Sunday 4th June is my first wedding anniversary, and> as I never wrote much about the wedding back then I thought now was the time to share some snaps.  And a bit about what I learnt from planning my wedding, and> the first year of marriage. This post is focusing on the planning, and> over the weekend I will be sharing more about the day.  For me wedding planning was the best experience of my life, but also one of the most stressful. (Although buying/selling houses definitely tops it.) My husband> is wonderfully creative and> helped with a lot of the ideas, but organisation is my strength and> categorically not his!

Booking the Wedding Venue

Wedding VenueHaving been to numerous weddings over the years we had clear ideas of what we wanted.  Casual and> relaxed but organised.  Ideally something like a BBQ or a hog roast, but in Manchester city centre.  We live in the city, and> it is equal distance pretty much between both our families so it seemed the perfect choice.  When selecting your venue think about the style of wedding you want, and> how the venue fits with that. And be aware of the size of your wedding.  We did a rough count of guests, and> selected venues to view that would not only accommodate our numbers but wouldn’t feel too large.

We visited a selection of hotels, but when we walked into the Great John Street Hotel we just knew it was what we wanted.  Albeit a little over budget. We decided to try to save in other ways and> booked the Roof Top Lounge and> Playground for the whole day. Including the ceremony.  It was perfect for what we wanted.

After booking the venue we had around a year to plan.

The hotel was amazing, their service levels are incredible.  This really helped in terms of knowing what I needed to do and> what they would hand>le.  We quickly made a decision for an informal BBQ, and> a disco for the evening. On contacting the registrar, knowing we wanted an afternoon ceremony, we had the option of 2:30pm or 4pm.  We opted for the earlier slot, and> I’m so glad we did.  The day goes so quickly and> the more time you have celebrating the better in my eyes.  So we had the venue, the ceremony and> the food decided on.

Being a super organised person I cracked straight on with all the other main suppliers.  Booking a DJ, Florist and> Photographer within a month or so of confirming the date.  June is a popular time to get married, and> we had chosen a Saturday so trust me when I say the earlier you book the better.  We came across suppliers who were booked for this date already, and> you don’t want to have your heart set on a band> or DJ only to find out they are booked.

Finding the perfect Suppliers

Wedding CakeWe spent quite a lot of time researching suppliers, and> ensuring anyone we booked understood the philosophy behind our day.  One of the most important suppliers in my opinion is your photographer.  Make sure you do your research into the style of photos you want, and> looking through perspective photographers pictures.  We knew we didn’t want lots of posed photos, and> settled on a reportage style. After researching photographers on the internet we met with 3 potentials.  And on meeting David we knew he was the guy we wanted.

I had no idea when it came to florists or a DJ, the florist came on a recommendation.  Which is a great way to source suppliers. So ask around, or ask your venue if they have a recommended supplier list. After meeting Alison I knew she would do a fabulous job. She understood the style of the wedding, and> how we wanted the bouquets to look. They came out even better than I had envisaged.  The DJ I went on my gut instinct after emailing a few.  Sometimes you just have to trust that you know that someone will suit your style.

Our beautiful cake was provided by one of my clients. Having seen Beth’s work over the years of training her,  and> knowing she knew me I felt comfortable that she would nail our vision. And she did.  It not only looked fab but it tasted awesome!  We also had a sweet cart which was a great addition to the day.

The Outfits

Wedding DressOn first deciding to get married I had thought I wouldn’t have a traditional wedding dress.  Going for something simple.  But after trying some dresses on that changed completely and> I couldn’t have gone for anything much bigger! I went into a Bridal shop with no real ideas, and> wanted to try on lots of different styles.  But when I put my dress on I just knew that was the one I wanted.  I didn’t rush into buying it, but I think I always knew that was the one I would end up getting married in.

My beautiful cousin did my hair, and> I also booked a make up artist.  I know some people who don’t do this but I am so glad I did.  Being able to relax completely whilst everyone else gets you ready is bliss. And it’s just what you need on the day. Make sure you do a trial and> are happy with the look, and> any stress is taken away.

We hired suits for the men. The groom, the 2 best men, and> both dads. We found this to be the most code effective choice.  They looked so smart, and> I left most of this choice down to the hubby.  Wedding FlowersHe wanted Navy Suits so that’s what he had. He decided to wear a traditional wedding waistcoat, whereas the other members of the party had matching plain navy waistcoats.  We chose the ties to match the silver of the bridesmaid’s dresses. The bridesmaids dresses we went for the multi-way dresses but I got these off Etsy as they were such good value. We then chose to have Purple as an accent colour. It was in the flowers, the cake, and> other small details of the day.

Enjoy the Day

Once these details were finalised we were pretty much ready to go.  One thing I found hard during the planning was the stages when not a lot happens.  If you sort everything early there is a definite lull in the process. My advice enjoy it whilst it lasts, and> focus on enjoying the day.

Well Done if you got to the end of this post. Even if you just looked at the photos, I hope you enjoyed it.  The next wedding post will be live on tomorrow. There will be more photos, and> it focuses on the build up, including the day before and> the morning of!