She/He Said ‘YES’ ♥ What Next?

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The answer was YES!!!! So what next??

Congratulations! This is the start of your incredible wedding adventure. When you choose me, Lucky in Love Wedding Celebrant I will help create your dream wedding ceremony! I will make the process easy & fun plus share lots of inspiration, tips & tricks along the way!

I've put together a list of the steps you'll take on the journey to your memorable & stress-free wedding!

Make the announcement: Tell your parents first, then start telling everyone else!

Brainstorm: Sit down with your partner & dream up some ideas. Think about the style you’d like. Is it going to be a casual beach bash, formal silver service in a ballroom?

Draft a timeline: While you don’t have to set a firm date now, choose the month or season you want to marry in. Then you’ll know how long you have to get things organized. The size of your wedding determines where you’ll hold the party, how much it will cost & if travel will be involved.

Create a guest list: Make your list with your partner & ask both families to remind you who is important not to forget. You will most likely need to reduce this number & be brutal about it. Is it going to make a difference to you if your cousin you haven't seen in ten years is there? No. It's all about who is going to help you make memories, not pleasing everyone else.

$$$ Budget management: The average cost of a New Zealand wedding is around $30,000 when held in a cost-effective venue with 100 guests. But you can DIY for much less. Decide what the maximum you can afford is for your budget & if family can contribute. Remember you can always make up costs by asking guests to cover their reception meal (if you're having one). Koha contributions rather than gifts are the norm now too. No matter what your wedding budget may be, here’s a rough idea of the breakdown. Keep in mind the numbers are not set in stone & it's all about what's important to you! . You might choose to spend more on photography & less on flowers.

Reception: 40% Honeymoon: 14.5% Photography/videography: 10.5% Wedding attire: 7% Engagement rings/wedding bands: 6% Flowers: 5% Music: 5% Invitations: 2% Extras including your Wedding Celebrant: 10%

Get organised: To manage costs keep an excel spreadsheet or old skool notebook, or both. Keep a record of all your ideas in a journal, whether that's a notebook, digital document or a planner. Check out the Little White Book.

Find your Wedding Celebrant: Top of your list should be to find a Marriage Celebrant to officiate. You can't get married legally without one! Your ceremony is the heart of your wedding day so make sure you choose a Wedding Celebrant you can relate to & who suits your personal style. Get in touch for a Free 1st Meeting to hear how I can help you make your ceremony special as your Lucky in Love Wedding Celebrant.

The Venue: Are you going to have your ceremony at your reception venue or another location like the beach or park? It may be in your home town, or a convenient place in between you & your parents homes. Plus there’s the destination wedding; just make sure everyone you really want to celebrate with can afford to travel & is able to make it. Always have a rain day alternative no matter where you are, just in case. Search the internet, read the reviews & ask friends & family for ideas. Then start scheduling visits. Take into account not only if the ambience is fabulous, but how helpful & friendly are the venue management?

Photographer & videographer: Get recommendations from friends, then research what kinds of shots you’d like to see - formal portraits or a candid, journalistic style. Don't go with a large studio - they usually interchange people so you could end up with a photographer who turns out to be a disaster. After the wedding, you may even want to get creative & make your own album - there are loads of online photo book options. Remember to ask your family & friends to take candid photos which can be really cool and meaningful.

DJ/iPod/Musicians: Arrange to hear musicians perform before you book them. Make sure they agree to stick to the playlist you give them. Find out how they will dress, how many breaks they will take, start & finish times. Hiring a DJ is usually less expensive than a live band, but not always. A simple option with no budget attached is to create a playlist on your phone & plug it into a sound system!

Flowers & décor theming: Once you have your venue/s booked, you can decide on table arrangements and other decorations. A hotel ballroom is a blank slate you can jugze up versus a museum that only needs simple centerpieces. Buy fresh stems at a local market & ask a creative friend to put together bouquets and centerpieces. Or ask your florist to incorporate heaps of greenery to make fewer flowers look like a lot more & save you money. There are so many vibrant props available too - you may not even need the expense of fresh flowers.

Caterer: You want to know how dishes will taste & look. Find out how flexible the caterer/venue is with menus and prices. Remember sometimes going with a venue space rather than dedicated reception venue & hiring a caterer separately doesn't usually end up saving you money after hirage fees for tablecloths, china, glassware etc. A reception venue that has caterers onsite & provides all the gear will save you the hassle.

Cake Maker: As with your caterer - make an appointment to taste test. Bring along lots of photo references you've found on Pinterest or magazines. Cakes are a bigger cost than you think so make sure you find the right cake baker for you.

Choose Your Bridal Party: Explain to prospective bridesmaids, groomsmen, ushers etc what the role requires, like planning the hen night & stag party & paying for their outfit. Tell each person they will need to commit a certain amount of time & energy—and if they can’t, it’s fine to decline. Choose as many or as few people as you want - or none at all! Include your partners relatives; it’s a diplomatic move that can only strengthen family relations - providing they are reliable. Choose wisely! And if you have animals & children think about making it special by including them.

The Dress: Dress shopping is fun! It's hard not to let emotion dictate, but stay within the bounds of budget & practicality. Bring an honest friend along with you to help narrow the search. Online shopping could be an option but make sure you use a site recommended to you. Get your dress measurements accurate - or it could go horribly wrong. If you think you’ve found 'The Dress', then you probably have. Look no further & relax.

Send invitations: Send Save the Date cards or emails out 3 months prior to your big day - more if you have overseas guests. Aim to send invitations out six to eight weeks before the big day. Allow enough time if you are printing hard copies too. The basic invite announces the hosts of the wedding (whether that’s the two of you, your parents or a combination) & the location & time of the ceremony. It may include info about dress code, reception details, accommodation options, gift registry/donation & rsvp details. Always proofread for spelling and details!

Beauty Regime: It’s easy to become so caught up in the planning that you forget one simple thing: YOU! So start a self-care plan now.

Exercise & diet: Keep your mind, body & spirit healthy. Even a 30-minute walk several times a week can be enough to keep you feeling energetic. To prevent fatigue, take a multivitamin everyday & don't skip meals. Eat clean & keep healthy snacks like nuts & fruit on hand when you go shopping or to work.

Get plenty of sleep: Most Brides & Grooms-to-be find themselves having alot of late nights, but try your best not to skimp on sleep; not getting enough contributes to lowered immunity & you do not want to get sick now. Plus, well-rested gals & guys always look awesome.

Meet with a hairstylist. If you want to maintain your current cut and/or color, tell your regular hairstylist & be sure you’re not due for an appointment the week before your big day - you should have your hair cut & coloured a few weeks before at least. Hopefully your normal stylist can do your wedding hair so book a practice session to try a couple of hairdos. Remember to bring your headpiece or tiara along if you're wearing one.

Practice makeup: Smith & Caughey or Farmers beauty counters will give you a makeover to try out looks, you usually have to book in and pay a fee but it's redeemable against product. Also look into getting a trial done by a professional makeup artist, if you like their work you can book them for your wedding day!

Have fun and get in touch for your Free 1st Meeting to hear how I can help you create your dream wedding ceremony as your Lucky in Love Wedding Celebrant!

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