Weddings expert Atlantic Vows takes us through her top ten tips for planning a wedding during these challenging times.
Newly engaged, in the middle of planning, on the final countdown or postponing again, whatever stage you are at in your Wedding Planning journey, there are lots of ways to use your time wisely now so that you can have a stress-free lead up to your special day. Although we are still in a Lockdown situation with many premises and businesses closed, there are still so many jobs that you can tick off your list. I’ve compiled a list of tasks that couples tend to leave to the last minute (or often forget!) that are ideal to tick off your list during this in-between, “waiting” period.
1. Set Up your Wedding Email Address
Setting up an email address designated for all things Weddings will save you so much time in the lead up to your Special Day. Having a wedding email address is a really efficient way to record all your correspondence with suppliers and keep track of deposits and payments. If you haven’t done this at the start of your planning, don’t worry, you can create one at any stage and move important items across from your personal email.
2. Book your Suppliers
Research is key when it comes to your Wedding Day Suppliers, such as your photographer, videographer, celebrant, bands etc. so use this time to check out their websites, social media accounts, reviews, and maybe even set up a zoom call to get to know them a little better. The demand for Weddings in 2022 / 2023 is increasing by the day so now is the time to confirm your top suppliers.
3. Create your Wedding Soundtrack
Music is a powerful, emotional tool that can instantly transport you down memory lane. There are so many places to include music on your wedding day and create your own “wedding soundtrack”. Have you thought about the song you want to walk up the aisle to and back down again for that matter? What about your big entrance to your Ballroom, do you want to include all the bridal party or make it just about you? Make sure this is a fun, upbeat song to get the guests up on their feet and set the tone for the night! Not forgetting the incredibly special first dance, where you can let your personalities shine and choose a song that is personal to you both. How about creating a special playlist for the wedding morning while you are getting ready with your bridal party? There are so many opportunities to use music to guide the tone for your wedding day. Here are some ideas for a Wedding Morning playlist and a First Dance playlist to help you along your musical journey.
4. Source your Bridal Party Gifts
This is a job that is always left to the last minute and causes so much stress for couples when they cannot find what they are looking for so make sure to action this early and well in advance of the day. It’s fun to think outside of the box for your bridal party and make your gift personal to them and hopefully something that they will use again. If you are looking for inspiration, check out “Bundle Gifting” an Irish Company that have the most stunning Bridal Gift Boxes that will be a real treat for your tribe. They take all the hard work out of the shopping for you and post nationwide.
5. Stock your emergency bag
The Emergency Bag is everything you will need on the day of your Wedding to assist you with any little mishaps. It can contain items such as a Sewing Kit, a Lint Roller, Scissors, Wipes, White Chalk, Hair Spray and Blotting Paper. You can easily source these items at your local pharmacy or supermarket to have on hand for any emergencies. Store them in a cute bag or box that your bridal party can easily access on the day.
6. Break-in Those Wedding Shoes
Comfort is key on the day of your wedding. You will spend a lot of time on your feet, meeting and greeting your guests, taking photographs and of course dancing the night away. I highly recommend taking out your shoes well before your big day and breaking them in. Wear a soft sock underneath if shoes are particularly stiff, to begin with. Taking your shoes out of the box the night before the wedding is a really common mistake so we promise you will thank us for this top tip!
7. Organise your Stationery
Gathering addresses for your guests can be a long and stressful task. Once you have finalised your guest list, it’s a good idea to start sourcing addresses and adding them to a simple excel file. Couples are always so surprised at how long this takes so don’t say we didn’t warn you! Once your excel file is complete, you can send it to your stationer who can print the addresses on envelopes for you. This rules out any smudges or crooked writing as well as saving you a lot of time!
8. Create your Emergency Contact Sheet
On the morning of the wedding, it’s time to hand over the reigns. You have done all the planning so now it’s time to relax and embrace every second of your special day. There are plenty of jobs to delegate out from driving cars, handing out booklets or moving flowers so make sure to use the people around you. I recommend putting an emergency contact sheet together, which has the contact details of all your bridal party, suppliers & anyone with an important role on the day of the wedding. Distribute this list to all your suppliers a few weeks before the wedding so that you aren’t fielding calls from them on the day. It’s also a good idea to have some printed copies available for the morning of your wedding.
9. Put together a slideshow
If you are thinking about putting together a slideshow of photos for the day of your wedding now is the time to dig out those old photo albums and get creative. This is actually a really fun task to do with your partner. Crack open a bottle of wine, curl up on the couch and take a trip down memory lane together. Pop your photos into a folder to go straight on to a USB or send them to a tech-savvy family member to edit into a mini-movie.
10. Get Personal!
Personalisation has become a big trend whether it is personalised hangers, mini hand sanitizers, dress labels, engraved glasses or wedding morning robes, the list is endless. If you are feeling inspired and what to get crafty with some DIY, now is the perfect time to start. Get creative with welcome signs, table names, favours or your table plans. Again, don’t underestimate the time these DIY projects can take so try to start them as early as possible.
Gráinne Mc Gibney is a Wedding Coordinator & a Family Celebrant specialising in Wedding & Elopement Ceremonies with her business Atlantic Vows. Her passion for Weddings is infectious and her signature attention to detail and structured and organised approach leads to incredible memories for her couples. With her wealth of experience from planning over 600 Weddings over the past 11 years, she is delighted to share her top tips and advice with the GALWAYnow audience.