Top wedding planning tips
Kelly shared her wedding with Scope in “H is for happy endings” for the End The Awkward campaign, today she shares her top wedding planning tips. Kelly is a business proprietor, blogger, media, model and director of Kidderminster Harriers, you can follow her on twitter KellyPeebz.
My name is Kelly Perks-Bevington and I’ve got Spinal Muscular Atrophy type 3 which means, amongst other things that I use an electric wheelchair on a daily basis. I got married two years ago to Jaz who I have known since we were at college together when we were sixteen.
Planning a wedding is SUCH a process… an enjoyable one, but at times a stressful one! It took us around a year, from engagement to wedding and sometimes it takes that long just to get everything sorted.. and it felt like we got it done pretty quickly!
Register your intent to marry
This is something that I don’t feel is that well-known, especially if you’ve never read up on getting married before. You need to apply to your local council at least 28 days prior to your ceremony stating your intention to marry (they actually display your intention to marry in the local registry office in case of any public objections!). You then need to present this certificate to the registrar who will marry you at your pre-ceremony meeting. We got married in London (we live in Birmingham) and I was constantly worried about getting the paperwork right and organised, needless to say it was fine... But I had a few nightmares before the big day that the paperwork was wrong!
Find your perfect venue
Don’t be scared to look further afield and definitely think outside the box. Sometimes “wedding” hotels or stately homes will charge the earth and be really inflexible with any outsourcing, large corkage fee’s etc. Our reception was held at a disused chapel that is often used for art installations and so their policies were really lenient and we were able to outsource our own drinks free of charge, bring in our own DJ, and use completely unaffiliated suppliers.
Another thing I was aware of when booking the venue (because I am a wheelchair user) was access! I wanted to ensure my day went smoothly and that I didn’t have any access issues, our venue was COMPLETELY inaccessible… BUT! We asked them and they built ramps and organised the venue so that it could be accessible for us. It was great as when I first visited the venue I was so worried that I’d not be able to have the wedding there due to access needs.
Dress shopping doesn’t have to be stressful!
My biggest worry as a wheelchair user was dress shopping, I love fashion, make up and generally expressing myself through my appearance but when I thought about my wedding dress it just filled me with dread. I think my worries were finding a dress that looked good sitting down, trying a load of dresses on in the shop within a small space of time (how would I physically do this), and finding a big enough accessible bridal shop as, as a rule they all tend to be tiny, quirky and beautiful and I was worried about getting in comfortably.
I then came across “Fur Coat No Knickers Vintage” who have a range of “vintage” dress styles made specifically for their clients shape and size! So it’s not luck of the draw with original vintage items (where everything you like the look of is a completely different size!) you get to chose your style, cut, colour, everything! They made me feel so comfortable and I actually enjoyed the process, the fact that they give you champagne at every fitting is just a bonus!
Find the perfect playlist
Music for your big day is SO important and you will be surprised how many strange and randoms songs give you wedding flashbacks afterwards! We set up a group and asked our guests to choose some of their favourite songs and passed them on to our DJ, we had such an eclectic wedding playlist it was great, no one knew what was coming next!
Take time to chill
This is my biggest tip for the actual wedding day! Jaz and I took 20minutes (we actually hid in the disabled loo) to talk about how the day had gone and to digest everything and it was the most memorable part of the day for me! It sounds weird but you can get wrapped up in ensuring that you have a drink with everyone, and that you spend time thanking people that you don’t actually spend much time with your other half at all. It’s such an important and memorable day, so definitely make time for each other.
Don’t be self conscious
As well as worrying about access and my dress, I was also worried about our first dance. Up until the day I still wasn’t sure if I was going to do it or not! I knew I wanted to get out of my chair, but I was also worried that if I stood when I was nervous I would fall over, or that our guests would be bored just watching me just basically sway for 3minutes+!
We talked about it and Jaz said that i’d regret it if I didn’t and that I shouldn’t worry about what others thought, so we did it, and it was something that I will remember forever. I’m so glad we did it and I didn’t feel self conscious, or even notice that there was anyone else in the room.
Please let me know if you found these helpful, what your experience of planning a wedding was, what did/didn’t you enjoy doing! Do you have any questions about planning a wedding? Tell us about your wedding experience!