gal) I loved doing the DIY for our wedding . (Perhaps it’s because it’s something so personal?)

Mind the budget:

Everyone says they’re on a budget when planning a wedding, and from personal experience, this is a definite case-in-point. However, different budgets apply to different weddings and that is completely normal. In saying this, you still need to be smart (and very present) about what you’re spending your money on. Here are some budgeting tips:

  1. Ask your wedding venue what is included in the wedding package, and don’t be shy to negotiate. You will be surprised how much they will accommodate you!
  2. Choose wedding flowers in season, and if they are not what you want, trust your florist’s input and advice on alternative options.
  3. When you truly want something, get it. It’s that simple, but know, you’ll have to compromise on something else in the long run.
  4. Trust your service providers, trust your budget and speak to your fiancé about what he thinks is the best way forward. As a bride, you tend to see things for the NOW, and not for TOMORROW, so a fresh set of eyes (and mind) is better than any amount of wedding blogs you’ll ever read.

Don’t forget the groom:

This day is about both of you; make sure he knows it too. As a bride, it’s super easy to live in a little bubble where everything is rosy and beautiful with Pinterest boards of glory, however, I found that when speaking to my now husband, I was open to more realistic conversations and things he also really wanted at our wedding. It’s all about compromise, compromise, compromise.

The most important dress you’ll ever wear:

I know, you have a picture of your dream wedding dress already safely stored away on your smartphone, however, not all styles suit all body types; and the same goes for the colour of your wedding dress. Before you get your heart set on something you saw online or in a magazine try on various styles before making your final decision. Chances are you’ll be very surprised with your final choice.

Don’t forget to breathe!

If you can, put in a few days leave before and after your wedding day. 10% of the planning requires 90% of your time, and allowing yourself 2-3 days before your wedding day will ensure you’re a relaxed bride with a lot of time to spare. In addition, if you’re not going on honeymoon straight away, I suggest a mini-moon of 3-4 days after your wedding. This is a wonderful opportunity to spend some time with your husband and reflect on your big day.

I hope these tips give you some insights and ideas into planning your wedding day. If you have a few of your own tips to share or more questions, pop them in the comments section below.

*Disclaimer: I am no wedding planning guru, nor have I planned many weddings. These tips and insights are only things I have personally experienced planning my own wedding.

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