7 steps for getting your planning mojo back post-lockdown

Have Covid-19 disruptions left you feeling burned out with your wedding planning or unsure about the way forward? You’re not alone. We’ve asked some friends for advice to help you get back on track.

Image on the left: change the date wedding stationery saying 'same time, same place, new date'. Image on the right: 'change the date' wedding stationery saying 'I do' 'Me too' 'To be continued...'
Sadly, many Covid couples will be well acquainted with ‘change the date’ stationery, like these cards from Caledonian Cowgirl

Weddings are all about celebrating love, but in recent times, couples and suppliers alike have had their fair share of heartbreak. With long delays, false starts and sometimes multiple postponements, it’s no wonder so many people have fallen out of love with the wedding planning process.

But don’t worry, we’ve got a plan to help you get over the bumps (and no, it doesn’t involve Ben and Jerry’s, Bridget Jones’ Diary or a questionable amount of tequila). Here’s our seven tips guaranteed to help you get your planning mojo back…

1. Don’t rush in before you’re ready

“Couples shouldn’t be putting themselves under pressure to get back into their planning post-lockdown until they feel ready,” urges Catrina Duthie, wedding planner at the Glasgow-based Fin Flükra. “There is still a lot of uncertainty depending on what your own plans are, so it’s about doing what’s right for you as a couple.”

A bride and groom walk down the aisle after exchanging their vows
A gorgeous wedding masterminded by Fin Flükra (Photo: Euan Robertson Weddings)

“Take it at your pace – whatever feels right,” continues Catrina. “If you have decided to reassess your plans in light of recent events, then take the time to have a really honest conversation with each other about how your priorities might have shifted. Get excited about what your wedding will be and not what was meant to be.”

2. Give your suppliers some love

Remember, it’s not just you that’s feeling uncertain, your suppliers will be too. “A good starting place would be to reach out to all of your suppliers, thank them for their support so far, and check in on how they are doing,” suggests Catrina. “After the last 15 months, they could do with a supportive email or two. I can guarantee you they will be so happy that it’s not a cancellation email and they will be excited – which can be infectious!

Suppliers such as cake makers Liggy’s Cake Company (left) and florist To a Mountain Daisy (right; Photo: Willow & Wilde) have had a hard time recently, so let them know you’re still excited to work with them

“This could put you back in the right frame of mind for planning, knowing that you are supporting lots of small and local businesses and helping restart the wedding industry”.

3. Spend a night or two at your venue with your partner

It’s been months, maybe even years, since you first fell in love with your venue. Whether it’s undergone a lockdown glow up or is just as picture perfect as you remember, a romantic getaway will help get you excited about your venue once more. Just ask Hazel Pool (@miss2mrs_xo), one of our Planning Diaries columnists.

“After such a long lull in planning, it’s easy to lose the excitement. Visiting Lochside Hotel, Lodges and Spa again brought it all rushing back,” enthuses Hazel. “It was even better than we remembered. Having more time to relax and enjoy the grounds and really take everything in helped us notice things we hadn’t before, such as the perfect spots for photos.”

A view of Ayrshire's Lochside Hotel, Lodges and Spa and its grounds
The stunning grounds at Ayrshire’s Lochside Hotel, Lodges and Spa helped convince Hazel and her partner that this was the venue for them

“We spent our afternoon sipping cocktails in the sunshine and fantasising about our big day. The next day, we got a tour of the new wedding suite which just blew us away. It made it feel more real now since we could visualise how our day would look. We’re more excited than ever and just wish it wasn’t so far away!”

4. Toast your upcoming wedding with your besties (again!)

We loved to see brides and grooms celebrating their hens and stags on Zoom over lockdown, but let’s face it: it just wasn’t the same. Whether your party was housebound during the pandemic or so long ago you can barely remember it (nothing to do with the amount of prosecco drunk, of course…), we’d say it’s time to dust off your party hats and gather your pals for some drinks.

A table covered with hen party props, including veils, headbands, flowers, fake glasses and drinks
Bring the pre-wedding excitement right back with some drinks with your bridal party (Photo: Shutterstock)

This might also be a good opportunity to speak to people about the role you want them to play on the big day, as Catrina explains. “Whether it’s asking your BFF to be a member of your wedding party or – if you have already chosen your squad – asking one of them to do a reading at the ceremony, talking planning with other people can get you back on track.”

5. Get your ‘fit sorted

If you bought your big day look before lockdown, it might all seem like a distant dream. “Brides may want to start looking at fitting dates and getting back into your amazing dress (or jumpsuit, or whatever you decide to wear!)”, says Catrina. Snap some pics in your chosen outfit and we challenge anyone, even the most hesitant post-lockdown brides, not to get excited.

A bride stands on some rocks wearing a wedding dress by Opus Atelier; two men in groomswear speak to a bride in a long-sleeved wedding dress
Left: The Jura gown from the new Opus Studios collection by Opus Atelier, £3,899; Right: Groomswear by Slater Menswear

“For the grooms out there, this may be a time to start thinking about treating yourself to something special, like bespoke tailoring or getting a kilt made in your family tartan. Getting yourself excited to wear the big day outfits will mean the planning that leads to making that happen comes along more easily.”

While it’s tempting to bring the whole gang along to the fitting, do check what your boutique’s policy is when it comes to extra people at fittings, as capacities may be limited.

6. Gather the in-laws for a pre-wedding dinner

There’s a good chance that your parents have only met your partner’s parents on a handful of occasions, and they were probably a good while ago. Bringing them together once more before the wedding should help everyone get to know each other again and catch up on all the changes the last year or so has brought.

A table set with tableware from the La DoubleJ x Ladurée collection
We’d be tickled pink if you served us a meal on this gorgeous La DoubleJ x Ladurée tableware, and we bet the in-laws would be too

Depending on local restrictions, throwing a dinner party could give you the opportunity to flex your hosting muscles before the big day. You could even use it as an opportunity to sample your suppliers’ wares with a delicious doorstep delivery from your caterers, or by decorating your table with some blooms from your chosen florist.

7. Choose a planning strategy that works for you

As Catrina said earlier, getting back into wedding planning now is a great opportunity to reassess your priorities. In bride/groom pairings, it’s still too often the case that much of the legwork falls on the bride, even if she’d rather her partner stepped up and took some of it on. Discussing a fair division of duties should help you feel more positive going forward.

A desk with a notebook, phone, laptop, wedding rings and flowers
(Photo: Shutterstock)

For some people, allocating one day a week for wedding planning will help focus their time and energy better and stop them feeling overwhelmed. However, others may prefer a different approach. “I’d recommend sitting down and reassessing where your plans are at the moment,” recommends Catrina. “Then, pick one area to focus on for the time being and gradually reintroduce yourself to your planning without being overwhelmed.