How to Calmly Plan Your Wedding

Planning a party for 150 people when you’ve never even planned one for 20 people before is a big deal. Calmly plan your wedding using these tips and suggestions!

Congratulations on your engagement! Now is for the exciting part: the planning. You’ve got a blank slate, all the suppliers in the world to choose from and a full budget. At first it’s so exciting. But when your florist sells her business, your hairdresser cancels and your vicar announces his retirement you might start to panic (and yes, all of those have happened to me in the last 3 months).


Get organised

I have a wedding folder that is getting larger and larger each month, but without it I’d be lost. It’s where I put any invoices if I’ve paid deposits/the full amount. There’s a lot to remember and things get confusing when you have 15 suppliers. Keep track of what you’ve paid and when to calmly plan your wedding.

To stop you panicking about budget, work out exactly what you can save every month, and how much you’re being given by other family members. You don’t want to run out of budget and have to start applying for credit cards and loans. This will ruin the whole planning process.

Work out your budget and how many people you need to invite. The rest can follow from there.


Keep in touch with your suppliers

Don’t bombard them, but if you have any questions, feel free to email them once they’ve been booked. This kind of contact means they are more likely to remember you and also puts your mind at rest.

Remind them a couple of weeks before an appointment that there is an appointment. I booked my make up trial, and got there only to be greeted by another bride. The MUA had double booked. I’d booked my appointment months before, and the other bride had only booked a couple of weeks before. If you do book something months in advance, phone ahead to remind them and make sure the meeting is still on.


Find all the free tools available to you

You are not the first woman to plan her wedding. There are so many amazing free tools on the internet provided by others who have got married. It’s where I got the template for my budget spreadsheet, where I found some of my suppliers, and also where I got advice. A website such as is full of inspiration, things to buy, planning ideas, local wedding fayres, and even competitions you can enter for free.

Absolutely use this to calmly plan your wedding and help you through those times when you’ve hit a wall.


Do things sooner than you think

I thought organising my bridesmaids dresses in October for the following April was enough notice. But they won’t come in until mid February, leaving not much time for alterations. Always do things sooner than you think.

With items like invitations, it can take a while for you to work out the wording you want. By the time you get them ordered, delivered, put into envelopes and taken to the post office for posting, another two weeks might have gone by. What if there’s a delay or a load of guests don’t receive theirs? Avoid stress by leaving yourself plenty of time.



Calmly plan your wedding with minimal stress using these tips and suggestions!



Header photo credit: Rachel Clarke,

Life Update: House, Weddings, Cars

So much has been going on recently, so I thought I’d do a brief (ahem…) life update.

Time is going far too quickly at the moment. I can’t believe it’s already November which means that my wedding is five months away (172 days to be precise…wow, I wish I hadn’t worked that out).

We’re still trying to continue to update our house, but funds are tight with the wedding, so we’re not getting quite as much done as we’d like. And now we have a cat too!


The House

I’ll start with a quick house update. We’ve finally used some money to invest in well needed accessories, such as rugs, mirrors and lighting. Our dining room mirror (pictured) is doubling up as our wedding table plan.

My dining room with rug, pendant light and mirror

It wasn’t hugely expensive, but it seems a shame to use it just on one day. That space in the dining room looked so empty, and the mirror fills it perfectly.

The next big job is to box up the stairs. I’ve, of course, been using Pinterest to plan this one. Currently all our fuse boxes and wiring is on show under the stairs. Jay will use leftover kitchen units to build something like this,

We're building our stairs so they have more storage space in like this. Stairs with cupboard and shelves built in



It’ll help to keep things looking tidy and is ideal for storing extra wires, or anything else we can think to fill it with.

The only difference is ours will have a hidden door so we can still access the fuse box easily.


My Car

I loved my little car. It was a present from Jay (for absolutely no reason). He just brought it home one day for me, complete with a bow!


Life Update: My Ford StreetKA died this week


We spent £120 on parts and many hours of labour (on Jay’s behalf) trying to get it working. It overheated one day when I let the coolant get too low. Turns out the head gasket had gone which we were quoted £900 to fix. The car only cost £700 so it just wasn’t worth it.

I needed something more reliable to get me to and from work anyway, so I’ve used this as an excuse to treat myself to an Audi A1. I’m justifying it because my insurance has come down by £200, and the tax has reduced by 65%. It also does more miles per gallon, so petrol consumption is much less.

I’m still sad to see my car go. Jay’s going to fix the gasket himself, for much cheaper than a garage, and sell it for money towards our wedding.



Talking of weddings….

I’ve found that stress comes in waves. I’ll have a couple of months where I don’t really think about the wedding, or don’t have any supplier meetings. Then suddenly they come all in one go.

I’ve already had my hairdresser cancel, and my florist sell her business. These issues have now been sorted.

I’ve also bought my bridesmaid’s dresses which are currently being made, and chosen the groomsmen’s suits.


Life Update - I bought these Ebony Rose Kimberly bridesmaids dresses

Credit: Dresses from Ebony Rose


I also splashed out (accidentally) on some stunning blossom trees as our centrepieces which will suit the venue.

Now that I need to get a new car, I’m not able to save as much for the wedding as I’d like. I’m still getting editing work from my business, Sarah Macklin Editing, which is helping.

We’re trying to save wherever we can, and every little bit goes into the savings account. Even the odd couple of pounds. I’m hoping this will all add up quite quickly.


So there’s a quick life update of everything going on with me! Things never slow down. We’ve got three weddings this month (of which I was bridesmaid at one), and Jay’s birthday. January will be nice and calm only for February to be full of supplier appointments and final decisions (and table plans, urgh).

6 Top Forgotten Wedding Aspects

If you’ve ever been to a wedding, planned a wedding, or been in the general vicinity of a wedding, chances are you know that there are simply hundreds of things to remember.

However, while most couples do a great job, there are still some often forgotten wedding aspects that deserve a mention.

If you’re planning a wedding right now or you simply want to be prepared for the future, make sure you consider these forgotten wedding aspects.


  1. Planning For Rain

You can’t just count on great weather when you’re getting married. You need to have a plan B, or rather, a plan for rain. What will you do about getting to your location? Taking pictures? Will it change anything?

Make sure you consider eventualities with the weather so everybody can have a better time.


  1. Establishing A Wedding Website

A wedding website is a great way to provide guests with a one-stop place to access useful information. You can include the date, time, and other relevant information when it comes to your wedding day, plus any nearby hotel and transport tips that your guests could use.

Be as helpful as you can and get it set up ASAP if you want the majority of your guests to turn up. The website doesn’t need to be professionally designed or complete with all of the trimmings. It just needs to be somewhere your guests can go for helpful info.  


  1. Food Allergies

Have you asked your guests about any food allergies? How about those who don’t eat meat, or even dairy? You’ll need to make a list of allergies and dietary requirements, and then give this list to your caterer along with where each one is sitting. Your caterer will likely be extremely grateful and you’ll make sure none of your guests are left hungry.

And don’t forget the children! Children will need separate, smaller courses and again, check they don’t have allergies.


  1. Having A Gift Safe-Keeper

Leaving gifts unattended on a table is a little irresponsible. After all, everybody is going to be drinking and having a great time, things can get broken, or even lost. Designate somebody to look after the gifts.

This might mean taking them to a hotel room instead, or even loading them into the back of a car. You won’t want to think about what to do with them at the end of the night when you’ve had a few drinks yourself!

The venue or hotel will normally sort this for you.


  1. Supplier Meals

It’s all well and good laying out fancy wedding tablecloths ready to feed your guests, but what about your vendors? Are you going to let them go hungry? Make sure you feed the vendors who will be there all day. It’s only polite.

This will include the photographer and videographer. They’ll be on their feet all day, running around to catch the right moments. They definitely need feeding in the daytime as well as evening.

Other suppliers could include musicians and the DJ.


  1. Supplier Overtime

If your wedding seems like it’s going to be buzzing into the wee hours, you’ll want to find out in advance if your vendors would be willing to stay. Make sure you chat to them about it and put some of the budget aside so you can continue your wedding in the way you want.

Also check that your venue allows it. Ours have said that we need the music off by 1am, so there’s no point hiring the DJ until 2.


Did you forget any of these things, or something else? Leave a comment!

The Art of Looking Great on your Wedding Photos

As a bride, you want to look great on your wedding photos.

They will be the only memorabilia from the day apart from your own memories, so you want to look fabulous. Even if you aren’t the bride, chances are that you have some weddings to go to in the not too distant future.

And while you are there, you will have noticed that you are being snapped from all angles, so you want to ensure that you look your best.

First of all, you will want to make sure that you have a high-quality photographer so take a look at Jennifer Smith Photography wedding. In this article, we are going to be looking at a few ways that you can look your best. You won’t want to untag yourself from these photos! Look great on your wedding photos and cherish them forever.

Relax Your Face

In can be extremely tiring when your face is contorted into a smile for what feels like hours on end. So, if you are starting to feel the strain, it is a good idea to take a break every now and again.

Close your eyes and allow the muscles in your face to fully relax. Do this with your back turned so you can avoid those awful closed-eye photos! One tip that many people find works for them is to close your eyes until the photographer counts to three and you open them again as well as flashing your winning smile!

bride and groom hugging outside

Try Laughing Rather than Smiling

Fake smiles tend not to be particularly flattering, but the perfect solution to this could be to get a couple of laughing shots. Even fake laughing tends to be better than fake smiling! So, why not try a couple of loud and forced ‘HA HAs’. This is likely to get everyone laughing for real and this is when you can get the perfect pose for your photos.

Natural-looking photos are the best. The ones where the bride and groom weren’t even aware of their photo being taken. This is the sign of a good photographer.

Photo credit: Rachel Clarke Photography.

Stand Up Straight

People who are feeling self-conscious have a tendency to shrink in on themselves. Fight the urge to do this and try standing with your shoulders back and chest forward.

Great posture tends to translate into great photographs, so maybe your mother was right when she ways always telling you to stand up straight! But you want to avoid the pose looking forced, so take some deep breaths to let out the tension.

Photos always work without a face in as well. Not every picture needs to show your face. You might want your photographer to focus on your bouquet, or your wedding rings. Discuss this with them before the big day.

back of wedding dress with wedding ring

Practice Your Celebrity Pose

Hollywood stars tend to know a thing or two about how to pose in photographs. This is who you should be looking to emulate where you can. A classic one for you to try is to stand with your hips 45 degrees away from the camera.

Put your weight on your back foot, cross your other leg in front and bend your knee so you seem more relaxed. Finish off the pose with a hand on your hip and a broad smile!

Looking fabulous in your wedding pictures is a useful art to master as you will likely find yourself going to a lot of them. Look great on your wedding photos with these four tips, so give them a try!

Rain, Rain Go Away, Especially on my Wedding Day

One of the things that most brides worry about is rain on their wedding day.

When we imagine our perfect day, we always think of a lovely summer’s day without a cloud in the sky. Unfortunately, there are so many things we can consider and plan for, but it is impossible to try and predict what the weather will do. So, it’s best to always have a plan up your sleeve in case you do experience a few showers on your nuptials.

Has the prospect of a rainy wedding day got you nervous? You just need these tips to ensure it doesn’t ruin your dream day.

Add Some Shelter

An outdoor wedding is great on a nice, hot day, but you should also organise some shelter just in case it does start to bucket down! Marquee weddings are a great way to combine outdoor and indoor elements to your wedding. You can have your reception in the marquee and guests can also shelter inside if it starts to rain. During sunny spells, your guests can mill around outside the marquee.

umbrella in the rain

Go For Waterproof Mascara

It’s important that you look great no matter the weather. And one thing that rain is guaranteed to spoil is your mascara. To make sure that it doesn’t look like you’ve been crying all day, it’s a good idea to swipe some waterproof mascara over your lashes. Your lashes will then be protected from raindrops and happy tears!

Have Parasols Handy

You and your guests will probably have to go outside at some point to switch between venues for the ceremony and the reception, or to get inside from their cars. So, even if the majority of your wedding is going to be indoors, you might need some protection for these moments. It’s useful to have some parasols on hands that someone can hand out to guests to ensure that they don’t end up wet after quickly dashing inside!

Chat With Your Photographer

You should find out whether or not your photographer has already photographed weddings in the rain before. If they have, then they should have plenty of experience of dealing with adverse weather conditions. Even if they are well-seasoned in all kinds of weather, it’s always important that you discuss an indoor setting for taking your photos. That way, you have somewhere you can fall back on in case it is raining too much for outdoor photographs.

Collect Coats

If it is raining at the very beginning of your wedding, your guests will arrive in big coats. So, you will need somewhere you can keep all the coats so that they can dry off. Most wedding venues will have a cloakroom, but it’s important that you double check this before your big day. If you are getting married in a marquee, you might want to add a couple of coat stands in the corner so that your guests don’t have to leave them on the back of their chairs.

Once you follow all of these great tips, there’s no way the rain will spoil your special day!