So here we are at the final tier of the wedding decision making process. Let’s take a quick look back at my recommendations for the best way to navigate through your own wedding planning.
Tier one: decide upon your budget, venue, guestlist and the date
Tier two: book your major suppliers
Tier three: focus on the aesthetics of your wedding (namely theme and attire)
Tier four: Confirm the finer details
The finer details for Lee and I (which I am still working my way through with it being only two weeks to the wedding) include:
- Selecting the readings and approving the script of the ceremony from the humanist
- Creating a musical playlist for the drinks reception
- Picking the first dance(s)
- Having trials for hair and make-up
- Scheduling any appointments on the week leading up to the wedding
- Presents for the bridal party
- The table plan
My top tip when it comes to finalising the details of your wedding would be to give yourself enough time to work through them. I’d suggest turning your attention to these a minimum of three months before the wedding. I am an anxious testament to the fact that only having the above finalised (with the exception of hair and make-up) two weeks prior to your wedding, is perhaps not the best thing to do for your own piece of mind/ mental state (mental being the operative word).
Readings & Ceremony
The process through which our humanist has worked with Lee and I, was to ask us both to write the story of how we met, to note what we loved about each other and what marriage means to each of us. With this information she then wrote up a script of the ceremony for our approval. Don’t be afraid to make amends to this. Lee and I edited ours rather thoroughly as we discovered there are different ways of introducing Humanism, reading the vows and also a variety of rituals which can be added (for example we are tying the knot, quite literally, which is a Celtic tradition and symbolises the tying together of your love and commitment to each other). The best way to ensure you are happy with your ceremony is to read scripts from others and your humanist will have examples of these to share with you.
Picking your readings is a topic I have covered in a previous blog post when I listed some resources which would be a good place to start when considering readings. But for some reason it took Lee and I quite a while to muse over what best relates to our story. If like us, you are having a humanist ceremony, you have to consider when the readings will feature within your ceremony and how it will all tie up. Although to be honest I think I became so obsessed with this, as opposed to simply picking readings we liked, the selection process was then held back.
Further to this, I have also been determined to compile our own poem with some favourite song lyrics, which is now complete. Although I am not too sure what our guests will think of a Benny Benassi, Jason Mraz, Oasis, Train and John McDermott mash up. This is something I will post after the wedding for your own review…
Creating a musical playlist
For the creation of a musical playlist, should you need to do one, the biggest piece of advice I can offer is to be as eclectic as possible. Your wedding is likely to be a mixed crowd and you do not want to make any of your older guests feel uncomfortable amidst a toe-tapping techno session, on humming along to tunes full of explicit lyrics, or indeed a happy hardcore fiasco (this isn’t to say I am not partial to these types of music, I just don’t think Lee’s gran or papa would be up to twerking or hearing that Miley’s mob are all taking lines in the bathroom).
It is a major plus of our venue that we are able to play an iPod throughout the marquee for the drinks reception and meal and so within this I am keen to cover a broad spectrum of genres, whilst avoiding the break up ballads or anything too dance-based, which is no easy task I tell you, especially when your iTunes library is jam-packed full of Ibiza anthems.
Picking your first dance
For Lee and I, this has been a bit of a ‘mare. I touched on this above, but when you are picking your first dance it is vital to listen to the words of the song, as you’ll find that many are about one person pretty much being screwed over by the other. This is one of the reason’s that Lee and I have struggled to choose. If you are like us and don’t have ‘a song’, that one song which has meant something dear to the pair of you since romance first blossomed, do not despair, this does not make you any less worthy of marriage!
If I am being honest, even now I am not sure we have the first dance nailed. The second and third on the other hand I am confident will be floor burners. Having a slow first dance and then two upbeat tunes after is something I have been recommended to do by other brides, in order to get your guests up and jiving as soon as possible. After playing these three songs, our band are going to kick in and I am hoping will result in a busy dancefloor.
So if like me you are a bit lost when it comes to your first dance, I would recommend starting with YouTube. There are some decent videos listing the most popular first dance tunes which may help to inspire.
Hair & make-up trials
A girl has to look her best on her wedding day and same goes for your bridesmaids and so the best thing, in my opinion, about getting your hair and make-up done professionally (budget permitting of course) is the fact that it should last the full day.
Trials are imperative to ensure you pick the look you want to showcase on the day. Before you have your trial Google pics of bridal hair and make-up in order that you can provide your stylist with some instruction on what you like. My cousin Madeline who owns a salon in Bishopbriggs (you’ll see her trial pic above), had recommended that I follow Peaches Make-Up on Instagram and it was from their pics we selected both the bridesmaid’s and my hair styles.
Maddi will be doing my hair on the morning of the wedding and then due to the sheer volume of bridesmaids and family members also looking to get their hair done, Alana Janice (another amazing hair stylist who was recommended to me) is helping Maddi get round them all. For make-up, Tara – from Gravity in Lennoxtown – is going to be setting up at 6am to ensure she gets the bridal party finished in time for the 2pm ceremony. Tara is absolutely an artist and I would highly recommend.
This is not an aspect upon which I am going to dwell, as it is likely that both my mum and bridesmaids will read this post. What I will say on the matter is that there are some really quirky products out there to package your gifts up, check out some of my fave ideas at theweddingofmydreams.co.uk.
Scheduling last minute beauty treatments
Be sure to schedule these in for the days on the lead up to your wedding. For me this includes a spray tan, shellac nails and toes, a set of lashes and waxing – sometimes it is hard being a girl eh?! Be sure you get these booked up well in advance of your wedding so you can have your schedule fully noted down and planned out. You would be gutted to double-book any, especially if like me you are working up to a couple of days before your wedding.
What a stress this has been over the past week or so. Firstly, if you are looking for your table plan to be professionally printed, then have your seating arrangement confirmed at least three weeks prior to your wedding (this will affect the final reply date on your invites – don’t of course do what we did and forget to include a reply date). Having only just finalised who is sitting where today, this option is no longer open to us and so I have been looking into other quirky ways to display a homemade table plan.
We have settled upon sticking the table plan to a vintage mirror and dressing this with pearls and faux flowers (an idea I saw on eBay and have displayed a mock up of how it will look in the pic above). This option is available to us as Boturich supply an easel (be sure to check if your venue can do the same) and so we are going to sit our (£14.99) newly-purchased mirror from B&M on this. Table names will then be displayed in card holders from The Range, a shop I would 100% recommend for the crafty bride who is looking to create handmade materials for her wedding.
Another great place to look for inspiration for your table plan is of course Not On The High Street, I absolutely love the hanging table plan options and co-ordinating table numbers.
Well that’s it pals, I hope my breakdown of the decision-making process will help you navigate your way through the maze that is wedding planning. I was keen to note down these learning’s for you because there was a moment following my engagement to Lee that I thought, bloody hell, where do we start. Pretty sure there will be some other ideas that come to mind that I will share with you, especially after the day itself and of course should you have any questions at all on your wedding plans then you can get me on: firstname.lastname@example.org x