Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Guest Post : Organising After Your Wedding

Type in ‘wedding to do list’ in your search engine and it’s more than likely you’ll read lots of blogs with similar guides.  This is great, the internet and specifically websites like Pinterest have provided inspiration for weddings of all shapes and sizes.  However, dig a little deeper and there aren’t as many guides for the ‘to do’s’ after your wedding day.  Read on for some friendly hints and tips to help you on your way to tying up those loose ends after the big day.

Organise the photos

Fingers crossed your photographer processed your images whilst you were on your honeymoon.  Sort the photos into groups like ceremony, reception and formals which will help as no doubt you’ll have hundreds of photos to choose from.  If you're not having all your photos included in your main wedding album, perhaps ask for copies on a CD or DVD.  Using the photographer’s list from the wedding day can be helpful for knowing quantities of photos to be printed for the wedding party and close friends and family.  If you’d like to keep your photos private, a service like Dropbox is a great cloud sharing service where just the wedding guests can access the photos you chose to upload.

The all-important ‘Thank yous’

Although there will be many thank you’s during the speeches and at the end of the night, it is still a lovely gesture to send a formal thank you to your guests to thank them for their attendance, and if appropriate, their gift.  If you have chosen to receive gifts, opening these in a systematic way is really important.  It might be a good idea to keep a spreadsheet of your guest list and update the list with the gift you received as you go along.  

It’s tempting to rip everything open and easily forget who it is from. As to how you say thank you, the more personalised the better. Try and avoid things like a text message and opt for a card instead with a personalised and hand-written message on the back.

Flower preservation

Following the wedding day, your house will be filled to brim with beautiful flowers and not just the bride’s bouquet.  Flower preservation is becoming increasingly popular and it is a wonderful way to capture a moment.  Floral preservation can range from 3D and 2D designs to encasing the bouquet, for example, in a paperweight.  This can sometimes be a costly process and may need to be included in the initial wedding budgeting. Items to preserve could include: wedding bouquet, flower girl headpieces, button holes, church or ceremony flowers and floral table decorations.

Dress preservation

The wedding dress for many brides is perhaps the most special part of their day.  It is a once in a lifetime dress which is completely unreplicated and unique to the bride.  Some brides choose to sell their wedding dress after returning from their honeymoon but preserving such beautiful gowns is popular too for sentimental reasons or for passing the dress on for daughters’ and granddaughters’ weddings. Thinking about what to do with your wedding dress can be planned before the day and ordered when you return from your honeymoon.

It may be a good idea to dry clean the wedding dress before storing it in a beautiful box. There are lots of suppliers of wedding dress boxes, designed for purpose. Some may even offer a service whereby you send your wedding dress and they will box it up professionally. If you plan to store your wedding dress for the long term, a fit for purpose box is a good idea as a wedding dress will easily discolour if not kept properly. Even a plain brown cardboard box can discolour a dress within 6 months.

Recycling - keepsakes for your anniversary

One of the best parts of organising your wedding day is planning those added touches; pretty vases on the tables, bunting in the marquee, candles illuminating pathways. As exciting as it is to organise the finishing touches, you can be left with tens if not hundreds of one particular item. Time and time again these are left after the big day to be thrown away or kept by the venue. Make sure the venue provides a table for presents, cards etc. You’ll be too tired at the end of the night to move these, so make sure they're in a secure place or ask the venue to move them to your car.

After the honeymoon it might be a good idea to make an inventory of all the bits and pieces you wouldn’t mind recycling, donating to charity or re-selling. There are plenty of websites, like eBay or other more bespoke sites where you can auction off your wedding items. This is a good way to free-up storage space, reduce waste and make a little money back at the same time. Make sure not to throw away everything, or you may come to regret this later on. Things like corks from the table wine can be turned into personalised cork boards or re-use paper pom-poms for children’s parties.

Saving the cake

Preserving the top tier of your wedding cake is a tradition that sees it eaten on the first wedding anniversary or at the christening of your first child. Some cakes, flavours and fillings take to freeze preservation process better than others. The more delicate the cake ingredients, the dryer the cake tends to become. Ingredients such as chocolate, hazelnut, almond, and carrot cake take particularly well to this method of preservation. Whilst white cake, cake with fresh fruit, and cakes with whipped cream fillings tend not to do so well.

Written by Michelle Rider at Braxted Park Weddings. Braxted Park is a licensed Essex wedding venue based in the UK, with capacity ranging from 50 to 300 guests. Braxted Park offers exclusive use for the day and boasts the highest level of service of any outdoor wedding ceremony providers in Essex, making sure your big day is unforgettable.

photo credits :
(cake) Photo 1 - Flickr Creative Commons by Sugeo
(keepsakes) Photo 2 - Flickr Creative Commons by Ideal I do's Wedding Photos
(flowers) Photo 3 - Flickr Creative Commons by Rose Robinson

(photos) Photo 4 - Flickr Creative Commons by .m.e.c.

(photos) Photo 5 - Flickr Creative Commons by .m.e.c.

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