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Helping Hands Make Light Work: Planning Your Special Day


From the moment of the proposal, right up to the big day itself, there are few experiences in your life more exciting than getting engaged and planning your dream wedding. Whether it’s selecting the perfect venue, choosing the dress of your dreams, or picking out the little accents that will make your day personal and unique, every tiny decision you make will help to bring your vision to life.

Alongside the thrill of seeing it all come together, some couples can feel under a great deal of pressure to create an exceptional day that meets their and others’ expectations. Months of meticulous planning can leave them feeling overwhelmed by the time the big day arrives.

Laura Coleman, In-house Wedding Planner at beautiful Devon wedding venue, Holne Park House, says that the key to ensuring you enjoy the lead-up to your special day, as much as the occasion itself, is allowing others to lighten the load.

“Making use of a wedding planner is a great way to take some of the pressure off in the lead-up to your big day. Many people worry that handing over the reins will mean compromising on what they really want. A good planner will take the time to sit down with you and make sure that they understand your vision. Not only that, they’ll oversee things at the venue on your wedding day, too – leaving you free to relax and enjoy the most magical day of your life.”

Wedding Planners like Laura, at Holne Park House, help ensure the smooth running of your day, but planners are not the only people who can help out. Asking family and friends to get involved and handle some of the finer details can save you some valuable time to enjoy your big day. Often, it’s the little things that take the longest, and the personal touches that put a special stamp on your day – from wedding favours to decorations – often require the kind of extra care and attention to detail you simply don’t have time for.

Helping hands in action at Paula and Dan’s wedding

Paula Rice, who married husband Dan at Holne Park House in 2017, says that enlisting the help of family and friends allowed her to bring her dream to life, as well as making it to her wedding day unstressed and unscathed.

“Dan is in the Royal Navy, and with just six months to go until our wedding, he was sent to sea,” she explains. “It was awful timing and things could have been really stressful – but thankfully, I had people around me who were happy to muck in. Not only did they save me time, but a fair amount of money, too! We’ll both be forever grateful to them for all their hard work.”

With a cousin who designs gardens for a living and a mother with a keen interest in flower arranging, Paula asked them to take the lead with the bouquets, button-holes and centrepieces on the lead-up to the event, leaving her free to concentrate on other details.

“We decided the cheapest option was to buy flowers from local supermarkets closer to the day and arrange them ourselves at the venue, so my cousin and mum borrowed some blank centrepieces from a family friend and bought silk flowers for my bouquet and for my daughters’. A lovely lady I work with put them all together for me, saving me a fortune as well as bags of time!”

The flowers weren’t the only thing Paula managed to delegate in the lead-up to her wedding day, enlisting the help of a graphic designer friend to create the invitations, menus, reply cards and table plan, as well as some other signage for display around the venue.

“She did an amazing job, got them produced very cheaply for us and even presented us with a framed story of our relationship so far, all matching our colour scheme of white and purple. I feel incredibly lucky to have had such a talented friend on hand, and she really helped to make our day feel extra-special.”

With friends in all the right places, it didn’t end there, and Paula’s cousin’s husband – a photographer by trade – also stepped in to take photos on the day, kindly doing so free of charge and beautifully captured the day.

But the real delegation took place the day before the wedding, when Paula, Dan and their family and friends descended upon the venue to get all the final preparations in place. It was all hands-on deck to get the last details taken care of and make sure everything was just right for the nuptials that lay ahead.

“My mum and cousin Jan – who turned up with a car full of greenery from her own garden in Derbyshire – set to work with all the big flowers and table decorations, whilst I was filling small jars, which I had saved from home and decorated myself, with simple flower displays to be placed around the venue. My daughter, then aged 8, was helping out wherever she could too.

“My husband arrived later with his Best Man and another good friend, and they were immediately tasked with putting up fairy lights on the staircase, as well as a selection of other decorations around the venue. They decorated the tables, set up the guest book, sweet stand and the kids’ room too. My photographer took some great ‘setting up photos, which I’m sure lots of brides and grooms don’t get”.

“On the day of our wedding, by the time we arrived, everything was ready for us and it all looked perfect – all we had to do was get ready! It was such a huge relief and left us free to completely let down our hair and enjoy our day the way every bride and groom should.

“After I had spent so long meticulously planning every last detail, it was amazing to have so much help and to see everything come together the way I had envisaged it. The staff at Holne Park House, especially Laura, played a very important part… right down to ensuring we were always well-supplied with a constant flow of drinks!”

When planning your wedding day, it can be daunting to let go of the reins – but if you put a little trust in those around you and allow them to help out where they can, it can often make your day feel even more special than you’d imagined. After all, many hands really do make light work – and a team effort often yields the very best results.