Updated: Apr 5
Why we are publishing this info
We are writing this for the brides who have been hounded by wedding planners at expos, had prices thrown at them left-right-centre, and businesses demanding they use their services, only to be left overwhelmed with no light at the end of the tunnel. We are here to shed some light on this experience for you because we've been there, done it, and want to share the things we wish someone told US when we planned our wedding. Planning your wedding should be a fun journey for you and your husband, if you're finding yourself stressed out, you must not leave this page without finishing this article.
1. The stress of planning a wedding doesn't come from planning the wedding itself, it comes from dealing with incompetent people. When you're planning your wedding you have to deal with quite a lot of people, and most of the time, people just don't 'get you'. If they don't get what you're after within the first meet-up/consultation, do yourself a favour and look for someone else. (It might sound brutal, but the professionals get it right within the first meeting). You'll know in your gut who's for you and who's not. You'll just 'click' <Insert cliche line from movie here>.
It is important that you do this at the BEGINNING of the planning stage and it's not something you 'figure out later'. Here's why.
It's fine when there's a year 'til the wedding, the pressure isn't really on and you still have plenty of time to complete the finer details. But now you're 4 months out, the stress starts to heighten, the inner-control freak starts to come out and naturally everything feels like its not done and you're helpless waiting for these stupid people to reply to you.
Now not only are you dealing with your own nerves, but you and your nerves have to deal with other people, who are ultimately in control of how good your wedding is going to be. This as a bride is a hard thing to grasp in the moment. The point to remember here is that people work differently under stress. And that includes the people you're hiring to give you the best wedding ever. This also includes YOU. At this point of the planning stage you're going to read things differently and you're going to over-whelm yourself. YOU ARE NORMAL. It's everyone else's job to work around you. You've come down with the case of bridezilla, everyone at some point gets it.
But it's your job to choose from the beginning who is going to be good enough for you to make sure everything is delivered on time and in top quality. You might think this is a wedding planner's job. But ultimately you're the one making the decisions for your big day. If you're going to choose a planner, pick someone who has the experience, but also has it done EARLY. The only thing that should be left til a month before the wedding is anything associated with the guest list. This includes;
- Theme for the stationary: Invitations, RSVP Cards, Notes, Envelopes, Menus, Place-cards, Signage, Bonbonniere (Party favour) Ideas, Table numbers and other decorative items that require money and time. - Cake - Photographer
- Venue Everything else (photo booths and other optional things) can be arranged 4-6 month before the wedding as they don't require things that are personal to you and your husband.
Make sure you download the list of the Best vendors in Perth to get your head start on this!
2. How much should something cost?
This was probably the hardest thing to figure out. No one really educates you on how much something SHOULD be and the fact is that no one really knows (well we do) because they've only researched so much and done the experience. I'm going to start with the obvious and hurtful truth. Weddings are a complete rip off. You can buy 2 cakes that are exactly the same, but because you mentioned the word wedding they jacked up the price to almost $1500 and are selling the other one for $200. Unfortunately it's true, the wedding industry is a climbing industry and people are upping their prices - because well - they can. You wouldn't believe the amount of people that would pay $5000 for a cake. I won't go into full detail about prices for everything but I'll give you a quick run down. Let's start at the start hey - Invitations. Now I make invitations for a living, with my hands and my own time (which I highly value) and I can tell you that big companies that have the time efficient machines are ripping you off. I can charge my Invitations around $1.50-$1.75 per invitation depending on the design (and the price doesn't change after the initial agreement) and happily make profit, when large companies who are competing with me seem like their charging less (until you get to the check-out page and find out what you actually want is $1 more per invite) or even worse charge double or triple! I'm not going to name and shame companies - its not what we are here for, but don't get suckered into paying $3.71 per standard-looking invite when you can support a friend who makes high quality invitations or a local business for a lot less. Here's a quick list of the average you should spend on your wedding supplies (This will depend on numbers but lets say 100 people): Stationary Items including: Invitations, RSVP Cards, Notes, Envelopes, Menus, Place-cards, Signage, Bonbonniere (Party favour) Ideas, Table numbers and other decorative items that require money and time. - Around $1220 for the lot - Cake $500 - $1500 - Photographer $2000
- Dj $1000-2500(This depends on what extras you want)
- Venue - Can be next to nothing, it really depends on what your feel is but do not pay over $15000 for a venue, ESPECIALLY if that doesn't include alcohol and food. and according to this you can have a really nice wedding for around $10,000. (which is nothing, but even still you can knock this down further.)
3. If something doesn't feel right or you want to change your mind, DO IT.
People are going to tell you... "You're going to change your mind a millions times", "You gotta stick with what you picked", "But what you picked will look good too" = MAJOR EYE ROLL. Do not, I repeat - DO NOT let anyone convince you that what you originally picked is the best for YOUR wedding. YOU will know what is best, trust me. I'll tell you a little story. When I picked my venue, there was a DJ there advertising his services, we didn't know much about DJ's and everyone's advertisement was the same so we just went with him. 2 months later we met this AMAZING DJ, his services were the same that everyone else had to offer but the man himself was just the BEST. He listened, learned and really respected our taste as a couple. BUT because we had already booked our DJ, we felt bad about switching. WRONG. DO NOT DO THIS. It turned out that the company we booked with sent another person to work with us on our day, not the person we originally booked with. We sent a list of WHAT NOT TO PLAY, and you guessed it, he played basically every song we hated. (don't get me wrong our wedding was still amazing, but it just could have been that much better). Bottom line listen to your gut, it knows what it wants.
4. If you have the chance to choose the music, TAKE IT.
Going back to the last point... even though our DJ played songs we didn't like, the crowd loved the dance floor (we still don't forgive him for it but oh well). Good music will make your night come alive. Find a DJ that will allow you to do this, If your DJ choices only have a 90s Karaoke book to pick from - run away.
5. People are already judging you, so make it so good they can't fault it.
Face it. Its happening... people are going to judge EVERYTHING at the wedding. Your dress, your party favours, your menus, even the things you wouldn't even think about judging. Can't you already hear it? "Oh I wouldn't have chosen that centre piece", "I hate those flowers", "Thats what they picked?" Yep. People are lovely. Keep in mind they don't mean to do it. They actually can't help it. It's in our nature to judge, so the best solution here is give them something to judge that is positive, and how do we do that? MAKE IT PERSONAL. As soon as a wedding is personalised, it instantly turns from bitter to sweet. Your guests will be raving over the personalised bonbonnieres, the signs, the things that highlight the two of you as a couple. Now if you put their name on something...MY GOD, you've made them love you. They will honestly be so blinded by the gesture, it won't matter if you missed something. If you're looking for personalised items, be sure to send us a message at the end of this article we can definitely help you out.
6. Book for a Alcohol and Food Tasting
Now this seems obvious... but let me share why this makes the list. This may be the ONLY chance you will get to eat the food at the wedding. And don't tell me "Oh no, I'm definitely eating at my wedding". I promise you right now, you wont. You'll be: 1. Too Drunk - or at least full of alcohol so you wont be hungry.
2. Too Busy - Because everyone demands your attention, if you do sit down to eat someone's going to talk to you so you can't chew. 3. Simply just having too much fun.
Also on a side note, this is a really nice time to bond with your husband. Men don't really associate much in the planning side of things (we know why) but this is something you both can enjoy your time with each other on the journey for planning your lives together.
7. KEEP TOXIC PEOPLE AWAY FROM EACH OTHER.
The last thing you want... is family drama on your night. I can safely say I avoided this, having divorced parent's and their own friendship groups on both sides of the room. I would usually say don't invite these people in the first place, but it gets hard when it comes to family (especially when they're your parents). This also goes for friendship groups, if you know someone doesn't get along, don't put them on the same table. When it comes to your seating arrangements its usually something you do on your own, make sure you know the people you're inviting because putting them in the right place can keep a fire from igniting.
8. Get consumable Party Favours (Bonbonnieres)
This is basically where money goes down the drain ... people want fancy things (which is fine) but the party favours are often the things that are forgotten after a wedding. (Some don't even take them home). I cannot count the amount of weddings that have had "Personalised Lollies" made and put in glass jars as bonbonnieres only to take them home and never be eaten. Now I know I said personalised is good, but you need to incorporate it in what you're already doing if you don't want to spend a lot of money. A great idea is putting together a DIY lolly bar or using one of our suggested vendors and just invest in personalised lolly bags. Let your GUESTS decide on what they want to bring home instead of shoving it into their bags. Does that make sense?
9. Get a photographer but edit the photos yourself! When you book a photographer ... you're paying for their service on the day but also the editing process. this is where they jack up their prices. Find a photographer (or book our suggested one in the downloadable ebook.) and take your time putting your own filters on the photos that YOU like.
10. Find someone who can do it ALL for you!
Give yourself the time to enjoy this experience ... don't do what I did and stress about 'who was doing what' and whether it was going to be done on time. Get someone who can manage and design things for you, organise photographers and cakes at cheaper prices.
We have a FREE downloadable ebook that will help you on your journey. It's filled with the best Perth Vendors and a wedding cheat sheet to help you on your planning journey! Best of Luck and be sure to let us know if this article helped you!!