Welcome to WEEK TWO of our take on the A-Z of Weddings (#WeddingAlphabet). Each #WeddingWednesday here on The WED Blog, we'll cover some key wedding elements for each letter of the alphabet from A-Z. This Week's letter is 'B'....
B is for...
Picking the right #BrideSquad is no simple task. There's nothing worse than bickering bridesmaids fighting for the 'top spot', but there's also the lazy maids who don't pull their weight, the cost-conscious gals, and the spotlight-seekers (it's not their wedding!)
So you really do need to think about who you want by your side on your big day and which friends might not be the best fit for such an important role. You deserve the best day and your bridal troop should be the rock to this!
Here's some top tips to keeping the peace and having FUN!...
Have a good think about how many bridesmaids you want - think about costs (dresses, shoes, accessories, hair & makeup, flowers) and who's covering them (!) and also consider the roles you need filling (it's better to give each maid one or two jobs rather than loading lots onto one 'top girl'). Roles might include:
It can be really helpful to assign a couple of the setting-up duties to some of your bridesmaids. They may be able to take on the placement of place names for example, or helping to prep your rehearsal dinner...
You can also look intro professional Set-Up support here...
Ensure you have one maid who checks over your dress before you head into the ceremony and throughout the photos. You might even want somebody to 'floof' your dress behind you/help carry your train part of the way. A helper for adjustments is especially hand on a windy or rainy day (umbrella duty, holding the veil, fixing your hair, etc.). If you'd like your Bridesmaids to all lead the procession, an On-the-Day Coordinator could be really handy for these final touches...
You're going to need to choose somebody you're comfortable with to help undo/hold your dress while you use the loo - it can be a real nightmare otherwise! It's all in a good day's work for this bridesmaid who's probably already seem you at your worst.
This lady will be responsible for holding on to your makeup and other important items for the day. She should have a clutch-full of handy bits and pieces for adjusting the dress, hair, makeup and more. Blister plasters, deodorant, mints and any medication are also a good shout!
Make sure your have a couple of helpers to help collect people for each photo ahead of them being taken. You should also have a bridesmaid who will be super up-beat and encourage everyone to pose/get really involved in the moment for each photo.
THE BRIDAL BOUQUET
It's a good idea to assign one bridesmaid the responsibility of looking after your bouquet while you're busy. They should ensure your bouquet goes somewhere cool in a vase water while it's not being used, in a safe place where it won't get damaged. They'll be able to grab it whenever you need it - make sure they have a decent towel/cloth handy to dry the bouquet ahead of each use.
Although it's not traditional for a Bridesmaid to do a speech, it's certainly becoming an increasingly popular addition to the line-up. A bridesmaid speech is a touching tribute for more on the Bride's side, from somebody who is as close to the Bride as the Bets Man is to the Groom. This is especially lovely for when the Groom/FOB aren't as confident in speaking but your maid is! Some maids have even been known to rap!
THE FIRST DANCE
Your first dance is of course for the Bride and Groom alone. But t is also traditional that the Bridesmaids bring a partner on to the floor, often part-way through the first dance song t encourage more people to dance ready for when the music goes into full-swing.
This is especially important for when you plan to go away on your honeymoon immediately. You should assign each Bridesmaid to pack-away and take care of various decorations after the big day ready for your return. They can also help to tidy any wedding-night accommodation as necessary, look after your dress/veil, keep your gifts/cards safe, and so much more...
You can also look intro professional Set-Down support here...
Next, we move on to those 'difficult situations'...
Managing Arguments - it's always best to have a Chief Bridesmaid who is willing and bale to dissolve any disagreements amongst your bridal party, but the best way to avoid these situations is to DELEGATE. Make a list of each job you'll need support with for your big day and ask your maids to individually highlight any they'd really like to help with and any that they wouldn't mind taking on to support you. Then, assign the jobs as fairly as possible to each lady - keeping in mind who's natural skills and abilities lend themselves well to each. Once you've decided, perhaps you could design a fun way to 'Accept Their Appointment' for their roles and give them a handy guide or informal chat for what you'll need from each of them.
Don't be Afraid to Make Cuts - although it's really heartbreaking when a Bridesmaid isn't putting your best interests at heart, it's really important to recognise when they're making your wedding planning toxic and unenjoyable. It can be hard to risk a friendship, but if one of your ladies isn't mucking-in or behaving during the lead-up to one of the most important days of your life, then is she really a friend? You need to make the cut early to ensure you have the most stress-free planning and Big Day as possible. If somebody is causing you upset, then make sure to take them aside privately for a chat before making any harsh decisions - she may not realise how she was making you feel! You might also consider getting your MOH to handle such tricky situations for you...
'B' is for...BUDGETING
The first thing you should do when planning your wedding is to create a budget. It's no good looking at all of the spectacular things out there if you just can't afford them - you'll only upset yourself when you realise you can't have them. Establishing a good budget from the start is the best way to plan.
We've popped together a simple step-by-step guide to help you to establish a realistic wedding budget. Following this, will be some advice on sticking to it, making the most of it, and saving those pennies!
DO YOUR RESEARCH
The cost of anything to do with weddings will vary by year, by season, by month, and even by day! What a friend paid for their wedding won't necessarily be the same as yours, and it's really important to understand the fluctuations in costs to help establish what you can afford.
For example, flowers that are in-season are much cheaper than those that are not. Caterers using local produce may also be able to make certain dishes for less depending on whats in-season throughout the year.
Suppliers often vary their pricing massively depending on 'peak', 'mid-peak', and 'off-peak' seasons. A Saturday in Summertime will usually be the most expensive time to get married - especially for your venue fee! Have a good look into ways to save on wedding costs before deciding what you want (consider hiring suits and dresses rather than purchasing, for example). Moreover, the bigger your wedding, the higher the costs. One of the easiest ways to save money is to have fewer mouths to feed - consider who's worth an approx. £80 per head!
ESTABLISH WHAT YOU CAN AFFORD
Work out what you can set aside each month ahead of your ideal date. Also consider any contributions from friends and family, and other financial options. Many suppliers offer affordable financing options on expensive elements (even dresses!), and hiring items may be more affordable than purchasing outright.
Many suppliers will break-down their fees into payment plans - often where a % deposit is due immediately, then the rest of the costs are due much closer to the Big Day. While we don't tend to recommend a loan, it may be something you can afford just fine, but do make sure you still have some money set aside for any unexpected costs in life.
ORGANISE YOUR BUDGET
Divide your total budget into each aspect of your wedding (i.e. Venue, Catering, Insurance, Officiants, Outfits, Transportation, Photography, Cake, Decorations, and so on...). It can be a great idea to hire a Wedding Planner to help advise on how much of your budget is likely to be spent where. You should never guess with this if you don't have good experience with this - there's also lots of handy guides online, but we'd always recommend a Wedding Coordinator who can tailor your budget to you.
EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED
Ensure you allocate a percentage for unexpected costs - at least a good 10% of the budget for each category should be set aside for this.
You should make a list of what's the most and least important to you on your big day which you're looking for ideas. If money was no obstacle, we'd surely all have everything and anything possible for our Big Day, but for the majority of us, this just isn't possible. Prioritising what is most and least important to you will help you later on if you have to start making cuts to stay within budget.
Music might be important to you so a live band is more necessary than a fancy menu, for example. Or perhaps a DJ might be more affordable if you can forgo a live band in favour of more drinks to go around...
Now on to some top tips for STICKING TO and MAKING THE MOST OF that budget you worded so hard to set...
Don't shop outside of your budget. The best way to stay within your budget is to not even look at things that do not fall within it. This is especially the case when shopping for a dress and venue. By not considering unaffordable items, you're much less likely to fall in love with something you just can't cover and end up breaking your own heart.
If you find that one of your budget areas just can't stick within it's budget, then be ready to make adjustments. Consider where you might be able to save money to make up for higher expense elsewhere. Make sure to fully discuss any adjustments together before you make them to ensure they're feasible.
Make your budget something you review regularly to keep track of your progress. Many couples find it helpful to put their budget and plans up on the wall - much like an office scenario - perhaps much alike to a crime investigation where you and literally pin your ideas and purchases to a wall/board. It makes things much easier to remember to update when you can see it all of the time!
Sometimes it pays to think outside of the
box. Perhaps your talents can help towards your costs. For example, if you work for a school, they might have a PA System you could borrow for your big day. If you are creative, you might be able to save a great deal of money by making your own place names and decorations.
Likewise, your friends, family members and co-workers might also be able to help with various elements of the event. Just be sure that they are organised and can provide a professional finish to whatever they help with!
Heading out to local car boot sales and charity shops are a fantastic way to collect bargains for your big day; there's always wonderful vases, candle holders, garden games and other wonderful vintage accessories just waiting to be discovered - you might even find your dream dress!
KEEPING IT CLOSE
Seeking suppliers within the local area of your venue will save massively on costs (local suppliers are likely to know the area/venue better anyway!) If you can source your venue itself closer to home, then you'll also save a great deal on travel expenses from those regular visitations and planning meetings!
Hire-in Help - Staying on-budget but still making the most of your money is the key purpose of a Wedding Planner. Having somebody professional by your side throughout your planning can be invaluable to the success and harmonised affordability of your big day. At ChCd, we offer a complementary, no-obligatory consultation to discuss your ideas and how we can help...
CLICK to arrange your consultation to see if we're right for you
There's much more to a Best Man than simply being your best mate.
It's about being organised, trustworthy, and the kind of person who can make you laugh in your darkest moments. What's more - it might not even be a man!
Here's some key traits to consider when choosing the right person for one of the most important roles of your Big Day...
You need somebody who is going to consistently show up and be on time for all of the fittings and other important events in the lead-up to your Wedding. They should be the first one up and the last one to bed so that you can depend on them for support throughout your big day (and the Stag Do, actually!)
You're going to want somebody who you can trust with the big jobs on your Big Day. The most important arguably being looking after the rings ahead of the ceremony - and being able to step up to present them at the right moment.
One of the key attributes to being a VIP is being organised. This goes hand-in-hand with being Reliable (as above), but organisation also covers the arrangements for the Stag Do and any other important tasks you might need your top person to cover for your celebrations.
Similar to previous points, but focusing more on the emotional side of your Best Person...being dependable means that they'll be there in the most difficult of situations to help solve problems and sometimes just being a beacon of support. They are someone who will settle your nerves at the top of the aisle, and keep you safe during your Stag Do and other wedding activities.
You're really going to need somebody who can lift your mood and be in high spirits themselves throughout your planning and the special day itself. This person will be the life of the party and know the right time to inject humour as well as being there for support (as above).
Your Best (Wo)Man should always be invested in you, your friendship and your special day. They will but your interests first as much as possible and really give their all into playing this special part f your big day. They should WANT to give a speech about their bestie and and WANT to be the person that you can rely on - these are the qualities of a best friend after all, and who better than your closest person (other than your to-be-spouse of course) to be the one you confide in throughout this busy time, and who entertains your guests with stories of your many adventures together?!
Thank You for Reading...
As a close to our second posts of our A-Z of Weddings, we'd like to thank you for your time and interest in our writing. We work really hard to make sure every word counts towards making your planning easier, and your big day that much more special!
This week, we covered 'Bridesmaids', 'Budgeting' and 'Best (Wo)Man' for our take on 'B', but there's so many more 'B'-rilliant things to consider for your Wedding. Here's some more inspo...
- (something) Blue
- (signage) Boards
- Button Holes
Got more 'B's to add? Love this blog? Ideas on what you'd like to see us cover in the future? Let us know in the comments or on our socials!
Lots of Love,
The Copperhouse Team Xoxo