A non-guidey guide from a 'Soon to be Bride': Part Four

01 / 12 / 19

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To DIY or not to DIY!?

I can’t believe I’m already on part four of my planning blog, and... we’re now officially in the 6-month countdown now! I’m glad I can distract myself with Christmas for the next few weeks before it all starts to feel very, very real!

This month we’ve had a few main tasks which we’ve been focused on - suit shopping, the budget and trying to make progress on the DIY projects! Thankfully, the suit shopping was as easy as getting all the other outfits sorted. In fact, Jack tried on the same number of suits as I did dresses and ended up buying the first one he tried on, like the bridesmaids did!

Jack invited me along on his shopping trip with his Mum for an extra bit of advice, and I’m actually really glad that he wanted me to be there! We had a lovely couple of hours together, and I loved seeing him in his suit, knowing that the next time I’d see him wearing it would be when I would be walking down the aisle to him. I must admit, it gave me butterflies!

Initially I was quite happy to let Jack have free reign over suit shopping as I thought it would add to the excitement of seeing him wearing it for the first time on our wedding day, however being able to picture exactly what he’s going to be wearing is just another piece of this exciting puzzle.

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The big question I have been asking myself this month is... is being a DIY bride worth it?!

Whilst I’m sat in here into what feels like the 128th hour of my second proper DIY wedding project, I can’t help but wonder whether I have made a terrible mistake!? I Decided that I wanted to take on the task of making everything myself; from the save the dates (which I used as a practice run to see if I had any creativity in me at all!) to cake stands and centre pieces. I’m not really a particularly crafty person, but Pinterest and Facebook groups make you think that you can achieve anything!!

When you have 18 months to plan it feels like you have all the time in the world, but my goodness you’ll be surprised at how quickly that time disappears! When we booked our venue just over a year ago, I made a promise to myself that I would have all my ‘DIY stuff’ done by Christmas this year, which seemed easy! I had a whole year to collect some jars and put lace on them, make the centre pieces, purchase some artificial flowers and make the table names and a board for the table plan - how could that possibly take me a whole year?! Well, this dream has all but disappeared now and I feel like my bridesmaids may suddenly get very busy in the new year!! When I do get the chance to work on my DIY projects, I really enjoy it and find it quite therapeutic!

I know that when we are married I will genuinely miss all of this planning and crafting, so don’t let my ramblings put you off! If you are considering doing everything or even anything for yourself, I’m sure you’ll love doing it and it’s actually really rewarding! What I have learnt from my planning journey this month is it’s important to set yourself time limit - have an idea of what you want to get done when and set yourself a real deadlines to get it done by, (not just everything by Christmas!) break it down so that you spread it out a bit. Oh, hindsight is such a wonderful thing!!

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My final top tip for this month is to keep on top of a budget planner, even if you don’t have a specific budget! I’d recommend that you have a spreadsheet, notepad, diary or a scrap piece of paper by your bed for those 2am thoughts - anything that will help you keep an eye on your costs, and keep it updated regularly. You would be amazed at how quickly you will forget what payments you have and haven’t made!

My spreadsheet and wedding planner book have been invaluable in keeping my head together.

Talking of budgeting, the other thing we have found challenging over the last year is making sure we don’t get consumed in budgets and wedding planning and forget to be a couple and put time aside for each other.

A few months ago, we went out for dinner and realised we hadn’t done anything just the two of us for a long time, so Jack came up with the idea of making sure we put aside some time and money to go out for a meal together once a month. We set ourselves the rule that we must always visit somewhere we haven’t ever eaten before (we are lucky enough to live in a large town with lots of independent places to eat yet we always end up visiting the same restaurants!) and he has taken it very seriously! He’s been making lists of places we can go to make sure we don’t end up at Nando’s every time!

So, whatever it may be, it’s important to make that dedicated time for each other. I know some couples have felt like completely different people once the wedding is over as they felt like the stress and budgeting put a strain on the relationship. 18 months is a long time to feel like that!

Have a great Christmas everyone and in the New Year I’ll be getting into all the nitty gritty of table plans, music and the legal bits! I’ll also have the nerves kicking in for my hen do which I still no nothing about!

Here’s to a fab 2019 and an even better 2020!