Planning your wedding can be one of the most stressful things you ever do but it doesn’t have to be. With careful planning and preparation you will find it a much more enjoyable occasion. Even the most casual wedding needs some planning so the best way to get started is to download our wedding planner. This planner (even if you aren’t a planner type of person) will give you a place to start and, if you are anything like me, getting started is often the hardest thing to do!
Another good thing about using a planner is that it means you won’t forget to do something essential. It is also a good idea to get a diary if you don’t already use one – this will allow you to keep track of the various wedding-related appointments (many of which may be scheduled months ahead).
The first thing I did when planning my wedding was to work out what were the most important aspects of the wedding for me and my partner. This was useful as it helped us to focus on what was important to us and that created a theme for our wedding day. We wanted a casual wedding but still wanted to include the traditional aspects of a wedding. This gave us an idea of the sort of venues to look at so the next step was to visit a few venues. We found where we wanted to have our ceremony but it was only available for one Saturday in March so that decided the date and so on. You can see how one step in the planning process leads onto another.
Another great way to cut down the stress is to seek help from others. Don’t be afraid to delegate tasks to the people around you and always take up offers of assistance as people won’t always offer twice. There will be lots of small details that need to be tied up and you don’t want to be weighed down having to do everything yourself. Most of all, you need to make sure that you enjoy the planning as it is a major part of the day - I often hear from brides that they wished they could do it all over again and this time not get so stressed in the planning - so don’t let that be you!
Here are some tips given by others in the process of planning their wedding days – they are all really helpful and I bet there is at least one idea that you will want to use!
Corrin of Wellington: DONT STRESS!!!! It’s all meant to be fun, a day to share you love for your partner with family and friends.
Helen of Wellington: My planning tip is to start as soon as possible, we still have 3 months till our wedding and only have final touches to do - the stress is minimal so hopefully less breakouts so my skin will look great!
Tamzin of Dunedin: Do a timeline of each area you need to organise and each week do at least one thing and tick it off as you go. Even when you are getting closer to the day you can look at your plan and see how far you've come. It helps keep things in perspective when the panic sets in.
Monique of Auckland: My tip is the obvious, plan so much in advance that when it comes to the day you're all relaxed. I’m having a February wedding, and because my work shuts down for 3 weeks I will be having Christmas holidays also, and because most things are planned, a holiday is just what I will do - before I have my honeymoon holiday - sounds good to me!
Allison of Auckland: Hi Everyone, lets face it, when planning a wedding there's always a cost blow out no matter how hard you try! Looking at my figures, it was definitely the food and alcohol that gobbled up most of my budget (excuse the pun!). Therefore, I tried to find a way to reduce the costs without reducing the quality of the wedding:
First up, I chanced my arm and asked our venue (a boutique hotel) if they would consider discounting their "hotel inflated" wine and beer prices, given that it was a function and much drink would be consumed. To my surprise they agreed without hesitation, so I now have a $10 reduction off every bottle of wine, and beers have been reduced from $7 to $4.50. So I estimate this will save me about $2,000 on the alcohol bill! To be honest, it doesn't matter if they say no, but why not try anyway, they may surprise you! There is also another way to look at benefiting from a beverage discount. Instead of pocketing the discount, use it to "upgrade" your wine or bubbles, wouldn't that be nice! And last but by no mean least, you could always consider utilising your savings the way I did ..... "Fantastic! I saved $2,000, now I can have those diamonds in my wedding band!"
Now that's the beverages sorted out, now how can I save on the food costs. We have provided for quite substantial canapes for our guests whilst we are away having photo's done. Then we sit down to 3 course meal. I don't know about you, but when I'm at a wedding like that, I'm absolutely full by the time dessert roles round and usually only manage a mouthful (unless it's creme brulee!). And I very rarely eat the wedding cake. Mmmmm, I thought, I know what I can do! I have cancelled the petit fours for dessert and on the menu it now reads, “Coffee and Cake“ for dessert. That meant the price per head dropped by $10, which for 75 guests saved me $750.
My Cake Couture Cake is $500, so I'm now $250 up on budget and hopefully won't have "stuffed to the brim" guests who don't feel like dancing! Yet again, you could pocket the $250 saving, or maybe use it to put flowers on the pews in the church or to buy those amazing (but expensive) wedding shoes you thought you shouldn’t buy because no one can really see your feet!
All the very best to all you future couples out there.
Sheree of Omaaru: I think it is very important for Brides To Be to ensure that they save enough time for themselves so they get pampered by body wraps, facials, pedicures and manicures before their wedding and right up to their wedding day so that they look and feel there most absolute best on their very special day.......
Wendy of Te Awamutu: I've found that by doing my workout while watching the daily soaps makes sure I workout everyday. Helps me get around procrastinating all the time!
Erin of Auckland: No matter how much your fiance says he doesn't want to be involved in the planning, run everything past him anyway. This will save any arguments later on when he decides he DOES want to be included!
Renei of Palmerston North: Making your own ornaments for the reception tables.
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