Well as promised – here is the second instalment featuring some sensible tips to help you ensure your wedding plans run as smoothly as possible. PLUS guidance on how to prepare in advance if your wedding planning has a bit of a bump!
Planning the ‘perfect wedding’ is a massive undertaking and a huge pressure. It’s important to be realistic with your expectations and it’s important and sensible to plan and ‘back up’ those precious plans and monetary investments.
If you haven’t seen Part 1, hop on over. Read how Alison and Brian’s perfectly planned wedding was burnt in wildfires and how they managed to re-plan their entire wedding in a week. Their story is inspiring and a true testament to the power and kindness of friends and family and the value of having a supportive network ‘from this day forward’.
I think the key to having the ‘perfect day’ is planning ahead, ensuring you have contracts and wedding insurance. PLUS allowing yourself to enjoy every moment on they day, not allowing a small mistake or a missed detail to overshadow the importance, beauty and magnitude of your day.
We can only control external events to a certain extent, beyond that, we are only in control of how we choose to respond to a situation and things can go wrong and it’s helpful to be prepared if they do.
Ps – you can deal with the mistakes – after the event, on your wedding day there is no re-run, you don’t want to tarnish it by memories that your DJ played your set list in the wrong order and ruined your day! Let the thought go. Enjoy every moment. Even the icky ones!
If you have not already, you MUST invest in wedding insurance.
Whilst we all have every intention on marrying on our set day, life doesn’t stand still, things can happen unexpectedly that can set us back.
What if you have to cancel your wedding due to illness? What if one of you has a change of heart (it happens!), sudden work commitments, pregnancy, or if your venue has to cancel (or burns down!)?
In the first instance you will need to contact your insurers for guidance and financial support on recovering costs and to find out what is and isn’t covered.
Wedding insurance should cover you for most of the above situations.
Make sure you keep a spreadsheet of your wedding suppliers contact details in the event you need to contact them quickly about a wedding cancellation or sudden change of plan.
PLEASE ensure your premium covers the cost of any outlay and anticipatory outlay if your wedding is cancelled and needs to be re-planned. No-one expects their wedding to be cancelled, but it happens. Prepare for the worst case scenario and know you have the support in the unlikely event you need it. You would with house or car insurance, do the same with your wedding – for most of us they are a large investment of time and money.
- Take out a wedding insurance premium as soon as possible to cover your wedding planning process.
- Make sure your wedding insurance cancellation cover, will cover the cost of your entire wedding.
- I would recommend your insurance to cover ‘ failure of suppliers” in the unlikely event you are let down by suppliers too.
- Do you want your insurance to cover the cost of wedding rings etc….what if you lose them before your wedding day? Don’t scrimp on your insurance cover – if you are homeowners also check your house insurance and some policies automatically give you extra wedding cover for a period of time, for wedding goods in the household (such as rings / wedding gifts). Check with them so you don’t end up duplicating cover
- John Lewis has some great insurance coverage.
- Check out these comprehensive articles with Which and money supermarket for more guidance on choosing your wedding insurance
In layman terms, contracts are a legally binding agreement between you and your supplier / venue, outlining the services you have agreed to pay for and they have agreed to deliver. This is to manage expectations and protect you both legally.
You should be issued with a contract by EVERY wedding supplier you assign to your wedding day. Some are less formal than others, but make sure your agree to their terms of service at the very least in an email.
Don’t rush when signing a contract. You should read, note and ensure you understand the terms and conditions of what you are agreeing to and READ and re-read the cancellation policies in your contract (on both sides).
What will your supplier provide if they have to cancel? Will they offer a full refund? Will they provide a replacement or is this your responsibility? Is this reasonable?
How much will you have to pay if you cancel their services within a certain period of time? Will you lose your deposit? Will you lose the full amount? What if your wedding venue goes out of business?
READ THE SMALL PRINT
If you are not sure what you are being asked to sign, don’t sign it.
Ask for clarification or seek impartial legal advice. If you want free legal advice, hop on over to your local Citizens Advice Bureau with a copy of your contracts. it can be overwhelming, we are not all used to dealing with law, legal terminologies and contracts so don’t panic. Legitimate contracts are used to protect both you and suppliers.
Always, always, always, have a contingency fund as part of your overall wedding budget. Most people dedicate a minimum of 10% of their overall budget to cover any unexpected costs or anything insurance might not be able to cover.
If you don’t use it great! Treat yourself or use it to bump up a honeymoon or that plush bit of furniture you always wanted!
Supportive Friends & Family
Ensure you have a network of reliable and supportive friends and family who understand the importance of your wedding day and would help you at the drop of a hat.
Include them in your wedding planning details (timings of the day, contact details of suppliers and guests, etc) so they know what is happening and can assist if they need to.
Give yourself the best chance of a smooth event, by planning ahead and leaning on those around you, don’t try to do it all by yourself.
Delegate tasks to friends and family, to take the pressure off in advance . They can help enormously and may be well-connected with other people / businesses that may be able to offer help too.
STOP refreshing your weather app!
There is no sense in getting into a state of anxiety over the weather.
None of us have control over mother nature, (as much as we think we do by wishing , praying, pleading with the weather Gods. By doing various versions of sun dances, wishing for a dry sunny wedding day).
If it rains – it rains – try not to obsess over the weather forecast especially in the UK, it can and always will be unpredictable!
Prepare for every eventuality based on the location of your wedding. If you are getting married in a hot climate, make sure there are areas of shade, umbrella’s fans and bottles of water available for you and your guests. If you are getting married in hurricane season in the Caribbean – make sure your wedding insurance covers cancellation if there are adverse weather conditions.
If you are having an outdoor ceremony – ensure you have discussed and arranged a plan B that is sheltered or inside incase the weather is torrential and make the most of funky wedding umbrellas and wellies!
No-one likes the idea of rain on their wedding day, but I promise you the rain won’t make your day any less beautiful. Plus you can buy some rather trendy umbrella’s and take advantage of amazing shots like this one by Miki Photography above!
If things do go terribly wrong and plans change unexpectedly, despite the inevitable heartache, the angst and stress, it is not the end. You WILL get married.
Allow yourself to be upset, devastated and heartbroken and then allow yourself to make a decision on how to move forward. Brian and Alison were able to do this as soon as they decided to let their dreams of Goat Wall View go, they were able to find an alternative venue.
With flexible, fast thinking and the help of friends and family, you can absolutely turn it around into a positive and still have a ‘perfect day’.
Your day WILL be perfect, not because every crease is ironed and every bow is tied to perfection, but perfect because you are starting a new life with the one you love. Perfect because your close friends and family are by your side and sharing this journey, whatever that might be, with YOU.
It’s the rallying together in Brian and Alison remarkable journey to “I do” that shows what love, community, caring, family and that’s what it is all about.
Plus WHAT a story to tell the grand children.
Would love your thoughts! Are your prepared for your wedding day? How would you cope if your wedding plans crumbled just 7 days before?
Gorgeous images by: Kate Nielen Photography