Botleys Mansion wedding newlywed bride and bridesmaids

9-6 months

Wedding planning

Planning the details

from bridal accessories to the wedding cake

Hopefully those major all important decisions have now been ticked off your planning checklist. The wedding budget is agreed, the date and venue is booked, the dress has been chosen and your wedding party are thrilled to be apart of your special day! Let the planning continue…

Things to consider...

Generally, you will need to consider:
• How significant flowers are in the context of your day?
• How much dressing does your venue need?
• Does your colour scheme dictate various blooms?
• Seasonality of particular blooms – consider the cost ramifications of this if your chosen bloom is not typically in season on your wedding date.

When budgeting and ordering your flowers, consider the following:
• Table centres
• Pedestal arrangements
• Button-holes and corsages
• Bridal flowers (will your flower bouquet be hand-tied, pomander, posy, or shower)
• Bridesmaid bouquets
• Cake decoration. Do you wish to have flowers on your wedding cake?

Ordering gift bouquets from your florist to thank particular members of your wedding party, such as the mother of the bride and mother of the groom, can be a nice touch and a reminder of the day even when the event has passed.

Rustic wedding cake

Wedding cake

When it comes to wedding cakes, researching local cake suppliers and reading their reviews is a great place to start. It takes time but make sure you have as many tastings with different patissiers as you can manage, as this will allow you to compare the different quality of cakes. Some companies may offer a ‘Taster Box’ which they can post to your door. This is a perfect way to taste different flavours without needing to visit multiple stores!

Cake inspiration

The wedding cake selection is a prime candidate for Instagram and Pinterest (or a scrapbook if you prefer the hard-copy approach). Every time you see a cake you like the look of ‘save it’, ‘pin it’, or screenshot it. This is a great way to be inspired for all aspects of your cake, including the wedding cake topper, the shape of the tiers, colours for the icing, the list goes on!

Most patissiers will happily translate your picture into reality, although of course there may be a price tag that generates the need for simplification if your wedding budget doesn’t match your design abilities!

You will want to take into account:

Number of portions (i.e. your number of guests)
• Size of portion (this can vary with but generally you will be given the option of ‘finger size’ (which is usually as the name suggests a long thin piece of cake per guest) versus ‘dessert size’ (which you might want to think about if you are serving the cake in the evening and would like it to be a little more substantial and the dessert element of your evening food).
• Number of tiers – this can be a design feature or just dictated by the number of portions you want to serve. Some tiered cakes include dummy layers which are simply for the aesthetic of the cake.
• Most Patissiers offer a range of delicious flavours and each tier can be different if you wish. The more traditional couple will at least include one tier of fruit cake but others will have a separate ‘cutting block’ of fruitcake to satisfy the fruitcake eaters. Others will simply stick to sponge or macaroons or profiteroles.
• In terms of the ‘outside’, naked cakes (no icing) will compete for your vote against sugar or buttercream icing.
• Dietary constraints – it is possible to offer gluten-free, nut-free, etc. but this may alter the taste to some extent. You may wish to consider a tiered cake stand to separate the cakes to avoid cross-contamination. Discuss your requirements with your Patissier.
• On your timetable make sure that you have allocated a slot for the formal cake cutting if this is part of your plan. Forewarn the toastmaster (or the last speaker if this is a run-on at the end of the speeches) so that it is announced – and your guests and photographer don’t miss it!
• Ensure that your cake maker will both deliver to your venue and set up the cake. Is s/he also providing the cake stand and who has the knife…?
• If you are planning any fresh cream or other temperature-sensitive ingredients, check with your venue that you are operating within legal food safety guidelines.

Bridal shoes
bride in a wedding dress

Bridal accessories

If you haven’t already done so, when buying your wedding dress, now is the time to buy your accessories.

To complete your wedding day look consider the following:

  • Wedding hair accessories
  • Jewellery
  • Garter
  • NVP underwear
  • Bridal shoes
  • Perfume

The details...

Wedding hair accessories
It is ideal to look at the options for bridal headpieces, this could be an alternative to the traditional veil, or a wedding hair accessory if you decide to take your veil off after the ceremony and photographs.

This too will need to complement your dress. Earrings, braclet, necklace etc. may be needed to complete the ‘look’.

Entirely optional! Just one of those traditions that you need to opt in or out of!

NVP underwear
The all-important ‘no visible panty-line’ kit, complete with a strapless or backless bra, maybe worth taking for the dress fitting. Make sure that they are on the list for the day if your dress is ‘figure-hugging’.

Bridal shoes
Think about the size of the heel you want for the day and take a pair of similar heels for the initial dress fitting. When it comes to choosing the pair that will carry you down the aisle remember that you are going to be wearing them for a long time so is best to choose a comfortable pair. If you opt for high heels, having a second pair of flat wedding shoes to change into for the evening reception is recommended. Whatever you choose, doing the practice walk needs to go on the agenda over a decent period so as to ‘walk them in’. Make sure you have your chosen shoes with you for the final fitting of the dress.

Scientists tell us that smells evoke memories more strongly even than sound. Decide if you are planning to wear your normal perfume for the day, or if it will be something different that in years to come will transport you back to your wedding day every time you catch a whiff. If you’re after something a bit different, you may want to create a bespoke wedding perfume as a couple. This can be a wonderful experience to share together in the lead up until your wedding!

Notley Abbey wedding flowers

Wedding favours

Favours are a tradition which has been exaggerated and ignored with various fashions over the years. They were always intended to be taken away by the guest as a memento of the day and often the packaging was as significant as the gift inside.
Nowadays couples may consider that the hospitality extended is already sufficient and may ignore favours altogether. But others will want to include some memento and will usually put the favours on the place setting of the meal.

Favour inspiration

The list below may give you some inspiration…
• Brooches on napkins for the ladies
• Cigars for the chaps
• Tiny birdcages with sugared almonds or other sweet
• See-through cornet of traditional sweets
• Lollipop of macaroon (in cellophane)
• Miniature bottle of liqueur
• Box with a profiterole
• Small fabric bag with edible goodies

If you wish to have an alcoholic or edible favour for your wedding day, it is best to check if any rules or corkage charges apply at your chosen venue.

Another option is choosing charity wedding favours for your guests. These could include pin badges or flower seeds and are a thoughtful finishing touch to your wedding breakfast setup. Charities that provide this option include Cancer Research , Dogs Trustand Unicef  amongst many others. If you have a charity in mind, but they do not offer favours, why not get creative and use thank you cards to voice the donation.