Once the excitement of engagement settles down it’s easy to head straight for overwhelm, but it’s possible to achieve peace of mind by locking in dates, venue and key suppliers. By focussing on these major priorities, the rest just tends to fall into place. The most important thing to decide on is whether you’re having a Destination Wedding or staying local*, because something further afield can take more preparation.
Look at the dollars and cents
There’s no way around it but to make budget a priority, because there’s no point deciding on a venue unless you’re certain it’s something you can afford. This may be a conversation just between your partner and yourself, or may involve parents and other significant decision-makers. It’s the largest consideration you have to make and isn’t always easy, but it’s hard to move forward without that crucial piece of planning underway.
Make a date and act ASAP
When you think that weddings are already being booked for 2019, you need to move quickly to secure your date of choice. Get a timeframe in mind, ensure availability from your preferred venue and key suppliers, then send out Save the Date notifications ASAP. It’s generally best to allow an 18 month planning window if your heart’s set on one particular location, planner or photographer. Of course it’s possible to marry in a shorter period of time, but can be difficult to secure your chosen place or professionals.
Assemble your team
Once you’ve locked in your date, venue and key suppliers, it’s game on! It’s time to find a celebrant or church, florist, caterer, videographer, dressmaker, wedding stationery supplier and order your cake. If you’ve opted for a Destination Wedding, your planner will have local contacts that they can recommend. Check them out thoroughly on social media and look for testimonials from past clients - you really want someone who goes above and beyond to ensure your best day your way.
Put a pin in it
Need a place to start creating your vision? The rabbit hole that’s Pinterest is going to be your best friend! Yes, you may spend hours online searching through people’s boards, but it’s the easiest way to create your style, find fabulous inspiration and help to narrow down the many choices you have from Day One. Go broad to start off with, then get ruthless with what you delete. You’ll be able to see a clear pattern among the images you keep coming back to and work from there.
Remember what it’s all about
So things may have got a bit tricky discussing dates or venues with your partner - it’s natural not to agree all the time! When you’re in the thick of wedding planning things can become stressful, so it’s essential to keep in mind what it’s all about. You’re celebrating the love of your life in preparation of spending a lifetime together. Hold on to that sense of excitement and keep it close to your heart. It’ll help smooth things over and help you ignore the little things that are best forgotten.
Once you’ve moved past these initial steps, everyone in your team will have their own timelines and provide guidance about what needs to be done and when. Recognise your situation and plan in accordance, whether it’s knowing that a party vibe is more your thing or if you’re wanting something more formal. Most of all? Keep it real. When you remember what it’s all about, it’s easier to relax and enjoy your special celebration as you take that next step into the bright beyond.