What’s The Key To Wedding Planning Success?

Blog about planning your wedding

Wedding planning can quickly become a headache for any bride and groom when it comes to time scales and budget if it’s not gone about in the correct way. But what is the key to wedding planning success?Well, you can’t just take one key and hope it fits many of the locks you will metaphorically come across while planning the seating arrangements and times for the cake cutting. There are many keys to choose from, all of which will help make your big day a success; here are the most important ones:

Settle on a budget

The first thing to do is decide how much you can spend on the wedding and try not to stray from this amount. No one wants to enter married life with unnecessary debts under their belt.

Prioritise what to spend the budget on

It’s also a good idea to decide what you can save money on and where you can splurge a little. For many people the venue is one of the most important elements and swallows up most of what you have saved. A photographer is also something you shouldn’t skimp on when it comes to price – no matter how good your Dad reckons he is with a camera.However, you can actually save cash on table decorations and by being clever when it comes to bridal wear, skipping the high end bridal shop and heading to the high street for dresses that look just as good but don’t have such huge price tags. Here’s a great guide on what to spend and splurge on.


Bridal magazines are out to make money, so while their shoots look beautiful and offer some great inspiration they aren’t the only place to look for ideas – especially if you are looking to plan a wedding on a budget. Sign up for magazine subscriptions for some interior and food titles in the run up to the big day and take elements from these that you like, to incorporate into your wedding.

Don’t be afraid to change your mind

Something that you loved a year ago might not be your cup of tea now, so if you’ve agreed on a hairstyle or a particular kind of flower in your arrangement but really don’t want them now, speak to the person who deals with these as soon as possible. It’s an important day so you don’t want to just ‘put up with things’ if you don’t like them, especially if they are costing you money.


You can’t do everything yourself, so it’s important that you and your partner delegate certain jobs to people in the wedding party. Your bridesmaids could be in charge of sourcing items for the table decorations and your mother-in-law to be could look into where is best to place your cake order. Relieving yourself of certain jobs will help you focus on the bigger picture and the more important elements of the wedding planning.

Leave yourself plenty of time

DJs, caterers, photographers and florists get booked up very early so ensure you look around nice and early to avoid disappointment. Many wedding planners online are a little tight with the times they suggest (looking into the hen party only four months before the wedding is risky business) so ignore some of the guidelines the ‘experts’ suggest and always get a head start on everyone else. If you live in a small town then you’ll be competing against other brides for venues and entertainment!
As you can see wedding planning isn’t a simple process but if you keep a level head, lean on your friends and family throughout and don’t let the little things get to you. You’ll only look forward to the day itself and those nervous butterflies won’t be related to you worrying about the caterer letting you down.

Putting a modern spin on a Downton Abbey themed wedding

Downton Abby cast and crew

When Downton Abbey’s final episode airs this Christmas, it will bring the curtain down on one of British television’s biggest success stories. The Julian Fellowes-penned period drama, which details the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants, has been a huge hit on both sides of the Atlantic, sparking a loyal legion of fans.

The show’s six series cover the tumultuous period of 1912 to 1927, with world events such as the sinking of the Titanic, First World War and Spanish Flu forming the social backdrop to the events. Yet the drama in and out of the fictional Yorkshire country house has sparked a renewed interest in the lifestyle of the period. Website kate & toms reckons Downton Abbey has inspired a trend of couples looking to tie the knot at large estates while embracing vintage style.

So, if you’re a fan of the show and want to add a splash of vintage glamour to your big day, how do you go about it?

Venue: First things first, you need to get the venue right. As the kate & toms article rightly states, the ‘Downton effect’ has seen a spike in interest in the use of grand homes as a backdrop to a wedding. Many of these have built-in chapels for the ceremony and grand rooms to cater for your meal and reception, making them ideal to handle the whole day. Of course, for the ‘full Downton’ experience you could just go ahead and book Highclere Castle, the real life Berkshire home that doubles for the Crawley’s estate on screen. It costs about £20,000 to hire for the day.

Downton Abbey house

Style: Die-hard fans will remember the wedding of Lady Mary and Matthew Crawley and you could use that on-screen event for inspiration to faithfully replicate some of the details for your big day. From the expensively created silver-lace-tabard-on-silk dress to the Bentley & Skinner diamond tiara to the morning suits with grey gloves and top hats – there’s much to match. The flowers were a simple bouquet of long-stemmed white Calla lillies while a black horse-drawn carriage would ensure you arrive in the right style too.

Accessories: If you want to truly recreate the ‘Downton look’ then that means a lot of attention to detail. Plan well ahead and scour the pages of http://howtospendit.ft.com/ for high quality vintage items to kit out your venue. You’ll have great fun shopping for the right items too.

Music: The soundtrack to your day is an important – and underrated – part of creating the right atmosphere. Why not hire a band to play some of the music used in the show or, at least, from the same period? This could be a subtle way of adding some of the style to your day without having to go for the full experience.

Filming: Many professional companies can now capture your big day on camera – offering a much more professional outcome than the home movies of yesteryear. Why not get them to edit together a package in the same style as the ITV drama? Although, hopefully, life will go a lot more smoothly for you than it does for the Crawleys.

Fun: Perhaps you’d rather your love for Downton was just a small, fun part of the day? Many couples choose to hire photo booths for their wedding day to keep the guests entertained and this could be your chance to take inspiration from the Crawleys. Hire Downton-inspired costumes and encourage your friends and family to embrace the occasion with some memorable pictures using clothing and props. You could also name tables after elements of the show or incorporate the theme in your stag or hen parties.

Much depends on how much of a Downton flavour you want on your wedding day. You can embrace the clothing, venue, music or luxury accessories associated with the aristocratic lifestyle on the show, or you can have them all. You can have a fun Downton-themed photo booth or a period drama-style film of the day too.
Your wedding day should be special to you. Incorporate themes and mimic styles to enhance your experience – and Downton Abbey offers rich inspiration for this – but don’t lose sight of the fact that it is your day.