We are Engaged! What now?

Start planning your wedding from as early as possible

Start as many months and years you can in advance. Budget and approximate guest numbers should be a beginning priority to your wedding discussions.  Get a little bit done every month and you’ll be so grateful you did.  It’s the smartest way to enjoy every special aspect of your wedding, with no time pressure.  Create a keepsake box, when you see wedding sales – throw it into your wedding treasure box.  Plan ahead as much as possible, on as many things as possible.  This is a happy and blessed journey for you.

Draft your wedding budget

Often, your budget is an influential force backing your wedding decisions. Assess what budget suits you and your Fiance’. If any of your family or friends are fitting parts of your wedding, meet with them to chat about their comfort zone of spending.  Know your budget lines before starting your wedding planning. This will be your compass needle on your wedding journey.

Choose your guest number, are you inviting kids to your wedding?

 Before picking your venue, communicate with your Groom of approximately how many guests you’re planning to invite together. Discuss if you’re inviting kids to your wedding.  This will open the avenue to which wedding venues will be suited to house your wedding.  Remember about 10-25% of your guest’s invited won’t attend, so create a plan b guest list. Never tell your guests they were on the plan b guest list!  Here’s an amazing and simple method to guide your invitation decisions.

Wedding Guest List Manager

Wedding Guest List Manager

Prioritize.  What is most important to your and your Fiance’?

Open all communication between your Fiancé and you.  Decide together which priorities are most important to you both. Are your wedding priorities the Ceremony? Or DJ and entertainment?  Or bar?  Or food? Or a spectacular venue?  Then throughout your planning please prioritise and highlight your wedding priorities. As a result, this will help keep your focus, when you may need to compromise.

Pick a season and wedding date

Consider which dates there maybe large sporting events or concerts in your wedding venue area. This would influence the accommodation for your guests around the radius of your wedding venue. Also ask yourselves if you prefer an Autumn or Winter or Spring or Summer wedding?  Your choice of season will also help define your choice of wedding date.  If you have family or friends travelling from abroad, consider their availability too, this is if their presence at your wedding is important to you.

Chose those dearest to you, to stand nearest to you

At about this point, pick your bridesmaid and groomsman.  Don’t take the stress of everything alone, keep your bridal team close and designate tasks among them.  They are there to support you during this extremely special and blessed time of your lives.  Obviously you get final say, but use your support team to lean on. Give each person on your team a task list to get through months, weeks, days and hours before your wedding.  Remember the golden rule, treat your Bridesmaid the way you’d like to be treated.

Get wedding organised!

Do not be overwhelmed! It’s much easier than you think!  There’s some pretty awesome wedding apps and checklists. Depend on them.  Use technology – use apps and wedding checklists to guide you. Wedding journals also work fabulously great in organising!  As you go along, tick what you have done. This will motivate your task leading.

Create a file and tuck your correspondence with your suppliers in here. Save your to do lists here.  It’ll be very useful to see how far your plans have come, lowering your stress levels. Get wedding organised.  Be sure to document and include terms/conditions into your contracts. Don’t assume you’ll be able to use your venue with loud music until 3am.  Often venues will charge an additional per hour fee from midnight.  Ensure you have a thorough wedding checklist and you can’t go wrong. Allocate a specific goal date for each task.  To clarify, get wedding organised.

Create a wedding vision board

Find wedding inspiration through reading articles, flipping through wedding books and magazines.  Connect with experts in the field and get wedding ideas from Pintrest and social media platforms. Once you’ve decided on your wedding style, try to stick with it.   Don’t get overwhelmed by the global wedding waffle.  Keep your eyes on your chosen style goals and this will help eradicate the millions of other idea styles that come along this journey.

Network

Chat to couples who recently got married.  What did they love? What was a potential disaster? What would they do differently?  Especially try connect with recently married couples at your same venue. Newlyweds love talking about their wedding experience, which does fly by so very fast. Don’t try re-invent the wheels already running.  Ask advice. Take advice. One day you might be giving the advice.  You might make some special and good friends on this wedding journey.

Am we going to involve a wedding planner?

Having a Wedding Planner organise your Wedding is a bonus. However with or without a wedding planner’s presence, it will not make/break your wedding success. Wedding planning is not rocket science and if you prepare and plan well in advance, you could probably achieve similar outcomes.  After that, if you opt not to have a wedding planner, look for a venue (hotel, resort, restaurant) who have logistic structures in place (such as a catering restaurant or an entertainment area) – as this will make your wedding planning processes easier. Ask your venue if they have an on-site event coordinator that can run through the agenda smoothly and attend to any event or food hiccoughs.

Mother Nature

It might rain – on the other hand, it might not rain. Heed caution to prepare adequately for either. Also consider tight fitting tents might cause guests to want to leave earlier because of the heat.  Consider bugs and mosquitoes in certain areas – you can place a bug repellent in the guest’s gift favour bag or rent a pest control tank. Brides, wear a perfume that repels mosquitoes (not your Groom) if you’re having an outside wedding prone to bugs.

Be smart with credit

Weddings cost, so sign up a credit card with a rewards point scheme programme on it.  In addition, join together all your wedding purchases to this card.  Perhaps the amount of points you earn will contribute towards a complimentary Honeymoon.

Word of mouth

Speak to your wedding suppliers. In other words, let suppliers refer to you to the best suppliers in the wedding industry in your area. They know the market and are pretty good at doing your networking for you.  Save yourself the work and spoil of finding the right suppliers.  Remember to only book your suppliers once you’ve settled on a Wedding date. Meanwhile, pick suppliers which you’re comfortable with. Remember to keep your supplier’s direct mobile numbers nearby you on the day for any emergencies.  You’re not an expert in everything, so caution on the DIY.  Above all else, use reputable suppliers.

How do I slice our wedding budget?

Get happy!  There are many tricks of the trade which can help lighten your budget load. Here’s a few examples: Shorten your guest list because more than half of your wedding costs will likely go towards dining your guests. Do your single guest’s need a plus one? Do you really need kids at your Wedding?  This is the quickest way to save on any wedding budget. If you’re feeding your photographer, wedding planner, coordinator, florist, baker, DJ and decorators on the day – pick them a cheaper meal from the caterers.  Another wedding budget helper is asking your bridesmaid to buy their own dresses and shoes, and your groomsman to purchase their attire. Remember sooner or later your bridal team will also be in the same wedding boat one day.

Avoid a cash bar. Moreover, have a cash bar with a cash limit. Alternatively only open the bar to wine and beers, avoiding spirits on your cash float because spirits are steeper.  A simple saver is having your wedding on a weekday instead of the weekend. Venues will sometimes cancel the venue hire altogether or discount the venue hire by up to 70% for a weekday wedding. Remember to release hotel rooms you’ve pre-booked or you’ll be held liable to pay whether the guests showed up or not.

However, on the other hand, never budget cut here. Never cut on the photographer budget.  Book the best wedding photographer you can find! Your photos will be your lifelong memories.

What’s a wedding budget formula?

A general synopsis of your budget:  40% to your reception, 5% to flowers and décor, 8% dressing your crew, 10% entertainment, 10% photographer or videographer, 2% save the date and wedding invitations, 18% wedding gifts, 5% gift favours, 2% unforeseen expenses.

The world is at your fingertips so use it well

Use social media! Make a Facebook group or temporary website – as platforms for guest RSVP’s.  It’s easy to track and work with. Hashtag your Wedding (deciding on the hashtag name with your Fiance’ is so much fun!)  Awesome wedding signs, décor and photo booths are a great way to plug your ceremony in.  However if you’d rather prefer a private event, make an announcement of your wedding being unplugged.  Here’s a cool signboard to make it easy: Unplugged Wedding Sign

Focus on the why of your wedding

To sum up, do not sweat the small stuff. Above all, keep focused on YOUR Wedding and don’t get caught up in the small details. Subsequently, the biggest focus here is that YOU’RE GETTING MARRIED! Don’t forget what is important.