THE PLANNING BEGINS...
Woohoo! Engaged! POP THE CHAMPAGNE!!!
You're going to need it!
To say wedding planning is overwhelming is an absolute understatement!
I have barely begun the planning and already I feel as though I am swimming in a very very deep sea whilst wearing one of those rather large 80’s bouffant wedding dresses weighing me down and dragging me under. Basically a nightmare! But the absolute sheer excitement keeps me from being swallowed whole by this water filled meringue. And so, here I am, ready to take on this journey armed with some of the industries most incredible vendors I am (figuratively) going to Bippity-Boppity-Boo this nightmare-drowning-meringue-scenario into one of the most incredible planning experiences EVER and I’m going to share it all with you!
So where to start?
I keep thinking this in my head over and over, but I know I already have completed the first task. I’ve sat down with my sweet love and Feyoncé to have “The Talk”. Not about the birds and the bees this is BIGGER than that (Maybe?!)! This is the real deal, cut-the-B-S-cake talk, the
“What will OUR wedding look like” talk.
We all know that I’m the kind of girl who has dreamed of this day since I was old enough to dress myself (which was kindergarten FYI, in tutu’s and my mums stilettos). But at the end of the day this wedding is about marrying the man of my dreams, my best friend, wingman, exit buddy and all that goes along with that. Thus we begin with The Talk. What does he envision? What does he hope for? What seems like a realistic amount to spend? Obviously there will be plenty more questions and “Talks” along the way but this will help you get on the same page and not have you dreaming of The Royal Procession when we was thinking more of an intimate soiree.
I have attached a little Feyoncé Q & A HERE for you to download with a few of the important questions to help you on your way.
Ok, so I will be the first to admit I have had a secret wedding Pinterest board for years before I got engaged, in fact years before I was in a relationship! Working in the wedding industry means I see a lot but I’ve always had a pretty clear idea of what I truly loved. But of course there are always a few questionable ideas that end up in the mix so the first thing to do is to go through and delete the Marabou Feather Boa you thought you would definitely, without a doubt, wear on your big day and get back to basics!
So Robbie and I sat down to chat about what we envision and I showed him my most secret board and my hopes and dreams for this magical day. I am a lover of surprises and a little bit protective of my ideas so he is the only other person on the planet who I have let see it so far! Eeek! In these preliminary stages you really need to think about the main factors that need to be organized and the ideas of what it will all look and feel like. We have both agreed we would love a church or chapel wedding and we both want something beautiful and something that represents us and who we are. We are both romantics at heart so I think we both have a similar vision for what will be the best day of our lives! There is so much to consider so we sat down and went through the following things...
THEME, IDEAS, THOUGHTS and INSPIRATION
Start considering what you want your wedding to look, feel and be like. If you want it to be Rustic or Beachy or Bohemian or all three!
To get an idea of the different style I love and what Rob loves too. The easiest thing to do was create Pinterest Boards for each element of the wedding with pictures of things that we both like and we can share visually what we are loving. You can see some of our UTTERLY ENGAGED pins and boards HERE! A few Highlight Boards so far:
UTTERLY ENGAGED // Engagement Announcement Inspo
- Inspiration on announcing your engagement
UTTERLY ENGAGED // We're engaged!
-A few of our highlights from the best day of my life (to date!)
UTTERLY ENGAGED // Wedding Invitations
-A little bit of Inspo of the invitations I am currently crushing on!
UTTERLY ENGAGED // Engagement Party Inspo
- The beginnings of the inspiration for our Engagement Party
Above Images: We Are Twine
Grab yourself a diary/planner/date book that you can write down all your dates, times, meetings, inspiration and ideas in.
I am currently working with my own Kiki-K planner using custom made stickers and inserts to highlight all the necessary items and to-dos. I also have enlisted the help and guidelines of “Countdown to Wife Life” it has some amazing tips, tricks and a great timeline of what to do when. You can buy one from Ivory Haus.
Additionally I am using an Excel spreadsheet to keep EVERYTHING on from guest list to vendor details. I am so excited to share this with you in an upcoming blog. I feel as though in this amazing computer age that you really need both digital and hardcopy planning assistance and I have created the perfect way to have them both work hand in hand! (Stay Tuned!) I have however put together an awesome list of TO-DO's starting from 12 Months all the way to post wedding! You can find it and a whole lot of other downloads in our ATELIER BRIDES section (see the end of this post to sign up!)
It’s so important to sit down with your partner and talk about a budget. What does he/she think is reasonable to spend and how much can you afford. According to Wedded Wonderland the average couples are spending on their wedding in Australia in 2018 is $51,245 – a jump from 2017’s average of $48,624. For some this amount might seem ridiculous, for others it may seem totally reasonable. Until you’ve talked with your partner about it you can’t be realistic about your expectations for your wedding. If you are planning to sit down with your parents, his parents or both then you should come armed prepared with a few ideas of what your wedding might cost. Letting them know these average costs might give someone, who hasn’t planned a wedding in 25 years, an idea of what to expect and will save you from eye-rolls or scoffing later on in the planning. Another thing to note is that this is YOUR wedding. Yours and your partners, but if you choose to involve your families and take a contribution you need to be prepared to accept that they may have some strings attached to their funds. Maybe you will need to suck it up and invite Aunty Mildred in order to have that oversized floral centrepiece you always dreamed of. Or maybe the centrepiece isn’t worth the hassle. That, beautiful Bride-to-Be, is completely up to you and your partner. Just remember that your family is excited too, they want to show the world how lucky they are to have you. They raised you into an actual adulting-getting-married-human and want to share in that love and the excitement of your wedding day. Which brings me to my next subject…
YOUR MOTHER (and/or Mother in Law)
When we first got engaged my beautiful Mother was so so sooo excited, she was so happy and eager she asked me when, where, how, why, what about every wedding detail. I was so overwhelmed by the questions I just wasn’t ready to answer. It wasn’t until I called Rob sobbing and explaining it to him my mum had gone “Mother-of-the-bride-Zilla” that he said to me “She is excited, possibly more excited than you. You’ve dreamed of this day since you were 12, she has dreamed of this day from the moment you were born”, God bless that gorgeous man! He was right. I realized then that she just loves me and wants to play a big role in helping make my day everything I (We) dreamed and that I am so grateful to have such an amazing mum. So I started a note on my phone and popped in ideas and jobs of how to include my mum in the process and also jobs to include my mother in law, whom I love dearly. It was a great learning curve for me early on, that there is so much love and support around a wedding and it’s important to not only include these special people but also to delegate tasks. They are here to help and are excited to do so! So make sure you value and utilize their love and skills!
SET A DATE
This can be a tricky one. Your date might be swayed depending on the time of the year, the length of your engagement, or, maybe you ‘have-to-have’ a particular venue or vendor and their availability only falls on certain days. Usually you and your partner will have a few significant dates in your relationship which may fall on an ideal day to have your wedding. If you have a few dates in mind then note them down and talk to your preferred venues/vendors about the date and what the weather is like during that period of the year, whether their gardens are in bloom or full or green, whether their air conditioning can handle the height of summer. Make sure you are both happy with it and if its important to you, be sure to check with your close friends and family.
Before you can begin to choose a venue you need to decide on how many guests you want to be at your wedding. Many venues have requirements for maximum and minimum guests.
Start a preliminary rough guest list with EVERYONE on it. I segmented ours into groups of people eg Family, Bridal Party (BFFS), Close Friends, Work Friends, Uni Friends, Family Friends, Childhood Friends. Once you have groups then you can determine the importance of that group attending or if there are singular people in that group who MUST be there. Start with a larger list and cull it down to your Non Negotiable list and your Negotiable list. This way you can determine that you can afford to have all that you want. The guest list can be hard to nail down but just get started!
Bouquet above Mrs Gibbons Flowers // Gelato Cart Wheel & Spoon
Finding vendors can be absolutely overwhelming! I am lucky enough to have so many amazing people I work with regularly to ask questions and get advice but for most people it’s asking friends who have been married or googling endlessly “amazing wedding photographer Brisbane”. When my brides book in their dream gown with us (at Begitta-Bridal & Couture!) they receive a special gift pack as well as access to our BRIDAL ROOM, inside we have a list of our absolute favourite vendors who I have personally worked with and used throughout the years. This list has been used by so many of my brides and friends and I am offering Free Access to “The Bridal Room” for all The Atelier Lovers. (see end of this post to join!)
Once you have an idea of the vendors you need to make sure you check out their work. Choosing a vintage style photographer is not going to give you those bright brilliant images you love. Make sure their feel feels good to you. Start enquiring and gathering quotes as soon as you can. This wil help give you a more realistic idea of what your wedding will cost and what to expect to spend. It's true in the wedding industry that you generally get what you pay for. A business or vendor with years of experience may mean that the cost is a little higher but the quality will be better and the process a lot smoother. When you've done something a hundred times you have seen a thousand possibilities and develop great contingency plans if a problem arises so experience is definitely something you want to look for in your "Wedding Squad". When making enquiries be sure to include your Wedding date or prospective dates to ensure they are available. As well as include your venue and location (there may be travel costs involved so you want to make sure you budget for those!).
Another great way to find vendors and meet up with heaps in one day is to visit a wedding fair or expo!
There are some amazing options out there depending on the style of wedding you are looking for. Google wedding expo/fair and your city to find a few close to you. We love One Fine Day Wedding Fairs for their mix of amazing vendors and beautifully curated events.
The most important thing to remember when choosing your vendors is that If you don’t feel “quite right” there are others to chose from so don’t feel to much pressure to say yes unless you feel good about your decision. If you don't feel quite right ask yourself what it is that makes you feel that way you may find its just anticipation or nerves. Don't rush things and talk it over with someone to ensure you do feel great about your decisions. BUT also remember to not sweat the small stuff. Most wedding vendors deal with nervous brides every day so if you have questions JUST ASK!
It's also always a great idea to make time to meet up with your vendors prior to booking them if you can. Get to know them and make sure you mesh well with them before you put down your deposit.
Eeek! Happy Planning!
We cannot wait to go start scoping out the place we will bring it all together!
Want access to all the free resources mentioned in this post?
Head HERE to access the ATELIER BRIDES