A couple on their wedding day (Credit: Getty images)


by ASJAD NAZIR

There is a lot to think about when you are planning a wedding, but keeping organised will make sure everything runs smoothly.

With that in mind, here is Eastern Eye’s simple A to Z guide of key aspects to think about when putting together an unforgettable big day filled with love, laughter, togetherness and great memories that will last forever.

A is for Ambience: The starting point for a wedding is thinking about the perfect atmosphere for the big day. Once this has been decided, then the couple can narrow down the choices of what they both want, which will ultimately allow more time to be designated to other tasks. Discuss what type of ambience will make you happy on the big day and work together to make that dream into a reality. Perhaps create a mood board together and jointly design something that fits in with what you want.

Budget

B is for Budget: Becoming bankrupt isn’t the right way to start a life together and that is why the most important early step is to decide what the budget will be. Having the perfect day doesn’t mean breaking the bank, so create a comfortable budget including any contribution from family members and keep an allocation as contingency for unseen costs that will inevitably arise. Take your time on allocating the budget and get advice from a professional if needed.

C is for Ceremony: There are much bigger things to think about, like feeding the guests, but the heartbeat of the wedding is the ceremony because that is where the couple will become one. Whether you opt for a destination wedding like star couple Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma, a spiritual, religious or a legal ceremony, there are a lot of choices available. Imagine what you want that moment to look like and build everything around it. This should include the entrance and decor.

D is for Dance: You will be the centre of attention at the first dance so make sure it is memorable. Taking dance classes ahead of the wedding reception will not only surprise the guests and make you look great, but will also be a relief from the stress associated with the wedding. Also, create a wedding invitation where guests can write down a song they promise to dance to on the RSVP.

E is for Emergencies: Take a moment to think about emergencies that could occur on the day and be prepared. This could be essentials that may be needed, like a sewing kit, super glue, a first aid box, mints, double sided-tape or what to do if things don’t run on time. Also, expect a change in weather if the wedding is taking place outdoors.

Choose a menu that suits your budget and style

F is for Food: A massively important aspect on the day is feeding the guests and that is why it’s vital to get a reputed and reliable caterer. Choose a menu that suits your budget and style. Also, take into account aspects like dietary requirements and allergies of the guests. Also, find out if the wedding reception venue allows external caterers and do a food tasting in advance.

G is for Guest List: One of the biggest headaches of the wedding is making a guest list. Start by creating a list of all the potential people and then collectively begin an elimination process. Give priority to those who remain connected all year round and close family members. Remember, there is likely to be some last minute additions.

H is for Honeymoon: Booking the honeymoon early on will allow you to get a good deal and will enable you both to know how much money remains for the wedding.
I is for Invitations: The save the date messages go out first and then it should be followed by the invitations two months before the wedding day. It is advised you choose the invitations six-eight months before and then order them four months ahead of the wedding. Include any useful information with the invite such as directions, nearby hotels and other relevant details. Before sending make sure you triple proofread everything on the card. Also, have extra invites ready, make sure you keep one for yourself as a memento and double check if the address is correctly written. Invites can be expensive, so factor that into the budget.

J is for Jewellery: When it comes to wedding jewellery, less is usually more because you don’t want the accessories to overshadow you. Stick to some simple pieces and match the jewellery to the outfits, including considering the neckline of the wedding dress. Of course, take your time selecting the rings.

K is for Kids: Keep the kids entertained by creating an area where there is fun stuff for them to do like games and interacting with other children. Consider providing them goodie bags. Another option could be to hire entertainment for them. Get a family member or a professional entertainer to keep the kids happily occupied.

L is for Location: Whether it is a destination wedding or a reception hall, it is important to take a number of factors into account before choosing a location. Take your time to find the right place and don’t be rushed into putting down a deposit. Choose a venue that aligns with your vision, but also consider things like accessibility and affordability for guests, if it is overseas. Find out about any restrictions the venue might have. Check out the venue beforehand and look for reviews.

Look at previous work the henna artist has done

M is for Make-up/henna: Getting the make-up and henna right will be one of the top most priorities for any bride. Start taking extra care of yourself six months before the wedding with a good skincare routine and drinking plenty of water. Once the make-up artist has been booked, have a trial at least four to five weeks in advance, if not sooner and wear a colour matching your outfit. Look at previous work the henna artist has done. Don’t overdo it or let the make-up/henna artists completely hijack your look. Go armed with ideas to the trial.

N is for Notice: Those who are planning on having a civil wedding ceremony in the UK need to legally give a minimum 28-day notice period to the local register office.

O is for Outfits: You want to look amazing on the big day so choosing the correct outfits for the various ceremonies is very important. Some things to consider are setting a budget, doing plenty of research, having questions for the stylist and trying on the dress before buying it. Remember to pair the outfit with matching shoes. Start shopping for the outfits eight to 12 months in advance.

P is for Planner: More couples than ever before are hiring wedding planners to organise their big day. It is important to do research on the planner and feel comfortable before hiring them. A good planner will ease your stress, will shop around, save time and help you stay within the budget. They will also know the apt questions to ask and about any emergencies that may take place.

Q is for Questions: Write down all the questions you have ahead of meeting suppliers. Remember, you are in charge and they are working for you, so ask whatever is needed.

R is for Romance: There are many ways to add a touch of romance to a wedding and flowers are a perfect way to do this. Stay within the budget by getting flowers that are local and seasonal. You can add personal touches to the venue, food, colour, settings and speeches. Perhaps the greatest way to add romance is with personalised wedding vows, but don’t leave these to the last minute and have plenty of heartfelt emotions along with fun elements.

S is for Suppliers: From the catering and venue to photographer and make-up artist, there will be a lot of wedding suppliers working collectively to make it the best day of your life. It is important to do research before hiring each one and making sure there are legally binding contracts in place with terms you are happy with. Ask for samples and examples of work whenever possible.

T is for Timing: There tend to be unexpected delays when organising such a big event; so have something going on like entertainment to keep guests happy if things are running late. One way to ensure things run on time is to have a wedding planner or someone reliable supervising everything, so you can enjoy the big day. The key is to be organised well in advance and someone reliable to take charge of things.

U is for Unique: One way to make the wedding memorable is to add unique quirky touches like naming the tables after your favourite movie or having a theme, but don’t overdo it and lose the essence of the day. Use your imagination and give guests a new experience.

V is for Videographer/photographer: Memories from the special day will be captured on video and photos. Set your budget before selecting the right people and then look at their previous work before hiring them. Look at hiring experienced professionals and have a contract in place, including time of delivery. Make sure those you are working with are likeable, creative and follow instructions.

W is for World Wide Web: From being a research tool to shopping around and getting useful tips, the internet can be a good friend when planning a wedding. You can also create a website that has all the information about the wedding including photos that can be shared. Also, social media can be used to create a unique hashtag for the guests to upload photos.

X is for X…which is for Kiss: Your first public display of affection as a newly-wed couple will be with a first kiss, so remember to discuss it beforehand. But if you are in a conservative setting, then a hug is fine.

Y is for YOUR day: Irrespective of how many people are involved, how much advice you get and the number of guests, remember, it is your big day. Make sure you enjoy the whole process from planning your big day and create memories that will remain forever.

Z is for Zero regrets: When you look back on the big day there should be zero regrets. Have the wedding of your dreams, create memories that will last a lifetime and look forward to being happily married.