OMG I FINALLY DID IT! Excuse the interruption, but after years and years of being asked how to actually find a wedding venue, I have created a free wedding vendor directory site for New Zealand, Fiji, Rarotonga and Samoa, which enables couples to search and find hundreds of wedding venues in one place! This article is still full of lots of handy tips on how to find a wedding venue, but the smartest thing you can do right now is check our “Our Wedding“!
Why you should treat Wedding Planning like you would a Holiday
Cast your mind back to your last holiday… hopefully it wasn’t too long ago! Now, just a little further back, to the day you single-handedly arranged your:
- time off work;
- pet and plant care;
- flights and transfers;
- international visas and vaccinations;
- travel insurance;
- tours and activities;
- shopping excursions; and
Oh… you didn’t plan your last holiday all at once? You took it step by step and organised one small and distinct element at a time until you had a wonderfully planned adventure?
So why are you trying to plan your wedding like that?
It’s as though the moment you get engaged, you get taken over by an unstoppable urge to organise. To get everything done. Right now. Immediately.
That isn’t necessary.
Wedding planning may not be quite as relaxing as a holiday (that’s why you also plan a honeymoon…) but if you treat it as such, it’ll be a lot more enjoyable! P.S. If you are planning a holiday, save $40 with each reservation you make on Booking.com. Sneaky tip… I book each night of accommodation separately so I can save $40 per night! That’s at least two extra cocktails by the pool 🙋🏼
Wedding Planning at a Reasonable Pace…
Most couples begin planning their wedding around 12 months in advance (for this reason, the little white book is also a 12 month diary). If you’ve got 12+ months til your wedding, even if it feels like there are 1200 decisions to make (there aren’t) you don’t need to tackle all of these to-do’s at once. Pace yourself. First things first though:
- Before you start wedding planning
- Start your wedding budget
- Write your guest list (without offending anyone)
Yes, there are some things to do before it’s “too late” – that is, before all the best wedding vendors are booked up. At around 10-12 months out, you may wish to at least choose your wedding venue. It’s also the perfect time to view wedding venues, because the climate ought to be the same and grounds similar.
Once you’ve got your venue booked, there’s really no rush to make a lot of other plans. I suggest you take it slow and simple and set just a few priorities, don’t go overboard trying to have it all (read The Life Changing Magic of Wedding Planning).
Planning by Numbers: Wedding Planning
Remember painting by numbers as a child? That’s where a picture is divided into each part, and allocated a number which needs to be coloured in. Number 9 = red, for example… and you’ll paint all of one number before moving onto the next.
Wedding planning is another (fun) task which can be done according to the numbers – some things are best to do 12 months, 6 months, or 3 months out from the wedding (and everything in between). Not only do you not need to rush ahead to the next number, it can actually be detrimental to do so.
If you try to do everything at once you:
- get overwhelmed – and that’s no fun!
- get bored – wedding planning becomes a mundane task!
- make mistakes – possibly expensive ones!
- may even change your mind over the next few months!
Break wedding planning down into manageable chunks instead – follow my timeline guides linked above, and the checklists set out throughout your wedding planner book.
Take your Time & Do Your Research
You wouldn’t book the first hotel you came across, so don’t be in a rush to book the first wedding vendor you like the style of. I know you’re afraid of losing the opportunity to book your favourites, but it’s worth doing your research and taking your time. There’s a lot to think about with each of your wedding vendors – especially your wedding venue.
The little white planning pack includes all those questions and much more, because rushing into important and expensive decisions will only cause you major headaches down the line.
Only the Essentials!
Okay, I’m actually the world’s worst holiday packer, I take a lot of things I don’t end up using, and forget half of what I really need… but I always leave room in my suitcase for more! Over the years I’ve taught myself just to take the essentials, anything else can be found en route or at your destination.
Different reasoning applies but when organising your wedding, you don’t need to go overboard and have everything, just because you can have everything. Read The Life Changing Magic of Wedding Planning.
Keep a Journal
Did your parents make you keep travel journals when you were a kid? Mine did… I hated every moment of it I’m sure, but I love the insight and memories they now give me. Keep a wedding diary and look back on it for years to come.
If you’re married and heading on your honeymoon, or another holiday with your spouse, consider taking I still do along for the journey too. We’ll be taking ours on next week’s trip.
Many people find wedding planning stressful or totally overwhelming, but I truly think you will enjoy it if you shift your focus. It can be easy to get swept up in lots of little details, and lose sight of the bigger picture – that is the sentiment and importance of the day itself. Refocus – you’re planning a celebratory party with your nearest and dearest, they don’t care what it all looks like or how much you spend on your wedding dress, they just want to see you happy and smiling.
Head to the wedding planning index and only do what you enjoy – and what you know will make you feel good!