Grand Designs

Weddings involve lots of planning, and no matter how excited you are about organising your big day, this can be a quite a stressful time. From the moment you get engaged, you are faced with a never-ending barrage of decisions; everything from menus and music to dresses and décor. Even those brides who are ultra-organised might find that they need a little extra help.

Traditionally, the mother of the bride and chief bridesmaid are the first port of call when assistance is required. However, modern weddings tend to be quite complex affairs, in addition to which many of these erstwhile wedding helpers are very busy themselves, and may not have as much time as they’d like to take on a host of new tasks. Luckily for contemporary brides, there are many different ways in which to lighten the load!

There’s no shortage of handy hints to help you get more organised, from compiling all your correspondence, notes, photos and other inspiration in a three-ring binder, to setting up a special email address just for your wedding. Countdown calendars are useful here as they help you to pace yourself and tackle planning and décor details one at a time (see our handy guide on Page …).

Downloading a wedding app is another great way to make things a little less tricky and a lot more fun. Current top-rated wedding planning apps (which are also free to download) include ‘WeddingHappy’, ‘Our Wedding Planner’, ‘iWedPlanner’, ‘LadyMarry Wedding App’ and ‘Joy’, as well as the local ‘Appy ever After’. There are also those that help you organise specific details, like ‘Table Plan’, ‘Wedding Decoration Ideas’ and ‘Honeyfund Wedding Registry’.

Despite having all these tools at their disposal, many brides find that nothing beats the services of a professional wedding planner. A coordinator brings with them a wealth of knowledge – what’s hot in wedding themes, who’s who in the wedding industry, where to find the ideal venue, and how to get you the best possible deals. In the end, you’ll need to weigh up how much your time is worth and whether or not you have enough know-how to plan such an intricate event.  At the very least, think about hiring a coordinator to take care of the wedding day itself, leaving you free to savour every special moment.

While a number of venues provide in-house managers, do find out exactly what they are able to offer you. Most will only take care of specific wedding-day issues and give you a list of their preferred service providers, so hiring your own dedicated wedding coordinator is most likely still a good idea. At the outset you might think that hiring a coordinator is simply an additional expense; however, remember that in the long run they may well be able to save you money.