07860 919798 Monday - Sunday 08:30 - 21:30 Cheshire based | travel worldwide
follow us:

Our Essential Wedding Planning Tips

For Life's Journey - Independent Wedding Celebrant | based in Macclesfield
  • COUPLES’ CELEBRANT SERVICES

    Our couples’ celebrant services ensure you can celebrate your life together as a couple by sharing your love with your nearest and dearest through a totally personal and unique ceremony…

  • HAVE IT ABSOLUTELY YOUR WAY!

    Your wedding ceremony can include any wording, any content, at any venue at any time of day. That makes it something quite special! You are only limited by your imagination…

  • WORKING WITH A CELEBRANT

    Means you can include the elements of celebration you wish to use. Your ceremony is written and delivered uniquely for you and there are no restrictions on content and you will not be bound by any format.

TUIRENN

An Irish Name
pronounced:
TEER-an

BASED IN CHESHIRE

Willing to travel worldwide

Most ceremonies designed & delivered in Cheshire East, South Manchester & North Staffs

Let’s Connect

|||

Ceremonies for Couples

 

Wedding Ceremonies

Make your day special

 

Renewal of Vows

Reaffirm your love together

 

Commitment Ceremonies

Commitment without marriage

 

Handfasting Ceremonies

An ancient tradition

 

Speech & Vow Writing

How can we help you?

 

Separation Ceremonies

Divorce & Separation

 

All Other Ceremonies

How can we help you?

Discover Our Essential Wedding Tips | Plan & Prepare Your Perfect Wedding Day

Our Independent Celebrant, Tuirenn Hurstfield gives you some golden advice on how to make your special day even more special and stress-free

You’ve made the decision: one of you asked and one of you said “yes!”. Congratulations! The great news is you’re now getting married. Planning your wedding can be incredibly stressful and all over the place, but it needn’t be. Planning your wedding should be relatively easy and definitely fun!

 

Getting organised fast is essential. Ensure you have remembered every aspect of planning your big day, and you will be able to take that walk down the aisle feeling everything is fine and can get on with enjoying the day that will give you so many precious memories.

 

Here are my essential wedding tips & advice for planning and preparing the first best day of the rest of your life:

Essential Wedding Tips

#1 - Get Yourself Organised First

Getting organised for your wedding planning journey is essential so you can keep track of your decisions and keep breaking down the jobs list. Here are some resources that could help you out immensely in getting some of your initial general wedding day planning sorted:

  1. Make Your Own Personalised Wedding Planner (follow my guide on how to here)
  2. Know How To Avoid Wedding Rip-Offs (follow my guidance here)
  3. Begin Thinking About Your Wedding Theme (tips on ethnic wedding traditions here)
Essential Wedding Tips

#2 - Start Thinking About Budget Immediately

One of the biggest kickers for any engaged couple is planning a dream wedding and realising it is too expensive, or worse driving yourself into mountains of debt. No marriage should begin with a wedding-related deficit. To avoid this, it is important that you get on top of your cashflow instantly. Set a budget, and keep working to it.

 

Use our free Wedding Planner Budget tool by right clicking and saving to your computer…

Essential Wedding Tips

#3 - Determine Your Wedding Priorities

Define your minimum wedding requirements. This is essential to work out an accurate budget as you will classify your cashflow and know for certain where you want and need to spend money. Budget your “must have” items first.

  1. Work out your “must haves” and priorities in detail (follow my guidelines for these here)
  2. Don’t Forget to Budget for Wedding Favours (follow my ideas for these here)
Essential Wedding Tips

#4 - Know Your Guest Numbers Before Booking Anywhere

Before you begin looking at venues (and certainly before booking somewhere) you should know the approximate number of guests you’ll invite. This will ensure there’s plenty of space for your family and friends. Generally, allow for 25 to 30 square feet per guest. That may seem like a lot, but it’s not if you count the space you’ll need for the tables, bustling waiters, the band and a dance floor.

Essential Wedding Tips

#5 - Work Out Your Contracts, Deposits & Cashflow Schedule

It is vital that you keep an eagle-eye on your cashflow. You need to know if and when money is due to be paid, and that contracts are in place. More importantly, you need to see at a glance where you are up to and what still needs to be done to have your dream wedding.

 

Our free Wedding Budget Planning tool gives a clear picture of contracts you have secured, deposits you have made, balances that are due and a close watch on how your spending is working out against the set budget target.

 

However, if you are going it alone and decide not use this resource, then you should factor in some particular budget breakdowns:

 

Budget Item % of Budget
Ceremony/Service 4%
Wedding Couple & Attire 16.8%
Venues & Reception 46%
Photography/Videography 9.8%
Flowers & Decorations 7.9%
Transport 3.5%
Stationery/Invitations 2.4%
Entertainment 4.6%
Emergency Fund 5%


It’s essential to allocate an extra 5% of your money for surprise expenses like printing extra invites because of mistakes, additional tailoring needs, umbrellas for a rainy day and ribbons for the wedding programs.

 

KEEP A SOLID RECORD OF ALL CONTRACTS, and double check the finer details are confirmed a day or two before the wedding…

Quick Tips To Trim Your Budget Costs

Quick Tip No.1
Wait for a Date!
The closer your date, the more bargaining power you have with wedding venues. Calling for open dates two months prior to your desired time can save you up to 25%. Friday and Sunday weddings usually cost about 30% less than Saturday weddings.

Quick Tip No.2
Reduce the number of attendants.

Quick Tip No.3
Reduce the number of guests invited to the reception.

Quick Tip No.4
Hire a DJ instead of a live band.

Quick Tip No.5
If you hire a live band, find one with fewer members.

Quick Tip No.6
Create your flowers and arrangements by using a local supermarket´s floral department.
Often the bouquets and arrangements will be half the cost of a regular florist´s.

Quick Tip No.7
Save money by giving Flower Seeds as Wedding Favours (read more about this here)

Quick Tip No.8
Ask & You Might Receive!
Request an extra hour for cocktails or for your band to throw in that additional twenty minute set before you sign on the dotted line. Most vendors would prefer secure your booking than argue costs early on (which might turn you off of them). Later, though, they may be less inclined to meet you halfway.


Essential Wedding Tips

#6 - Know Who You're Feeding

This one can really take you by surprise if you’re not careful and organised… Feeding the team who are working for you on the day of the wedding. Before you sign any contract, always check that you’re not required to serve the same meal to your vendors as your guests. You could wind up paying for 20 additional three courses of fine dining. Choose a less expensive (but equally tasty and filling) meal for them instead. You will have to let your wedding caterer know a few of days before the wedding exactly how many vendors you need to feed (don’t forget photography assistants and band technicians) and what you want them to serve.

Know What You’re Going To Do About Guest Children – Some Quick Tips

Quick Tip No.1
Decide on a Children Policy EARLY
Four choices:
1) You can welcome children with open arms;
2) you can decide to have an “adults only” wedding;
3) you can include immediate family only; or,
4) you can hire a child care service to provide day care either at the reception space, in a hotel room or at a family member’s home.
To prevent hurt feelings, it’s wise to avoid allowing some families to bring children while excluding others (unless, of course, the children are in your bridal party)..

Quick Tip No.2
If you have children in the ceremony, tape a coin where you want them to stand. Tell them the coin is theirs after the ceremony if they stand still.

Quick Tip No.3
Have your ushers or groomsmen seat parents of very young children near the end of rows in the church ceremony so they can make a quick and quiet exit if their child starts crying during ceremony.

Quick Tip No.4
Have plenty of games (board games or activities) available at the reception – even a paper tablecloth and crayons for immediate distraction! Remember: a bored child is an irritable (and irritating) child at a wedding.

Quick Tip No.5
Give kids special jobs at the wedding reception too, like making sure everyone has signed the guest book, handing out favours or slices of cake..

Quick Tip No.6
Offer to put guests with young children in touch with one another so parents can go in together on the cost of a babysitter.

Essential Wedding Tips

#7 - Prepare for Rejection

Know that as a rule, about 30% of the people you invite won’t attend. Naturally, this depends on the location of your wedding (destination weddings are harder to attend), how many out-of-towners are on your list, and the timing of the event (some guests may have annual holiday or summer plans).

Essential Wedding Tips

#8 - Make it About Your Guests

Make your life easier by making your guests’ lives easier:

 

  1. Release Rooms. As soon as you’ve picked a date, start to look for hotels in a wide variety of price points. Many hotels allow you to reserve rooms for guests under a special wedding block and a reduced rate. You can then release any unbooked rooms a month prior to your wedding. If the hotels you contact insist upon contracts with cancellation penalties, just say no—you don’t want to be responsible for rooms you can’t fill.
  2. Provide Accurate Driving Instructions. Make sure guests know where they’re going. As easy as online map programs are to use, sometimes the directions are wrong or there’s a quicker, less traffic-prone route to take. Ask your ceremony and reception sites for printouts or digital copies of recommended driving directions and even test out the routes yourself. Then include the best directions on your wedding website if you’re having one) or email them to your guests to print out if they’d like.
Essential Wedding Tips

#9 - Make Your Ceremony Personal to You

Create a personalised ceremony so it is more memorable. This is easy to do with the many wedding books available today, or even better using an Independent Celebrant can really give it that spark of originality… Some things to consider:

 

  1. Don’t try to memorise your vows. You will be able to relax if you rely on the celebrant/officiant to prompt you.
  2. Don´t worry if you don´t have the same number of bridesmaids as groomsmen. There´s no rule dictating that the numbers be even, and having an uneven number will make things even more interesting.
  3. If you´re lighting candles during your ceremony, be sure that there aren´t any decorative beads, ribbon or lace around the candles—they can easily catch fire.
  4. Instead of having the minister face the congregation, have them stand with their back to the congregation so your friends and family can see your faces. Or have you and your beloved stand face-to-face throughout the ceremony instead.
  5. Know How To Plan Your Wedding Ceremony Music (follow my guidance here)
Essential Wedding Tips

#10 - Organise Your Reception Correctly

  1. Work Out The Details Of Your Wedding Reception (read some great reception planning tips here).
  2. Consider Wedding Reception Flowers and Decorating Accents (check out my helpful hints).
  3. Evaluating A Wedding Reception Location (click here to learn how).
  4. Provide finger food and drinks for guests while your wedding photos are being taken
  5. If you can afford it, a professional Master of Ceremonies / Toastmaster will keep everything running smoothly. If you are using a DJ, they may be able to fill this role.
  6. Be sure the Best Man and others you want to be sure to give toasts are aware of their role BEFORE the wedding. That gives them time to prepare. Remember, many people are afraid of speaking in public so the more preparation time they have the easier it will be for them.
  7. Prepare a schedule for the reception, especially if you have a deadline for being out of the reception hall. You don’t want to feel rushed when it is time to cut the cake, throw the bouquet/garter and all those little last minute events.

So There We Have Our Ten Essential Wedding Tips!

If you follow these and really get to grips with managing your wedding day IN ADVANCE, there is really absolutely no reason why you should be stressed on the day.

You can enjoy the memories you are creating instead!

Ceremonies For All

For Life’s Journey is a proud advocate for LGBTQ+ rights and it is our privilege to provide ceremonies for same-sex couples and members of the LGBTQ+ community as well as for heterosexual partnerships.

 

Ceremonies For All

For Life’s Journey is a proud advocate for LGBTQ+ rights and it is our privilege to provide ceremonies for same-sex couples and members of the LGBTQ+ community as well as for heterosexual partnerships.

 

Let's Discuss Your Needs

Starting with an informal chat, we'll take it from there...

TUIRENN

An Irish Name
pronounced:
TEER-an

BASED IN CHESHIRE

But willing to travel worldwide.

Most of our ceremonies designed & delivered in Cheshire East, South Manchester & North Staffs

Let's Discuss Your Needs

Starting with an informal chat, we'll take it from there...

Let’s Connect

|||

Ceremonies for Couples

Wedding Ceremonies

Make your day special

Renewal of Vows

Reaffirm your love together

Commitment Ceremonies

Commitment without marriage

Handfasting Ceremonies

An ancient tradition

Speech & Vow Writing

How can we help you?

Separation Ceremonies

Divorce & Separation

Celebrancy FAQs

All you need to know about working with a celebrant…

Always Choose Qualified

Check that your celebrant is FULLY qualified to ensure the best service!

The Perfect Ceremony

Memorable ceremonies are created through sharing what makes you “you”…

Celebrancy FAQs

All you need to know about working with a celebrant…

Always Choose Qualified

Check that your celebrant is FULLY qualified to ensure the best service!

The Perfect Ceremony

Memorable ceremonies are created through sharing what makes you “you”…