1. Wedding venue or alternative option?
One of the first questions will be where to have the wedding, there is a massive choice of venues from humble venues up to grand castles!
After lots of decision we decided to hire our village hall instead, we can literally see it from our house and this turned out to be a very good thing
Ok, so the village hall is not a very pretty looking building and nor was it set-up for weddings, but it did have a little outside space which was perfect for photos and it was cheap!
This option was definitely a lot harder as we had to provide every single thing down to the teeniest detail but it was totally worth it, and with some amazing help it looked like this
2. To theme or not to theme
It's very easy to get caught up in what your wedding *should* be like, the best advice I can offer is it really is YOUR day. I remember reading magazines and being overwhelmed by all the 'themes', whilst a theme can be amazing it isn't for everyone so have a think about what you and your partner would like. I think the best thing is when you walk into a wedding and think that it reflects the couple's personalities.
We had a purple and silver colour scheme, and a very vague Cornish/French theme to reflect our heritage, this was limited to food and drink with us having a cake of cheese with Cornish cheese but it meant the French guests had a cheese course.
3. The dreaded tableplan/guestlist
One thing that caught me out was just how tricky the table plan can be, with divorced couples and new partners and family politics! We decided to not have a traditional top-table, instead we had us and the bridal party but parents were elsewhere
When it comes to the guestlist try to be firm and only invite people that you really want to share your day with (easier said than done I know)
4. Matching bridesmaids?
Another thing that is becoming more popular is not having all the bridesmaids matching (or just having one bridesmaid as I was for a friend a few years ago). One of my bridesmaids was expecting, and has since had a gorgeous girl. So instead of her wearing the same dress as the other two, she wore a lovely maternity dress in purple and and I made them all matching headbands which worked perfectly.
5. Family and friends helping out
We really couldn't have had such a fab day without our family and friends helping out.
One Aunt suggested bunting and made some personalised triangles, some kind peeps on Folksy made some and we made the rest (some as last-minute as the night before!), I have a great picture of the best-man holding up some triangles looking puzzled as they were sewn at high speed onto the tabbing by another Aunt.
Everyone helped us set the hall up the day before and we enjoyed pizzas (delivered to the hall) and beer later that evening
On the actual day there was lots of behind the scenes activity by some lovely people (as well as the catering staff we hired)
AND we had lots of helping clearing and cleaning the hall too the next day after a lunch with everyone (this is why the hall was a tougher option)
So don't be afraid to ask for a little help, people want to help you out on such a special day
6. Wedding rings - the importance of
When sitting down with a trusty calculator and your budget sheet have a think about what matters to you as a couple, for us it is our wedding rings. Mr had picked a gorgeous engagement ring (all by himself) and it needed a shaped wedding ring to go with it, and I always fancied the idea of him having a rose gold ring (he tried various options before choosing the rose gold). We headed up to Harriet Kelsall jewellers who were amazing, the designer went through various options and I chose a band with three amethysts and Mr chose his band and the designer suggested etching a shape into the band which matches the join between my rings (not visible in this picture) and here they are
7. Free drinks!
One of the deciding factors in not having a big venue is we wanted to choose the food and drink not just have whatever the hotel or similar provides. So we hired a couple of kegs of beer (one Cornish beer) including the taps/pumps, all the glasses and went to majestic to select the drinks for the big day. One tip is that any unopened cases can be refunded which is what we did, otherwise spare bottles of wine were given out to the family and friends who helped out & guests were sent home with bottles of beer filled up from the kegs and a selection of cheese (happy guests).
On a side note two of our friends are now expecting babies pretty much exactly 9 months after our wedding so I'm telling them that's the last time we give out free drinks!
8. Buffet style but still with seating plan
Our main food was a very yummy hog roast with various things to go with it, so it was served in a more buffet style. As mentioned above we still had a table plan as it gave people somewhere to sit without worrying about politics/space and our usher used the DJ's microphone to call each table to get their food avoiding a stampede (we did also provide snacks between the ceremony and main food as we slipped off for a few pictures by the canal)
Even if you're having a more laid-back style of food I really recommend a seating plan
9. Bespoke jewellery
As a jewellery designer I made my own jewellery for the wedding as well as the bridesmaids (and my Mum wore a necklace & earrings I'd given her a while ago). I made a 'backlace' with beads that perfectly matched the beads on my dress, and on the end attached a silver heart with our initials on it. I really enjoyed matching the accessories to my dress and I'm planning on being able to offer this service in the future for other brides
10. DIY details
There were quite a few DIY elements to our wedding which was great fun, my bridesmaids got involved helping to tie ribbons to lots of favour boxes etc. It's something people really commented on and added that extra touch to our day
For the centrepieces I bought silver pots and purple plants, with a ribbon round the pot they looked lovely, and we gave them away to special guests. For the table names I bought a pack of photo frames and sprayed them silver and then added in the printed out table name.
I hope you've enjoyed reading 10 things about my wedding, if you have any questions please leave a comment or get in touch