First of all, congratulations on your engagement! Planning a wedding can be both daunting and exciting. I often get asked where to start, so I’ve outlined below my tips on where to get started.
Decide what your budget is, and what is essential for you to fit within that budget. This will help in the decision-making process, and where to start when selecting vendors. The cost of weddings can add up, so it’s important to make sure that everything is considered early, as well as deciding on your non-negotiables. I have created a template for this, which is available here
I always recommend that couples create a buffer of 10% for any unexpected costs and to provide wiggle-room for small increases to the guest list or extra luxuries along the way.
Determine your preference of date, but if you’re comfortable being flexible, that will help with securing your preferred vendors. I would recommend speaking with key family and friends and asking them of any dates that they are absolutely not available.
Consider, what is most important to you
What comes first, the chicken or the egg? Or in this case, the date, the venue, or the vendor? I would suggest that there is no concrete answer to this, and it’s up to you and what is most important. I have listed below some frequent non-negotiables to couples.
- Reception venue
- Ceremony venue
- Specific vendors
If you have a specific preference or non-negotiable for any of the above, contact them for their availability first. Some vendors will hold the date without a deposit for a short period of time to allow you to check that everything aligns.
Once you’ve received confirmation of availability from your preferred vendors, work your way through generating enquiries and venues. Marry Us has tried and tested free downloadable checklists and tools here:
Be organised and document
I would recommend documenting everything, it’ll save you time in the long-term. If you’re contacting multiple vendors, record that down so that you don’t contact them twice by accident. If you’re receiving receipts, save them to a folder. If you receive useful information, record it somewhere.
Under the Marriage Act 1961, you are required to provide one months’ notice of intention to marry to your marriage celebrant. Therefore, if you are planning a wedding with short notice, contact your marriage celebrant ASAP. At Marry Us, we always make time to fit in around you, and are more than happy to meet with marrying couples on short notice.
There’s no right or wrong way to do it. It’s totally up to you!