CONGRATULATIONS! We’re so happy to hear that you’re engaged and that you’re now embarking on one of life’s most exciting chapters, that of planning your dream Wedding Day! Let’s face it for us girls, it’s usually one of the biggest milestones that we’ve been looking forward to…and usually we need very little encouragement (other than a ring on our finger!) to start making our dreams a reality. But…the reality is, it can sometimes feel daunting when expectations (not just your own) are high and there is so much to thing of and organise, but we’re here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be that way. That’s why, as seasoned professionals we’ve created a list of what we feel are some of the most important tips and tricks to pass on to you, to help make your planning process just that little bit easier. In between we’ll add little injections of Tamborine Mountain wedding inspiration to get you through all the good stuff. Remember not to bite off too many tasks at once, so start slowly and set yourself achievable goals along the way! Then everything will always feel much more manageable.
1. THINK ABOUT THE DOLLARS!
It may sound dull, but a wedding costs lots of $’s and is one of the biggest investments you’ll make in your life – so it goes without saying that you need to plan for it. Work smarter not harder in this area. Narrow your ideas down, write lists of all your needs & wants and attach budgets to each category. Work out what your non-negotiables are and stick hard to them, they’ll ground you to your chosen style and overall dream…allow other areas that are less important be the ones that are tweaked if necessary. Also, being open to a mid-week wedding can save you a considerable amount of $’s and is much more accepted these days – so this is something to really consider when discussing pricing with venues and suppliers. Remember too that everyone has a different idea of what they want for their wedding day – so only by choosing what you want over what everyone else expects, can you be sure to make it your ‘dream day’. There will be some compromises, that’s just life, but it’s all about keeping the balance right!
2. BECOME AN ORGANISER EXTRAORDINAIRE
Get planning early and get organised early…then you’ll always feel like you’re on top of things. However you organise yourself best, do that…buy yourself a wedding planning diary to take with you to all your meetings and write reminders in so that you stay on track with tasks in the correct timeframes. Get yourself a wedding planning folder that you can print out and include inspiration pics in under each category for your planning, along with correspondence with suppliers, create a list of suppliers contact details, maybe even a wedding specific email address for yourself – this then becomes a great reference tool to take with you to meetings and will ensure you stay organised.
3. DECIDE ON A THEME AND STICK TO IT
Once you’ve got your wedding venue locked and your overall style/theme to match this – then stick to it like your life depends on it. There are so many different styles out there and like anything the more you learn the more styles you realise you like…but straying from your original plan can become confusing and then a bit messy and mean that your overall style might become incoherent. Simple is always better.
4. WORK OUT WHO YOU CAN’T BE WITHOUT
When and if you need to get a little creative with your budget planning in the early stages, the guest list is one of the best places to start. Did you know that about half your overall wedding budget will go towards food and drinks for your guests. So it really does pay to work out who you must have present and then whittle the list down to make it work with your budget figures. At the end of the day, you want your nearest and dearest to be with you but you also want your day to be as close as possible to your ‘dream day’, so it’s important to keep this in the forefront of your mind when making decisions about your guest list. Regardless of what you might think, people will always understand that it’s ‘your day’ and that you must do what is right for you.
5. RULE OUT BUSY DATES
Once you narrow down your chosen season, then month…research any possibly black-out dates during the month and rule them out of the short list of wedding dates. You don’t want your wedding to fall unexpectedly on a ridiculously busy touristy or public holiday weekends which could turn other bookings and guest’s bookings into a more difficult process.
6. BE OPEN TO WORKING WITH PARTNER SUPPLIERS
When you’re meeting with venues and vendors, be sure to discuss the style that you’re going for early on and make a note of any partner suppliers that they recommend. This is handy for a few reasons; 1. suppliers love working with their dream team because they know what to expect and that brings about the best results – for you + 2. they will usually have a great idea of which suppliers can pull-off your desired style the best AND 3. this saves you time searching endlessly for the suppliers you hope will work well together on the day.
7. ASK AWAY
When you are about to seal the deals with suppliers don’t be afraid to ask for one more little inclusion that you feel will really top of their service…if you don’t ask you’ll never know, as they say…and you have the most chance of pulling a request off at the point of sale than later down the line, so go for it! Hearing no is the worst thing that can happen.
8. CREATE YOUR OWN WEDDING WEBSITE
This might seem a little extravagant but in today’s world it couldn’t make more sense. There are many free wedding website templates online and you can customise them to tie into your wedding style – then you add all your important details for your big day. Aim to have it all updated with everything from timelines, wedding related events, accommodation and travel suggestions, maps with accurate driving instructions and the like, so that your guests will be armed with a wealth of information relating to your Wedding upon receiving your invitation. This also saves on the need for excessive stationery to accompany your invites, include the website somewhere sweet and the rest sorts itself out. Plus your guests will be so impressed that you’ve made things so easy for them!
9. BE SAVVY
Think about applying for a credit card with a rewards program (flights, shopping etc) that suits you, then you can use this card for all your wedding related purchases. You will be spending a lot of money, so you may as well receive some points for it and be able to use redeem those points at a later date or even put it towards your honeymoon!
10. SUPPLIER MEALS ON THE DAY
Most suppliers require a meal on the day of your wedding too, so before you book in your date with your chosen venue be sure to ask whether they have an option to serve a different meal to suppliers – this can be a hidden way for you to save a little extra money.
11. STAMP ACTION
Did you know that you can order special celebratory stamps from Australia Post. So think about this early, why have the standard stamp at the time you’re ready to post your invitations if you can have one you really love. Research this early and keep popping into your post office until you find the ones you simply can’t go past!
12. CHILDREN IN OR OUT?
Decide early on as to whether you want children at your wedding. Nobody takes offence over this subject these days, but it’s advisable to have a clear course of action from the outset. Obviously if you are having children in your bridal party, this can be an exception to a no-children wedding…but otherwise, it’s best to decide if you want any kids present, or immediate family members with children only and then don’t deviate from your rule. Allowing some friends to bring their children but not others only causes problems and upsets your guests. Another option can be to offer childcare for children at a nearby private home or hotel.
13. THINK ABOUT TRANSPORT FOR GUESTS
Offering a shuttle bus service for guests to/from your Tamborine Mountain wedding venue can be a great idea to allow your guests to totally relax and enjoy your day. It sounds difficult to organise, but it’s a very simple process of you making a couple of set pick-up points/times with your chosen transport company and booking it in. This is a service that your guests will really appreciate and it can help you relax too, knowing that all/most of your guests will be looked after and will definitely arrive on time.
14. GET CRAFTY AND CREATIVE
Be clever with your time and money – there are so many things that you can make yourself or request that a loved one make for you as a gift even. If you’re organised making a few small key decor features for your wedding can be lots of fun and save you dollars too. Plus, it will add true personalisation to your day making it even more special for you both as a couple and your guests.
15. DELEGATE DELEGATE DELEGATE
When you get close to the big day, be sure to make some serious lists for the final few days including the day of your wedding. Divide up the jobs amongst your immediate family and friends who are able and willing to help. Don’t attempt to do it all yourself, you will have enough to do and you want to start relaxing in the lead up and obviously on the big day, you don’t want to be thinking about anything except enjoying yourself.
16. KEEP IN CONTACT
Stay in touch with your venue and all your suppliers and be sure to email them all for the last time with any specific requests or special information you want them to know in the final week before your big day. Give them contact details for who you want them to talk to on the day if they run into any issues, you don’t want them coming to you.
17. DRAW UP YOUR OWN RUN SHEET
All the professionals use one, so why not draw up your own in advance. You can give one to each of your suppliers, then everyone will know that they’re on the same page. Make sure you include a full list of contact details so that it makes things easy for everyone on the day if they need to contact one another. Plan and action as much of the on-the-day scheduling/decoration etc in advance, always make use of an early venue set-up when it’s offered and maximise this…everything takes longer than expected and so the more you get done in advance the more you can relax and enjoy your wedding experience.
18. MAKE A BACK-UP PLAN AND BE OK WITH IT
Cross all the ‘Plan B’ bridges in your mind and discuss these with your venue and suppliers – settle on what you know you can accept and put it to bed. Planning for any wet weather events that might crop up is fundamental to ensuring that you day still runs smoothly and that you can enjoy it and feel comfortable knowing how things will progress rather than anxious about what will happen if you’ve not thought it through. Remember too that sometimes magic happens when plans don’t go exactly to plan!
19. KEEP A RAINY DAY FUND
Make sure you have a contingency fund allocated in your budget, about 5-8% would be a good number to work with. Planning a wedding is just like planning any big project, there will always be unexpected issues that you run into which require extra $’s, such as umbrella purchases on a rainy wedding day morning, additional invitations, wedding dress alterations etc etc.
20. PERSONALISE PERSONALISE PERSONALISE
A wedding day that feels highly personal to you as a couple will always feel so much more special to you and your guests. So at every opportunity during your planning opportunity, be sure to take the personal route and include family and friends who might like to help those elements come to fruition. When you’re planning your ceremony with your celebrant for instance, requesting the inclusion of your love story and your own hand written vows can be one of the most beautiful tributes you make to one another on your Wedding Day, which will pave the way to the rest of your joyful celebrations. It’s all about ‘you’ as a couple, so celebrate that, allow your light to shine bright and your guests will delight in being surrounded by the infectious love drenched atmosphere that is born from that.