HOW TO: keep romance alive while planning a wedding

Organising your big day can be stressful but don’t lose sight on why you’re doing it in the first place

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching: hands up if you’re guilty of saying “we have a wedding to pay for so we’re not doing anything special this year”? Whilst a bouquet of red roses with a grossly inflated price tag is tempting to pass on, don’t let 14th February go by without marking it in some way. You’re getting hitched because you’re madly in love, so why does organising a wedding seem so unromantic at times? Yes, knuckling down over the guest list can lead to locked horns and your fiance thinking their mum demanding an invite on your hen trip to Ibiza ‘isn’t a big deal’ can cause tiara-launching tantrums, but don’t forget it’s a bash to honour your relationship – make sure there’s still cause for celebration when the big day arrives!

1. Generosity doesn’t have to be measured in pounds
Before you got engaged, your weekends might have been filled with trips to the hottest restaurants and celebrating special occasions with pricey presents. Your wedding will be absorbing the bulk of your disposable income, but this provides the opportunity to prove that thoughtfulness doesn’t have a price tag. Running your beloved a bubble bath and putting their PJs on the radiator so they are nice and toasty is equally as sweet as ordering a surprise bottle of champers on a night out. Make time for each other with a weekly or fortnightly date night. Log out of Netflix and dig out the board games. Buy the ingredients for your favourite cocktails and make some at-home versions. Heck, even build a fort and barricade yourselves in for the night.

2. Team work makes the dream work
One common source of wedding planning conflict is differing levels of effort. You might be poring over wedding magazines and giving up Saturdays to attend wedding exhibitions, so if your other half won’t even glance up from his/her iPad to help you pick what chair sashes are the best colour match for the stationery it can be frustrating. Don’t make big decisions without each other. This way you’re not harbouring resentment that your bride or groom will show up on the day and take half the credit for a small fraction of the hours you’ve put in. But bear point 3 in mind…

3. Let it go!
We get it – your wedding is everything. We’ll let you in on a secret though, not everyone understands our shared appliqué obsession. The more of your life you hand over to the big day, the bigger the gap there’ll be when it’s over. Don’t let your wedding become the sole topic of conversation at home. If you’ve spent a year arguing about your floral budget – if you don’t say ‘I do’ under an arch of white Avalanche roses did you even get married? – or your partner can’t mention a booking a table for dinner without you launching into a 20-minute diatribe about the lack of Scottish suppliers with six-person round tables, you’ve officially become an alien from Planet Weddings and you’re going to find your relocation to the real world pretty tough.

4. Try before you buy
You’ve cut your potential venues down to three and you’re having trouble deciding. We reckon this calls for a mini break! Spending the night away and, ahem, familiarising yourselves with the comfiness of the beds will make the decision so much easier. With all the annual leave you’ll have with an austerity-driven lack of jet-setting, you can get some amazing mid-week hotel deals. The same goes for other aspects of the day. Dance classes to combat nerves, heading to foodie festivals to scope out potential food trucks, checking out a wedding band at a local gig – inject fun and spending quality time with each other into your planning.

5.Take the time to look back – and forward
Your wedding is one day, but there’s been hundreds of days in the run-up and there’ll be thousands after. There’s loads of ways you can introduce your story into elements of your special day. Consider making a picture wall to display at your venue or decorating your centrepieces with old photos from your relationship. A night in laughing at his highlights or your eyebrows will bring all the excitement of the early days of your relationship flooding back. Dig out your early correspondence – this might not be beautifully written love letters, but archived Whatsapp chats can still be cute – and relive the start of your journey. On the flip side, have a firm idea of what you’re doing for your honeymoon, as this will really help combat the post-big-day-blues. You might not have the cash ready to book something, but take time to talk about your future together and all the wonderful times ahead.