Putting together your wedding day can be seriously time-consuming and stressful as you juggle guest lists, flower arrangements, dress fittings, demanding family and big budgets.
With just a few simple tips however, you can save time, money and reduce your stress levels while organising what should be one of the best days of your life.
Having organised many large-scale events, including her own wedding in 2007, Impact PR managing director and event management specialist Fleur Revell knows how to put together a beautiful event that you and your guests will remember for the rest of their lives.
Here, Fleur shares her top ten tips for your wedding planning and the big day itself.
- First things first. Don’t start your planning with unnecessary stress. Be realistic about the planning time you require. You’ll be surprised at how fast time flies when you’re approaching a time deadline, so if possible give yourself an extra few months’ grace – you’ll probably end up needing them!
- Preparing your invite list can be tricky, especially if you’re limited on numbers. After your bridal party and immediate family, focus on prioritising your guest list to friends who you think will still be a big part of your life in five years’ time and beyond. You may have had ‘best mates’ in the past who you always thought would be at your wedding, but there’s no point inviting people who you no longer have anything to do with. Keep it realistic!
- If you need to save money on decorations and flowers, then don’t spend much on the church or area where the ceremony is taking place as this is the place your guests will spend the least time. It’s better to spend money on flowers and decorations in your reception area where you and your guests can enjoy them.
- Your favourite music might be house or trance beats, but remember that alongside you and your husband-to-be’s personal touches, it’s a good idea to include music that will suit the masses if you want a packed dance floor. They may be cheesy, but often it’s the good old classics that gets everyone up, to get down.
- New Zealand (or overseas) weather is never predictable. So to save yourself extra worry and constant what-ifs by preparing a wet weather plan so that no matter the weather, you and your guests can still enjoy the day in comfort.
- If you’re fanatic about photography and have a pretty clear idea of what you want, ensure you have briefed your photographer clearly – and even offer a written sheet of family, guest and detail photos you want captures. This means not only can you relax and enjoy your day without stressing about whether every moment is captured, it also means there will be no ‘missing photos’ when you collect your prints post wedding.
- While champagne is a popular celebration and toasting tipple, it can also tip your budget into blowout. Why not offer a refreshing Pimms after your summer ceremony, or fill up your guests glasses at toast time with local bubbles (the non-French kind). It will save you a lot of money, and most of your guests probably won’t even notice.
- If you choose to get married in a remote location, it may be courteous to offer transport in the way of a bus drop-off or similar. There’s nothing worse than your guests having a perfect evening, only to be kept waiting in the cold for two hours for the next available taxi.
- And speaking of logistics, tell your guests as much information as possible about location, transportation and accommodation for your wedding location (either on a separate piece of paper with your invite, or create an information website/blog). It will save multiple organisation phone calls from out-of-towners in the lead-up to your day, and it means that with a little more knowledge, guests can plan their own timings and transport with ease.
- Finally, the more people in your bridal party and key contacts who know the days order and timing, the better. The last thing a bride needs while trying to enjoy her wedding preparation is phone calls every five minutes from people wanting instruction. Make a clear run-sheet for the day, go over it with all involved, and tell them to ring your husband-to-be or maid of honour in the first instance. After all, this is your day to relax, enjoy, and to soak up the love.