ATTN REAL BRIDES! How to manage the family, the fights, guest lists, table plans, arghhh politics PLUS print out that all-important timeline...


*WELCOME to Now‘s wedding series, where the magazine’s resident brides-to-be Sally Eyden [Content Director] and Gilly Ferguson [Style Content Director] plus an army of professionals will be sharing EVERYTHING they’ve learned about getting wed-ready.

… But not the usual coffee-table, gushy ‘Ooooh, the bride wore Vera Wang while guests dined on unicorn tears...’ stuff…

No siree! Now‘s wedding vlog is for REAL-LIFE BRIDES – and we’re here to unveil the TRUTH about wedding planning – the politics, the LOLz, the drama, the dress, the money, the weight loss, the dream skin, the LOT.

So all you need do is kick back, relax – and forward on these words of wed-wisdom to friends/bridesmaids/mums/fiancés and cousins thrice removed.

First up, it’s ‘AHHH! WHERE TO START?’! Which is where the experts at Snapdragon come in. 

Whether you’ve been planning your wedding for ten years or ten minutes, plan to get married up a mountain or at your Mum’s – meltdowns are NORMAL! And – with Snapdragon’s expert top tips – here’s proof that all will be okay on the day.

Snapdragon are a wedding & event planning company with over 40 years combined experience in weddings and live events.

Managing Director Julia Dowling says: ‘Tradition can be lovely when applied in the right way, but following “the rules” blindly can result in a party being stiff, dull and predictable. It’s the personal touches that make an event really memorable – those are the sort of things that make an occasion.’

9 Thing I Wish I’d Known About… Planning: Budgets, Venue, Personalities and The Politics… 


Work out your likes and dislikes early doors. Think ‘Four Weddings’ and rate other weddings you’ve been to as a couple. It’s important to focus on your priorities right from the start.


Are you a summer girl or do you live for winter? The season you choose will dicate flowers, colour schemes, the works – DON’T try to fight Mother Nature!


We’re here to make your ride to bride a smooth one. Begin, by downloading Snapdragon’s
timeline (in gallery above too) Print it out, and think of it as your pocket wedding
planner for the foreseeable. This piece of paper = very important

Snapdragon recommend leaving 8-10 months to plan your wedding. Having
said that, they have done one in two weeks… the choice is yours!


Once you’ve thought about your wedding type, book to see 4-6 venues (NO MORE!) Opt for ones which are fairly similar to get a feel for what you really like, and not confuse yourself early doors!


Check they have no restrictions before you sign. Some venues will charge for guests to come post-dinner, or to do later than 12pm. Have they got the security and set up for late attendees? If you LOVE to party into the wee hours… check with them!


And negotiate for EVERYTHING. They’ll be used to it! Wedding budgets can be daunting – if there’s one thing I’ve learnt – it’s that everything comes out a touch more expensive than you first think.

As a rough guide, Snapdragon suggest it should be split as:

40% Catering
10% Venue/marquee hire
10% Clothes
10% Entertainment
10% Photography
10% Flowers
10% … Everything else


It’ll cost approx £50 from John Lewis but will save you a lot of worry on the day. ‘It’s worth it just for giving you peace of mind,’ say Snapdragon.


My first shock came when faced with family politics – working out who to invite was way more hectic than I could ever have imagined.

Do your parents want to pay or at least chip in to the cost? Snapdragon suggest you: ‘Sit down and walk through what you and your fiancé want from the day – before you go to the see the parents. If you’re all clear what you want from the start, things shouldn’t escalate further than they need to.’

Ask what they want too, but be clear that their generous offer of money does not = more guests than is reasonable on their side. If you want a small wedding, tell them from the start.

‘Sit down as a couple and write YOUR list of who you want there before you go to your parents,’ say Snapdragon, ‘It’ll make things clearer for all.’

HAVING INVITE DRAMAS? Perhaps your bridesmaids are driving you bonkers? ‘We have more problems with bridesmaids than the supposed ‘Bridezillas’ say Snapdragon. READ ‘9 Things I Wish I’d Known About… Wedding Invites + The Bridal Party’ for more tips on ‘managing’ your loved ones!


‘Wedding planning is stressful, but it can still be fun’ say Snapdragon. ‘When picking your wines, why not arrange a family meal and sit down and get tasting together. It’ll make the whole process a lot more fun believe us!’

Found your venue? Got your date? Then it’s INVITES time! Click here for out expert guide.

PS Hit us up here every #WeddingWednesday for our
real-world Bride Confessions and 9 Things I Wish I’d Known About
series…. WATCH our real-life brides, experts and actually useful beauty types guide you through: The Dress, The Make Up, The Photographer + more.