The A-Z Guide To Wedding Preparations

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Your love has proposed and the task ahead of you suddenly becomes huge. Where do you start? What is the most important and what have you forgotten?

Here is our handy A-Z guide to wedding prep to relieve some of the pressure.

A – Acceptance
When your best friend ask you to be her bridesmaid, this is a true honour. As much as it is going to be so much fun, accepting such a position means that you have responsibilities; the next year, maybe 18 months of your life is going to be wedding crazy, and its not your wedding. Accept and be ready.

B – Bridesmaids
Picking your bridesmaids can be tricky. If you are on a small budget it may be hard to include all your close friends. Perhaps pick one or two by placing names in a hat so feelings aren’t hurt.

C – Cars
Rolls Royce? Limos? Mercedes? Scrap the cars and go full on Horse and Carriage? Keep an open, realistic mind for your transport. If you have a large family or group of friends in your wedding party, a limo may be your most practical mode to get everyone there in one go. As for the transport for Bride and Groom, you could pass that over to the groom and groomsmen to organise.

D – Diamonds
Big bling, Emerald cut, Princess cut, bypass tradition and have Rubies, Sapphires even tattoos. Rings are the beautiful part of saying ‘I Do forever’ so take your time and don’t be afraid to have that conversation if you don’t like your sparkly surprise. Honesty is the best policy.

E – Engagement Party
One of the first things to do. Celebrating the happy couples decision to tie the knot is a beautiful thing. Whether you can go big and book a beautiful cocktail bar or have it at home with loved ones, remember to take lots of photos so you can look back at the start of your wedding journey.

F – Flowers
As beautiful as they are expensive. Fresh flowers are stunning adorning the tables and your place you are taking your vows. Look into your options, artificial flowers can be as equally stunning and you can keep your bouquet as a momento and some wedding companies hire out wedding sprays which can save you a lot of money which could then be used towards your honeymoon or those shoes that you have to have beneath your dress.

G – Groom
Don’t forget about him! It’s easy to plough on and more times than not, he is happy to let you. Get him involved, bickering comes fast when an exhausted bride to be is taking on too much. Delegate, get him and his entourage to suit shop (with your colour scheme and strict instructions on what not to wear! Bright blue might be a disaster) and leave him in charge of cars.

H – Honeymoon
A couple of weeks of bliss after the stress of planning. Cosy up with a bottle of wine and browse online at destinations you have dreamed about. Many people register at travel companies rather than at department stores as there is only so many gravy boats you can fit in your cupboard. A good way to take a chunk off the end payment and could lead to you getting a cheeky upgrade.

I – I Do
The magic, beautiful words. Have a discussion about how you would like to say these words. There are many options, go traditional or write your own and make it personal between you.

J – Jewellery
Tiaras, necklaces, hair accessories, have fun with them and play about. Sometimes it is the things that you wouldn’t normally go near is exactly what will make your dress complete. Statement pieces can sometimes be daunting if you like simple pieces but you will probably surprise yourself if you step out of the box.

K – Kids
Have kids or ban kids, its your decision. If you decide that you are wanting a child-free wedding, take into consideration how far in advance you send your invitations so parents have enough time to organise a baby sitter. You could consider having no children at the ceremony but allow them at the evening do as some guests may be staying over at your venue and many hotels have a babysitting service as the evening gets late.

If you are having children at your wedding, think about having a kids area of activities at your wedding after the ceremony with colouring in, craft station, a kids table so they can sit together and ask your caterers if they can do some simple food. It normally isn’t a problem as the simple food is what you generally have booked for the evening do buffet.

L – Lights
There is nothing more beautiful than a backdrop of fairy lights. Delicate lights throughout the room will give an intimate feeling without the glaring brightness that other light bring.

M – Money
Take a breath and ignore the awkwardness that is inbuilt in us. You have been living with your other half for 5 years. Neither of you have the need for cutlery, cups or a food processor. Bite the bullet and put a little note out saying money is preferred, you can get lovely poems that you could put on the invitations and set up a little postbox for it to be put in. You sometimes find guests find it much easier and more practical for them too

N – Nighttime
Consider having a cute pair of flats that you can party through the night in if you think your feet will be killing you in your 6 inch stilettos by 4pm. Nighttime is when the fun really kicks of so make yourself comfy and dance with your new hubby without wincing with the pain of blisters.

O – Outdoors
Think about locations you could get your wedding photos done. Did he propose somewhere you could return to? Do you have a place that is special to you? Take the opportunity to explore, photographers will embrace creativity and you will have something special at the end

P – Photographer
Don’t scrimp on a photographer. Meet up, check out their work and discuss before you book. Many people call themselves ‘professional’ as they own a ‘big’ camera but basically work with it set to ‘auto.’ You cannot recreate your wedding if the pictures go wrong so research online for the good ones and the one that suits your ideas.

Q – Quirky
Don’t be afraid to put your own stamp on your big day. If you have a passion about something, incorporate it in whether it be a music genre, a love of a decade, flower, animal, its your day, make it personal.

R – Readings
Do you have a piece of literature, a poem, a scripture that means a lot to you? Get a friend or a family member to read it out at the ceremony. Making it yours and also include other people that you may not have been able to give a bridesmaid/groomsman position to.

S – Save the Date cards
Get them out as soon as you confirm your date, especially if it is a weekday. Its much easier for guests to get time off and book holidays days and babysitters well in advance than it is if it is quite close. Will save a lot of disappointment.

T – Thank You Notes
Make them up when you are designing and ordering your Save the Date cards. When you are back from your Honeymoon, settle down again with a glass of prosecco and write them out to show your appreciation.

U – Ushers
A task for your fiancé – to pick his Best Man and who is going to be Ushers. Generally it will take him about 30 seconds whilst the bride pours her heart out deciding on her bridesmaids! Between them all they will have the responsibly of organising their suits and one will be responsible for the rings…

Wedding Preparations

V – Vows
Make them yours. Whether you are having a tradition church wedding, a humanist ceremony, a spiritual ceremony or a civil ceremony it is about you two, the madly in love couple. Say what you mean and feel and make it personal to you.

W – Wedding Dress
Try on the dresses you would never imagine yourself in, you could be very surprised! Sometimes the dress in your head, as beautiful as it is, is may not suit your body shape. Have fun, play about, try on everything and say no to nothing. Beware of buying your dress online on some sites as what you see is not what you get.

X – xxxxx
Everyone is going to kiss you, air kiss you and hug you. All day. Have extra foundation and power in your little bag so you can continue to look perfect throughout. Enjoy kissing your new hubby all day long… you found each other and you have promised to be together forever.

Y – Yawns
Take care of yourself when planning. A healthy, rested couple will achieve more and be less stressed if you have time out from all the organising. Sleep well, close the wedding planner, go on a date or a walk. Sleep sleep sleep.

Z – Zzzz
Don’t worry if you crash out on your wedding night. It happens more than you think. Too many drinks, really rich food and a really long day means sometimes its easier to sleep and spoon. You’re going on honeymoon somewhere perfect, let the fun begin!

By Rebecca Armstrong, Excalibur Press