Perfect Timing: Easy Tricks to Becoming a Master Wedding Planner

Organising your wedding can seem overwhelming, but clever use of available time in the lead-up to your day will keep you on track.

  • Story by Words Natalie Cyra

Organising your wedding can seem overwhelming, but clever use of available time in the lead-up to your day will keep you on track. 

Planning a wedding is easy, stress free and not time consuming at all – said no one, ever! Although organising one of the most romantic days of your life is filled with joy and excitement, all those appointments to attend, people to meet, bookings to make and the endless list of contacts to get through can be enough to drive any bride to be crazy. Time management is key to getting the day you have always dreamt of, and deserve. You don’t have to be a crazed planning expert like Monica from Friends – these suggestions will help you utilise every pocket of time you have to make it smooth sailing all the way to ‘I do.’ 

10 minutes
This short amount of time may seem insufficient to accomplish a task, but if you’re proactive and manage your diary well, you’ll actually be able to achieve a lot. 

  • Have a doctor’s appointment? Take along samples of wedding photographers’ work to review while you wait, or in your tea break at work, make appointments with vendors and  get your engagement rings insured.
  • In this timeframe you could update your to-do list and send the final guest count to your caterers or text friends or family about caring for your pets during your honeymoon. 
  • Stay organised and determined to get things done – provided it’s not midday, it should only take 10 minutes to pop into the post office to buy stamps and mail out your invitations. 

30 minutes to 1 hour 
It’s worth sacrificing your lunch break from time to time in order to complete some crucial wedding tasks. Pack lunch the night before so you can sit at your desk or workspace and get busy. 

  • At the start of your planning journey, creating a Pinterest page will spark ideas for you to revisit later. Save images in folders categorised for specific parts of the day. Be sure to check out the New Zealand Weddings pins.
  • Set up your own wedding website or Facebook page to give your guests more information about the venue, menu and order of events and allow them to feel included in the process.
  • It’s a task that’s often forgotten and can result in painful, red feet fast, so remember to break in your wedding shoes in advance. It might not be what you feel like doing after a long day, but even just wearing your shoes for an hour will save you from a world of pain on your big day. 
  • If you can’t face getting up an hour earlier to hit the gym and have other plans after work, try to squeeze in an aerobics class at the local gym in your lunch hour. The classes are social and provide a great workout. Plus, they are usually no longer than an hour.
  • Half an hour should give you enough time to get a wax or have a skin consultation. You could also allocate a lunchtime to visit jewellery stores with your bridesmaids’ look in mind.
  • Motivate yourself to head to work half an hour earlier than usual and spend this time sending out emails or ticking off a few items on your to-do list. If you commute to work (by bus, train or ferry), this is the perfect time to go over contracts and menu options. 

Half a day

  • With your husband to be, the first step in your big-day planning process is writing a list or a brainstorm bubble for all your ideas and visions for your wedding. Think theme, style, location – anything that pops into your head when you picture your day, write it down in a wedding-specific notebook. As you get deeper into your planning, you might forget the small details you thought of when it all began. Keep your notebook on you at all times, as you never know when and where you’ll be struck with inspiration.
  • For safe keeping, compile all of your wedding information in one binder. Collect documents such as quotes, invoices and pamphlets, organise them into separate folders and be sure to update them regularly.
  • You might think you’re a whizz at writing and delivering speeches, but it might not be as easy as you think when it comes to doing your vows. Set aside a good part of a day to consider what you want to say about your loved one, and how you are going to express it, perhaps through lines from a favourite poem or song. Alternatively, share a memorable anecdote.
  • At your next hair appointment, make the most of the opportunity to get advice on what styles will suit your face shape and complexion. In addition to your regular colour and/or cut, have an in-salon treatment to nourish and strengthen your hair. 
  • Establishing a budget together and determining who is contributing what is the next logical step after deciding on your wedding date. This will take a while, but once it is done you can start to navigate your way through the logistics.  
  • In the build-up to the big day, it’s easy to let wedding planning (and stress) take over. And as with any project, taking a break will often do wonders for productivity and enthusiasm. Be sure to set aside a few evenings for quality, no-wedding-talk dates with your hubby-to-be. 

A full day 

  • Depending on the size of your wedding, a day will give you enough time to make your wedding favours. Many brides opt for small, inexpensive treats such as baked goods. Spend some time playing in the kitchen, testing out recipes such as fudge or truffles that can be wrapped in small packages to place next to placecards at tables. 
  • A day will give you enough time to design your wedding invitations or save-the-date cards. If you’re opting for an easy handmade option, you’ll be able to grab what you need from a stationery or art supplies store. 
  • If you’re keen to create a clever photo or video to email out to invited guests, choose a day in the weekend, as this increases your chances of being able to recruit a friend to help you. 
  • Set aside a full day to meet vendors and visit possible locations. This is arguably the biggest decision you’ll make with regards to your day, so you’ll want to take your time on visits, rather than having to rush off to fulfil another obligation.
  • Your seating chart is another big task you’ll want to set aside a good part of the day for – it generally takes much longer than you would expect. You’ll want to ensure you create an arrangement that allows guests to be able to be relaxed with each other and enjoy themselves all night long. 
  • Do the same for when it comes to finding your dream dress. Make a girly, celebratory day of it with your mum and your bridesmaids. Keep in mind many bridal boutiques require appointments to be made in advance. 

A smooth planning process partly depends on how long you have to prepare between your engagement and your wedding date. But no matter how much time you have, making use of it wisely will keep you on track. Remember not to sweat the small stuff. Delegate jobs to friends and family who will be more than happy to help – it will save you time and unnecessary stress.


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