Your Engaged - Now What?
Firstly, a huge congratulations on your engagement! This is an exciting time in your life full of celebrations, family and friends.
You might be thinking “engaged – now what?” Firstly, admire the sparkle of the ring on your finger and the idea that you have found “the one”. Put aside the thought of wedding planning for a few weeks and just take time to both enjoy the experience of being newly engaged. Too many brides rush into planning their wedding as soon as they have the ring on their finger and then feel like they are over the wedding when it finally gets close because they feel like they have been planning forever. You might be tempted to begin planning immediately when family demand wedding details on sharing your engagement news, however, resist the urge and tell them that you haven’t began to think about the details yet.
Once you are ready to start planning there are a few points that you should start with.
The first point is the most important one – the budget. There is no point in arranging to look at ceremony and reception venues until you know what is a realistic price range for you and your partner. Chat to your partner about your own financial situation, how much you can save for your wedding and how much, if any, you can contribute up front. Discuss what type of wedding you both want to have – whether it be an informal cocktail reception or a more formal sit down dinner.
Today, it is no longer expected that the brides parents pay for the majority of the wedding – couples may pay for their wedding themselves, have their parents contribute to certain aspects or both sets of parents and the bride and the groom may split it three ways. The bride and groom should arrange to sit down and chat with their parents on different occasions about their wedding and what financial assistance they can provide, if any. Once you know what type of budget you are working with you will be able to start to consider other aspects of the wedding and start speaking with vendors with budget guidelines in mind.
One final note about budgeting for a wedding, if you want a fairly traditional wedding with lots of guests and a nice venue be prepared that your wedding is going to be more expensive then you ever initially thought. Today, the average cost of an Australian wedding is $45,000 to $50,000.
Location of Wedding
The location of your wedding is the next big decision. Once you decide where you are going to get married and hold your reception, you are then going to be able to source your suppliers.
This decision may be easy for some but others might have always wanted a destination wedding on an island or have questions about whether to get married in the area which they live now or whether to be married in their home town or city. This is a decision you should chat to your partner about. If you are thinking of a destination wedding, consideration should be given that less family and friends are likely to be able to make your wedding if more travel and cost are involved.
Factors that may influence your choice of venues may include whether you would like a venue on the water, a marquee reception or a wedding venue with an outdoor aspect. Once you have an idea of what you both envision for your wedding venue do some research on the net or even take a drive around the area you are interested in and you might come across a great venue.
Once you have a clear idea of where you are getting married your next step is to source your support team for your big day. These are the people that are going to help make your day a success and something for your guests to remember for years to come. It is crucial that you hire people that not only are reputable and trustworthy but also are people who you can relate to and who you will enjoy having around you on your wedding day. For example, your photographer and videographer are suppliers that will spend the majority of the day with you and will be working with you very closely. For this reason you need people that understand your needs and who will keep the atmosphere fun and lighthearted.
The suppliers that you should begin with that can be booked 12 – 18 months in advance include;
When choosing your suppliers, always meet with them in person and ask to see some of their prior work. Be honest about your budget and your expectations for the day. While it has been mentioned before on the site, I feel I should stress the importance of remembering when researching local suppliers you get what you pay for. Beware of suppliers whose prices seem very low in comparison to others in the industry and seem too good to be true - as they most probably are! You are paying for experience and talent and for suppliers such as photographers, videographers, celebrants and make up and hair artists they are truly worth every cent on your big day.
It is important to note that all vendors will require a non-refundable deposit to reserve their services for your wedding day. This deposit can be up to 50% of the total fee and is required on booking meaning that you will have upfront costs when you begin planning.
The Finer Details
Now you have the main wedding suppliers on board and you have the most important details of the wedding organised it is time to start thinking about the finer details of your big day.
These are details such as what type of flowers will you use for your bouquets, your ceremony and for the table arrangements at the reception. What music would you like played during the ceremony, how you will have you and your bridesmaid’s hair styled on the day and what type of cake you would like.
Chat to your wedding suppliers about your ideas and ask them for their feedback and their own thoughts. They will be experienced in the industry and might surprise you with some good ideas that fit with your general theme. Another way to get some inspiration is to do some research on the internet and view galleries of hair styles, flower arrangements and cakes – see the Brides in Brisbane galleries for some of Brisbane’s best!
We hope that these initial planning tips will assist you in creating your perfect wedding day and one of the most enjoyable times in your life.