Wedding Planning – What To Book When

It’s an interesting experience now being on the other side of Weddings. I recently proposed to my girlfriend of almost 8 years (yeah I know, about time) when we were over in Rarotonga at Labour Weekend. That in itself was interesting. Not only did she almost bust me in the jewellery shop at the Auckland Airport before we even left but halfway in to the holiday she also found the receipt that I (stupidly) took out of my bag while sorting it out and put it on the TV cabinet in the hotel room. Anyway, the surprise of it happening was lost except for the possibility of me asking her on the trip or not. About 24 hours later I did. On the beach on a beautiful sunny afternoon. Phew! First task done right?!

 
The thing is, and the point I’m making, is now rather than being on the side of helping others with their Wedding entertainment, I’m now in the position of organising my own Wedding and there’s a bunch of stuff I need to sort before I think about the entertainment. Things like the date, the venue, the budget, who to invite and the list goes on!

 
I think the first task is coming up with an estimated budget. I say estimated because you don’t really have any idea how much it’s going cost so the first thing we started doing is researching venues. This is the most expensive part of a Wedding if you include the venue hire plus the food and a drinks package (both typically a based on a ‘per person’ rate). You would think after over 16 years of DJaying all over Auckland and beyond I would know the perfect venue…I don’t. Typically, I paid no attention. I mean I know have contacts I’ve developed at many venues but that kind of all goes out the window until we have worked out what we want.

 
I think you need to do some investigation in to venues first and foremost and have discussions with your partner around what you both want, what style of Wedding, an approx. number of guests…and from there, you may then have a very slight idea to be able to work out the budget, the date etc. After all, the date may depend on what venues are available and these are often booked out well in advance, especially if you found a venue you really love.

 
So what do you book and when?
I’m writing this because entertainment is something people leave till last when Wedding planning, when in theory this should also be booked around the same time as your other suppliers. To get a quality DJ or band, getting in contact early is important as they are typically booked out well in advance. If you are getting married in the peak Wedding season (January-April) or on a Saturday this is more of more importance. If you’re planning a Wedding around the lead up to Christmas remember you’ll also be competing with Work Christmas Parties.

At the time you are starting to lock in your venue, photographer, videographer, florists, caterers and celebrant, also start investigating your entertainment. This will help to avoid disappointment down the track. This is typically done 12-18 months in advance.

All the best with your Wedding planning. I know I’ll need it!
 

11 Wedding Tips For Newly Engaged Couples Planning Their Wedding

Planning a wedding can be tricky and overwhelming, but not if you break it down into bite-sized chunks.

Here are 11 Wedding tips for newly engaged couples planning their Wedding you can follow:
 

1. Set a Timetable

The minute you get engaged, everyone will be asking for your wedding date. A typical engagement lasts anywhere from six months to a year and a half or more, but also think about what season you’d prefer, any major holidays or family events you’d like to avoid conflicting with, and how long you predict you’ll need to plan.
 

2. Dream Up Your Style and Pick a Location

Close your eyes and picture your fantasy wedding. What do you see? While you’re picturing your perfect wedding, here are some key questions to consider:

  • Big (everyone you know) or small (just close friends and family)?
  • Outdoors or in? Home (one of your hometowns or your current city) or away (a destination wedding)?
  • Modern, classic, romantic, vintage, rustic or all-out glam?
  • Fancy, casual or somewhere in between?
  •  

    3. Set Your Budget

    Sit down with your families and figure out how much everyone is contributing. This number will affect every decision and purchase you make, so be sure to work out your budget before you start planning.
     

    4. Draft a Guest List

    As you begin to build your guest list, you’ll need to consider a number of factors. If you have a particular ceremony or reception site in mind, for instance, you’re going to be limited by how many people it can accommodate. Keep in mind that more guests means higher prices, as catering costs are generally calculated on a per-head basis.
     

    5. Register

    Worried that you’ll look gift-grabby if you register ? Don’t! With all the engagement parties , bridal showers and well-wishing relatives in your future, everyone will appreciate your foresight.
     

    6. Insure Your Engagement Ring

    There are two basic ways to do it: As an extension of your renter’s or home owner’s policy, or through a company that specializes in jewelry insurance.
     

    7. Choose Your Wedding Party

    Remember, the earlier you ask, the sooner you can enlist their help. And keep in mind that your wedding party is agreeing to spend their hard-earned money and donate their precious time.
     

    8. Consider Hiring a Consultant

    If you’re a super-busy couple, have demanding jobs or have big dreams for your wedding weekend, then you should hire a full-time wedding planner to help you prepare your entire event. You can also hire a part-time consultant to devise a wedding blueprint before you launch solo into the preparations. Another option is a day-of coordinator, who will make sure everything goes smoothly on your wedding day.
     

    9. Book a Venue for Your Preferred Date

    Your reception venue will become the backdrop for virtually all your photos and can influence everything from heavy hitters like your budget and guest list to smaller details like your menu . Ensure that you get the look, price and extras you want by scouring local listings, shopping around, scheduling visits and booking early.
     

    10. Scout for Your Priority Vendors

    If you just can’t imagine getting married without a certain local band playing at the reception or a photographer whose work you love, act fast. Many top wedding photographers and other in-demand vendors are hired more than a year in advance, and once they’re booked, they’re gone.
     

    11. Shop for a Wedding Dress

    Begin your search by browsing dress photos online. Then, learn the lingo before setting foot in a dress salon. Read up on silhouettes, necklines, trains and hues that might flatter you. The season will also affect your choice.
     

    Source: NZ Bride