Lindy Cooke Celebrant wedding flowers, exchanging rings, ceremonies

10 biggest things brides forget!

A wedding can be small and intimate, a big glitzy affair or something in between. Whichever one you choose, here are a few things which some brides may forget in all the excitement. Now that you know them, they shouldn’t happen to you!

1.  Start planning early

Even if your wedding is months or over a year away, it’s always a good idea to have a checklist of things to be done and tick items off the list regularly. In Australia, a Notice of Intended Marriage can be lodged with a celebrant between one and 18 months before a marriage but some couples book even earlier than that and complete the NOIM during the legal timeframe. I always provide couples with a checklist as part of the resource folder I lend to them. This is separated into sections (i) As Soon As Possible After Your Engagement; (ii) Two Months Ahead; (iii) One Month Ahead; (iv) One to Two Weeks Ahead; and (v) On Your Return From Your Honeymoon.

2.  Establish a budget early on

The amount you have available will depend on whether you and your partner are paying for everything or if perhaps one or both sets of parents are covering or sharing some of the expenses. If you need to make savings, consider what are deal-breakers for you where you’re not prepared to compromise. Perhaps you could arrive in a special car owned by a friend, create your own stationery (save the dates, invitations, thank you cards etc.), have your ceremony at dawn followed by a wedding breakfast or in the afternoon followed by cocktails and h’ordeuvres or even a high tea, rather than a three course meal at your reception, or you could perhaps ask a friend who’s interested in music to be your DJ at the reception. What you decide to compromise on will, ultimately, depend on what’s important to you.

3.  Keep a folder with details of all your arrangements

Include in this the contracts you sign with your suppliers. It’s important to have everything in writing so that you know exactly where you stand with regard to the bookings you make. It’s also a good idea to create either a separate email account just for wedding-related messages so that you can delete it after your marriage, or a separate folder (at least) in your normal email account where you can file all your wedding-related messages.

4.  Try to be flexible

Your arrangements will evolve as each decision is made so, what you first thought was a fantastic idea, may no longer suit the style you’re creating.

5.  Ask for help

Your bridesmaids and groomsmen are there to support you so let them know what you need help with and ask them if they can lend a hand. If you have a good relationship with your parents or other family members, they too may be able to help as well.

6.  Tap into your celebrant’s resources

Every couple is different and each ceremony is unique but your celebrant is likely to have lots of contacts for other reliable suppliers, sample vows, suggestions for readings, ideas for your music and loads of other information on hand which can save you hours of research time.

7.  Make a list of “must have” photographs

Make sure your photographer is aware of the photographs which you “must have”. This is one day that you won’t be able to repeat so it’s important that you capture the images which will have significance to you for years to come.

8.  Include your partner in the discussion process

Your wedding day is about the commitment you and your partner are making to one another. He may not be overly interested in the flowers you choose for your bouquet or the table decorations but he may well like to have an input in the clothes the men in the bridal party will be wearing, the cars you’ll be arriving in and what songs will be played during your ceremony. Sharing the decision making is just the start of all those decisions you’ll be making jointly in the future.

9.  Check and double-check all your arrangements

It’s a good idea to confirm all your arrangements a week or two before your big day. If something has been missed, you will have time to make an alternative plan.

10.  Remember to have fun!

Your celebrant will often be able to put your mind at rest about how and when things happen in the lead up to and on your big day so that you can enjoy your wedding knowing that you’re in good hands.This is a once-in-a-lifetime day so you’ll want to remember it for all the right reasons. Try not to stress if something doesn’t go exactly to plan. It’s likely that no-one else will know and, as long as you’re marrying the person you love, you will have the most important thing covered.

018 – 30/06/2015

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