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Ten Top Tips for Planning the Perfect Wedding

Wedding planning can get a little daunting, but it doesn't have to be that way! Queen of all things bridal, Barbara McKeown-Howe shares some tips for creating the day you've always dreamed of...

1. Planning early

Your wedding might not be for another 2 years, but you can be assured those 2 years will pass by in the blink of an eye. Its important to remember that on top of wedding planning you will always have the chaos of everyday life. None of us know what life is going to throw at us tomorrow, so you can never be too prepared. Our books are always open whether your wedding is in 1 week or 5 years, so be super prepared and tick 1 more thing off your list by having your styling booked in advance. We are open to any changes right up until your last meeting with us 6 months prior to your wedding.

2. Keep a notepad beside your bed

While it may sound like a small step to take, some of your biggest ideas will come to you at night. You then spend the next few hours going over and over them in your head...and next thing you realize you've forgotten them by the morning.

3. Be flexible and understanding with your wedding party

Yes, this is the most important day of your life and the planning will probably become the center of your universe for the next foreseeable months, but it's not everyone else's unfortunately. Don't fall out with your bridesmaids if they cant book a solid week off work for trails and fittings, they have busy full lives themselves so flexibility is key. Too often the 'bridezilla' effect causes so much unnecessary stress leading up to your big day.

4. Imagine yourself as a guest at your wedding

Wedding planning can quickly become a confusing, dresses, suits, invites, cakes *head explodes*. The best way to untangle the mayhem is to visualize yourself as a guest. What are you going to see as you come into the room, how will the music and atmosphere make you feel? You know your guests better than anyone, this is after all a party so don't stress over the minor details. Your loved ones are here to celebrate you.

5. Budget

This is an all too common mistake. You think you are well on track, then boom, you've forgotten to budget for wedding favors, alterations, gifts etc. Take the time to sit down as a couple and have a top end budget for each item. Speak to your suppliers along the way too, we have many suggestions and alternatives to help in making your budget stretch.

6. Plan B's

You envision yourself walking down the aisle outside in the beautiful gardens of your venue on a gloriously sunny July day...but then you remember your wedding's in Ireland and not Spain. While we all hope and pray to get a dry day for the wedding, you cannot be guaranteed that. So certainly book your outside items with us, but its important to note this may not happen, and we will certainly be flexible with our brides and grooms. We can always use the items you have booked for outside to make the inside even more beautiful.

7. Get your friends an family involved

It's hard to let go of the planning process, this is your day and as the saying goes if you want it done right do it yourself. However that's not to say you can't ask for help to take some of the pressure off. Ask those that you trust to assist with some of the details, they will be more than happy to help, and by asking your closest friends and family you're more likely to feel you can be honest if something isn't exactly as you want it.

8. Narrow down your guest list

It's likely that cost per head will add up to being the biggest expense in your wedding day. So in that respect, you need to be selective. It's the hardest part of the process, but don't be guilted into inviting your mum's next doors cousin just because you think you might offend someone. The afternoon reception is always open to them.

9. Think about distance

You may have been doing your research online and found some stunning venues outside of your hometown, however be realistic about the logistics of getting married in a venue that's a few hours drive for your guests. It shouldn't be a surprise it wouldn't be possible for some of your loved ones to make it. If that's the case, look at venues a little closer to home.

10. Just enjoy the process

How lucky are you both to find someone you want to spend the rest of your lives with, that in itself is an amazing journey. Also - trust your own judgement, everyone will have an opinion but remember its your day to celebrate your love. x

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