Lindy Cooke Celebrant

Easy ideas to help you have a fabulous wedding day!

A little advance planning will save a lot of stress

♥  Bridal expos

Try to attend one or more bridal expos in the lead up to your wedding day. You will collect lots of valuable inspiration and information from wedding suppliers and see first-hand how they dress, how they have decorated their stand and how they interact with you. It’s likely there will be quite a few to choose from and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. So, let your first impression be your guide, then check out a few websites, Facebook pages and look at the quality and content of the printed material you have been given to take home. You can then follow up with a phone call to the suppliers you plan to use and, if everything still sounds really promising, arrange to meet them, with your partner, for a coffee and a chat so that you have some quiet time to get to know each other better.

 ♥  Create a new email address

Consider creating a new email address for communications from wedding related suppliers. This can be an “alias” connected to your normal account which, after your big day, can be deleted so that you no longer receive unwanted notifications.

 ♥  Wedding checklist

Ask your celebrant or wedding venue if they have a wedding checklist they can give you so that you can cross off those important little details in the lead up to your big day.

 ♥  Confirm arrangements in writing

Make sure everything you arrange with your wedding suppliers is in writing and that their refund policy, if any, is clearly stated. If you’re not sure about anything, always check so you know each little detail has been covered.

 ♥  Testimonials

Word of mouth is a valuable way to receive testimonials from others about specific suppliers. Just take note, though, that you are only hearing one side of the equation. In particular, if you are reading the comments and don’t actually know the person making them, you may not have all the facts of the situation at your disposal.

 ♥  Bridal party

When choosing your bridal party, discuss upfront who will be paying for what expenses so that there can be no confusion later on e.g. the bride may choose to pay for the bridesmaids’ dresses and jewellery while the bridesmaids may be happy to pay for their shoes, hair and makeup. Also, if your bridesmaids have different body shapes, consider selecting a colour theme and allowing your bridesmaids to choose different dresses in that particular shade.

 ♥  Perfume

Splurging on a new perfume is a great way to capture the day’s memories. Every time you smell the fragrance, your mind will be brought back to your wedding.

 ♥  Shoes

Practise walking around in the shoes you have chosen for your wedding day a week or so beforehand so that you feel comfortable wearing them for the ceremony and official photos. Have something else on standby that’s comfortable to wear the rest of the time if you need to.

 ♥  Wedding website

Consider setting up a special wedding website where your guests can view, in the one place, all the details about your wedding that you would like them to know e.g. directions to the venue, accommodation options, wedding registry,  RSVPs etc. You could also make this the place where they upload their photos after the ceremony for you to view at a later time.

 ♥  Favourite songs

Consider leaving space on your RSVPs for guests to note their favourite dance floor song so that you can ensure that varied tastes are catered for at your reception.

 ♥  Practise anything new and different

Many couples will choose to have a rehearsal with their celebrant a week or two before their big day. This is a good time to practise the speed you walk “down the aisle”, the positions of your bridal party and to ensure that the person looking after your chosen music is comfortable playing it through your celebrant’s PA system. It will also give your flower girl/s and ring bearer more confidence in their roles. In addition to this, if you have chosen both of the bride’s parents, or both sets of parents, or your guests as a group to respond to a question during your ceremony (e.g. who brings this woman to be married to this man), ask your celebrant to practise this with your guests before your arrival so that they know the answer that’s expected of them.

 ♥  Unplugged wedding

Similarly, if you wish to have an unplugged wedding, one where mobile phones and cameras are not in use during your ceremony (except for your chosen photographer), ask your celebrant to advise or remind your guests of this before your arrival and encourage them to take as many pictures as possible afterwards and share them with you.

 ♥  Engagement ring

Make arrangements to have your engagement ring cleaned a day or so before your wedding day so that it sparkles when placed next to your wedding ring after the ceremony.

 ♥  Back-up plan

Most brides hope for fine weather on their wedding day. It’s important, though, to have a back-up plan in case of inclement weather such as thunderstorms or if it’s blowing a gale. Once all your guests are assembled in their finery and the bridal party has arrived, you will have the most amazing collection of colours so, if the space at your alternative venue isn’t decorated beforehand, it won’t be a massive problem. Remember, too, if your celebrant will be using a PA system, this can only be used when the weather’s fine or, if it’s not raining too hard, if someone is happy to hold an umbrella over it. The alternative is to move the ceremony under cover so that your wedding gown, shoes, hair and makeup continue to look beautiful and the electrical components in the PA aren’t damaged

 ♥  Love notes

If you’re having a long engagement, write a special love note to your partner every day for a year before your wedding and then arrange to swap notes. Read a new one every day after your wedding to remind yourself how much you love each other.

 ♥  Children at the reception

If you’re having children at your reception, plan some fun things to occupy them such as supplying colouring pencils, paper and puzzles at each table or you could even consider employing a babysitter for a few hours.

 ♥  Guest book

If you have a guest book or equivalent, allocate someone to ensure that all your guests have had an opportunity to sign it at your reception.

 ♥  Wedding presents

Make sure you ask someone responsible to collect your wedding presents, cards and any special mementoes that you’d like to keep from your reception. You may find that the venue assumes any leftover favours/decorations etc. are unwanted and disposes of them after you have left.

 ♥  Certificate of Marriage

If you’re going away on a honeymoon after your wedding, remember to take your couple’s Certificate of Marriage with you (the decorative one your Celebrant will leave with someone you trust on the day.) If you show this to businesses while you’re away, you may be offered upgrades for accommodation etc. If you’re not going away, allocate someone responsible to collect this from your celebrant and deliver it to you at some stage after the wedding.

 ♥  Have fun!

Lastly, if something doesn’t go quite to plan, just remember that most people will have no idea what you had organised. For them, everything will have gone perfectly. You will have been part of an awesome party with your nearest and dearest around you and will now be married to the one you love. At the end of the day, that’s what truly matters.

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