Hoping for a stress-free wedding? Who wouldn't be?! Keeping your stress levels down could mean the difference between spending all your free time deciphering seating charts or spending it with your SO.
But, how do you do that? How do you keep a cool head when you're trying to decide just how to pull off 'shabby chic' or how to replicate that table setting you spied on Pinterest? It all comes down to cheating - and not the kind that involves your #cleaneating diet. Having some hacks up your sleeve can save time, money and your anxiety levels. These tricks don't have to be, well, tricky either. In fact, most could be super simple, but it just takes someone else to point them out for you to have that 'aha!' moment. So that's what we've decided to do. We're sharing 18 of our top wedding hacks, all guaranteed to help you keep a level head as you start the countdown to the big day.
- Create a new email address for your wedding enquiries and suppliers. It will prevent your regular inbox from becoming clogged and will keep everything in one handy spot.
- Keep a contacts spreadsheet and make sure you list the address and contact information for everyone, including each of your guests and suppliers. You will refer back to it... many, many times.
- Number each of your invitations in small writing and then allocate a number to everyone on your guest list. That way, if some of your guests don't write their names on their RSVPs, you'll still know who's who.
- Introduce a wedding date night into your weekly schedule. No, this isn't an excuse to go out to a swanky restaurant, but rather a night you dedicate to wedding planning. These nights are all about sitting down with your SO and nutting out things like seating charts, budgets, guest lists and other nitty-gritty details. Knowing you have a set night each week will keep chaos at bay and can help streamline the planning process. Opening a bottle of wine is optional, but highly recommended.
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The important stuff that needs to happen before you sign on the dotted line.
- Don't like the carpet at your venue? Keep your guests looking up with suspended floral installations or eye-catching light fixtures, like lanterns and chandeliers.
- Make your own photo-booth or ceremony backdrop by getting your hands on a couple of white tablecloths or bedsheets. Then ask a friend (who just happens to have a knack for design or calligraphy) to write a beautiful quote, your names or even an excerpt from your vows.
- Stock up on brown paper lunch bags and battery-operated candles to create your own luminary lanterns. Pop a candle in each bag and line up the bags on the ground to create dreamy golden-lit paths. Those feeling super crafty could even have a go at cutting a stencil out on both sides of the bag. Just remember though, unless you want the fire brigade to pay a visit, you have to use candles with faux flames.
- Spray paint can be your best friend, and is a must-have tool if you're looking to keep your styling costs down. Instead of buying or hiring brand-new styling kit, raid op shops, markets and garage sales for vases, mason jars, glass carafes or antique picture frames. You can easily glitz these bits-and-bobs up, and it's as simple as giving them a quick coat of paint. Use the pieces you pick up for centrepieces, vases and reception decorations.
- Wearing a strapless wedding dress? Avoid having to tug the neckline up all day by asking your couturier or designer to sew a strapless bra into the dress.
- A pair of shoes with slippery soles can make being on your feet all day tough. Improve the grip of the soles by rubbing them with sand paper.
- Have a groom who is self-conscious about his height? Give him a couple of extra inches in the height department by getting his tootsies into a pair of kicks with shoe lifts. These lifts can be built into a pair of custom shoes (known as elevator shoes) or a discrete insole can be slipped into an already-made pair. Taller has a range of ready-made shoes that can boost a groom's height by between 6cm and 10cm; the shoe lift insoles can increase height by 1.6cm. Both options are available in Taller's stores and online.
- Put simply, strong winds and floaty veils don't go together. Prevent your veil being picked up by a rogue breeze by attaching a couple of veil weights to the end of the fabric. The weights are available in different shapes, sizes and styles - some even just look like pieces of jewellery. You can make your own too, using the ends of flower or hair pins and hot glueing magnets to the back.
- Break in and stretch your new shoes by pulling on your thickest pair of socks and reaching for your hair dryer. Put your shoes on and blast the tightest spots with the dryer for 10 minutes.
- Don't feel like you have to wear an actual wedding dress on the big day. You can just as easily wear any other kind of white dress, especially if it's from one of your favourite designers. Hit up places like Net-a-Porter or Neiman Marcus to find white frocks from some of the world's biggest designers, or swing past local department stores and boutiques stocking Australian labels. This alternative can often work out to be more budget-friendly, plus nobody will know you're not wearing a 'wedding dress' unless you tell them.
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The pre-wedding events and the big day
- Use your hen's night to do something that will come in handy for the big day, like a flower crown workshop, raw dessert-making class or a morning yoga session to help your zen levels. Healthy Hens does all of those things and offers a range of activities that don't include a Magic Mike-inspired night out. Some of the packages available include beauty treatments, juice cleanses and meditation too, to help brides and leading ladies who want to be in tip-top shape for the wedding.
- Getting hitched in warm weather? Don't buy separate fans for your guests - just use your wedding program! Your guests will love that you've thought about how to keep them cool, and you'll love not having to buy another wedding extra. Win-win!
- Keep your cake costs down by organising a smaller two- or three-tier cake for you to cut in the photos, but serving your guests from a sheet cake you have stashed in the kitchen.
- Nylon pantyhose, microfibre sponges, baby wipes and make-up removing wipes can help lift minor deodorant stains off your wedding dress. Make sure to be gentle though, and for more serious stain removers, take your frock to a dry-cleaner.
Have a wedding hack other couples need to know about? Tell us in the comments!
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