Wedding planning

Wedding Planning Tips

Wedding planning tips

Wedding Planning can be a nightmare or it can be a wonderful breeze in the park.  But are you overwhelmed and do not know where to begin?  What should be done first?  When should I book what vendors?  These Wedding Planning tips are from three of the best Garden Route wedding planners, Conféti Events, Big Day Event and Yes Events.   These tips will make your wedding planning the joy that it should be!

Wedding planning

Yes-events! – Great Brak

The job of a wedding planner is to make a couple’s life easier and much more comfortable and relaxed during the process of the wedding planning and on the special day itself. We are best friends, organizers and fire fighters in the most figurative sense. We have seen and fixed a lot of common mistakes and love to pass on a few tips for your wedding day to run as smooth as possible:

Start planning your wedding as early as possible to have peace of mind and be able to secure quality vendors, ideally 6-12 months ahead of time.

Do your homework before approaching any suppliers, discuss together what’s important for the both of you on your big day and get clarity on the number of guests and your budget.

When you make your guest list ask yourself if you would feel sad if this person couldn’t make it to the wedding – these are the people you should invite.

Include your closest family members and friends who would like to contribute to the wedding by giving them an easy and manageable task in preparation of the day – not on the day, e.g. let grandma bake the cookies/rusk for the afternoon tea or let mum assist in some stationary DIY; they will feel appreciated and that they were part of doing something meaningful for your wedding- it will bring a smile on your and their face.

Things and people take longer than expected– Let your bridal squad know they should be at the rehearsal 15 min prior to the set time just to make sure also late birds are not missing out.  Also schedule in enough time for your hair and make-up on a wedding day. Don’t be rushed on the day so your photographer has enough time to get some pretty and relaxed getting ready shots from you. Aim to finish 20 min before any given time to take in the moment and breathe.

Make sure you have a seating arrangement properly visually in place. Either its free seating for all or allocated seating for all guests – use a font that is good to read so that guests can easily find their seats. Don’t have only a few “reserved” tables for immediate family without any more specification – on the day everyone will feel like they are part of your immediate family and it will cause confusion.

Don’t starve your suppliers, make sure you plan for food and drinks on the day of the event as well as a table for them to sit, which can be somewhere in a corner or in a separate room and doesn’t have to be in the main reception area.

Hand your phones over –  the wedding day is meant to be one of your most memorable days of your lives, so put away your phones for your special moment. Hand it to family members or friends for them to manage if you are worried that guests or suppliers might call you – and instead be fully present with your partner and guests. The day will pass by so quickly, don’t miss out on what is important. Social media will be there the day after and where exactly were you planning on stashing the phone in your dress or suit anyway?

Entertain your guests – there is this one to two hours usually between the ceremony and reception where the couple is taking pictures; in that time give your guests something to do and to eat and drink. Think about venue specific activities, maybe a tour around the venue, lawn games, setup of a photo booth, pass around a guest book or hire a caricaturist. You might have two families meeting for the first time, don’t let them stay in awkward silence; good music, drinks and a few canapés can already break the ice.

Something might go wrong – expect that things might go wrong and it’s best to acknowledge that in advance. From experience we can say that no matter the amount of planning and perfectionism you put into scheduling, assigning, and delegating—something might be forgotten, lost, or messed up on wedding day as we are working with people. Don’t worry – it will be ok and when you confirm a professional wedding planner, they s/he will make sure that s/he is your gatekeeper and will try to take on all mishaps so that you can make memories that will last a lifetime and don’t even realize that something didn’t go according to plan.

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Conféti Events – Plettenberg Bay

Hire a professional to ensure your day is exactly what you want, without trying to plan it getting in the way of you living your life and handling your own demanding career while having to worry about every little detail behind the scenes! If you have a full time job and a busy life, planning your own wedding will be the most stressful experience ever, and it shouldn’t be. Hiring a professional means you get to partake in all the “fun” selections and discussing your visions etc. without having to figure out how to actually bring it to life, or how to budget (and what you need to budget for) that’s where costs seem to sky rocket as you’ve spent half your budget on your wedding dress and then end up not having enough for your catering or flowers… a professional guides you in every aspect of the budget process which means no unforeseen expenses creeping up on you unexpectedly, and you will be assured that all your bases are covered.

Don’t let others influence your decisions, if you like something, stick with your gut feeling and go with that… a lot of people around you will have an opinion about every decision you make, and will try to convince you otherwise. It’s about what you and your fiance likes, not everyone else around you, stand your ground and go with you gut. If they’re getting on your nerves, tell them to back off – respectfully of course

If you’re on a tight budget, the best way to reduce your costs is to cut your guest-list. Trying to decide to invite a distant cousin whom you have not spoken to or heard from in years? don’t… If they’re not a part of your life, why should they be a part of your most important day? Don’t invite extra people because you don’t want to offend them. Each person you’re catering for costs you more money. Same goes for single friends and “plus 1’s” – don’t let them bring a plus one just for the sake of having a date at the wedding, you end up having people at your wedding you have never even met, who are costing you money.

“Battling the Elements” – Hope for the best, but plan for the worst. There is no point in trying to fight the mother nature… if it’s going to rain on your big day, it’s going to rain, I know no bride wants to hear that, but your day can and will be just as magical if you’re properly prepared for it. If you’ve chosen an outdoor venue, hire tents and additional covers where possible, and have enough umbrellas for your guests to use, hire in heaters and shoulder blankets, let your wedding planner guide you as to what would make you and your guest’s experience as comfortable as possible should the weather not play along, put a “weather plan budget” aside so that you don’t have nasty surprises and unforeseen costs, rather be prepared for anything. A good planner will have a plan A,B,C & D!

Don’t micro-manage your vendors. They’re the professional for a reason, and have been doing this for a long time, trust them to do their jobs. There must be a good reason you chose this supplier in the first place, and if you’ve checked out their previous work, read reviews from previous clients and you were happy with your decision, then trust them to do what they do best and let them do it! Nobody likes having someone constantly peeping over their shoulders and micro managing them. They realise that you’re nervous and want everything to be perfect and they will make sure your wishes are respected. Don’t be a bridezilla see.. (wink-wink… we’ve got this!)

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Big Day Event – Plettenberg Bay

Rules do not apply with wedding planning, each wedding couple is individual, it is so important to take this into account when creating a lifetime memory.  There is nothing more beautiful than a happy couple on their wedding day. A few important wedding planning guidelines in attaining this are expecting highs and lows during the planning process.  Have a plan in place, excellent service providers and a constant source of inspiration will turn your wedding planning into a celebration that reflects you as a couple.

The first rule of wedding planning is to start with your budget and be up front with all parties involved, your budget needs to be comfortable and realistic.  Financial burdens can dampen the planning and its quite common now for modern day couples to contribute towards the wedding budget, thus the burden is not entirely on the bride’s parents shoulders.

The three most important steps at the outset of wedding planning are:  venue, dress and photographer.  Your venue should offer beautifully presented spaces as well as keeping your guests delighted with ample delicious food. The venue is the backdrop to your special day, once you have chosen a venue then the theme, décor and style can be decided on. Your décor is vital, make sure it is not too busy. It is interesting to note that organic flowers and foliage are used extensively in weddings from the neighboring area around your venue.

Your photographer should identify with your personalities and style, after all this is going to be your lifetime captured memories. Focus on how your photos will look and take natural light into account.  All eyes will be on your dress, make sure you are comfortable walking down the aisle in your dress, expect to spend at least 8 to 10 hours in your dress, don’t let it hinder your dancing make moving around easy.  But by far the most important wedding planning advice is to have a good relationship with your service providers, you should communicate with ease, it is vital that they have an understanding of who you are and what you prefer.

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We hope you enjoyed our article on wedding planning tips.  Please make sure to also visit our blog post regarding Elopement wedding tips as well!

**Disclaimer:  Although we do extensive research for all our articles, we do miss things!  If you have any suggestions or corrections on this blog post, please do let us know at hello@gardenroute-weddings.co.za