Are you planning your big day? We’ve got your essential Wedding Planning tips as revealed by our Head Wedding Planner Ally! If you could go back in time what advice would you give your past self? Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but not once you’ve already spent tens of thousands of dollars on your Wedding Day! To help you cheat hindsight, Ally and Lucy recently chatted on the pod about the top tips and advice brides and grooms wish they knew before tying the knot. Plus Ally shared her essential list of considerations she swears by when planning a wedding! If you’ve just started your wedding planning journey, these tips are for you. We’ve popped a little episode recap for you below, or tune into the episode to hear Lucy and Ally’s chat here!

We hope these tips come in handy! xo

Photo credit: Thomas Stewart

Common wedding planning mistakes to avoid!

If your best friend has already married the partner of their dreams, I’m sure they’ve given you a list of wedding day regrets, tips and tricks.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but the problem is of course that it’s knowledge we gain after the big event has happened. Which isn’t much help after you have already overspent on your wedding budget and walked down the aisle.

So, this week, Luce and I dive into the things that we wish we’d known when planning our big day. Sharing my top 11 tips as well tips from a few of our amazing now married wedBooker brides.

We want you to reflect on your big day with no regrets, so here are our tips!

What is the first thing couples should do when starting their wedding planning journey?

Write yourself a realistic budget! Don’t just guess, weddings often cost more than we think so collate some quotes and put in an average cost. Reaching out to a few suppliers early on will help you better determine how much your dream day will cost and if that is a realistic budget for you.

Once you have a good idea on costs, tick off the big-ticket items first. By securing your venue, transport, flowers, entertainment and dress you should then be left with a clear understanding of how much budget you have left to spend on the remaining items such as signage, table settings and styling.

How do you avoid wanting absolutely everything?

You don’t NEED the gold cutlery; no one will notice. Don’t get carried away with the wedding Pinterest board or trying to re-create that Instagram wedding you are scrolling past. It’s so easy to lose sight of your day and get caught up trying to re-create a wedding you’ve seen on insta, right down to the gold cutlery. We are all guilty of getting caught up spending money on things that just don’t really make that much of a difference or that your guests are unlikely to even notice.

If your venue has nice cutlery and its included, do you have to spend the additional $500 of budget to hire in gold cutlery just because?!

What is your tip for wedding dress shopping?

Only go to bridal shops that have dresses you love and are within your budget. There is no point in trying on a $20k dress or even a $10k dress if your budget is half of this. You’ll fall in love with the dress and end up heartbroken. Tell the shop assistant what you budget is and which styles you love and let them pick the right dresses for you.

There are also some amazing websites available to purchase pre-loved dresses, the best part about buying a second-hand wedding dress is that is has only been worn once and may be half the price.

Top tip when securing your venue?

Always read the venue contract. If you have already locked in your venue, congratulations. Grab that contract and let’s read the fine print.

If you are on the hunt for the perfect venue, ask them what is and isn’t included with your hire to help you better understand what you may need to bring in yourself.

Does your venue offer an event coordinator to assist you when organising your big day, if so, to what capacity? This may mean you don’t need a wedding planner which is a nice saving.

Do they have a minimum spend on food and beverages you need to meet? Most venues do, this will help you to determine how many people you should be inviting to meet this spend without going too far over it if you don’t have too.

Finally, have a look at the venue layout, if you go over say 150pax will that take up some of your precious dancefloor space. Is there a bar to serve guests drinks from or do they only offer table service?

How do you manage the guestlist?

Keep your guest list to the people you truly love. Honestly, cut the drama, you don’t need friends or family creating unnecessary distraction or drama on your wedding day. If your friend’s boyfriend seems to drink too much and make a fool of himself, do you want him there with you celebrating your dream day?

How important is having a honeymoon straight after the wedding?

Book the honeymoon, or mini moon! Escape somewhere straight after your big day if you can, you’ll be in the most beautiful love bubble heading off somewhere together, even if it’s just to a hotel room or a Airbnb down the road for a night or two you don’t want to miss that post wedding moment together.

find and book wedding image

What supplier do many couples forgo and regret later?

If you’re thinking about a Videographer, book it, you won’t regret it. So many of us toss up whether a videographer is worth it or not, which is understandable because it does come at an additional cost and is a luxury. But, let me just say, I’ve never heard a couple say ‘gosh, we probably didn’t need that videographer’. Your wedding video is something that you will watch year on year, it will show you parts of the day you may have missed – your dad dancing with your bestie or your friends having drinks while you were off having photos. If it fits in your budget, don’t regret it and book the videographer.

Photographer is a must have, why is it so important?

It’s so important to choose the right photographer. The photos are what you will still be looking back on in 2, 10, 50 years so choose a photographer you love and take the time to brief them to make sure they get the shots you’ll cherish for a lifetime.

Managing your bridal stress.

Delegate, delegate, delegate. It’s your wedding day, you want to be able to relax and enjoy the lead up to your big day and the wedding day itself.

Your friends and family are often asking how they can help, assign them tasks such as helping to organise the transport, folding your hand made place cards and more. If you’re a busy bride, remember booking a wedding planner isn’t just for big extravagant weddings, planners are there to help you manage the stress and ensure you find the best suppliers and most planners will have packages to suit every size wedding and budget. Just don’t leave it to the last minute to decide you need a planner, save yourself the stress and book them early.

Last tip, something so many brides think but nobody says out loud.

Your house deposit isn’t worth your wedding. Trust me! Spend within your means, I know right now it feels like your whole world, but you’ll thank us 3 months after your big day when you still have your deposit to start the next chapters of your lives as well. Splash out on your big day but just remember you have a whole beautiful life together afterwards. It should be your dream but within your means as well.  It’s tough love I know, but so many of us lose sight of life after the wedding. The number one regret I hear from brides is that they overspent and are now re-saving for a home.

Bonus tip – take a moment with your partner

There is a reason you hear almost every married couple suggest you take a moment with your partner among the fun and celebrations.   Taking a moment with your partner during the photos, conversations and dance-floor is really important, after all, your wedding day is about the two of you and you should share a simple, quiet loving moment together to say, ‘wow how amazing has this been’.

Photo credit: Thomas Stewart

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Or in the mood for more tips from Lucy and Ally? Here’s another episode you might enjoy…