5 tips to help you stay sane in your wedding planning

You don’t normally associate the topics of getting married and mental health, but it’s Queensland Mental Health Week and planning a wedding can be a huge stressor for many couples. If you’re beginning to feel the strain, it’s important to take a step back and think about your mental wellbeing as you plan your future life together. While that one milestone day is important to celebrate your love and commitment to each other, it is essential to minimise stress and anxiety before the big day.

Here are the top five tips we recommend to reduce stress on your wedding day:

Ask for support

This is a special day that you will remember forever, however, you’re not the only ones who are going to be enjoying a wonderful day – your family and friends are as much a part of the day as you and your partner so don’t take on all the work yourselves. Ask for help and support where you can. If you have one of those awkward family dynamic situations that doesn’t work well together then plan for this early – don’t leave it to the last minute. You know everyone’s personalities, so choose carefully who you rely on and make sure your requests for assistance are reasonable too. You can’t expect everyone to be quite as committed as you are either, so give people realistic deadlines and be appreciative of the small things.

Plan ahead

Do as much as you can before the big day and if your budget allows, use professionals. If your budget is more modest then ask your family and friends to help set up on the day and pick someone completely trustworthy to act as coordinator on the day. You don’t want to be worrying about the chair covers or floral centrepieces before you walk down the aisle.

Make sure you get your wedding dress with enough time to make any last-minute changes if required and make sure that at your final fitting you try the dress on with the underwear you plan to wear. Some things, like the cake and the flowers, have to be collected at the last minute, but most items you need can be collected days or weeks in advance and the more things you tick off the list early the better. If items need to be moved around on the day, or positioned at specific places make sure you have detailed someone you trust implicitly to make sure it happens, maybe even do a dry-run in the days or weeks before to practice.

 

Communicate your priorities

You can’t please everyone, as much as you might want to. From the very start of the planning stage it is good to understand your own expectations, along with the expectations of other people who play a key role in your lives and will be essential to your wedding day. Avoiding discussions about big items, such as the budget, can create significant problems as you approach your wedding day. So be clear in your priorities and plan around the key components and people, being upfront and honest is usually the best policy, with family, friends and vendors.

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Photo credit: Masterpieces Photography + Video

Trust in the professionals

If your budget has allowed for a team of professionals, utilise their skills and services to the fullest extent. Set clear expectations and ask questions early in the planning stages. It can be very hard to alter plans once the day is in progress, and even harder if the plans were ambiguous to begin with. So be kind to your vendors, meet with them, fill in their forms and ask questions. They want to make your day magical, but they need you to help them do that. Trust their skills and experience, and be in the moment on your day, not counting seats, or worrying about how bright the lights are.

 

 Let it go

Sometimes things don’t go to plan, but how you react to unplanned events can be the difference between a good celebration and a bad one. We have attended so many weddings where the bride or groom gets upset about something that the guests haven’t noticed. All the guests see is a bride or groom who doesn’t look like this is the happiest day of their lives. This isn’t the lasting impression you want to give to you friends and family. In contrast we have attended weddings where so many things have gone wrong – massive storms, people running late, bouquets falling apart, ripped bridesmaid dresses in inappropriate places to name but a few – yet they have been some of the best celebrations we’ve seen because the couple took things in their stride and just made the most of the day.

So, take stock. What is really important to you about your big day? That is your priority in the planning and on the actual day.

If things get on top you, it might be time to talk to someone. Maybe your partner, your BFF, your mum, or your mother-in-law. Whoever you feel most comfortable with to raise your concerns. You’ve heard the old saying about a problem shared. It really does work. A different perspective might be the calming conversation you need.

And if you don’t think that’s going to work, for someone completely independent and unbiased to talk to about a personal crisis you can contact Lifeline

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Photo Credit: Masterpieces Photography +Video
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Diamonds are a girl’s best friend

xennox_wfml002-1You know we love fashion, champagne, and diamonds – I mean who doesn’t? So an invitation to the UNVEILED bridal showcase featuring the sublime designs of Vanessa Hoe from When Freddie Met Lilly in the opulent surrounds of Xennox Diamonds on the Queen Street Mall in Brisbane was an opportunity we simply couldn’t miss.

The event, feeling much more like an elegant party, was in full swing as we arrived, with the champagne and espresso martini cocktails flowing. Xennox has created a fabulous space to showcase their stunning bling and, like most of the ladies there, I simply couldn’t resist the temptation to try on a little (OK, $34,000 worth), of it – in my a case a modern cut Pink Argyle diamond ring! Sadly sanity prevailed and it had to go back into the display cabinet … this time.

xennox_wfml009-8With the fashion show a highlight of the night, it was Karl Schwantes himself who launched the show with a rousing introduction before highlights from Vanessa’s most recent collections, together with some teasers from her new range, made their way around the runway. The showstopping start, featuring jewellery against the backdrop of stylish black bodysuits was followed by a selection of stunning wedding and formal gowns, as well as some of the elements from the new two-piece range that can be mixed and matched to create the look you want.

Xennox will be hosting these events at intervals throughout the year so if you get the opportunity you should get along.

Photography and Video by Masterpieces Photography + Video

 

How to keep your groom engaged in wedding planning

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In most situations, it is the groom who instigates the wedding planning process when he gets down on one knee and utters those long awaited words. But very soon after that initial thrill (and maybe a little terror), of the proposal, the admiring looks of the ring on your finger and the endless retelling of your love story for cooing family and friends, it quickly becomes apparent to most grooms that weddings are all about the bride! Like it was ever going to be any other way! The sad truth is that most blokes simply aren’t that interested in the nitty gritty of centrepieces, coordinated stationery and chair cover colours and for many the wedding planning process quickly loses it’s lustre. If your H2B isn’t in this category then you can rejoice and enjoy the choices you make together in this time. However, if you’re not quite so lucky, we’ve compiled a list of the best ways to keep your groom motivated and invested in your wedding planning.

  1. Book a meaningful venue. Make sure your groom is happy with the ceremony and reception venues. A mutual choice will mean so much more to both of you on the day. The reception usually takes up the largest portion of the budget so being on the same page will definitely start the planning off in the right direction.
  2. Book into food tasting opportunities. Enjoy the fun that comes with planning a wedding together. Book in to taste your wedding cake, and your reception menu and, with most guys loving a feed, they will find the time to fit it into their schedule.
  3. Choose the right wedding events. Attend smaller more intimate wedding open days or expos with your fiancé, and leave the large, full-on, wedding expos to enjoy with your bridesmaids. There are a growing number of events for grooms too. So if he’s into whisky tasting, or learning how to tie the perfect bow tie, this could be the perfect opportunity to introduce a new venue option.
  4. Don’t sweat the little things and compromise. What’s important to your groom should be important to you. So if he prefers a certain wine to be served, or band to play, then make sure you consider his suggestions. The wedding you’ve dreamed of now has the most important element, your perfect partner, so all the other things should be open to compromise. A little latitude with the big ticket items will make it much easier to push through your smaller choices.
  5. Guest list and seating plans. Who gets invited and where they sit is a huge part of enjoying the celebrations. So make your groom’s life easy and consider his family and friends, just as you do yours. Both of you will be much more relaxed if you avoid contentious issues raising their heads at the reception.
  6. Photos! Guys are much less likely to enjoy having their photo taken, so make sure your partner is comfortable with the choice of photographer. Consider booking an engagement or pre-wedding shoot so he has the chance to get to know your photographer and becomes more relaxed with the idea of being in front of the camera for the day.

Most of these points are relevant even if your partner is 100% interested in the planning process. As you join your lives together consider your partner and how you can both enjoy the day with your family and friends.

Image: Masterpieces Photography + Video

We love this – wooden bow ties

Something for the groom …

It can be hard to find something both unique and stylish for the groom at your wedding.

It is easy to find the kitch and geeky, but let’s be honest, that’s not style.

It’s a joke that can often goes wrong.

Even if your man doesn’t like shopping, and trying on suits sounds like torture, there’s a new trend that he’ll love – the wooden bow tie.

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So here’s the benefits:

  • You don’t have to learn how to tie a bow tie
  • they stay looking perfect no matter what you do
  • they are super stylish
  • they go with any suit
  • and we love them!

Head over to Issue Four of The Wedding Alley and see how amazing the wooden tie really does look.

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Wooden bow tie from Thousand Island Dressing New Farm

Photo credit:
Photography – Masterpieces Photography + Video
Suit – When Freddie Met Lilly
Model – Sam – Katz Model Management

Groom Pressure?

According to a recent survey by Mintel, 32% of men are overwhelmed by wedding planning.  Fascinatingly, and perhaps somewhat surprisingly, the figure for women was only 42% – not really that much difference considering the majority-role society tends to assume women take in the planning of the nuptials.

So are man taking on more in the planning of weddings? According to Fiona O’Donnell, lifestyle and leisure analyst at Mintel says:

“As grooms take on a more active role in wedding planning, it’s understandable that their stress level surrounding these decisions will escalate. They aren’t exactly ‘groom-zillas,’ but they are feeling the pressure.”

Image Credit: Suit by When Freddie Met Lilly Photography by Masterpieces Photography Model - Trent
Image Credit:
Suit by When Freddie Met Lilly
Photography by Masterpieces Photography
Model – Trent

Here’s the real kicker though – men are having a say in the choice of the bridal gown! A hugely surprising 19% of grooms stated that they were solely or mostly responsible for selecting the bridal gown.  So where is tradition in this day and age?  For fans of Downtown Abbey, and the many similar costume dramas, it’s bad luck to see the groom before the wedding.  Have these long-held traditions been forgotten, or are we just disregarding them?

Well I’d like to think about the perfect day, and a big part of that is the thought of my soon to be husband seeing that first glimpse of me in the gown walking down the aisle.  Yes, my finance and I regularly discuss the finances, and I may have a limit to the expense of my gown, shoes, veil and accessories, but to me this is a purchase to be shared with my mum and closest friends.  They are the ones who’ll (hopefully) give me the good, and perhaps more importantly, the honest advice.  That’s the guidance a bride really needs.

So would I want my fiancé’s input into the choice of my perfect gown?  I think not.  So many of the males that I know would get it all wrong. Let’s face facts, if your fiancé gives you really great advice on dressing you might be inclined to think they were “batting for the other team”.  Sure, that’s an appalling generalisation, and there are certainly plenty of men with good dress sense, but more likely they have a wife or girlfriend who assists with the shopping and who lays out their clothes.  Am I cutting too close to the bone?  Or maybe I’ve got it completely wrong.

At the end of the day I want my finances’ opinion, but not necessarily on my dream dress. My fantasy is to look amazing and to have his jaw drop totally stunned by the gorgeous woman about to become his wife.