Assumed to be sunshine, bunnies and rainbows, planning a wedding is a task underestimated by many.
The wedding planning process can be stressful from start to finish and those who decide to undertake the job themselves can easily get overwhelmed and forget the occasion at hand: To celebrate them as a couple.
It could be worth exploring why a Wedding Planner might be suitable for you as a couple and your upcoming celebration.
Have you been wondering...
‘Why should I hire a wedding planner?’
‘My venue has a coordinator, surely that’s the same thing?’'
‘My budget is already tight, would it not just be a waste?’'
Venue coordinators are a great tool to utilise, but they only assist in areas relating to the venue and venue management. Their job doesn’t necessarily span any further than the requirements of the facilities you are hiring.
Contrary to popular belief, Wedding Planners are generally a great tool for getting the most out of your budget. From inside tips and tricks, to discounts with trusted vendors, your Wedding Planner might actually be the best thing to happen to your wedding fund.
To celebrate the relaunch of Melt Weddings, here are 7 reasons why you should consider hiring a Wedding Planner:
1. You don't know where to start
The very simplest of reasons why you might consult a Wedding Planner is that you don’t know where to start.
And once you do see the list of things to do, you may find yourself engulfed in a feeling of dread (which obviously isn’t what we want).
Your Wedding Planner will not only be able to get you started but will keep you going and make the long list of things to do seem manageable.
2. To live in the engagement
One of my favourite reasons why you may decide to involve a Wedding Planner is to make the most of your time as an engaged couple.
The time between being nearly-weds and newly-weds flies by. Most couples who employ the services of a Wedding Planner get to pass a large chunk of the stress and worry, allowing them to really live in the moment between the engagement and saying ‘I Do’.
3. To bounce ideas off someone
From the Pinterest boards, to the Instagram saves and deep-dives into Wedding-Tok, hopefully, you have started to build a mental image of your big day.
A huge benefit of having a Wedding Planner is the opportunity to brainstorm and bounce ideas off someone who has, hopefully, a love of the creative process. Whilst you’ve got the inspiration, they have the knowledge and experience to execute your vision and build upon it - tailoring it to you as a couple.
4. Paperwork, paperwork, paperwork
Glamorous, I know...
Part of being a professional in the events industry is knowing a thing or two about the boring (but all-important) paperwork that goes into an event.
Budgeting and scheduling are part of our day-to-day role (and we tend to be quite good at managing them too).
Whilst you could easily be aware of your overall budget, there may be things you haven’t yet considered, contingencies you haven’t planned for, and hidden fees that only someone with experience might be able to spot.
Alternatively, it could be that you’ve allotted a huge portion of the budget to an area that doesn’t require as much attention.
And once you finally think you’ve gotten to grips with the budget, you realise you have a timeline and function sheet to master, and upcoming deadlines for which you need to make decisions.
5. Their contacts
Think of your Wedding Planner as your personal directory; the 'Yellow Pages of Weddings' for those of us that are old enough to remember…
Hopefully, they will have worked on a number of events in their time and have a host of contacts to recommend. They should know who is within your budget, fits your theme, has a good reputation, and, most importantly, who to avoid.
Having experience with a number of vendors and suppliers can be a massive benefit of using a Wedding Planner. Their relationships can often get you the best deals and most bespoke packages.
Your Wedding Planner will also be the main point of contact for your suppliers. This way, there’s no need to worry about missing a call from the caterer whilst you’re at work or having to liaise between the caterer, the venue, and the coordinator every day in the lead up to your big day. Instead, your Wedding Planner will cut you out of the little conversations and involve you in the big decisions - meaning you can focus your time and attention on other things.
6. The fun of contracts
Not only will your Wedding Planner have experience when dealing with contracts and know what to look for in the fine print, they may also be able to negotiate you better deals and additional extras of which you weren’t aware.
Because of their experience, your Wedding Planner should also be able to spot potential areas of concern before they come about and resolve any issues that may arise with suppliers and vendors - ideally before they become something that should concern you too greatly.
7. To find calm through all the storms
In the weeks before your wedding and on the day itself, any number of things could go wrong.
From something small like running behind schedule, to the bigger issues of a drastic turn in the weather forecast, or celebrant sickness, your Wedding Planner will be prepared to put out the fires (hopefully, not literally).
Not only this, they can be your sense of clarity on the day. With so many emotional people around you, the day can quickly become overwhelming and you can forget the most basic of things. Having your Wedding Planner there (who, by now, has gotten to know you well as a couple) can remind you to ground yourself and really live in the moment.
(They might also remind you to hold your bouquet low, take your time walking down the aisle and hold your kiss for longer than 2 seconds for the photographer)
Your guardian angel on the big day might also be someone to lean on beforehand. Most Wedding Planners understand the stress you are under as a couple and are more than happy to listen to you moan about your Mother-in-Law-to-be who has decided to start a new fad diet the week before the wedding and wants to change her dinner choices at the very last minute.
This isn’t to say that everyone needs a Wedding Planner. Some people want to take the reins (and thrive off it too!).
Whatever you decide, we would absolutely recommend a coordinator to run things on the day. There would be nothing worse than the bride and groom having to take time away from their celebrations because the cake delivery got lost en-route, or they have to repair a bridesmaid's dress after she put her heel through it (as I’m sure you didn’t remember to pack your emergency sewing kit).
The most important thing to remember is that your wedding day should be one to enjoy with friends and family as a couple; and the use of a Wedding Planner or Coordinator will aid this greatly.
Written by Siobhan Tinnion
Event & Marketing Manager
It's something none of us could have predicted and has caused major upheaval across the world... The pesky COVID-19 has not only had a huge impact on our health, work and lifestyles, it has also had a major impact on peoples plans and events, including, you guessed it, getting married!
We are still yet to discover how things will pan out over the forthcoming few months, but with the current strict ban on social gatherings of any kind, it's looking more and more unlikely that things will improve for a good few months...
But have no fear, as we learn to adapt and become more resilient to some of the changes we will need to bring into our daily lives, we want to provide all wedding couples with some handy (both practical and creative) tips to keep your wedding plans on track. (That can all be done from the comfort of your home, in you pyjamas!)
Tip 1 - Looking For An Alternative Date:
It may seem obvious, but first and foremost, if your wedding is planned for anytime in the next couple of months, we suggest you speak directly with your chosen venue and suppliers to postpone your big day. This is such a special day you are planning, you and your partner are very much in love and you want to spend it safely with friends and family. Therefore, try not to get too down about the prospect of having to delay things a little.
We are confident most suppliers and venues will be very happy to support you and work with you to find a new, more suitable date. Many suppliers will also be happy to transfer any booking fees. However, please don't forget this a very sensitive and difficult time for many suppliers too. With the events industry being up there with one of the hardest hit industries for the foreseeable, please remember to stay calm and kind. We're all in this together after all.
Tip 2 - Be Flexible When It Comes To Planning:
Postponing your wedding, but unsure about the nitty gritty? With everything being so up in the air, it's very difficult to get planning and the last thing you want to do is to re-plan for something then have to change it again at the last minute.
So instead of printing and sending out a load of new invites, why not look into creating a bespoke wedding website? These can be created and updated very easily and there are so many great free website templates online if you're not hugely tech-savvy.
Then you can invite all your guests to the website via WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger or Email to keep an eye on your new wedding plans as they evolve.
Tip 3 - Taking Care Of You:
Self care is super important during this unsettling time... So be sure to take the pressure off. These times are unprecedented, but ultimately out of our control. So instead of taking on the pressure and stress of having to re-organise your big day, take it in your stride... Enjoy having the extra planning time, get creative with decor and favour making... You could even start planning speech amends and table planning if you haven't tackled that yet.
However, if it all feels a bit much at the moment, just stop. Stop planning, stop thinking, just be. Things can often feel overwhelming during times of stress. So, why not take a bath? Lie in the sunshine? Read a book? Write? Draw? Mediate? Or again, just be.
Tip 4 - Grow Your Own Flowers:
Wedding flowers can cost hundreds of pounds, so now that you have a bit more time on your hands, why not look at growing your own?
Whether you're Alan Titchmarsh or Alan Sugar, you can still grow filler flowers and foliage very easily and with a bit more time and skill, even big statement blooms.
Depending on what season you plan to get married in, here are some of the easiest flowers to grow yourself:
Spring – Wallflowers, Sweet William, Narcissi, Tulips, Anemones, Ranunculus.
Summer – Sweet Peas, Roses, Ammi, Cornflowers, Nigella, Dahlias, Gladioli
Autumn – Dahlias (will continue into autumn) Zinnias, Asters, Penstemon, Japanese Anemone, Phlox
Winter – Hellebores, Snowdrops, Paperwhites, Heather, Pansies, Holly, Ivy, Mistletoe
Some of these you will need to sow the previous autumn (Wallflowers, Sweet William, cornflowers, bulbs etc) for the best results. All seed packets will come with instructions. As you can never quite predict the English weather, it is best to succession sow. For instance, start sowing your sweet peas in March and then sew in batches every few weeks to give you sweet peas over a longer period.
Once you have seen that tiny seedling push through and your plants are big enough, you can plant them outside. You may also have some that you have direct sewn (plants like Zinnias prefer to be sewn directly in the ground) that are growing along nicely. You won’t need to do much to keep them going: feed, support and stop the weeds growing.
Regularly chop off the dead flower heads. When you pick the flowers ready for the wedding, ensure you put them into scrupulously clean buckets and give them a long drink in a cool room. Cut stems at a 45 degree angle with a clean, sharp pair of scissors. Remove all the foliage from the bottom part of the stem, so it isn’t in the bucket. The best time to pick the flowers is in the morning when the flowers have little dew on them, but the sun still isn’t too hot. There are plenty more tips online and books you can purchase about growing your own flowers. Good luck and enjoy!
Tip 5 - Get Creative With Brewing And Infusing:
Ever wanted to start brewing your own beer? Infusing gin? Or even experiencing with such things as cider and Elderflower Champagne? Well, now is surely your time to shine?
For our tried and tested version of Elderflower Gin, see below for our recipe:
Tip 6 - Enjoy Your ‘Wedding Day’ (Regardless To Whether It’s Your “Actual” Wedding Day… ):
So, you might have to wait a little before you can officially say those vows and exchange rings, but there's no harm in celebrating your original wedding date. Why not consider it a pre-wedding warm up?
You could cook your partner a a delicious breakfast with some Bucks Fizz on the side? Get dressed up all fancy for a party in the lounge? Practise your first dance? Or even, enjoy a glittery Zoom party with friends and family? But ultimately, have a day where you can enjoying spending time together and experiencing how much you love each other!
Tip 7 - Bake Yourself A Wedding Cake:
Now we're not suggesting you bake your wedding cake for your wedding that might be happening in 2021... More suggesting using this time as a chance to get creative in the kitchen. You could bake a simple sponge, but go to town on the decorating. Just have fun with it! Why not incorporate your wedding theme and colours into your bake? You could even have a go at making yourself and your partner out of icing sugar... And if it all goes wrong, nobody has to see it anyway, just eat it!
Tip 8 - Design Your Wedding Rings:
An idea for those of you who haven't purchased your wedding rings yet, why not design and make them yourself? Myself and my husband did this for our wedding rings and it was so much fun. The entire process felt really special and has meant our wedding rings are totally unique. Many independent jewellers will offer this service, you just need to ask. And don't worry, you don't need to have made jewellery before, you should get closely guided throughout the process.
Check on sites such as Pinterest for lots of great inspiration. We made ours with the fabulous David Ayling Goldsmith in Corsham, Wiltshire.
Tip 9 - Write Your Vows:
Now this might flow really easily or take some time to create - Hopefully this period of downtime will allow you to think and get creative with what you really want to say. Will you keep it traditional? Or will you do something totally out of the box?
Tip 10 - Create A Photo Book Of All Your Special Memories:
You've got so much to look forward too, your wedding will be the most special time when you get the chance to have all your friends and family in one room (or marquee!) Why not start creating a special memories book of how you and your partner met and the journey you have taken up until your wedding day? It could feature photos, gig tickets, funny stories and so on... I'm sure there's lots of things even your closest friends and families don't know about you as a couple. It's a nice little addition for guests to take a look at on your special day.
And there you have it, that concludes our top 10 tips that will hopefully keep you busy and entertained throughout lockdown 2020.
Remember, if there's anything we can help plan your perfect wedding, please do get in touch. We are always happy to give free advice as well as no obligation quotes for any of our services.
Stay safe and enjoy getting creative!
Written by Thea Wise
Wedding Coordinator & Event Producer