Wedding planning tips

-January 2022-

My Top 5 Wedding Planning Tips

Planning a wedding can feel overwhelming if you’re not sure where to begin, so I want to start off 2022 by sharing my top 5 tips for planning your dream wedding! Put your feet up, sit back, relax, and read on for 5 minutes…

Joanne Ross Wells

Where to start

At the Swan Valley Wedding Open Day a few days ago, I had the pleasure of showcasing at a beautiful wedding venue, Belvoir Homestead. During the evening I chatted to many newly engaged couples, most of them feeling quite overwhelmed with the entire process of having to plan their wedding day with little or no experience!

Having worked with brides for over 12 years, I have a few tips that may help you if this is where you’re at too! So, here’s my top 5 tips which I’ll expand on and explain why I think this order is the best…

  1. Book your venue (and caterer if required).
  2. Book a wedding planner.
  3. Book your celebrant if you’re not getting married by a church minister.
  4. Book your Photographer and videographer (if you’re having one).
  5. Order/buy your Wedding Dress/Outfit.

The Venue

The venue is often the largest component of your wedding budget and it sets the tone for your BIG day! So brainstorm together what feelings and theme you’d love to create with your guests and especially for your photos/video. Such as, Garden/outdoors, Romantic, Rustic, Modern, Classic/Traditional, Minimalist, Cultural/Religious, Vintage, Boho or Eco-friendly.

Then begin your Google search for venues that fit your theme, then read their reviews and book a viewing sooner rather than later as the popular venues can require several weeks notice.

Before you go to your viewing create a checklist of your non-negotiables, negotiables and a column for bonus points! This will help you once you’ve visited your top 3-5 venues and you have to sit down to make your decision on the best one for you!

Unique bride Couture custom Fit & Flare JRW bride Louise Custom bride Louise & Berin. Venue: Kooroomba Lavender Farm , QLD. – Photo credit: Incmill Photography

The Wedding Planner

Here’s a few reasons why I would suggest that you book a wedding planner:

  • You’re time poor.
  • You’re not a naturally organised person.
  • You feel completely overwhelmed with having to plan it all.
  • You don’t have anyone close by that can assist you during the planning stage.
  • You don’t want to be stressed out on your day when you’re trying to focus on some pamper time/hair/make-up and looking absolutely gorgeous!

At the end of the day a wedding planner is there to relieve you of 80% of the load and reduce your stress, money well spent, I think!

The Celebrant

By now you’ve decided on your theme and vibe for your wedding day and your celebrant needs to be in sync with that. On top of that you need to consider if you would you like your ceremony to be filled with humour, just have a touch of humour, be more serious and traditional, etc.

  • Chat to your friends that have already tied the knot to ask how their celebrant met their expectations. Were they good communicators and easy to work with?
  • Start researching celebrants in your region and read their reviews.
  • Create a shortlist and look at their Social profiles, for a ‘feel’ of what they’re about.
  • Book in to chat to your top 3 ASAP, as you can’t tie the knot without them, and the best ones book up quickly!
Custom bride Verity and Chase, with Kirk Goodsell Celebrant. Photo credit: Sevs Wedding Photographer

Photographer & Videographer

As with your celebrant, it’s obviously very important that you gel with your photographic crew! Someone who’s cracking jokes and fooling around may irritate you if you’re a more serious personality type! Or you may find that you need the humour to lighten your day! So, think carefully about the type of people that you feel the most relaxed around when you need to unwind and have some fun, and this will help point you in the right direction. I believe your mood on the DAY is so important for setting the right tone as you prepare for one of the biggest days of your life.

Then look at the style of photography/videography that really resonates with you both, as each Creative has their own set of pre-sets and styles that they love to work to. Insta is obviously the favourite to do your research on, so set aside some time to stalk as many of your local photographers as possible!

Make a shortlist of 2-3 and book in your ‘meet & greet’ appointments to make your decision before your favourite is booked on your scheduled date! (12-18 months is advisable).

The Dress

Woohoo  🙌  this is where the FUN begins! Your wedding dress is all about YOU and what is going to make your heart skip a beat, never mind your partner’s as you walk down the aisle to declare your love to each other!

I recommend that you get started on your research as soon as you’ve booked your venue (if you haven’t already) as you will often need to order your dress 8-12 months before your wedding day, unless you’re buying Sample Sale or off-the-floor dresses (then just allow a few months for alterations). Bridal Designers can book up a year in advance, so if you have a custom design in mind book in with your Designer ASAP!

An extra TIP…it’s easy to get influenced by what your Mum or Besties 🥰 want you to wear, but you need to dig deep. Know what it is that you want and what is going to flatter you in the most amazing way! I have been designing wedding dresses for brides for many years and if you don’t stay true to yourself, you will regret it in years to come!

The best foundation to start from is in understanding your own figure, and what is going to make you look and feel the most beautiful! 🤩 A catalogue bride will look very different in the same dress if you don’t share the same body shape and proportions!

Some bridal stylists may be trained in this but often they’re not and will just go by their own opinion of what looks good. Unless you’re an Hourglass figure (where you look great in most styles), I suggest you get some professional styling advice or at least do your research (Pinterest is great for this) and understand what styles are going to flatter you in the best way.

You can read my previous blogs here to help you better understand this topic.

Once you have ticked the TOP 5 on your list, you can begin working your way through the other necessary wedding suppliers such as:

  • music
  • cars
  • floral designer
  • save the date
  • stylist
  • wedding hire
  • cake
  • hair and make-up
  • honeymoon & accomodation
  • Grooms formalwear
  • jewellery
  • photo booth
  • decorations
  • bridesmaids & flower girls
  • invitations
  • shoes
  • lingerie
  • accessories
  • hens/bucks parties
Wedding planning graphic Easy Weddings Wedding planning graphic

Phew, 😅 I raced through that a lot quicker than I normally do! I just get so excited knowing I can help during what can be a very stressful time! If you have any questions or comments, I’d love to hear them and good luck with all your wedding day planning! 🥂

May your BIG day meet all your dreams and expectations as you share in the love and commitment with your fiancé and loved ones.

With love 🤗

Jo xx

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Joanne Ross Wells

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