Your perfect wedding day & how to master the finer details and budget.
I am marrying the man ive always wanted to share my life and family with after 3years of planning and organising the details it was finally the day to celebrate and commit in front of our dearest family and friends, what a perfect wedding day.
I can honestly say that our day was smooth sailing, how lucky are we right?! And I truly believe it does come down to the organising and planning of your perfect day. Obviously some things are out of the control of the bride and groom and most of the time the guests are completely unaware that chaos is unfolding behind closed doors but the best advice I was given when planning this mamith event was that at the end of the day if yourself and your future hubby make it down the isle and the celebrant is there to sign you away to each other and you become husband and wife then the other details are history, YOU ARE MARRIED.
- Lets talk BUDGET
Try to start off on the same page as your fiance, budget can be a stressful topic and most of the time we are unaware how much things actually cost, so do all of the research that you can! It will be your best tool throughout the planning and organising part of the wedding.
Once you are on the same page, or close enough then create a spreadsheet and if your not familiar with spreadsheets then simply Google It and use a basic form.
You can literally enter every single item you will need for the wedding in categories for example
Nitty Gritty: Dress $2000 Shoes $50 Grooms Suits + Shoes $150 Bridesmaids Gifts $100 Lingerie $70 etc.etc.
Bringing in the Professionals: Photographer $1000 Videographer $2000 Celebrant $500 Room Hire $250 Food $3000 etc.etc.
Preparation: Nails $50 Hair $100 Spray Tan $40 Wine + Food $100 etc.etc.
Ceremony: Bench Seat Hire $100 Welcome Sign $100 Arch Hire $100 Signing Table Hire $50 etc.etc.
Reception: Chair Cover Hire $100 Table Settings $200 Lolly Bar $500 etc.etc.
Every single detail should be included right down to Earrings, Teeth Whitener, Hair Piece! If it is going to be included on the day then you need it in your spreadsheet, the last thing you want is unexpected $$ popping up at the end that you didn’t account for because $20 here and there soon adds up to $200.
Start researching the going rate for each item and see what figure you end up with at the bottom, if it is completely blown out or your not happy with paying that much than cut down items that aren’t necessary for example we only sent out Invitations and skipped the ‘Save The Dates’ and this saves us a couple of hundred dollars, and instead of buying $200 shoes that are hidden under a dress the entire day set yourself a budget of $50 and go shoe hunting! Get online and source the bargains. You have just saved yourself $500 right there in 2 items.
We were set on our honeymoon destination of Hawaii and we wanted to take our toddler so knowing the big price tag on this kind of holiday we had a strict wedding budget that we HAD to stick to if we wanted to make that trip possible so for every quote I received I bargained them down, removed items or compared with other companies until we came to a $$ that would fit the budget and we would LOCK IT IN – 12-18months in advanced because yes, they book out that far ahead.
2. Lets talk LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION
You need a vision for your ceremony and reception – church, open field, backyard do or Forestery but set it clear in your mind and hunt it down.
We were sure we wanted trees, greenery and open space so we reasearched around our area and decided on a location for both the ceremony and reception in one spot – Cha Ching WINNER!
Hot Tip – if your planning on traveling for your special day, consider flights accommodation and expenses of being away, carting all of your gear to another town and weigh up how much that location means to you and consider the extra price tag & does that fit into your budget ? Could you source a location closer to your home with the same vibes.
We went to every single venue we possibly could to find the perfect place for the perfect price and when comparing locations that were charging $80-$100 per head for food (no alcohol included) and a venue that was charging $17-$23 per head for a meal we weighed up our options – are we happy to pay $12,300 on food ? or would we rather pay $2829 for food and spend the extra money on our amazing honeymoon ? Well, guess what we chose.
You don’t have to settle for a tacky crappy location to meet budget, be smart about your choices. We chose a club that had a massive white walled, polished floored blank canvas because lets face it we are going to decorate the shit out of that place anyway right!
We paid a small room hire fee and were let free to style every inch of it and it was such a personal touch.
The ceremony was located on the open field golf coarse under a bunch of trees – so we had our vision for a quarter of the price.
3. Lets Talk PHOTOGRAPHY & VIDEOGRAPHY
The biggest topics of a wedding planner – which one to chose ? We opted for both!
We went with a smaller photography package and had the videographer also filming the entire day so we could still have both of them and not a double fee. Photos to us weren’t as important as the video and this was a major priority for us when budgeting – so we removed other items to accommodate the video price tag – Click Here To Watch Our Entire Wedding Video
You can never soak in your day as much as you can when watching it back on your own movie.
It is priceless and an amazing memory for years to come – you relive the moment you fell in love all over again.
4. Lets Talk DRESS
One of the biggest items you will purchase for your special day, mainly because of the price and mostly because it is THE DRESS you wore on your wedding day, the dress you dreamed about as a little girl and it will be the dress you feel the utmost perfect and special in.
I walked into a dress boutique with again, a budget. Im starting to sound like a tight arse but hey, we paid for an entire wedding with no credit cards and we tripped it overseas with the family just to top it off so the budget is your best mate.
I tried on all of the dresses that suited my style in the price range we were looking for, I didn’t even look at any above the price point!
We found the one! Now bargain that price down, all wedding dress shops expect it and its a brides right to get every dollar they can off that price tag and you will be surprised how helpful the ladies are.
WE LOCKED IT IN.
5. Lets Talk BRIDAL PARTY
One of the biggest decisions you will make for your wedding is who will be standing by your side on the day & you will be so thankful at the end of the process when they have made you feel absolutely beautiful and the most perfect person in the world, even if it is for one day because it is your day
Don’t worry about what other people will think or who will be upset if they are not chosen, you cannot have everybody and at the end of the day this is your special time so chose the people that make you feel confident and lift you up on a daily basis – your true friends.
We chose 4 bridesmaids and 4 groomsmen and this came down to the PHOTOS – Now who wants a bridesmaid cut out of every photo because she is so far pushed to the end that she is hunched over trying to get a look in! When your doing group photos and you’ve got 6 bridesmaids and 6 groomsman and then yourself and your groom so 14 people in total bending down trying to pose for an uncomfortable shot – No thanks.
Be smart about your choices and think ahead – you want to be able to make each and everyone of those bridal party members feel included and appreciated so consider your budget and remember that the more bridesmaids you have the bigger the floristry bill which brings me to ……
6. Lets Talk FLORIST and ALL THINGS DECORATIONS
Vision – greenery and vines. That’s all I had in mind
So thankfully, this made our florist bill half the price because we didn’t have any actual ‘flowers’ on the day.
If you walk into a florist shop with a pinterest image of the style of flowers you want on the day and she suggests that its going to cost ie. amount then use her to your advantage and ask her how can we get a similar look, at half the price you just gave me! And im sure she will work her magic and do what she does best and achieve what your after without compromising on how beautiful they are going to be. And, if she cant then your not at the right place – keep looking.
I received 3 quotes for our florist list and it started off something like this
1st Quote – $4500.00
I gave a huge list of everything I could of possibly wanted on the day and what I had in mind and my plan was to see the costing all broken down and depending on the price, eliminate some of it. When receiving the above quote I thought, okay well that wasnt what I was expecting but fair call there was LOTS of hanging greenery on this quote
2nd Quote (different company, same list of items) – $2500.00
Well, that’s looking a lot more promising isn’t it! The 1st quote company were sending me continuous emails asking if we had made a decision on our quote yet, and I was honest with them – yes we have, and no were not going with your company due to the price difference in quotes.
So she matched it! Okay, so you started with a quote of $4500 and within 1 click of an email you reduced the quote to $2500 ?
This showed me 2 things, 1 – she was happy and confident enough to quote me the high figure in the first place and 2 – Happy and confident enough to drop it dramatically because clearly the cost of the greenery was not worth the $4500 but instead she was going to make a neat profit.
This is not the kind of company I want to rely on for my special day, I wanted someone who was looking out for the customer as well as their bank balance.
So we reached out to a local company and friend that owned a florist and asked for a 3rd quote and gave her the list of items we were looking at explained its mainly greenery and leaves/vines style of floristry and the quote came back
3rd Quote – $1800.00 including Furniture Hire for our ceremony.
This decorated my entire ceremony and reception so I didn’t have to worry about sourcing any other companies or do any more running around on the set up day, it was all included.
Ceremony Set Up – Huge LOVE sign that hubby DIYed out of wooden fence pailings, A Welcome Sign, Rustic Bench Seat and a Rustic Arch decorated with greenery. The celebrant supplied the signing table and we had a simple but effective ceremony.
All of the bench seats and chairs were then moved up into the reception room and used at our feature table (we saved on cost here by using the chairs between the two)
Reception Set Up – Tables and chairs were supplied by the Club including all cutlery/plates/glasses so we saved hundreds here! We hired chair covers and used our ceremony seating to give a nice effect down the centre table and the rest was greenery that my amazing florist installed so we didn’t need to hire a decorator. Lolly bar jars can all be sourced from Kmart and we used an online lolly company, this paired with a greenery hanging peice and we had a beautiful lolly bar set up.
All of the tables had simple white table cloths and this made it easy for the florist to work her magic.
7. Lets Talk SUPPLIERS
If you can do anything yourself, get onto that! Its a hell of a lot cheaper and its self satisfying knowing you’ve added your own personal touch to the day.
For all of the items you cant DIY yourself then source the best of the best and have them do it for you – at the right price of coarse 😉
I have listed the main suppliers and companies that we worked with to create our perfect day down below for you to check out if your getting married in a similar area.
Location – Club Taree // Click Here
Photographer – Weddings By Jase Photography // Click Here
Videographer – Mad Rose Films //Click Here
Florist – Blooms //Click Here
Dress – Ivory Lounge //Click Here
Hair – Niks Cutting Edge // Click Here
Makeup – Amanda Trotter Beauty Specialist // Click Here
Tan – Jordan Pittman //Click Here
Wedding Invitations – Labelle Creative // Click Here
Hanging LOVE Sign – Louie Luxe //Click Here
Cake – Ella Bakes //Click Here
Bridesmaid Dresses – Shona Joy (Can be found at David Jones) // Click Here
Groom and Groomsman – Taro Cash //Click Here
Centre Table Candles – Kmart //Click Here
Lolly Bar Jars and Chalk Boards – Kmart //Click Here
LOVE Sign – DIY via the Hubby with Wood Panels
Celebrant – Debra Steber // Click Here
Scroll through the images of our perfect day and the ‘Familymoon’ trip of a lifetime that followed our special day when we landed ourselves in the beautiful Waikiki Beach – Hawaii.