Making your dream wedding happen as you want This entry is from our Expert Guest series where wedding and honeymoon professionals share their best tips on creating memories that last a lifetime.

Welcome back to How To Make Your Dream Wedding A Reality – Part Two! By this stage, you will have made all of the big decisions and your dream wedding will be starting to take shape, yet there is still much to do before your big day. These stages of planning your ceremony may involve smaller details, but they are what will bring the day to life and make it an event to remember. So, grab a coffee, and let’s get into the next stages of organising.

Dresses For Your Bridesmaids

Selecting your bridesmaids dresses

Choosing your bridesmaid’s dresses is a super enjoyable activity, as you get the chance to spend time with all your best friends, try on dresses, catch up on all the gossip, and of course, discuss the wedding! Whilst choosing colours and styles, keep in mind that your group of besties will most likely come in a wonderful variety of shapes and sizes, so it will save you a lot of unnecessary tension if you select an option that comes in a variety of styles. This way, none of your bridesmaids will be worried about highlighting a problem area and everyone can get excited about wearing something that accentuates their best features.

Beginning Your Bridal Beauty Regime

Start your beauty regime early

To ensure your make up matches your skin on the day, you want to book in your makeup trial no sooner than three weeks before your wedding. Your beauty regime, on the other hand, can start months before you walk down the aisle! If you are planning an exercise push, try to begin this around eight months before your wedding, to give you time to attain optimum results. A little later, but at least two months before your wedding, begin using any new skincare products, hair, and makeup. You will need to try them out well in advance, to make sure you get the best results and that they don’t cause flare ups before your big day. Check out this bridal timeline for a full breakdown of all your beauty needs and when to start them.

Choosing Rings & Accessorising

Choosing wedding rings that reflect your style

Once you have your own and your bridesmaid’s dresses sorted, it is time to choose your accessories and your wedding rings! When selecting your accessories that aren’t your ring, err on the subtle side rather than risk detracting for your overall look. Your wedding ring on the other hand, can be as flashy or as understated as you want it to be – this piece of jewellery should be 100% you. An important aspect to keep in mind, aside from budget, is whether it will match your engagement ring. Factor in types of metal and complexity of design: for example, if you have a sparkly engagement ring you may only want a plain wedding band or vice versa.

Finding Your Groove

Plan the music for your wedding

Choosing the music for your big day may seem like an easy task before you start, but when you actually come to it, there is so much to think about. A good place to start is deciding whether you want to go traditional and romantic, something modern and fun, or a mixture of the two. Once you have settled on a theme, there a few important things to remember:

  • When choosing your first dance song, keep in mind the length and mood. Check out these tips for help selecting the perfect song.
  • Make sure you have music in the lulls before and after your ceremony. This will keep guests happy and relaxed, and you can use the volume or track changes to signal to them when to sit or stand.
  • Get your DJ or a band member to do a recce of your venue before the big day to make sure there aren’t any acoustic quirks that could affect the sound quality.
  • Meet your musicians and/or DJs and check them out live before you hire them to check they live up to their recorded sets.
  • Write a list of your must-have songs and the ones you’d really rather not have and go through them with your DJ/musician beforehand.

Hiring Your Photographer

Select the best wedding photographer

This is the person who will immortalise one of your biggest life events and, as such, needs careful attention. First, decide on a style of photography that you want, is it perfect and posed, natural and documentary or edgy and artistic? Then research photographers and their portfolios and set up a shortlist. Before hiring anyone, make sure to meet them face to face to get an idea of their personality; ideally, you want someone who will make you and your guests feel relaxed for the best photos! For more help choosing the right photographer for you, check out this step-by-step guide.

Prepare your wedding reception seating chart

RSVPs will start to come in relatively quickly after sending out your invitations, but there will always be a few who leave it the last minute or forget to send them at all! Don’t wait until you have a response from everyone before you start planning your tables, as this is a bigger job than you might expect. In fact, you want to do this as early as possible so there isn’t a mad rush to plan in the run up to the wedding. When you are allocating seats, try not to have family groups, as this will discourage socialising with other guests. Instead, aim to have equally mixed-gender tables of people who know each other enough to have things to talk about, but not well enough to get loud and rowdy! For more top tips have a look at this savvy wedding seating plan guide.

Write Vows & Speeches

Write your wedding vows early

Although vows are generally short, they are incredibly important as they set the mood for the entire day and ultimately remind everyone of what you are celebrating. In a few emotion-filled lines, you can create a loving atmosphere and a buzzy vibe for the rest of the day! So, try to avoid the stress of leaving them until the last minute and get them perfect at least two weeks before you are at the altar. Speeches are similarly important, they provide entertainment, pull on heart strings, and make people laugh. If you are having trouble convincing your friends or family to get up and say a few words, show them these lovely videos for inspiration, they could even write a song!

Gifting the Wedding Party

Thoughtful thank you gifts for the wedding party

Both of your families will be so excited for the wedding and eager to pitch in just to support you both. This will involve them spending a ton of money on activities and outfits, as well as time invested bringing everything together. To show them your appreciation for all their help and generosity, it is custom to give the wedding party thank you gifts on the day of your wedding. For the ladies, jewellery to wear to the ceremony is a cute gift or if they already have it, jewellery boxes are lovely too. For the guys, a wedding essentials kit with liquor and a cigar if that’s their thing or a set of cufflinks are thoughtful presents that they will love!

Last Thoughts

Some final things to remember when planning are:

  • Asking your Maid of Honour to plan the hen do, send her this link to give her some help and inspiration!
  • Giving notice, this needs to be done a month before the official ceremony.
  • Breaking in your shoes, easily forgotten, but very important.
  • Delegating tasks, make sure your wedding party know what they’re doing on the day.
  • Packing for your honeymoon, so you’re ready to disappear into the sunset!
  • Making arrangements for the airport run, get this all sorted before you go, so you can enjoy your big day with just the one very special hitch.

Here’s wishing you all the best with planning your wedding and an incredibly special day! This list is certainly not exhaustive and different ceremonies will have other requirements, but the fundamentals to planning a wedding should all be here. If you feel there’s anything missed or have a comment, please contribute below!

Don’t forget to set up your Honeyfund honeymoon registry.

Bio: Help! I’m Getting Married is blog by Nat, a twenty-something blogger living in Brighton, UK. who set up a blog a few years ago when she was engaged to be married as a resource to help women in similar situations, covering everything from venue and food to photographers and dresses. 

After being married almost four years she learned that life certainly doesn’t end at marriage; she encountered so much during the first two years of marriage that she made the decision to change the focus of her blog from just weddings to a variety of lifestyle topics. She wanted to convey the message that life goes on after your happily ever after, and that the journey has been just as exciting as the wedding.

 You’ll find a bit of everything on Help! I’m Getting Married; along with the regular wedding articles, there’s also plenty to read on fashion, beauty, family, travel, lifestyle, culture, food, and much more. Nat’s work appears around the internet, and she’s currently a certified Mumsnet Blogger and a Miss Millennia Magazine contributor.

Twitter: @martinnathalie9


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