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10 Things I Learnt From Planning a Wedding

SPOILER: It didn’t miraculously turn me into J.Lo…

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Last weekend Mark and I got married and it was easily the best day of my life. My cheeks hurt from the smiling and the day panned out even better than we both could have ever expected. We drunk G&T’s (whilst our mates got my Dad tipsy on White Russians), ate Domino’s (10 large ones to be precise) and danced in our front room to Despacito. In lieu of a proper wedding video I roped Mark into filming a little Q&A earlier in the week which is linked down below if you fancy a watch. Planning a wedding though is quite the process, so for today’s post I thought I’d share 10 things that we learnt through doing it and why everything is worth it in the end…

The Big Question. You will be constantly asked about your wedding plans, practically from the minute that you begin telling people that you are engaged. Whilst it’s nice to talk to others about their stories of friend’s weddings or their own, sometimes there are just more exciting things to talk about like the weather or the Cheerio you found in your belly button the other day (true story). Don’t feel like you have to have a plan set in stone immediately or that you have to talk about it 24/7.

Talk About It. That being said, there is one person that it’s good to talk about wedding plans with – the person you’re bloomin’ marrying! In order to work out what you both want from the day it’s a good idea to spend a couple of evenings (LOL – we spent a year doing this), chatting through guest lists, looking at venues, going on Pinterest and thinking ‘Oh my word that looks pretty/dreamy/terribly expensive‘, working out budgets and just generally coming up with an outlook for the day.

Party Planner. The beginning stages of planning can seem daunting, depending on the size of the doo. We managed by using just a couple of pages of my Bullet Journal and Mark’s kick-ass project management skills. In the end a double page with headings for each section of the day to make sure that we didn’t miss anything out, worked a treat. There are a tonne of resources online too and various different planners you can buy; but if not a pen, paper and a couple of highlighters will serve you just as well.

The Noise. Opinions are like butt holes – everyone has one. And when it comes to weddings people just love to throw in their two cents. Whilst it’s sometimes a good thing to absorb, wring yourself out like a sponge and just keep the helpful hints and tips behind. Try your best to ignore the rest, but know that I’m not sure that anyone in the history of the world has ever not conducted a wedding that has had a bit of a pain in the ass moment at some point (and if they have, then they deserve some kind of medal). Trust me – it’s all worth it in the end.

The Politics. This is a fun one. Wedding politics is a right laugh. NOT. Luckily both of families were pretty on board with our small wedding plans and our friends are chilled folk who completely get it. I think we had a pretty easy ride with this one, but I’ve heard some horror stories about guests lists and of course, the dreaded seating plan. Again try your best to be empathetic, but also not give two hoots at the same time. Hey – isn’t adulting fun? 

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Budgets Be Crazy. Like real crazy. It’s so easy to get caught up in the moment and before you know it your budget is like a runaway train that’s never going to stop. On the whole we managed to rein it in, but it’s probably only down to Mark raising his eyebrow at me after I suggested some insanely expensive wedding components. If you do end up overspending in some areas, look where you can claw it back in others. We perhaps went a little mad with food and booze, but kept decorations really cheap and cheerful (once people were drunk, I’m pretty sure they didn’t notice the fake ivy).

Accept Help. When your Mum says she’ll make you both a wedding cake – say yes. When the florist asks if it’s easier for them to liase with the restaurant to coordinate the delivery – say yes. When the restaurant staff say they’re happy to put out the placecards and wedding favours in the morning – hold them close. Just accept help wherever it’s offered and if you have mates that have talents in particular areas, I’m sure they’ll be more than happy to muck in. Lily was my chief Boomerang-er for the day and she did a great job of it. Thanks Lily! 

It’s All In The Detail. This is something that we didn’t really clock until it was the weekend before the wedding and we realised that we hadn’t even considered decorations for the wedding reception back at our flat. Cue a mad trip to Hobbycraft for fake ivy and a ‘Just Married’ sign and a shedload of Amazon orders to source everything from cups to confetti. The little details are often the things that take up the longest time, but that your guests will love the most. We spent the evening before the wedding putting together a pub quiz and everyone lapped it up (and got so competitive that even my Grandma could hear the whole thing).

The Day Before. Whatever you decide to do, whether it be secretly eloping to a mahoosive party, there will undoubtably be some kind of prep the day before. We thought we’d breeze through the day before just prepping bits in the evening and whilst Mark went to work on the Friday, I spent the day dashing around town running errands, putting up decorations and reorganising our fridge to accommodate the 45 bottles of tonic we’d bought. My top tip would be to both take the day before off work, hopefully that way you can spread the load and not reach the point where you’re tempted to take deep breaths and stick your head between your legs in Pret (again, true story).

THE DAY! Your actual wedding day will undoubtedly be fricking awesome and you will feel like you’re gliding around on your own little cloud of happiness made for two. Cheesy but true. If anything does go wrong, or isn’t executed exactly to your taste, the chances are that you won’t even notice (I didn’t notice a chinzy ribbon the Florists had put around the table decorations until the Monday after!) and things that you thought could have possibly been stressful (like having almost 30 people in your flat with lots of red wine and beige carpets), really don’t register as that on the day. I’ve never been so chilled, so happy and I would jump at the chance to do it all over again. ENJOY! 

Pictures by my Dad (apologies the lack of photos, we won’t get the official ones for yonks!)

Comments

  • Again, congrats! The most important thing I learned from getting married is that is has to be true to your personality, and that the only person you have to please is the one you are marrying. My family and friends are pretty relaxed too, but like you I have heard horror stories including the mother of the groom secretly rearranging the seating while the ceremony was taking place to accomodate it to her taste…

    Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

  • Philippa

    Congratulations! Such a lovely in the moment photo – you both look so happy!
    Philippa x

  • This is lovely! Congratulations to both of you, your photos are so gorgeous!

    I hope you have a lovely Sunday,
    Michael
    https://www.mileinmyglasses.co.uk

  • Congratz with the wedding <3 So happy for you.

    http://kaffeogkjoler.dk/

  • Lee

    Congratulations to both of you! I loved this post and can’t wait to see the official photos!

  • Congratulations to the both of you! How absolutely beautiful you look! So happy for you. I’ve followed you since your bedroom and super long hair (extreme blush) days and it’s been so lovely to watch this evolve 🙂

    Katie // wordsbykatie.com

  • Aaah congratulations to you both! This post is making me so excited but also nervous for my wedding next year… I hope to be as organised as you both are! At the moment everything is kind of all over the place.

    Lizzie Bee // http://www.hellolizziebee.com

  • Desiree myob

    Congratulations!!! Love your wedding! I also had a small wedding and it was amazing as well

  • Nadia Sabrina

    Hi Anna,

    I’ve been a follower of you since 2013 aka since VDM days. I just want you to know that I’ve seen you grow so much as a content creator over the past 4 years and my heart was just filled with joy when you let us know that you were (are) now Mrs. Anna Newton. Huge congrats to you and Mark. I wish you guys a happy marriage #shedstears

    Love from Indonesia,
    nnsabrina.blogspot.com

  • Tina

    Congratulations! I can’t wait for the wedding makeup video to si how you preped your skin! I’m getting married in two weeks and I really need that! Love from Croatia!

  • Congratulations Anna!

    Loved reading the blog post – you looked beautiful! I’m now going to watch the Video 🙂

    Em / https://beautywithemxox.blogspot.co.uk/

  • Congrats lovely! So looking forward to seeing more of your snaps x

    Tiffany Tales – Beauty & Lifestyle Blog

  • catherine ♡

    Congratulations Anna and Mark! You looked amazing and I love how chilled out your whole wedding day seemed 🙂 x

  • mybeautrip .com

    Congratulations! Planning a wedding can be difficult sometimes!
    xx

    http://www.mybeautrip.com

  • mybeautrip .com

    Congratulations! Planning a wedding can be difficult sometimes!
    xx

    http://www.mybeautrip.com

  • Greta

    This post was so sweet- thanks for the tips! And congratulations!!!

    -Greta
    http://www.mintyfrosting.com

  • I loved reading this- lots of great tips! Congrats on getting married and although the pic that your dad snapped isn’t a ‘professional’ one, I would say that it’s pretty darn fantastic! Wishing you and Mar a future of happiness together 🙂

    https://thedianaedition.com

  • omg wow congratulations to you both so so lovely xx

    cristynottingham.blogspot.co.uk

  • Congratulations to you both! Such an lovely photo, it truly looks like you had the perfect wedding for you.

    Natasha | The Night is Wild

  • Congratulations Anna!

    Loved reading the blog post – you looked beautiful! I’m now going to watch the Video 🙂

    Em / https://beautywithemxox.blogspot.co.uk/

  • CONGRATULATIONS! You looked absolutely stunning in your dress! Glad you had an amazing day! Xxx

    http://www.lifeofem.co.uk

  • Congrats Anna and Mark. The perfect wedding!! I have been engaged almost 4 years because every time we start planning and talk about it we start panicking about budget and our families get involved {you HAVE to invite Auntie so and so and your fourth cousins once removed}, {what do you mean you’re not having a cake!?!} We’ve decided to elope to New York in September and organise a small meal at a restaurant when we get back. It’s been so stressful because people won’t butt out. I just want to be married to my fiancé, end of!

  • Congratulations! You both look so happy, and your wedding seemed like it was the perfect day for you, which is all that matters. I loved your Q&A it was the best pick me up this morning, and has given me so much inspiration

    – Natalie
    http://www.workovereasy.com

  • Amanda P

    I have never shared this advice before, but I wish I had taken a literal chill pill on my wedding day. I was so nervous and stressed out at my wedding reception and if I had been 10% more relaxed I would have enjoyed myself 100% more. Of course I couldn’t experiment day-of, so I would have had to experiment in advance to see how medicine might effect me and how much I should take. Anyway, if you tend to get anxious at big events, consider taking a chill pill for your wedding.

  • Congrats, you guys look so happy. Your dress is absolutely gorgeous.

    Zeynab x
    The Beautyload

  • Congratulations! You looked absolutely beautiful and the happiness just radiates from both you and Mark. I wish you all the best for the future and prepare yourself, now that you’re married the question goes from ‘when are you getting married’ to ‘when are you having children’ haha
    -Kathryn xx
    http://hellokathryn.com/

  • Madison Grace

    Congrats guys! So lovely and you look beautiful!

    Mads xx

    MY BLOG: http://www.bymybedside.com
    Free cookies if you check it out! Jks. Got ya.

  • Cleide Suppo

    Congratulations Anna! I’m really happy for you two…I’m getting married in 1 month and these advices are perfectly on time 😉
    Guess what??? We are also going to New Zeland for our honeymoon in September <3
    Lots of love from Italy 🙂
    Cleide

  • Congratulations Anna, it sounds like a wonderful day! You looked beautiful, and the pizza didn’t look too bad either 😉
    http://www.lookwhosyorking.blogspot.co.uk

  • “Opinions are like butt holes” this had me rofl xD
    Congratulations on the wedding and on keeping it exactly how you both wanted! You guys looked beautiful and so freaking happy <3 I got married 5 months ago and know how hard it is to not be influenced by everyone saying you should do this or that… Yay for us stubborn people ;D haha
    http://www.setemilkm.com

  • theblackblush blog

    Congratulations Anna! Looks like you had such a great day! You looked gorgeous!
    xx

    The Black Blush

  • Congratulations!! I got married last August, and this advice is spot on! We had a small wedding, and did it our way and I’m so glad we didn’t let other people pressure us into anything else!
    Kisses,
    Sarah
    EverydayStarlet

  • Elle

    Congratulations Anna! You look beautiful and I love Marks face in the top picture! I’m currently starting the planning of my 2019 wedding in Portugal. Your post and video have made me feel a lot calmer and confident about my small relaxed wedding. Already getting comments like ‘you’re not having a cake?! You monster!’. Wish me luck! xx

  • This picture should be on a magazine. I can tell you both are beyond the moon happy. 🙂 Congrats Anna and Mark!

  • Sophie

    Congratulations from France Anna !
    You and Mark have the look of love :-))
    Sophie,

  • Congrats on getting married! You guys look so happy. 🙂 I planned my wedding (got married last June) and everything you said is SO TRUE, lol. Great post!

  • Jamie Corcoran Smith

    My husband and I got married with like 5 seconds notice, but if we had had a proper ceremony and reception, I wouldve wanted it to be exactly like yours! You guys are the best!

  • You both look so happy! I’m so excited for you! Can’t wait to read the rest of your wedding posts.

    Carrie | http://carrieeliseandkho.com/

  • StingrayGirl

    Congratulations!! <3
    Awesome choice for Honeymoon (I moved to NZ from Wales to do a PhD in marine biology!) Happy to give you worth-it/not-worth-it things to see and hidden gems advice if you need it when planning! twitter&insta: @helecad 🙂 I'd consider coming over in February though for the most settled weather!

  • Anna Baars

    Hi Anna, Such a great video thanks for sharing. I am having a very similar wedding in September just with close friends and family in London. I actually have the same wedding dress as you an just wondered what shoes you went for ? I might also borrow your pub quiz idea that is genius so any tips on what you did to create the questions would also be really helpful x

  • Lindsay Davison

    Wedding planning was one of the most stressful things I ever did! You definitely had the right idea by keeping it simple! x

    http://www.lindsaydavison.co.uk

  • Thanks for sharing all the useful tips and thoroughly enjoyed the Q&A. Congratulations to the both of you 😀

    VioletDaffodils
    xx

  • This is so true, well written! I got married myself two weeks ago, so I can really relate! 🙂

    Congratulations to you and Mark, I really enjoyed your wedding Q&A.

  • I loved your wedding and your approach to it. It’s not all about the day after all – you are starting a whole life with another person. I wish you both a lifetime of joy and happiness together.

  • You’re so right about budget – I just got married at the start of June and kept it as restrained as I possibly could whilst still giving myself the wedding I wanted by DIYing and making as much as I possibly could myself, and it still cost a small fortune!
    Great tips!
    http://www.helplesswhilstdrying.com