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Ten Wedding Hacks Every Engaged Couple Should Know

Ten Wedding Hacks Every Engaged Couple Should Know

Weddings are an expensive business. According to this article from MoneySavingExpert.com, the average cost of a wedding ceremony is around £20,500 so any little bit that can be shaved off the price tag here and there is very welcome! If you’re a particularly savvy couple, there are a couple of ways to cut down on the cost of your big day and make things run more smoothly without it being any less special, so read on for our top ten wedding hacks that every engaged couple should know. We’ve also thrown in some special tips and tricks which will help give your wedding that little bit of extra sparkle that’ll make sure that you and your guests will never forget it.

Set up a “dessert bar”.

Instead of shelling out for an expensive wedding cake, why not consider setting up a dessert bar? It’s a much cheaper alternative and is a lot more fun and quirky! All you need to do is purchase a selection of sweet treats whether they be cakes, cookies, or even just chocolate bars, and let your guests come and get their own as they please. For a special touch, you could even bake some of your own treats to add to the table or ask your guests to do so.

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Be your own DJ.

Hiring a DJ and all of the necessary equipment can be one of the biggest costs associated with a wedding, so why not cut this out by being your own DJ! All you have to do is put together a playlist on Spotify or Apple Music in your phone, plug it into the speakers and away you go! You and your partner can spend an afternoon putting this together and pick out some of your favourite songs, perhaps including some that are special to you.

Avoid printing loads of paper items.

A surprisingly big cost when it comes to weddings is that of printing out all of the individual menus and seating plans, etc. How about creating some attractive signage using something like a chalkboard instead of printing out pieces for each guest? You would be surprised at how much can be saved!

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Opt for a Friday or Sunday.

Saturday weddings are in hot demand and are definitely the most expensive day of the week to get married. Going either side of Saturday could wind up saving you a lot of money, and still give you a weekend wedding to make things easier for your guests and let the celebrations take place over a couple of days.

Surprise your guests with a special touch.

Sometimes going that extra mile can really leave a lasting impression on your guests, whether it be the entertainment, the food, or something to do with the ceremony itself. For a really spectacularly thoughtful touch (especially for a night-time outdoor wedding), how about these amazing light up letters from Light It Up UK. They add a unique touch to the ceremony and will definitely stick in everyone’s memory.

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Use weights to keep your veil in place.

If you’ve gone for an outdoor wedding and it’s a windy day, your veil is going to get blown all over the place. However, you can use handy little weights such as those at Save the Veil which will help to keep everything in place.

Set up a dedicated email address.

It might seem a little bit overboard, but believe us, it can be a really good idea to set up a separate “wedding planning” email address. The last thing you need is to miss emails, especially if the caterer cancels at the last minute! By separating emails, you’re much more likely to keep on top of everything, and you can even use it afterwards to send out wedding photos and maybe to deal with things such as households bills in your married life.

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Buy a second-hand dress.

It might not be for everyone, but keeping an eye out for a second-hand dress can be a real help on the budget front. They’re likely to be in near-perfect condition as they’ll only have been worn once, and you probably won’t even be able to tell! While you might turn your nose up at the idea at first, you might change your mind when you see how much you could save. Check out this post from BrideBox for more info. on buying a preowned dress.

Opt for a faux cake.

If you don’t want to shell out for an ornate tiered cake, there is a more budget-friendly option available. You can ask your baker to make the top tier of the cake as usual so that it can be cut, and the rest can be made from styrofoam. (Another idea to just opt for a much smaller cake). You can then have a normal (but equally as tasty!) cake available which you can serve to the guests.

Get the venue size right.

Many couples often waste a lot of money by overestimating or underestimating their venue. To be on the safe side many couples opt for a venue which is actually far too big for their needs. While this doesn’t have a negative effect on the day, it takes a much heftier chunk out of the budget than it needs to!

Featured photo credit: Shutterstock via shutterstock.com

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

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Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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