7 Things I Wish I Had Known Before I Got Engaged | LIFESTYLE

15 Jun 2018

Four weeks ago, after two long years of planning, we took the plunge and got married!  It was a long slog, one of which led to an amazing day, but there are definitely some things I learnt along the way that I wish I had known beforehand...

1.  It's expensive!
I always knew that weddings weren't cheap, but I naiively thought that putting away a couple of hundred quid a month across two years would be enough to come out the other side without having to take out credit.  Wrong!
Notch that up to cutting off all niceties and ditching date night in favour of watching TV so we can put away £800 a month.  I mean, that's a house deposit in the space of a year guys!

2. Planning a wedding is hard
Unless you're a professional who works in planning or project management, the whole process of pulling together an event for 150+ people that will cost you on average around £10-15,000 is really difficult.  You're having to manage multiple vendors, budget manage and manage deadlines in a way that you've never had to do before!  All this whilst ensuring you're exercising, having a good skincare regime, teeth whitening, make up trialling, getting a minimum 8 hours sleep a day and keeping your bridal party focused on target.  No wonder brides go crazy!
Spreadsheets were my friend, as soon as I shifted from thinking my wedding was just a lovely day to organise to thinking of it like a project at work it changed my approach to managing the whole process.  I managed it like a bride boss.

3. It will bring out the best and worst in people
When people tell you that it's your wedding and you should do what they want, what they really mean is do what you want as long as I like it.  Everyone (and I mean everyone) will pass opinion on your big day, it's inevitable that you will annoy someone and you certainly cannot please everyone.
It's hard to remember in the midst of planning that you're celebrating your relationship and not throwing a house party, so try to learn how to drown out the negativity and focus on what you want from the day - because a) you're paying for it and b) you're the ones who will remember it most.  Its about you.

4. Everything in the wedding industry is easily 40% more expensive than standard stuff
During this process I asked for a price of a three tier wedding cake from multiple bakeries, all returned around £300-400 for a basic lemon cake with icing. When you compare that with a bog standard 3 tier birthday cake for £200 it can show you how easily the price of something is hiked because you add the label 'wedding' to it.

5. No matter how hard you try, not everyone will RSVP (or even come!)
Despite sending out invitations six months in advance, several texts, multiple phone calls and the off email, you will always have people who just don't RSVP to your super expensive party.  It will frustrate you like crazy, you'll obsess over seating charts and guest lists, but trust me when I say you won't notice on the day.
Count on natural wastage and guests not turning up on the day, you're safe to over invite by a solid 10% and still have chairs left on the night.  With any luck, they'll all be dancing anyway!

6. Arguments
If you haven't picked it up by now then let me tell me you, weddings are stressful!  Your life for 12-24 months will be completely wedding focused, you'll dream of chair sashes and wedding favours, and inevitably clash with your partner on choices or outside pressures.  I remember a fight we once had over whether to have a sweet cart or not, that blew into full scale war with screaming and sofa pillows being thrown... it seems comical now, but in the midst of wedding planning it was highly strung.  I'd recommend accepting you will argue, just try to learn to forgive quickly!

7. It will be the best day of your life.
That being said, all of the above pale into insignificance when your day finally approaches and all of your hard work as a couple pay off.  If you're lucky, you enter into marriage with your best friend and capture cherished memories to carry you forward.  It sounds smushy, and I didn't think I'd be one of these people, but it was genuinely one of the best days of my life.

So if you're on your wedding planning journey and identify with the above, just remember - it's all worth it in the end.  Just have a lot of wine in the house.

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