Wedding planning

Are you engaged and have NO idea what comes next?

Then read on…it might just save your sanity!

My Top Wedding Day Tips

During my 18 years in the wedding industry, there’s a few things I’ve learned along the way that can help your wedding day run just that little bit smoother. Now, I’m no expert…I’ve only been married once. BUT I have attended hundreds of wedding over the years and these are my observations on ways to make your day run smoothly.

Make Lists

I am a HUGE fan of making lists. List for EVERYTHING. And there will be plenty of things to put on that list when organising your wedding day. But first things first…you must get some funky stationery for said list-making and who doesn’t LOVE a little shopping trip to Typo?

The upside of list-making is that with everything you plan, you get to cross it off and for me, crossing stuff off a list is very satisfying.

Delegate

Don’t be afraid to offload some of your wedding preparations. You don’t have to plan this gig all by yourselves. Chances are you will have some very keen family and friends all too willing to lend a hand. And for those of you unsure of who will be in your bridal party, it’s a perfect opportunity to hold “auditions” for the role.

The Big Day

Have a think about where you’re getting ready. Hair stylists, make-up artists and photographers LOVE a bright, airy room with beautiful natural light. If you’re able to arrange a room like this your vendors will be eternally grateful. Most hotel rooms have great window-light and let’s face it, trashing someone else’s place in a pre-wedding frenzy is so much more fun.

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Your Wedding, Your Way.

Don’t be afraid to break with “tradition” and have the wedding exactly the way you want it. Wedding celebrations should represent your own personalities, your likes and style. Make your day as bizarre, unusual and unique as you wish. Who cares if Grandma thinks it’s unacceptable to rock up to your wedding in a truck? Who cares if Aunt Mary thinks it weird to have your male best friend as a brides-man and horses in your bridal photos? They’ve had their wedding day, this is your turn! Make the day yours…not the way other people think it should be.

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Chill Out!

Weddings take a year of planning and yet the day seems to be over in a flash. Make sure you take time to ENJOY yourself. Allow extra time for everything. If you have 30 minutes’ spare after hair and make-up (which I ALWAYS suggest my couples plan for), kick-back with your girls and guys and have some bevies, crack that champers and enjoy yourselves! Make sure to take 5 minutes during the day to slip off with your new hubby or wife just to enjoy each other’s company before getting bombarded by your excited guests. You’ve planned this day for so long…don’t forget to enjoy it.

Your Photographer Is Your Friend

Let’s face it, your photographer is with you ALL day long. I have helped brides get dressed, boys get dressed, put on endless buttonholes, delivered cakes and flowers and forgotten mothers-in-laws. You need to have a connection with your photographer, not just love their work. Your photographer should feel like a friend…a stalker-like friend who carries a fancy camera. Just without the creepiness. If you can laugh with your photographer, chances are your wedding photos will be full of beautifully captured candid moments because you felt at ease with your photographer.

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Unplugged Weddings

These are pretty much the two magic words all photographers and videographers dream of.  Because it means we won’t be dodging cameras, iPhones or the dreaded iPad during the wedding ceremony. We won’t be tripping over Uncle Bob as he tries to beat us to the shot of the bride and groom walking up the aisle. Trust me when I tell you, if I am EVER a guest at a wedding or function, I am NOT taking my camera. Because it means I won’t be enjoying the moment, I’ll be busy looking for the kiss, a smile or laugh, a moment to photograph. So to the guest, ENJOY the ceremony and let the professionals do their job. Cause nobody is putting that iPhone pic up on a wall. There’ll be plenty of opportunity to crack out the phones during reception shenanigans anyway. And sometimes those iPhones actually come in handy…

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Do Your Homework

As with many industries, there are a gazillion photographers, celebrants, hair-stylists and basically any wedding vendor you can imagine. We all have guidelines we need to work within. Budget and location for example. If you look long enough you will find the cheapest vendor. But ask yourself…what are you actually getting? I’ll use photography as an example because it’s what I do, but this applies to ALL vendors. We’ve all heard the horror stories about inexperienced photographers and devastated couples. If you booked a ‘cheap’ photographer for your wedding day and later had nothing but regret…how much money have you really saved? I’m on many wedding forums and see constantly couples who booked a “photographer” friend because they were cheap. However, they missed important photos of family and loved ones or their work was not of professional standard. There’s no do-overs people. It’s a one-time only gig so PLEASE make sure your photographer knows their stuff.

So yes, by all means work within a budget. But please remember, as with any vendor, you’re not paying for someone to point a camera and give you digital files. You’re paying for their expertise, their accumulative experience from hundreds of weddings, the manner in which they round up guests; knowing instinctively from vast experience exactly how the day will run. They’ll know how to expertly compose those family shots under the pressure of a time frame and yes, I am one of those who will ALWAYS make people take their sunnies off and phones out of your pants pocket. Photoshop cannot help a rectangular shaped groin people and unless you’re a rock-star, sunglasses in photos are not cool.

Remember…owning a pair of hairdressing scissors does not make one a hairdresser. I have a pair. Would you pay me to cut your hair? Look for quality and professionalism over price. Look for reviews and look at entire wedding portfolios. You may pay a little extra now but regrets last a lifetime.

Don’t Worry About The Weather

I often hear…’what if it rains?’. Well, we will most likely get a little wet. But you know what? We can’t control the weather. Believe me, as a complete control-freak I’ve tried. But sadly no amount of sun-dancing has stopped the rain. So any stress is a complete waste of energy. All we can do is plan for it. Develop a back-up plan, get some awesome umbrellas, stock up on hairspray, maybe even gumboots. They’re fun and unique. And if it does rain…we can get some pretty amazing pics.

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Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff

And finally, don’t sweat the little things. I can guarantee that once you lay eyes on each other, you will not a give a rats a#%e if the bonbonniere thingys aren’t exactly the way you envisioned. You will forget the drunk relative who made that embarrassing speech about how you got stuck in the toilet when you were 15 years old. It won’t matter one of your bridesmaids dropped an F-bomb during a toast or that your groomsman was flirty with your Aunty. All you will know is that on THAT day you married your love.

Your own way. Your own style. And it was perfect…

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