In this moment of stillness where no one can get married in the venue of their choice I ask you to use this time to reflect and conjur up those feelings of love and happiness and start making notes on how to plan your wedding.
Every radio station and all social media channels are letting you know that there is a COVID-19 Pandemic that has taken over how we live our lives to the point where weddings are on pause.
Play your favourite music, sit in your hammock, take that bath in your favourite bath oils, bake that recipe you always wanted to make and get into the most relaxed zone so that you can start planning.
Escape into the wedding catalogue and really start planning how you envision your wedding moment to be the start of your chapter in your story as a couple. It is gong to take at least 12 months. The best person to help you is a Wedding Planner/Producer. Let’s get started.
Budget is Top of Mind
Determining exactly how much you plan on spending for each section of your wedding will determine the overall budget. Be truthful and work out realistically how much can you afford and where is your money source so that you can budget. Is family going to pitch in or are you going it alone? Prioritise in order when making your list what is essential and what you are willing to save money on as you search online and delve into an industry of pure endless self indulgence.
Guest List – Who do you want to celebrate Your Day?
When you are typing out your guest list and choosing whom you really want to invite and who has been alongside you and your partners lives think about the laughter and love you will continue to share with these guests well after your celebration. This list will determine the size of your venue and the various budget scenarios. Will you go small and intimate or large and extravagant? One way to cut spending is to limit the guest list. This as you know will be the most difficult part especially if you do not want to offend anyone.
Month, Year and Time
Choosing the season you want to be married in and picking a selection of dates will make it all the more easier to book your venue. In order to finalise any other details and booking vendors you must know when you want to get married. Take into account if you have any guests that will fly in for your wedding day before finalising the date.
Wedding Theme and Colours
What have you always dreamed about; classic, romantic rustic, boho chic, vintage or luxe? Choosing a theme and a colour palette will make selecting a venue and decorations much easier. Now is the time to purchase some wedding magazines, sift through social media such as Pinterest and Instagram for your source of inspiration.
Once you have the above selected now you will be ready to engage with a wedding planner/producer/coordinator. They are one of the most important and key people in your planning stages because they will ensure nothing falls through the cracks. You can hire these professionals on their own or through your venue. Locking in one of these professionals ensures they will be there at least on your wedding day so that it runs smoothly. I know you think you will be able to do it alone but once you start to put your plan in place you will realise that you will require professional help.
What Venue will help you host your wedding moment? Brides can sometimes book a date a year in advance and this means you cannot leave your date until the last minute. Key is selecting a venue that is affordable, has your date available and will enhance the theme you have chosen.
Minister or Celebrant
This is the tricky part of where you will have to coordinate the date of your venue and the Minister or Celebrant availability. You cannot have a wedding if no one can marry you. It is one of the most important and necessary steps in the whole planning process.
The Wedding Party
Your Wedding Party needs to be aware of their commitment during this whole wedding process. They need to be able to carry out their duties assigned so you will have to discuss your expectations during the wedding planning so they understand what they are getting themselves into when they agree. It requires their involvement when called upon at anytime.
Eight Months Before Your Chosen Wedding Date
The Gift Registry
Make sure you have organised this early in as people like to plan ahead what they intend to purchase. As a couple you can choose your favourite store and give your guests an idea about the items you really need to start your journey.
Save Your Wedding Date Email/Phone call
Saving the date messages are important especially when people are coming from out of town. People need to decide if they can make it and they do not book any trips on that date.
Celebrating your Engagement is something that you will need to plan and include in the scheme of this whole affair. Your chosen wedding venue might have some suggestions in terms of alternate rooms to hold your event. This way you can kill two birds with one stone.
Wedding Dress/Grooms Attire
Trying on wedding dresses, rummaging through various social media pages and bookmarking styles is all part of making that final decision. Have fun with it! Once selected order it! You need the time for those alterations and shopping for those accessories. What you choose is personal and is in keeping with your character and style.
Hotel rooms need to be reserved in blocks for your out of town guests and you might even be able to get a discount for them. Give your guests some options to choose from depending on their budget.
Create a Wedding Website
Creating a wedding website is ideal for your guests because they can immediately see any details regarding your wedding plans. They can RSVP on the website, get directions to the venue of your choice, find links to your gift registry, learn about local hotels, and find out more about the dress code for the wedding.
Who will be Your Caterer?
Decide what type of food you are most likely going to offer at your reception and research caterers. Remember that your venue will most likely have caterers and they will have their own set of rules. Most venues will have a selection of food and beverage packages to choose from and they will have you covered. You will need to work out if your guests have allergies or special dietary requirements that will need to be discussed with your chosen Event Coordinator who can discuss this with the chef and caterers.
This sets the mood and tone of your whole wedding. This will allow you, your partner and guests to relax and converse with each other. Select booking the band/DJ, or musician. They need to be able to provide the music you want including the playlist. Work out as a couple what are your favourite soundtracks that will feature on the night.
Do you want a Photographer or Videographer?
If you want to spend the money to capture your moment then selecting professionals will need to be booked in on your date. Couples sometimes try to cut back in this area and regret it later. Remember you have gone to the effort to coordinate this whole event to celebrate your marriage. Capture it in the right way and create those memorable moments.
Give your chosen florist the time to source the specific flowers that you have discussed. Now is the time to review your budget and see what remains. Discussing flowers early on in the process will give you an idea what flowers are available during the season you have booked. Not all types of flowers are available all season round.
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Six Months Before the Wedding
Engagement Photo Shoot
Photographers will offer this service so that you know how the wedding will be shot. He knows what profiles and angles look fantastic and you understand the type of photos that will be taken on the day. You can even have photos to distribute on save your date via email.
Bridal Party Attire
You have selected your wedding dress so now is the time to get your bridal party together and go shopping to see what design suits their body type and what colours will match your theme selected. Discuss and let your bridal party help. Your bridesmaids can get alterations and your flower girls/pageboys can also have their fittings.
Wedding Stationery/Digital Invites
Decide on the wedding invitations and what enclosures and writing will be included. Wedding programs can also be selected and designed at this point.
Sweet tooth? Amazing wedding cake designs lay ahead and you can choose on the flavour, the number of tiers and the overall design. Definitely a fun part of your planning process.
Confirm Wedding Suite
When the day is over you want to relax in your own wedding suite. This time is for you and your partner. No more worrying about the guests.
Start planning your honeymoon because if you intend to travel to a destination you will need to ensure passports or immunisations are up to date.
An essential component as things do not always go as planned. It’s good to have some movement in schedule to deal with last-minute issues that pop up. Send this to the vendors for their input before finalising it as they will be able to advise if anything has been left out.
Four Months Before the Wedding
This is a crucial period to ensure everything comes together;
- Dress Fittings
- Wedding Rehearsal and Rehearsal Dinner
- Mail Invitations
- Ceremony Planning
- Hair and Makeup
- Groomsmen Outfits
- Wedding Rings
- Wedding Party Gifts
- Wedding Incidentals such as garter, guest book, toasting glasses, cake knives and unity candles, bonbonieres
- Wedding Shower
- Writing your vows
- Dance Lessons
- Digital announcements – check out the rules and submit the wedding announcement
- Marriage License otherwise wedding will not be legal
- Final Fitting
- Wedding Programs – double check last details
- Vendor Check-In
- Bridal Party Check-In
- Thank You Cards – write them now so you are prepared for later
- Rehearsal Dinner Invitation
Two Weeks Before the Wedding
- Review RSVPs –who has not replied
- Hair Appointment
- Finalise DJ Details
- Finalise Photography Details – must have shote
- Wedding Traditions – something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue for the wedding day
- Break In Wedding Shoes
- Final Head Count – vendor and caterer
- Seating Chart
- Place Cards and Table Cards
- Groom Haircut
- Vendor Requests
- Bachelor & Bachelorette Celebrations
- Honeymoon Packing
- Wedding Coordinator Check in
Three Days Before the Wedding
- Wedding rings and marriage license set
- Vendor Tips and Payments
- Rental Return Point of contact
- Rehearsal and Dinner
Wedding Day – Enjoy
The Planning has ended and now you can view the final product.
- Wedding Bands
- Wedding Gown
- After the Wedding
- Thank-You Cards
- Name Change