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by Katrina Otter

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And just like that, I’ve blinked (or at least it feels that way), and the Summer 2018 wedding season is somehow drawing to a close. Now that Autumn’s upon us, I’m back in the office and busy working on plans for my 2019 weddings and wedding planner training courses. It is however GREAT to take a little time out to be here with you today and adding to the bank of essential collaborative wedding planning tips on the Coco Blog.

Today’s feature about wedding planning myths is a seriously HOT topic and one which will continue to be just as conversational and relevant whether you’re reading this in 2018, 2019 or beyond. I’m also 99% sure that you’ll have heard/been told most, if not all of these mysterious wedding planning myths and legends. However, I’m here to tell you once and for all that that’s exactly what they are – myths and legends. So, it’s time to get my kick-ass planning hat on and take on these eleven wedding planning myths.

(and a slight personal plea here – if you take on board only one myth today and view is as just that then PLEASE let is be the first one!)

Before I begin… how exactly have these myths come about? Well, like a lot of myths, some have their roots in old truths whilst some have come about more recently (thanks social media, for all the added pressure!). Like all tales, they seem to gather more credibility with every telling until they just become received wedding wisdom that’s hard to ignore. But, it’s time to shove these myths to the side-lines and free yourself because, whether you know it or not, clinging on to these myths really won’t help you along your wedding planning journey.

So, let’s roll out the wedding ‘fake news’ and cut it down to size with a big dose of truth and reason.

There’s a ‘wedding surcharge’

NO, there really isn’t. The wedding industry IS NOT in cahoots to get rich quick and retire super early on the proceeds of your wedding.

The majority of suppliers charge in relation to their time, their skills, their experience and their own market value. There are suppliers out there to suit every price point and yes, some might be more expensive than others but that’s not because they’re adding extra to your bill.

There’s also lots to take into account – a florist’s quote for example has to cover the flowers themselves, staff and transportation, materials + the preparation time before your wedding + time on the day itself + time after the wedding clearing away and packing up +++ (you get the drift?!). Only a portion of that quote is profit and every supplier has a right to that otherwise all the wonderful, creative and talented wedding suppliers out there would have to say goodbye to their businesses.

(Just a quick reminder about my person plea here!)

It takes at least 12 months to plan a wedding

No, it really doesn’t.

If you’re organised and focused, you can plan a wedding in a few months (obviously making sure you’ve got enough time to complete all the legal aspects around your ceremony!). Couples used to take a year or so to plan for lots of practical reasons but now, anything is possible, especially if you put your mind and energy to it!  So, if you’re good to go, why wait? 

DIY saves you money

Erm, not always.

If you’re planning simple projects that don’t need lots of equipment and materials then yes, DIY can be good for your budget.  However, if you’re tackling more complex crafts then you’re unlikely to make big savings. Plus, when you add in the amount of your time all this DIY will take (especially in the final few weeks), you could be losing out.

That said, if you enjoy craft and love the thought of making things, go ahead but do it because you want to, not just because you want to save money. Also, if you can, avoid giving yourself too much to do – DIY inflicted stress isn’t pretty, trust me!

You’ll know instantly when it’s ‘the one’

Actually, sometimes yes!

This is one myth that I’ll admit does work out sometimes. Some Brides will go to a boutique, try on a gown and instantly fall in love (myself included). But plenty won’t and by perpetuating the myth that the moment you try on a dress, you’ll feel this huge rush of emotion, we’re often ruining the whole wedding dress experience for lots of Brides. You don’t always fall in love at first sight or cry happy tears when you find ‘the one’. Sometimes, the realisation that something is right for you comes more slowly and that’s fine too. It doesn’t matter how you find your wedding dress, just that when you do, you’re happy and confident in your decision.

Everything about your wedding should be personal/unique/different

We see so many amazing images on Instagram, Pinterest and on our favourite blogs and read so many articles about planning the perfect wedding that we now seem to think that every single element of a wedding should be infused with unique, personal touches and creative details. They can be, for sure, but they absolutely don’t have to be, and your wedding won’t be any less perfect if you don’t.  Not everything at your wedding has to be creative or different to create a great day because experience and memories ultimately don’t come from personal touches or creative details, they come from you.

Unless you wear a white dress/cut a wedding cake/toss your bouquet/give a speech/include every tradition going, it’s not really a wedding!

This is probably one of those myths that you’ll be hearing from your parents, older family members or even some friends when you excitedly tell them your plans.

Weddings have changed and evolved so much recently that the old formats don’t have to apply. You can absolutely remove elements that don’t have any meaning for you or those that you’re not comfortable with and you know what, it’s perfectly fine if you do. However, lots of people have certain expectations around weddings and changing their view is a much harder task. So, don’t try. Don’t tell everyone everything you’re planning, and you’ll avoid all the pre-wedding comments. Come the big day, your guests will be having such a great time that the absence of the bouquet toss or a fruit cake won’t even register.

There’s a certain amount that you have to spend to have the perfect wedding

Granted, if you want 250 guests in a five-star exclusive use wedding venue with free drinks all day, a five-course meal, a live band and more flowers than Meghan Markle, there’s a certain amount that you’re going to have to spend. But, it is possible to have YOUR perfect wedding on any budget.

Start by deciding on your priorities and apportion larger chunks of your budget to those areas. Rein in your spending on things that you don’t mind as much about and even cut out those things that you just don’t care about. If you choose to spend more on your venue or your flowers and less on your dress whilst cutting out a videographer entirely, it’s your budget, your choice and your perfect day.

There are people that you have to invite/include

When you start writing your guest list, it’s easy to start adding everyone you know. Those Cousins that you’ve not seen in years will somehow find their way onto the list and you’ll also be wondering if that friend needs to be a Bridesmaid because you were their Bridesmaid five years ago.

STOP RIGHT THERE! This is your wedding and you get to decide who’s part of it. Do you really want people you’ve not seen or spoken to in years taking up one of a limited number of spaces (because ultimately there is normally a limit)? And do you want a huge party of bridesmaids? If you do, then absolutely fine but if not, don’t do it! Yes, there is the chance that some family members might be a little miffed that they miss out, but your wedding is a day to be surrounded by everyone you love most in the world and if that means your best friend from work gets an invitation and your second Cousin doesn’t, so be it. And don’t even get me started about plus ones and children… that’s another topic for another day! 

Family & friends will love to get involved

Hmmm, how can I put this nicely?! The truth of the matter is that not everyone will be as interested in your wedding as you are, and that might also include your other half.

Yes, there’s a flurry of interest when you get engaged and people want to know a bit about your plans but after that, they just get on with their own lives. This isn’t because they’re not looking forward to the big day, it’s just that it’s your wedding, not theirs. You can’t expect anyone to be as interested in the minutiae of wedding planning and neither can you expect everyone to love getting involved.

Let’s be honest, all our lives are pretty jam-packed as is, so to be expected to find loads of extra time for wedding shows, shopping, wedmin, wedding chats and the like just isn’t realistic. Please don’t assume that you’ll have armies of happy, smiling, enthusiastic helpers (but, if you’re offered help, take it!).

A wedding planner is an expensive luxury

No, we’re not and you’d be surprised just how much a planner can save you in time, stress and effort. Yes, our fees might make it look like we’re an indulgence, but the reality is often very different. I would say that right, after all I’m a Wedding Planner! Well, wrong and here’s why…  A wedding planner is also: 

  • An expert, confidant and mentor
  • Someone who will listen to you, support you and take away some of the burden and stress of planning a wedding
  • Someone who will work with you to understand your vision and then deliver it
  • Someone who will create one of the most memorable experiences of your life.
  • Someone who will work tirelessly for you, with your best interests at heart, to ensure that every last detail is carefully considered and flawlessly executed

Imagine us as a time-saving safety net. We’ve got the know-how, the contacts, the time and the experience to make sure that your wedding is everything you want it to be. We’ve got your back throughout the planning process and on the day, we’re totally on your side. We’ll save you time, stress and organisational headaches and we’ll rustle up ideas and suppliers that you’ll love. You’ll still get all the best bits of wedding planning without any of the worry and we’ll give you a day that you’ll remember forever. If only we could put a price tag on that!

The perfect wedding venue exists

I had to end with this one because the thought that your perfect venue exists is unfortunately a myth too.

There will always be something that you have to compromise on and that’s ok. You might have wanted a venue with loads of onsite accommodation or a sweeping driveway but if a venue that you’ve seen has everything apart from those points, it can still be perfect. Look at what’s most important to you and list the things that are ‘nice-to-haves’.  If a venue ticks the majority of your boxes, then it has to make your shortlist. Know what you’re prepared to compromise on from the outset and you’ll save yourself lots of time, stress and hard work in trying to find something that probably doesn’t exist anyway.

And there we have it – myths busted, and realism restored!

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Katrina Otter

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Katrina Otter

Katrina is a national award-winning wedding planner who specialises in timeless British luxury weddings throughout the UK and beyond.

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