Low-stress wedding: Tips to help
You’d expect a wedding planner would find their own ceremony a fairly stress-free affair. But, even though Daniel Gill has spent 16 years as a wedding planner to some of Britain’s most high profile young couples, the Leeds-based event manager still suffered an attack of wedding nerves the night before he was due to tie the knot. "I didn’t sleep the night before I got married - and I’m a wedding planner!" recalls Gill. "But that’s because getting married is a big deal - and most people experience a few butterflies."
Gill is managing director of Dine, a Leeds-based company that specialises in event planning. He has organised weddings where the guests have included royalty. In 2011, Prince William served as an usher at the nuptials of Gill’s clients Harry Aubrey-Fletcher and Louise Stourton. Guests included Prince Harry, Princess Beatrice and William’s fiance Kate Middleton. According to Gill, early preparation is paramount. "By the time you get to the wedding day, it’s often too late to do anything about the details," he says. "You need to make sure you’re not under pressure during the wedding by organising everything well in advance."
Why do people get so stressed by weddings?
Of course, plenty of people do head into the "wedding countdown" armed with their checklist of requirements - but still feel under massive pressure as the day looms. In this case, says Gill, it’s time to pin-point the cause of your worries. "Maybe you’re not getting the support you need or there’s something wrong with the format," says Gill.
In Gill’s view, people get stressed about their weddings either when they feel compelled to manage every aspect of their day and don’t trust anybody else to do it for them - or they agree to compromises they’re not actually very happy about. "The classic scenario is having to invite people you don’t like very much out of a sense of obligation," says Gill. "I’ve seen a 32 person fight break out at a wedding for that very reason. My advice would be to do things the way you want them.
Of course you want other people to enjoy the day but if you’re not excited about the format or the venue, there’s something fundamentally wrong."
Hiring a wedding planner
Hiring a wedding planner may help take the stress out of the day. Wedding planners used to be the preserve of the rich and famous but nowadays their prices are far more accessible. Gill has organised weddings that cost £5,000 and weddings that cost 100 times that. "You bring the same attention and professionalism to both," he says. "There are all sorts of little details people can weave into their day without breaking the bank. It’s not about cost, it’s about the detail."
Sometimes the venue you choose will offer a wedding planning service but, according to Gill, it’s worth checking what’s actually included in the price. The best wedding planners will meet and speak to you several times in advance of the big day and will bring a wealth of contacts and experience. "We advise on everything from the menu and the entertainment to the photography and the linen," says Gill.
Your wedding planner should discuss your requirements for the day and come up with inventive ways to overcome potential problems. "Generally, you can find a format that overcomes any obstacle," says Gill. "If you listen carefully to what your clients are telling you, there’s a way of delivering something they will enjoy and that also takes into account any difficulties."