The Truth About What Really Matters On Your Wedding Day
— By Luke Ellery
30 August 2016
Over the years, we have talked weddings with thousands of brides and hundreds of vendors. We thought it was about time we took all that precious knowledge and put it somewhere for good use. This advice is of the most valuable kind, that which comes from experience. It doesn't matter what stage of planning you're at, your wedding might be tomorrow! There is something here for every bride (or groom) to be.These are real quotes, from real brides, giving real advice. If you want to know what really matters, you will find itbelow.
Image by Levien & Lens Photography
In those early stages of planning you can find yourself drowning in ideas, your friends suggesting themes, or your parents chiming in with their opinions on your venue! Our brides offer up the realistic advice for this stage of the planning process. Ulitmately, drown out those external suggestions and think about what you really want...
"If I could, I would go back and tell myself to plan things how you want them to be - don't ask too many people for opinions, as you know what you want and at the end of the day its your's and your partners day!"
"Best advice I would give to anyone planning a wedding is to do what you want not what you think other's would expect. Bring your own spin on things, think outside the box and have a heap of fun while planning."
Image by Kenrick Rhys Photography
After that first phase of wedding planning is over and you have settled on a picture in your mind of what your wedding will look like, buckle down and get a diary or at least a notebook to store all the numbers, emails, and budgeting info. This is an important part of the planning process, settling on vendors and budgeting accordingly. Make sure you have plenty of time to stay on top of it all, you and your partner should try to share the work load as it can get quite stressful...
"Enjoy the calm and quiet of the early days of wedding planning. Then be prepared for the craziness of the last month or so - after spending ages deliberating over details, all of a sudden it all comes together and the emails start flying in. Make sure one of you has time to stay on top of all this.
"Plan every single detail down to the very last point, and be specific in your requests. In saying that though, listen to the experts too as they tend to have excellent ideas and know what works well for the type of wedding you are planning and the venue you are at. By doing this we had absolutely no hiccups on the day and it ran as smoothly as possible. It took so much worry and stress out of our hands knowing that we could trust everyone to do their job."
"If you can, plan at least one day of rest just before the big day. Perhaps even book for you and future hubby to get away for one day and night and promise not to talk weddings! That last week is crazy and it's a good opportunity to get some headspace and quality sleep so you can really be ready for your big day."
Photography by Tim Kelly and Nadine Ellen
When selecting your vendors, never settle. You have to have a good connection with the person who will be contributing to such a special day. Your vendors should be making you excited as you count down to the big day...
"Make sure you pick a wedding celebrant you connect with as they are in control of the most important part of your day. We found Melanie Kerr who was outstanding. She developed a clear understanding of what we wanted and our ceremony far exceeded our expectations thanks to her. She blended religious and spiritual elements with a kiwi twist by using beautifully chosen words, resulting in a deeply emotional and touching ceremony - everyone was blown away!"
"Do what you want to do - what suits you as a couple. Aside from a couple of ceremony necessaries, there are no rules in weddings. But do think about your guests - what would you want to do if you were attending a wedding? We had Mel, who was a fabulous stylist, set up, decorate & pack down our venue. This took a whole lot of the admin away from ourselves. Appointing someone who can organise the venue set-up will free up a whole lot of time and leave you free to do other, way more relaxing things! (Spa day anyone?) Enjoy it... this is not something to stress about. I loved planning our big day. (Oh, and give your guests a drink on arrival - we had a great win with this one!)"
Image by Perry Trotter Photography
Can't stress this next peice of advice enough. The biggest faux pas with wedding planning is thinking that just because your friend has a fancy camera you will have flawless wedding photos...
"Photos are your lasting memories of the day so it's worth spending the money on a good photographer - a 'friend who takes good photos' is very different to a wedding photographer".
Image by The Official Photographers
On the day
A well-planned wedding is a happy wedding! The stress before the big day will all be worth it when you have a perfect wedding day that runs smoothly from start to finish. It's always a good idea to have another person who knows your wedding timeline to keep the ball rolling...
"Try to organise the wedding so that you, your partner, and your immediate family don't have too many tasks to accomplish on the day. Don't be afraid to ask your friends and family for help, most people will be honoured to be a part of the process and if you spread the load over a few people then it helps you out a lot without asking too much of one person."
"It's important to try and remember that the day is about you and your partner to be - and celebrating the love that you share. It's easy to get consumed with the detail and feel stressed about everything falling into place. Invariably something unexpected will occur. You're much better off trying to relax, staying in the moment and enjoying what will be the happiest day of your life."
Image by Sanele Chadwick Photography
Try not to get so caught up in the event that you forget about all the people who have come to share your special day with you! The heart of a wedding comes from the gathering of loved ones from family, to friends, to your "other half". You are all together. Enjoy the company...
"The advice I would give myself is to take each step with patience, not only with the people around you, but also with yourself. At the end of the day what matters is the person waiting at the other end of the aisle for you. It is about relationships and the support of the people you love who are standing by you every step of the way."
"Don't sweat the small or the big stuff! The only thing that really matters is that you're there with the person you love starting your marriage together."
"Spend time with your nearest and dearest who have made the effort to be with you but then plan a honeymoon as soon as you can straight after - you'll need it!"
Image by Perry Trotter Photography
The token truth
This final piece of advice may seem obvious - have fun! That wedding you have been planning for months is only going to happen once, it will only last a few hours, and it will be beautiful. Soak up every micro-second. Don't let anything distract you from enjoying your one-of-a-kind day...
"Eat your food, drink your champagne, drink your wine....you paid for it! We arrived back to our suite at the Hilton at 2am starving hungry and stone cold sober!"
"Enjoy every single minute of the day and absorb as much as you can because it goes by so fast!"
"We didn't realise we were making memories - we just knew we were having fun."