Getting engaged was one of the happiest, most exciting times in my life. Of course, that was until the wedding planning begun and the stress levels increased dramatically. Costs are constantly amassing and eventually, the term “bridezilla” was dropped.
So, how does a girl plan the biggest day of her life? That is, without pulling her hair out before the big day and making the groom wonder, “where is the wonderful, loving woman I proposed to?” Here is advice based on my experience so far:
1. PLAN EARLY
We thought a year would be sufficient time to book a venue. We were wrong. The only dates available were 27th of December or dead in the middle of winter.
2. SET A BUDGET (and stick to it)
Discuss with your fiancé how much of your savings you’re willing to allocate towards the wedding and ascertain how much your parents are willing to contribute (if at all). The budget is not about what you would like to spend, rather, what you have to spend. Be realistic. Then allocate amounts of your budget towards the desired expenses.
Every Bride wants to be a Princess but few of us have that kind of a bank account. Think outside the box, explore options and don’t be afraid to haggle. And remember, no matter how much you think you “need” those crystal toasting flutes, if the budget doesn’t allow it, you just have to say no.
3. DON’T OVER INTERVIEW
Yes, there are a lot of photographers, celebrants and DJ’s out there. That doesn’t mean you need to call every single person in the yellow pages and drag your fiancé to interview and scrutinise each one. It just gets boring and is a waste of precious time. Pick three, with prices you are happy with, and speak with them over the phone/email. You will get a feel for who genuinely shares your vision. Finally, narrow it down to one or two and meet them. We knew instantly which celebrant was the one for us.
Teamwork is a crucial part of wedding planning. You don’t want one person taking on full responsibility. Planning a wedding should be fun. Family and friends will be more than happy to help. Ask your Mum to organise the invitations, the groom to select the beverage menu, and your sister or girlfriend to organise the florist. People usually want to help you celebrate the big day, allow them to share it.
5. DON’T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF
Do you remember the décor from previous wedding’s you’ve attended? Did you keep the favour? If you’re like me, the answer is no. If the guests hardly notice, why worry yourself about it? Heart-felt vows, delicious food and a packed dance floor are what your guests will talk about for years to come- not the colour of the flowers or the sash on the chair.
6. IT’S NOT A COMPETITION
At first, I constantly compared our wedding ideas to other weddings. I tried to think how I could do better. Thankfully, my fiancé brought me back to earth and reminded me that it’s not about impressing people or competing to have the best wedding. It’s supposed to be a celebration of love.
Ok, so it’s not the most fun part but it is the part that legally binds you together. It’s imperative that your paperwork is submitted on time and correctly. Your celebrant will lodge your Intent to Marry Forms and can assist with the changing of names. Additionally, you will need to consider extra things such as bank accounts, combining insurance policies (which works out cheaper so well worth the effort) and reviewing wills.
8. DON’T FORGET THE GROOM
Without the groom there is no wedding. Don’t exclude your fiancé on any parts of the planning or assume that he doesn’t care. Ask for his opinion and give him the chance to make suggestions. As much as I wanted a ‘Cinderella’ theme for our wedding, I couldn’t do that to my “Aussie Bloke” fiancé. Together, we chose a classic black and white theme to create a more elegant atmosphere that we will both enjoy.
My hubby-to-be also made our wedding arch. He’s great at building and asking him to take on the project made him feel special. Not only that, but it gives our wedding a beautiful, personal touch and I couldn’t be more excited to be married under an arch my groom lovingly created.
Written by Karlee McBroom, Personal Assistant at Her Life Insurance for Women.