With less than five weeks to go to the BIG DAY, and another friend's wedding at the weekend under my belt, I thought it might be time to share some of the titbits of advice I've gathered from my wedding planning journey.
1) Enjoy every second of your pre-planning engagement because as soon as you mention 'We were thinking about next summer' or 'We thought we might like a city wedding' everyone will have an opinion. Keep your mouth smiling and shut until you've had a proper thought and discussion with your fiancé about what you want first.
2) Start early. Venues, photographers, make-up artists and pretty vintage cars all book up early and bridesmaids dresses and wedding dresses always take longer to make/be delivered than you think. You have enough to stress about without being told you've left it too late (something I learnt from suit-gate last week...)
3) Enjoy the details. Yes, ok so the majority of your guests might not notice that the red in your red and white twine that ties up your order of services precisely matches the red hearts on your invites but it doesn't mean you can enjoy yourself getting caught up in the details of styling your big day. Just don't drive yourself crazy over it or expect your fiancé to ever understand (or really care).
4) Always have a back-up plan if it rains. Especially if your wedding is in Scotland (my homeland and where my friend's wedding was at the weekend). But don't always believe the weather forecast the week before either. It was supposed to hammer it down with rain in Scotland all weekend, but Cath got a few hours of perfect sunshine to have drinks and photographs outside. It's fickle the British weather.
5) Guests are simple beasts. Make sure they are not hungry or thirsty (for an alcoholic beverage) and generally they'll be having a good time. But at the same time, usually your guests won't drink quite as much as you think you have to budget for.... Or if they do you probably don't want them to (I give you as an example a guest at a friend's wedding at The Lansborough who vomited on a rather valuable rug in their reception after getting involved in a drinking contest with another guest. There is a downside to a free bar).
6) Delegate and ALWAYS get the mothers involved. It's a win all round: you'll have less to worry about doing yourself, the mothers will feel happy and involved in the day plus it might distract them from any intervention into areas you'd rather they stayed out of.