Rachel Emma Studio | Wedding Decorations, Stationery and Gifts

Wedding Styling, Paper Goods, Party Supplies

Married Life

Wedding Planning 101 - Where to Start?

Videos, Wedding Planning Advice, Married Life, Wedding Styling TipsRachel WaringComment
Wedding planning 101 where to start?.jpg

NO ONE TEACHES YOU THIS ABOUT WEDDING PLANNING…

Did you just get engaged and you’re already feeling overwhelmed? Well firstly CONGRATULATIONS, and secondly I promise you’re not alone. The number one struggle I hear from couples I work with is they don’t know where to start with their wedding planning. There’s so much to remember and so many decisions to make, how do you go about tackling this massive life project that no one teaches you how to plan?

Well today I’ve got you covered, in this first part of my Wedding Planning 101 series, I’ll teach you my failsafe first step that will help supercharge your wedmin hours. This exercise will get you and your partner on the exact same page, and you’ll have a crystal clear idea of what your priorities are so you can hit the rest of your planning with laser focus. It also makes it even more FUN.

Watch the video for the full lowdown (it’s bite sized five minutes long), or read below for the highlights.

START THE CONVERSATION

It sounds simple, but your wedding planning needs to start with proper, honest conversation between the two of you. Notice how I said the TWO of you, not you and everyone else you know. There will be time to include your friends and family later, but this first planning chat needs to be a date night kinda thing you know? Keep everyone else’s opinions out of it for now.

LIST YOUR WEDDING PRIORITIES

The best place to start with your big wedding chat, is to each list out your individual priorities when it comes to the big day. Be prepared for some of these to be the same, and some of them to be different. For example, my husband is all about the logistics, so to him, the flow of the day was super important. He didn’t want anyone to be bored waiting around for food. But my main priority was the visual aesthetic and atmosphere (obvs), so we had to make some compromises along the way to make sure both of our needs were met.

download your free priorities checklist

To help you structure this conversation and keep you on track, I made you a free wedding priorities checklist that you can download and fill out for yourselves. It includes some prompts to get you started, because I know it can be hard to think of things under pressure.

Some examples of things you might list as priorities might be: live music, food, being able to invite loads of friends, entertainment throughout the day, an absolutely killer wedding dress…. you get the idea.

Ask yourselves the big questions

When do you want to get married? How long do you want your engagement to be? What season are you imagining it to be? What general atmosphere do you want to create? Again, use your free checklist as a guide, but be totally honest here about your dreams for your wedding.

COMBINE YOUR LISTS + RANK YOUR PRIORITIES

This is the fun bit. Take all your priorities you’ve written down, and each rank them in order of how important they are to you.

Then compare your lists. Where do they match up? Where are the differences? This is the time to chat it out and compromise if you need to, but having everything listed in order of importance to each of you will really help you get on the same page, and create a vision for your day together as a team - which is how every marriage should start don’t you think?

RECAP: WHY START THIS WAY?

  • Having a frank, structured conversation early on in your wedding planning will really help you set expectations for the months to come.

  • A clear view of what your priorities are will make decision making 10 times easier, because you can always refer back to your list as it relates to each decision. Does it match up with your priorities? Yes? Great. No? Cut it.

  • It helps avoid arguments. I know it’s not nice to think about, but wedding planning can actually put quite a strain on your relationship if you don’t communicate and stay in the zone as a team. This foundation will help you do this, and keep you pals throughout the process.

  • It helps you communicate your ideas to other people in your life who might be helping out with the wedding. Everyone has that family member who tries to help but doesn’t really “get” your vision. The more clear you are on your wish-list, the more effective the help of others will be to you.

  • BUDGETING. Your new priorities checklist will massively help you with the next stage, which is setting your budget. I’ll be walking you through that step in the next part of this series.

Are you ready? Have fun with it, and don’t forget to download your free priorities checklist below to help you along the way.

10 Fun Traditions to Start with Your Partner

Married LifeBethComment
10 fun traditions to start in your marriage.jpg

So, you’re married now, that’s a thing, and you’re open to a whole new world of opportunities for you and your partner to explore. Why not start by creating some super fun traditions? The best part of creating traditions with your partner is that they are personal and unique to you, and things you develop over time. But if you are looking for a bit of inspiration to start you off, here’s my top 10 ideas for traditions to start in your new marriage. 

RECREATE YOUR FIRST DATE EVERY YEAR

Although this might be super cheesy to some of you, we can all enjoy a little cheese in our life now and again. This super fun, romantic tradition basically involves you and your partner going back to the place of your first date each anniversary. This doesn’t have to mean re-creating the entire first date start to finish, and nor does it have to be the exact same location, have fun with it. Say you’re first date was at an Italian restaurant, each anniversary you could go to a different Italian restaurant. 

Collect Christmas Tree Ornaments

Although not completely relevant in September, I’m already embracing the Autumn lifestyle, meaning Christmas is nearly round the corner. Your first Christmas together is bound to be special, but why not make a fun tradition to add to the excitement? This, again, can be adapted to suit whichever holidays you celebrate and how you decorate for them, but why not make a habit of choosing a decoration together every year? It’s the perfect way to build your collection together, but also in an affordable yet romantic way. It will also be hilarious to look make on some of your questionable decor choices in years to come.

regular Movie date Night

Strapped for cash after your big day? Or just want to stay in and relax after a busy week? Having a movie night once a month (or even once a week) is the perfect tradition to start with your partner, especially since the invention of Netflix. Just grab some popcorn and you’re ready to go. Just make sure you decide on the movie in advance to avoid wasting several hours deciding (we’ve all been there).

movie date night traditions.jpg

Leave Paper Notes for Each Other

There’s nothing nicer than small tokens of appreciation from your significant other. Leaving notes around for each other is the perfect way to do this without breaking the bank. Ideas for where to put these could be in with their lunch they take to work, their car, or even in their pocket. The more unexpected the placement the better.

Share Your Hobbies

Say you and your partner are both obsessed with reading, why not both buy each other a book you think they’d really enjoy. This is a super fun way to try something different as well as see how well you know each other. This is completely universal depending on your hobbies, you could buy each other an obscure snack if you’re both foodies, or a video game if you’re both really into gaming. The possibilities are endless.

Big Treat Money Jar

For the more practical of us (I definitely fall into this category) why not put aside a certain amount of money a month into a jar and then at the end of the year use the money you’ve collected to do something you’ve always wanted to do. This could be a trip to Paris, or to visit a particular landmark, where you choose depends completely on you as a couple, and how much you decide to put away each month.

date night ideas with your partner.jpg

Pamper Evenings

As much as they may (or may not) try to hide it, everyone loves and needs a pamper evening evening now and again. As you’ll have read from my previous blog posts about all things beauty, I love everything about it. Grab a few face masks or hair masks (or make them if you’re feeling ambitious), put on some hilarious spa music and relax. This is not only a great way to spend time together, but it will also be super relaxing and treat your skin at the same time, what’s not to love?

Eat at least one meal a day together

Modern day lives can be really hectic, especially if you’re both working different schedules. The best way to work around this is to make a conscious effort to find time together. A great idea for this is to eat at least one meal a day together, even if you’re eating breakfast while your partner, on the night shift, is eating their dinner. This also means the washing up will only have to be done once, win, win.

Have a Games Night

This one will especially appeal to you if you have a competitive streak, especially against your partner. Why not get your whole family involved, this would be especially adorable if you have kids you can include. This one is super versatile too, you could play board games, video games, apps, or even make it educational if you’re including younger family members, or enjoy quizzes yourself. To add an extra touch, why not offer a prize/ forfeit for the loser?

fun traditions to start with your partner.jpg

Go on Walks together

This is the perfect Sunday morning tradition, whether you live in the middle of the countryside or in the middle of a crowded city, going on a walk together is super romantic. Personally, I find either late night walks, or early morning walks the most calming and overall enjoyable, but pick a time most suited to you as a couple. Why not bring your dog(s) along with you, or grab some food on the way and make it into an afternoon out with a picnic. The possibilities are endless with this one.

Do you have any traditions I didn't mention? Comment them below and keep the discussion going. Or you can follow us on Pinterest for even more inspiration for living your best married life.