CONGRATULATIONS, YOU ARE ENGAGED!
We realize that wedding planning can be overwhelming and in the begining you have no idea how to start and therefore, as experienced wedding photographers and videographers, we created for you this wedding guide.
We are Pavel and Vera, best friends, soul mates, husband and wife, and passionate wedding photographers and videographers travelling across all Australia and New Zealand.
HOW EXCITING THIS MOMENT IS!
You should take some time before you start with planning and enjoy your engagement and also share this news with your family. Be prepared for that you will have to tell your engagement story a million times in the next following days. Also, everyone will be asking when and where are you getting married.
JUST RELAX AND DON’T STRESS ABOUT IT.
Anyone, who already got married, is now an expert so don’t take their advice so seriously.
This is a great way how to celebrate your engagement with your families and friends. Also, a good opportunity for your extended family to get to know each other before the actual wedding so they don’t feel like strangers on your day.
If this idea overwhelms you, you don’t have to do a party of the year. It can be just a family dinner, gathering in a park or your home. If you have more budget, you can hire a catered space or book a self-catered venue, where you can bring your food and drinks.
As this is a great practice before your wedding planning, don’t plan everything on your own. You can allocate some tasks to your bridesmaids.
Lastly, have fun!
3. PICK A STYLE
Before you start with any planning, it’s important to figure out what you both like and how you want your day to look like.
We recommend to book a dinner at your favourite place and have a glass of wine (maybe two, haha) and now imagine how you see each other on the day. Are you walking barefoot on the beach? Or are you having your reception outside with candle lights following a first dance under the stars?
Or are you walking up together green rolling hills and feed alpacas?
Talk openly about what you like and dislike.
Then, go to Pinterest for inspiration but don’t feel pressured to follow any trends.
It’s your wedding so make it your own!
4. CHOOSE A DATE
Most couples get married on the same date they were engaged or on their anniversary. This seems very romantic, however, you are very limited in terms of finding available vendors, such as venue or photographer, you might love. It is better to have a rough date and be flexible to change.
Keep in mind that the most popular venues are booked one and half years to a year in advance.
Also, the most popular seasons for weddings are spring and autumn because it is neither too hot nor cold so if you want to get married in these months you shouldn’t hesitate with booking your vendors too long.
Check with your families, if the date you chose, suit them if they are not planning any holiday.
Ok, so you figured out the date so now it’s time to look for a venue.
Before you start looking, ask yourself these questions:
Is your wedding big or small? (how many guests)
Indoor or outdoor?
Close to home or interstate/overseas?
What style? Romantic, classic, modern, boho, beach, rustic, vintage?
Use Google and Instagram for looking. Type place plus keyword “wedding venue”.
Before you book a venue, you should also check your photographer’s availability if there is someone you really love (see point 6 – Find a photographer).
The national average cost of a wedding is $31,368, according to The Easy Weddings 2018 Survey.
It’s important to ask how much you and your fiance can realistically spend and save between now and the wedding.
You will spend almost 50% of your budget on your venue so how many guests you will invite matter!
Don’t feel obligated that you have to invite everyone.
It’s your wedding and you should spend your day with the closest one and people you feel comfortable around them.
Anyway, you won’t have time to talk to every single person if you invite 100 guests.
Mid-week weddings are cheaper. Also, some venues and other vendors may have a special price during the off-peak season (summer, winter).
The good idea is to start a wedding savings account and transfer every moth a regular amount.
You can also ask families how much they are willing to contribute.
7. FIND A PHOTOGRAPHER & VIDEOGRAPHER
You should start looking for a photographer around the same time as for the venue.
THE MOST POPULAR PHOTOGRAPHERS ARE BOOKED ONE AND HALF YEAR IN ADVANCE.
Before you dive deep into looking it’s definitively worth to jump onto Pinterest or Instagram and start pinning photos you love. Once you create your board ask yourself what do they have in common. Are they light and airy or darker and moody, are they posed or candids?
You determined the style you like so now you can jump on Google and Instagram again and start looking for a photographer.
I know budget is important but remember this is the day that will not happen again. You invest in your wedding dress, flowers, styling, hair, make-up, cake, food, drinks and all other things that will make your day amazing but they won’t exist in a year
DON’T CUT YOUR BUDGET ON PHOTOS
All you will have are memories and your photos and video to remind you your perfect day. We have heard so many times people regretting their choices of not investing in good quality photos and believe us we made the same mistake with our wedding. You can always cut your budget on other things but you shouldn’t do this with the only one thing which will remain for the rest of your life.
When looking for a photographer, you should also start thinking about a wedding video. I’m not talking about an hour-long video but you can get 5 minutes highlight video where you have the most important moments such as seeing your fiance expression as you walk down the aisle, your faces when you say your vows, your parents crying during the ceremony, etc. Many photographers now offer combined (photo & video) packages which are more affordable than hiring a photographer & videographer separately.
As soon as you find the person which style and personality you like, don’t wait and ask for availability and pricing. Don’t expect they will hold your date. Until the retainer is paid and the agreement signed, they won’t secure your date. We have had so many couples which we had to turn down because they waited so long and someone else booked their date. It always breaks our hearts.
“Thank you, we both love it sooo much and cannot believe how well you were able to capture our personalities in less than 4 minutes. We will never regret choosing to get videography on our special day and will treasure it forever ♥”
~ Ashleigh Irwin ~
8. FIND A CELEBRANT
A celebrant plays an important part in your wedding. They will set the mood for the ceremony and have a big impact on how you and your guests will remember it. They will also help you to feel comfortable and at ease, therefore it is important to choose the right one.
How to choose the right one? It is very important to feel a personal connection between you and your celebrant. This is a person who marries you and not just anyone. Also, check their website and social media and see how confident and experienced they are in public speaking. They should also do all legal paperwork, help with your vows and create a customised ceremony for you.
Be prepared to invest in a professional one. We are happy to recommend some great celebrants!
If you are a tech-savvy person and you want to simplify your wedding planning, definitively “Yes” for a wedding website.
This will be a go-to place for all guests for wedding information so they don’t have to bombard you with every single question.
What you should include:
Location and how to get there
What time it starts
If there is a hotel nearby
Transportation, e.g. shuttle bus
Information about “unplugged wedding” – no cameras during your ceremony
Your story – how you met
Photos from an engagement photo session
This can also be a supplement to your wedding invitations so you will save money for design and printing. Most websites also have RVSP software, which is good if your venue changes ceremony time and so you don’t have to reprint your invitations.
10. BOOK OTHER WEDDING VENDORS
Once you lock in your venue and a photographer/videographer, you should also start thinking about your wedding dress. If you are opting for a custom-made dress, go shopping 9 to 12 months before your wedding. Otherwise, plan your visit to a bridal store 6 to 8 months in advance. With choosing the style, it’s important how comfortable you feel in the dress and if you can move freely around.
It’s a good idea to have a second pair of shoes for your bride & groom photos, which is comfortable (flat & light color). Most of the time, they are not visible under the dress anyway and you will appreciate it later in the evening on the dance floor as well.
Bridal magazines are a great source of inspiration. If there is anyone you like, jump on their website and Instagram. Make sure you have a trial. We have had a few brides complaining about their makeup being too dark, which is really not a good thing you want to solve on your day. Also, be very careful with a tan. It’s very difficult to correct orange skin tone in post-processing and cannot be done on 700 photos.
Do you need only a bridal bouquet or are you looking for someone to style an arbour and reception tables? Establish your flower style (Go to Pinterest).
Don’t choose a cake before you pick your wedding style. You should have your venue, dress and floral arrangements sorted out before you go to talk to your cake maker. Three tiers cake will serve 50 to 100 people. Enjoy tasting!
It sets the vibe of your wedding. Ask yourself what type of music you like and what atmosphere you want to create. You can choose between a band, DJ or you can create own list.
For your morning preparation. It shouldn’t be further than 15 minutes from your venue. Some venues offer a wedding accommodation but that’s not always ideal. You should choose your accommodation based on the style of your wedding. If you have a beach wedding, look for a beach styled apartment. If you have a country wedding, look for a cabin. Generally, white walls and hardwood flooring work the best for photos. Also, how much light, room size and a number of people are super important as well!
If you are not getting ready at the venue, you will need to think about transportation. You can simply book Uber or arrive in style in a vintage vehicle, boat, motorcycle, helicopter, bus or VW Kombi.
Feeling overwhelmed by all planning? Don’t be scared to ask for help your bridesmaids and family or hire a wedding planner. If you can’t afford it, consider an “On the day coordinator”. These guys will communicate with all your vendors, manage your timeline and sort out any potential issues on the day so you can just relax and enjoy your day to the fullest.
We hope that this wedding guide will help you to start with planning your wedding and you will enjoy it.
We couldn’t describe every step in such detail and cover everything (that would be very long) but we are working on other recourses, which we will be happy to share very soon.
Meanwhile, if you have any questions, we would love to help.
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