“I was lucky on one hand, we had plenty of time to plan and work through all the details with 18 months planning which helped chunk up the planning and the overwhelming nature of it all (on the other hand it can feel like the wedding is long awaited!).
Something I would highly recommend to any couple is to hire a co-ordinator if one doesn’t come with your venue or if planning and styling is not your jam – honestly cut $ from somewhere in the budget and pass that stress to someone else.
We worked with Alina @ Wild & Whim about 12 months out and tailored a package that worked for us as I wanted to do all the planning and styling myself but knew we would need help in the week of and weekend. So we hired her for an ‘on the day’ co-ordinator package. We had a DIY venue- so we literally brought everything in and that comes with a lot of logistics and set up which takes time – it was great to hand over the reins the day before with someone who has seen and done it all before!”
“I really wanted our wedding to be about our family and friends enjoying themselves and not having to lift a finger so I kept the planning admin to a minimum for everyone involved in the led up, but the reality is you do need a lot of hands on deck in the days leading up (I truly underestimated that!) so if people offer to help, as much as you may not want to accept it – do it, take up their offers to help hang lights, set up tables – whatever it is if they are wanting to help. “
“ followed lots of wedding suppliers on Instagram early before I started officially planning – so I already knew which suppliers I loved and ultimately booked for our day really early on. I used their posts and stories for inspiration in the early days until my own style and vision became clear- which also came once we locked in the venue and a look and feel for the day started to emerge. (If you save posts/ Pinterest etc and you look back through them you really get a sense of what you like more than the rest as you will tend to like the same style images over and over again).”
“I have said so many times since our wedding that I felt really lucky as while I had a really clear vision for the style of our day – but it was finding suppliers that also shared that same style and atheistic was what brought it to life aka: LL Furniture- Finding your furniture supplier that has the chairs and bars you had dreamt of is really what brings the vision to life! (and Lucy’s insta stories are the best! I think I watched everyone for a year!).”
“I followed their posts and you spot one of their real brides who has amazing lighting – and you find your lighting supplier and so on! I found that there is this amazing network of wedding vendors that all work closely together if they have a similar vibe and aesthetic and your vision tends to be shaped from there. When you find those key suppliers honestly – they are the best. Talk to them, ask them about what else you are thinking for the day as it will probably turn out they are looking at adding something to their stock/ range.
When I started planning I wanted big white umbrellas and leaners for the cocktail and games hours – and I originally thought I have no idea where to get these from– and then Lucy added them to her range, when you find ‘your suppliers’ they honestly bring your vision to life.
One thing I have noticed since planning a wedding over 2 seasons is wedding trends are ever evolving – so get that inspo and talk to your suppliers – they will no doubt make it happen for you!”
THE BIG DAY
”I now understand why you have a bridal party! Even if you don’t want an official bridal party, having friends with a calming influence around you on the day of certainly helped and having family around really made the day special. We also had a night before welcome party so seeing everyone arrive, and in one place for one reason is pretty dam humbling I have to say. It made me even more excited for the day, and aware of what was important – sharing love with ALL of your favourite people in one place. Everything else just fades into the background.
I personally really struggled the morning of the wedding waking up and having nothing to do and all the madness of planning was all of a sudden over- but knowing the co Ordinator and boys were running around doing last minute jobs and not being able to help wasn’t in my nature- so my advice would be to try and enjoy that stillness and quiet time on the morning rather than walk around trying to find things to do like I was!!! Haha – my bridesmaid and family just laughed at me, they thought it was hilarious and helped make me just sit and relax.
At the same time, this natural calmness just comes over you, knowing that if it hasn’t been thought about by now- it can’t be important! And I was just so excited to be a wifey that I couldn’t wait for the day to unfold!”
“When we first started planning both myself and my now hubby did our own budget for the wedding… and then we shared them over a bottle of wine one night! It was such a laugh, of course mine was a lot higher than Damien’s and Damien had low balled everything!
We were lucky to get a couple of friends budgets so we used that as a base for things like alcohol quantities, and then we agreed on a total budget that we could afford and also was realistic (in other words … my budget haha). We tried really hard to stay to that budget –and it was great as it definitely helped answer the ‘is it really a necessary expense’ or what were splurge items and what wasn’t important.. But I would recommend building in a buffer from day 1 as it will get eaten into, it’s just reality. In other words, don’t spend your full budget on day 1, because you will forget things or need to add things on near the end and it helps with that feeling of how on earth are we going to pay for that?”
“I have lots of advice !
Try and enjoy every minute of the planning and think of it as exciting and not as admin (it’s all about mindset), be decisive on some of the big calls by going with your gut and not agonising over it… and it helps if you have an agreed day/ time you talk about the wedding ‘details’ with your partner at home- don’t let it dictate your every date night or time you spend together engaged. (and do it with a few beverages.. helps if they are relaxed haha)”
“Lean on the amazing vendors you have selected as I found every one of them so helpful and so willing to share ideas. Oh and… get a videographer it was our last-minute splurge and it was the best idea ever. (Sink or Surface! – Ben is amazing).”
“And lastly it’s true- it will be the most amazing day of your life, not because of the colour of the napkins but because everyone you love are there to celebrate your love.”
All imagery courtesy of Bek Smith Photography.