As we all know, Summer is not only the season for spending quality time with family, eating and drinking far too much and relaxing in the sun on the beach. It’s also the most popular time for wedding proposals and engagements. For those lucky enough to get engaged this summer, congratulations! It has been one hell of a year and its time for us to make the most of life and start celebrating love and relationships!
I remember getting engaged this time last year and it really was such a lovely time. There were many glasses of champagne drunk and several moments of celebration that ill treasure for the years to come.
For those who are newly engaged, once you have had time to let it all sink in, you will likely start to think about how to answer the most common questions thrown your way. Maybe some of these will sound familiar?
When will you get married?
Who will your bridesmaids / groomsmen be?
Where will you get married?
As you may have found… some of these questions can make us feel both excited and overwhelmed. Its hard to know where to start because let’s be real… how often does one actually organise a wedding? I have been fortunate to organise over 100 weddings throughout my career and it still feels complicated at times to piece together my own wedding whilst managing a heavy workload and the uncertainty of Covid… so I have spent many hours reflecting on what it would feel like for somebody who hasn’t planned a wedding before.
For this reason, I decided to write my first WLBL blog… to help the newly engaged people out there with my top five tips:
Tip One: Start with a conversation
Once things have settled down and you have taken the time to enjoy getting engaged, I encourage you to allocate some time to sit down with your partner and discuss what your dream wedding would look like. You may think that your partner has the same thing in mind… but it is super common to find that one person has a completely different idea of what their wedding day would look like. Working through each of these questions may be handy:
How big should our wedding be?
What style / vibe would you like our wedding to be? Ie. Relaxed and casual or formal and traditional?
What is important to you about our wedding day? Ie. What are your non-negotiables?
What isn’t important to you about our wedding day?
Do we have enough time to planning a wedding or should we meet with a wedding planner?
By starting at this place, it means you will both have clarity before going full steam ahead.
Tip Two: Create your draft guest list & budget
I always recommend creating an initial draft guest list together. Remember, you want to spend your wedding day with the people who make you happy as a couple. Try not to over think it at this stage. You may also need to consider chatting to your parents about whether or not they would like to invite any special guests who have been a part of your lives too. Once you have an indication of guest numbers, it will be easier to create a budget and consider appropriate venues.
Creating an indicative budget can be challenging, however it is important to generate an approximate range of what you can afford to spend on the wedding day.
Tip Three: Lead-in times
Its easy to think that planning a wedding is a quick process. And you aren’t wrong… it can be done quickly. There are however a few things to consider.
Covid has caused the next 18-24 months to be one of the busiest times for weddings. As weddings have been cancelled and postponed due to lockdowns and borders being shut, it means that weddings have now been condensed into the next 2-year period. So… if there are vendors or a venue you want to work with…. getting in touch with them sooner rather than later is highly recommended to ensure you don’t miss out.
Wedding dresses are taking a lot longer to get to NZ thanks to Covid…. I would recommend going shopping for your wedding dress 8-9 months ahead of time instead of 6-7 months. Just something to think about so that you don’t limit your options.
Tip Four: Work with trusted vendors (and a planner)
In order to feel confident as you plan your wedding, it is important to work with credible vendors who you get along with and trust. Get to know your vendors, read their reviews, and understand the terms you are agreeing to when working with them. If you can afford to pay for a wedding planner, I highly recommend it. They are constantly working with vendors and can recommend the best ones out there who align with your vision. Wedding planners also play a critical role when it comes to navigating vendor contracts, managing negotiations, and adjusting plans should Covid hit again!
Tip Five: Have fun & remember your ‘WHY’
At the end of the day, the wedding planning process should be fun. If you ever find yourself getting caught up in the small stuff… go back to your ‘why’. Why are you getting married? Most likely its because you want to marry the love of your life and have the most amazing time with all of your favourite people. Your guests won’t remember if you had black or silver cutlery… but they will remember the big stuff & how much fun they had!
Hopefully these tips will help to get the ball rolling for the newly engaged out there. Should you need help with creating a budget, working through the planning process, or simply looking for a sounding board, feel free to get in touch. I’m always happy to pop together customised packages that align with your needs and budget.
With Love, Lisa xx