It’s not every day you get to interview your super successful friend for a national magazine.
I know first-hand that Danny puts his heart and soul into everything he does and I wished for this to come across in words.
Here is an extract of the article that originally featured in Love Our Wedding:
Your perfect day deserves an impeccable plan, so we asked wedding planning aficionado, Danny Johnson, for his advice. As MD of Fwd: Events, Danny has encountered and overcome many obstacles leading up to his clients’ weddings – and can even advise on how to avoid any issues on the big day itself.
We’ve secured our dream venue, but the only date available clashes with a major sporting / cultural / local event.
You ultimately have two options here: either embrace it, or change it. It’s always worth researching your chosen date before committing to anything, as even the local town fete could impact on your guests’ transport, accommodation and attendance.
If you’re ready and willing to embrace the fact that your wedding day coincides with the FA Cup Final, you will need to provide guests with a chance to keep up-to-date with all the goings on. Perhaps stream highlights from the game on a screen in a smaller room, or ask one of the groomsmen to keep guests updated on the score. Let’s face it, these are more sociable options and should keep all eyes off smartphones during the speeches.
There are so many wedding DJs / bands / photographers out there for us to choose from.
Always remember that vicars, registrars, photographers and DJs are the face of your wedding; they represent it and the reputation of your day does somewhat rely upon them. I was a guest at wedding once where the photographer shouted at people for taking their own photos whilst he was taking his; unfortunately, I don’t actually remember much else about that day.
This is a word-of-mouth industry and with a bit of research it can be easy to discover what kind of atmosphere, style and service a person creates and whether they are right for you.
If you are able to do so, it might be worth asking your photographer / DJ if you could watch them at another event; if they’re not keen, that’s probably your answer.
Our friends have +1s, but we don’t have enough room for everyone.
Deciding on a guest list is a tricky task in any case, but adding +1s into the mix can be the making of a nightmare. There isn’t an official etiquette for +1s, per se, but I would advise considering each couple on your list and working from there. If they have only been together for a few weeks or months, then it’s acceptable to only invite the friend; if the couple are living together / engaged / married, then they should be considered as a unit.
That said, sometimes the venue only permits a certain number and you simply can’t invite everyone and their other halves to the ceremony. If this is the case, contact your guests before you send out the invites and explain your reasons why their +1 is on the evening guest list. They will understand.
One of our bridesmaids is pregnant and will no longer fit into her dress
Whilst it is productive and reassuring to find and buy your bridesmaids’ dresses and groomsmen’s suits early on in the wedding planning process, it does lead to multiple fittings and alterations as the big day draws near. This can be timely and expensive – especially when bridesmaids are pregnant and their bumps are growing by the week.
My advice on avoiding this issue is simple: find yourself a good, local tailor and seamstress. By all means buy the outfits, but ensure the tailor is booked a couple of weeks before to optimise the fit. Having your own tailor and seamstress on speed-dial is also far more budget-friendly and means that you have more flexibility. This is particularly relevant for pregnant bridesmaids (and even brides), as the seamstress will be able to fit their dress even the night before the wedding.
It’s the big day and I’m so nervous about walking down the aisle that my hands are hot and my fingers have swollen.
First of all, do not worry – this actually happened to Kate Middleton on her wedding day in front of an audience of millions. This is easily solved by asking your mum or one of your bridesmaids to slather hand lotion over your ring finger before you walk down the aisle.
The ring will slide on perfectly and your guests will be none the wiser.
Our friends have uploaded some photos of us on social media before the service has even finished.
This is a very 21st century problem that is only set to get worse as technology advances. To me, a wedding should be a private event shared with your guests, not with their social media followers – and most definitely not before the evening guests have even arrived.
You could politely ask guests on their invitations not to upload any photos until the following day. Some of my clients have asked for an all-out camera ban, but this means you miss ‘unofficial moments’ that can be just as precious as the main events of the day.
Other clients have incorporated the social media buzz into their day by asking guests to upload their photos using a certain hashtag. If this is the case, perhaps you could ask guests to do this after a certain time so that they spend the day celebrating with you, rather than checking and updating their social media profiles.
We don’t know what to do with our flowers after today.
It’s such a shame when wedding flowers go to waste, especially as they are so beautiful, a great complement to your day and cost a lot of money.
You have a few options here: offer them to family on the day, send them to family and friends who weren’t able to attend, donate them to a local hospice / retirement home, or preserve them (there are many ways to do this if you research online). This way, the flowers will be appreciated and enjoyed for longer.
Our guests aren’t eating any wedding cake.
As with the flowers, your wedding cake is a beautiful part of your day – and, if you’ve had it professionally made, an expensive one.
By the time guests have enjoyed the wedding breakfast, sipped on something sparkling for the speeches and socialised with other guests, they are often too full or preoccupied to appreciate the wedding cake. Even the ‘cake reminder’ photo opportunity of you cutting the cake will not increase the chances of your guests actually eating the cake.
I always recommend pre-empting this before the big day by asking your caterer if they could kindly cut and box the cake for guests to take home with them. An increasing trend that I think works is to have a wedding cake with a fruit cake top tier (which the couple can keep) and then tiers of vanilla sponge cupcakes cascading underneath. This makes it easier to preserve and for the guests to takeaway with them.
As a final note, my top tip for your big day is to remember that weddings are a bit like the theatre. Your guests will never know what goes on behind the scenes, or what was meant to happen, if they feel they have seen the perfect performance in front of them.