So your other half has got down on one knee and made you the happiest woman in the world. But now it is time for the real excitement to start - the wedding planning. All couples want their big day to be special but it is without doubt an event that takes lots of planning. Here are some of our top tips on how to mark what should be one of the most enjoyable and memorable days of your life.
+ Firstly, take your time. You only get to plan your wedding once, so make sure it is a fun time, not a stressful one.
+ Decide what kind of wedding you want. Do not feel pressurised to 'follow the crowd' or please your parents. You should be allowed celebrate your wedding in the way you choose, be that by going the traditional church route, having a civil ceremony, via a reception at your favourite hotel, or on a beach in a far flung destination.
+ Remember you cannot make everyone happy, and trying to accommodate others will just make the whole process more daunting. This is your day; make it about you. No matter how well-intentioned, friends and family will undoubtedly lend advice, opinions, and even objections to your decisions. It's easy for a couple to become divided. Do not lose sight of what a wedding is - a celebration of the start of the rest of your lives together. Every choice should be yours alone.
+ Decide on a budget. How much can you afford to spend? This will have a bearing on many others factors in relation to your big day so it is important to nail a figure down early on, and try and stick as close to it as possible.
+ Who do you want to invite? One of the biggest factors in the budget is the number of guests at a wedding. Wedding guestlists are a minefield - but you must ask the question; who do you really want to celebrate your big day with?
+ Fail to prepare, prepare to fail is an adage that can be applied to wedding planning. The day will unlikely turn out the way you envisioned unless you put in the legwork.
+ Pick what is most important to you and prioritise spending based on that, not on convention or expectations - do not get sucked in to spending big money on unimportant details that most people are unlikely to remember anyway. Decide what you want to splash on and stick to your guns. Not big into flowers - well don't be fussed. Don’t care for cake? Do without it. Not a fan of favours? Leave them out.
+ For the majority of women, it will always be all about the dress. No disrespect to the groom, but nobody will remember what kind of tuxedo or suit he wore, all eyes will be fixed firmly on the bride. Think long and hard about the styles that suit you, and start your search early to ensure you source the perfect gown that will make you feel a million dollars.
+ Make wedding appointments fun - make the most of food tastings, venue tours, cake tasting etc. Use these days as an excuse for a day out with your other half, your mum, or as a get-together with the girls. Go to a wedding fair. You may have no interest in what is on offer, but enjoy the athmosphere and sample the free cake!
+ Choose trusted people to do your hair and make-up. Use a stylist and make-up artist that you have visited before, or listen to recommendations from friends, and always go for a trial run. There is nothing worse then a hair or make-up disaster which has the potential to ruin your special day.
+ Take a step back and remember what is important—you are marrying the love of your life. The dresses, cake, flowers, food, and drinks will have no bearing on the success of your marriage, so don't sweat it and always focus on keeping a realistic perspective.
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