Guide to making your Spring/Summer Wedding Special*

*This is a collaborative post*
Wedding season is well and truly in full swing and I love it. Couples the world over have finally been saying 'I do' after having to previously postpone their nuptials during lockdown. Two of my friends fall into this category and they had their wedding last month, the bride looked absolutely beautiful. With this is mind, in todays post I'm sharing some tips on how to plan for a Spring/Summer wedding. 
Create a wedding planner/scrapbook
After the initial excitement of your engagement has calmed down, treat yourself to some bridal magazines and also a large scrapbook. I bought a gorgeous elegant white scrapbook from The Works which only cost a few pounds, you don't need to spend a lot. Use your scrapbook to create your very own wedding planner. It will help you stay organised as you plan the wedding of your dreams. It's also a place to include any inspiration, any thoughts and in the future it will be a lovely memento to look back through.

Budget and plan the guest list
When deciding what your budget will be, you need to be realistic. How much of your savings do you want to use? How much of your monthly wage can you afford to put towards the wedding? Then you need to break down your planned budget and allocate it for separate things. Your wedding dress, bridesmaids dresses, suits for the groomsmen, venue, photographer, flowers, caterer, cake, wedding stationery, marriage licence, rings, etc. At this point you should come up with your guest list too so you can work out approximately how much you'll need to budget for your wedding package. 

Hire a wedding planner 
Not everyone can afford a wedding planner and many brides actually prefer to do the planning themselves anyway. However, if you hate stress and can afford it, a wedding planner can take care of all the details leaving you to sit back and relax. 
If you want a helping hand without hiring a professional then check out one of the many wedding planning apps. They'll at least help you to stay organised and on track.
Choose your bridesmaids and groomsmen 
There is no right or wrong number when choosing your wedding party. Sit down with your fiancee and make a list of who is most important to you or who you'd like to be included as a bridesmaid. He should do the same regarding his groomsmen. Yes it can be tricky when you don't want to upset particular friends by not asking them, but your wedding party comes with cost. Choose the friends you feel closest to and if you can't decide between friends then choose family members such as siblings. If you want a helping hand throughout your wedding planning journey then don't forget to pick a maid of honour or chief bridesmaid who will commit to the role.

Finding the perfect wedding dress
You should really start looking about ten months prior to the big day. This gives you ample time to pick a dress and get alterations made. If you plan on loosing any weight, do this before you buy the dress. There's nothing worse then the stress of trying to slim down to into a dress you've already bought. 
Before you go shopping for your wedding dress, set your budget and then have a browse online or in magazines at all the different styles. Look at your body type, what would flatter you best? Would you prefer a classic dress or more non-traditional attire? Do you have a particular theme or style in mind? Decide on the general shape, cut, neckline, stap preference and colour before you go shopping. There's so much choice available that it can feel a tad overwhelming. However, if you have a bit of an idea before you book an appointment with a bridal shop, then the assistant will be better able to assist. Don't be afraid to take pictures with you of what you have in mind. Gone are the days of just choosing between traditional white dresses, we've come a long way and many brides opt for tea length dresses or even jumpsuits. Two pieces of advice to bear in mind, firstly, plan early on what underwear you're going to wear. Make sure you have this on when trying on your wedding dress as you'll get a true idea of what you and the dress will look like. Secondly, make sure you walk around, move around and try sitting down in your dress. You'll be wearing it for the best part of a day and comfort is just as important as looking good.  
Choosing bridesmaids dresses
The same goes for choosing your bridesmaids dresses. This can be a particularly nightmarish task. Not only do you have to pick dresses that fit in with what you want, but you also want your girls to be happy too. Finding a dress that everyone loves is always going to be difficult. Firstly, you need to choose a style and colour that compliments your wedding dress, theme if there is one, and season. However, if you can't settle on a style or shape that suits all the girls, why not stick to one colour and have dresses in various styles? This mismatched trend has become popular and can look very effective on the big day when done right. It can also make it easier to find dresses to suit the different shapes and sizes of the wedding party. When shopping, don't just get pigeon holed into thinking you have to buy traditional bridesmaids dresses from a wedding boutique. I know plenty of brides who have taken to the high street or even ASOS for their dresses to stay within budget. Prom dresses are another great option for your bridesmaids. Many are made in the same style as bridesmaids dresses and with so much choice available, you're sure to find something you and your bridesmaids love. Just remember, choose your prom dress or bridesmaids dresses carefully, it's important that they compliment you. You don't want their dresses to outshine your own!
When you've decided on your bridesmaids, why not have a get together over tea (or champagne) and cake? It's a fun way to celebrate and discuss your ideas so take your scrapbook along and get their thoughts too.

Pick your venue
You may have a venue already in mind, but before you part with your deposit, check that the venue meets all your requirements first. Does it have overnight accommodation? If not, are there hotels nearby for your guests? Does it have the capacity to hold your guest list? On the other hand, is it too big? Does the venue provide the catering you like? If not, will it allow outside vendors to cater for your big day? There are lots of considerations to make before you settle on a final decision so do your research first and make a list of any questions you may have.
Choose apps that allow wedding photos to be shared
One of my favourite aspects of a wedding is poring over the photos and videos after the big day is over. There's nothing like the anti climax after a hugely successful and enjoyable wedding. I remember being maid of honour and the following day all I wanted to do was re-live the whole thing again. Having wedding photos and videos to look through is a brilliant way to re-live the moments, appreciate the memories and have plenty of laughs. Of course you'll have the photographs that have been taken professionally by your chosen photographer, but if you also use a photo sharing app such as Wedding Photo Swap, your guests will be able to take candid shots of the day and upload them too.

Hire your vendors
A wedding usually requires many vendors. Unless you have a friend who is particularly talented at taking photos, you'll want to hire a professional photographer. Read online reviews and check out their previous work before making a decision. 
Are you doing your own makeup or would you like it done by a make-up artist? The same goes for your hair, are you confident doing it yourself or would you prefer a hairdresser to style it? Make sure you book a trial run with your make-up artist and hairdresser. Show them pictures of any looks you have in mind, be upfront and honest about what you like and don't like. You want to look picture perfect on your big day.
You'll need a florist for your bouquets, for the groomsmens boutonnieres and for the centrepieces. Note that centrepieces don't have to include flowers if you don't want, I actually love some of the alternate DIY wedding centrepieces that I've seen brides create. 
When it comes to your wedding cake, it's crucial to see the bakers previous work and take the taste test. Show them photos of any designs you like.
Would you prefer a DJ or live music? Have you always dreamed of pulling up outside the venue in a horse drawn carriage or in a limo? Are you planning to make your own wedding stationery, invites and save the dates or are you having them produced professionally? Finally, don't forget to hire your officiant as you won't get very far without one!
You can find many comprehensive lists of wedding vendors online which I recommend checking out so you don't overlook anything important. 

If you're looking to read more wedding related content then do head on over to my wedding category. Enjoy!

*Photos via Pexels

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