So, the big day has come and gone and as I write I am now officially a Mrs. I still nervous giggle whenever I have to say ‘Husband’ in a serious situation and feel a split second of confusion when my work email reads ‘Redfern’ instead of ‘Hunter’, but I have to say, married life has been pretty spectacular so far and I’m loving every minute of being Danny’s ‘Wifey’.
We’ve been married now for just over 2 months and I decided I wanted to re-live some of the magic of our special day and impart a few tips to any brides-to-be out there about making the most of your Wedding Day.
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
In the first two months after we were engaged I’d already booked our venue, found THE dress, chosen my bridesmaids dresses and designed and sent out our invites!
I’m not the sort of person who enjoys pouring over the tiny details (as I just don’t have the patience, or the creative flair!) I’m much more of a ‘make a snap decision’ kinda girl, so I felt like I’d ticked off loads of the ‘big stuff’ off my to-do list very early on. Also, our budget was fairly modest so I knew I had to be careful about the spending and didn’t let myself get too carried away with loads of extras.
However, as the days ticked away and we got closer and closer to June 21st, I started to feel really stressed about the finer details. We’d gone very minimal on our flowers, I’d not got a bucket of flip-flops for sore feet, or a box of umbrellas in case of rain (like I’d seen on my favourite Pinterest boards) and I started to panic that we’d not done enough. I would wake up in the night thinking: “Have I got enough bits for the table?”, “Will the venue look good enough?”
None of that stuff mattered one bit!
There were some decorations I’d spent hours making with Danny in the months running up to the wedding that I honestly can’t even remember seeing on the day – I was too busy on the dancefloor and laughing with all my friends and family.
My best advice would be to get a great band that can fill your dancefloor (well worth investing the money in!) make sure everyone has a full belly, and plan for enough alcohol to get everyone a bit merry!
We actually added another round of drinks for our guests on arrival very last minute and it was a great shout. It’s fair to say everyone was a bit pissed with one comment being ‘this is the heaviest drinking wedding I’ve been to!’ haha… but, we’re all about having fun with our friends, dancing on the tables and spending the night laughing and we wanted our special day to be a reflection of that!
On the day you really won’t care if there are flowers on every surface, or if every room has hundreds of decorations scattered around saying ‘The Redferns’. Sure they might look great, but if you can’t afford to do it all, compromise on the small stuff. Put your budget towards alcohol, food, your band and the photos and video!
Be a Thrifty Bride!
So, I already had a pair of super comfy white (New Look) heels that I’d worn dozens of times that were in the kind of style I wanted. At first, the idea of wearing old, high-street shoes to my own wedding seemed crazy – I thought with it being the biggest day of my life I should invest in a designer pair! So, I spent an age trying to find a close copy of the ones I already had in an ‘expensive’ version. But, the more I thought about it, the more I realised that comfort was more important to me, plus, it meant saving a chunk of the budget too! So, I scrubbed them with some vanish until they looked as good as new, super-glued the cute lucky six-pence my bridesmaids bought for me on the bottom and I was comfy all the way through the day!
Plus, those babies helped me score a rounder too!
We also saved loads on our wedding flowers. As I said, we went minimal so this might not be for everyone, but for us it was perfect and meant that nothing got wasted on the day. I had 10 bridesmaids (I know, I know, A LOT!) and 10 tables. So, my bridesmaids bouquets doubled up as the centre-pieces for the tables. It meant that each of my bridesmaids had somewhere to keep their flowers fresh during the meal, and it also was a lovely gift for them to keep for afterwards!
I had a bit of a more ‘special’ bouquet made up to throw (a smaller version of mine) so that went on the top table for a bit of ‘extra-ness’! We also asked all our groomsmen to carry down the flowers from the Church to the venue and used these to dot around to add a bit of colour to the rooms. For us, it worked absolutely perfectly and kept our costs right down while still looking beautiful.
We also printed all our own signs, menus, table numbers and the seating plan. It helps that Danny is great at design, but with free websites like Canva, there’s no reason you couldn’t give it a go yourself if you’re trying to save the pennies!
Find Time for Each other!
Every person I asked beforehand about advice said: “Make sure to make time to be together on the day”. I don’t know if it was because it was so ingrained into us or if we just got lucky but we really stuck to this. In the VW van from the church we went a longer way round to the venue so we could talk about the incredible thing that had just happened … ‘our marriage!’ Throughout the day we kept having little 5 minute moments to ourselves just to have a little cuddle and a catch up about what was going on! I’d massively recommend this – it’s so important!
During the breaks in-between the courses of our meal we both got up and walked around the tables to speak to everyone. It meant we got to say hi to absolutely everyone during that period of time, so when it came to the evening we could pretty much dance about on the dancefloor together all night!
On that note, be with your best friends on the day too. A close friend of mine who got married the month before me said she loved that she got to spend so much time with her friends, so I was conscious to just go with the flow and spend time with who I wanted to in the moment and try not to worry too much about ‘getting around everyone’. I usually stress and worry that everyone else is having a good time, but I know and love everyone who came and I know they would all be having an amazing time anyway. So, a top tip would be don’t take on too much responsibility for everyone else’s day – they will have fun regardless!
Invest in a Quality Videographer and Photographer
This is something I cannot stress enough! We have gone through the photos and watched the video SO many times over the past couple of months and every time it brings the magic back. We were so close to not having the wedding film due to the cost, but now looking back it was something I would have traded almost anything else in for!
We got very lucky with our videographer, Jamie Agnew and our photographer, Christopher Terry. Both were a great laugh and totally non-intrusive. To be honest, I forgot they were there some of the time (in the nicest way possible!). They caught all of the special moments that we were part of, plus those that happened behind the scenes and being able to watch them back is just so special. Do your research and stretch your budget to accommodate both (if you possibly can!).
Do A Speech!
I debated for so long about whether or not to do a speech, and in the end I am SO glad I did. If you’re a bride considering it, I say ‘Go for it’! It’s so nice to be able to say your own thank yous (and get your own back with the funny stories about your spouse-to-be). After the speech was done I was buzzing, and I know how much it meant to Danny hearing all the things I wanted to say to him.
SIDE NOTE. We did speeches BEFORE the meal and I’m so glad we did. It meant we could all relax and enjoy the food without the nerves kicking in too much and spoiling our appetites.
However, because of this, we got loads of canapés for when our guests arrived and cooked everyone their own Rolo cookie for their wedding favour in case they were feeling peckish. Holla at Jane’s Patisserie for her insane recipes!
Go with the flow!
We ended up spending so much of the day outside playing rounders with our guests with a last minute decision to bring the bat and ball along the night before. It was totally unexpected but ended up being completely amazing. Just let yourself go totally with the flow of the day – try not to have too many expectations and let the fun happen naturally!
All of the things I’d worried about really didn’t matter at all on the day. I just enjoyed every second and went with the day. Not all the timings went perfectly to plan but it didn’t matter at all. It was so nice not to worry about any of that and just be in the moment! Try to remember, the most important thing is that you’re getting to marry your best friend. After that, nothing else really matters!
I’m sure so many more things will come to me about tips for the planning and enjoying your big day, but these were the most important ones for now I wanted to share. If you have any questions about any specifics, please feel free to leave a comment below and I’ll do my best to answer it!
P.s this is possibly my favourite picture of all time! Our little family!