Getting Started

A Guide to planning the perfect wedding

Planning your perfect wedding day can be both fun and exciting, but it's easy to get overwhelmed with all the different options and become unsure about where to start. Luckily we have put together the perfect wedding planning guide. Keep in mind every couple is different as is every wedding, so use this simply as a guide to plan a wedding that is unique to you and your Fiance.
First things first-
Throw yourselves an engagement party, it's a great way for your family and friends to celebrate this exciting time with you both.  
Pick a date. Is there a specific date that is important to you and your fiance? Perhaps your anniversary? Be sure to think about the seasons when choosing a date for your wedding, it will have a big impact on the feel and theme.

◆ Now is a good time to make yourself or purchase a wedding planning book. Make sure it has sections for all of the different aspects you will need to plan e.g. Celebrant, Photographer, Venue...... 

12 Months to go-

Decide on a theme-

♦ When you're ready, think of the most basic thing first: what kind of wedding do you want? You don't have to make specific choices, just aim for a general 'mood', for instance, big, small, indoors, outdoors, formal, informal, church, garden, beach, vineyard, quirky, the possibilities are endless.

Need inspiration? Hop online and visit our Pinterest page- 


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 Write a guest list -  
 Have a discussion with your partner and write down all of the people you would like to invite. Then add them up and see how many guests you'll be having. Once you have that number it is easier to come up with a realistic budget.  
Figure out a budget-  
Now that you have a rough idea of numbers and have decided on a theme you can start to think about a budget. Have a discussion with your partner as well as any family members who may be contributing and come up with a budget.Once you have decided on a budget open a wedding bank account.
10 Months to go-  
Send out save the dates-
 Post save the dates to all of your guests this way you can ensure more of the people you love will be able to share your special day.

Book a venue-
Do a bit of research on venues in your area that fit your chosen theme.Will you be using this venue for both the ceremony and reception? A great place to start is The Dunedin Wedding Planner Website . Keep in mind your budget when booking your venue as well as guest numbers. 

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Choose your wedding party -
Being asked to be a part of someones wedding party is a big honor, think hard about who you want standing next to you as you say 'i do'. 1798479 491651214204686 1542904506 n
Find a dress for yourself and for your Bridesmaids-
 The best way to decide on the style of your dress is to find a bridal store and try on different shapes, lengths and materials. This way not only will you be able to find a style you like but one that compliments your figure. From there you will need to decide if you are guying to purchase your dress from a store or have one made.
Finding dresses for your bridesmaids can be difficult as not every dress will compliment every body shape. Be sure to have a girls day out to try on different styles, if you find it is unsuccessful you can look at having a dress that can be worn different ways or even different styles in the same colour.

Book in your wedding date with a Priest or Celebrant.

If you find yourself struggling with the planning, it may be a good idea to call a wedding planner. They often have different packages for different levels of their involvement.

8 Months to go-

Book your caterer- 

When looking for a caterer you will need to consider if you plan to have a sit down meal or if you are looking to have something slightly more casual and only require canapes. Be sure to get information from more than just one caterer so you can look at the different price points and catering styles available.

Book your photographer-
⬥ There are a lot of choice in Dunedin when it comes to photographers. Be sure to look at different photographers websites and Facebook pages to get a feel for the style you like.

Organize your invitations-
 Consider the style/theme of your wedding when looking for your invitations. A great place to look for ideas and inspiration is Pinterest. Once you have decided on the look that you want you will have an idea if it is something you can achieve yourself or if you will need to have them designed and printed by the professionals. 
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Choose your florist- 
 Before approaching a florist have a think about the style of bouquet you are wanting, do you want to hold a tight round posy? or perhaps you would prefer a tear drop bouquet that flows down your dress slightly?  Also be aware of wedding date and the season that it falls, flowers are seasonal and you may need to think about a plan B. Discuss with your partner about getting Buttonholes or Buttonaires for family members, it can be a really nice way to include Grandparents and even other immediate family members.

Find the suits-
Discuss with your partner what colour suit would look best, will he and his Groomsmen need ties or bow ties to match the colour theme? Will they wear vests as well as jackets? A great way to get an idea of different looks is to browse on photographer's websites and Facebook pages. You will also need to decide if you are wanting to purchase or hire the suits.

6 Months-

Go ring shopping-

 Browse different jewellery stores and try on different styles with your partner, be sure to keep the budget in mind. Something else to take in to consideration when choosing the rings is to make sure this is something you would still want to wear 30 years from now? Find a style that is timeless and that won't date.

Finalize arrangements with your venue-
Call or email your venue to confirm your booking and ask any questions you may have. You may need to organize a time to drop off any decorations or other items for the big day.

Purchase your accessories-
A good time to make sure you have accessories you may need for yourself and your bridal party, such as shoes, handbags, jewellery and even cufflinks.

Take dance classes if needed-

 The first dance can be very daunting for both Bride and Groom, why not organize dance lessons so you can blow everyone away with your smooth moves and feel confident.

Organize decorations-

⬥ Time to think about how your going to decorate the venue (if need be). There are different ways of doing this. If you won't have time or would simply prefer someone else came and decorated the venue for you Carissa at Creating Occasions is wonderful. Otherwise you can look in to hiring bits and pieces to really make your theme come alive.

Organize shirts and ties-
⬥ Have the Groom make sure himself and                                               
his Groomsmen have their shirt and ties organised to go with their suits. 
Also a good time to make sure they all have suitable shoes. 

Four months to go-

Book your wedding night accommodation-
There are loads of great places to stay here in Dunedin, and at a range of different prices. When finding a place to stay it may be a good idea to look in to places where your family and friends from out of town might want to stay as well.

Choose your ceremony and reception music-
 Picking music for the ceremony can be difficult, sit down with your partner and try to find a song that you both like. Google 'wedding songs' for ideas. As for the reception at some venues you would be able to hire a band, at others a juke box or even a home made play list with all the songs yourself and your partner love will be perfect. Either way it's a good idea to make sure you have songs in there that will have your guests up dancing.  

Send out invitations-
 Now is the time you want to get your invitations in the post.

The vows-

Decide if you are going to be writing your own vows, or speak with your celebrant for other options.

Two months to go-

Dress fittings-

Now is the time to get the Bridesmaids together for a dress fitting to make sure the dresses still fit you all. If you find they aren't fitting quiet the same as they did when you first tried them on don't panictake them along to a dress alteration specialist and have them adjusted.

Collect your wedding rings if you haven't already

Delegate jobs for the big day-

There will be lots of little jobs that you will need help with on the day of your wedding, for example- picking up the flowers, pressing the dresses and perhaps even pressing play on the stereo at the right moment. Make sure you find someone reliable for these jobs. 

Get a wedding licence-

Confirm your honeymoon reservations-
If you are using a travel agent give them a call to confirm  all of your bookings, if not check your flight tickets, make sure your passports are valid and confirm your hotel booking.

Two weeks to go-

Hair and make up trials-

Hair and make up trials are a great idea,l this way you know exactly what to expect on the day. Also your Hairdresser and Make up artist will know exactly what products and techniques to use for your hair and skin type.

Confirm music arrangements-
If you are having a band be sure to arrange a time for the to come and set up with yourself and your venue. If you are having a juke box you will need to organize pick up and drop off at the venue, if you are using an electronic playlist be sure that yoou have all the cords necessary as well as good speakers.




♦ Avoid dramatic changes in hairstyle and make-up before your wedding day - you want to feel and look like you on the day!

♦ Try to spend time with all your wedding guests for unforgettable memories of your wedding day...
Don't forget to thank everyone who took part in your big day. A favourite  bride & groom photo will be appreciated.
♦ Make sure you take time to get a snap of just you and your mum - it's a picture you will both treasure forever

Be yourself and everything else will fall into place. If your and your guests are having a good time nothing else matters

♦ Be prepared: everyone will have an opinion and a suggestion about what you should do and when, grit your teeth and be as gracious as possible, thank them for their ideas and for being so excited about your wedding. Lock the door and turn on the spa, soak in the bubbles with your favourite wine and relax!

Among all the chaos, table plans, dress fittings, family feuds, tensions and tiaras, there is an oasis of clarity at one point during the event - the vows. Don't worry about anything else, because when you say those words, the rest is irrelevant.




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