Stacey Banfield

Christchurch Based Makeup Artist & Blogger

A moment with Megan from ‘She Said Yes’

Working in the industry allows me to meet so many creative and talented individuals. Although Megan and I became friends through the influencer world, we both share a love and passion for the wedding industry. Below I have a quick chat with Meg’s and get her tips from her own experience, for all of my followers and clients who are brides to be!

Who I am and what I do
She Said Yes, and then the ‘little white book’ and later ‘I still do’ came out of my own engagement, wedding and marriage. I really enjoyed planning my wedding, and didn’t find it as complicated as others would lead you to believe it is, so She Said Yes was created to help other brides to be plan their weddings easily. The one real frustration I had is that I didn’t like the wedding diary I had, and couldn’t find anything better, which began the journey to create the little white book.

As wedding planning was just part of my everyday life, ticking off tasks every now and then, and making notes when I thought of things, I really wanted my wedding organizer to fit seamlessly into that, and for it to be used as a day-to- day diary. Unbelievably, there was literally nothing in the world that fulfilled both purposes – a wedding organizer and a daily diary – so using a little kiwi ingenuity, I set about creating one myself, the little white book.

Following the same path again, and not being able to find a great wedding anniversary diary, I created I still do – which you can use immediately after your wedding, on your first anniversary, or on absolutely any wedding anniversary thereafter. It’s about recognizing that marriage is so much more important than planning your wedding, and encouraging couples to make time for each other.

What I tell brides:
1. Don’t overcomplicate things: Wedding planning really isn’t an insurmountable task, it’s just a series of small decisions. By “overcomplicate” I mean thinking that everything has to match, or look like it does on Pinterest, or alternatively be really unique, or spectacular. Don’t feel pressured to plan a Hollywood-movie style event, because it’s just not necessary.

2. Budget, then prioritise, then do the rest: Pick your main priorities in terms of what’s most important to you, and book those elements first. Once you’ve prioritised, booked and spent money on those, fit whatever else remains within your budget, rather than tailoring your budget to fit whatever else you think of.

3. Cut the crap to cut costs: Boatloads of décor, elaborate centre pieces, cascading flowers on every table, extravagant wedding favours, signage, huge dessert stations, cones of rose-petals on every chair… none of these things are essential to a ‘wedding’ and can really, really increase your costs. If you’re trying to cut costs, instead of skimping on
everything or doing a lot of DIY, just cut elements completely.

4. Ask lots of questions: of your partner, your vendors and yourself. First, talk to your partner about exactly what both of you want before you begin planning. With your vendors, be sure to completely understand every single element of their service offered and the contractual terms agreed upon, before you sign.

I created worksheets to go along with a budget and guest list planner for this reason –we get so excited about making plans that we forget which sensible questions to ask. Finally, ask yourself what’s really important to you. Ask yourself who you really want to attend, the style you really want to have, and how you want to feel on the day – then plan accordingly.

5. Take notes: Taking notes about the milestones along your journey won’t just reward you now. One day, you can look back at your wedding diary and relive the excitement of planning your wedding day. Better still, you can pass it onto your children. I can’t tell you how much I would value being able to read my mother’s experience of getting
married, especially as she died before we got engaged.

It would be so interesting to compare what life (and weddings) were like in the 1980’s, to now. The benefit to keeping a wedding organiser and diary like the little white book is that you’re literally using it every day, whether it’s for your day-to- day schedule, even your work meetings, as a point of reflection, or as a gratitude journal at the end of each day.What’s important is that you have a reason to write in it every day, as much or as little as you like, which actually keeps you on track with all the wedding planning logistics you’ve got to do too. Hopefully you’ll also love writing in it so much you’ll also pick up a copy of I still do!

Looking back at my own wedding, what I’d change:
Blair and I didn’t follow a traditional script when it came to our wedding, every element of it was there because it meant something to us, from the vows and speeches to the décor, music and food. However, looking back I wish I’d cut more costs and had it a little more simple – I didn’t need to bother with so many flowers,candles and décor, I didn’t really need such a huge and elaborate cake, or quite so many choices of alcohol (we still have both cake and alcohol left after 18 months).

It’s easy to get swept up in the moment and think you need to tick all the boxes, but noone remembers the little things like that anyway, and what happens after the wedding is just so much more important. Of course, I also wish I’d taken more notes along the way – I truly think I would have if I’d had the little white book, but I have to look at that as a blessing as it’s what inspired me to create it.

If you have any questions you’re welcome to contact me on Facebook or Instagram, I’d love to hear from you.

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