Bring together a stylist with almost 30 years’ experience and an event manager who’s overseen some of Auckland’s best restaurants and events and you’ve got yourself a recipe for the Event Junkies. Annie will bowl you over with her ideas and inspiration while Freddie’s charm and charisma puts you instantly at ease. They’re the perfect combo for any event, and there’s no event more important than your wedding. That’s why we’ve asked them to put together a check list to see your big day go off without a hitch.
Our main aim is to plan an amazing day for you, with the key goal being to eliminate any stress. It’s the only day you’ll do this so why not enjoy it rather than being under the pump with drama conflict or chaos.
First you need to choose a date or a selection of dates that you can work around. If you find your perfect venue is booked then you have a little wiggle room to make sure you get the venue of your dreams.
Ceremony space, location and timing are all very important as are the logistics of getting everyone from ceremony to reception. Allow time for this and if parking’s an issue, we can help arrange transport.
The number of guests will determine the venue requirements, as will how you’re planning on feeding them. If you wish to have seating for all guests you’ll need a little more room, whereas a more casual walk and fork style makes things more flexible. We’ll work with you to find the style and setting you’re after.
Bear in mind who you choose for certain roles. Someone needs to MC, someone needs to be a witness, someone needs to feel needed, and there’s always someone to offend. If it comes down to the wire, make sure you acknowledge everyone in speeches. We’ve seen omissions ruin friendships.
A very important step, some would argue the most important, it is after all why you’re doing this. Guests are going to need to be there at least half an hour early so put this time on your invite rather than when you intend to walk down the aisle. There’s nothing worse than a late guest to screw up your big entrance. If you’re planning a summer wedding, chances are good it’ll be hot and your guests will need a refreshment. If you choose not to provide booze before the ceremony then we need to at least keep them hydrated.
This is the reason everyone’s here. Not for the party or the food it’s for the love of you both. And they do want to hear you declare it. It’s a great idea to get a PA system and to get over your embarrassment because that is the reason you are getting married. No one wants to be left out at the back with not a clue what is going on. Be brave! Do it.
HAIR AND MAKE UP
Bear in mind this can take an hour for each, if not more. Your timeline on the day is likely to be huge. Having to get through every bridesmaid and mother as well as the main focus, you, will take some time. Be super organised and eat something while you’re getting ready. Nobody wants a hangry bride. You’ll thank us later.
IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT YOU
We know that can be hard to hear but your guests have probably been traveling and getting ready for at least a couple of hours. If it’s hot they’ll likely be getting uncomfortable. If the ceremony is outside, think about shade and comfort. Seating for older guests and some umbrellas can be good for shade or, god forbid, rain. It’s worth having a plan B if the heavens do open. It happened to us twice last year in the middle of summer. Both times we had large white umbrellas to save the day. They looked pretty good in the photos too.
STYLING AND FLORAL
The floral and styling will come at a cost and while a DIY option might sound attractive is it worth undecorated tables? Or a stressed-out bride trying to do all the decorations herself, instead of ensuring she looks her best? We’ve seen both too often. It’s a great idea to set a budget and get a few quotes. Especially when the alternative is leaving it open and getting a huge shock.
PHOTOS AND TIMING
After the ceremony you’ll be inundated with love, hugs and well wishes. Having an event coordinator to keep everyone on a timeframe keeps the stress off your shoulders and won’t hurt your Great Aunt Betty’s feelings. They can make sure everyone’s in their photos, and that everything happens in time and on time. You can opt for some photos before the ceremony to avoid this dilemma, but if you’re like us you’ll want the romantic reveal as a part of the ceremony.
By the time your ceremony’s over, most people won’t have eaten for hours. By 3, 4, or 5 o’clock people are getting hungry. Our plan is always to get something filling into them fast. Roving canapes look great but they’re costly and don’t really fill you up. It’s great to balance these with some grazing boards and a great tip is to use fresh bread, less crackers.
This gets the wolf from the door and helps your guests feel more comfortable. For drinks, you can do cocktails, wine and beer. Self-help buckets are a great way to keep a queue from being an issue. Plus, bear in mind those who don’t want to drink too much. They need some choices of a refreshing non-alcoholic drink. We’ve seen a lot of weddings where there’s not enough of an offering for the sober drivers.
By the time you get back from your photos and can mingle all the food will be gone. Get your caterer to pack you a snack box so you can eat while you’re doing photos. Just get your bridesmaids to check your teeth.
Chances are those who are speaking will be a bit nervous. Some people like to drag them out between courses but we love to get them all over with so everyone can enjoy the night. Make them short and punchy and get them all done so everyone can mix, mingle and have a good time. A mic is a big help here too.
Get your MC to ask everyone to be seated (or to pay attention if standing). It’s even better if they set up a bathroom break and ensure everyone fills their glasses before you start. Snappy speeches, a few toasts and then you’re free. Dinner can now be served, guests can relax and enjoy the wedding and so can you. Around 8 is a great time to cut cake with a few more chats if anyone wants them.
Please get a band or a DJ, they can keep the crowd moving where a playlist can’t. Then when you get to the end of the night, drinking and driving can be an issue. It’s important to have pre-arranged transport, taxi phone numbers, even shuttles if your venue’s remote. Good venues will help with this, as can we.