Ceremonies Crafted with Care

Wedding Planning Hints

Posted by on May 15, 2013 in Wedding Tips | 0 comments



Planning your wedding doesn’t have to be stressful the trick is to have an organised plan,

 Getting Ready

Set a budget:

Whether you are paying for your wedding yourselves or getting assistance from family there is always a finite spend.

Set a realistic budget and have a talk early on as a couple about your “deal breakers”.

What is most important to you about your wedding day? Is it great food and wine at your reception? Perhaps it’s a gorgeous dress and decorations? Or an exotic honeymoon? Inviting all your extended family and friends to share your day? Perhaps it’s the investment in magnificent wedding photography.

Your “deal breakers” will determine how you choose to allocate funds.

Get organised:

Get written quotes and orders and start a wedding file. There are some fabulous wedding planning tools available free on line which can help guide you through the process of planning your wedding day.

Drop me a line at celebrantforyou.co.nz  and ask for my Wedding Budget Planner (obligation free), it’s a great tool which monitors your wedding budget as you add quotes and actual costs.

 The venue:

Deciding on a venue for the ceremony and reception is usually wedding planning step one. Many popular venues book out way in advance so often your choice of venue will in turn influence your choice of wedding date.

When choosing your venue there are some points to consider:

  • Have a rough estimate of the number of guests you plan to invite; most venues have minimum and maximum numbers.
  •  Do you want your ceremony and reception at the same venue?
  • Does the venue charge a rental fee for the reception area in addition to catering costs or do they operate on a minimum spend on food and beverages?

Visit your short list of prospective venues; sometimes those gorgeous images on their website can be deceptive.

  • Chat to the venue’s event planner, you need to have confidence in their ability to manage your event.
  • Have a good look around, do they have a ceremony area options (including shelter for wet weather)? Are there opportunities for photographs?
  • Ask for detail on menu options, maybe sample some of the food.
  • Will the venue be decorated or will decorations be additional?
  • Ask for references, are there any former wedding clients you can chat to about their experiences?


  • It’s easy to browse the web and see fabulous examples of photographer’s work or you may have been lucky enough to have seen a photographer in action that impressed you.
  • Bridal forums may give you an idea of photographers other brides have used.
  • Chat to your short list to determine what they offer. Most photographers will offer “packages” for a varying investment.
  • If photographs of your day are one of your “deal breakers” then spend the time selecting a photographer whose style you admire.
  • Make a list of wedding photographs you want on the day of your wedding, particularly photographs with family and friends.
  • Ask how long after your wedding date you will receive edited proofs.
  • Ask for and check references.


I admit bias on this one but I can vouch for the fact that the best celebrants book up quickly. Don’t leave your choice until the last minute.

  • Read my blog post on how to choose a celebrant.
  • Choose someone who you are confident will guide you through your ceremony preparation and be there to guide and support you on the day, someone with whom    you feel comfortable.
  • Your ceremony is the heart of your wedding day, the part of your day you have invited your family and friends to witness, don’t underestimate the importance of your choice of celebrant.

Once you have the main vendors selected then it’s time to focus on the detail, dresses, attendants, cake, invitations and decorations – the fun stuff!

Notes about outdoor ceremony venues:

In my experience most couples choose to hold their wedding ceremony at a gorgeous outdoor site.

  • Given most weddings happen in the summer heat think about shade for your guests. This can be as simple as letting them know if shade is limited and recommending they bring a hat or umbrella or perhaps supplying some sunscreen.
  • Try and be on time. Waiting in the heat for a prolonged period will result in fractious guests.
  • Consider making water and juice available for your guests prior to the ceremony. Alcohol is probably best saved for celebrations afterwards!
  • Make sure you have a “plan b” ceremony venue in case it rains and you have a means of communicating any changes to your guests.

Wedding planning tips:

  •  The best wedding vendors will work hard on your behalf, they want your day to be successful every bit as much as you do. After all, their reputation is at stake. Sometimes penny pinching on key vendors will result in “you get what you pay for” disappointment.
  • Pinterest has a wealth of ideas and better still, others have done the research for you! Anything from decorations to make up and hair styles, to dress colours and styles browse away!
  • Delegate to people you trust, you may have friends and family who would be happy to take the load off you and pick things up, drop things off or follow up with vendors closer to your date.
  •  Take time out from planning to enjoy being engaged. This is probably the biggest event you will ever be involved in organising, take time to “smell the roses”.
  • If time is short or you are finding it difficult to spend the time requred to plan a wedding consider handing over to an expert. I can recommend Marie of Grace Productions http://www.graceproductions.co.nz/

All of your organisation will pay off dividends with the smooth running of your wedding day and in your enjoyment of one of the most exciting and memorable days of your life!

 All my very best wishes for your wedding day!

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