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Planning my own wedding & what I found difficult

My now husband and I got engaged in November 2018 and jumped straight on the 2020 date bandwagon. We set on the 1st July 2020 and I was super excited to put my years of experience to use for my own day. I thought I would find the whole process extremely easy and straight forward due to the simple fact that this was something I did day in day out. To my complete surprise and confusion though I quickly found out that my love of spreadsheets and organisational skills were not the only thing needed to plan a wedding, as I was now not only wedding planner but Bride/decision maker too which I was to find out is a whole new area I needed to acquaint myself with and understand.

*I will just take this opportunity to point out now that I am fully aware I have used the word ‘I’ a lot already and not ‘we’, and that is simply because my now husband was not as bothered about the look of the day as I was - what else is new? I knew from my years of wedding planning he was not alone so I was fine with his laid back Groom approach.*

As a Wedding Planner or Coordinator you are used to advising and discussing possibilities but ultimately awaiting the final decision from the Bride-to-be and turning all their requests and mood boards into a reality. The side of the Bride-to-be is then the complete opposite. You have been the one to endlessly look through the likes of Pinterest and Instagram to find inspiration for your own theme plus being the one who’s family politics needs to be taken into consideration to finalise that seating chart. As I mentioned earlier, this was an aspect I had stupidly not foreseen nor appreciated.

Not only this but I knew from experience the many different options out there, the possibilities of running times of the day, all the wonderful suppliers I had come into contact with and finally the limitless themes and visual aspects for the day. And I don’t know about you, but I fall in love with A LOT of Pinterest mood boards. If I see a new ‘on trend’ colour scheme, I jump fully on board with it. So having to decide on one and then actually commit to it for the duration was DIFFICULT. I would see something new on Pinterest and would find myself redesigning the whole day in order to incorporate a new idea I loved. (Disclaimer: I do not recommend this approach, it is time consuming but also can be very expensive to change colours, ideas etc - so definitely avoid that if you can!)

All of this whilst also trying to bring in my own traditions, and pull together a day that was true to myself and my Husband-to-be. For example, my husband hates dancing so I knew there was no way I was going to get him on a dance floor so we decided not to have a band for the evening entertainment and instead settled on an evening focused around catching up with our family and just having fun. Plus we had decided on a gorgeous walled garden for our venue which meant we could keep in with a that summer garden party vibe.

So with 6 months to go before our day, I was pretty much ready to rock and roll and had in the end finalised a day that would consist of:

  • Ceremony at 12pm

  • Drinks reception. With a help yourself bar set up with pitchers of pre-made Pimms and summer cocktails

  • The meal was set to be a Hog roast (my husbands choice), with beautiful seasonal salads and accompaniments.

  • Long banqueting wooden tables with summer florals in various vases

  • The theme was Colourful. From the guest dress code to the bouquets.

  • After the meal, there was no set event. We wanted it to be nice and relaxed whilst we enjoyed some music and mingled with our nearest and dearest.

And then BAM - Covid. I, like so many couples that year had to cancel the day they had so lovingly planned and envisioned to make way for a life with no physical contact and events well and truly cancelled until further notice (not to mention our honeymoon in Croatia - Urgh I still mourn for the holiday I never got).

So Thea, how has all of this made you a better wedding planner? Well I am so glad you asked…

For me, experiencing the highs and lows of wedding planning helped me to foresee where and when a couple may need help. I have experienced the quiet, ‘easy’ (I use that word loosely) days of planning and then the times when everything is starting to come together, you need to make 30 different decisions all in a day and you’re trying to get everyone’s RSVP’s collated.

Now I am not saying you have to be married in order to be a wedding planner because before I was married I absolutely loved helping couples plan their wedding and did not feel like being single hindered me in any way. But now I am on this side of things, I can see it has definitely helped to appreciate how stressful the whole experience can be. You’re trying to make and commit to ideas, design details and suppliers, all whilst trends and styles change on a seasonal basis and you need to stay tuned in to your daily life.

Not to mention, that thanks to that dreaded C word - Covid, we are all that little bit better at rearranging things and offering flexibility where we can. This is something I will make sure to continue to provide through Pink Wellie as I remember how gut wrenching the feeling of having to change your plans or having to cancel everything was.


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