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Bridal Prep: How To Survive the Getting Ready Process (+ FREE schedule template!)

Your wedding day has finally arrived! You’ve probably not slept much the night before, and are conscious that numerous people are going to begin bundling through your front door any moment. So how can you keep calm and focused? How can you actually survive and enjoy the should-be-exciting getting ready process?

I was very lucky to get married in June this year, and I was really looking forward to having all my bridesmaids and closest family members around whilst I got ready, but I knew I had to prepare and I have a lot of tips that can help you survive the getting ready process (and actually enjoy it!).

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Source: atravelersheartphoto.com

It’s all in the prep

I’d highly recommend getting as organised as possible in advance to the day. This will avoid rushing around trying to get everything done on the morning of.

Buy some yummy nibbles, a range of drinks (soft and bubbly), make sure all the bathrooms are clean and beds are fresh for a relaxed start. I also arranged designated areas for the hair stylists and makeup artists to set up and prepared it for their arrival.

I also prepared a Spotify playlist, filled with feel good songs to play throughout the morning. You can listen and download it here.

Print off your morning schedule

I created a morning schedule with all the important events of the morning listed. This included things like what time the photographer was due to arrive, what time to leave for the church etc. Basically anything I needed to remember I put into the schedule.

Click here to download and print your own wedding morning schedule.

Remember to sit down & relax

It’s so important to take some time out to chill, have a bite to eat and drink lots of water. The time goes very quickly so it’s good to enjoy the moment.

Get dressed in plenty of time

The bridesmaids and Mother of the Bride should get into their dresses around 45 minutes before leaving, then they can all assist you.

My bridesmaids totally underestimated the amount of time if takes to get into dresses (sorry ladies!). The final half hour turned into a mad rush to get everyone dressed and out the door. The bridal cars were outside eagerly anticipating our departure, but the neighbours kept them chatting!

It’s important to remember that it will take the longest time to get you into your dress (especially if you have buttons running all down the back like I did!) so get your bridesmaids to help as soon as they’re dressed.

I hope you’ve gained some tips and tricks to getting ready on your wedding day. Don’t forget that you can access my library of free planning resources by clicking here.

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Top Hidden Wedding Costs Nobody Warns You About

Most Bride’s are unaware of hidden wedding costs. But you’re already very wise to search the net for any potential nasty surprises that will knock a hole in your budget.

With lots of hidden wedding costs sprinkled throughout the planning process, it can cause you to go way above your budget, around 30% in fact. Ouch.

So where are these hidden costs? And how can you avoid them? Listen up, my friend, cos’ I’m about to teach you a whole lot.

Grab a pen and paper to jot down some of my essential tips.

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SET-UP & BREAKDOWN

Are you going to hire a florist? A venue dresser? A cake maker? Each of these will charge various fees to cover transport costs, and the time it takes to set-up and breakdown items.

This can be anything from 20% of a single suppliers total costs. And obviously, the more suppliers you use, the more you can expect to pay in these fees.

ALTERATIONS

Alterations can be costly for the Brides and Bridesmaids dresses. Before you buy, you must ask what the stores alteration policy is.

It’s extremely common for the Bride and Bridesmaids to fluctuate in size, and you don’t want to be forking out potentially double your original budget in alterations.

This can cost anything from £100 per dress.

POSTAGE

It seems most Brides are still opting for the more traditional method of posting the invitations to guests. Which personally I LOVE, however, you must remember that not only are you paying for the invitations to be delivered, but also for stamps and RSVPs.

To keep costs down, avoid bulky or large invitations and use RSVP postcards rather than letters.

VENUE

This is fo’ sure my biggest tip. If you take anything away with you today, let it be this.

Ask your venue what exactly is included in your chosen package.

Table linen? Chairs? Cake table? Lighting? These aspects can be the most costly for a wedding. And do you know why? Because it’s a WEDDING, so venues know they can be sneaky and charge up to triple what they usually would.

Be very careful that you’re not purely paying for hire of the venue.

These costs can add an additional £75 EXTRA per person. Say what?!

CORKAGE

Bringing in your own wine sounds like a good get out of extra fees, right? It can be, but be wary of the corkage charges.

If you bring your own alcohol to avoid the venue’s costs, you may still rack up a similarly priced bill. And you may even be charged glass rental fees.

Corkage fees range from venue to venue, so it’s always worth asking.

PERMITS

While having an outdoor wedding may initially seem cheaper, you may have to get permits to hold your event. Add on rentals (marquee, heater, generator, etc.) can begin to get costly.

Some indoor venues will also require a permit if you choose to use candles or other non-approved details. Inquire about these before signing the contract.

Additional add ons can cost from £500.

WEDDING BREAKFAST

Some venues charge extra for guests to select their own meal from a range of dishes. This can cost an additional £2 per person. However, this is not expected by guests so make life easier for yourselves and just choose some good all rounders.

If there’s no set price for a three course meal, be cheeky and save some buck by opting for the wedding cake as desert instead.

TAXES & SERVICE CHARGES

Did someone say taxes? Yawn. Listen up though, cos’ this is important.

Tax varies from country to country, however you can expect to fork out an extra 20% on food, drink and rental fees.

Make sure that the venue package is inclusive of VAT, or at least be aware of the extra costs you’ll possibly have to pay. Sometimes, you will even be taxed on the service charge, increasing costs more.

Taxes and tips will be around 1/3 of your budgeted amount.

I truly hope you learnt some useful tips. The bottom line is, always read the small print to avoid hidden fees.

TOTAL COSTS: £8,460+


Did you know you can access a range of free, useful documentation including spreadsheets, checklists and guides to help you plan your wedding, the RIGHT way?

Click here to gain access.

And I’m VERY excited to introduce a new planning program for Brides – launching soon! Click here and complete the form to be updated.

Happy planning!

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Wedding Flower SOS – How to find the perfect blooms + your free downloadable checklist!

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Deciding which flowers you’d like at your wedding will help you to focus your discussions with your florist, and most importantly, stay within budget.

It always amazes me how much of a difference flowers make to the overall look of a wedding. They are an essential factor of the venue dressing, particularly now that most florists supply decorative fixtures and fittings too.

The first step to finding the perfect blooms is to sit down and put together a list of all the floral elements you could ever possibly need for your wedding day, including your favourite flowers. We’ve made things super easy for you by creating a pre-made checklist.

Not only that, but we’ve also attached a completely free downloadable version of the checklist for you to print off and take along to your florist appointment. So get your pencil out and start ticking off which flowers are the most essential for your wedding day.

Stuck for a professional, reliable florist? We’ve got an extensive list of trustworthy contacts that we’ve worked with all over the North West. Get in touch for some guidance

Number of daytime guests:
Number of evening guests:
Colour scheme:
Wedding theme:
Type of preferred flowers:

Bride, Bridesmaids and Flower Girl:
Number of Bridesmaids:
Number of Flower Girls:
□ Bride’s bouquet
□ Bride’s hair flowers
□ Bridesmaids’ bouquets
□ Bridesmaids’ hair flowers
□ Tossing bouquet
□ Flower girl’s basket

Grooms, Groomsmen, Ushers and Ring Bearer:
Number of Groomsmen:
□ Groom’s boutonniere
□ Groomsmen’s boutonnieres
□ Usher’s boutonnieres
□ Ring bearer’s boutonniere

Family Members:
□ Mother of the bride’s corsage
□ Mother of the groom’s corsage
□ Father of the bride’s boutonniere
□ Father of the groom’s boutonniere
□ Grandmother’s corsages
□ Grandfather’s boutonnieres

Ceremony:
□ Entryway or welcome table arrangements
□ Altar/chuppah arrangements
□ Pew or chair arrangements
□ Candles
□ Aisle decorations
□ Confetti for guests

Reception Flowers:
Number of guest tables:
□ Entrance arrangements
□ Bar arrangements
□ Gift table arrangements
□ Table plan arrangement
□ Centerpieces
□ Top table arrangements
□ Bride’s and groom’s chair decorations
□ Guest chair decorations
□ Buffet-table/food-station arrangements
□ Lounge area arrangements
□ Flowers for wedding cake
□ Cake table arrangements
□ Bathroom decorations
□ Getaway car arrangements

Click here to download the checklist for free!

Did you know you can access a range of free, useful documentation including spreadsheets, checklists and guides to help you plan your wedding, the RIGHT way?

Click here to gain access.

Happy planning!

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13 Easy Ways to Personalise Your Wedding Day

13-easy-simple-ways-ideas-to-personalise-your-wedding-day

Most couples want their Wedding day to be unique and personalised to them, but how can you do it? These are some simple ideas I’ve gathered together to make your guests “aww” and “ooh” their way throughout your big day.

Like any of the stationery items below? Get in touch and we can create them for you!

Follow us on Pinterest to keep up with our latest bits of inspiration, and to see more personalised ideas.

1. Have the ring bearer make an entrance

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2. Provide the groomsmen with their own cufflinks

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3. Have your new name and date of the wedding printed on your bridal shoes

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4. Create personalised table place names

original_laser-cut-calligraphy-place-names copy5. Include your names and the date on your table plan

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6. Print past photographs of you and your other half during the same year

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7. Include napkin tags on each place

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8. Print photographs of you and your other half for the bathroom doors

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9. Create a hashtag and make guests aware

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10. Provide people with a CD of your favourite love songs as wedding favours

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11. Have your very own cake topper

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12. Sew a label into your wedding dress – also great for your something blue!

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13. Create a fun order of service

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Which are your favourites?

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8 Wedding Favours Your Guests Will Actually Use

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One thing you should consider when you buy wedding favours for your guests is if they’ll keep and use them. After all, it’s such a waste of money if your guests are binning the favours as soon as they get home. Here are some of the best wedding favours (I believe) that will make your guests think twice about throwing them away.

1. Personalised Sweetie Jar
Not On The High Street – £3.50 each

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Choose from a range of classic sweets to put inside a small jar complete with lovely personalised tag. Something for your guests to enjoy and they can re-use the jar afterwards.

2. Hangover Relief Kit
Zazzle – £2.05 each

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Your guests will really appreciate these small boxes of healing powers. Personalise them and have them available on tables or waiting for guests in their rooms.

3. Tea in Cork Bottle
Spice Kitchen – £2 each

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A unique stunning wedding tea favour for your guests with a choice of tea carefully packed into a corked bottle. A number of variations are possible with this from the size of the bottle, the type of tea blend, the style of tag and the type of stamp you would like.

4. Macarons
Yumbles – £1.80 each

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These handmade macarons make a yummy wedding favour. Beautifully wrapped in organza bags or small boxes containing 1 or 2 macarons each, you can even personalise your favours with your own personal message and choice of ribbon colour to match your events colour scheme.

5. Candles in Wedding Day Scent
Yankee Candle – £59.99 for 40

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Perfect as Wedding favours, this attractive gift set contains 40 beautifully & individually boxed Votive Candles in the ever-popular ‘Wedding Day’ fragrance. Ideal for your guests as a reminder of your big day.

6.  Lotto Tickets

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Package the lotto tickets up nicely, perhaps in an elegant envelope or paired with a small snack. Giving them on their own may come off tacky because the tickets aren’t very visually appealing.

7. White Heart Soaps
Light in the Box – £2.43 each

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Each heart shaped soap comes in it’s own individual box. Free matching “Thank You” tags are included with each favour.

8. Seeds
Not on the High Street – £1.75 each

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Create a lasting memory with these beautifully illustrated seed packet favours. Choose your seeds and personalise with your own text. Perfect for a vintage country wedding!

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