The year ahead

Sitting in my sunny garden on a rare non-working weekend, I am reflecting on what this year may hold. Whilst there is no doubt we are in difficult times with cuts and a general lack of money, I do still believe that people want to get married. They have saved and waited for the right time and are determined to show their undying love for each other by tying the knot in a very public way with friends and family around them

Romance is not dead it may just be necessary to be more creative with how you style and dress your wedding reception. So i thought i’d share a few ideas –

Rather than big table displays why not have potted orchids that can be given to guests who helped with the wedding in some way? I’m all for reusing registrar/altar flowers on the top table and if you are using one venue for both ceremony and reception, it is often very easy to move things around

Unless you have your heart set on a particular flower for your wedding, stick with seasonal flowers and you will get the best quality and better value. Listen to your florist’s advise on what is best for both the time of year and your budget

Sometimes a limited budget can go further by having one or two impressive displays rather than lots of smaller ones that stretch the budget too much and then look rather sparse. Again talk to your florist when you go around the venue and see what they suggest and if they have visuals to show of what they have done there before

Work out a plan in advance of how you see the rooms looking and be prepared to compromise on some areas to get the best look. Do you really need those little favours that may get forgotten at the end of the evening – why not have a pretty packet of flower seeds in your wedding colour tied to every lady’s napkin. Or for a Christmas wedding why not have a decorated bauble on each place that will mean you’re remembered each year

Using a wedding planner may seem like a reckless luxury and only for those with enormous budgets but in fact they could save anyone money. Without taking any cut or commission themselves, planners are often able to use their contacts and continued patronage of suppliers to negotiate better prices and obtain deals that a bride and groom buying for one wedding only cannot get.

I’ve worked with several very good planners who can take the hassle out of finding suppliers in the first place, chase up quotes when you don’t have time to, liaise in the run up to the wedding to make sure that everything is on track and be there on the day to ensure all runs smoothly whilst you have more important things to think about.

Finding a red carpet at 2 hours’ notice, sewing up a split seam, helping with chair covers when the supplier falls ill and lacing up the bride’s dress – are all in a day’s work for a wedding planner and sometimes are all on the same day! Here are two of the best I know – Debbie at Wedding Wonders and Helen at Helen Carter Weddings

Another great idea is a fabulous wedding calculator from Weddings in Surrey – check it out and don’t  spend too much!