You’re engaged! Congratulations! We’re so happy to help you with your wedding planning journey.
Whether you’re kickstarting your planning now or are already halfway through your journey, we know that sometimes weddings can become a little bit overwhelming. There’s so many different elements to consider, from your budget, to choosing your suppliers, to deciding where you’d like to go on your honeymoon.
To make it a bit easier, we’ve taken a look at what order most couples book their suppliers, so you know who to hit up first and who to leave closer to the date. We hope that this wedding planning guide can set you in the right direction and make planning your day even easier!
It’s no surprise that wedding venues top the list of the first vendor most couples book. Wedding venues can sometimes be booked out for dates 12 or even 24 months out, so it’s important to get in quick once you’ve found your dream venue.
Your venue can also help you decide which date your wedding is on. In fact, 11% of all couples choose their date based on when their venue of choice is available. Once you’ve got your venue sorted, you can start thinking about the elements to really put your day together.
Technically, a marriage celebrant or religious officiant is the only supplier you need for your wedding. After all, they’re the ones that officially marry you!
Think about what sort of ceremony you’d like to have and what type of celebrant will fit into that. Are you going to have a quick ceremony to focus on your reception? Or you would prefer to exchange vows in a completely tailored and personalised celebration? What you want to focus on will help you choose what type of celebrants you enquire with.
Wedding photography is arguably the most important element for couples, with a whopping 99% of couples having a photographer on their big day, the most of any type of supplier.
Again, thinking about the type of photos you’d like for your wedding will help you decide on the type of photographer you book. 47% of couples prefer candid and natural images, while 45% prefer a combination of traditional posed photos with candid shots.
After having their first three elements chosen, some couples decide that wedding planning is all too much to do on their own. This is where they decide to hire a wedding planner to help with the process.
A wedding planner can help choose suppliers that will fit both the look and budget you’re after and can schedule appointments and organise all the small details that you might not have time to do. They’re definitely a good option if you’re finding that you just don’t have the time to commit to the wedding that you’d like.
It’s time to pick THAT dress! We all want to look like a princess (or prince) on our big day and choosing the perfect wedding dress is a big part of that.
In fact, 25% of brides say that if they found the perfect wedding dress they’d buy it, regardless of whether it fits in their budget or not!
What sort of wedding ceremony will you be having?
If you already know who is in your wedding party then it’s time to figure out how you’re going to arrive in style. This will help you choose how many cars you need, or how big they need to be!
The most popular style of car for weddings are still vintage cars at 30% of couples choosing them, followed by classic-style cars at 23% and limousines close behind at 19%.
Around about now we know that planning your big day can be a bit overwhelming, so take a break and start planning the holiday you’re going to have after it instead!
Whether you’re heading on a minimoon straight after the wedding or a honeymoon a few months afterwards, knowing that you’ve got a break locked in can inspire you to get planning again.
Now it’s time to deck out your ceremony, reception or venue space. Consider what your venue already provides and whether there are any more items you want to add.
Decorative items such as giant LED L.O.V.E letters or arbours are extremely popular at the moment and can give you some gorgeous photo opportunities. Don’t forget about the necessities either, such as ceremony seating or chairs and tables for your reception.
Once you know what you’re going to eat off, it’s time to decide what you’re going to actually eat! Book a tasting with your venue to see what options you have to choose from, or if you want external hiring chat to some catering companies to see what you can get for the day.
Don’t forget about options such as food trucks either, which can add a more relaxed vibe to your day.
Most couples opt for a bouquet at the minimum, with boutonniere also popular for grooms. Then see whether you’re going to add additional items for your wedding party, flower girs or page boy, or even parents.
Don’t forget to think about what type of greenery you’d like when thinking about your wedding flowers, as your florist will be able to source both for you and show you how they really pair together.
You might have some idea what song you’d like to walk down the aisle to, but what about the rest of the evening? Thinking about how you’re going to play the music at your cermony, as well as how you’ll get the party started at your reception.
65% of couples prefer to book a DJ to get the vibe going, while 35% prefer the aesthetic of a live wedding band.
Similarly with your photography, think about what style you want to capture your wedding video in before you start to look at suppliers. This will help you narrow down exactly who to get in touch with.
Then it’s time to think about what parts of the day you want to capture. We’ve found that more couples are wanting to capture every element of their day, with 57% choosing to have their videographer from start to finish.
Grooms, it’s time for you to step in and choose your formal wear! More grooms are choosing to make a statement with the formal wear for their wedding day, with 27% of people having their suit custom made.
If you’re having groomsmen, or even a bridesman or two as well, this is a good time to get their formal wear sorted.
We’re getting to the middle of your planning journey now and with most of the big items sorted this is a nice time to relax a bit and think about how you want to style your wedding. A wedding stylist will help bring your vision and theme to life in the way you want it, without you having to worry about the stress of doing it yourself.
Whether you’re doing it yourself or have just booked a stylist you’ll find that doing your decorations next makes sense. You’re already thinking about the colours, theme and aesthetic of your wedding day and can start thinking about the decorations you want to hire to really bring that to life.
You might think that this one should be a bit higher up, but it actually makes sense to choose your bridesmaid dresses AFTER you’ve chosen your decoration style and theme. This means you’ll know exactly what sorts of colours you can use to work together and have your bride squad finalised.
We also recommend not choosing your wedding party too far out from the wedding. After all, you want to make sure you’ve chosen the perfect people for the job down the line.
Now that your wedding venue, date, theme and ceremony details are sorted, it’s time to think about who you actually want to invite! You can check out our free guest list and seating planner to help you decide on your nearest and dearest before looking at what style of invitation you’re going to send to them.
This is possibly one of the best parts of wedding planning. Find your favourite cake suppliers and taste away! We love cake tasting and there are some stunning yet delicious creations out there.
Nearly half of all couples choose a wedding cake with three tiers, with mud cake (chocolate or vanilla) being the most popular flavour with 69% of couples. In fact just 5% of weddings feature traditional fruit cake!
If you’ve got the dress then think about what you want to wear it with. You might want to make a statement with your shoes or simple have something that will be comfortable for the whole day. Once you have your shoes make sure you wear them in for any important moments, such as your first dance, or just making sure they’re going to be comfortable. The same goes for you boys!
If you’d like to add something a little bit different to your wedding then now is the time to book it in. Entertainers, alpacas, wedding insurance, or even someone to bring your pooch to the big day for you are all services you can book for your day!
By now you should know how many guests you mean to invite and how many pieces you’ll need for your wedding favours. We love features such as succulents or personalised spirirts to give a gift that will keep on giving.
It’s time to pick out your rings! Choose what design you’re after and how it fits in with other jewellery that you might wear daily. When you pick the rings up it’s also a good time to designate who is going to make sure that they make it to the ceremony!
Not sure if your wedding is going to have that wow factor? Still have money in the budget? Add a photo booth in to your big day! The booth will be heaps of fun for both you and your guests and often you’ll have the opportunity to get an album or USB with all of the photos after the day.
Your hair and makeup artist is going to make sure that you look like a princess on your big day so it’s important to find the right fit. Think about how much makeup you wear on a regular basis, or what style your hair is usually in. They’ll work with you to make you look like your best self on the day.
This is something that you don’t want to do too far out from the big day, especially if your flower girl or page boy is still in the growing phase. If they’re not your own, chat to their parents about how they’re growing and whether they’re due for a growth spurt any time soon. It might be worth getting those pant legs a little bit longer…
You’re so close now! And while you don’t have to organise your own hens or bucks party (come on you’ve already got enough to plan!) this is the time to delegate to your wedding party and let them know what you want!
Some couples like their celebrations to be a surprise, while others feel more comfortable giving some parameters around the evening. Whatever your choice, let your wedding party do the planning and sit back and enjoy the evening!
If this hasn’t already come in a package with your venue, look at where you’re going to stay the night of your wedding. You could choose somewhere just for the night, or you might be staying there a few days afterwards to relax.
If you’re getting married in a regional area it’s also a good idea to see if you can get group packages for your guests as well, in case they don’t want to make the journey home.
You might think this is just reserved for the wedding night, but don’t just think about the decorative stuff, it’s also about what is going to work with your wedding wear!
There’s nothing worse a stunning slimline dress with a visible line, so think about what you may need to buy to pull off the perfect look.
Now we’re in the final stages it’s time to pamper yourself. Look at whether you want to book in a regular beauty service to help you relax and prepare for the big day. Weekly facials might give you that stunning glow, while a regular massage can help keep you relaxed.
You’re nearly there! This is the last item in our wedding planning guide and it’s one of the most fun ones! What jewellery, crowns, and general fabulousness you’re wearing for your wedding is always fun and finishing your planning on something fun is a great way to end.
Just remember that if you are wearing some form of headpiece you might want to have it prepared in advance for your hair and makeup trial.
Read to start your wedding planning? Start ticking the items off your very own wedding planning guide with our free to-do list.
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