Top 10 Wedding mistakes

Some things are unavoidable on your wedding day like the weather and which horrific story the best man will tell. However, many risks you can mitigate before the big day arrives. Here are some handy hints…

Don’t…

  • …Blow the budget on the dress; If you have £1000 set aside for your bridal look, that doesn’t necessarily mean you can buy a £1000 gown. If you’re not buying off the rack, you could get charged for shipping and you’ll likely need alterations too. Consider your undergarments, shoes, veil, hair accessories and jewellery when budgeting as well.
  • …Send save the dates too early; It may be tempting to tell everyone about your wedding date as soon as possible, but don’t send those save-the-date cards until you’ve finalized the guest list. Friends could turn into mere acquaintances by the time you tie the knot. You also might be glad if some people can’t make it if you’re struggling with numbers. Send save-the-dates out no more than six to eight months before your wedding date, and send them only to guests you’re positive will be invited.
  • …Choose your guests too early; Your wedding party should be made up of your closest friends and/or family members. Don’t choose too early as you’ll never know who will be emigrating and which family members you will fall out with.
  • …Give too little time to make-up time; Ideally you want to be the last one to get your hair and makeup done on the wedding day, so your makeup is fresh. This means you’re going to have to schedule enough time for all of your bridesmaids (if they’re having hair and makeup done too) as well as you. When you go for your hair trials, time how long it takes your hairstylist.
  • …Take too little time for photos; Squeezing photos into the first half hour of your cocktail hour will make you anything but at ease. If you don’t want to do a first look, take pictures separately beforehand so the only shots left to take after the ceremony include both of you.
  • …Gett Trashed the Night Before the Wedding; Whether your friends have mistakenly planned the stag/hen parties for the night before the wedding (a couple weeks before is ideal timing) or the ‘couple as a freeman’ drinks that escalate the night before… avoid at all costs.
  • …Lose Perspective; Don’t forget to keep your eye on what’s really important to you. Don’t get bogged down in so many small details that you don’t spend enough time on what’s important. If something goes wrong, try your best to take deep breaths and think about the big picture. Above all, keep your sense of humour.
  • …Give the best man a free-ticket; The best man’s speech. Cringe worthy speeches about ex-girlfriends and stories that should well and truly only stay between close friends, should not go anywhere near that best man’s speech. They should also not go on for days on end. Five minutes is more than long enough.
  • …Bring uninvited guests; Bringing someone who was not invited, failing to RSVP but turning up, arriving late or changes tables. All of this fits under this category. Never bring someone who does not have an invitation. A lot of time goes into planning a wedding and numbers would have been counted/food and drinks would have been pre paid, so to simply turn up with a plus one just isn’t on.
  • …Forget to put your phone on silent/turn it off; DOH! This is the last thing people want to hear when such an important event is about to take place. Do this before you arrive at the location so there are no awkward moments.

More top wedding tips…

How to work out how much wedding booze you need

Top 10 Wedding Money Saving Tips

How to work out how much wedding booze you need

Need to work out how much wedding booze you need? Here’s our handy guide…

Most wedding receptions involve liquid refreshment. If your reception is in a venue which takes care of everything for you (such as a hotel) then all you really need to do is decide which drinks to serve, and whether you want to have a pay bar later in the evening or continue to provide free drinks all night.

If your reception is somewhere else, like a marquee, then a bit more planning is required:

  • How and where do you buy your drinks?
  • How do you get the booze to the venue?
  • Who is going to serve the drinks?
  • Do you need to set up a bar?
  • Will the venue charge corkage?

Many couples opt for an open bar, where guests have access to unlimited drinks throughout the entire reception.

While this is certainly the most gracious approach, it’s also the most expensive and could end up costing as much as 10 to 20 percent of your total budget.

An alternative is the “limited,” or “soft,” bar, where you offer a careful selection of drinks (say, wine, beer and vodka cocktails) at the bar during specific times then have waiters serve wine or beer during the meal.

If you are on a tight budget then consider skipping booze such as cocktails and only serve the more cost effective drinks like beer and wine, but always remember some soft drinks for the none drinkers.

To avoid mass waste, some bride and grooms opt for a single glass rule, where you can’t get another drink until you hand in your glass or a ‘donation scheme’. Even asking people to donate as little as 50p per drink towards a charity of your choice will cut down waste considerably.

There are a few rules of thumb that will help you decide how much to buy:

  • For wine to accompany a meal, half a bottle per person is a good guide.
  • For the split between red and white wine, fifty percent white and fifty percent red is a safe bet, although in summer people will drink slightly more white than red so it’s better to aim for 60/40.
  • For champagne, one bottle will serve 6 people or 7 at a push. For toasts you will only need one glass per person.

Knowledge of your guest list is essential in order for you to judge how much alcohol to order for the entire day and evening.

If you have friends and family who are drinkers then you will need to order more, however it is always better to over order and then return unopened bottles or keep then in you wine rack for future events.

Leftover wine will obviously last for years. Most beer is good for 6-12 months, but check the use-by dates when you buy the beer to make sure it is not too close to expiry.

Large supermarkets often agree returns on alcohol if the case is unopened, so check with your local supplier before you order.

Other wedding tips and tricks

Top 10 Wedding Money Saving Tips

Average Wedding Costs

Top 10 Wedding Money Saving Tips

Here are our Top 10 Wedding Money Saving Tips! Whether your budget is fit for Royalty or something more down to Earth, everyone can benefit from saving a few quid on their wedding costs.

Saving some spend on your big day could make the difference between a honeymoon in Barbados or Bognor, or a house deposit on that super crib instead of the money pit down the road.

#1 Trim Your Wedding Guest List

Each time you add a name to your invitation list, you’re increasing your budget significantly. It’s not just the catering costs, but also the extra centerpieces, favors, rentals, etc. Don’t invite anyone you haven’t talked to in five years. Don’t feel obligated to let single people bring a date. Avoid feeling pressured to invite all your work colleagues. And don’t let your friends bring their children.

#2 Friend Photography

Do you know any amateur photographers with amazing, expensive cameras? Chances are you do. With photography software becoming increasingly popular, people don’t necessarily have to take the most perfect pictures on site, and can tweak them later. There are a lot of folks out there who are fairly savvy with a camera and VERY savvy with Photoshop, so you don’t necessarily have to spend lots on a photography bill.

#3 Bigger & Fewer Tables

Ladies, we know you fantasize about your reception hall, and how there are tables for miles, with everyone you’ve ever known, sitting around them, their eyes glimmering with a mixture of awe, emotion, and jealousy. Now picture fewer, bigger tables, instead of lots of little ones. Fewer tables means you have to construct fewer centerpieces, and fewer dollars dished.

#4 Secondhand Dresses

You don’t necessarily have to buy a severely USED dress, ladies. Sometimes women will just decide against a certain dress, after they’ve purchased it. They may have gained a bit of weight, making the dress no longer fit, or they may just decide to go in a different direction at the last minute. Websites like www.wedbay.co.uk connect brides to be with former brides looking to get a little something back on their purchases.

#5 Buffet vs. Dinner

You may want to consider having buffet-style food at your reception, as opposed to plated, or family-style. Having plated meals with controlled portions, being served by an elegant wait staff may SOUND appealing, but that can add up quickly. Firstly, you need to pay for the extra wait staff AND tip them at the end of the night. You also need to send out response cards so that guests can indicate their meal or meat preference, which is another added expense.

#6 Local Flowers

Flowers can be one of the most important, mood-setting elements of your special day, and we don’t think you should have to skip them altogether just to pinch pennies. If you buy flowers that are local, or in season, you will most likely save a decent percentage on this expense. If you have a few large flower arrangements at your ceremony, move them to your reception and save some money.

#7 Have fun and do it yourself

Throw a “pitch-in party,” where you ask your friends to be a special part of your wedding by helping you assemble favors and make invitations, centerpieces, and other homemade inexpensive touches. Be sure to put out delicious snacks and have inspiring tunes on the stereo, so that your friends feel like they’re at a party, not just part of an assembly line. Click the link below for DIY wedding projects.

#8 Reduce clutter

Don’t become a décor junkie, keep the tables simple and elegant, it will look better and save you spending cash on trinkets you don’t use.

#9 Negotiate

Some hotel wedding venues will give the bride and groom a complementary room on the night. Negotiate before you book and remember, if you don’t ask you don’t get! Also remember that wedding venues will often do deals on weekday weddings.

#10 DIY wedding invites

Don’t go for engraving – regular printed invites work just as well. There are a variety of cheap wedding invitations available on the internet. For a casual wedding, consider printing your own invites from your home computer. Stationery stores now sell printed paper meant to use in a home printer as cheap wedding invitations.

Wedding Seating Plan Guide

Weddings… who sits where!? Read our Wedding Seating Plan Guide to help you make sense of it all…

Family, friends, and family friends: Where should they sit during your big moment? With parents, stepparents, divorced parents, grandparents, and extended family, all in attendance, you’ll need a plan. Here are our guidelines.

The ceremony

Taking Sides

Ushers needn’t ask guests whose “side” they are on. (In Christian ceremonies, the bride’s side is the left side of the church when looking from back to front, and the groom’s side is the right; for Jewish services, it’s the opposite.) But should someone express a preference for one side or the other (many guests will say they are friends or relatives of the bride or groom), they should be seated where they want to sit. If one side of the family will have more guests than the other, ushers should try to even things out, explaining that everyone will sit together so guests can get the best view possible.

Top table

Traditionally, the top table is the table at the head of the reception room where the newlyweds, their parents, the best man and the maid of honour sit facing the guests.

Many couples opt for a traditional top table layout but that doesn’t always work for everyone. It’s your day, so don’t think you need to stick with tradition. Feel free to arrange your guests in a way that suits you best! In the UK, the Bride and Groom traditionally sit in the middle with their respective parents and the Chief Bridesmaid and Best Man either side of them.

Wedding breakfast tables

Family Fortunes or Feuds

All families have a history, ensure you mix families accordingly, it is good to mix the families between the two couples together to share all those terrific stories from when you were younger – they may even had the odd photo of that hair cut on the summer of 2000.

Mix and Match

Mixing friends family and social groups should be encouraged take a look at our simple solution to bear in mind when creating a table plan:

Consider:

  • Making last minute changes if guests fail to turn up
  • Mix old school friends with work friends
  • Mixing families between the newly wedded couple

Avoid:

  • Putting one person on a table who knows no one
  • Know your friends, people you think will clash it is best avoid it rather than test your assumption
  • Imbalance, do not put a really old couple, with all your University mates.

 

Simple guide to wedding dress styles

Here’s your simple guide to wedding dress styles to help you get the dress that shows you off on your big day…

Ever since you were a little girl, you’ve probably had an idea in your head of your dream wedding dress. Now that dream is about to become a reality. Finding the style that flatters your figure (and personality) should be your number one priority, so here is our guide for the best shapes and styles.

A-Line

No prizes for guessing – this one gets its name from its distinctive skirt shape. The bodice is structured and cut to flatter, while the skirt flares gently down from the waist.

Perfect for: almost anyone, as it flatters every size and body shape and can make you look a good size slimmer. An A-line can create the illusion of curves on slender frames.

Ball gown

This is the stuff that dreams are made of! With a fitted bodice and a full skirt, a ballgown is ideal for big, traditional weddings and brides who want to look every inch the princess.

Perfect for: slender or pear-shaped figures, as the full skirt defines the waist and does wonders to conceal the lower body. This style can overpower a small frame, so if you’re petite, you might want to think twice before going the ball gown route.

Column

Narrow, body-skimming and really contemporary, this figure-hugger plays up the curves and adds wow factor. It is a stylish, self-assured look to be worn with confidence!

Perfect for: Lean machines. If you’ve got the figure, you can really show it off in this style of dress, but beware – there is no scope for concealing problem areas! Petite brides tend to look taller in a column dress.

Empire

An Empire-line dress has a raised waistline (to just under the bust), and often a flowing skirt in soft fabric with lots of movement. The look is romantic and feminine.

Perfect for: girls who want to show off their bust! It is also really flattering on pear- shaped girls and anyone with a tummy. If you are a pregnant bride, this is absolutely the one for you.

Fishtail

A sexy style that highlights those gorgeous curves! The dress contours the body right the way down to the knee and then flares out dramatically. Think Hollywood sirens here.

Perfect for: tall, slim girls who want a figure-hugging dress that shouts glamour.

Fit and Flare

The bodice is fitted down past the hip where upon it flares out from the body. Alluring and chic, it can be the perfect option to add curves to an otherwise straight figure.

Perfect for: tall, slim girls who want to feel curvaceous on the big day.

Mermaid

A great choice for the hourglass figure – this style hugs everything in down to the knee (or just below) and then flares out and down to the hem.

Perfect for: anyone with an hourglass figure that wants to accentuate their curves.

Princess

A sexy style that highlights those gorgeous curves! The dress contours the body right the way down to the knee and then flares out dramatically. Think Hollywood sirens here.

Perfect for: anyone wanting a glamourous, classic look while embracing their feminine figure.

Trumpet

Great for adding curves – this is another variation to the figure-hugging fishtail but the flare starts from about mid-thigh as opposed to at, or below, the knee.

Perfect for: as with the trumpet-style, it’s tall, slim girls who’ll benefit most from this shape.