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5 images show the outside of a marquee in a field with haybales for relaxed seating and rows of wooden fold up chairs in front of a wooden arch for the ceremony, along with details like the git table vintage suitcase and centre peices made with gin bottle

Real Wedding: M & K's DIY Festival Wedding

Like many couples, M & K weren't sure what a wedding planner could bring to the table, after all they'd looked at prices for things they'd need for their wedding and decided some parts of it they could do themselves and the rest they'd research, and look for the best deals... M & K's real outdoor wedding wasn't completely hitch free, but it was an amazing day brought together by an amazing bunch of friends, family and suppliers.

M & K had a festival vibe for their wedding plans from very early on. They both like live music and actually, their wedding band was one of the first decisions they made. A marquee in a field seemed ideal so finding the right field and the right marquee was key. They were quite surprised by some of the prices marquee companies were coming back with and the owner of the field they liked suggested a guy they've worked with previously. Being very sensible people, they shopped around.

A recommendation is usually a pretty good bet, especially when it's from a reputable supplier, but it doesn't hurt to get comparison offers.

We worked together remotely for a bit, looking at how the to-do list was progressing and I offered bits of advice when needed - it helps having someone who knows the ins and outs of wedding planning and can give you insights. In the last few months, we got together to look at final details and what needed doing. I was able to help on craft projects and we had a go at mocking up some of the flowers that would be used for décor and basic bouquets (something I often recommend if you're going to DIY).

The final stretch was all about what needed to be done in the last few days

The set-up schedule, what needs to be done and when, allocating jobs for people to do and overseeing what the couple wanted so that they wouldn't have to be bombarded with questions. The setting up is one of my favourite times. Lots of activity, lots of moving pieces. This is when it pays to have everything planned out, labelled, packed according to where it's needed. It also included me collecting the items I was borrowing on their behalf, making sure there were spares for back-ups (never just do the exact number of display items you think you need, just in case of breakages, you can use the extras in unexpected places too). Preparing the flowers was a fun day too, setting up a little team to make all the buttonholes and bunches of gypsophila for the table displays.

There were lots more bits to do on-the-day of course but there's a point at which you really can do no more and that moment of calm excitement is exhilarating. It can feel simultaneously the fastest and longest period of time. From the moment everyone was ready to go I was on point, always on-hand, ready for whatever needed doing. From cutting the cake for serving, to clearing plates and glasses, to looking after the band and setting up extension leads to the food vans.

It was a fabulous weekend, made all the better by the number of good quality helpers on-hand to bring all the plans together.

All couples need reassurance. I help with that. I'm not bias against ideas, but I can give honest, experienced input. Sometimes this can mean months of drip-feeding nuggets of wisdom, dropping in hints about where you should be at with your plans. Other times couples rely on me to guide them through every step, avoiding costly mistakes and saving you precious time.

I'm here for whatever a couple needs, and even some of the things they don't realise they need until they're done. If you need a Helping Hand, I'm here for you. X