Wedding Planning: Tips and tricks for what to do first.
Congratulations, you’re engaged! If you’re reading this, we are going to assume that you’re super loved up right now, have told all of your family and friends (+ anyone else who will listen!), and now find yourself with the huge task of planning a wedding.
Planning your wedding is one of the most exciting times in your life as a couple and for your families. The first thing most couples want to know once they’re engaged, is simply where to start their wedding planning. As wedding planners we work with couples at various stages of their wedding planning journey, some who have found it relatively easy and others who wish they had someone to guide them through the process. Regardless of where you are in your planning journey, the following advice should help you along the way with a little more ease.
Tip 1: Work out what your budget is.
REALLY, what is YOUR budget? I emphasis ‘your’ because what your sister, friend or work colleague spent on their wedding, may not reflect what you can or are prepared to spend on yours. How each couple determines their budget is a very personal choice and may take into account a number of things. The average Australian wedding now costs upwards of $50,000 – $65,000 + . That’s not to say every wedding has to, or will cost this much, but it is crucial you agree as a couple what you are prepared to spend before you begin looking at venues, suppliers or dresses. Your budget will determine every choice you make for your wedding, so ensuring you are clear on this first is the only way to make sure you are looking for vendors that fit your budget and your expectations for the day.
Some Wedding budget questions to consider;
- Do you have savings? If so, how much are you prepared to part with for the wedding and how long will it take to build back up again?
- Are your families going to contribute? If so, how much will they each contribute?
- What is your current financial situation and would you feel comfortable borrowing money if you had to? If so, how long will it take to pay it back and will this impact your future plans?
- What do you expect from your wedding and does the style of your dream wedding realistically fit within your budget? If you simply must have the room completely covered in fresh flowers, then you will need to be prepared to part with a fairly significant sum of money.
Tip 2: Get clear on your wedding priorities and what style of wedding you would like to have.
Determining your wedding priorities may sound a bit pointless, after-all you’re probably thinking, “I want the best of everything for my wedding” (who doesn’t!). But just how realistic is this? As Wedding Planners, the first thing we ask our couples to do is to create a list of the top 5 things that are the most important to them and then list them in order of priority. This method gives you a great insight and a road-map for what you are prepared to invest the most money in. It also helps to identify items that may not be as important, if sacrifices have to be made later in the planning process. For example, if you and your fiance’ love the city and great food and wine, then finding an inner-city venue that is renowned for its culinary expertise and great wine selection may be your biggest priority. We suggest creating a wish list of everything for your wedding and then refining it into order of priority, giving particular attention to the top 3 – 5 items.
Tip 3: Research! The fun begins…
So this is it, the fun part, you are now on the hunt for all of your suppliers! While it is tempting to book a site tour with every venue in town, we suggest first researching 3 venues that you believe fit your style, your vision for the day and your budget. Where you have the wedding and how much it will cost will largely determine how much of your (pre-set) wedding budget is available for everything else on your wishlist. Before booking site inspections, do thorough research to see photos and reviews of each venue and contact them to ask if your date is available, for a copy of their services and menu, and if any minimum spends apply. This method can then be applied to researching all of your vendors and will save you time in meeting with those who may not be an ideal fit.
Extra Tip: As we said in Tip 1, take some time to really check in with yourself about your expectations for the wedding (and those of your family members). The main reason for doing this, is that you may find yourself in a position where items cost more than you thought, or your family members have different priorities to what you and your fiance do. Open and transparent communication is key, especially with family. Let them know what you are planning, if you require their help and how much input you would like them to have.
We hope these tips help you get super clear on your wedding planning priorities and remember, when you take the time upfront to prepare well, you give yourself a solid foundation to build upon.
Happy Wedding Planning! xo