Category Archives: Wedding Planning Advice

Wedding Planning Advice for the Newly Engaged

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You’re probably feeling a heady mix of emotions right now – excitement, anticipation, joy, terror!? While everyone you speak to will kindly remind you that this will be the happiest time in your life, you’ll soon be feeling that inevitable wave of panic too. It’s perfectly normal to be a little bit scared and overwhelmed at this stage. I mean, how on Earth do you even start to plan a wedding!? Yes, there is an enormous amount to do in a relatively short period of time but come on, if I can do it, you certainly can too.

The most important thing to remember is that this is just one day. Your wedding will not define the rest of your life. It should be a nice starting off point for your marriage. But I know how it feels, and once the happy glow of getting engaged starts to wear off, it’s all too easy to fall into the trap of hyperventilating over guest lists, seating arrangements and finding that one perfect dress.

So relax.  Try not to think about everything you have to do right away, instead break your tasks up into manageable chunks and tackle them one at a time. The wedding industry is notorious for scaring you about time frames and budgets and blah blah blah. But often they’re more worried about their own bottom line than actually helping brides and grooms navigate the muddy waters of planning ‘the biggest day of their lives’ (cynical but true). On the Rock n Roll Bride blog I’ve featured weddings that were planned in a matter of weeks and weddings that cost under £1000. So whatever your timeframe and budget, it can be done.

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Get Organised

What you do have to do, whatever your timeframe or budget, is get yourself organised. Now.

I’m a huge fan of lists and breaking things down so they’re less intimidating. My only advice other than that would be to make sure you have your priorities in mind and try to book the big three first. These are the things that either take the longest, get booked up the soonest or set the tone for the rest of the wedding. They are the venue, your photographer (and/or videographer, if you’re having one) and your dress. Get those three sorted first and everything else will fall into place around them.

However, before you can start any of that you need to make some decisions. Set some time aside, just the two of you, to sit down and have ‘the talk’. You need to decide what kind of day you want, when and where you’re going to hold it and how you’re going to make it all happen.

What

Think about what kind of wedding you both really want. Will it be big or small, religious or civil, on a beach, in a marquee, a manor house or a pub? Do you want to hand make everything or is that your idea of hell? Do you want a big bridal party or do you want it to be just the two of you up there? What is most important to you both? What are your biggest priorities and what is completely non-negotiable?

Secondly, it’s time to think about the theme. Recently this has become a bit of a dirty word, but these days thinking about a theme doesn’t have to mean you should be picking accent colours or deciding whether you’re more of a glamorous, retro or modern couple. In fact I’ve lost count of the number of weddings I’ve seen recently where the couple say “Oh we didn’t really have a theme; we just had stuff we liked”. Perfect, great – that’s your theme then!

This is the fun bit. It’s time to write down anything, and everything, that makes the two of you tick. What is it that makes you both the unique little snowflakes that you are? Are you really into sci-fi, or gaming, or food? Have you always dreamt about getting married outside, or by the ocean, or in a cave? Is music your biggest passion? Are your pets the light of your life? At this stage, write down whatever you want on this list and don’t restrict yourselves. I always think that the most successful weddings are those that are really unique to the couple and a share a mash up of how they are in everyday life.

Of course when it comes down to actually putting things in the wedding, you don’t have to include everything, but making a list like this is a really good way to get those ideas flowing before you really decide what’s going to work for you both.

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Being ‘Too Fat’ for Photos, Planning a Wedding on the Cheap, Not Inviting Children & Much, Much More!

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Advice pieces are some of the most enjoyable posts for me to write. I get hundreds of comments and emails from you guys asking all number of wedding planning – and weirdly hair! – questions, and being able to help you out where I can is immensely satisfying.

If you ever have a question or concern, please feel free to email me! While I can’t promise to reply one-on-one, I may turn your question into a future blog or magazine article.

Here are twelve of the most popular advice articles that were published this past year.

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Life doesn’t wait for you to ‘get thin’, life is happening right now

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5 things you probably don’t know about planning a wedding

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Bridesmaid 101

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Help! I’ve got pre-wedding cold feet

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Your Wedding Dilemmas Solved: Post Wedding Blues, Overcoming Shyness, & Much More!

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With a brand new year just around the corner, I’d imagine a lot of you are starting to seriously SWEAT IT about your upcoming nuptials. Fret not dear reader, because I’m here to help! I put a call out on Facebook the other day asking if you had any dilemmas you’d like help with and oh boy did you! In fact I received so many questions both on Facebook and via email that I’ve decided to do a few of these Q&A style posts over the next few weeks. I love doing them and I hope I can help some of you out.

If you have a wedding related question, concern or problem, feel free to email me too. While I can’t reply one on one, I may well turn it into a future blog post or magazine article!

Can you help me with dealing the post wedding blues? Or preparing for after the wedding? I wish I had planned for it as I feel quite down now the wedding is over. Sarah Helen

If you’re not prepared for them, the post wedding blues can hit you like a high speed steam train. Feeling down once your wedding is over is perfectly normal though and not something you should be ashamed of. It doesn’t mean you’re any less happy to be married, it’s usually just because you loved planning your wedding (and put so much of your heart, soul and time into it) that you’re feeling a bit lost afterwards. Hell, I got them so bad, I became a full time wedding blogger!

While the post wedding blues aren’t something you should feel bad about, you shouldn’t wallow in them either. Take a short amount of time to ‘grieve’ that your wedding is over but then make a conscious decision to (in the nicest possible way) get over it! Now is the time to throw yourself wholeheartedly into your marriage. Plan some fun days out together, keep up your date nights, talk to each other and have lots of sex!

Sure, planning a wedding is amazing, but believe me, being married is way better!

I’ve written more about the post wedding blues here.

How do we break the news to the parents that we’re eloping? Its a fine line between planning our dream and pleasing our parents… Pascale

When you’re having a unusual or alternative wedding it can be hard to navigate between doing what you really want and keeping the people you love happy. But here’s the unfortunate truth: In life, whatever the situation, it is impossible to pick one outcome that will satisfy every single person that your choice affects. Even if you had the most traditional, family-pleasing wedding, there’d be someone who didn’t like your menu, or someone who hated the band…

If I was you, I’d sit down with your parents and your fiancé and just be honest with them. Remind them that eloping isn’t a sign that you love them any less, it’s just what you feel is right for the two of you. It might be hard on them, but ultimately you do have to put yourselves first. You’ll only regret it otherwise. As much as a wedding is about celebrating with family, it’s also about starting your new life as a team… a partnership… and putting that person and your relationship before everything else.

However that’s not to say that you shouldn’t try to compromise. How about suggesting that you or your parents throw a post-wedding party once you get home?

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The 7 Dos and Don’ts Of Buying A Wedding Dress Online

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There’s something undeniably magical about going to a fancy bridal boutique, sipping champagne and trying on beautiful, exquisitely made, designer wedding dresses. But for a lot of brides – who can’t or don’t want to – the mere idea of dropping £3000 on a dream dress is completely out of the question!

I think it’s good to have options and so instead of just blindly writing about it, I actually wanted try it out for myself. I ordered two dresses from Adorona.com, based in Shanghai, who sell made-to-measure and customisable dresses online.

There are a number of things you should consider if you plan to buy your wedding dress online, either second-hand (from somewhere like eBay), from an independent designer on Etsy, or via a website that makes and sells wedding and prom dresses from China.

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1. Do check the fabric

First and foremost you should check the fabric of the dress you like, and if at all possible, ask for swatches to be sent to you before you place an order. Sometimes clothing can look really beautiful online, but when you see it in the flesh you realise why it was so cheap! Using lower quality fabrics is one of the most common ways that online retailers keep their costs down.

I’m not going to lie, the fabrics used on the two dresses I ordered were in no way comparable to something you might see in a bridal boutique. However, I was pleasantly surprised. They were a lot nicer than I thought they might be, especially for the price. Most importantly though, the dresses were exceptionally well made. The fabric was thick and the stitching in all the right places. There were no threads hanging off, or unfinished edges, and the embellishments were of a high quality. The dresses were also both super comfortable to wear.

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50 Husband and Wife Date Night Ideas

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Just because you’re married, doesn’t mean date night should go out the window. I actually think it’s more important to make sure to keep it up once you’re hitched. It’s all too easy for life to get in the way and to forget just how wonderful spending time together is.

Here are 50 fun and affordable date night ideas for all you lovebirds out there.

1. The supermarket challenge (aka set a spend limit, separate and go and buy each other fun gifts!)

2. Cook dinner for each other

3. Wine tasting

4. Go for a romantic picnic

5. Stargaze

6. Make something together

7. Go for brunch

8. Go to a museum or gallery

9. Hop on the train and see where it takes you

10. Model village!

11. Set up a scavenger hunt

12. At home movie night

13. Take a class together

14. Paint your bedroom

15. Go thrift shopping

16. Jumble sale!

17. Watch the sunrise or sunset

18. Go to the beach

19. Walk the dog together (if you don’t have one, just walk!)

20. Play video games together

21. Get up early and go to a car boot

22. Go bowling

23. Ice skating!

24. Play tourist in your own city

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Life Doesn’t Wait For You To ‘Get Thin’. Life Is Happening Right Now.

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Kerry Murray

Dear Kat
So, this cuts pretty close to the bone. I’m off to New York with my husband this Autumn and I was thinking about hiring a photographer for a shoot. I was thinking this earlier in the year, when I was also planning on dropping a couple of stone, and needless to say with a particularly stressful wedding season (I’m a wedding photographer myself) and one thing or another its almost time for the trip and I have not lost a pound.

My husband and I haven’t spoken about the prospect of a shoot for a while, and I’d been thinking I wouldn’t bother. But today I was photographing a slightly larger lady, and looking back at the images I was thinking, she looks so happy and so in love, and what beautiful eyes she has. Then I thought, why can’t I see myself that way in photos, rather than seeing chin/ tummy/ arms?

I know I’ll most likely not like myself in the images, which makes me think it would be a waste of time and money, but at the same time I do want the photos to record me and my husband in the city.

Do you or any of your readers feel the same about themselves in photos, and if so how do you tackle it? Should I just man up and realise I’ll never be a size 10? And, should I have photos or not? You’re in front of the camera a fair amount, any advice on being photographed?

Hey babe, first off… you are beautiful… and just in case you didn’t hear me the first time listen to me again: YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL.

But I hear you, and I feel the same way 99% of the time. I constantly compare myself to my slimmer friends, and often catch myself thinking things like “If only I could lose a stone, I’d feel so much better”.

Deep down I know this isn’t true. That the shape and size of our bodies is no indication to how happy we are, how talented we might be, or how much we’re loved. It doesn’t mean squat, but it is still a constant battle for a lot of us. I’m always having to check myself when these feelings start to creep in. So I completely understand how you feel.

Here’s the thing though, photographs are not about being perfect. They’re about communicating a feeling, and freeze-framing a moment in our lives. It’s so important.

While at my parents’ house a few weeks ago my mum brought out all the old photo albums with photos of us all inside. Looking back and seeing those pictures of our whole family together was amazing. We laughed at my mother’s giant hair, our questionable fashion choices, and the fact that my dad looked about 12 when I was born. My grandparents looked young, happy, and full of life. It was amazing. It didn’t once cross my mind to focus on anybody’s ‘flaws’, I was too busy hearing the stories about trips I don’t remember, and reminiscing about how special those times were.

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