Your perfect wedding is out there somewhere, you just have to find it
Planning a wedding you both love is tricky, isn’t it? Because you know your perfect wedding is out there somewhere. A wedding where everything feels like you, and your love story shines through in every detail. But then there’s the wedding everyone expects you to have. Filled with silly traditions and Instagram trends. It’s like trying to sing your favourite song while everyone around you is singing something else.
So let me start with one of the best wedding planning tips I can give you. Pretend your wedding is the first ever wedding. Shake off all the traditions, the trends and the expectations. And think about nothing else except what would make you both happy.
Your wedding is a celebration of your unique, one-in-a-million love story, so don’t be afraid to make it uniquely yours. Because I promise you, if you plan a wedding that’s true to who you are as a couple, you’ll love it a whole lot more. So to help get you started planning your ‘perfect’ wedding, here are 7 ways you can plan a wedding that’s true to you.
WEDDING PLANNING TIPS
1. Have the size of day you want
Before we even think about personalising your styling, let me ask you a question. What kind of wedding day do you actually want?
Would you love a spectacular ceremony, three fancy courses and a wild party with all your friends? Or an intimate celebration of love, followed by a relaxed meal with just a few of your favourite people? Or maybe some shade of grey in between?
Because- and I can’t stress this enough- there is no right or wrong. And it can be a difficult (and brave) decision to lose the big guest list, or have a wedding your family doesn’t want you to have. But if it’s the day that feels right for you, don’t let anyone stop you.
2. Get married in a place that feels like home
Once you know what kind of wedding you want, you have to decide where to have it. If you sort out all the legal stuff separately (or if you’re getting married in Scotland), you can get married anywhere. So think outside the box, let your imaginations run wild. And choose somewhere that’s perfect for you as a couple.
If you love the outdoors, you could have a woodland ceremony or a Scottish mountaintop elopement. Or if you love travelling, you could have a destination wedding where you had your first holiday together. Or maybe splash out and have a stylish party at that stately home you both adore.
From the atmosphere to the way it looks, to the way it makes you feel, choosing where to get married will have a big effect on your day as a whole. So choose wisely! If you’re feeling lost, think about this. If your love story were a place, where would it be?
3. Prioritise your budget
Sticking to your wedding budget is one of the biggest challenges when it comes to planning a personalised wedding. Because realistically, you won’t be able to afford to have everything you want. So how do you decide what to throw money at, and what to compromise on?
Well, the best thing to do is to set out right at the beginning what your priorities are. Choose 2 or 3 things each that are really important to you. Maybe it’s nice food, loads of tasty wine, a cocktail cart or a pizza truck for the evening. Maybe you want the photographer you’ve been following forever or that florist whose work you’ve always loved.
Book all these first, and don’t be afraid to throw money at them. After all, these are the things that matter to you both. Then you can sort everything else out with whatever money you’ve got left. And if you can’t afford those wedding favours or a fancy wedding car? Don’t worry about it! If they were actually important to you, you would’ve prioritised them to begin with.
4. Choose a theme, a style and a wedding palette that feels like you
Close your eyes and imagine what you want your wedding to look like. What colours do you love? What’s your style as a couple?
Will it be achingly stylish and sophisticated, with huge floral urns and delicate crystal stemware? Or maybe rustic and boho, with knotted linen napkins, and terracotta pots of wildflowers? Maybe you’d love your day to be fun and colourful, with loads of quirky details? Or cool, edgy and alternative?
Pinterest is a treasure trove of inspiration. So go down a Pinterest rabbit hole, create a mood board, and find a style that feels like you. You’ll know it when you see it. But as always, choose things you love, not what Instagram tells you to.
But weddings are about so much more than just the way they look. Get creative with your styling and make it yours. You can include your hobbies in your day, name your table names after moments in your love story or countries you’ve visited. You can do little DIY projects, or ask your friends and family to contribute something to make your day more special. You can fill your reception with photos of the two of you over the years, or put a photo of you with every guest on the place settings.
There are so many ways you can make the day uniquely yours. And with a little bit of effort, you can fill your wedding day with countless little touches of personality and love.
5. Make your wedding ceremony personal
Don’t be afraid to get creative with personalising your ceremony! You could have a friend perform a song, or write something personal they can read out during the ceremony (rather than just doing a reading). You can even play games and get the guests involved. You can incorporate other little ceremonies into it as well. Like a wine box ceremony or a hand-fasting ceremony. And remember: just because it’s a legal ceremony, ‘legal’ doesn’t have to mean ‘boring’.
If you are sorting out the legal side of it all beforehand, you can even have a friend perform your ceremony. Someone who’s been a part of your love story from the start, who knows you and loves you both. If this is an option for you, it’s definitely worth thinking about.
And lastly, if you want to make your ceremony more personal and intimate, please, please have an unplugged ceremony. Firstly, from a wedding photographer’s perspective, having a flock of phone screens will ruin a perfectly good shot! But mainly, because you want your friends and family to be present in the moment with you. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime event. And it deserves to be experienced in real life, not watched through a screen.
6. What to wear for your personal wedding
As I said right at the start, pretend yours is the first-ever wedding! If white dresses and three-piece suits weren’t the traditions, what would you choose to get married in? You don’t need to choose a white, bone or ivory dress. In fact, pink wedding dresses are now in vogue (and literally in Vogue!) Even black wedding dresses are cool!
But my point is, you don’t have to worry about what the trends are at all. You can wear a jumpsuit, a ball gown skirt and a cashmere sweater. Hey, it’s your wedding! Wear your pyjamas if that’s what will make you happiest (OK, so maybe don’t wear your pyjamas, but you get my point!). Whatever you wear, make sure you feel comfortable, confident, and completely yourself.
And if you want to go a little bit deeper, think about how you can add meaning to your outfit. Could you have your mum’s wedding dress altered to fit you? Or if not, incorporate some of it into your outfit? Like maybe cut a strip off and tie it around your bouquet? It can be tricky to make your clothes truly personal, but it’s a lot easier with accessories. You could wear your father’s cufflinks, your nan’s jewellery, or your mum’s perfume. You could have a memorial charm on your bouquet, or kept in the pocket of your suit.
This will be one of the most important days of your lives, and it’ll mean a lot to you if your loved ones are a part of your outfit in some way.
7. Make time for the little moments
Wedding days are a whirlwind. You’ll be excited and nervous all morning, emotional during the ceremony, the happiest you’ve ever been immediately after. Then you’ll spend all day laughing with friends, drinking, eating and dancing. And before you know it, it’ll all be over. So whatever you do, don’t forget to press pause every now and again and focus on the things that matter most.
Plan it into your timeline to have that ‘first look’ with your parents. So you can share that once-in-a-lifetime moment with them. You can also have a ‘first look’ with each other before the ceremony. So that unforgettable moment when you first see each other is something you share alone as a couple, without hundreds of guests watching you. And make sure you put time aside for your couple’s portrait session. So you can escape from the attention of the crowds, chat about your day, kiss, cuddle, be intimate, and just be you for a while.
Map out a timeline with plenty of downtimes, so you’re not running from place to place, trying to get through as many activities as you can before the day’s over. Basically, you want to plan a day where you have space to take it all in, enjoy every second of it, and be yourselves.
Looking for more personal wedding planning tips?
I really hope this helped! I have plenty of other wedding-planning tips if you’re still hungry for more! From how to get the perfect confetti shot, to how to get the best groom and bridal prep photos, have a little read. I’ll do whatever I can to make you a wedding expert before your big day!