1 No matter how organised you are, find a friend or outsider to assist you during the process. This will be particularly handy as you approach your wedding day as you will need to hand over control and responsibility. It’s best if that person has a clear overview of your vision.
2 Budget, budget, budget. It’s important to be honest with yourself, your partner, your teams and your wedding coordinator when it comes to your budget. Set it and stick to it to avoid overspending.
3 Make a list of the décor ideas that you would like to try. Test these out as soon as possible. Keep notes of how long they took to complete and the costs involved. This will help you eliminate the less practical ideas and give you some valuable tips you can pass on to the décor team.
4 Where it’s impossible to avoid using a traditional supplier, don’t be afraid to ask for a discount.
5 Keep a running list of all the contact names and numbers for the big day. Make sure you give a copy of this to your coordinator or maid of honour so that someone other than you has the information necessary to solve problems in the days leading up to the wedding. At that stage you’ll be too busy to worry about the little details.
6 When selecting a venue, be honest about your plans. Ensure they’re comfortable with your DIY ideas and that they allow things such as music and self-catering. Also, ensure they are happy for you to set up a day in advance and clean up the day after, and if there is an extra fee for this.
7 Don’t be afraid to be flexible. ‘If you can’t find a team of white horses and a glass carriage, it’s ok to make use of that Rolls Royce you’ve been offered,’ says Jo.
8 Get creative! Send e-invitations to guests, name your tables after your favourite childhood shows, wear a purple wedding dress, have a different theme for each table, and so on. This is your day and you have the power to make it uniquely yours. If it fits in with your vision of your dream wedding, make it happen!
9 ‘Consider hiring a photographer only to take official portraits, but then ask all the guests to take as many pictures as possible of the rest of the day and share them with you,’ says Jo.
10 Prioritise and invest in the important things. Take a look at all the elements involved in realising your dream day. Now examine your available resources and budget and prioritise. You can’t get married without a marriage official, rings, a venue and food, but perhaps you don’t need a budget-breaking wedding car or a make-up artist.