Planning a wedding? Here are some cold hard truths you may not know

Chloe Nalbantian

There's one thing we know to be true about wedding planning: everyone has an opinion.

Whether it’s deciding the location or the seating plan, your family, friends, and colleagues will be more than happy to share their “expertise” on the matter.

Now, we all love a helping hand, of course, but sometimes you just need to face the cold, hard truths and hear it from the real experts. So that’s why we asked Bridebook.co.uk, the UK’s wedding planning app, to put together a top 10 list of all the things no one, not even Nan or Uncle Pete, would be able to prepare you for.

Armed with this insight, you’ll be even more prepared to crush your wedding planning and ensure you have the day you always dreamed of.

1. “How’s your planning going?”

Your ears will start ringing from hearing: “How’s your wedding planning going” over and over again. As possibly the easiest office kitchen conversation starter for Carole from Accounts and Dave in IT, beware everyone will ask you this every time you enter the room. The first few months will be lovely of course, but soon it may start feeling a bit repetitive and even a little intrusive as everyone suddenly fancies themselves a wedding expert. Beware of advice overload or loaded questions (“you still haven’t found a florist?”) and follow your Bridebook checklist to know you are on track whatever anyone says.

2. Hidden costs

You’ve saved, you've budgeted, and still out of nowhere you're hit with a surprise bill that you weren’t expecting. Even if you are planning in the most cost effective way possible, things can most definitely start to add up. Be careful to choose trustworthy suppliers and double check any additional fees before signing on the dotted line. If your finances allow, put aside a small budget for unexpected costs - if you don’t end up using it, even better! You can always use it for something fun later on.

3. People will forget to RSVP

After many hours spent deliberating on the guest list, and sending out invitations to your nearest and dearest, a prompt RSVP would be ideal. This is never the reality. People are busy and there may be a few unanswered invites that you will have to follow up. Be prepared to chase confirmations, and expect lots of “oh but I assumed you knew I’d be coming” phone conversations.

4. Your bridesmaids dresses will be harder to find than your own

If you thought it was difficult tracking down one perfect dress to make you feel fabulous, imagine how challenging it is to track down several, perfect dresses, for all different shapes, sizes and preferences. If you have a large group of bridesmaids, be sure to put aside extra time to ensure that everyone’s needs can be met. Try to be patient, as ultimately, having a happy wedding party is key.

5. Don’t overdo the lighting

A starlit dance floor, Hollywood-bulb initials, fairylights, DJ lighting, thousands of candles, uplighters, front-lit bar, outdoor uplighters, it’s easy to get carried away by “mood lighting.” But don't over-do it! If you have too bright a dancefloor, people will feel too exposed to dance, so be careful not to make your guests feel like rabbits in headlights, and cause them to race to the bar! The darker the dancefloor is, the more packed it gets.

6. Time speeds up during planning

Time will start to move at lightning speed. Tasks that you thought would be quick will take weeks and you will start to question if everything will be done in time. But don't get so caught up in all of the planning and running around that you forget to enjoy yourself! You won't get this time back, so be sure to savour the moments leading up to your wedding that you will always remember; such as time spent with friends and family. Moments spent together, adding the personal touches to your day, are what will make it truly special.

7. But time slows down on the day

Be conscious when planning your running order for the day that large groups of people move slower than you’d expect. For example, getting everyone seated for dinner should allow at least 30 minutes, it will take the waiters at least 30 mins to serve everyone their food for each course, and getting the bridal party downstairs into the cars to the church can take upwards of an hour! Avoid stress on the day by allowing a lot of extra time so you’re not packing everything in to impossible to keep timelines.

8. It can be stressful

You may have at least one ‘Bridezilla moment’, which you are more than entitled to! Even the most relaxed of brides and grooms may find themselves overwhelmed during the process of organising a wedding. But try and remember to keep things in perspective. No one will notice if the tablecloths are ‘Eggshell’ instead of ‘Alabaster’. Relax and remember the reason you are going to all of this trouble in the first place.

9. Compromise

Whether you've always dreamed of the fairytale wedding, or planning a wedding is entirely new to you, we’re sure you have a clear idea of how you would love your big day to unfold. Your partner, though, may have some thoughts of their own (that may not be entirely in line with yours!). Try to take their opinion into account before flying off the handle. Have an open mind when considering options, compromise is a good thing!

10. You’ll wonder why you ever worried

The second you say ‘I do’, all that nervousness you had will disappear. Planning a wedding can understandably feel nerve wracking, and since most people don't like being centre of attention the build up to the big day can be intense. But remember, you are surrounded by your best mates all there to support and celebrate you. So if you ever find yourself stressing about napkin bows or table planners, just remember that on the day none of it will matter as soon as the party of your life kicks off.