Most of us can’t afford to employ Jennifer Lopez-esque character from “The Wedding Planner” to help us plan our big day. No most of us make lots of lists, spend far too much time on Pinterest and if we’re lucky, we manage to rope in a married friend who has been through it before. However, even with all the planning and all the good intentions – unless you organise events/ weddings professionally – there are bound to be things/tips you won’t know.
So to get some insider knowledge, I decided to ask Sian Nannan for her best hints and tips. Who is Sian and why ask her? Well, Sian has a degree in event management from Greenwich and in order to gain more experience in event management, she volunteered to help wedding planners whenever she had free time between Uni. Now she works a professional products coordinator for eventa.co.uk – a Brighton based events agency that organises spectacular corporate events for companies all over the UK.
So without further ado here are Sian’s top tips for anyone planning a wedding…
Barter BEFORE you sign the deal – people are less willing to give into you after you sign
When hiring vendors make sure you barter them before singing/shaking on anything. For example, see if you can get that extra hour for free from the band or get the venue to throw in the chair covers, table napkins for free, etc. Because once you sign a deal with them, they are less likely to bend to your requests. Trust me; most vendors would rather accommodate you in the beginning in order to get the deal, rather than disappointing you by refusing extra requests later on.
Ask vendors who they recommend – they know the best people
Once you’ve hired some vendors, ask them for their professional recommendations. After all, these are the best people to ask seeing as they are in the wedding business and they have (probably) worked with other several wedding vendors before. Wedding photographers are usually the best people to ask as they tend to travel around quite a lot so they’ll know a wide variety of vendors from all different industries.
Have back up funds – check credit cards which give rewards
This is just common sense really but something many people forget. Have a wedding budget but also have some “SOS funds” on the side. Now if this is going to work you’re going to have to be disciplined: you can’t spend this money willy nilly! It’s for emergencies only. Same thing goes for a credit card (if you are putting everything in card!) Apply for one with added rewards such as air miles etc. That way, anything you spend on it will go towards something useful in the future.
Remember the small things – tampons, nice hanger for dress, fit flops for guests
It’s always the small things that get forgotten. Things like emergency tampons, fit flops for guests with high heel suffering feet and a nice hanger for the dress (just in case the photographer wants to take a photo of it on the hanger.) Other things worth remembering are painkillers, deodorant and a mini sewing kit.
Remember the help – feed them, tip envelopes
If you are in charge of feeding people like the DJ, photographer etc., then maybe consider paying for a separate/cheaper meal. That way you won’t be forking out a lot of money for people who aren’t technically your guests. Also, if you plan to tip anyone then pre-prepare envelopes, put money inside and write their names on the front.
Marriage certificate – check online
You’d be surprised how many people actually forget to do this. For more information go to: – https://www.gov.uk/marriages-civil-partnerships
Have a “Plan B” – in case it rains
For those who are having an outdoor wedding it’s always a good idea to have a “Plan B” or an indoor plan. Chances are you’ll be checking the weather religiously but if you’re getting married in the UK then you’ll know how unpredictable it can be. So have a back-up plan in case you need to move the wedding indoors.
Insurance – not fun but you should get it
Ah no one likes to think about this but life… happens. So best be prepared for it and get some wedding insurance. They are very expensive after all, and if (heaven forbid) it does get cancelled you’ll be covered.
Right hand person – to bring an overnight bag for the bride and act as a gift care taker
This person could be the mother of the bride, best man, head bridesmaid… It doesn’t really matter who it is so long as they are sober enough to be able to drive and remember their duties. This includes bringing emergency bag/clothes/things for the bride and storing & transporting anything that gets left behind at the wedding. It may seem like simple job but this person should always be pre-designated before the wedding for peace of mind.