Wedding Planning

So many things to think about and where to start?  Some people are great at planning and others just aren’t.  So where do you start?  Here is my list of planning your wedding along with a few helpful websites.

So for most people, from conception to birth (proposal to wedding day 😉 ) the timeline is around 18 months.  So we will work with that, however if your timeline is different just follow the list and ignore the dates.

18 months out – Your partner proposes!  Congratulations, time to celebrate.

Work out a savings plan – Weddings are expensive, talk to your parents and your partners parents, can they help you out?  Don’t put them under pressure to spend thousands unless you 100% know it won’t break the bank for them.  If you have little money and want to get married you still can.  Focus on the marriage part not the wedding part; In 2019  VCANZ celebrants will be able to offer a wedding for $90.  Instead of going to the local registry office (court house), this can now be performed anywhere (from 1/7/19) – but the ceremony is not bespoke it is scripted.  (Has to be by law)

Guest list – This can be rough numbers to start with, but you need this list to ascertain which venue’s are suitable. Who to invite?  Immediate family for sure, the rest is a difficult one.  How many people can you afford to invite?  If you haven’t seen them in 12 months don’t invite them – or do, it’s up to you.  This is one of the biggest stresses for a bride and groom, make sure you are on the same page otherwise it may be better to elope 😮

man kneeling in front of woman
Photo by ramtin ak on

Venue / Food– cost, travel distance from your home, capacity, reputation.   Do they do the catering?  If not, that should be next on your list!  Trending in catering is pot luck and food trucks, grazing tables are weaning there way out, but are still a great option.  Choose what fits with your budget.  Put ‘Wedding Food Ideas’ into the search box of Facebook and see all the ideas that come up.

Photographer and videographer – It is SO important to get a good photographer.  This is the most important memory you will have of the day after you start having children (whether thats before or after you are married).  Trust me your memory goes a little after having kids. I have this theory that memory lapse after having children helps you forget the pain of childbirth, so that you will have more and keep the species going.  Ok slightly off track.  Should you have a videographer?  Yes, best thing ever if you can afford it!  If you cant afford it ask guests to record everything and start a FB group with a #

15 months out

Celebrant – Yes we do start booking up this early!  I have bookings for 2 years in advance.  If you have seen a celebrant you like at a friends wedding ask them for details and arrange to meet up.  If you don’t have anyone in mind, email or call a few and get a feel for them.  Do they respond quickly to messages?  How do they sound on the phone?  This is important because this is how they will sound at your ceremony.  My favourite celebrant. 

Also have in mind who you will ask to be your Maid of Honour/Best Man, how many bridesmaids do you want?  I have officiated at weddings were there were NO BRIDESMAIDS, not even a best man.  The focus was solely on the couple, beautiful.  Think about cost for the bridesmaids too before you ask them.

12 months out

Florist – Ask your florist if your date is available and can they work with you on your budget.  Do you have a colour scheme, favourite flowers, does your mum or gran?  Bouquets could reflect this.  For example, my mum died one year before I was married, her favourite flowers were freesia’s, so I had freesia’s in my bouquet and also in the wedding car.  The fragrance from the flowers kept reminding me of her all day long.


Invitations – vista print are popular, create your design on then upload it to vista print, wait for a sale and you can get some great deals.  Only send ‘save the dates’ out to people who need to travel a long distance or those who you know will have to apply for leave months in advance.

Dress – Well, grab your mum and your girlfriend and try on lots!  You will know when you have ‘The One’.  There are also lots of dresses for sale on the FB wedding groups, lots of these are almost perfect but will cost less – work within your budget.  If you have the talents, why not make one?

Hair & Make up – Sometimes these can get booked up really quick – next time you go to the hairdressers just ask them how far in advance you would need to book.  Make-up trials are important especially if you would normally not wear make up.  Don’t be tempted to just go with anyone, you need to feel like you on your wedding day after all!  Budget issues;  Practise different styles on yourself and see what you like.  If you do your own make up everyday then chances are you can do it on your wedding day too.

Band or DJ – I would prefer a band, but that’s me.  Your wedding so you get to choose right!  Make sure you see the DJ and/or band perform before your big day.   You don’t want them to be playing 1950’s stuff if your style is more modern.  Alternatively organise a play list – but make sure it is long enough to last the whole day.

9 months out

Send out your invitations now – be firm with your rsvp date!  Tell them to bring a picnic if they miss it.  Save the date invites can go out earlier for family and friends overseas, this allows time to book flights and accommodation.

Wedding Song  – Some of these are still going in 2019, this is usually an easy decision to make as its often a song that you have danced to before or has significance in some way.

3 months out

Confirm everything – Venue, celebrant, caterer, hair, make up, dress alterations, etc, etc (Yes it is etc, not ect 🙂 )

Marriage licence – You can apply for your licence this far out, but will you lose it?  From Nov 2018 you will be able to apply for the whole thing online at BDM, you will need a RealMe identity first.  Then it is emailed direct to your celebrant – make sure you triple check the details.

Rehearsal – The day before or in the week before your wedding have a run through everything with your celebrant.  You  only need a few key people not everyone.

The week before – go and have a massage, get your nails done, get pampered!  Hell take the whole week off work and make the most of it, you only get married once right?

The morning of your wedding; Take a few deep breaths every hour (as well as smaller ones in between obviously), be mindful – this is a great technique to learn it helps you focus on yourself and pushes away the stress.  But most of all enjoy your day, it is here at last, how long have you waited for it?  Go and enjoy it.  Much love, Vanessa