Updated: Feb 27, 2020
Congratulations! You're engaged! Like a bottle of popped champagne, as a newly-promised person, you’re overflowing with excitement... And so you celebrate! [5 Ways To Celebrate Your Engagement blog post coming next week!] Until, that is, you realise there's an entire wedding to plan and those bubbles of fizz soon flatten. Now, that's not a feeling everyone gets. There are a rare few of us who adore all aspects of planning, and for an event professional like myself, a wedding is the ultimate creative endeavour.
But empathise, I do. In an age where Big Brother is always watching and everything we do is shared in an instant, you may start to wonder... How will your big day be perceived? Social media has completely changed the way we look at the world and each other. Long gone are the days of only a chapel full of eyes watching you walk down the aisle with a veil as your filter.
So, how can you ensure your day is perfect? Is there such a thing as perfect? And what will your wedding say about you?
Whether your preferred wedding style is classic, contemporary, bohemian, rustic, vintage, lux, or a beachy dream, be wary of boxing yourself in. I adore creating stunning expressions of a couples’ tastes but believe this amounts to more than aesthetic style. Wedding concept design is all about how it makes you and your guests feel.
Labeling your style can stand in the way of a beautiful wedding. Perfect does exist if perfect means personal….Effortlessly you. Idyllic celebrations can only come to fruition if they are truly reflective of the couple!
One of first questions I am frequently asked a wedding planner is: "How soon can we arrange the tasting?!" Foodie couples are bound to be excited by the catering arrangements! Does this sound like you? Perhaps you're music lovers or a couple who love to share photos? Some couples approach me having already booked their musicians, others, their photographer. One couple booked had their venue booked shortly after their third date - just in case! I've had couples fly florists in from Italy while others view florals as a minor feature. Every couple is unique but most will have an element that takes precedence for them. Honing in on your wedding priorities is key.
Save The Date and invitation cards are the first glimpse your guests will get into your wedding world so it should be just as much a part of your wedding as your mother-in-law. What will these convey?
You are likely to want your invitations to complement the rest of your wedding stationery so bear this in mind before licking those envelopes. That is, if you'll be heading out to the letterbox at all. Email invites, custom websites and purpose-built apps are increasingly popular in 2019, however, the majority of couples still send traditional posted invitations, sometimes in addition to their more modern counterparts. I must admit, I love the charm of receiving a gorgeous bundle in the mail, be it a stunning letterpress design, sleek deco style postcard, or cutesy booklet filled with characterful details. Although I am so inspired by the early adopters, conscious of environmental impacts who are choosing to go paperless and have been remarkably impressed with the digital alternatives available. Within your invites, you may wish to include an itinerary of events if you’re the type who loves to plan and prepare. Not you? Perhaps you’ll opt to surprise your guests completely with only a pickup location and transport to a secret venue - a perfect option if you're a fiend for adventure. However you decide to draw your guests in, be sure to include adequate information within the invite, allowing your friends and family to book accommodation if required or decide against the venison if they're vegan. Checking dietary requirements is (V) important!
Having sent the invites and collated RSVPs, you now have a comprehensive guest list. So, what does your guest list say about you?
If you're a bit of a party animal then it's likely your list will be a lengthy one. Perhaps it’s your parents who are the bona fide socialites and they are the real reason you have no idea how to spell so many surnames when putting the seating plan together. But how big is big? For some people, a wedding party of 100 is small, whilst others would say a hundred is far too many. The size of your wedding is entirely up to you. If you're a more introverted couple you may prefer an intimate affair of just your nearest and dearest or if you're a pair that loves romance but loathes a fuss, you might consider joining the growing number of couples that choose to elope. Katie Elliott at Wild Goat Events says that a wedding just for two is 'for the truly adventurous at heart.' Size really does not matter. Like most things in life, a wedding guest list is purely about quality not quantity. Still, if you want everyone in your life there, including the tally of your Mum's Facebook friends, by all means go for it! A larger wedding can still be intimate so long as the mood is right.
Less about mood, more about food I hear you cry!
Your selected catering style can really help to build ambiance and says a lot about you as a couple. A plated, sit-down meal is the classical dining option. In my experience, serving guests this way handily helps with the flow of speeches whilst a banquet or interactive food stations provide guests the freedom to mingle. A gorgeous way to blend the two styles is to offer sharing platters or feasting style meals, a more casual, relaxed style of dining adopted by countless high-end venues and restaurants. Maybe a cocktail style reception is for you? Food served in bite-size portions and miniature versions of your favourite delicacies are an excellent way to lighten formalities and buck tradition. According to Heather Lee of brides.com, “the atmosphere [at a cocktail reception] is usually more relaxed and laid-back, which means couples have an opportunity to get creative with the menu and choose dishes that really let their personalities come through”. The style of food you serve at your wedding will impact a host of surrounding elements, so consider this decision carefully during the planning stages. Bon appétit!
The bottom line is, with proper planning and implementation, your wedding will say exactly what you want it to say about you and your partner. Professional guidance will assist you in ensuring that every detail is covered and seamlessly executed. It is essential to at least consult an experienced planner before your making your vows. At Sarah Lock Events we offer complimentary consultations as part of our service. A great planner will have an intuitive sense of your vision and offer invaluable suggestions for enhancing the overall impact. Above all, be true to yourselves. The commitment made by two people in love is a cherished gift to be celebrated meaningfully. By setting the tone and raising the bar, your wedding will be guaranteed to be remembered as a uniquely authentic reflection of you as a couple.