“What I wish all brides knew.”

In the course of her work, marketing manager Janet Gericke has seen some 260 000 brides visit The Wedding Expo. So trust her advice to ensure that your big day will be a piece of cake.

Stick to your budget

Research prices before you put together your wedding budget, rather than the other way around. Remember, even though this is a very special day, it is, hopefully, just one of many special days to come in your future together. Don’t set yourself up for an overdraft – it’s no way to start married life.

Visit an expo

It’s a great place to do research, compare prices and meet service providers – all under the same roof.

Work around that open bar

The bar can be a contentious issue, but don’t be intimidated into thinking you have to pay for everything. If you can, negotiate with the venue to bring your own alcohol and pay corkage, as this is the most cost-effective option and you get to enjoy your own special drinks. Alternatively, serve only wine and champagne. There’s nothing wrong with asking guests to pay for their drinks.

When it comes to décor, less really can be more

You don’t need a big budget to have a beautiful wedding. Find out what your venue can offer from their stock of décor items. Or go bold with a simple seasonal theme, like large bowls of apples or lemons and masses of greenery.

Book in advance

Don’t leave booking your service providers to the last minute, as good venues, photographers and hair and makeup stylists get snapped up quickly, and you don’t want your second choice.

Let go of the stress

Many brides lament the fact that they missed so much of their wedding day because they were worrying about things like the food or how the centrepieces looked. Relax and enjoy it all. And if something goes wrong, remember that your guests don’t know what’s supposed to happen. Besides, any behind-the-scenes mishaps will provide amusing stories to tell at the next dinner party.

Anticipate backseat drives, and ignore them

There may be other people who are sure of what you should do or wear on your big day, but you don’t want to be the couple who wish they’d eloped. Make sure that everything, from the invitations and attire to the venue and food, reflects you and your partner’s personalities.

Remember: it’s the start of your lives together

Yes, the party is important, but it’s not the be all and end all. This is a celebration to begin your journey as a married couple. Don’t let the stress of planning a wedding be at the expense of your marriage.

Suppress your inner bridezilla

The stress of balancing life, work and wedding planning can turn any bride-to-be into a monster. If you feel bridezilla coming on, take a break with your groom, get perspective an drink champagne. And if that doesn’t work, hire a wedding planner to deal with the parts that you’re not copin with. It’s what they’re there for!

NOTE: While working for The Wedding Group I contributed to a number of stories in Glamour magazine. This is one of them which was published in the August2016 issue.
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