Follow these handy hints and you'll breeze through your wedding planning without getting frazzled or blowing the budget.
Speak to your florist first to learn what blooms are in season on the day of your wedding. There’s no point finding and choosing a certain type of flower only to discover it’s unobtainable in your region or too expensive.
Before hitting the shops, research styles that will suit your body shape and overall theme – a floaty Grecian dress is perfect for the beach, while a structured gown in heavy fabrics is better suited to a formal wedding. Keep a camera in your handbag to take a snap of each dress you try on.
‘Set aside a weekend to look at all your venues at once,’ recommends Emma Newman. ‘It’s really hard to remember each one afterwards – so pick your top three and set up appointments.’ In addition, have your venue do double duty – find one to host both your ceremony and reception.
Gayle Garmaz says it’s a wise idea to put your guest list on a spreadsheet. ‘Compose your invites, RSVPs and seating chart from that,’ she says. Consider setting up a Facebook event or group for guests to meet and ask questions, or ditch the formal stationery suite and go for email invites and a wedding website instead.
Download some simple seating chart software or pick up a packet of multicoloured post-it stickers. Colour-code guests by category, such as family, the bride and groom’s friends, family friends and work colleagues. This makes it easy to allocate guests appropriately on your chart and move them around if necessary.
Confirm your wedding date before meeting potential photographers, recommends Lauretta Goode of Shine Studios.‘When looking at websites, go straight for a photographer’s current work.’ You’ll get a better idea of their style from a recent blog or Facebook album than from portfolios that may be several years old.
Gifts for guests can be time-consuming to organise. Instead, make a donation to a charity close to your heart and tell guests you’ve donated on their behalf. They will feel special knowing that you’re contributing to a good cause.
Vows and Readings
Don’t leave the wordy bits until the last minute. Celebrant Melanie Kerr advises meeting with an officiant early on. ‘A good celebrant will give you an order-of-service blueprint to think over,’ she says. Let ideas for vows, readings and the ceremony brew in the back of your mind – that way you’ll be prepared when you sit down to write them.