20 Wedding Planning Hacks from Real Brides and Grooms

By Luke Ellery

In our latest Instagram giveaway with She Said Yes and Rose Tinted Flowers we asked past and present brides and grooms to share their well-earned nuggets of wisdom. Wedding planning is hard; most people only get to do it once so you're bound to make a few mistakes. Mistakes are okay, however, what we hope to help you avoid is regret. These are tips straight from the source of Auckland brides and grooms who have "been there and done that." Take a moment to soak up the wisdom of the brides and grooms who came before you - we won't let you plan a whole wedding without a bit of help! 

Knowing Your Priorities 

levien and lens, styled shoot, urban

Image by Levien and Lens

1/ "Know what's important to you. Your budget could easily get out of hand if you want the best of everything - the dress, the cake, venue, photographer, videographer. Think about what is important to you and focus your budget on those areas first."

2/ "Don't allow other people to influence your decisions. There will be a lot of opinions on what you should do and how you should do it, but at the end of the day, it's your wedding so have the one you want!"

3/ "Try picking 3 important things that you don't want to compromise on and be prepared to let everything else go. Things are going to change from your initial expectations, and that's okay."

4/ "Lock in your celebrant, photographer and venue early!"

5/ "Spend money on a good photographer. 20 years from now, looking over your wedding album, you'll be so glad you did."

6/ "Find a way to keep reminding yourself of what you consider essential for the wedding. It's easy with all the information out there to get overwhelmed and forget what's important. Whether you have a Pinterest board, a diary or a blackboard make sure you keep your prioritise close."

7/ "This may not ring true for everyone, but weddings can be pretty wasteful. The flowers, the food, the rubbish at the end of the night all contribute to that carbon footprint. Consider eco-friendly options for your wedding; take some leftover food to the homeless, or send the flowers from the table-toppers to a retirement home. Just one eco-friendly aspect to your wedding will make a big difference."

Staying on top of the planning process

jodie c, styled shoot, highwic

Image by Jodie C Photography 

8/ "Set up an email address just for your wedding, makes it so much easier to keep track of everything."

9/ "I turned my bedroom wall into a post-it-note planning wall. It was colour-coordinated into CeremonyReceptionWaiheke (area) and Miscellaneous; each column was broken down into To DoIn Progress, and Done. It really helped with the pre-wedding stress as I had everything that needed to be done in front of me. I could easily get up and add a post-it note to the wall when something was keeping me awake at night. Most importantly, the Done column showed me that I was actually getting some wins in as I ticked them off the list! My husband did think I was a little crazy (but secretly I think he was impressed)."

10/ "While Instagram and Pinterest are full of beautiful wedding inspo, so much of this is styled by suppliers/vendors for photoshoots. That means they're only working with one table - to do some of these for 10 or more tables would cost a pretty penny. So, while these are great to help you figure out your likes/dislikes and potential suppliers you might like to work with, don't compare your wedding to these images (or anyone else's for that matter)."

11/ "Don't stress the small stuff. Be in the moment, enjoy the love and don't let minor details ruin the experience of the planning process."

12/ "Spreadsheets! I'm constantly updating mine and it's a good way to add costs up quickly as well as making a to-do list - write down everything you think of because, let's be honest, you'll probably forget it."

13/ "Create a wedding website so all guests can track your wedding details and see all the updates for your special day."

14/ "Allow yourself as much time as possible so that the entire planning process is fun and not a stressful experience. An added bonus to this is that you get first pick of your top wedding suppliers and you have extra time to save up! It should be a fun experience for you, not a stressful one."

15/ "Visit as many wedding shows as you can for great ideas and, most importantly, have an open mind. Break old trends, make new trends." 

16/ "Venues get booked out really quickly, especially during peak season! It's best to plan things out 2 years prior. Doing this will also give you an early idea of how much everything will cost."

For the Day Itself 

perry trotter, zahn, real wedding taupo

Image by Perry Trotter Photography

17/ "Add a line on your RSVPs for song recommendations, that way you have a list of songs that guests actually want to hear. It's the secret to a consistently packed dancefloor."

18/ "Create your own hashtag for your wedding so all your pictures are in one place for friends and family to share. It's the 21st century and you can guarantee your guests are going to Instagram the heck out of your wedding day."

19/ "If you spill red wine on your dress dump a pile of table salt on the stain right away. The salt will help draw out a good amount of the wine right away, and you can have the remaining stain professionally treated later."

20/ "Wear flats! Your dress is probably long, so no one will see them and you can dance all night! If you don't want to wear flats down the aisle, at least bring an extra pair of comfortable shoes for the reception." 

perspectives, holly, real wedding

Image by Perspectives Photo + Cinema

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