In my last wedding planning article, I gave five examples of things that you shouldn't rush when planning your wedding; setting a budget, choosing a photographer, a venue, your chief bridesmaid and The Dress.
Today I'm adding five more must-dos that you need to take your time over - and if you've any to add, please let me know!
- Your wedding date. You might have always wanted to get married in June and pictured a summer wedding. But you need to keep an open mind about the actual date for all sorts of reasons. For a start, if your budget is an issue, then you might find it better value to get married midweek in winter, when suppliers are more likely to be able to negotiate a rate. Or if you've decided on a destination wedding abroad on a tropical beach, then there are times of year when it's better to get married (for example, it's hurricane season in the Caribbean in the summer). If you're marrying in term-time, you may find that it's impossible for your young bridesmaids and page boys to attend on a week day. All factors to consider - so bear them in mind before you set a date.
- Flowers. The rule is to choose flowers which are in season - you'll get more choice and you'll also keep your green potentials by not flying in blooms. So if you've always set your heart on having delphinums to decorate your wedding then you're going to have to get married in the summer months. Same thing with daffodils, hyacinths and other spring flowers - although narcissi are available from December onwards so fine for a winter wedding. Talk to your florist, tell him/her the date and see what suggestions they make - don't start the conversation with your mind made up.
- The wedding breakfast. You may have always wanted a formal sit-down dinner but depending on your venue, budget, the time of year and the guest list another option might be more suitable. So consider a buffet - perhaps with a cultural theme. You could serve Thai curry, have an Italian feast or a hog roast. Don't just automatically opt for the three course dinner offered by your venue - if you're having a lot of children at the wedding they probably won't have the patience or inclination to sit through it all and they might prefer to have something more casual like lasagne.
- Your bridesmaids dresses. Again, you may have always had an image in your mind's eye of how you wanted your bridesmaids to look - baby blue strapless dresses maybe. My advice would be to look at your bridesmaids as individuals rather than as a group and choose frocks to suit each of them - rather than tell them what they're going to wear (particularly if they are going to have the foot the bill for their gowns). Maybe one girl has great legs whilst another would prefer a floor length dress. Maybe somebody would be more comfortable in a halter neck and another in a strapless number. Chat to your girlfriends and see what ideas they have. Remember it's much more on trend these days to have mismatched bridesmaids dresses that co-ordinate using colour (and you don't have to have a uniform colour either, you can go for graduated shades of the same hue - say from a delicate soft pink through to a deep aubergine).
- Wedding favours. This is one area when you can save on your budget and on your time. Instead of automatically deciding that you're going to have favours think about whether you really need them. Your guests won't mind if they don't receive a favour and don't feel that you have to take your time making DIY wedding favours either. Give yourself a bit of space to consider and you might decide that they're not necessary after all.
Did you hurry anything when planning your wedding and regret it? If so, please let us know and share your advice with other brides-to-be.