Lockdown in its various forms seems to be with us for a while yet, but that doesn’t mean an end to your wedding planning. Whether you are starting out, or deep in the midst of your wedding planning journey, there are plenty of ways that you can still work on ideas for your big day.
Despite the closure of bridal shops and wedding fairs, there are still ways that you can source suppliers and get a wealth of ideas, tips, tricks and professional advice without leaving the comfort of your sofa. On-line seminars, Q&A sessions and virtual wedding shows all mean you can make a head start on your wedding planning. There’s also a variety of on-line bridal planning sites such as Bridebook, Guides for Brides, Engage Weddings & the Four Counties Wedding Directory where you can search for all your wedding suppliers in one place.
Dress to Impress
With a multitude of beautiful dresses available, finding your perfect dress isn’t always a straightforward task…and one which is certainly not made any easier by the Covid Lockdown! But not being able to visit bridal boutiques doesn’t mean you can’t make headway with your dress search. ‘If you are using this time to plan your wedding dress, start with your local dress boutiques,’ advises Helen Searle from Cerimonia Bridal. ‘Look at their websites to get an idea of their designs and their signature looks that are available right on your doorstep.’
You may already have an idea of the style of dress you want and starting your search now will help you define your style. However, if you haven’t got a clue where to start, researching the styles available will help to inspire you and give you the opportunity to feel more comfortable in taking your search further. ‘Whether it’s beaded gowns, classic silhouettes or boho, you can really start exploring your style,’ agrees Helen. ‘You will then be ready to start booking appointments to try on dresses post lockdown and find your ‘one’.’
For brides starting their flower journey, this is the best time to do a bit of research to find your perfect florist. ‘Start by thinking about the type of flowers and once you have a style in mind, it’s easier to research florists who can offer the style that you want to create,’ says Lauren from Lauren H Flowers. ‘You also need to think about the season you are getting married in. For instance, if you’re getting married in Spring, light soft tones work whereas in Winter, deep rich colours give a hint of warmth to your wedding. Have a look at the different flowers available around your wedding date too so you can have a better idea of what can be created and chat ideas over with your florist once things start returning to normal.’
Be our guest
Now is the ideal time to put together your guest list and collate all the names and addresses as will this will save you valuable time later on. It’s also worth thinking about the information that you want to include in your invitations to give you an idea as to what style and size of invitation you need to consider. A single card may suffice but you may find you need to include a lot of information for your guests and need something more detailed such as a pocketfold. Once you have narrowed down the style, gather together pictures or a Pinterest board so you can give your stationer a good idea of the overall look you are working towards.
You may also want to consider the wording. Whilst there is a fairly standard format, you may want to opt for something more personal and maybe include a verse you have written yourself or perhaps something which reflects you more as a couple rather than generic wording. This is the perfect time to allow yourselves to be creative and inject your own personal touch in to your stationery. Also, if you are having one, create your wedding website and /or wedding email address so you have everything to hand when you chat to your stationery supplier.
Have your cake and….
Taking advantage of having a little more browsing time means you can immerse yourself in Pinterest or Instagram to help you discover the style of cake that would complement your wedding…and there is a lot of choice! But, although you may not be able to pop in for a tasting or have a design consultation face to face, it is still possible to have your cake designed from a distance. Many cake designers, including Claire Festa from At Your Wish Cakes are offering virtual consultations via Zoom or Skype or the opportunity to chat in depth via phone or email so you can still get ideas together. ‘Whether you have ideas of how you want your cake to look, or even if you don’t know where to start, we can still we can discuss all the options and I am here to help and guide you,’ explains Claire. ‘I can then design and sketch the cake and send it by email so couples can really get a feel of how their cake will look. Not only that, but I can also supply tasting boxes by post so couples can sample the flavours of cake they are considering.’
Photography is an essential part of your wedding day and you will want to get it right so that you will have a set of wedding pictures that you can treasure forever. Research the different genres of photography such as Classic, Contemporary or Reportage so you can choose a style that suits you as a couple, then you can start to look for a photographer. And yes, this can also be done during this lockdown period.
‘As you can’t meet face to face with your potential wedding vendors at the moment, reviews and personal recommendations are more important than ever. Facebook and Google reviews will give you a good understanding of what a wedding supplier is like to work with,’ advises photographer Andy Sidders. ‘You will spend an awful lot of time with your photographer on your wedding day, so it is essential that you get on well. Once you have narrowed down a choice of photographers, schedule a video call to chat through your plans to make sure your personalities are a good fit. It’s also worth using this time to have a look at photographers’ blogs to see how your day could be at your potential venue.’
Get the look
Let’s be honest, getting glammed up just isn’t top of the agenda at the moment. But actually, this is the perfect time to indulge yourself and allow a bit of escapism from the current reality of makeup-free faces and permanent PJs!
‘Lockdown brides-to-be can spend valuable time researching for their Hair and/or Makeup Artist,’ explains Niki Lawrence from Niki Makeup. ‘Often venues will have a recommended supplier list which can be very helpful and save some time. Supplier websites, blogs and social media are important in finding the right artist for you on your big day and if possible, it’s worth making contact now and reserving your wedding date. This will give you peace of mind and is something else ticked off the to do list!’
Now is definitely the time to start collating ideas for your wedding and Niki recommends putting together Pinterest boards for hair and makeup ideas as well as veil and accessories.‘ I love Pinterest and have lots of hair and makeup inspiration on my boards @nikimakeup,’ she says. ‘Pin images of all the hair styles and make up looks that you like so that when you have your hair and makeup trial you will be able to go through them in more detail.’
Take a vow
If you’ve chosen to have a Celebrant for your wedding ceremony then there’s a lot of work and thought that you can do now in preparation. ‘Most of the work done by your Celebrant takes place ahead of the actual wedding day, so it means you can totally be getting on and booking your Celebrant and your script can be started months ahead of your big day.’ explains Celebrant Kelly Hawes. ‘The sad part is we will have to hold our consultation over a zoom video call rather than face to face, but it’s as near to the real thing as possible!’
After a virtual consultation, your celebrant will have lots of details about you as a couple, about how you met and your proposal story for example, giving them everything they need to start writing a script for you. ‘It’s also worth planning other decisions you will need to make too such as who will be involved in your entourage, what will your entrance look like, your ceremony music choices and any readings you wish to add, she continues. ‘And you might even consider writing your own vows.’
The First Dance is an integral part of the wedding celebrations and whether or not you are natural dancers, make the most of this lockdown time to choose the music and practice those moves. But if you’re not sure how to choreograph your first dance, there is help courtesy of Alison Brewerton at The Love of Dance who is offering a free on-line taster session. ‘What better way to pass the time than learning to dance together with first dance lessons brought to you in your living room!’ says Alison. ‘This on-line session is ideal to give you an idea of what to expect going forward from our first dance lessons.’ So by the time lockdown is lifted, you will not only have had some fun but be step perfect too!
Wedding fairs are a fantastic way of finding suppliers and everything you need under one roof. But with the uncertainty of when wedding shows may be resumed, exhibitors and show organisers have ventured onto a new platform of bringing brides and grooms a range of on-line weddings shows via FaceBook & Instagram. To be inspired on-line, why not check out the following:
- The Anti Wedding Fair – Sunday 17th May at https://www.facebook.com/events/656739291845495/
- Art by Claire Virtual Wedding Fair – Sunday 17th May 10am -12pm via Instagram Stories @artbyclairephotography
- The Virtual Wedding Fair by Magpie Weddings – 23/24th May (Southern England) 30/31st (Northern England) https://www.magpiewedding.com/the-virtual-wedding-fair/
- Weekly Wedding Talk Live – https://www.facebook.com/safloristry/
Get in touch
For most suppliers, 2021 is booking up fast, particularly as so many weddings from this year have been postponed to next. So it’s definitely worth investing in some of the extra time you to really get ahead with your wedding planning and don’t miss out on the opportunity to book the supplier you most want to help you with your special day. And besides, what better excuse for a bit of excitement and something to look forward to!
- Andy Sidders Photography – www.andysiddersphotography.co.uk Tel:07949 706688
- At Your Wish Cakes – www.atyourwishcakes.co.uk Tel: 07748 043634
- Cerimonia Bridal – www.cerimonia.co.uk Tel:01727 837230
- Engage Weddings – www.engageweddings.co.uk Tel: 01582 881338
- Four Counties Wedding Directory – www.4countiesweddingdirectory.co.uk
- Kelly Hawes Independent Celebrant – www.kellyhcelebrant.co.uk Tel: 07827 927 947
- Lauren H Flowers – @flowersbylaurenh Tel: 07590 272898
- Niki Lawrence – www.nikimakeup.co.uk Tel: 07780 606 277
- Sophie Ayres – www.safloristry.co.uk Tel: 07450 344897
- The Love of Dance – www.theloveofdance.co.uk Tel: 07769 695051
- Tiggity Boo Wedding Stationery – www.tiggityboo.co.uk Tel: 07703 481980