Wedding planning advice from real bride Fran
Back in February this year we had the pleasure of DJ’ing at Fran and Alex’s wedding at the Broadway Hotel in Letchworth.
We caught up with Fran recently to ask her a few questions looking back on her wedding, and how her and husband Alex found the whole wedding planning process!…
So tell us a bit about how it all started, the proposal!
“It was very simple. We were at home on a Sunday night. I was eating yogurt at the kitchen table and Alex was doing the washing up. I thought he was being a bit strange and he kept ‘faffing’ around me, checking if I was finished and trying to take my bowl away. Then he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I laughed a lot and then said yes”.
How long did you have to plan the wedding, and was it enough?
“We got engaged September 2016 and married in February 2018. It was plenty of time, including a lovely few months at the beginning where we could just enjoy being engaged and not go in to full planning mode straight away. I think having a February wedding made the planning easier as most suppliers we spoke to were available for our date”.
Were there elements of the planning you really enjoyed?
“Unsurprisingly, the cake, wine, and food tastings were all highlights! I designed our save the dates, which I enjoyed, and I also had a lot of fun going shopping with my mum and bridesmaids for our dresses. I enjoyed shopping for Alex’s suit too, although I’m not sure he did….!”
Anything that caused you a headache?!
“We found choosing invitations that reflected us and our wedding really difficult – a lot of them seemed to be tacky, or friends had already done similar, or they were very expensive. This resulted in us sending out invites quite late and there may have been a small typo….ugh! Luckily, only Fran’s mum noticed (we think!)”.
Are there any tips you would give a couple who are planning their wedding?
We found agreeing on what was important to us at the beginning really helpful. For us, that was booze, food, and music. And, of course, agreeing on a rough budget. Alex was working shifts at the time so it was really difficult for him to meet suppliers, so we also agreed on what he wanted a big input on (cake, music) and what he was happy to let me organise (everything else!). This was great as it gave us clear priorities and boundaries”.
What other suppliers did you use?
Photographer: Hannah Mia
Florist: Kerry at Oasis Flowers Letchworth
Cake: Emily Jane Cakes
Wedding dress: Wed2B (Milton Keynes branch)
Did you have any worries about finding a wedding DJ?
“Yes! Alex was convinced he wanted a DJ rather than a band so that was an easy first choice, but we were both worried that we would end up with someone who ignored our preferences, or who just played a playlist and didn’t ‘read the room’, or who was cheesy or unprofessional. To me, it was totally different to choosing a photographer/cake maker/florist whose work you can see examples of (even if you can see/listen to someone DJ’ing on Youtube, it’s not quite the same!)“.
What made you choose us as your wedding DJs?
“We had a look at your website based on a friend’s recommendation and I immediately liked how professional you sounded, how much information there was on your website, and of course you had great reviews. Both via e-mail and in person you were really helpful, efficient, and clear. You struck a great balance between listening to what we wanted and offering your advice on what works well in your experience. You also offered the ‘complete package’ – you weren’t just DJs, but would also be master of ceremonies and co-ordinate the first dance, cutting of the cake etc. As well as providing the microphones for speeches, breaking the ice with guests, and lighting the room beautifully”.
So the big day itself, was it everything you hoped for?
“Yes! Jon asked me at one of our first meetings what kind of bride I’d be and I said I would be quite a control freak in the lead up, but I’d relax on the day and I think I held true to that! A big part of me being able to do that though was down to how amazing you both were at coordinating the day, clearly communicating to guests what was happening, leading us through the whole thing, and working really well with the venue. I was so happy with the music too – I started dancing in my seat during the wedding breakfast and I don’t think I stopped dancing until 1am! There were people on the dance floor for the whole evening, which was something we had worried about a lot, but we needn’t have”.
What were your favourite parts of the day?
“All of it! The ceremony was really personal and meaningful. The reception venue looked beautiful. The food and wine were lovely and plentiful. The speeches were great and perfectly introduced by you guys using the songs we chose (which took us so long we nearly gave up but I’m so glad we persevered). The Mr & Mrs Game (which I was initially unsure about) created a great vibe for us to move in to the evening do and, as I said, the music was great and we danced all night!”
Any other advice you would give to couples getting married?
“Choose suppliers that you trust and try to be as clear as possible in communicating your expectations. I honestly think part of what made our day so great was that we chose great suppliers who we could talk to easily and who worked so well together. The other piece of advice would be to enjoy as much of it as possible – it’s all over so quickly!”
A huge thank to our bride Fran for sharing her story and providing some top wedding planning tips.