It be­gins with con­grat­u­la­tions and then within two days peo­ple want to know if you’ve set a date

Mackay and Whitsundays Wedding Guide - - Contents - — bride-to-be Emma Pid­geon

UMMM what? But you’ve only just be­come en­gaged, you haven’t even bought your first wed­ding mag­a­zine. Take a deep breath and dive in.

Plan­ning a wed­ding can be as stress­ful and over the top or as low main­te­nance and breezy as you like.

These are my top tips for wed­ding plan­ning. This is from the bride her­self. The tri­als and tri­umphs of a Septem­ber 2017 bride. Plan early: This one may go without say­ing but pho­tog­ra­phers, videog­ra­phers and venues are usu­ally book­ing out 12 to 18 months in ad­vance, es­pe­cially if they are pop­u­lar and your wed­ding is in peak wed­ding sea­son. Bud­get: Have a se­ri­ous dis­cus­sion with your part­ner and de­cide how much you can af­ford to spend. Will you have any con­tri­bu­tion from your fam­i­lies? What are the things you can scrimp on and what are you not will­ing to com­pro­mise on? As amaz­ing as big wed­dings can be, it is not worth declar­ing bank­ruptcy. Don’t spend more than you can af­ford. This might sound ob­vi­ous but it is very easy to get caught up in the mo­ment. Stick to your bud­get. Pick some­thing to splurge on: Whether it is your dress, trans­port, pho­tog­ra­pher, what­ever is im­por­tant to you. Pick a fea­ture as­pect you want to splurge on and give your­self per­mis­sion to splurge. I picked the pho­tog­ra­pher. I booked the pho­tog­ra­pher I wanted and the cost was sec­ond.

Tech­nol­ogy: Today there so many great apps to help with your wed­ding plan­ning, which will tell you what you need to book and when. Get a good shared drive, be it Onedrive, Drop­box or Google Drive – a shared drive will en­able you to share your spread­sheets and plan­ning with all rel­e­vant peo­ple, such as sup­pli­ers, your part­ner and any helpers who need to see it.

Em­brace tech­nol­ogy through­out your plan­ning stages but ditch it for the cer­e­mony. Un­plugged cer­e­monies are rising in pop­u­lar­ity. You only need to see the sam­ple pic­tures from pho­tog­ra­phers that show gor­geous shots of a bride and groom ru­ined by peo­ple hold­ing up an iphone or, worse, an ipad. Guests are now more un­der­stand­ing of this trend. We opted to send a note ad­vis­ing of this in our in­vi­ta­tions. We in­vited guests to pro­vide an email or post ad­dress for us to send them pro­fes­sional shots. That way peo­ple felt like they wouldn’t be miss­ing out.

These are just a hand­ful of my favourite tips. It can be a fun process. Talk to peo­ple who have been mar­ried re­cently.

They will love talk­ing about their wed­dings and you can learn from their mis­takes. There are no rules any more, wed­dings be what­ever you want. You can have a themed wed­ding, gaming wed­ding, a party with a jump­ing cas­tle or a com­pletely tra­di­tional event. This is your day, do it as you want.

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