So we're now T minus 10 days until my own wedding and aside from some running around picking things up, paying off the last of our suppliers and delicately traversing my Amsterdam stag do this weekend (my wife to be is a kind, merciful, forgiving lady) we're all set so as I decompress I thought it might be quite handy to come up with my list of tips.
I know the internet is full of these but more often than not they're geared from the brides point of view and primarily meant to advertise some sort of supplier or product rather than give proper, tangible advice.
1. Weddings are stressful, but they're only as stressful as you make them
Our "low key" wedding has still managed to steam roll into a decent sized affair without much effort so be mindful of this - all the little things do add up and it does create more work for you. We're lucky in that we're not THAT fussed about the things we see as trivial - centrepieces, favours and so on. You have to balance it between creating the wedding you want but not making yourself miserable in the process. I spent nights scouring the internet for something unique for my groomsmen and you know what - they all drink, they all go to football and concerts, they'll all use a hipflask so why not just get them a bloody engraved hipflask like everyone else...
2. Get your main suppliers booked in as soon as possible
A bit of an obvious one but we too, with a reasonably short 18 month engagement were guilty of leaving things until about the 6 month mark before getting our finger out. It meant we had to go through a few Humanists which we'd be happy with anyone but it was a time consumer searching for one we liked only to find out they were booked. The same is true of your band / DJ / photographer / videographer - unless they're an agency (which we've steered clear of) then get them tied down or you risk losing someone you have your heart set on.
3. You will book things you didn't plan on booking
I know the wedding industry inside out and we weren't going to have this or that or that or that. Skip forward and on the day we'll be having our ceremony outside (which requires me to bring my own PA for the music) a dance floor, photo booth, videographer, chair sashes and my mood lighting. We're doing a mini-moon as well as the honeymoon - the receptionist at our mini-moon venue didn't even know they were a thing...
4. Go on honeymoon!
When not being a superstar DJ I teach kids with severe learning difficulties. It's a wonderful job but both of them together mean organising holidays is a bit of a nightmare - 6 weeks in the Summer is great - unless you're booked up every June and July for the next 2 years! We've managed to shoe horn in 2 weeks in St Lucia once the schools break up but we're going up north for a few days after the wedding too just to decompress and enjoy some alone time - a lot of my couples don't have a honeymoon planned and all I'll say is this - all the planning stress has been much easier knowing I get a few lovely days of sitting in a hot tub drinking prossecco with my new wife and a lovely holiday in the Summer.
5. Enjoy the day - enjoy it with each other
I'm making a rod for my own back here as I'll probably run around in a flap and have it fly by but the last bit of my pre-first dance pep talk with my couples is to enjoy the next few minutes because it's the last time they'll be alone themselves for the rest of the night and its true - try and find time just to get away yourselves on the day to bask in each others company because it's a fast day and it'll be gone before you know.
6. Don't sweat the small stuff
I've found that I'm a lot more highly strung than I thought. I REALLY like things to be planned and organised and I struggle to give up control. It was stressing me out and you know the best thing I did was to just let it go - I spent months tweaking my music using the Your Planner feature on my site and it was still bothering me - I wanted it to be perfect. In the end I scrapped it, started from scratch with nothing but the formal dances and a few pointers for my DJs about what we like and I like it go. I'm happy with the music now as I'm not fixated on it being perfect. Same with the fripperies - if our venue wasn't going to tie the chair sashes for us they'd have been staying in the car and as for my grand plans for a homemade cake... we've decided that a Colin and Connie the Catterpillar wedding cake (it does exist btw, google it) will mean much less stress for me the day before the wedding and it actually suits us to a T as we don't like wedding cake, we do like Colin the Catterpillar cake.
So there's my "sage" words of advice as a wedding supplier who is actually getting married - if you find even a crumb of something you can use from there then I'll be happy.
Happy planning, have a good one when your wedding comes and most importantly...