My tips on planning the best ever wedding

Hi everyone

It was me and My Darling Husbands 1 month anniversary on Friday! 1 month!! My Darling was a bit worried I would be expecting to celebrate an anniversary every month, but I told him just the 1st month is important. Then the 3rd, the 6th and then every year after! haha He made a beautiful effort and gave me a huge bunch of the beautiful white and yellow daisies I had for the wedding – after he wound me up by saying he didn’t remember!!

So 1 month later and we’re back to reality and I’m going to have heaps more time to share my little insights with you. I know some brides blog all the way through the process, but because we’d personalised every aspect of the wedding to the smallest detail it took up alot more time than I ever thought and this blog got a bit neglected. So I’m committed to sharing all the tips and tricks I found along the way with you, plus my usual inspirational bits and pieces which I hope you’re still enjoying!

Here’s a few tidbits that really helped me (and sadly didn’t help me) achieve my perfect day:

  1. Go with your gut instinct!
    My logic overrode this on a couple of things and I’m kicking myself for not listening – see 3 & 4.
  2. Start planning ASAP!
    I remember My Darling laughing at me about starting planning 10 months out. We had a 12 month engagement and having heard about weddings that take 3 years in the making I knew we would need all the time we could get. This is because celebrants, venues and photographers get booked out way in advance – and your vision evolves, so give yourself enough time to perfect it.
  3. Suppliers.
    The biggest tip I can share is to find solid suppliers. Finding a good supply partner who is enthusiastic about what they do and how they can help make your wedding super special is invaluable. Here are mine:

    • Hair & makeup artist. Rochelle Strathdee (rstrathdee@xtra.co.nz) is the coolest fashion & film stylist based on North Shore, Auckland. She was so much fun to be around, knew her stuff and gave us other good tips (eco tan natural deodorant). I have to be honest, even though my stylee french roll did fall out due to high winds, it didn’t bother me too much because Rochelle was just so nice!
    • Venue. The venue on the other hand was McHughs Cheltenham. Luckily only the guests with event or hospitality backgrounds could tell how ineffective this venue and its staff were. The list of negative points is too long to go into here, but from my first meeting with them I felt like they were doing me a favour (ummm it’s the other way around in business!) and they were highly inattentive throughout the process, resulting in me (the bride!) being constantly bothered throughout the reception. My constant gut feeling was negative, but this venue had sentimental childhood memories and is a stunning on the beach location. Sadly their lack of basic professionalism left me feeling so f*#@ed off and marred the day a little bit.
      Do your research and pay attention to online reviews – even when we’ve booked accommodation you’ve found how truthful they are. I should have paid more attention to them. 
    • The Dress. Don’t order online unless it’s from a supplier you’ve been fully recommended. I think you all read my wedding dress disaster. Luckily a friend referred me to her dressmaker who did a fantastic job – advising me not to have too much “slutty” cleavage and creating a matching veil at the last minute!
    • Celebrant. Make sure you interview a couple and feel comfortable with them. We were lucky – the first one we met with was perfect. Christina Venville  was the right fit for us, contemporary, fun and seemed enthusiastic all the way.
    • Photographer & Videographer. When the day is just a blur these are the professionals who are going to help you relive the excitement and capture what you missed at the time. They have one shot at this and they need to take beautiful shots and know how to direct a large number of people. Make sure you interview your photographers, get verbal references and view portfolios. Unfortunately the two wedding photographers I wanted were booked out 10 months in advance, so I found Kylin Image on the internet – their photography looked stunning and represented the feel I wanted. We met with the photographer who we were reasonably confident could do a good job. The risk was this was a photography studio with multiple photographers, English was not there first language and their main customer base was Asian – not vibrant kiwi. 6 days prior to the wedding I had a phone call to say my booking had been lost and as a result we got a stand-in photographer who I doubt had any photography skills, let alone wedding photography. Out of 400 shots, we have about 10 which look professionally composed. Very sad.
      Luckily we had a few great family videographers who saved the day. And snapshot photographers who captured more candid shots.
  4. Friends & Family! Or a Wedding Planner.
    Surround yourself with your best friends and calm, proactive family members or a professional wedding planner. These are the people that are going to give you a reality check, keep you from going bridezilla on your fiancé throughout the process and on the day ensure everything runs smoothly. Hand everything over and have faith in the people you have asked to be part of your big day and your gut instinct and history with them tells you they are reliable and have your best interests at heart. Don’t ask people to be involved who aren’t mad excited for you to be getting married. They will treat the day as a ‘piss-up’ and the focus will turn into them having a party – and not about the bride and groom celebrating their love and marking the rest of their lives together!
    (Our MC, the boys, my ‘bridesmaid’, my floral stylists, team of set designers and our ‘friend family’ – you know who you are!! A millions thank- you’s!)
  5. Tiffany Blue
    Don’t choose this as your colour theme – every supplier you speak with will ‘think’ they have a Tiffany Blue match. In reality their blues will range from pastel green to baby blue to teal blue. The way to try and match this is by giving your supplier a PMS colour reference. PMS stands for Pantone Matching System – a colour chart range and because Tiffany has a specific trademarked PMS that is a big secret, the closest PMS match you will find is PMS 325C.  Sadly none of them will have a clue what a PMS colour is, so I would ask your stationery designer to print off a supply of swatches you can use to physically match against.
  6. Be specific. No matter how much info you give people or planning sessions you have people some people just won’t get it! But what you can do is be as specific as possible. Remember to include a dress code on your invitations. Reminders for guests to arrive ‘no later than xxx’. And if you would like gifts include gift registry details. If you would like monetary contributions specify the amount.
  7. This is not a rehearsal!
    Take the time to enjoy each other, your day and all the effort that has been put into it. The day itself is all a bit of a blur, so it helps if you are well organised in advance, then you can chill and take it all in. Hopefully you will only ever get married once in your lifetime so enjoy the moment!

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