5 Simple Steps to Start Planning Your Dream Wedding

Updated: Mar 18



Weddings are fun, exciting and romantic, but planning a wedding can be a bit daunting and even overwhelming and stressful. There are so many pieces of the jig-saw that are constantly moving but still need to come together to complete the perfect picture.


Even if at first it all seems quite easy and coming together smoothly, I promise you the at some point you will hit a speed bump and as time gets closer planning your wedding can be a crashing wave of doubt, indecision and contingency plans - especially if you end up blowing your budget or locking yourself into things you then want to change.


Luckily, like most things in life, breaking the elements of planning a wedding down piece by piece, just like how you eat an elephant (one bite at a time), will make it much simpler and help you feel you’ve got this!


Here are 5 simple steps to get your started with your planning, or if you have already started your planning to make sure you are on the right path or help you with those more confusing or difficult decisions. These steps form the big picture foundation of your wedding from the ground up and will save you from becoming bogged down in some of the planning pitfalls couples can find themselves in once you get down into the nitty- gritty detail and fine print.

1. WHAT’S YOUR MOTIVATION FOR HAVING A WEDDING CELEBRATION

Take some quiet time to really soul search and think about this, and then write down the answers. You heard me - write it down! This not only will help crystallise you thoughts but will also serve as a reference point down the track if you hit a few obstacles in your plans. Why do you want to have a wedding celebration in the first place? Is it because you want to publicly share your love story and have a big party? Is it to share your ceremony and celebrate with your family and close friends who are nearest to you? Is it all about the romantic white dress and being “princess for a day” that you have dreamed of since childhood (be honest with yourself on this one many of us have Cinderella syndrome and don’t even realise it). It might be something your family has wanted for you and is pushing for. Whilst your wedding is all about you and your partner, often we can have competing family exceptions and obligations - know what yours are and work out how you can find the balance between what you and your partner want and any responsibilities you feel towards others.


2. CONSIDER WHAT YOU AND YOUR PARTNER VALUE AND TRULY BELIEVE IN

It's you and your partners special day, so before any well-meaning family members or friends front up with their own agendas, ideas or demands consider what you and your partner’s values and beliefs are, and how these can be reflected in how your plan and organise your wedding.


Do your values and beliefs align with your motivation for having your wedding celebration? How can you integrate these values and beliefs into your wedding plans? What are the 10 top values and beliefs you will incorporate on your wedding on the day and write them down - YES write them down! Now cross off the 5 least important to you - the ones you could do without in a pinch even though they are important. Now cull another two off your list, the ones that would make you a bit uncomfortable to loose but you could still manage without. Finally cross off two more - these will probably be the toughest to get rid of and you might have to do a bit of going backwards and forwards with your partner over them, but you need to finally come up with just one core value or belief that is absolutely essential, non negotiable for your wedding so that when things do start to overwhelm or confuse you as you are faced with so many choices and decisions, you have a firm anchor to keep you focused. Remembering this value or belief, along with the other nine from your list, will help keep you totally authentic and true to yourselves throughout the wedding planning process.


3. PRIORITISE THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS YOU WANT ON THE DAY

So now you know your motivation (the Why) and your core value or belief (the What) you and your partner should sit down separately and make a list of the 20 individual things that are important priorities for you individually on your wedding day. Think about the day from start to finish and keep in mind the way you want to feel at each stage. When you are both finished then sit together and compare your lists - what things do you both have on your lists? Make a single lint of 10 things that each of you had as an individual priority or that you realise you should have listed but didn’t. This is the DIAMOND LIST! Stick is somewhere you can easily see it, make sure you don’t loose it because this will be where each of you can return to your shared priorities for the day when the going gets tough in your planning or you have other competing priorities and decisions to make. As your planning progresses always refer back to these priorities to ensure you are on track!


4.TALK ABOUT THESE ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS

You will be surprised how quickly time flies in the lead up to a wedding. You might be thinking you have oodles of time yet, but even if the deadline isn’t looming, it’s never too early to make sure you and your partner are on the same page by considering things like….


  • What’s the most important feeling we want during our wedding - fun, relaxed, happy, elated, excited, relieved, energised?

  • In our ideal minds what does our wedding really look and feel like - eloping with just us two and 2 witnesses, a small imitate gathering with our closest only, a great big party with all our friends, a traditional religious church wedding with a huge extended family, Do we see our wedding as a small, intimate, gathering?

  • What time of the year and season is it? Is it cold, wet, warm, hot, colourful?

  • Where are we? A registry office, a grand cathedral, a rustic barn, on the beach, at a significant location, a luxury hotel with a great scenic views, a vineyard or a tropical island?

  • What is the aesthetic and vibe of our wedding? Rustic, Boho, Chic, Cosmopolitan, Elegant, Classy, Luxurious? Do we want more of an old fashioned romantic feel or a new-age modern look.

  • What about traditions - how important is that to us? Do we have family traditions, expectations or obligations that we want to include?

  • What do we want to have after the wedding day is actually over? Memories in a beautiful Wedding Album, Wall Art on the walls of our home, Digitals only that we may or may not print later, Images and Film to share with family and friends on social media or via email, a big Honeymoon?

  • As a couple what parts of the wedding are our highest priority? If we couldn't include everything which parts would we be willing to trim back or take out altogether

  • Wedding budgets can sometimes come under strain, and often you end up getting what you pay for! I remind couples that it can be false economy to spend a fortune on all the elements of their wedding to be left with nothing or very little at the end of the day - the guests will go home, the cake will be eaten, the flowers will wilt and the dress will be stored - what will remain are your photographs and film as life long memories and documented family history for both you as a couple and generations to come. So think hard about what is truly informant to you and decide what are the biggest financial priorities for you as a couple? The number of invited Guests, High-quality food, Open bar, Dresses/Suits, Bridal Party Gifts, Make-up and Hair, Venue, Photographer, Videographer, Music, Cars/Limos, Wedding Day/Night Accommodation, Honeymoon? What are the least priority for you? What things are you not prepared to scrimp on and what are we willing to cut back a bit on or do without if necessary?


5. STOP AND SMELL THE COFFEE A LITTLE - THIS IS EXCITING AND FUN - DON’T STRESS OUT ABOUT IT - IT WILL ALL BE OKAY IN THE END!

As the overwhelm starts to creep up - and it will - pause, breathe and remember the this is exciting and fun! Although the day is important for your family, friends and well wishers, it's actually NOT about them, it’s your wedding day not theirs! So when the going gets a little tough you might find yourself loosing a bit of your excitement and wedding planning mojo - just realise this is completely normal, everyone feels it at some point, and take a bit of time out for yourself to reconnect with your original wedding day motivation, values and beliefs and the vision you and your partner have for it all (remember that stuff you wrote down!).


It’s perfectly okay if you don’t have all the answers just yet, the importing thing is for you and your partner to start to consider and work through them. It’s a lot to take in at first, but remember that you just need to take it a bite at a time and you will get there! The process may ebb and flow in the emotions you feel from time to time (excitement, happiness, anxiety, doubt etc) - just know that every couple grows through this, and their wedding is always totally AWESOME on the day - yours will be too!


If at anytime it does just swamp you both out - remember you can always hire a wedding planner to do it all for you (but it might not be how you would have done it) or you can always choose to just keep it about you two and no one else and elope (we did and it was absolutely fabulous!)


So start those 5 Steps and before you know it - YOU GOT THIS!


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