From choosing the right venue to keeping your great aunt happy, here's the Function Junction's top 10 tips for a fabulous wedding.
Before you get started with any planning, get the hardest part over and done with first by putting together your guest list, as this will determine many things during your wedding lead up. Stops disappointment in its tracks by planning your guest list before going to see your ideal venue, so you’ll know your wedding party will fit perfectly.
Most important of all, many venues have a legal limit on how many people can attend the main ceremony, so make sure to research this before paying your deposit. If your guest list is climbing over the 150 person mark, considering a marquee may also be an excellent option for larger wedding party numbers.
No wedding is complete without flowers, however they can come at an extortionate price. Do your research before choosing your flowers by looking to see what is in season during the month when you plan to wed, as they do tend to be cheaper. Check out Interflora’s flowers by month guide for more information on which flowers are blooming when.
Silk flowers have also become a popular choice over the past year and can be much easier on the bank balance, plus they last forever - they can also be great for hay fever sufferers too! A little tip: if you’ve chosen silk flowers for your bridal bouquet, why not spritz a little of your wedding perfume on them for a authentic lovely scent.
Consider taking inspiration from your choice of venue and season when searching for the perfect wedding dress - A large princess gown may not be the best option for a beach celebration! When trying on your wedding dress, make sure to walk and move around in it. Try out sitting down at a table or even having a little dance in your chosen dress, just to make sure you feel ultra-comfortable.
Use Your Wedding Party
Bridesmaids and groomsmen aren’t just there to frame you and your partner in your wedding photos. Make sure you utilise your wedding party on the big day to help out with minor chores for a stress free time.
Have someone as the prime contact for your wedding vendors on the day, liaising with the florist or even helping elderly relatives to their table - there are so many little jobs that can be attended to by your close friends or family, it might just give you one less thing to worry about!
Come Rain or Shine
Weather is unpredictable, especially in the UK, so make sure to be prepared by supplying matching umbrellas for your guests (umbrellas can be purchased on eBay rather inexpensively). Having coordinating umbrellas will also look great in photographs too. Once again, always consider your temperature control options at your venue to make sure your wedding guests are comfortable. Does it have air conditioning or heaters? If not, how is the air ventilation? Particularly pay attention to this if you’ve chosen a quaint barn conversion or older building.
Want to bring the feeling of sunshine when UV rays are of short supply? Steel Bands are an amazing way to guarantee a hot summer vibe to your wedding.
In between the ceremony and wedding breakfast there’s usually a substantial gap whilst you go off and pose for your wedding photos. Keep your guests entertained by supplying lawn games, live music, drinks and canapés or even a photo booth for them to play around with. Getting married in a venue with substantial grounds? Put up signs to encourage your guests to explore.
Have Your Cake and Eat It
Like most details of a wedding, they can be pretty costly. Avoid the extreme costs of wedding cake mayhem by asking your guests to take part in a ‘Great British Bake Off’ style competition, by making sweet treats for your dessert table. Or if you feel your guests can’t be trusted, consider looking to the high street for inspiration. Marks and Spencer’s have a great selection of iced sponge, 'make your own' wedding cakes that you can decorate yourself with ribbon and fresh flowers.
The First Dance
Your first dance can be a pretty daunting aspect of your day. Practice makes perfect, so get confident by making sure you and your partner have a whirl around your living room a few times before the big day.
If you’re feeling bold why not put on a show for your guests and be part of the entertainment by planning a dance routine for your first dance. Check out this YouTube video with top tips from the instructors at Ballroom Courses.
Wedding band or DJ?
Check your space, do you have enough room for a wedding band or DJ? Is live music allowed at your venue? If you’ve hired a wedding band but can’t afford a DJ it’s worth liaising with the band to see if you can use their PA to play music through during the meal or any breaks.
Only have a small budget left for entertainment? Booking a live act isn’t as expensive as you may think. Choose duos or trios instead for a purse-friendly option for your wedding, as generally speaking the more musicians in a band, the higher the cost.
You’ve had the wedding and you’ve just returned from your honeymoon nice and relaxed, it’s now time to send out thank you cards to your guests. A simple but often overlooked tip is to make sure to write down who gave you your gifts as you open them, and don’t forget to thank your wedding suppliers or leave them a glowing review.
Keep your great aunt happy; It’s general wedding etiquette to send out thank you cards to your guests no later than 3 months after the wedding.