It is kind of ironic that one of the most exciting times of your young, loved-up life can also be some of the most stressful times. Though we sometimes wish it was as simple as booking a West End restaurant for dinner, things start getting a lot more complicated when you start calculating the seating arrangements and trying on outfits. Thankfully, there are a number of wedding planning problems that occur time and time again, meaning that by learning from collective experience, you can avoid them.
Of course, we would know! As members of the Montcalm Club know very well, there are several venues available within our hotels spread throughout London. That means we see (and help!) couples from all over the world arrange their big day.
Here’s what to keep in mind.
A common mistake made during the planning stages of a wedding is for the bride and groom to invite more people they can fit in the venue, with the assumption that some people will say no. However, this can be a recipe for disaster, especially if everyone says yes. This can lead to a world of unnecessary stress and potential fall-outs along the way. It is best to avoid this approach, though it is understandably difficult to exclude people and statistically, a fair few probably won’t be able to make it. A better approach is to wait for RSVP’s to start filtering through and then consider sending more invites out. In general, though, you are best not to exceed the venue’s capacity, because plans change and people become available at a whim sometimes. You don’t want guests watching from the rafters!
A tactical way around this is to host a bigger reception than the ceremony. If you find that you are having to keep too many people away from the ceremony, it can be a good idea to keep that really small – maybe just close family and the wedding party – and then get a bigger reception venue to entertain your extended list of friends and family who wish to celebrate with you on your special day.
On the note of invites, it is also important that you at least know the venue before you send out Save The Dates. Though it is difficult to resist the impulse when you are excited to get the ball rolling, it is important to know your limits before you start accidentally exceeding them.
If you had some sort of formula to avoid bad weather on your wedding day, you would probably be knighted. Until this otherworldly mathematician comes along, though, you have to face a simple fact which is, unfortunately, especially if you are hosting a wedding in London, the weather is largely out of your control. Forecasts and predictions are obviously helpful indicators but try and plan your day so that the show goes on no matter what is happening in the sky.
While you won’t be able to ensure the weather is just how you want it, knowing that it will never be just how you want it can be just as helpful. Plan for every weather event, and make sure there is enough space for everyone in a sheltered space if it rains. Don’t pick destinations without concrete walkways, either, as you don’t want your heeled guests to get stuck in the mud. Wherever possible, plan the event so that the weather is simply an added atmospheric feature rather than something to work around or rely upon.
Booking in advance
A classic problem people planning their wedding face is that their guests from out of town aren’t able to stay overnight. This is 100% avoidable in London, though, given the sheer number of London hotel packages and London hotels special offers. Last-minute bookings can be risky, though, so to stop accommodation from being an issue during your planning process, make sure your guests know the venue or at least general location as soon as possible.
This ties into booking the venue. While it can be a big choice and there are several excellent destinations, the earlier you book the venue, the fewer problems you will face – which is illustrated in the Save The Date conundrum. This is mainly because it means all future planning – like seating arrangements or even parking arrangements – follow suit and are most manageable once the venue is set. Basically, booking the venue as far in advance as possible will make many future problems extinct.
If there is one thing that will insight immediate dread in any bride or groom, it is the prospect of a stained wedding dress or ripped suit at a point where it is too late to do anything permanent. However, there are a few tricks and tips on how to make cosmetic repairs on the big day. In a little bag in your dressing room, keep the following: white and black fabric tape (or whatever colour the groom’s suit is). While this is not quite a repair to a rip, it is hardly noticeable and a great make-shift technique that will at least ensure the hole doesn’t get any bigger, caught up on anything, or become visible in pictures. Another useful hack is to keep a compact pot of stain remover. Remember: the quicker you attend to a stain, the easier it is to remove. So, without making too much of a fuss, if you end up with a splodge of red wine down your torso, it is best to nip off and sort it out ASAP. Other NB things to keep with you are plasters for uncomfortable shoes and blisters, as well as some makeup wipes to touch up any casualties after a successful round of speeches.
There are always going to be unexpected surprises along the way, but the knowledge of some of the most common ones can be critical in helping you avoid them on your big day. It is especially important to remember that although things going smoothly is a desirable outcome for both your sanity and your enjoyment, this is essentially your day for celebration and a few slip-ups are not worth jeopardising that. Just plan ahead, keep a cool head and pack some emergency blister plasters, and you are bound to have an enjoyable and happy day with your partner and loved ones.
Need some help? Get in touch with us to find out more about venues, event planning services, and catering options.