WEDDING A to Z by Victoria J.Brown from Calm Weddings

PHOTOS BY JEN HART PHOTOGRAPHY

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Ability 

Can you organise the wedding yourself or do you need or would like some help? You may think hiring a wedding planner is too expensive, but they could actually save you money in the long run. A professional wedding planner will not only show you how to make your day special, but will also have many cost saving tips.

Balance

Sometimes life is one big balancing act. Add a wedding into the equation and you’re bound to feel the pressure. Sit down together and write a plan. Each one of you should have assigned tasks, but also jobs that you can do together. Ensure you talk about other things rather than just your wedding. This will help you both balance between your wedding and your life, as you’ll be amazed how ‘wedding talk’ can take over your world.

Cabaret

Having a cabaret may sound a little cheesy, but hiring the right sort of entertainment can be classy, and even fit in with the very popular vintage theme which seems to be taking the wedding industry by storm at the moment. So if you want something a bit different? Why not entertain your guests with a live show? This would work very well if you’re having a themed wedding.

Dating

You may feel getting married means ‘dating’ each other is over. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Make an extra special night before your wedding to go out on a date. Continue to date each other even when you’re married. It will keep the romance alive.

Elderly

Some of your elderly guests may need wheelchair access or just a quiet place to sit and relax away from the hustle and bustle. Remember this when checking out venues.

Family

Your families could be so excited you’re getting married, or perhaps they’re so laid back you think they don’t care. Whatever type of family you have, work with them and try not to take any comments personally. Even if your sister is not bothered about being a bridesmaid or your mother thinks it’s her wedding. Remember this day is about the two of you, however, listening to others, understanding their personalities and opinions, can help the planning and day go much smoother.

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Gallery

A great entrance to your venue is a gallery of photos; photos of the two of you growing up, ending in pictures of the two of you together. A bit like a ‘life-story’. Give your guests something to chat about. Ice-breaking can be very important at weddings, and this idea may give your guests an opportunity to build a rapport with each other.

Hankies

Hankies will probably be needed by most of your family and friends. So why not add something a little special to your day? Have your initials and the date of your wedding embroidered into the corner of white fresh hankies. Then hand them out at the entrance of the church or venue. This could be an alternative to having favours.

Improvise

Be creative. If you can’t afford the huge expensive dress, look at the options available to you and see how you can make it similar. This stands for anything relating to your wedding; use your imagination and make it special to you.

Journal

Keep a journal as this way you can look back in years to come and laugh (or cry!) about the lead up to your wedding. Your children (and grand-children) will love it.

Keepsake

Keep everything and anything relating to your wedding that fills you with warmth. Buy a keepsake box or make your own and keep your wedding valuables secure.

Language

If you’re having a mixed cultured marriage, it’s important to think about the language barriers (if any). Do you need invitations, order of services or menus in two different languages? It’s polite to consider and respect each other’s family members, especially their beliefs.

Meal

Try your wedding meal before the day arrives. You can’t expect your guests to munch through a meal if you don’t particularly like it.

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Names

Using names has become a popular way of labelling tables instead of using numbers. Use a hobby or stick with the theme of your wedding. Football names, celebrity names, soaps, film names, places you have travelled, hobbies etc. are all just a start. Be creative.

Old

Traditionally it is said ‘something old’ links to the relationship with the bride’s family. It represents continuity, in particular focusing on past relationships with mother and grandmother. Therefore, it is common to wear an item of jewellery belonging to the family.

Perfection

Is there such a thing? This word is more than likely to be on your mind when arranging your day. Most of your guests will see it as perfect; remember this if anything goes wrong on the day. Most people will not notice if anything strays from your line of perfection.

Quality time

Make sure you spend quality time together on your wedding day. You’ll be surprised how you will both be passed from pillar to post, and before you know it the day is over and you haven’t seen each other. Make a point of meeting each other at different intervals throughout the day. Carry the quality time rule into your marriage; enjoy and appreciate your time together as this will help your marriage work.

Receiving Line

Having a receiving line is a good idea, as it allows you to say thank you to all your guests and not worry about running around to see them all. Usually a receiving line includes the two of you, both sets of parents, bridesmaids, best man and ushers. However, it’s your choice, you may decide to have just the two of you or the two of you and your parents.

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Saturdays

Saturdays have become the most popular day to get married. If you would prefer a Saturday in the peak summer season, make sure you book early. However, Fridays and Sundays are becoming increasingly popular, and are much cheaper. If you’re wanting an intimate but cost-effective wedding, holding your wedding during the week can often half the cost.

Talents

Do you have any family members or friends who have special talents? Perhaps cake making, icing or flower arranging; use them to your advantage, weddings are expensive enough.

Unique

Your day is unique to you, but not necessarily to your guests who may be attending five other weddings, not only in the same year but in the same month! Making certain that your day is distinctive will make it even more special for you and for them. This doesn’t have to cost a fortune, but putting thought into your personalities and bringing this out in your day, can help define your wedding from others.

Venue

You may have many choices when it comes to choosing your wedding venue. Make yourself a checklist, or download the calm wedding venue checklist, and take this with you to every venue that you view and don’t be afraid to ask any questions.

Water

Ask someone to have bottled water available for you at all times, you may be surprised at how dry your mouth becomes, not to mention how hot you could be. Being dehydrated could lead to headaches. (Obviously, not something you want to be worrying about on your special day).

X-factor

Give your wedding the X-factor by making it special for everyone who attends. Think outside the box and deliver a day full of fun, activity and enjoyment!

Year

The year you get married will probably be the most memorable to you, so why not keep a collection of life events for that year? Include invitations to other weddings, photos of friends who may have had babies or friends who have got engaged; keep little mementos that you can cherish forever.

Zodiac

Use the zodiac as part of your favours; provide your guests with the meaning of their star sign as it’s a good conversation starter. If you’re not sure of their birthday, ask for it in your invitations. Struggling for an ice breaker, zodiac cards should do the trick!

For more tips, advice and ideas, email shop@calmweddings.com for your FREE A-Z e-book. Quoting: NJAW FREE A-Z TIPS

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