Wedding Planning: Your Go-To Guide

Whether you’re looking to hold a simple ceremony in a government office, surrounded by family and a handful of your closest friends, or hold a wedding that would put royalty to shame, it’s not always an easy task to create the ideal wedding. What should be one of the most joyous days in your life can often create so much stress and anxiety that you’re completely burned out by the time the big day rolls around! This guide will make it so that the planning process is much less stressful and that you’re much less likely to have a nervous breakdown before the wedding day.

This guide is not just written for the bride to be; anyone involved in the planning of a wedding will find it useful. Whether you’re a clueless groom trying to get his head around all the details, or you’re a close friend of the bride, you’ll find that reading this guide will be well worth your time.

The first step in planning any wedding is to get clear on what you want. If you can’t figure this out then every step that follows is going to be more difficult. Getting clear on this isn’t always a straightforward task and sometimes it can take some time, so don’t rush it. Chances are you’ve been thinking about your ideal wedding for longer than you have been engaged so it’s not as if you need to start from scratch here. The crux of the issue is figuring out what really matters to you when it comes to your wedding. What are your personal values and how can you bring them out on your wedding day? This isn’t something to ruminate on alone either, after all your wedding is about the two of you, so discuss it with your partner and together try and come to an agreement as to what your wedding should look like.

The next step is to figure out whether you want to plan this all yourself or whether you’d be better off hiring a professional wedding planner. Depending on you and your requirements, there’s likely to be one of these that is far more appropriate than the other. If you’re after a simple ceremony and a reception with close friends and family, then chances are you won’t need a wedding planner to come in and jazz things up; the expense simply wouldn’t be warranted. However, if your budget is substantially larger and the type of wedding you dream of is complex, then a wedding planner could be the way to go for you. Another factor to take into consideration is how much time you have. If you’re after a large wedding but you have the time, then maybe it’s something you can handle yourself; it might even be fun! But if you’re short on time then outsourcing that work to someone else is the way to go and makes much more sense.

The next section of the guide is aimed at people looking to hire wedding planners to help with their wedding, so if you’ve decided that you’re going to handle it on your own, feel free to skip it.

Finding Your Wedding Planner

Ok, so you’ve decided to hire a professional for your wedding… now what do you do? The first step is to find a list of potential planners. Once you’ve got a list of the best made up you can then go through them one by one until you find the one that will do the trick for you. When evaluating wedding planners in your city there are a bunch of factors to consider. Not all wedding planners are made equal and even amongst the best there’s always going to be a couple that are better suited to what you’re after than the rest, so your job at this stage is to sort the wheat from the chaff.

Grab your list of local businesses and start the process by checking out their websites. Immediately this should help you identify a few that just won’t work for you. Maybe they specialise in different sorts of weddings, maybe they have a completely different style to what you’re after, but whatever the differentiator, you’ll be able to eliminate them quickly from the race and save yourself a bunch of time. Once you’ve cut down the list a little more you’ll be able to dig a little deeper to figure out who the best wedding planner is for you.

The best way to dig deeper is to pick up the phone or email the business with some questions. At this stage you will want to find out some more details about a few main areas. What sort of budget do they typically deal with? Is this in line with the budget you have set for your wedding? What will they do to help with the planning and what will they not do for you? It’s important to find this out before going too far ahead in the process. Finally consider how well they communicate; if they’re poor at communicating at the beginning of the process before you’re even a client, then you can only imagine how things will be when you’ve signed a contract and are waiting on them to deliver. A lot of the times a gut check will be important here; if they just don’t feel right, move on and select someone else. Unless you’re in a small town, chances are the right planner for you is out there, so don’t settle until you find them!

Below you’ll find some lists of some of the top wedding planners in major cities around Australia. They have not been vetted by us, but they have received positive reviews from other people.

Top Wedding Planners in Sydney

Top Wedding Planners in Melbourne

Top Wedding Planners in Brisbane

Top Wedding Planners on the Gold Coast

Top Wedding Planners in Perth

Top Wedding Planners in Adelaide

Top Wedding Planners in Canberra

Wedding Planning Anxiety

While your wedding should be one of the happiest days of your life, because it’s so important and people generally have such high expectations of the day, it can also be a source of stress and anxiety. One reason for this is that you’re going to be the centre of attention on the day. Everyone who is there is going to be there to see you get married, so it’s natural to feel nervous about something like that; in fact there’d be something wrong with you if you weren’t a little nervous. That said, you shouldn’t be having a nervous breakdown or undergoing serious mental distress because of your wedding. If you worry that you might be more stressed out and anxious than you should be, here are some tips to help.

Firstly, remember that all the people that will be there are your friends and family; that is, they’re people who care about you. This means, assuming you’ve only invited people close to you, that they all want the best for you. This also means that they are probably less critical of you than you are of yourself. Don’t believe me? Imagine that the shoe was on the other foot. Think of a wedding that you’ve been to and try to remember a detail that wasn’t quite right. Did you judge them for that or did you completely blank it and move on? If you’re having trouble remembering major mishaps (incidents involving drunken relatives aside) then it’s probably because you forgot all about them because they most certainly did happen!

Another way to de-stress is to exercise. Don’t think of it as running away from your problems, but running has been shown to be an effective way of dealing with stress. The chemicals that are released by your body during exercise are effective at counteracting some of the negative stress chemicals and leave you feeling better than before. So consider getting your running shoes on, even if you’re busy.

These tips can help with mild levels of anxiety that we all face from time to time, but if you’re worried that things are getting too much, then you might want to talk to a professional. Beyond Blue has a free anxiety and depression checklist available on their website, so if you’re at all worried about this, then this is probably a good place to start:

Anxiety & Depression Checklist

Stages of Wedding Planning

While everyone is different, there are good and bad ways to go about planning your wedding. Most of this comes down to how hard things are to book. For example, if you’re after a really popular spot to hold your wedding, you might need to book a year in advance or more, so you don’t want to wait around and lose your chance. The following list is a suggested way to go about planning your wedding that will maximise your chance of getting everything you want while making your life as easy as possible.

  • Scheduling
  • Location & Venue
  • Invitations
  • Bridal Party Selection
  • Ceremony
  • Flowers
  • Music
  • Caterers
  • Cake
  • Dress
  • Rings
  • Photography
  • Car
  • Vows
  • Honeymoon