With less than a week until my nuptials and the excitement (and nerves) have seriously set in!
Along with the excitement, comes all of the final meetings, budgeting and decisions which can be daunting if you haven’t put the work in upfront so here are my tips for planning an unconventional wedding.
1. SMALL WEDDINGS AREN'T NECESSARILY EASIER TO PLAN
Compiling the guest list for an intimate wedding is tricky and the best way to work it out is to create a list of all of your friends and family and then work through who you couldn’t imagine your special day without. Also keep in mind that the venue may dictate the number of guests you can invite if you’re aiming for an intimate space so do your research up front.
Speaking of the venue, you’ll need to think outside the square as most wedding venues are geared toward big weddings and it’s easy to become caught up in planning a big wedding to fit a particular space so you need to keep reminding yourself of what it is you want to experience on the day.
Have a look at restaurants, vineyards, homes for hire and general event spaces as well as traditional wedding venues.
We settled on The French Cafe’s private dining space for our wedding and we’re having the ceremony on site to keep things as simple and fuss free as possible.
2. BEFRIEND EXCEL
It’s time to talk about the B word… BUDGET. Creating a budget is the most important task when it comes to planning your wedding and Excel is the best tool to use.
The most realistic way to start budgeting for the wedding is to work out how much cash you and your significant other are able to pull together from the time you get engaged until your chosen wedding date.
Do yourself a favor and plug the estimated costs of the necessities in to your Excel sheet before any of the ‘nice to have’ items. That way, you’ll be forced to be realistic about what you can and can’t afford.
If you save your budget in to Google Drive, you’ll be able to share it with your significant other and it’ll automatically save updates so that you’re always looking at the latest version.
Another tip, account for miscellaneous costs as there will be items that you don’t expect like a marriage license, printing, taxis, delivery costs etc.
3. EVEN IF YOU DON'T WANT A GIFT REGISTRY, YOU SHOULD CREATE ONE
Since we’re having a ‘nontraditional’ wedding, I had thought that we could get away with not having a gift registry but to my surprise many of our guests repeatedly asked for it. Even when I told them that their ‘presence’ was enough, they explained that they would be buying gifts anyway and would prefer to have direction from us.
So my advice to you is to be prepared and create a gift registry, even if you don’t want gifts. It’ll make your guests lives easier and the beauty of it is that you don’t have to choose expensive items.
We’re using Mildred & Co who have a fabulous collection of homewares in a range of prices and with an easy-to-access online service.
4. EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED
When we first met with our celebrant, he asked what kind of ceremony we had in mind and to be honest, we hadn’t even thought about it. It’s one of the many details we had simply forgotten to plan for.
Other things we hadn’t really planned for include applying for a wedding license before the wedding, choosing a set list for the musician and keeping kids entertained.
If you’re having children at the wedding, plan some activities for them to do so that they don’t become bored and nag their parents.
I strongly advise that you start planning early so that you have less chance of missing any of the finer details and as the saying goes, ‘don’t put off for tomorrow what can be done today’!
5. PLAN BEYOND THE WEDDING DAY
We’ve found ourselves trying to plan pre-wedding gatherings and post wedding drinks at the last minute because we’ve been so focused on the wedding day that we hadn’t thought beyond it.
Pre and post wedding gatherings calls into question what you’ll wear, where you’ll go, whether it fits in to the budget etc so do think about what you’d like to do pre and post wedding to avoid a last minute scramble.
I’ve spoken to a quite few brides over the last few weeks and I’ve received similar advice from each of them:
Even if you plan every last detail, on the day of your wedding there will be things that don’t go according to plan so it’s important for you and your significant other to put yourselves in a bubble, don’t fret if things go wrong and be present because the day will fly by before you know it.
Next time you hear from me I’ll be Mrs. a’Court J