Morning you gorgeous lot you…today as you are reading this I shall be on my way to the wedding “weekend” of some of our very good friends Lisa and Will. I am so excited I haven’t been able to sleep for a week….and the event is truly turning into a genuine a right old “Rock My Wedding” affair with RMW sponsors Anna Clarke and Simon Clarke capturing everything on camera and film, Mr O’Shea donning his fancy usher suit and our very own Adam Crohill second shooting…….Yours truly is even assisting with the blooms.
I’ll be posting a few sneak peeks on instagram (Charlotte O’Shea) if you want to keep updated!
Now then, just as I can remember from my own experience the amount of time and effort it takes to plan a big day (yes even a relatively small, intimate affair like my own) I have been very recently reminded having been involved in only a teeny tiny part of Lisa’s decor and logistical dilemmas.
As a result I thought it would be a good idea to perhaps incorporate some general wedding planning advice and tips in our Ask The Experts column courtesy of luxury event organisers Hawke and Hughes.
Launched in early 2012 by , luxury wedding & event design company Hawke & Hughes creates beautiful, bespoke and elegant weddings throughout the UK taking inspiration for its event design from the world of high-end fashion bringing a distinctive, cutting-edge look to every occasion.
Schooled by the renowned Niemierko Wedding Academy, Hawke & Hughes’ founders Emma Zamani-Hawke and Sam Hughes both have formal event planning expertise and an enviable black-book of industry contacts.
But don’t let the word “luxury” put you off asking the ladies any W-day related question your heart desires, they’re here on RMW this morning to offer advice regardless of budget and having met with them both in London recently I can tell you first hand that they have LOTS of super stylish ideas.
And yes their locks really are that glossy in real life.
They also have a rather enviable collection of shoes which I would very much like to half-inch.
Emma And Sam: We find that the majority of brides who get in touch with us are either completely overwhelmed by the planning process and have no idea what-so-ever where to begin, or have too many ideas and don’t know which direction to go in. In order to help you along the way we’ve compiled a list of ‘tips’ to consider when starting out with your big day planning, we hope it’s useful and provides some focus for your months of wed-min ahead!
Discuss And Decide
First of all it’s very important to sit down and discuss with your fiancé what type of wedding you want to have. It’s important to consider what your likes and dislikes are. Do you envisage a chic city wedding or a laid-back country affair? Once you have decided what type of wedding you are looking to achieve you can begin your venue search as the two go hand in hand. A plush hotel in the city centre doesn’t scream laid back country wedding – so knowing the type of wedding you want will help narrow down your search and lead you to the perfect venue!
Pick A Date
It’s best to start by choosing the time of year that suits you best, ensuring you consider holidays and major events. Then select three dates that work best for you, your fiancé and both your parents, so that you have some flexibility when arranging the ceremony and reception locations. Make an initial draft of your guest list. There’s no need for addresses and contact details just yet, but it’s good to get an idea of numbers as this has an effect on your budget, ceremony and reception.
Never underestimate how much a wedding costs; the rule usually goes….decide how much you ‘think’ it would cost then double it! 😉
…..Especially if your taste is anything like ours!!
Discuss with your fiancée how much is being contributed and by whom. Will the bride’s parents be covering the whole event or are you and your fiancé paying? How much are they/you able to contribute? Do you need to start saving some extra to have the wedding you want? Once you have an idea of your overall budget you can start looking for suitable venues that you know you can afford. Setting your budget is probably one of the most important parts of organising a wedding and it’s important to get it right; you don’t want to end up in debt!
Once the important financial elements are out of the way you can start to focus on the more fun aspects of wedding planning. The most exciting part of planning a wedding, in our opinion, is the styling – what theme will the wedding have? You can gain inspiration all around you, from magazines, blogs, books, shop windows, interiors etc. It’s a good idea to start collecting images of all the different things you like as you’re going about your day-to-day life and slowly start building a moodboard, you’ll most likely see a pattern emerging. We do love a moodboard! So much so we even have a weekly feature called ‘Moodboard Monday’ on our blog. If you’re stuck for inspiration, pop along and have a peek into our world.
With the likes of Pinterest, it’s so easy to create moodboards online with pictures you love. A few of our brides share photos they love with us and we use them as inspiration to incorporate or form as a base for their wedding day. They are great for compiling looks to show your different suppliers, from your florist to your caterer you can source images to provide a clear brief as to what look you are hoping to achieve. Looking at past weddings is another great source of inspiration. If you’re unsure as to how a particular idea may work, have a look on wedding blogs to see what/how other people have incorporated it, chances are someone somewhere has done it before!
Staying organised is very important and the best way to do so is to start a binder. Buy yourself some dividers and split it into categories such as: guest lists, budget, the dress, bridesmaids, invitations, flowers, cakes, reception ideas, contracts etc. Having everything accessible at a glance will help to keep you focused and will hopefully ensure you don’t get too overwhelmed by the planning process as it enables you to deal with one element at a time.
Give your wedding a name….When a couple books with Hawke & Hughes their wedding is given a name based around the theme, the name can only be used once. No two weddings are the same. This creates an air of mystery/intrigue with guests as to what they can expect
Write a list…or if you’re an excel whizz start a spreadsheet, they will become your best friend and will be the only way you can keep on top of everything without feeling overwhelmed. Break down your wedding into sections and be sure to include each and every cost involved with the various elements. From groomswear to gifts and flowers every cost must be included, be sure to add information on whether deposits have been paid and when final payments are expected, the last thing you want to do is unexpectedly go over budget or miss out on final payments to secure your suppliers.
See? see what I mean about the shoes?
So then folks, what are you waiting for? ask away!
Big I’m keeping my fingers crossed for sunshine Love