Six months to go

In exactly six months to this day, I will be getting married. How did that happen?

Fast forward to the big day, and by this point I will be approximately 30 minutes from making my entrance at the church. I will be probably having some sort of deep and meaningful with my bridesmaids/my dad/Linda/my mum, or all of the above.


six-months-blog-s.jpgI’m sure I’ll have already made a mess of my eye makeup (deffo need to invest in some waterproof mascara).

Hopefully I will be calm and collected and looking radiant. That’s the way I see it in my head, anyway.

Six months away from W-day is the perfect stage to be at, I reckon. It’s close enough so that you can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but it’s far enough away to give you that “I’ve got plenty of time to sort that out” feeling.

Not that I’m procrastinating, of course. Oh no, heaven forbid.

I would never do that. I’m sure that J would tell you that I am a total cabezota (stubborn head) when it comes to getting things done. If I get something in my head I won’t stop until I’ve got it done, no matter how much I annoy everyone.

Because now – and I can hardly believe this – I’m at the stage where I can write lists of things that are left to do, and not feel overwhelmed.

When I think back to when I started out on the long road of wedding planning, and how daunting it all seemed, I’m amazed at how far I’ve come.

I spent days looking at wedding venues on the internet and just thought “this is going to be hell”.

But it really hasn’t been so far. Sure, there have been some stressful bits along the way, but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed myself through it all. Now we’re at the half way mark, and I’m really starting to believe we’re going to pull this off. More than that, we’re going to create something pretty darn special.

And a lot of that has been down to my wedding planning secret weapon, my mother-in-law Linda – who takes no crap when people are being rubbish, has impeccable taste, always offers good advice, and has so many good contacts from the three other weddings she’s planned already. I really am so lucky to have her.

In the past few weeks we’ve managed to sort out some musicians for the ceremony, meet with our priest (who assures me that my paperwork won’t be a problem, wow) and figure out what we want in terms of the invitations. It’s all rolling along nicely.

So while I’m feeling all smug and organised, I thought it would be a good idea to do a ten tips I can offer brides-to-be, based on my experiences so far. So here goes:

wedding-blog-s.jpg1) Just do it
The first step is always the hardest, but you’ve got to take it. Buy a wedding magazine, start browsing venues, or book an appointment at a wedding dress shop. Once you’ve got the ball rolling, you’ll feel better.

2) Find your own Linda
Unless your sister or best friend has got hitched, you probably have limited experience of planning a wedding. So the best thing you can do is draft in someone who’s been there, done that, worn the dress. Mothers and mothers-in-law may or may not be a good choice, depending on the relationship you have with them. So, if need be look further afield – aunties, cousins, friends. And if you’re completely alone (and if your budget allows for it) you might want to consider hiring a wedding planner

3) Start early, and give yourself plenty of time
The main times I’ve been stressed have been when I’ve struggled to get the people I want for the job because I’ve left it to late. Look at the photographer saga - I thought seven months was more than enough time to find the snapper I wanted, I was so wrong. So the best thing you can do to make things stress free is start looking at venues, for a dress, the caterer and the photographer as soon as possible, and overestimate the time you’ll need. The early bird catches the wedding worm. Prioritise – there are some things that can wait till later in the process, like picking your wedding disco music, choosing the rings, sorting out the readings for the service, etc.

4) Lists are your friends
You’ve got a million ideas buzzing round in your head, so get them down onto paper. It’ll clear your mind and help you prioritise. Don’t get overwhelmed though, deal with things one at a time, and set yourself deadlines if you know you need and extra push.

5) Make a wedding scrapbook
If you see something in a magazine or on the internet that you really like – whether it be a dress, hairstyle or bouquet – cut it out and stick it in a folder or book. Then you’ve got it all in one place. Otherwise you’ll find yourself in the situation later where you know you’ve seen a pair of shoes you really love, but you can’t remember where.

6) Don’t expect your other half to be as obsessed as you are
Why doesn’t he care about the flowers or which photographer you choose? Because he’s a man, that’s why. Maybe you’ll find yourself with one of those rare ‘Groomzilla’ types who want personal control of the seating plan, but chances are, he won’t give a monkey’s. So take charge of the fiddly stuff and give him jobs he’ll be interested in – like researching the honeymoon or sorting out the DJ.

7) Keep an open mind
Don’t rule anything out on the premise that ‘It’s just not me’. Try every dress on in the shop and go see as many venues as you can. You’ve never done this before, remember? How do you know what you’re going to like?

8) Remember, it’s your wedding – nobody else’s
Don’t be worried about what your friends will think of your dress, or the song you choose for your first dance. It’s your special day, so pick something YOU like. Don’t totally disregard advice, though. If someone close to you is telling you a fuchsia pink dress is not a good idea, it’s only because they have your best interests at heart.

9) Compromise
You want a quiet wedding and your mum – who’s forking out for the big day – has in mind a guest list of 400. Or you want an Eighties disco while your other half wants heavy metal classics. Weddings are epic argument territory, so you have to compromise and talk through things properly. And apparently that’s the secret to a successful marriage too, so think of it as good practice. Nine times out of ten you’ll find a half way point, a solution that keeps all parties happy. But if you don’t, don’t resort to emotional blackmail. Nobody deserves that.

10) Enjoy it
If things all go to plan (and why wouldn’t they?) This is the only wedding you will ever plan. In your whole life, ever. It’s a once in a lifetime experience and you should try and treasure every moment. Even the stressful parts. It seems like a nightmare now that every venue you look at is over priced and looks like a Butlin’s ballroom. But trust me, you’ll look back and laugh about it all once you’ve found your fairytale location

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  1. Hi Katherine,
    I have been following your blog from the very beginning as I followed Gemma’s – being a bride last September I know exactly what you both were going through. I do agree with your top ten tips as I did every one of them – I would just like to add one though- Around the six to four month stage you and your other half should have a few days away together – I did it with mine and it was great just to get away from the pressure cooker of planning a wedding – (I did mine in 9 months) Ours was just in the UK so it doesn’t have to break the bank. If time is short try a bank holiday.
    You will notice that you come back refreshed and ready for the months ahead, – believe me when I tell you that six months will fly buy! Sorry don’t mean to scare you.
    Another tip is on the day have a wedding co ordinator – they don’t plan the wedding but help co ordinate the day – so for example if the light bulbs go out in the venue then they do the running around to make sure that they are changed, take your beauty case to the venue for you etc – they take the worry off the family members which means everyone has an every more stress free day.
    Good luck with the rest of the planning. I’m looking forward to your next instalment.

  2. Katherine Robinson

    Hi AC,
    Thanks for following my blog, and commenting. So glad you like it. And thanks so much for adding your advice to my list of tips.
    A break away together sounds like a brilliant idea. I will have to see if I can escape with J for a couple of days. There are so many nice places close to Madrid, it would be silly not to.
    And the wedding co-ordinator sounds like a good idea too. I wonder if my chief bridesmaid Phoebe (who is in events management and PR) would be up for it?
    So how did your wedding go? Where was it, and how many guests did you have? It’s so funny that ever since I started wedding planning I’ve become super interested in other people’s wedding, but I didn’t take much of an interest before!

  3. Hi Katherine,
    Thanks for replying. I had a nice wedding although it did rain! But it didn’t spoil the day as I had foreseen that it may rain in London and ensured that the venue was weather proof – indoors. As both my husband and I come from large families we ended up having 230 guests, although I did have ten bridesmaids (8 under the age of five) and a page boy. If you do have children at the reception a tip is to get them party bags (I themed mine with my colour scheme) and they keep the children occupied as they can get bored.
    If you want more details or advice, just email me (personal account) as I am happy to help.

  4. Katherine Robinson

    Hi Anna – sorry it’s taken me so long to reply. Party bags are a great idea – and one I’m definitely going to steal from you!
    Ten bridesmaids, wow! bet they looked great in the pictures!

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