Book Lovers Wedding Ideas

Jane Austen Quote - "I declare after all ther is no enjoyment like reading."

It’s no secret – I’m crazy about books. My range invitations are, for the most part, inspired by books – romance and otherwise – that I’ve loved. I see reading as the perfect stress-free activity, which makes it a brilliant help when you’re planning a wedding!

With that in mind, I wanted to pull together some book lovers wedding ideas and inspiration. I’ll be adding more blogs to this theme as time goes on, but for now…

We’ve a new category on the site – a selection of invitations designed for Book Lovers. Featuring our top literary-inspired selections for your book-lover’s wedding. From Jane Austen (of course!) and some of her most beloved characters, through Dickens and on to more modern queens of romance. 

book lovers wedding ideas - mansfield park kraft paper wedding stationery invitation

Featuring gorgeous watercolour greenery, striking classics and beautiful florals.

Check them out here, and keep an eye out for new additions over the next few months. For more book lovers wedding ideas, check out our Pinterest board.

Have you read something wonderful that you’d like to take inspiration from for your wedding? Drop me a line and we can talk about your options to commission a bespoke design.

Want more book stuff? Join our Bridal Book Club and get your free printable bookmarks.

Where To Start With Wedding Planning

Where to start with Wedding Planning? Pinterest graphic

Where to start with Wedding Planning?

Congratulations! You’re on top of the world, dreaming of your big day, and the happiness of spending the rest of your life with the one you love more than anyone else. There are magazines to buy, Pinterest boards to make, and wedding day outfits to dream of. Life is a whirlwind of congratulations, celebratory catch-ups and general happiness, wishing peace and goodwill to all humanity.

But then… reality kicks in. After a few days/weeks/years of basking in the glow of your own future happiness, you realise that if you want to actually get married, you’ll need to start planning. And boy, is there a lot to do. And who knows where to start with wedding planning?

So, like anything you want to know more about, you google it. 

Woah, that’s a lot of lists. 

Lists of things you should have, things you apparently need, and things you’ve never seen at a single wedding you’ve attended, but are described as a *must have*. Everyone wants to sell you something, and costs start to mount in your head, spiralling out of control before you’ve even spent a penny. 

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, and like there simply aren’t enough hours in the day, then this blog is for you. Don’t let the overwhelm get you down – you can do it, and it will all be worth it. And don’t forget, you aren’t in this alone.

I’ve pulled together a starter list, to give you an easy place to start. It’s just suggestions, to get you thinking.

This starter list is a companion to the method of Getting wedding sh*t done which I talk about in my book, How To Plan Your Perfect Wedding: A Stress-Free Guide To Designing Your Big Day, but it’s a handy starting place if you just use it on it’s own.

You can download the list HERE.

Planning on getting your Wedding Stationery sorted? Sign up for our newsletter for a discount!

This post is in part an excerpt from How To Plan Your Perfect Wedding: A Stress-Free Guide To Designing Your Big Day

As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

How To Decide What to DIY at Your Wedding

How to decide what to DIY at your wedding

How To Decide What to DIY at Your Wedding?

If you’re struggling for budget, or time, then DIY can be a help or a hindrance. As with everything else in planning your wedding, you need to figure out what’s best for you.

How to decide what to DIY at your wedding, when you’re stressed? Try answering these questions:

  1. How much would it cost to get it done professionally?
  2. Can I afford it?
  3. How much would it cost to DIY?
  4. Would I be able to DIY it to a quality level I’ll be happy with?
  5. Would it be worth the time it takes to DIY?

I’m going to use stationery as an example, as it’s the basis of my experience. I’m not going to tell you that you need to pay someone – specifically me – and that you don’t have a choice.

In fact, if you want to DIY stationery, that’s great! 

I love designing and making stationery, it’s a really cool hobby that I get to do as a job. I love little fiddly bits of decoration, and I love making sure the tiny details are correct. Honestly, it’s my cocaine. And if you like making things, and you find it soothing, then I absolutely encourage you to DIY your invitations. If you’ve a crafty relative who loves to do it, and they want to help, then go for it. 

But sometimes when you’ve decided to DIY, even with the best will in the world, you just run out of time. So you either hire a professional last minute, which can be expensive, or you buy the first decent, generic ones you see in a supermarket while you do the weekly shop, and then have to spend ages hand-writing all your extra details.

I’m not trying to put you off, honestly, and I’m only using stationery as an example because it’s what I know about. So before you commit to DIY or not to DIY, consider the pros and cons, the time investment, and if you will actually enjoy it or not. 

Decided not to DIY your stationery? Check out or ranges here and sign up for our newsletter for a discount!

This post is an excerpt from How To Plan Your Perfect Wedding: A Stress-Free Guide To Designing Your Big Day

As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Customised Wedding Stationery – How Does It Work?

One of the great things about our Wedding Stationery ranges are that they can be completely customised. I thought I’d take a moment to just run through the process of how this works. Our ranges are really flexible, and there’s a lot you get included, with no surprise costs involved!

sense & sensbility inspired watercolour greenery wedding sample pack

You can find our current price list here:

Giftast Standard Price List 2019

Invitation Suites

All the items which make up our suites are priced individually, so you’re not sold a pack of anything, and you can be really flexible. For example, if you want to miss out Save the Dates and ask for RSVPs by text, no problem! You only need to buy what you actually want. 

customised wedding stationery - how does it work?

If you like a design, but it doesn’t fit your theme, then we can change the colours for you for no extra cost.

The cost on our price list per unit is the cost you pay. 

Want to include extra info on the invite? No problem – just let us know the text you want, and we will look at your options. It may be that we have to make a double sided invitation, or we might suggest you include an additional info card if you have a lot of information to share. We can mock up designs for your approval, so you know exactly what you’ll be getting when you order.

Again, this is all priced by unit, so no nasty surprises. 

gemma pink and grey save the date

The same applies for adding any extra info to Save the Dates and RSVPs – just let us know what you want to include, and we will do our best to accommodate it on the original design, all for no extra cost.

Unit prices also include kraft and white envelopes, as well as a range of different paper finishes and double sided printing.

On The Day

We’ve talked here about what you might want to consider when you’re planning your On The Day Stationery – this also works using our range items. 

Just as with our Invitation Suites, everything can be personalised, from colours to text, to suit your needs. If you want a menu, even though we don’t have one of those in our samples, we can mock one up for your approval using the basic designs we already have, and it will be priced as per the price list. The same goes for any extra signs or notes you want to include on your day.

Elegant Place Cards

Want something different?

Our price list doesn’t include items such as stickers, belly bands or envelope liners. Simply contact us and ask for a quote, and you’ll be provided with a unit price based on your needs. If you want these to match range items there will be no bespoke fee.

We also offer free consultations by Skype or phone, to discuss your wedding stationery ideas and requirements. Just drop us an email to book in.

Don’t forget, you can save 10% when you sign up to our Newsletter!

Customised Wedding Stationery - How Does It Work?

Using Pinterest for Wedding Planning

Here at Giftast, we’re big fans of using Pinterest for Wedding Planning. Whenever I’m planning a new range, or searching for references, Pinterest is always my first port of call. There’s such a wide variety of ideas and inspiration. Whatever your theme, you’re sure to find something you love.

Giftast Pinterest board - using Pinterest for Wedding Planning
Check out the Giftast Pinterest Board for inspiration!

When it comes to planning your bespoke wedding stationery, Pinterest can be super helpful as well. Not only will it give you lots of ideas on what might be possible, but it’s a great way to pass those ideas on to your designer. 

A picture really is worth a thousand words, and creating your own ideas board will save you lots of time.

On the Giftast Pinterest board, we showcase all of our ranges, as well as sharing other wedding ideas we absolutely love! From Cakes to Photographers, and from Jewellery to Bridesmaids’ dresses, there are loads of ideas just waiting for you.

Image by Hannah Larkin Photography

Downsides? Pinterest, like Instagram, is a beautifully curated collection of ideals. Not all the photos you see on Pinterest will necessarily be achievable within a sensible budget. And just like Instagram, not everything you see will be real!

However, as an inspirational tool for when you’re first starting your wedding planning and gathering your ideas together, Pinterest is a brilliant starting point.

Pinterest can give you lots of ideas when you're #weddingplanning, and boards are a great way to pass those ideas on to your stationery designer. #bespokewedding Click To Tweet

Giftast Loves… Top Pinterest Boards:

Using Pinterest for Wedding Planning

Personalising your Wedding Ceremony with Yvonne Beck, Celebrant

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of chatting with Celebrant Yvonne Beck. Yvonne is based in Berlin, but has worked all over the world, and regularly hosts ceremonies in the UK.

Going into the conversation, I had no idea what a celebrant did. Yvonne really opened my eyes to what was available to couples who didn’t want a traditional or religious ceremony. I wish I’d known this much when I was planning my wedding!

Yvonne and I chatted about different types of ceremonies, and how couples can make theirs personal to them. As tends to happen in conversations with me, we also got onto my favourite subject – animals at weddings!

I really enjoyed speaking to Yvonne, and learned a lot. If you’re feeling restricted by the idea of a traditional ceremony, then this is one for you. 

Check out the video below, or the transcript beneath for more info. You can see more of Yvonne on her website, on Instagram, and Facebook.

Hi there, it’s Katherine from Giftast Wedding and Events Stationery, and I’m here today with Yvonne Beck, who is a Celebrant based in Germany, in Berlin. Yvonne, can you tell us a bit about yourself?

Hi, I’m Yvonne, I’m a celebrant that’s based in Germany.

I divide my time between Berlin and London, but I also do ceremonies in different parts of England.

And also lots of ceremonies now in Southern Germany, where the mountains are. So it’s elopements as well, which have been really coming up this year. I’ve had quite a number of your elopements last year and this year.

That’s nice – very romantic! I always think elopements are the most romantic. How did you get started being a celebrant?

I was looking for a change of career after spending many years working in the public sector, in education and training. I was invited to be a guest at ceremony in Australia, from some friends who’d worked in London but married in Australia. They introduced me to their celebrant, and as we had the ceremony in the vineyard overlooking the ocean at sunset, it was just magical.

I’d never experienced anything like that,

so when the time came, I was looking to see whether celebrantsy was something I could do in in England. I was based in London looking at what kind of training I could do, and I trained with the Fellowship of Professional Celebrants in 2011. So I’ve been a celebrant for about eight years now, and yeah, I’ve never looked back.

I mean many of my couples to begin with were from Australia and New Zealand and America because they already understood the kind of role that a celebrant can play in terms of personalising the ceremony. Now that over the years has changed,

so more and more English and UK couples are looking for that kind of choice and flexibility on their wedding day, to have ceremony that’s really about them.

Because you don’t just do weddings do you? You do birth naming ceremonies, things like that. I was looking on your website – so what’s your sort of favourite ceremony to do?

Well I suppose weddings really, because it’s all romantic, and it’s exciting. I mean, it’s a real honour and a privilege to be asked to create a ceremony and lead a ceremony. But I think the whole day, you know, it’s family, it’s friends. It’s usually a slightly bigger event than perhaps a baby-naming, where in actual fact you’ve probably got 100 children and 40 adults. That’s quite a challenge sometimes! I think all ceremonies that celebrate life’s major milestones are really important, so they really resonate with me.

As I’ve gotten older I’ve realised the importance of celebrating the things you can while you can and enjoying life.

Ceremonies I think are a way that we you know can ritualize experiences create memories. Therefore I think in lots of ways, starting a new life together as a couple is probably one of my favourites, because that couple are standing in front of me looking each other in the eyes, and saying the most heartfelt tender and sincere words. Because they write their own vows mostly, and I just stand there in awe. Love is such a powerful thing, and so yeah, I love weddings.

Ah, that sounds so wonderful. Is there any difference between what people want – because obviously you work globally – so is there a difference between what people tend to want in the UK and other places like Germany and New Zealand and Australia?

I think they want a ceremony that’s flexible and it’s about them.

They also want ceremonies that are outside out in nature, and I’ve done lots and lots of ceremonies in the gardens of manor houses, and private gardens in woodlands open areas that allow people to really express themselves and feel relaxed. I think you feel more relaxed when you’re in nature, because it reminds you of days when you were at the beach or picnicking or doing something – you know, bimbling around and in the woods.

I think that going into a formal situation like a big grand house can be quite overwhelming and intimidating. And I have done those ceremonies, but those are for couples who’ll use historical buildings because it’s their theme.

I think with the celebrant, know that there’s nothing that’s off the table.

So any of their plans and ideas are fine with me. This year I’ll be creating ceremony for a couple from Australia in a castle in Warwickshire, and they’ve asked me to dress up in 15th century costume. And that will be my first one, so I’ve come a long way I think from my first ceremonies. One of my very first ones was on an animal sanctuary in Sussex, and the couple wanted animals to be part of their day. And so the week before the wedding, I was introduced to a herd of thirty bulls and cows that were in the sanctuary, and they were looked after so lovely.

I was just told to watch where they’re putting their feet, because they can step on you. They can’t see where feet are, but these animals were so lovely and on the day and we have the ceremony in the field with the cows and bulls behind us. Because they’re curious animals, they came up behind me, and I could feel breathing down my neck!

It was most incredible, but loving.

I mean the couple actually wrote a poem to themselves, to the animals, and because they both believed very much in animal welfare, and the rights of animals to live a happy life. I mean, these were sanctuary animals, so they’d been kept as pets or in petting zoos or farms – you know in in those sorts of environments where in the end people couldn’t look after them. Huglett’s Animal Sanctuary – big shout out for them, they do the most amazing vegan breakfast and they they were really lovely! So yes I’ve done stately homes and houses, historical buildings and farms.

I think what what couples really want is this ability to express their ideas and their plans and their story.

Well that’s brilliant, I love that you talked about having animals there as well. Having animals involved in your wedding is something I’m so interested in  – big animal lover! That’s the thing I’m always trying to do, because we had a very small ceremony and my cat couldn’t come. Looking back, I wish I’d done things differently – not to have him there, because he would have hated it, but had him involved in a slightly different way. We had a tiny Lego cat on our cake, but other than that, he wasn’t really there. And I think that’s a shame, so that’s why I think that’s absolutely lovely.

Yes I mean we do get ring bearers who were pets now with the family pet,  it can be rabbits or pets but you know dogs. 

A rabbit ring bearer – that would be incredible!

It’s important to give couples that kind of confidence to go with their flow and how they feel. So as a celebrant, I will say to them, you know, there’s no wrong door. Anything and everything you put on the table, we will work through and see whether we can incorporate it. Because there are no restrictions on the time of the ceremony or the length of the ceremony, and it makes for really exciting photography. I’m sure when the couples get their photographs back, not just of the ceremony but of the whole day – you know those memories would just be amazing.

Aw, that’s absolutely brilliant –  big fan of that. Do you have any tips for couples for the ideas and things to help make their ceremony more personal for them?

I think that they should really think about what is important their values and beliefs and how they want to express those.

So whether that’s including rituals like cultural rituals or rituals of heritage. You know many couples come now from different backgrounds, and they want to respect those backgrounds and faiths and so we can include that in the celebrant ceremony. Many couples don’t realise that, because they think it’s a civil ceremony. So they think they can’t have any religion or culture or spiritualism in it, but it can and I can work with the clergy if they want.

I mean I’ve often asked couples if they’d like anything religious, and they’ve said yes, well we have an uncle who’s a pastor or a local priest – my family priest. And if they’re willing to come and give some sort of blessing, then I’m all for that. Because I’m thinking, that is that is truly then authentic, in terms of respecting everything, in terms of the couple’s wishes.

And if they want to have it in a hot-air balloon or  on the beach or just the two of them saying their vows, there’s nothing wrong with that.

Many couples nowadays I think, find that the cost of a wedding, and the size of the wedding and how big  the invitation list gets can be quite overwhelming. I’m seeing a trend to more smaller more intimate weddings, between 25 and 75 guests. So I give them  the opportunity to say what style, what size, where’s the location. And if we want it in our family garden, that’s fine too. You can dress the garden up, dress the tree up.

I’ve often created ceremonies in family gardens. They’ve ranged from a small back garden in London to where the family had a farm, and acres of land. So I think it’s about what makes you happy.

The question really is this:

How do you want to feel on your wedding day?

How do you want be about your ceremony and so what things will make you feel like that? And involving your family your children if you’ve got them. Many couples bring children into the relationship, because they’ve had a relationship and lived together before they decided to get legally married. The ceremony really can include children. With things like a unity ceremony. I don’t know if you’ve heard of these, where the unity ceremonies symbolise the bond that you’re building and the family that you’re building.

So it might be a candle lighting, and you can ask everyone to light the candle, or it might be a hand fasting where ribbons are tied around your wrists and make you tied by family and friends. Or there might be a sand pouring ceremony.

Different colours of sand representing each child and each member of family poured into a vessel creates layered look of these beautiful colourful layers.

The symbolism there is that what is brought together cannot be taken apart,

because you couldn’t then un-mix those grains of sand. So it’s about forming a lasting and enduring bond throughout your married life and family life.

That’s so nice, and lovely that you can personalise it like that. Unfortunately we’re now out of time so that’s been absolutely brilliant, thank you so much Yvonne that’s been great. I feel like I’ve learned loads, thank you very much

You can see more of Yvonne on her website, on Instagram, and Facebook.

Hannah Larkin Photography – Emma Pink Floral Wedding Stationery

If you weren’t already persuaded that Hannah Larkin is my favourite photographer, then perhaps this gallery will convince you!

Images by Hannah Larkin Photography

Hannah was kind enough to photograph my pretty floral Emma range. In spite of the bright pink back, this is a delicate range with a lot of fine detail. I’ve struggled to photograph it, so was excited to see what Hannah would make of it.

And she didn’t disappoint! Aren’t they gorgeous? 

Images by Hannah Larkin Photography

Your stationery is a long-lasting way to link your wedding together, from Save the Dates all the way through to Thank You Cards. One thing I love about the Emma range is the monogram, which can be used almost as a logo for you and your partner, into your married life. 

Images by Hannah Larkin Photography

I’m going to be talking about this idea a lot more in the future, so watch out for that! But if you get your wedding stationery design right, it can really streamline your wedding planning. You’ve got the theme, colours and feeling of your ceremony, all easy to reference. Then you can use those design elements to tie everything together. 

Images by Hannah Larkin Photography

If that’s made you as happy as it made me, then you can see more of Hannah on her website and social media links below!

www.hannahlarkinphotography.com
www.facebook.com/hannahlarkinphotography
www.instagram.com/hannahlarkinphotography
www.twitter.com/hannahlarkin

What Do You Need To Include On A Wedding Invitation?

What do you need to include on a wedding invitation? Now you’ve sorted your Save The Date, and your wedding prep is making good headway, it’s time to think about Invitations. Let’s start with the basics:

Date

Including Day, Month and Year. It’s better to be as specific as possible!

Northanger Abbey Stylish Wedding Invitations - What do you need to include on a wedding invitation? 

Time 

It’s worth considering including time of ceremony, time of reception, and time of “carriages”. This information will also be different depending on whether you’re doing separate day and evening invites. Here at Giftast, we can mix and match your invitations for no extra cost;)

Location (Ceremony & Reception)

Let your day guests know if they need to anticipate travelling between venues. Again, the information provided may be different depending on if you’re sending out separate day and evening invitations.

Mansfield Park kraft paper wedding stationery rsvp - What do you need to include on a wedding invitation? 

RSVP Details

Are you including a card, or asking people to reply by text/email? When do they need to let you know by?

Plus One

Who is invited? Are your single friends allowed to bring their current SO? Can the kids come? Specify now, to save awkward questions later, and from making your table plan more complicated than it needs to be!

What do you need to include on a wedding invitation?  Sense and Sensibility Invitation Inside

Also worth considering…

Dress Code/Theme

Want everyone to wear purple? Going for a chilled out, shorts and sandals vibe? Going Gatsby? Now’s the time to let your guests know, so they can begin planning their outfits.

Gift Requests

Whether you have a gift registry set up, or want money for your honeymoon, or even nothing at all, let your guests know your plans.

Eloisa Wedding Invitation- What do you need to include on a wedding invitation? 

Wedding Website

If you’ve too much information to include on your invitation and don’t want to include a separate information card, then you you might want to consider making a wedding website, and including the web address on your invitations. 

Taxi Numbers

Your more organised guests will bring the invitation on the wedding day, so they will have all the timing and location information to hand. Including taxi numbers is especially useful in areas with limited internet access.

Budget Wedding Invitation - What do you need to include on a wedding invitation? 

Recommended Local Hotels

Encourage forward planning and cut down on how many phone calls you get all asking the same question – include your recommendations for hotels, including any information regarding reserved rooms at your venue, if necessary.

Directions

Whether your guests are arriving by plane, train, or automobile, and even though a lot of people will just use Google maps, save your guests some time by including some directions to harder-to-find and more out of the way venues. A lot of venues will have this information on their websites, which you can use.

 

And then… anything you like! Every wedding is different and you need to think about what works for you. When DH and I got married, we had a morning ceremony, followed by a wedding buffet which we then left at 3pm to go on honeymoon. We included this information on our invites, to let the guests know what to expect, but also so they knew that the venue was still available for their use once we’d left. 

All I would say is, the more information you include, the less questions you’ll have to answer and the more time you’ll save! 

What Do You Need To Include On A Wedding Invitation?

What Do You Need To Include on a Save The Date?

If Save The Dates are something you’ve decided to go for, you may be wondering what information you need to include. Hopefully this guide will give you more of an idea of what you’ll need to know in advance.

What Do You Need To Include on a Save The Date - Mansfield park kraft paper wedding stationery save the date

Check out our post on What Wedding Stationery Do I Need? to see if Save The Dates are right for you.

The Date

It sounds obvious, but you will need to know the exact date of your wedding. You will most likely need to have booked your venue before you send these out. If your wedding isn’t on a weekend, it may be helpful to include the day in addition to the date. Timings aren’t necessary on a Save the Date, and you may only be finalising these nearer the time.

Your Names

Again, sounds obvious, but sometimes it’s the most obvious things which get forgotten when you’re stressed! It’s your choice as to whether or not you include your surnames.

Note that an Invitation will Follow

Just to avoid confusion for your guests! Your Save the Date is necessarily brief, and as it’s sent well in advance of the big day, you can’t include much information because you won’t know it yet! 

Budget Wedding Save The Date

Optional – Their Names

If you’re sending the Save the Date to an address where some residents are invited and some aren’t, you may wish to include names to avoid disappointment and arguments later. Our personalised Save the Dates can include either a line for you to write in the names of your guests, or be printed with individual names. Otherwise, you can just include names on the envelope and confirm with the invitation which follows.

Optional – Location

If your wedding is taking place in a different country, or somewhere difficult to get to, it can be nice to include a location. Your guests may need to save dates around the big day for travelling.

Optional – Anything else you want.

Remember, there are no hard and fast rules. This is your wedding, and all the above is only a suggestion. There is a lot of tradition around what is sent when and what information it needs to include. This may not always be relevant to you and your wedding. The most important thing is that it works for you.

Your Wedding, Your Rules!

What do you need to include on a save the date?

6 Steps to Stress Free Wedding Planning

6 Steps to Stress Free Wedding Planning
6 Steps to Stress Free Wedding Planning

If you’re just starting your journey to Dream Wedding™ then here, here and here are some great tick lists of things you need to think about.

What I’m offering here are tips and tricks to help streamline your wedding planning and actually GET SH*T DONE.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, and like there simply aren’t enough hours in the day, hopefully this will help. Don’t let it get you down – you can do it, and it will all be worth it. And don’t forget, you aren’t in this alone. Ask for help, and if you can afford it, hire a professional for some jobs. DIY is great but it isn’t for everyone.

What do I know about all this?

Well, in a former life I was an Exec PA at a FTSE 100 company, and managed the time of some of the most disorganised people you can imagine. I have balanced working full time, planning a wedding, starting a business and writing books. And most importantly, I’m an organising addict. I am addicted to getting things done, so I know what works.

Become Your Own Exec PA -Yes, I have a new letter-board-thing, and I am not afraid to use it 😂

I used to find it really difficult to get as much as I wanted to done – I still do, but that’s because the standards I set for myself are ridiculous. But then I realised that while I was really good at organising other people’s lives, I wasn’t applying those same practices to my own life. I was acting as though my things were so much less important than those of the people I was working for.

I became my own Exec PA, because it might not be important to anyone else if I don’t remember to set up my coffee machine the night before, but it will make a massive difference to my morning.

My jobs – your jobs – which are unpaid and only for our benefit are just as important as those which we are paid to do. You are worth organising your time and treating yourself with the respect you treat those you work for, or those you love.

Disclaimer – this isn’t for everyone. No one size fits all here. But what you might find is that once you start crossing things off your to-do list, you get hooked too;) Some of these things might seem obvious – great! It’s all part of the journey to getting things done.

Get Everything Down on Paper

 

1. Get Everything Down on Paper

You’ve probably started making lists already. You can’t sleep because of things popping into your head that need doing. Get it out of your brain and down onto your notebook app, some scrap paper, or in your gorgeous, shiny and new wedding notebook. What you want is a master list of everything that needs doing. Then, you need to break it down into small, easily achievable tasks.

For example:

  • Wedding Stationery:Check Instagram for stationery ideas
    • Compare stationers x 3Bespoke?
      • Colour scheme?
      • Price Range?
    • Order stationery samples
      • Finalise details:
        • Venue
        • Date/time
        • RSVP date/method
        • Guest list – numbers
        • Day/Evening numbers
        • Send details to stationer
    • Collect addresses from guests
    • Write 50 invitations
    • Write 50 more invitations
    • Post out invitations

Phew!

This isn’t an exhaustive list, and depending on how you want your wedding to work, your stationery to-do list might look very different! But have a good think about every little job which makes up all your big jobs. Think about what you’d be likely to achieve in, say, 15 or 30 minutes. Having bite-size jobs makes it easier to complete – you’re more likely to find 15 minutes than an hour, and can slot your tasks in throughout the day.

Once you’re done, take a look at your undoubtedly massive list. Feel a wave of overwhelm and panic wash over you. Let it pass. Breathe. You got this. Remember – you don’t have to do everything yourself. Write initials next to the jobs you can delegate. You know almost everything that needs doing, and you know how long you have.

You have the POWER.

Decide what’s a priority

2. Decide What is a Priority, and Make it Non-Negotiable.

Every day this year (it’s almost November), I have done at least 10 minutes of yoga. I’m not telling you that to brag (much!;p), but I’m sharing it as an example of what can happen when you make something non-negotiable. You find the time in your schedule to make it work. I’ve got up half an hour early to do yoga before I had to go out all day. I’ve travelled to and from London in a day and got home at 8pm, and done yoga before I ate my dinner so I could crack on with the wine.

I never thought I was the sort of person that could do that, but it’s the sort of person I want to be.

As soon as something is non-negotiable, you’re spending your time thinking about how to make it work, rather than how to get out of it. So for wedding planning, it might be non-negotiable that you and your partner need to sit down at some point during the week to discuss – and decide – your guest list. Eat the frog, and plan it in so you can open the wine after, or if you get it all done, you can get a takeaway as a reward. But regardless, it has to be done.

Get yourself a planner
Get Yourself a Planner

3. Get Yourself a Planner

I use a week-to-view diary for my planning. Because I have my master list of little jobs – which I can keep adding to, I don’t need to plan for, say, a month, 3 months, or 6 months at a time. I can be a lot more flexible when unexpected things arise. If you don’t want to buy a diary, or it isn’t the time of year for it, you can download loads of free, blank, weekly planners, draw one in your notebook in a couple of minutes, stick it on a whiteboard, or whatever you prefer.

Working one week at a time, pick your priorities from your master list, and slot the little jobs into your diary. I’d recommend adding in your day-to-day jobs too, like *clean bathroom*, *buy season ticket* and *go to Tesco*. You’re doing them anyway, and they get you into the habit of crossing things off. Once a task is completed, just cross it off. I score through with a line so I can still read it, but that’s because I like to be able to look back and see the things I’ve done.

Don’t forget to add in things you did that weren’t in your planner – and immediately cross them off!

I like to do my planning on a Sunday – be sure to write *plan for next week* on the following Sunday when you’re planning!

You will also have the satisfaction of crossing things off your master list, done in the previous week when you’re planning the next.

Sometimes, if I’m not sure how a job will turn out, or I’m not sure of what I’ve got on all week, I’ll only plan for a couple of days at a time, rather than the full week. It’s about making it work for you, and allowing yourself some flexibility.

I like to go easy on what I put in my planner on weekends. This means I can add in more if I’ve got time, go back to things I didn’t get to, or I can use my free time to do other tasks and get ahead of myself.

But then again, I am a planner addict whose only idea of fun is strictly organised fun.

I have a Pusheen diary for this year, which is just DARLING, and the little pictures of cats make using it more fun. Next years’ is a bit more boring, but I needed it in July, when limited diaries were available. It’s still really pretty, and it has larger spaces so I can write in more little jobs.

Challenge Yourself
Challenge Yourself

4. Challenge Yourself

Once you’ve started, you might be surprised by how much you can get done. By making your master list, the most difficult part is over. Thinking about what you need to do can take longer than actually doing one or two of your little jobs. You can crack a couple of these out in a lunch break, if you’ve planned ahead.

If one wedding task a day is working out, maybe knock it up to two some days! If you’ve a really busy day coming up, find one of the more fun or quick tasks (eg looking at instagram for inspo/texting your third cousin for her address) and pop it in on that day.

Cut Yourself Some Slack
Cut Yourself Some Slack

5. Cut Yourself some Slack

Unexpected things happen. Sometimes you have a bad day, there’s a traffic jam, you just need to sleep. Other people need your time, you have to work late, or what you thought was a little job turns into a big one.

Don’t stress. You got this, remember?

That’s the beauty of working through these little, little jobs, and only planning up to a week at a time. You can cross it off another day. Or you can push it back to next week. Maybe you can give it to someone else to do. The important thing is that you’re in control of everything that needs doing, and you can move things around. You know what’s non-negotiable and what there’s some flexibility with.

There are days – and weeks – where the best thing for me has been to ignore my planner, or not plan at all. If it’s all too much, give yourself a break. You deserve it. Planning a wedding should be fun for you, not just the day itself.

You are allowed to go at your own pace.

And here’s another thing – plan in some fun. Yes, I love organised fun, but that’s not what I mean here. Plan doing nice things. Schedule in a long bath for yourself, or to read a couple of chapters of a romance novel. Schedule in some time with your partner where you don’t talk about the wedding, perhaps over a romantic dinner. Be nice to yourself.

Bask in Your Own Brilliance
Bask in Your Own Brilliance

6. Bask in Your Own Brilliance.

As you work through your week, and then go back to your master list, you’re going to start to be pleasantly surprised by how much you’ve got done. Suddenly, big jobs are completed and you barely broke a sweat.

Using a planner and crossing things off works best for me because I can look back at a week and see everything I achieved. There’s no way I can remember everything I’ve done each day, but when I look back at what I’ve crossed out, I’m genuinely always surprised by how much I’ve done.

I do find that putting something in the planner means it has a higher chance of getting done. Little things I’d otherwise forget, like *take dinner out of the freezer*, *brush the cat* or *soak beans for tomorrow’s tea*. They all get done because I don’t even have to think about it.

I just look in my planner.

So them’s the tips. I know it’s not for everyone but I really hope it helps. The most important thing I can suggest is writing that big list. Seeing exactly what needs doing, physically in front of you, gives you so much more control over what you can get done and how and when you do it.

Don't Worry, You've Got This.
Don’t Worry, You’ve Got This.

What do you find helps you get stuff done? Are you a planner devotee? Or if you’re struggling, what do you find your biggest obstacles are? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

6 steps to stress free wedding planning