How to plan a wedding, from a bride who's been there and done it

07 Aug 2017

The build up to your big day should be exciting, but it can also be a minefield. Here, one bride reflects on her planning process for some invaluable advice

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Image gallery

There is no doubting that the overriding emotion in the lead up to your big day is excitement. Excitement for the day itself, but also for the life you will share together afterwards. There is, however, no hiding the fact that for most brides-to-be, the months leading up to their wedding day are fraught with tension and many an anxious moment. Alison Jaffa, founder of Blushing Bride Box and a bride herself, looks back on how she planned her wedding and details how best for current brides-to-be to go about it. 

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I remember when my now-husband proposed. We were on holiday in Dubai and started to suspect something because mid-way through our cocktails on the rooftop bar he dashed away without any explanation. After 13 years together, I knew that he would propose, but I had long since passed the stage of expecting a proposal at every half-romantic opportunity. On this occasion, though, he really did go through with it, and we have a photo of me jumping up and down on our hotel bed in pure elation.

My (now husband) always tells me that he thought that the hard work was over when he proposed – he’d been planning his proposal for so long, and building up to it was - he tells me - quite stressful. He’d chosen the ring, finally plucked up the courage to get down on one knee and in his mind, the job was done, right? 

In reality that hard work was only just beginning. There were the inevitable questions from friends and family, let alone me bombarding him with options for potential venues, colour schemes and first dance songs (about five minutes after I had said 'yes').

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Once you’ve come back down to earth from a cloud nine proposal, where do you begin? Here are my top five tips:

1. Don’t rush 

There are so many options available to brides these days, it can all get rather overwhelming. Take your time to consider the type of day you really want. Does it reflect who you are as a couple? Take your time to read bridal magazines and blogs to get inspiration and ideas of costs and the budget required. Create mood-boards, collect samples, and get pinning on Pinterest.

2. Choose your bridal party carefully

Got 25 besties you’d love to be a part of your big day? Think carefully before jumping in and asking every female you know to be your bridesmaid. Before you commit to having them by your side, think whether they are truly your best friends; are they going to be in your life forever? It’s difficult to erase them from your photographs if you fall out the week after your wedding.

Is there some other way you can include them in the planning stages or on the day itself? If they’re creative, get them to help with venue décor; maybe they can make you some unique bunting or if you’re really lucky, make your cake or stationery. Have a friend that doesn’t mind the spotlight? Why not invite them to give a reading at your ceremony.

Here's how to ask your besties to be your bridesmaids

3. Listen to others, but it’s ultimately your choice

Friends and family will undoubtedly have opinions and preferences in the lead up to your big day, and most of the time they’ll be helpful and you can accommodate them. However, at the end of the day, it’s your special day, and the most important thing is to have no regrets.

4. Enjoy the planning process

Take time to enjoy the process of planning your wedding but also don’t forget to take a break. Schedule in date nights where you can both have a break from wedding planning. Do something completely unrelated to your wedding, like watching a movie or having a romantic meal together.

5. Treat yourself

Find a way to pamper and treat yourself, after all, you’re the bride. There are so many great ways to do this; from setting time aside for spa treatments to starting a subscription to Blushing Bride Box.

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While hindsight is a wonderful thing, there is no denying that you will end up planning your wedding your way. Draw from the advice of other brides, but do what feels right for you - remaining in the present throughout and not striving (too hard) for perfection. Undoubtedly, you will have a perfect day that is true to you. 

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