By Avanish Anand.

Avanish Anand

Planning: Once you have set a date, start planning and remember, it’s never too early. The quicker you start, the more time you have to plan. Advanced planning gives you time to visit venues and source all you require for the big day, including sought-after venues and vendors who get booked up well in advance. So, planning is key and removes stress.

Budget: It is important to set a budget before starting. It’s very easy to get carried away with so much on offer from the wedding industry and forget about the little spends, which quickly add up. Once you set a budget, add a figure for miscellaneous costs that can range from car hire to stationery. A good wedding planner or consultant will help you calculate a budget and encourage you to stick to it. Wedding planners have access to vendors, venues and knowledge, so they can help you negotiate and get preferred rates.

Helping hands: Family and friends are more than willing to help. Be comforted by knowing that trusted people around you will be there throughout. Delegation is key as you will know everyone’s hidden skills. Loved ones will be thrilled to know you trust them to take care of things for your big day and will do whatever it takes.

Guest list: Drawing up a guest list early is important so you can focus on selecting a desired venue that caters for your chosen number. This will be the biggest and hardest decision in the planning process and remember, it’s up to you, so don’t feel guilt-tripped into inviting extended family and friends you don’t know. Concentrating on the quality of guests over quantity will save costs per head that can be spent elsewhere.

Destination: It’s easy to oversee the logistics when you have a beautiful venue. Think about travel time for guests; check access to hotels and availability of rooms and provide correct directions to the venue. See if vendors have access the day before, if parking facilities are available and any regulations they need to adhere to. These are just a
few points to consider if you do not have a wedding planner or advisor. Destination weddings are always magical, but you need to double check everything if you choose that option.

Plan B: Having a back-up plan is something we all dread, but sometimes things don’t always go as expected. From a catering crisis to unpredictable weather and transport issues, anything is possible. An established caterer will already have a plan B in place and so should you. If the wedding is outdoors, plan for rain and have a sewing kit handy to mend any damage to your outfits. Take out wedding insurance for peace of mind if things
do go wrong. A wedding planner can arrange this and make it less stressful for the couple.

Photographers: You will want to capture and relive your cherished memories, so it’s very important that you do your homework in selecting a highly recommended and experienced photographer. They will understand your requirements and work with you. It’s vital that you meet a number of photographers before making a decision. Where possible, try having the same person covering all the wedding functions.

Looking your best: Looking good is feeling good, which boosts confidence, not to mention
helping with nerves. Make sure you opt for make-up trials before booking the artist. Your
outfits should complement you and each other, and make sure you are dressed for the time of year. For grooms there are many services available from turban tying to beard grooming. A personal shopper and stylist will be able to create a great look for each ceremony. Personal shoppers are able to build your wedding wardrobe from outfits to jewellery, shoes and accessories. It is worth hiring them to create your whole wedding theme. Remember, that family and friends can also benefit from their services.

Health: Your well being is very important, along with a good nutritious diet and exercise. Don’t let the pressure of planning a perfect day make you lose sleep. Drinking plenty of water will keep you energised, while looking picture perfect. Get rest, keep the mind calm and make use of wedding planners and/or loved ones.

It’s about you: Last but not least, remember the wedding is about the two of you. Incorporate your personalities into your big day, from your outfits to the stationery
and décor. Enjoy every moment and make memories that will last a lifetime.

  • Avanish Anand of Tash Tastik Media is an experienced professional wedding planner. He
    has expert knowledge in areas including bespoke design and theming, personal shopping, styling, pre-wedding events, international destination weddings, luxury experiences, bespoke menus, and supplier and service management.

Creative ideas for the big day.

MORE couples than ever before are adding extra special touches to their weddings and thinking of innovative ways of making the big day even more amazing. With that in mind, Eastern Eye spoke to wedding experts, couples and looked online to find some great out-of-the-box ideas that will help make your wedding stand out.

Seating: Instead of going with the traditional seating of two blocks, arrange the chairs in a semi-circular pattern so everyone gets a much better view of proceedings.

Invites: Include a section on the RSVP requesting guests to write down a song they
promise to dance to at the reception.

Tables: The couple can add a humorous touch by putting photographs of themselves at different ages to correspond with the table numbers. They can also leave fun facts about themselves on the tables for guests to enjoy.

Social media: Make a unique hashtag and share it with your wedding guests, so you
can see all the photographs that are uploaded from the big day on social media sites
like Instagram and Twitter. Put it on invites and perhaps on a blackboard at the wedding or a signboard.

Ring bearer: Make the young ring bearer stand out with a T-shirt reading ‘ring security guard’ on it or a superhero cape with a ring emblem.

Bouquets: The bride can pin something sentimental on the bouquet like small photographs
of loved ones. The bridesmaids can replace their traditional bouquets with perhaps a
giant paper flower each.

Letters: The couple can write each other love letters, which can be sealed in boxes for future anniversaries and opened on each one. Wedding guests can write notes in a separate box, which can be opened on the first anniversary.

Photographs: Add a fun element by hiring a free photo-booth for guests to enjoy or even a caricature artist. Perhaps take a photograph of the rings with a newspaper from the day of the wedding. Find photographers who think creatively.

Cake: Get fun cake toppers designed where the couple’s likeness is captured. Give guests to-go boxes to take cake home.

Wedding favours: Instead of creating a generic wedding favour, let guests fill up bags with candy of their choice.

Flower girls: Instead of getting a young child to do the honours, why not add a heart-warming touch by getting grandmothers or female family elders involved by letting them be flower girls.

Signatures: Instead of getting loved ones to just sign a guest book with a message, why not leave them notes where they can write advice for you and perhaps get them to sign a calendar with their birthdays and anniversaries.

In memory: Honour relatives who have passed away by having photographs of them in frames at the wedding and perhaps leave flowers in front of the pictures that guests can pin on themselves as a tribute.

Shoes: Instead of having painful feet on the dance floor, swap the heels for trainers with customised wedding signs on them.