Hunter Events NSW

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Hunter Valley, Maitland & Newcastle
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Expert Advice

As a wedding professional, Hunter Events NSW offers expert advice to help couples plan their perfect day. Ask a question or read their expert advice.


How do I determine what friends to invite and leave off the guest list during covid?

I have had chronic health issues since 2013, after being diagnosed with breast cancer. I had to have implants after mastectomy and have had health issues ever since. I mostly stay in contact with my friends on social media but don't hang out with most of them in person, especially since covid. I have a long time friend that used to invite us to her events but stopped a few years ago. We still run into each other and she has asked when my wedding is and she knows my fiance, as they used to work together as managers for a retail pharmacy. Her kids and my son grew up around each other but I'm not sure if they should be on the guest list or not? She always says she misses us and we need to hang out but it never happens. I'm just not sure how to decide who we should include or not include and we are trying to stay within our budget AND keep up with social distancing during this pandemic.

When couples ask us to help them make the tough decision about who to invite and who to leave off their wedding guestlist, we usually ask "would you take them out to dinner and pay for their meal?" "Are they going to add value and enjoyment to your day?" Your immediate gut response should tell you whether to invite them to your special day or not. Especially in light of the current social distancing restrictions, people should understand that you are making a difficult decision. If anything, people are more understanding right now than pre-COVID. If your fiance used to work with her, ask your fiance the same question above and if neither of you feel that she must be there, leave her off the list. The most important thing is not to feel guilty about who you do or don't invite because it is your and your fiance's special day. Placing yourself under extra financial strain or stressing about social distancing on the day because you felt pressured to invite anyone isn't how you should remember your wonderful day. 

Is a wedding planner worth the extra cost?

My fiance and I both come from extensive immediate and extended families, we are both Aboriginal descent with my family spreading across the state of VIC and his family spreading across NT, NSW and VIC. As a result of this, we have a huge guest list (trust me, we have been brutal in trying to cut it down.) We are trying to find ways to cut costs where we can, but it is becoming time-consuming for me to research everything. I currently work full time in a job where I travel across the state regularly while studying full time and being a business owner. So my main question are they worth the extra cost?

Wedding Planners may seem like an expensive ‘nice to have’, but there are a number of important reasons why they should be a ‘must have’ for your big day:

 

  • Time & Stress. Do you want to spend the months leading up to your big day creating runsheets, haggling over costs and being pestered about things like how many bags of ice you need to chill your drinks? How can you be sure that the supplier you found on google with a handful of good reviews will actually show up on the day? Wedding Planners save you months of stress between researching, negotiating and most importantly managing suppliers. 

 

  • $$$. A good Wedding Planner will leverage a wealth of relationships with suppliers, venues & contacts. This means they know which suppliers will fit your vision and what they should cost. Crucially, as they work with the suppliers time and time again, more often than not they can secure you a rate far cheaper than you would be quoted directly from the supplier. Often the discounts your Wedding Planner secures for you more than cover their fees. 

 

  • Enjoy your day, don’t co-ordinate it. Do you really want to be constantly interrupted from enjoying your special day for questions like “where is the photobooth going?”, “the ceremony ran 15 minutes late, what time should we start speeches?”, or heaven forbid, “the celebrant isn’t here yet, what do we do?” The day before your wedding, do you want to be relaxing and spending time with your bridal party, or calling suppliers to triple-confirm they know where to set up and when by? 

Idea's for the day after your wedding with your guests?

Depending on how many of the guests you want to invite, a nice breakfast cook up or luncheon is always nice. Something nice and casual is best as people would have been drinking the night before and probably won't be interested in doing anything too strenuous.

How do you seat your wedding guests at your reception?

Immediate family should be on tables closest to the bridal table and then have those closest to you sat accordingly. If you have a mix of people who haven't met yet, you should sit them next to those who have similar personalities or interests if possibly.

*sit younger guests near the dancefloor to encourage them to get the festivities going. Any older guests should be sat away for the dancefloor / band as they are typically more sensitive to loud music and speakers

What should the bride wear to the rehearsal?

Wedding rehearsals are typically not formal events so casualwear is just fine to wear for your rehearsal.

How do you decide the order of the bridesmaids?

Bridesmaids can be ordered however you like but it is usually done by the closeness of the relationship between them and you or in height. If you do height order with the bridesmaids you should definitely reflect this with the other half of the bridal party so photos look symmetrical.

How big should our wedding party be?

Your wedding party can be as big or as small as you like. It should be made up of the people closest to you whether that be friends or family and the most supportive of you as weddings can be overwhelming if you don't have the right support.

How do I know what to do next?

You can look online for different wedding checklists if you are wanting to handle the wedding yourself but hiring a planner can help you out a lot too as we know all the little bits and pieces that often aren't thought about. 

Make sure that you stay up to date with chipping away at your wedding and follow up on the things that need to be done at what stage during planning

How can I incorporate something special at the end of the ceremony?

The officiant of your ceremony will have some ideas on how to make your ceremony special and should be very flexible and willing to accommodate this. 

Where should I focus my budget?

You should focus your budget on what is most important to you. Ask yourself of all the things that could potentially be average (e.g food, photography, venue) what would you be most upset with? That answer is usually what is most important and I would invest a bit more money into that component of your wedding but not enough to disadvantage yourself in other areas.

Do we need to invite plus ones?

This is up to you and your partner. if the amount of plus ones starts to outweight the people you actually know then I would say not. Ctering for all these extra people does cost a bit of money which could be invested into things that would really make your night special. Best to spend your wedding with the people you know and love then with strangers

How do I sort through all of the information that's out there?

Have a look at what these suppliers provide, have a look at photos, read their info but most importantly read the reviews!! You should be able to narrow down to a list of a few suppliers that are suited for you and then what they quote will determine how you move ahead.

What are typical budgets for a wedding?

Typical weddings fall between that 20K - 45K range however the style you want as well as guest list will play a big part in how much you spend

I want my wedding to be adults only. How can I make sure that people don't bring their kids?

Write on both the RSVPs and Invitations that you would kindly ask that no children attend the wedding. If there are too many kids/families that this effects then I would suggest recommending babysitting services that can look after their kids while they are at your wedding. If a lot of the kids are related or get along there is the option of getting a few babysitters to look after all of them in one location which can save the parents money and keep the kid entertained.

I'm eloping with my partner and 2 friends. What can we do to make the day memorable after?

I would recommend getting a celebrant and photographer you really like and go to your favourite spot for your ceremony. this will make it very special and personal for you and if there is a nice restaurant you can go to for a meal is usually wuite nice. If there is a resort then you would be able to have dinner and a night away together, making it a little holiday like every other wedding.

Can you plan a wedding in eight months?

Yes it can definitley be done you are just a bit resticted on suppliers sometimes so you have to have a bit more flexibilty when planning your wedding

What are common wedding planning mistakes?

Not hiring a professional planner! most couples have absoltley no idea how much work and planning is involved in a wedding and having an expert handle the logistics and legalities along with getting the best deals industry wide. A great planner will have exceptional negotiating skills and save you potentially thousands of dollars. hope this helps you, I woud be happy to assit you further. 

I need help, should I have kids or no kids at the wedding?

This all depends what vibe and feel you envision for your special day also the venue? is it child friendly? How many kids would be invited? You could possibly have a smaller number of children or just those close to you. Weddings can be beautiful both with and without children, however its becoming a common trend that attendees prefer no children so they can actually enjoy your special night. I be delighted to help you further.

Best of luck with your wedding planning 

Louise Manning

Hunter Events NSW

What do you think about having a childrens creche at the wedding?

this would be a great way to keep your venue stress free. but what is the feel and vibe you want from your wedding having a creche would probally be easier to mnt invite the children if they are not going to be activly involved, this will also keep your cost down. 

Any tips for my wedding day timeline?

Think about what you want our of your day and what works best for you as a couple. then build your day around your wishes. ensuring all vendors can meet your timeline requirments start times etc... 

What should I be doing the night before my wedding?

This depends if your going traditional where you dont see your partner or wether your spending the night befor together, which ever way you lean is nice to relax and try to get an early night for your big day.


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