The Quick (Slightly Controversial) Guide to Wedding Planning
So you're engaged, yay. Welcome to the love club!
This quick (slightly controversial) guide to wedding planning is here to help you make sense of it all and figure out the next step because my darling brides, it’s a long process but it’s so worth it in the end!
Big rocks first
You have the ring so that's the main one!
Don't get caught in the details just yet. Secure the big things first and make sure they are all available for your chosen date.
Think about the wedding non-negotiables; wedding venue, wedding photographer and all your favourite PEOPLE, make sure your loved ones can make it and do this well before you send out your save the dates.
We chose a very difficult wedding day (2 days post xmas) and while I wouldn't change it for the world, it was hard on some friends and family and that is still my one wedding regret.
Don't Plan a Wedding
All I mean is look outside traditional wedding vendors, think about planning a party and don't get to fixated on what a wedding is "supposed" to look like. As I'm sure you are realising by now, as soon as you add the word "wedding" you can times the usual price by about 5! Try not to get caught up in this where possible and look for professionals who will do what you need but may not usually deal with weddings.
We had a great friend who is a graphic designer look after our wedding invites, she did an amazing job and we ended up with something that reflected us and didn't feel like it came straight from Pinterest.
You can do the same for food and a venue. Our good friends had a food truck cater their wedding which was held in a gorgeous cafe after hours.
Try and remove the word wedding and plan a hella good party.
Make sure the day reflects the two of you
If you are not a pink calligraphy kinda gal then please don't become one just for your big day!
"But I'm on a budget!"- I hear you but honestly. 99 times out of 100 the DIY ends up costing the same if not more.
For example, If you are thinking of doing your own flowers, remember you will need to research and find what's available and where you can get them, go and collect them, pay per bunch, buy buckets to keep them in a cooled room, arrange them, add ribbon and keep them alive.... No thanks. Instead look at what parts you can do and what parts are better left to the experts.
Call around and ask for a quote, sometimes you'd be surprised at how cost effective it can be especially when you factor in what it would take to DIY.
Better yet look for venues that already have what you need.
Look at booking out a restaurant or beautiful cafe for your reception. Chances are they already have glasses, tablecloths cutlery and staff. You could still add personal touches on the night but the bones are there already, make it easy on yourself where you can.
My sisters wedding was very DIY and while it was BEAUTIFUL we literally had to bring everything (including salt and pepper) and here's the kicker, you have to hire a truck to return it all afterwards too!
I'm not saying DIY can't be great but just make sure you are really aware of what it involves and exactly who will be doing it all.
Be sympathetic to your venue and the weather
Don't choose a beach theme in July in an intercity church hall. Think about the strengths of where you have chosen and how you can best play these up. This is also really important to consider before you get your heart set on food or flowers, these are both best (and cheapest) when they are fresh and in season.
We got married in a beautiful homestead so we used the gardens and made it minimal / traditional using the colours and the architecture of what was already there, No-one wants annoying decorations on the table that don't make sense.
I even went as far as giving my florist zero direction on what type of flowers I wanted because I knew she would make the best decision from what was available, instead I spent a lot of time discussing the mood I was after so she knew my over all wedding look and feel.
Take this into account when choosing a venue and if you can, go for one that speaks for itself already, it will be a big money and time saver in the end.
Start writing a list of what you imagine the day to be like, think of this as a wedding mood board and get those close to you involved. This helps everyone to be on the same page but also helps as a frame work for planning. If you write it as a time line you can immediately start to see the things that need to be planned and where your gaps might be. Where it says something like "11am bride to church" think about what details that involves, you need to book a car, driver, plan the route and book a church. - You get the idea.
The harsh truth on friends and family...
Your friends and family are only trying to help, remind yourself of this a few times but do remember this is your big day, you need to feel comfortable and happy with all of the decisions that are being made.
This goes for bridal parties too, the honest truth is that as much as these people love you they have their own lives and full time jobs. Don't ask them to be involved in every last detail. Don't put them all in lilac if its doing nothing for their complexions. Be upfront and honest about the cost to them and chat at the beginning of the process about what you would like their involvement to be.
You chose them because you love them, try to keep it that way.