Have you ever gone to a wedding of a friend, that didn’t really feel like ‘them’?

Losing yourself among all the white roses, red velvet cake (yum!) and silk tulle is pretty easy to do when you go headfirst into wedding planning.

Luckily, we’ve got the stylish, straight-talking, and oh-so-inspired Michelle Kelly of Pocketful of Dreams (who plans and styles the most ah-may-zing events!) as our guest contributor today, with her no-nonsense (but very fun) rules to keeping your identity while planning your best day ever.

If you’re succumbing to a playlist filled with Bublé when you’re really more of a Bowie on the dancefloor, (or vice versa!), this is essential reading.

Take it away Michelle…

How To Plan A Wedding Without Losing Your Identity | Pocketful of Dreams | Bridal Musings Wedding Blog 1

Photo by Lucy Little via Pocketful of Dreams

You’re a girl who never misses your Porter mag fix and you’ve spent adulthood living the high-life at secret-parties and festivals up and down the country.

So why all of a sudden are you pinning sickly sweet images of pastel florals to Pinterest and obsessing over which shade of peach would be best for your bridesmaids?

Inspiration overload – that’s why.

It’s not easy, this wedding planning malarkey; you generally have no frame of reference bar that one cool party you once organised, the one with the coolest DJ in town and all-night dance party that your neighbours STILL haven’t forgiven you for.

How To Plan A Wedding Without Losing Your Identity | Pocketful of Dreams | Bridal Musings Wedding Blog 3

Photo by Weddings by Nicola and Glen via Pocketful of Dreams

You may know exactly how to curate your sports-luxe-modernistic wardrobe and be a dab hand at picking out oh-so-de-rigour homewares for your abode but when it comes to what’s supposed to be the biggest day of your life, you’re drawing a blank.

Or worse, still are being swayed by everyone else’s opinion and that black-hole otherwise known as Pinterest. So what’s a girl to do?

Well that’s where you need no-nonsense, straight-talking peeps who know exactly how to get this party started. As wedding and event planners at Pocketful of Dreams, we’ve seen it all and partied with the best of them having created spectacular weddings for those couples who don’t do middle-of-the-road.

How To Plan A Wedding Without Losing Your Identity | Pocketful of Dreams | Bridal Musings Wedding Blog 7

Photo by Chris Barber via Pocketful of Dreams

From three-day festival extravaganzas to neon explosion outdoor celebrations and weddings in woodlands with just the local wildlife, 50 huge disco balls and a few superstar DJs for company.

We certainly know a thing or two about throwing the right kind of shindig that’s all about you…and your other half of course! So today, we’re sharing a few wedding planning rules to follow that will help you keep your identity whilst not losing your head in the process…

1. Start With What You Don’t Want

How To Plan A Wedding Without Losing Your Identity | Pocketful of Dreams | Bridal Musings Wedding Blog 6

Photo by Helen Cawte Photography via Pocketful of Dreams

Often it’s easier to reel off a great big long list of all the things you hate about weddings or think are naff.

Do this, then flip it….and now you have your perfectly formed vision of the type of day you do want.

2. Involve Your Other Half

How To Plan A Wedding Without Losing Your Identity | Pocketful of Dreams | Bridal Musings Wedding Blog 15

Photo by Chris Barber via Pocketful of Dreams

Remember it’s their day too!

It may not seem like it, but your partner is often way more interested than you may expect and we find they relish the chance to get creative about cool decor and party-popping ideas. 

If you give them a clear task that’s their to own without interference….other than subliminal messaging, that’s totally allowed.

3. Lighten-Up and Forget the Formalities

How To Plan A Wedding Without Losing Your Identity | Pocketful of Dreams | Bridal Musings Wedding Blog 10

Photo by Anneli Marinovich via Pocketful of Dreams

Prefer to party than stand in line to shake someone’s hand? Then ditch the receiving line, it’s so 1980s and it eats into valuable drinking and dancing time.

Why not shake things up even more and go without an assigned seating plan altogether, it’s the element that can cause the most headaches amongst families anyway, so save yourself the hassle and let guests battle it out gladiator style.

Mixing things up like this also makes for much more inspiring conversations over the dinner table.

4. Trust Your Instincts

How To Plan A Wedding Without Losing Your Identity | Pocketful of Dreams | Bridal Musings Wedding Blog 2

Photo by Anushe Low via Pocketful of Dreams

Many people, even your well-meaning best friend, will have pre-conceived ideas about what a wedding ‘should’ be all about.

They will try to steer you towards taffeta bows, nasty chair covers and boring venues.

We say balls to that, if it feels right then do it, you know better than anyone what makes you tick, so go do it.

5. There are No Rules

How To Plan A Wedding Without Losing Your Identity | Pocketful of Dreams | Bridal Musings Wedding Blog 14

Photo by Matt Parry Photography via Pocketful of Dreams

Who says you can’t have your male best friend as your maid of honour?

Why is that exquisite, sequinned Jenny Packham gown, that hugs your curves in all the right places, not wedding appropriate?

Why can’t you get married in a forest and hang disco balls from the trees?

Well we say YOU CAN, and you should, with a little know-how and a trusty team behind you, anything is possible.

The best weddings are those that don’t follow convention, they’re brave, fearless and fierce. They make their own rules.

6. Go With What You Like

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Photo by Nick Rose via Pocketful of Dreams

When it comes to wedding decor it can often seem a little paint-by-numbers, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

Love all things silver and shiny? Then collect random and interesting looking objects, like pineapples, then whack out the silver spraypaint, bam, totally original decor.

Maybe you have an Imelda Marcos style obsession with shoes – they make great planters for floral arrangements you know.

Or what about that collection of nineties CDs you’ve got going on, I bet those covers are pretty creative (not to mention highly amusing) so why not create a photobooth backdrop out of them?

Be daring, be original, but most of all just be you, no matter how crazy you think your ideas are someone, somewhere, will have done something wilder…so just go for it.

7. Remember the Key to a Great Party

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Photo by Chris Barber via Pocketful of Dreams

Sure, your wedding day is way more than just another party, but by laying down the fundamentals for a fabulous party for your guests, you’re ensuring an awesome wedding day for the two of you.

Enjoyment is catching – how can you not have the ‘best day ever’ when your guests are dancing on the tables like their lives depend on it?

We can guarantee that when you look back on your day, these memories – of you and your beloved surrounded by everyone you love having a blast – will be the ones that mean the most.

And the key? Great food and drink are a given, as is music and dancing, but it’s the element of surprise that keeps guests talking for years to come.

So focus on giving them the best party of their lives and in return you’ll have the best day of yours.

Karma’s great like that.

8. Bonus Tip!

How To Plan A Wedding Without Losing Your Identity | Pocketful of Dreams | Bridal Musings Wedding Blog 9

Photo by Weddings by Nicola and Glen via Pocketful of Dreams

We’d like to add in Rule #8: Hire a Wedding Planner, but really you don’t need us to tell you that this is a sensible idea.

They can manage all the boring bits like contracts, budgets, logistics and all that wedmin shizzle, leaving you free to dolly daydream about your most fantastical adventure yet with your other half.

They can also be your no-nonsense best friend, bridesmaid and confidante all rolled into one, keeping you on the straight and narrow when you go a little bridezilla cray-cray – because sometimes it happens, even to the best of us.

Weddings take a LOT of planning, they’re like carefully orchestrated machines, so seek help from the experts and save your sanity.

How To Plan A Wedding Without Losing Your Identity | Pocketful of Dreams | Bridal Musings Wedding Blog

Photo by Matt Parry Photography via Pocketful of Dreams

So many great tips, right! As you know, we’re big fans of paving your own way with wedding planning, and it’s great to read practical and fun ways to do it, from someone who works with real brides and grooms every day.

Thanks so much to Michelle for sharing her wonderful nuggets of wisdom with us. Find out more about Pocketful of Dreams on their website and follow them in on TwitterInstagramFacebook and Pinterest for regular doses of inspiration and advice.

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