7 ways to save yourself stress while wedding planning

If there is one thing I’ve learned as a Wedding Planner, its that for all the excitement and romance, Wedding planning does tend to feature some stress along the way. As much as the concept of becoming engaged makes ninety percent of the female population excited to within an inch of their inner control-freaks core, lots of women are left feeling genuinely overwhelmed and squirming at the thought of planning a day that tends to have so many details to think about.

One thing I have learned though is that most wedding related stress is avoidable – even when you know it may mean an emotional conversation with your family and/or friends about your plans. Here are my top tips for avoiding Wedding Planning stresses whether you are planning a traditional Scottish wedding, a romantic Scottish destination wedding or an elopement in the Scottish highlands.

1. Tackle the budget head on 

First things first, even for the smallest scale Weddings, this Wedding isn’t going to cheap. It will require some financial planning and preparations – perhaps even a savings plan. It is so important to look at the financials early on as this will determine so much of what you go on to do next – it may for example define a realistic time frame for the Wedding and henceforth set the date, it could be the difference venue AA***** and venue option B and could have implications on others too – such as what you may ask your Parents to assist with.

Whether your budget is big or small, take the time to really prioritise the non-negotiable details – whether that might be the exclusive use castle venue or the expensively calligraphed menu designs you’ve been ogling for years on Instagram!

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If you don’t already have one, definitely get searching online for typical lists of things you should consider budgeting for – you may think you have got everything listed but there could well be numerous things missing such as gifts for the Bridal party, your marriage application fee’s or the cost of having your dress steamed before and/or after the day.

2. Set a window and not an exact date for the day 

Don't get too caught up on a specific date for the wedding and get your heart set on one day only as it may result in stress and disappointment. Lets face it, it would be a miracle for all suppliers and vendors to be available for the one day you had your heart set on. It would make planning a lot less stressful and pain free to have a rough idea of a window you would like your wedding day to be in therefore there is more room for vendors and suppliers to give their availability in order to chose the date where you can have most of your first choice suppliers. You may even find that the if you move your wedding day by even one day - the price could drop drastically and it may benefit your financial stress to have a different day (this is especially true if you were to go for a Thursday Wedding instead of a Friday for example).

3. Be open and honest with family about your intentions

Families, bless them, we love them but goodness their opinions can be distracting and conflicting!

Planning to get married abroad, not inviting any of your cousins or a civil wedding instead of a religious one? These are typical sensitive issues that Parents especially do tend to have an opinion on but really the best tactic is just to get your thoughts out in the open and discuss - even if you have to agree to disagree. The longer everyone has to accept your point of view, the less likely they are to be offended by it.

Remind yourself regularly that no matter how much your future M.I.L. (Mother-in-Law) doesn’t like the invitation design or your best friend would prefer you chose the venue closest to her home, that the chances are once you’ve made the final decision that they will probably forget the disappointment in five minutes flat. If you are too accommodating and make compromises on everyone else’s behalf, it is likely that the regret of doing so will be on your mind for the rest of your engagement.

This is your debut as a couple and a chance to show off the things you love, what makes you unique as a couple, and this is your day! Team up as a couple, figure out what you want your day to be, incorporate your most important family and friends, and let them know what’s important to you, what is non-negotiable, and how they can help you execute a great wedding!

4. Think carefully about who you select for your Bridal party 

This is a difficult one – especially if you and your Fiance have been a part of many family or friends’ Bridal parties.

Firstly, you need to deal with choosing people who feel like the right choices and in the right combination – Your oldest friend who gets drunk after one wine on a night out and tends to finish it crying might not be the best selection of a Bridesmaid without a couple of other more sensible characters to ensure she keeps it together on such an exciting day! You do indeed need yourself a girl gang that will stick up for you and who will truly want the best for you on the day – diva Bridesmaids are difficult to reign in and I’ve hear d a few stories in the past about friendships ending over it. Think carefully.

Secondly. It is also important that the people you are choosing are reliable. You don't need the extra stress of your bridal party going MIA or not completing the jobs you've asked them to do. Its also important to consider the budget when choosing your bridal party - you don't need the stress of asking 10 bridesmaids then realising theres not enough budget for all their dresses and bridesmaid gifts.

5. Take advantage of being so excited to begin with and plan key milestones/dates to do things by

At the beginning you are going to be so excited about your wedding day that this is where you will be most motivated so use this time to plan key milestones and dates. As tempting as it is, don't use this time so sit on Pinterest for design ideas and inspiration as this is something that you will enjoy doing therefore it won't seem like a chore like some of the other jobs may do. Use the time where your most excited to get the boring sensible jobs organised and started so that they don't seem like such a chore later on down the line. While you are motivated and excited, sit down and decide when you want certain things done by I.e Sending out invitations, RSVP return dates, the dates you’ll file for your marriage application (and making sure you have the right documentation to back that up!)

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6. Time is of the essence - take advantage of it when you have it

These days everyone is so busy that getting s valuable chunk of time to concentrate on making decisions can be really tough. Try to stay disciplined and spend at least one evening a fortnight while you are going through the process of selecting suppliers to ensure you have time to properly consider who you want to select, have returned all relevant documents and made a deposit payment. Once you have the majority of things ticked off the shopping list, the pressure is off a little – but there is no harm in planning out the guest list or doing some DIY in that time…and of course, there is always time for Pinterest!

7. Consider employing a Wedding Planner if it really is all becoming too much

Even if you’re half way (or later) through your wedding planning process, there is still time to hire a wedding planner to help make your life easier. Planners will help you stay organized, create a wedding day plan and timeline, and take on many tasks that could ultimately become very stressful and  a planner will be there on your wedding day to make sure everything runs smoothly so that you can actually enjoy your big day.

Hiring a wedding planner may not have been included in your original budget or something you considered doing however, they can be an extreme help with the whole process and can take a lot of weight off of your shoulders. Not only can you pass on some of the time consuming tasks on to them to complete for you but you can also make them the point of contact for your suppliers and vendors so you can have some time away from your phone and emails (Especially useful if you are having a destination wedding and will be travelling for a day or so!). They are also professionals in the industry and can offer great advice and recommendations that you may not have known if it wasn't for them.

7 reasons to get married in Scotland

Well, being born and bred in Scotland and having lived here all my life, I  must say there is a high chance that I am a little biased towards the many reasons why Scotland makes a fantastic destination to host your Wedding. That said though, there are some really important practical and emotional reasons why you should seriously consider Scotland as the place for your marriage to begin.

1.     Historic castles AND AMAZING VENUES

Have you ever had your heart jump into your throat on seeing the beauty of somewhere? Well, there is simply no arguing that Scotland has some pretty immense, ancient places where you can be married. Historic castles, luxurious estates and even castle ruins are all feasible places that you could choose to tie the knot. Many couples choose to get married in Scotland because of a family heritage tie to a particular castle, clan or district and this can be a really meaningful event for many families who have perhaps never visited Scotland. Many castles offer an incredible setting for your Wedding too – inside and out, typically very grand in nature and adorned with many historical pieces of furniture and art – which are usually timeless in beauty. Whether your vision is a pink turreted castle, an exclusive castle or clifftop castle ruins, there is almost certainly bound to be a place which is the perfect fit, many even have their own Chapel which means you can host a religious, humanist or civil ceremony in these stunning locations.

2.     You can get married anywhere and there is no “time in country” requirement

I know, this sounds too good to be true but trust me on this one, it’s the truth. Here in Scotland, so long as someone legally ordained to marry you agrees to marry you in the place of your choice, you can be married there. So for example if you want to take your vows under an ancient Fir tree in the middle of a forest, yep you can do it (So long as you are willing to do it despite any potential weather mishaps!).

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In addition, uniquely to the rest of the UK, here in Scotland there is no law about the time you should have been in the country before you are married. So you don’t need to arrive here several days or weeks in advance before the Wedding date – You can literally arrive the day before the Wedding and leave the day after it if you so wish (However we do always recommend giving yourself 2 nights before the Wedding day for things such as hair/make up trials, dress steaming and collecting that all important kilt!)

3.     It really is romantic

The chances are, if you are already reading this article, you’ll already have found some incredible images of the natural beauty of Scotland – perhaps you’ve already spotted an elopement in Skye or an intimate destination wedding at a lochside castle. What could be more romantic than a Wedding in a location like this, with a picnic basket to hand (and perhaps an umbrella just in case) to enjoy afterwards?

While Scotland is a contemporary country with all of the regular amenties you’ll be used to, we are very lucky that every major city is just 15 minutes drive from a beautiful view. You could find yourself married between two mountains or on an estate with a herd of deer - or if  you have a hire car you could stop by a loch with a packed lunch or even drive to a remote location outside of the cities at night to gaze at the beautiful stars.

4.     Food and drink...it's not just Haggis but you ought to give it a try!

Yes yes, we all know the old myth about the man who is employed as a haggis catcher and whisky and haggis are probably what most believe to be the traditional Scottish diet! Not forgetting Irn Bru and Fish & Chips of course!

In fact though, Scotland offers a really outstanding variety of cuisines and is one of the finest producers of local produce in the UK. Seafood in particular is of an excellent, fresh standard – Langoustines, Oysters, Mussels and lots of varieties of fish are all examples of seafood you could eat one evening that had been caught that morning!

Scotland is also the home of the world famous “Aberdeen Angus” beef and is also a producer of some excellent cheeses. Scotland is also home to the now world-famous craft beer producer, Brewdog as well as of course the delicacy that is the deep fried Mars bar!

5.     The Weather

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Of course, Scotland is famous for the rain and there is no denying, it can be rainy on any day of any month but when the sun is shining on a lush Spring or Summer evening or a crisp autumn or winters morning, really Scotland’s weather can be stunning.

Many of our clients come to Scotland with hopes for a particular type of weather, whether that is moody mist in the mountains (February, March & October are probably best months for this), sunshine (May through to September are good times of year for this) or even Snow (It’s a common misconception that it snows in Scotland around Christmas time, its acutally usually late Janaury/Early February and sometimes even March that we see snow).

Believe it or not, Scotland also has some stunningly beautiful beaches, some by the ocean and some by the many lochs.  

Besides, they say rain on your Wedding day is good luck here!

6.     Friendly culture

In Scotland, while the weather may not always be warm, the hearts of the people here usually are and you can expect nothing less than a warm welcome from the population. It is not uncommon for people to strike up conversation while waiting at the bar for a drink or waiting in a que at a shop.

You’re bound to find just about everyone you recruit for your Wedding will have a light-hearted approach to dealing with you and will make you feel really comfortable, all the while remaining completely professional. Even the most upmarket of venues and restaurants will make you feel very at home indeed.

7.     Value for money

Of course, by making the decision to host a destination wedding, you will almost certainly be likely to see that your estimated spend will reduce in quite a number of areas. In addition to that though, here in Scotland we can offer stunning exclusive use venues which while expensive will offer an incredible experience for you and your relatives but we also have a truly superb selection of 4 and 5 star hotels which will accommodate yourselves and your guests at a very reasonable value.

As is common in the Wedding industry, you will certainly benefit by considering a mid-week or out of season Wedding and I’d certainly suggest seriously considering the weekday option if you are to travel from a time zone with a difference of more than three hours. This will mean that you and your guests can travel on the weekends, will have enough time to overcome jet lag and you’ll benefit from a better rate at your chosen venue as well as much better supplier availability too! You could literally have your pick!

7 THINGS A WEDDING PLANNER WILL DO FOR YOU

Something that I am commonly asked when exhibiting at Wedding Fairs is “So what is it that you actually do?” and for a while, I found this a challenging question to answer concisely. In truth, it is so wide and varying as well as so unique to each couples requirements that it can be quite difficult to summarise.

In todays blog I summarise the seven key things that most Wedding Planners will do for you, depending upon the service package that you arrange to book with them.

However this list is by no means exhaustive – for example I ran out of items before I could suggest “Get extra loo roll from the local supermarket when the venue runs out” and “Dash back to your Parent’s hotel to get your Marriage schedule because your Dad actually forgot it”….

1.     Recommend vendors in industry – value for money

 Want to see how you can save money with Timeless White? Take a look at our Exclusive Dreamlist.

Your Wedding Planner will be able to make recommendations for you on suppliers who fall into your own unique requirements – budget, style and approach all in mind. Perhaps you really hate having your Photograph taken but really want beautiful keepsake images of the day, the chances are that your Planner can recommend someone with a very relaxed attitude who falls within your budget and still captures amazing images. This saves you spending time meeting with suppliers that you just won’t consider a good match for you and also means that your Planner has already suggested people who fall within your budget so that any vendor meetings don’t fall apart when the talk of money comes up.

At Timeless White, we are pleased to give all of our clients access to our incredible Dreamlist of some of Scotland’s very best suppliers, hand-picked by us as genuine and whole hearted recommendations. Nobody pays to be in there and nobody pays us if you book them – You simply have access to incredible recommendations and discounts from the outset, sometimes able to save the equivalent of our entire Wedding planning fee!

2.     Help you to understand legal process

Lets face it – your unlikely to have been through the paperwork process of getting legally married before and all those fancy words on government websites can make it look and sound a bit complicated! Your Planner will be able to guide you on the papers you need to submit, the timing of your submission and to advise you on which documents you will need to provide.

This is something that really has so much value, because it can be a real worry and headache – especially if you are being married in a foreign country. At Timeless White, we give our international couples access to a guide to getting married in Scotland that we have prepared specifically to help our clients through the process.

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3.     Co-ordinate and liaise with suppliers

It’ll come as no surprise to you that everyone involved in your Wedding day will be keen to learn as much as they can about the day. Interested suppliers – Great. Lots of questions – Not always so great.

This is when your Planners role comes in to play – Your Planner can advise all of your Suppliers on most of the detail of your Wedding and act as a bit of a shield between yourselves and more questions than you care to repeat the answers to.

Something that is important to remember is that any good Planner will never assume answers for you or make decisions without running the questions by you first – so you are never cut out of the decision making process, only some of the administrative/organisational pressure is removed from you.

4.     Help with budget

The B word has a lot to do with everything to do with your Wedding – The timing, the styling, the number of guests, even what you eat and drink on the day are all commonly affected by the budget.

At Timeless White we issue our clients with a Budget planning spreadsheet to assist you in understanding typical costs of each Supplier (From Bagpipers to Fireworks and everything in-between) allowing you to then see the bigger picture, before tweaking things to get to the figures you wish.

An experienced Wedding Planner should be able to give you advice on creative ways to save and spend money, as well as give you an honest opinion about whether that £500 candy bar is really going to have as much of an impact as you think.

5.     Design your wedding – perfect props

Every Bride-to-be has a Wedding Pinterest board or a good old fashioned book of inspiration – It would be silly to pretend that your Wedding Planner is going to be your only source of inspiration. Of course not! But she will be able to get a sense of the overall vision and look that you want to present on the day and will be able to tastefully work with your budget to achieve that look. Whatsmore, your Planner will know where you can get something that seems impossible to find, be able to suggest new trends that your Friends might never have seen before and will also be able to suggest unused spaces at Wedding venues that make cute corners for themed Drinks trolleys or suit some adornment.

6.     Deal with last minute stress

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It’s the week of your Wedding and something, anything goes wrong (Your boiler decides to die for example!) – Your stress levels are going to be really high. Suddenly your time is consumed with worry and trying to keep ontop of various beauty appointments, visiting family, last minute DIY projects for the day and collecting dresses and kilts. This is where your Planner suddenly becomes your Fairy Godmother – Your Planner will typically deal with anything that comes up the week before your Wedding as far as possible.

So no matter what happens in the lead up to the day or on the day itself, you can be assured that an experienced professional is handling any and all questions, issues and changes that might arise in relation to the event itself.

Something that we are told at every Wedding is how much of a huge relief it is to just know that someone trustworthy is there in the backround in the lead up to the day and on the day itself, quietly taking care of anything and anyone that needs it.

7.     Find best wedding insurance

 Insurance? Boring you say! Well, there’s no denying that but its also something that should be seriously considered when you are in the process of Planning your Wedding. The chances are you don’t imagine spending your Engagement reading the many dry pages of insurance T&C’s but as with anything, the time invested in something like this can be hugely beneficial should you actually need to rely on it. Luckily for you, your Wedding Planner should be relatively well versed when it comes to the downfalls of some insurance providers and be able to make a recommendation based on the best level of coverage. Of course, Wedding Planners are by no means insurance experts, so you should always just double check the details before going ahead yourself.