Wedding books are a fantastic idea, but if we’re being realistic, unless you’re Monica Gellar, how many people actually have a giant binder full to the brim of various ideas and options? After the excitement of getting engaged wears off, the betrothed couple suddenly realises, often with dread, just how many things there are to consider, choose and coordinate.
Will there be a theme? A colour scheme? Ribbons? Fonts? Chair decor? Favours? Centrepieces? Flowers? An arch? No arch? Flower girls? Soup? Salmon? Vegas is starting to look reeeeally appealing right about now…
If you have a knack for arts and crafts then you can jump ahead of the gift registry and create the best possible wedding present for the bride and groom to be. Make them a wedding ideas book. Check out creative wedding blogs, DIY tutorials, elegant wedding fonts and colour schemes. Whip out your Cricut machine and make some samples! Put together a collage from various wedding magazines and boutiques.
Hopefully, you know your friends well, so you’ll have an idea of what they’ll like. And put together a catalogue of options. That way, before the bride and groom even get the chance to start worrying or get a headache, you can pour them some champagne and present them with a neat summary of everything they might need.
Try to be strategic with your sub-sections. It’s up to you how you organise this catalogue and there are many approaches that would work well. You could keep things simple and make it alphabetical, or you could compile the sections in chronological order – ie the elements that should be sorted first, or the lead time of getting things confirmed/ordered and delivered, down to the considerations that can be left closer to the date.
That way, the couple won’t have a sudden panic that they didn’t arrange a late-night buffet or family accommodation and there’s nothing decent left available.
Narrow down the wedding options
Best of all, try to do as much elimination for them as possible. The sheer amount of choices available at the onset is huge. But as you select the big-ticket items, it helps narrow down the rest. Eg wedding venue will immediately dictate – local florists, catering, hair and makeup, bands, accommodation and videographers. If you have a sense of general location and budget, you can present the couple with around 3 options, compile all the critical data – cost, date availability, capacity etc – so they can just point and choose.
Down the line, the same goes for fonts, colours, meals and flowers. Present just a few, but well-chosen and researched options, and agonising over possibilities will be minimal. This will keep things fun and creative, while also being systematic and cost-effective.
We live in a digital age, so why not incorporate that into your catalogue. Create spreadsheets and presentations, if that’s easier, make an interactive seating chart, that the couple can easily play around with. Have a directory of chosen suppliers with all their contact info and booking information. And definitely create a bespoke wedding calendar, where the couple or critical members of the family or wedding party will get timely alerts on important deadlines.
Maybe add multiple people to these calendar alerts. Between work, kids, pets and general life responsibilities, the engaged couple might easily feel overwhelmed. One of the best things about going through this ideas book together is that you can discuss early on what they’re happy to delegate to you or others. That way everyone will be duly informed of their particular tasks, with plenty of time to get them done. The bride and groom can just step in for final quality control and approval.
Make wedding memories
And remember – for everything they pick, from fabric samples to prototype invitations, keep little mementoes. That way you’ll have the perfect selection of keepsakes and memories to then put together a wedding book of the actual day. Maybe even keep a little journal of bumps along the road – hopefully, you’ll all be able to look back and laugh! Incidentally – your catalogue can, and should, include emergency options.
What if the photographer has an emergency and cancels? What’s the plan in case the caterer forgets the vegan dishes? What if the veil gets torn? It may not be perfect, but make sure you have a list of emergency numbers of local providers that can step in, in a pinch. And it’s probably a good idea to have your own emergency supplies for the day: sewing kit, plasters, crucial phone numbers saved in your phone and anxiety meds!