Wise wedding planning words from real couples
It’s so hard to imagine your wedding day and how it will all play out, until you’re actually there in the moment, soaking it all up with your nearest and dearest, embarking on your happily-ever-after.
So, in a real chicken-before-egg situation, it can be difficult to know what you’re supposed to know when it comes to wedding planning, unless you’ve been through it.
Thankfully, we have an abundance of clever, creative and generous real couples who have not only shared their gorgeous days with us but also their words of wisdom when it comes to playing your role in planning and enjoying the moment.
Get scrolling for some hints and tips when it comes getting the most out of your sweet celebration, before, during and after the fact.
Our friend Josh gave us a surefire way of ensuring you invite the right people to you wedding. It’s called the ‘porch test’. If you can’t imagine yourself having a wine on the porch with them in five years time, do they really HAVE to be there? It helped us out a lot when we were agonising over the guest list.
Include as much of yourselves as you can in the day. Personal touches really make a wedding for both the guests and the couple! We loved having friends sing and play music and having Andy’s parents’ wine with our customised labels during the cocktail hour was amazing. We used photos of our guests as name place cards in the table which people said was a nice touch. We had very detailed vows full of fun stories which often do a better job of explaining what you love about someone rather than listing their attributes.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help from your loved ones, they are so happy to help and you would do the same thing for them! Our wedding was such a team effort and it just would not have happened without the kind contributions of so many people. It was amazing to have them involved and we are so grateful.
Try and make a fun dance floor a priority! This involves researching good quality entertainment and ensuring you work with them to create a playlist to remember. We actually extended our wedding by one hour (best money we spent) and had a round of espresso martinis served at 11pm, just as an added touch to help perk up those guests who might be starting to get tired. We also gave our guests the opportunity to request songs that would get them dancing on their RSVP’s prior to the wedding, which really encouraged everyone to get up. In the days following we had a lot of wonderful feedback from guests that it was the ‘best wedding they have ever been to’ and we honestly think the dance floor really contributed to this.
If you are wondering whether you should get a stylist for your wedding I would say to 100% get one. They have so much experience and are trained to help create a style that reflects you both as a couple. It alleviated so much stress and extra work for me – I didn’t have to worry about picking things up, setting up and packing down on the day – it saved me so much time and it was just so nice not to ever have to worry about how the wedding would look because I knew it was in the hands of professionals. Worth. Every. Cent (which was actually more reasonable than you’d think!)
Talk everything out. Decide what is most important to you both in terms of larger ticket items (for us it was the photographer, food and drink) and find solutions/compromise on the less important things if needed.
On a practical level, if you are getting married in late December or January (as we did), be sure to take into account how busy the festive season is and be mindful that some suppliers may take some time off during this period. The final weeks leading up to the wedding were super busy for us, especially between finalising our runsheet, confirming logistics/details with suppliers, ticking off our multiple checklists and trying to spend any spare moment we had in between with our families.
And if you can, don’t obsess over the weather forecast like we did – it will drive you mad, especially in Melbourne where anything is possible!
It will take more time than you think. Do your research, but once you find something you like, you’ll know it’s the right option, and just lock it in and move on. Trust your decisions.
Do what feels right to you, and what feels authentic to you. Comparison is the thief of joy. Stay true to yourself.
Enjoy the planning process and don’t feel pressure to buckle to tradition or the expectations of others; you do you. Also, hire a videographer if your budget allows – we are so grateful we did!
The best advice we were given was to make a Pinterest board that reflected who we are, our relationship and what we love. It’s so easy to get carried away with other people’s weddings, but the best weddings look and feel like the couple. Use it as your North Star.
Go on your honeymoon straight after the wedding – there is nothing better than the post wedding-bliss – make it last as long as you can!
Use an online service like Paperless Post for your “Save The Date” if you’re sending a paper invitation. That way, if you need to update your guests, you can send them an email directly or try making a website. Include information like accommodation, transport, logistics – it will ease your guests if they can revisit the details online at any time, any where.
Book and pay things as soon as you can, it takes a lot of the stress out of things later. Mostly, just enjoy things as they come. If things go wrong (which they will, that’s just weddings!) embrace it and try to resolve the situation, or get one of your bridal party members that you trust to help with things. Delegate a couple of things to the bride’s mother and the groom’s mother, so it makes them feel involved – they don’t have to be major aspects, but just little things that help.
HAVE FUN AND RELAX, it is the most fun and best day of your life. Also don’t get too caught up in trying to talk to all your guests. As long as you two are having fun so will everyone else
- Plan, Plan, Plan! Every day there will be an email sent, just get used to it! Ha!
- Lists – Create lists for your photography, your bump-in/out items as well as delegate family and friends who will be taking them home after the wedding
- Morning schedule – create a schedule and send it to your hair and makeup artists as well as your bridesmaids
- Make sure you either inform your suppliers when there is a crossover or get your suppliers to speak to each other
- Create a contact page list – make sure that all your suppliers have one, so if there are any issues on the day, they can contact that supplier straight away – and sort it out before you even know about it!
- ENJOY! Don’t be that relaxed bride (or groom) leading up to the event thinking everything will sort itself out, it wont. Plan the hell out of your day, so when the day comes, you are free from anything and absolutely enjoy every second of it!
Do your photos pre ceremony!! We shared a beautiful and intimate first look moment, that meant we could relax and really enjoy the day from there onwards! By the time the ceremony rolled around, we were both having so much fun and were able to be really present in that moment! It also meant immediately post ceremony, we could enjoy a drink with our guests and start the party straight away and the day felt longer.
If there is a vendor that you have your heart set on, make sure to get in early!
Don’t sweat the small stuff. Guests don’t care about the colour of the plates or what is decorating the table. The best advice I got was to spend money on good music, good food and plenty of alcohol and then it will be a great wedding. Spend money on things you want, not what every wedding is expected to have. For example: we didn’t have a wedding cake. We don’t eat cake and its not important to us, so we put that money into other things. And no one noticed.