Wedding planning, where to start?
Congratulations, you just engaged! For most couples, this is a big moment, you are saying yes to the love of your life and are planning on making this commitment official.
After the initial honeymoon phase of just having gotten engaged, you might think ‘I just got engaged, now what?. At this point, most people will start looking into wedding planning. Wedding planning sounds great, but where to start? Wedding planning can be very stressful.
So, where do you start? I have been working in the wedding industry for over 7 years now. So I thought it might be useful to write down some tips on planning your wedding, from scratch, on your own this is. Are you ready?
Wedding planning: Budget
To start with, in my eyes the most important thing to work out is your budget. This is a tough one for most people. To give you some guidance, research shows that the average cost of a wedding in Australia is $34,715. Interestingly, the average original wedding budget is $27,550. This means that on average couples spend 26% more on their wedding than they originally thought! Wow! Now, I believe this is incredibly important to keep in mind. So my hot tip here is, work our your budget and then add 26% to that. This will give you a realistic number to work with, so you can plan your savings attack.
If this number is above what you think you can actually afford, I would look into the wedding buying cycle (I will explain this below). Check what things you can do yourself or not have all together. Remember, there a re many suppliers out there and many things are ‘nice to have’ but will not make your day!
Wedding planning: The wedding buying cycle
Having mentioned the so called wedding buying cycle above, I would like to explain it in more detail. The wedding buying cycle shows the order in which most people plan their wedding. This is extremely helpful, since some services you need to plan very early, whereas others can come later. This will give you a guide on what is most important and from there you can work out an approximate timeline.
The first service most people will look at is Venues. The reason being that most venues get booked out very early. So if you would like to be able to choose your date and a venue you really like, you will need to make this your priority. There are many venues to choose from. Therefore, it is best start thinking about what type of wedding you would like to narrow down your search, i.e. outside, inside, formal, more casual, rustic, romantic etc. From there, most people will look at catering and wedding planning. A lot of bigger venues have their own function manager who assists with wedding planning, so here you might be able to save some serious cash.
Next comes celebrants, photography, wedding dress, videography and music. These are all very important services and most people will not have a wedding without them. My advice for all those services is, to have a think about what type of wedding you would like and then narrow down your suppliers to match that. Also, I would strongly encourage you to meet with all those suppliers you are considering to make sure they really do align with your values. A lot of people can sell themselves online, but this is your big day and most people would like to have people around that they enjoy. In the end, these suppliers will be part of your wedding. So consider them carefully, just like your guests.
These are all the big items that are essential for most people. The next services are not all essential and you can really save some money here. You can decide to do some things on your own and not have them at all. This includes, cars, flowers, stylist, and wedding hire. Next in the wedding buying cycle comes the honeymoon. This is for most people a must. There are obviously endless possibilities. One thing a lot of people consider now is to have a honeymoon a few months after the wedding. Weddings are expensive and you might be limited on how much annual leave you can take at once.
After having spend some time on planning the honeymoon people will look into accommodation, cakes, decorations, photo booth, bridesmaid dress, hair & makeup, and formal wear. Here, there are also options on saving money, you can do your own photo booth or not have one, you can certainly do your own decorations or maybe you have a creative friend who would love to help you or do it for you. When it comes to bridesmaids dresses and formal wear many are considering renting these or buying online, there are a few good website out there where you can buy lovely dresses custom made at an affordable price.
Next in the wedding planning comes, flower girls, invitations, jewellery, shoes, bomboniere and lingerie. The final steps are wedding services, accessories, hens/bucks party and beauty service.
Wedding planning: Final advice
Wow, that is quite a list indeed! As you can see, there are many things to consider in the wedding buying circle, however, not all of them are essential to have a wedding. To give you another head start, check out Easy Weddings and Australian Bridal Industry Academy ABIA to get an overview of highly rated and professional wedding services in Australia. Saves you some serious googling!
I hope this overview will give you a bit of an idea where to start if you have just gotten engaged. Lastly, although planning a wedding can be super stressful, it can also be fun. Try to get people on board to help you with and don’t do it all yourself. Enjoy the research and stick to your values (that is the best advice I can give you so you don’t end up spending above your means)!