wedding ceremony

Wedding Planning Mistakes and How To Avoid Them

 

Planning your wedding day is one of the most exciting times in your life. However, for many busy couples the reality of trying to bring your wedding dreams to life can be a challenge.

Factors such as the budget, as well as just having enough time in your life to actually get through your list of wedding to-do’s can be a minefield.

It can be easy to get caught up and fall for some very simple mistakes that could end up costing you both financially and emotionally.

As an award winning wedding planner with years of experience at the top of the wedding industry, I know all the ways to avoid making those wedding planning mistakes.

Here’s some of my top tips.  In the meantime, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me directly if you wish to chat about any aspect of your wedding planning and décor.

                                                           

 

Don’t be Tempted to Go over Budget

Your budget is the key foundation of your wedding. While it can be tempting to say, book a lavish venue first, when you know it will eat up the majority of your budget, you’ve got to be realistic with yourself. There will always be last minute costs involved in your wedding planning and it’s key to factor these in. The best thing to do is get a full handle on the costs you’re looking at before going ahead and booking venues, vendors or even sending out invites. There’s plenty of ways to be savvy of course and still have the wedding of your dreams well within your budget and in fact working with a wedding planner like myself is a simple way to do this.

 

Invite The People You Want At Your Wedding, Not The People You Think Should Invite

Sometimes, this can be easier said than done. Family politics can play a huge role in your invite list and indeed if the couple’s parents are assisting with the costs, then they may feel they are entitled to some say in who attends. However, your wedding day is YOUR wedding day and as much as possible that means you want people there who you love and enjoy spending time with. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you shouldn’t invite someone who lives abroad or you haven’t seen in a while. Fundamentally it’s about gathering your loved ones together to celebrate this special day with you and not feeling obliged to invite people based on anything else.

 

Don’t Get Stressed

Planning a wedding should be a wonderful and exciting experience. However, it also has the potential to be a stressful endeavour. Spiralling budgets, a lack of time and a feeling of plans going out of control can all add to couples feeling stressed. This is completely the opposite of how you should feel in the run up to your wedding day, it’ supposed to be fun. If you do find yourself getting stressed, it’s important to pause, take a breath and revaluate things.

One of the best things you can do is to seek help from a professional wedding planner, such as myself. I can help with as much or as little of your plans as you need. So if for example, there is one area of your planning making your stressed, then I can take that off your shoulders and allow you to concentrate on other aspects of the planning, or indeed I can also provide assistance on multiple parts of your wedding day too.

 

 

Remember It Is YOUR Day  

In all the hectic planning and family politics of wedding planning it can be easy to forget that your wedding is YOUR day. It is a most special day where you get to celebrate your love for your partner with your family and friends. It should be the day you’ve dreamt of and it should look and feel the way YOU want it to feel. If you find yourself changing plans to suit other people, then you need to take a step back and remember why you’re doing it.

You’ll hopefully only have one wedding day, so it should be a happy, special day that unfolds how you want it to. The last thing you want is to look back and regret changing aspects of the day or compromising on elements you didn’t feel you had to.

Bring The Outdoors In For Your Wedding

Having an outdoor wedding ceremony and reception is not something that’s always possible in Ireland. Of course, it is possible to do an outdoor ‘I do’ and have a portion of the drinks reception outside, but having all aspects of the wedding from start to finish outdoors is an unlikely scenario, especially if you’re having a winter wedding.

But that shouldn’t mean you still cannot imbue your day with a sense of the outdoors. In fact, now more than ever there are readily available props and items of décor that can turn your wedding into a secret garden in a flash.

From green trees, to blossom trees, to hanging floral installations, to bay trees, garlands and backdrops, there are a myriad of ways to make your guests feel as though they are sitting in a garden paradise indoors.

Here’s some ideas to get your thinking. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me directly if you wish to chat about any aspect of your wedding planning and décor.

Ceremony
When it comes to bringing a sense of the outdoors into your ceremony, there’s plenty of ways to channel the look. Why not go for tall tree style pew ends? Crisp white blossom trees or trees with a greenery feel will look stunning and add a sense of magic garden to proceedings. If the venue doesn’t allow for this, then think lower down with leaves lining the aisle intermixed with lanterns.

On the Table
If you want to make a big impression why not go for mini trees as your table centrepieces? Be they white or pink style blossom trees, or greenery, it will have an immediate visual impact on your room. If you want to take things down a notch, then why not consider garlands packed with leafy greens? These work especially well for long tables. Consider bare sticks in long vases interspersed with lower set florals. Of if you want to think differently why not have hanging greenery above your tables?

Around the Room
Dot trees around the room in different locations to create a sense of being inside a woodland or lush green garden. Intersperse them with fairly lights, or hanging tea lights for a really magical feel when the sun goes down. Hang greenery from chandeliers or lights. Make use of potted plants and if you’re budget won’t allow fresh flowers, then there are some stunning synthetic versions that will work equally well. Floral backdrops will look stunning in conjunction with these elements and can become a selfie wall for guests too.

 

The Cake
Why not have a floral or greenery style backdrop stationed behind your cake or dessert table? It will add a real focal point to the room and of course it can then be moved to another location after the cake has been cut. For the cake itself, think naked icing with greenery and wooden accents to really reinforce the outdoorsy feel.

Velvet Crush Wedding Theme

This year velvet is making a big impression on weddings. A beautiful fabric, full of rich texture and visual impact, there are dozens of ways to bring a touch of velvet into your wedding décor.

From pops of velvet in the bridal party’s attire, to delicate details on bouquets and to adding well placed elements in the reception itself, expect to see velvet popping up everywhere.

It’s a versatile fabric that can be used in plenty of ways, although it is probably best to stick with accents rather than having velvet overload. There’s a range of colours to choose from, but if you want to keep it classic think of rich tones of purples, sage, red and blush pink.

Ideal for weddings with a more vintage vibe or elegant theme to it, don’t be afraid to have fun and contrast the beautiful texture with sharper finishes such as cool metal or wood.

Here’s some ideas to get your thinking. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me directly if you wish to chat about any aspect of your wedding planning and décor.

 

Flowers

One of the best ways to include a touch of velvet into your big day is with your bouquet. Think velvet style ribbon detailing on the brides bouquet or indeed the bridesmaid flowers too. Go for a colour that compliments your chosen florals and ensure the ribbon becomes a feature in itself to enhance the elegance of the bouquet.

 

Clothing           

Expect to see lots of pretty velvet accents appearing in the bridal parties clothing this year. From velvet shoes to velvet bow ties or even grooms jackets, this is a trend that crosses all gender lines for the couple. If you want to go all out, why not have your bridesmaids in velvet dresses? Invest in a velvet bolero for the bride, or if you want to add detailing to your dress why not have a visually impactful velvet bow around the waist of the dress?

 

On the Table

There’s plenty of ways to add velvet accents to your wedding tables. Think about velvet style table runners, or velvet ribbons around the menus or place cards. Velvet sashes on chairs will make for a stunning counterpoint with draping for example. Play around with textures when it comes to velvet and have a mix of finishes on the table. Cool metal or wood work well as contrasting textures for velvet.

 

Around the Room  

There so many ways to have fun with velvet around your venue. From adding velvet ribbons to garlands, to going big with velvet style backdrop for photos or even some upcycled velvet couches for guests to chill out on and for use for some great wedding photos, don’t be afraid to get creative.

 

 

Wedding Floral Wall

Ever since Kim Kardashian tied the knot with Kanye West some years ago in Italy behind an enormous floral wall, it’s become one of the most sought after wedding trends. And it’s not hard to see why.  A regular feature of the Instagram-able wedding, a floral wall is a truly stunning addition to your wedding day décor and is surprisingly versatile.

While Kim and Kanye no doubt went for fresh flowers, most couples don’t have the same budget to spare, so looking into a faux floral wall is the route most couples choose. And the effect is still absolutely breath-taking.

And what’s most surprising about them is that they are incredibly versatile and you’ll find you can use a floral wall in so many ways.

Here’s some visual inspiration for you, to get the ideas flowing. We offer hire of the beautiful floral wall pictured below. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with me directly if you wish to chat about any aspect of your wedding planning and décor.

 

Ceremony Backdrop

So many wedding ceremonies are now taking place outside of traditional churches and that gives rise to the chance to be a little more creative with your décor.  So whether you’re saying ‘I do’ in a chic loft space, to a manor home or a hip pub, a floral wall can easily be placed as the backdrop behind the ceremony to give it the wow factor. It will look stunning for you guests on arrival and of course in the pictures too

 

Top Table

If you’re not in a position to have a floral wall as a backdrop in your ceremony, then why not consider having it in placed behind your top table?  Place it with draping and fairylights for that truly stunning enchanted garden or Midsummer Night’s Dream feel. Plus if you’ve already used the wall in your ceremony, then don’t think you can’t move it and place it in your venue too. That’s the beauty of it – it’s the ultimate multi-tasker.

 

Photo Booth

If the idea of a traditional photo booth does not appeal to you or you cannot make it happen with the budget, then use the floral wall instead. Again, remember how versatile it is. It can be positioned in the venue, you can leave some fun props, such as hats and signs, feather boas, blow up instruments, etc. and let the guests go nuts. You can leave a retro instant camera or digital camera and enjoy looking at all the snaps the next day!

 

Around the Room

You can move your floral wall to almost any area of your venue to suit your needs. If there’s perhaps a corner you’re not happy with or a section you need to cordon off, you can even use the wall as a beautiful visual distraction. It would also look fantastic behind your cake or dessert stations, or you can have it as a sort of red carpet arrival area for your guests complete with fake paparazzi. The possibilities are endless.

 

Revamp The Bridal Party

Today, gender roles in weddings have become much more relaxed. Gone are the days of having to have either gender in any specific roles.

If you want a woman as your ‘best man,’ then there’s no rule to say you cannot go for it. Similarly when it comes to the bridesmaids there’s been a move toward including grandmothers in the bridal party too. Or if the couple getting married has children, why not ask them to step in to some of the key roles, such as the ‘best man?’

This goes for the walk up the aisle too. While it’s traditional to have the father walk the bride up the aisle, this might not be something that is right for every family for a number of reasons, so don’t be afraid to change it up.

The main thing to keep in mind is that, you need to do what suits your family best and with same sex marriage now finally legalised in Ireland for the last couple of years, there’s a very real sense that now more than ever that traditional roles no longer apply.

So remember, there’s no need to stick to any set or traditional lines of convention and while in the past that might have been harder to pull off, thankfully today there is more openness and inclusivity than ever before.

Here’s some ideas to get you thinking. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me directly if you wish to chat about any aspect of your wedding planning and décor.

 

The Best Person

Some grooms may have a close friend who is female, or an aunt or a sister who they’d be more comfortable with filling the role of the ‘best man.’  And there’s no reason why that cannot be the case. Just be sure that your partner-to-be is also happy with the choice.

 

Kids Filling Roles

These days many couples already have children before they decide to tie the knot. So why not have them get involved in the key roles of the day. It will make them feel included and special and it’s something they will always remember too.  From the best man to a maid of honour or even escorting mum down the aisle, there’s lots of ways to get your children involved.

 

Get Grandparents Involved

Not all couples are lucky enough to have their grandparents around when they get married. So many of those how do, can often be very close to them and realise how special it is to have them be a part of their wedding day. So why not get them involved in the bridal party? Be it your granny as a bridesmaid or your granddad as your best man, it’s a lovely tribute and something you will both always remember.

 

The Walk Up the Aisle

Recently the world watched as Meghan Markle tied the knot with Britain’s Prince Harry. She walked up the first half of the aisle by herself and was then joined by her husband-to-be’s father Prince Charles who escorted her up the second half of the walk. Gone are the days when the father has to do the walk up the aisle. These days it’s all about what suits the couple and the family best. Sometimes a father and step father might share the role, sometimes a mother will do the walk, sometimes both parents will walk on either side, or sometimes a bride will want to walk alone. Chose what is right for you and your family situation.

 

Images via Pinterest 

What is a Wedding Rehearsal Dinner?

You may have heard the term wedding ‘rehearsal dinner,’ in lots of American movies when it comes to wedding ceremonies. But just what is a rehearsal meal and should you have one?

Well while these occasions are par for the course in the USA, there are not exactly a formality on this side of the pond. A rehearsal dinner is generally speaking, a meal held the night before the wedding where both sides of the families can meet each other ahead of the big day.

So while we don’t tend to have official rehearsal dinners here, many families do organise some kind of get together before the main event.

We’ve put together a list of everything you might want to consider about having an official rehearsal dinner vs a more relaxed event.

In the meantime, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me directly if you wish to chat about any aspect of your wedding planning and décor.

 

Formal Rehearsal Dinner

Movies would have us believe that a rehearsal dinner is a very formal sit down occasion held the night before the wedding. In reality, this is not always the case, but it does throw up some pros and cons.

Pros

Holding it the night before the wedding means that most family members who have travelled great distances will be in situ.

It gives the bridal party a chance to practise speeches and go through other formalities of the role.

You can assign seats and get different sides of the families sitting together so they can break the ice ahead of the big day.

Traditionally the groom’s parents arrange this event and it can be a nice way to let them feel more involved in the wedding.

 

Cons

Having it the night before can break the old tradition of the bride and groom not seeing each other.

The couple may not be staying in the same location the night before the wedding, so a meal this close to the big day becomes impractical.

If guests have travelled a great distance, they may be tired and not able to stay up for a sit down meal.

A more formal affair can add to your budget.

 

 

More Relaxed Get Together

On this side of the Atlantic, many families would arrange a get together where both sides of the families can meet in a more relaxed environment and it generally takes place in advance of the wedding.

 

Pros

There’s less pressure on everyone if you go for a more laid back feel to the event, such as drinks in your home or local pub or a meal in a restaurant.

You’ve more choice about the sort of event you choose, when it’s laid back – a daytime BBQ, a picnic, an evening in a local restaurant, drop in drinks in your home, etc.

It won’t take a huge chunk out of your budget.

Often the two families spend the night before the wedding in different locations, so having the event more in advance will mean everyone can comfortably get together.

 

Cons

If you’re arranging it in the weeks before the wedding, not all members of the family who may live abroad for example will be available to attend and as such it might negate the whole idea of the event.

You may be quite busy in the weeks leading up to the wedding and the idea of organising a get together like this could be too much to have on your plate.

Without a more formal sit down arrangement where you can control who sits where, people might mot mingle as well and stick to their own families, which again is the opposite of what you want to achieve.

 

Pink & Grey Wedding Theme

Pink and grey is a colour combination made in heaven. It’s a classic duo that has stood the test of time and works universally for all weddings, no matter what theme you are going for.

From blush pink shades to hotter pinks, to steel greys and lighter greys, there’s a whole host of variation to choose from within these two main colours.

The great thing about pink and grey, is that they are so versatile and can be brought into all aspects of the wedding, from the gents suits, to the bouquets, to the stationary to the room décor itself, the possibilities are endless. Plus because it’s a popular colour combination it should be relatively easy to find lots of fab décor to dress your room.

Here’s some visual inspiration for you. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me directly if you wish to chat about any aspect of your wedding planning and décor.

 

Attire

Grey suits are a universally flattering choice for the groom and/or groomsmen. Pairing them with a pink tie is always a winner and if you’re not sure what to pick in terms of colours for the gents, then you can’t go wrong with this combo. Also it’s a colour that works well for bridesmaids, think blush pink gowns with grey florals or vice versa or try alternating colours in your gowns for an on trend contrast.  

 

 

Flowers

Again, there’s something so classically beautiful about pink and grey florals and they are colours that are generally speaking going to work with most dresses, suits and skin tones. You don’t have to stick with the lighter, blush tones of course. You can add in pops of hot pink and sharp steel grey too, or even succulents with shades of pink and grey to mix things up and give it a vibrant twist.

 

On The Table

Have fun with table cloths from steel grey to blush pink. Think oversized pom poms in a range of pinks alongside grey lanterns, pink ribbon, roses and don’t forget Mason jars sprayed in shades of the two colours. You could also extend the theme into your chairs, with sashes, or draping to add a show stopping finish.

 

 

The Cake

Marble and granite are two very on trend effects right now in terms of weddings and for this colour palette, it tends to work very well for cakes. Think pink layers, marble effect layers and playing around with textures from mirror shine, to buttercream to fondant icing, interspersed with touches of glitter here and there.

 

Images via Pinterest

Circular Wedding Florals

Set your wedding flowers free this year with circular florals! If you’ve never heard of the concept, then don’t worry as we’re going to break it down for you, with lots of great ideas to get you going.

Essentially, circular florals are just that; wreaths, hoops and hanging arrangements in a circular shape, as opposed to more traditional bouquets.

It’s set to be one of the biggest floral trends for the next couple of years and is not only stunning and unique, but it also makes for incredible photos.

The key about these quirky floral designs is that they can be used in a variety of ways, from bridal bouquets, to backdrops, to hanging décor and for use in various ways around your venue.  

Here’s some visual inspiration for you. In the meantime don’t hesitate to get in touch with me directly if you wish to chat about any aspect of your wedding planning and décor.

 

 

Hoop Bouquets

Hoop bouquets are a super-hot trend right now and rightly so as they are so beautiful. And if you’re looking for something a little different than your average bouquet, they are well worth considering. You can also use real or faux flowers. They are also very lightweight and easy to hold, plus they make superb keepsakes.

 

Wreath Backdrops

Wreaths might not be the first thing that comes to mind for wedding florals, but in terms of backdrops, an oversized floral wreath is the new floral arch. Right up there with the floral wall in terms of visuals, a floral wreath will look stunning as your ceremony backdrop. Or if that is not a runner, why not have it as the backdrop for the top table, or for your impromptu photobooth? The possibilities are endless and the result is show stopping.

 

Hanging Hoops

If you want to make a big impact then look upwards, with some hanging hoops. You can ask your florist to come up with some stunning bespoke pieces to hang above your top table, or dessert table, or the dancefloor for example. Or you if your budget is a little tighter, then you could always go DIY and upcycle some hula hoops with synthetic florals too.

 

Around The Room

Circular florals also work really well as table centrepieces. Try them with candles or lanterns in the centre and experiment with greenery and colours. They’ll also look superb on the doors of your ceremony or venue, as well as on any signage you might have and on the backs of the bride and grooms chairs too!

 

Images via pinterest 

 

Wedding Ceremony And Entrance Decor

When it comes to wedding day décor, couples can often focus too much on the reception. While it’s true, this is where you’ll spend the bulk of the day, don’t forget to put some care and attention into you ceremony venue or church too.

It’s a great way to set the tone for your day. Remember, this is the first thing your guests are going to see, so it’s important to add your own stamp to proceedings. A lot of this will depend on your ceremony venue, as churches may have certain rules when it comes to certain items, whereas a non-religious ceremony tends to be a little more flexible.

Having said that, whether that’s just small touches such as lanterns and bay trees by the door, or if you want to go full on with aisle runners and floral arches, there’s so much you can do to bring your ceremony to life.

Here’s some suggestions to get you going. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me directly if you wish to chat about any aspect of your wedding planning and décor.

 

Aisle Runners & Pew Ends

If you want to make a big impact with just one item, then it’s got to be an aisle runner. They instantly transform the look of your ceremony venue or church. You can go all out with a specially created aisle runner featuring a monogram, favourite quote or the names of the couple and the details of the day. But you can also get just as much impact with a plain white or red aisle runner too. Don’t forget about pew ends. From lanterns, to tea lights, mini buckets, florals, bows, photos and everything in between the only limit is your imagination.

 

Dress the Door

Generally speaking, the door is your first chance to set the tone for the day for your guests, so don’t overlook it. Small touches like lanterns and a couple of bay trees will make all the difference. If you want to go all out why not invest in a bespoke floral arch and some draping for a real wow factor look?

 

Backdrops

Backdrops are not always possible in a church setting, so discuss it with your church point of contact in advance. There’s so many ways to add a backdrop to your ‘I do’ and it will look stunning in your photos. You could do a Kim and Kanye and have a beautiful floral wall, or keep it more subtle with draping and fairy lights. For a modern twist why not have a bespoke neon signage or for a retro look try vintage doors or even wooden pallets.

Seating

Again, churches tend to have pews already in situ, but for non-religious ceremony venues, make sure to think about the seating and how it’s going to look as it’s going to form a large part of the overall feel. Think about on trend ghost chairs, chic Chiavari chairs, covers and sashes, draping, Hannah Jane chairs or even bistro chairs.

 

Images via Pinterest 

Neon Wedding Signs

Light up wedding signs are nothing new in terms of décor and have been super popular for many years with couples around the country, but for 2018, expect to see the traditional signs take on a whole new retro kitsch vibe with the arrival of neon signage.

Yes think bright yellows, hot pinks, vibrant greens, cool blues and everything in between! The beauty of these signs is that you can use them in so many ways. As part of your ceremony backdrop, as part of a DIY photobooth, a cake backdrop or simply as a focal point in your venue.

You could hire or purchase a generic sign, to say something such as Best Day Ever, or Mr & Mrs. However you could also go the extra mile and create a custom sign with a personalised message, or phrase and later hang it in your home as the ultimate wedding day keepsake. 

We’ve put together some ideas to get your creative juices flowing. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me directly if you wish to chat about any aspect of your wedding planning and décor.

 

In the Ceremony

The ultimate wedding ceremony backdrop, you can go for something small like initials, your new surname, or fun phrases like ‘it started with a kiss.’

 

Cool Phrases

There’s no end to the romantic phrases you can use. The beauty of these is that you don’t have the extra expense of customising your sign. Everything from ‘happily ever after,’ to ‘love is all you need’ to ‘best day ever,’ are to be found.

Happily Ever After Sign by Love Inc 

 

Celebrate Your Surname

Why not go for something simple and celebrate your new married surname? Many new couples find it so oddly fun to see their new shared surname, it’s a bit of a thrill to see it be a reality, so why not celebrate it up in neon lights? Plus it would be the ultimate keepsake you can hang in your home for years to come.

 

Bespoke

If you’ve got a phrase, or a line of a song, or even in image that is something truly special to you both as a couple, then why not have it up in neon lights? Or why not have the wedding date up in lights? If you’re both social media butterflies and techie lovers then why not have a hashtag in neon light signage to act as both a social media tool to direct your guest’s posts, but also to serve as a bespoke keepsake from your big day.

Images via Pinterest