You have decided to take the big plunge and are now wondering how to plan the perfect wedding. Managing such a major event can seem a little daunting, so we’ve put together this planner as a guide to help you organise your big day and keep things running smoothly. While some weddings are lavish events with hundreds of guests, others are simple, intimate occasions shared with close family and a few friends. If you are planning an informal wedding you do not need to observe many of the formalities, but there are still some points of etiquette and traditions that you may find useful.
Before you begin, you and your partner should sit down and discuss what you both expect from your wedding day. Communication is paramount when it comes to organising your wedding, and expressing your expectations and wishes from the start will prevent misunderstandings and disagreements later on. Discuss and decide on the style of wedding you want, bearing in mind that what the bride and her attendants wear will set the mood and influence the flowers, transport, ceremony and reception. Another decision you need to make early is where you will hold the reception and who will take the photographs, as most weddings take place on the weekend and sometimes reception venues and photographers are booked up to a year or more in advance.
Your wedding is probably the biggest event you will ever have to organise. But, by taking things one step at a time, you can make this a fun and exciting experience culminating in one of the best days of your lives. The Wedding Countdown on page 160 will help you prioritise tasks and set a schedule leading up to the big day. We hope you find this version of our planner useful in helping you achieve a relaxing engagement and enjoyable wedding day. To download the full wedding planner and helpful checklists, visit www.brideandgroom.co.nz
As soon as you decide to marry, consider yourselves engaged. Your immediate families should be the first to know. You may decide to wait until you have bought the engagement ring before announcing your engagement officially.
Take into consideration your colouring, lifestyle and the shape of your hands when choosing your ring. Tall and long-fingered people suit large rings, while smaller people tend to suit simple shapes. Gold is the traditional metal for engagement and wedding rings. It varies in colour according to the other metals mixed with it – from white, to yellow, to rose gold. Platinum, a natural white metal, is very hard wearing and is often combined with diamonds.
A carat is the standard measure of gold and precious stones. It indicates the quantity of other metal included to make gold stronger and more hard-wearing. Pure gold is considered too soft for continuous ring wear; 24 carats is pure gold; 22 carats is 22 parts gold and two parts other metals; 18 carats is 18 parts gold and six parts other, and so on. For precious stones, 1 carat is 0.20g and is a measure of weight not quality.
Try to choose a wedding ring that is similar in shape and material to your engagement ring. Check that the metal is the same, and that they fit snugly and don’t rub against each other. Ordering your wedding ring at least eight to 10 weeks before the wedding is a good idea, in case it has to be altered. Matching bride and groom sets are often available. Visit a well-established jeweller who can help you make your decision.
At the ceremony, the wedding rings are traditionally looked after by the bestman until they are needed. Alternatively, the pageboy can carry the rings tied onto a cushion.