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Planning a wedding is a mammoth task. There are infinite options you can consider and a host of checklists and services open to you. It is probably the most exciting, nerve wrecking, expensive, time consuming and joyous time of your life ! And a day nobody wants to get wrong. So here is a list of 14 things you do need for your wedding that you might not think about.

  1. Professional Wedding Suppliers
    I can’t stress enough how important it is to work with professional wedding suppliers. Those whose full time job it is to provide the wedding goods or services you are engaging. While its lovely if a friend with an interest in photography or flowers offers to provide the service as a gift, unless they are a professional, this is a bad idea.
  2. A Wedding Day Coordinator
    I’ll let you in on a secret, I’m a Wedding Planner, but I don’t think everyone needs a Wedding Planner, in fact many don’t, but everyone needs a Wedding Day Coordinator. As distinct from your Venue Coordination {often called a Wedding Coordinator or Wedding Planner – which is very misleading} a Wedding Day Coordinator helps you in those last few weeks before your wedding to ensure everything important is done, arranged, confirmed and bought. They help you compile your Wedding Day Schedule and ensure everyone knows what they are doing and when. They are with you on the day to ensure all goes to plan and help/ assist/ fix any problems as they arise. As distinct from your Venue Coordinator , a Wedding Day Coordinator is concerned with the whole wedding day – not just want happens at the venue. A Wedding Day Coordinator is there to ensure you and your guests get the very best out of your wedding day.
  3. A Wedding Day Schedule
    Every wedding needs a wedding day schedule and someone to manage it. Every supplier and wedding party member needs to know what they should be doing and when. Your wedding day schedule should include the timings for everything that is to happen on the day, who is responsible for them and their contact details. If deliveries are being made, the items and quantities should be listed as well as any other important details. Ideally your Wedding Day Coordinator will help you compile, confirm and manage this but in the event you’ve chosen not to have one, you will need to assign a responsible wedding party member, family or friend to do this for you.
  4. A contingency fund
    Unless you’ve planned multiple weddings before its unlikely you have an accurate sense of what wedding services or products cost. And unless you’ve been planning your wedding {secretly} since you were a little boy or girl, it’s probably that you don’t know all the options available to you – and believe me, there are a lot! So with this in mind, it’s a very good idea to have a contingency fund within your budget for items that might be more expensive than you thought or for something that you have to have that you never knew about before! I always suggest somewhere between 10% – 20% of your overall budget is a good amount.
  5. To pick & choose your wedding traditions
    Over the years weddings haven’t changed massively. All have a ceremony, drinks reception/ cocktail hour, meal and dancing. What has changed is how we personalise them. Couples now spend a huge amount of time considering what they want from their wedding and what they want the day to reflect.
    Like most ceremonies that are performed throughout life and around the world there are a number of traditions, depending on the circumstance and culture that accompany them. Like with choosing what type of ceremony {religious, civil, symbolic} is the better fit for you as a couple, it’s also important to choose which traditions work best for you as well; as each has its own special meaning and place during the day.
  6. To arrange wedding day supplier meals
    Most of your wedding suppliers are not with you on or throughout the day, but there are a few who are; namely your Wedding Day Coordinator or Planner, Photographer, Videographer and possibly your Hair & Make Up People. Some will have it written into their contracts, but regardless, it a good idea to arrange to have them fed, especially if they are with you until your meal. Do not feed them at a table with your guests. They are not a wedding day guest and often those guests who are sat with wedding suppliers can be offended. Feeding them in the venue bar or another room is more appropriate. Remember, this is essentially their ‘lunch time’ and they will need a few down minutes themselves.
  7. A comfortable pair of shoes
    It goes without saying to break in your shoes before your wedding day { that goes for the men too! }. And ladies, if you’ve chosen to splurge on a coveted pair of designer heels for the day { which often exceed 4 inches and more } definitely have a pair of comfy flats / flip flops / runners / slippers with you on the day. It can be a very long day, where you will be stood for most of it so you’re feet will thank you ! {And remember if your dress is long they won’t be seen!}
  8. To think about what photos you definitely want
    A professional photographer will of course know to capture a whole host of important shots on your wedding day. However if there are any specific or special shots that you want to see or expect to see in your wedding album either discuss them with the photographer or give a list in advance of the wedding. Having that {disappointed} conversation after the wedding is too late!
  9. To be decisive
    It is one thing to consider your options and see what is available to you, but it’s an entirely different thing to just not make a decision. You might think you’re being a great bride or groom saying you’re easygoing and ‘what do you think’? or continually say ‘I’ll think about it’ or ‘whatever you think is best’ – but this is your day and you are paying for it. For one, if you take such a relaxed, ‘easy going’ approach and you are not happy with the results you have nobody to blame. Get as much information as you need to make an informed decision on the options you are considering. And remember, it’s ok to say no and decide against something – just remember to tell the supplier.
  10. Wedding Insurance
    Second to buying a house {or a luxury car} your wedding day is possibly the single largest amount of money you’ll spend at once. It’s also a complex day involving many ‘moving’ parts. While no one wants to think of things going wrong on their wedding day, they can and do. A way to protect yourself from some losses is to take out wedding insurance. Like with any insurance there are different policies that cover different aspects of a wedding so it’s a good idea to investigate your options thoroughly.
  11. Say ‘no thank you’ to suppliers you don’t want to hire
    The average wedding involves 15 different wedding suppliers. As you search for the wedding suppliers who best provide or fit your wedding you will not doubt contact, meet or speak to up to 100 suppliers as you consider all your options.
    For those who take the time to meet with you, consult with you, provide you with a quotation and follow up with you, take the time to say ‘thank you, but no thank you’ to them. One it’s the polite thing to do and Two it will mean they no longer have to use their valuable time to chase up with you whether or not you’d like to use their services.
  12. Eat breakfast the morning of the wedding
    A wedding day is both the longest and quickest day of your life, filled with some many emotions. As most ceremonies take place around lunch time { between noon and 3pm}, if you don’t have a breakfast often it can be 6pm/7pm before you get to eat… {have you ever seen a couple manage to eat something at their drink reception or cocktail hour between photos and chatting to guests ?!}
  13. A bottle of water for after the ceremony
    I remember on my own wedding day we were just about to walk back down the aisle after saying ‘I do’ and I turned to my new husband to speak and I couldn’t talk. My mouth was as dry as a wooden god – as they say. It was at this point my photographer handed me a bottle of water and I could have married him ! A combination of nerves, excitement and exchanging your vows will result in the worst case of dry mouth ever ! A definite must is to have a bottle of water close by so that you can have a sip as soon as you walk back down that aisle.
  14. To decide on whether you want an on or off line wedding
    Wi-fi and Smartphones have made the world a very public place and before you’ve even walked down the aisle; details of your wedding dress and style could be plastered all over every social media platform.
    Some couples embrace this and even choose specific wedding day hashtags so they can look at everything later but for others it’s a very private day that they don’t want shared with the world and its wifi wife.
    Decide what you want in advance and be sure to inform your guests. If you say nothing, your wedding will end up online in some shape or form.

Author Bio: Bláithín O’ Reilly Murphy is a Wedding Planner & Author based in Dublin, Ireland. Over the last ten years she has worked with couples from all over the world, planning weddings in Ireland and Abroad. Her favourite things to do include shopping for designer handbags, organising a messy drawer and fostering little kittens. You can stalk her on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and hire her through The Wedding Expert.

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