Wedding Guide Handbook

Dreaming of bringing your Pinterest boards to life? Or do you just want a day where everyone gets along and makes it through the day? Your wedding style and day is entirely yours and yours alone.

If you are currently planning your wedding, and feeling the heat (understandably) don’t worry! Planning a wedding can sometimes be a nightmare.

This guide has been prepared just for you to reduce the stress and really enjoy the moments through-out your day.

I hear from lots of brides and while many say it was the best day of their life, many wish they could have enjoyed the ‘moments’ and let the day sink in. One bride said “it is when you look through your photos and videos of your day, that you go “oh wow! I couldn’t even remember that.”

Engraved Wedding Pen

To help you get started planning and preparing your wedding theme and style, answer these questions with your partner.

  • What type of Wedding do you want? Casual / Formal / Destination
  • How many guests? Check out our Guest List Manager for assistance!
  • Do you want to have a sit-down meal or finger food only?
  • What will be your wedding theme? i.e. Beachy, Rustic, Garden, Gatsby, Traditional?
  • Will you be needing transport to the wedding?
  • Will your guests need to organise accommodation?
  • Do you want to have children at your wedding?
  • Do you want any traditions at your wedding?
  • Will you have a Father Daughter Dance?
  • Will you have a Live Band or a DJ at your wedding?
  • What will be your wedding song? First Dance Song? Entering Reception Song?
  • Will you have a Wishing Well?
  • What is your Wedding Dress Budget?
  • Will you do the garter toss?
  • Will you have ring bearers and flower girls?
  • Will you need a wet weather back up plan?
  • Do you want your photographer at your ceremony AND reception?
  • Who do you want to make sure your photographer captures? Special Family members like grandparents?
  • How many speeches will you have?
  • Who will be your MC?
  • How many Bridesmaids and Groomsmen will you have?

Just like Robert C. Dodds says: "The goal in marriage is not to think alike, but to think together." By answering these questions, you and your partner will establish a general idea of what you both want for your special day.
It will also give you a good starting point as to your budget and what you can both afford to do.

Like many brides to be, knowing where to start is often the trickiest. To keep track of what you need to get done, we have the perfect list for you to refer to when planning your wedding:

Wedding Checklist


12 Months before11-10 Months before
  • Choose a Wedding Date
  • Start a Wedding file or scrapbook
  • Discuss Wedding Styles and Themes
  • Decide a Wedding Budget
  • Choose your Wedding Location
  • Start Shopping For ‘The Dress’
  • Choose your Bridal Party
  • Hire Reception and Ceremony location
  • Start Compiling Guest List
  • Organise Catering
  • Attend Wedding Expos
  • Organise your Save the Date 
9-8 Months before7-6 Months before
  • Hire Band or DJ
  • Secure Wedding Celebrant
  • Choose Wedding Cake
  • Decide on Bridesmaid Color/s
  • Book a Photographer or Videographer
  • Start Booking Honeymoon
  • Organise your Wedding Invitations
  • Choose Wedding Florist
  • Choose Hair and Makeup Artist
  • Shop for Bridesmaid Dresses + Suits
  • Hire Wedding Props / Photo booth 
5-4 Months before3-2 Months before
  • Send out your Wedding Invitations
  • Finalise RSVPs
  • Shop for Wedding Bands
  • Arrange Wedding Transportation
  • Arrange for hire of Decorations
  • Shop Bridal Party Gifts
  • Meet with your Wedding Celebrant 
1 Months before3-1 Weeks before
  • Apply for wedding license
  • Final Wedding dress fitting
  • Hair and Make-up Trial
  • Final Meetings with Wedding Suppliers
  • Shop Wedding Accessories
  • Hens & Bucks Nights
  • Pick up all Formal wear
  • Final Rehearsal
  • Final seating & floor plan
  • Give Caterer Final Head Count
  • Confirm Honeymoon & gather travel docs
  • Get a manicure and pedicure
  • Collect all legal documents
  • Relax and enjoy a Bath

 

It is inevitable that some things have to be left to the last minute and there are other things that you won’t always have control over. Ladies, you’re not alone and this is pretty normal for most brides….and some grooms too!

Our best tip is that you start planning early and make sure you enlist your bridesmaids and put them to work. Delegate a family member to ensure things run smoothly, such as times allowed to set up at the venue, wedding cake transport, flowers transport and arrival etc. This job is usually for the Bride, Parents of the Bride and Groom and/or the Maid of Honour.

More often than not, your friends and family are so excited for you that they would love helping you plan your special day.

 Above all, remember it’s your day and there’s no formula that you need to follow. 

Wedding couple

WEDDING STYLE

Establish the type and format of your wedding before booking venues.
Will it be a full sit-down meal, a backyard affair, cocktail party or a traditional service in a church? Make the day all about you by setting the style and scene early on.

The feel of your wedding should reflect your personality and style. Start by creating a scrapbook or Pinterest board and collect the things that you love – images, ideas, colours, favourite pieces and weave them all together to create an overall theme.

Incorporate the theme right from the beginning with your Save the Dates and Invitations. Keep your colour palette and design consistent right through to the smallest details on the day.

When planning a wedding, the “details” often come last. They are something that are planned at the end and unfortunately, they can sometimes be over looked.

Wedding details are what make your wedding unique and reflective of you both as couple. Details don’t have to blow the budget, they can be items that are of sentiment to you and displayed through a photo wall, photo table numbers of the bride and groom, thank you cards or a unique wedding guest book. These “details” are showing off your relationship and personal love for each other.

Wedding Details

WEDDING DETAILS

Wedding details can come in all shapes and sizes and some can be subtle or grand. Spend more time thinking about small details for your day and you’ll be able to create surprise and delight moments for your guests. If outdoor in summer, you could set engraved wedding fans on your guest’s chairs, or even have wedding flip flops ready for your guests before they head onto the sand for a beach wedding. Your guests will appreciate your thoughtfulness.

It is the subtle details that get your guests talking and gushing over. Things like favors, cake toppers, gifts for your family, bouquet charms remembering those passed, rose petal confetti, disposable table cameras, personalised engraved glasses and dance floor thongs are items that are thoughtful and often part of your day to recognise and accommodate your family and friends.

The big details can be items that keep your guests informed during the day such as, ceremony cards, chair signs, menus, table numbers, and seating charts. After all there is so much information your guests will need to know.

They can also be ways your guests can interact and have fun, such lawn games, kids table, champagne bar, lolly bar, photo booth etc.

The bottom line is the “details” are what MAKES a wedding uniquely yours.

The beautiful thing about details, is that everybody has different likes and personalities. The key to nailing them is to make sure the little details are all reflective of you both as a couple.

Your guests will be walking around your ceremony and reception whispering “This is soo them!”

Wooden Chair Signs

PERSONALIZED VOWS

Vows are also another detail you should think about.

It is entirely up to you, but writing your own vows can be one of the most heartfelt, sentimental and personal things you do and there won’t be a dry eye in the house. Everyone feels part of something special when words come from the heart.

PHOTOGRAPHY

On another note, ensure your photographer makes everyone feel part of something special. Yes, photography may be expensive, but we highly recommend you invest in it.

Photography that documents the day and captures emotion is priceless. Once you have chosen your wedding photographer identify a style you like and plan the shots that you want to get capture. Think, Romantic, Funny, Candid, group wedding shots etc. and remember to ask your photographer to capture your special family members like your grandparents dancing. When the day is over, these images will be your physical memory of the day… a treasure your kids would love to see one day, especially all those dance floor moves!

Wedding photographer 

DANCE FLOOR VIBES

Music is also another very important aspect of your wedding.

A nice background song or live music during the signing of the register is a nice way to let guests feel relaxed and enjoy the happy vibes of the day. You might even have children who play an instrument that you want to have perform at your wedding.

Centre your day around personal song choices that reflect you and your partner; and remember don’t forget to have fun with it – choose a first dance song that leads into a song that everyone will want to dance to. This can be a great way to let everyone know that it’s time to party and time to capture those amazing dancefloor moves!

 Grandparents Dancing

LET THERE BE LIGHT..AND LOVE

Lighting can be easily forgotten; however, it is very important! Lighting changes and adds to the feel and mood of your reception. If thought out and well planned, lighting can be one of the most effective details that transforms a pretty space into a magical one. From tables with tea-light votive candles to fairy lights that illuminate the room – options to create a beautiful romantic scene are endless.

Wedding Style

FEED YOUR GUESTS

Food can be another area where you can show off your taste. Relate it back to the style of the wedding and no matter what - ensure it is mouth wateringly good.

Whether your menu is three courses, or a food truck serving open fire pizzas, remember to cater well! Your guest have been busy celebrating with you and they will be starving!

Wedding Food

DELEGATE!

Please remember, you don’t need to do it all by yourself! A wedding planner can be a great resource to help with styling, vendor recommendations, timing on the day and budget management. Most planners offer a range of planning, styling and co-ordinating services which can be tailored to suit your budget.
If a wedding planner isn’t your style, appoint a family or friend on the day of your wedding to ensure everything runs smoothly. You want to feel like a guest at your own wedding, and be able to relax and enjoy the day.

It is important among the chaos and excitement to take a moment to yourself, whether it be going for a short stroll, getting some fresh air or laying down for 5 minutes. Start the day with a nutritious breakfast and fill up! It is important to EAT as you remain more focused and alert. Why not listen to some music while getting ready? This will lighten everyone up and release any nerves.

Take deep breaths and imagine your grooms face when he sees you walking down the aisle or picture the funny dance moves your crazy uncle will show-off on the dance floor.

Wedding Guests

From large wedding ambitions to a low key intimate backyard wedding, setting wedding setting goals and planning is important when preparing for your big day.

Planning a wedding is not an easy feat. There are so many things to consider and more often than not, it can be a stressful experience. Remember to laugh, relax and enjoy the moments leading up to your special day.

Laugh together, plan together and remember, no matter what happens, if at the end of the day you are married to the one you love, then it was a roaring success!!

By: Melissa Wilkinson – Melissa is the founder of Personalized Favors. She is commonly sought for comment on all things wedding related and has worked closely with thousands of couples to create invitations, gifts and wedding favors that are truly unique.

Images Sourced From Pinterest and Personalized Favors