There is no doubt about it - when you get engaged googling anything wedding related becomes a sport. After all, there seem to be a billion things to plan and endless rules seem to be in place.
As you may well know, we don't believe in following wedding rules or traditions unless they are meaningful to you. However, without a doubt planning an event/party for potentially a large number of guests does require some research and time.
To help you with your planning, we have summed up some of the most commonly asked wedding-related questions :
1. How do I plan a wedding?
Oh yes, the million dollar (or is it 65K?) question. It can be very overwhelming and difficult to know where to even start. You may find our checklist helpful. This will hopefully give you a bit of a starting point, but generally a venue and date is a good place to begin - once you have established roughly how many guests you are having.
2. How much does a wedding cost?
In a nutshell - how much you want it to cost and then some. On average the cost of a wedding in Australia seems to be somewhere between 53-65k. Again, there would be many that are over this and some under. Keep in mind - the biggest expense will always be your venue - and making sure your guests have something to drink and are well-fed. Of course there are ways around this (i.e. you could ask guests to bring a plate to share instead of a gift, if you want a low-key, and cost effective celebration.) Remember many of the 'wedding' add-ons are your choice - i.e. you don't need to have a personalised invitation suite, elaborate florals, a six tier cake and chair covers to celebrate a wedding. Make sure to set a budget and keep on top of it. (If you need a budget spreadsheet you can download it from our Wedding Planning Guides.)
3. Who pays for a wedding?
Traditionally the brides parents paid for a wedding. However, in most cases the couple will pay a significant amount or the majority of the cost of the wedding. Don't ever assume that someone else is paying for it, unless you know for certain this is the case. Also, don't spend money you don't have. Starting your marriage with a huge debt is never a good idea.
4. When do you send out invitations?
Ideally you send out wedding invitations about 6-8 weeks before the date. If you want to send out Save the Dates you can do so at an earlier time (3-6 months in advance). It is always good to give about a years' notice for destination weddings, especially if guests will be required to travel far.
5. How do you plan a destination wedding?
It may be a good idea to hire a local wedding planner who knows the area and language well. Whilst there is nothing to say you can't do it yourself it is a good idea to give some extra time for any challenges and language barriers you may face. If you know someone who has gotten married in the same area, make sure to get in touch with them for any insider tips.
6. How do you write wedding vows?
There is no right or wrong as long as what you have written is genuine and from the heart. However, if you want a little more guidance we have written a more detailed blog here.
7. Can you ask for money as a wedding gift?
This can be a tricky one, but yes - absolutely you can. We told our guests that their presence was more than enough, but if they did wish to give us something we would love a contribution towards our honeymoon. There is nothing wrong with wanting to have a lasting memory over something material, if that's what you prefer. Also, many couples live together before they get married, so often already have what they need for their home.
8. How do I make a Seating Chart?
If the thought of allocating seats all seems like a headache, take the pressure off and allocate tables instead. To be honest, most guests will probably love that as they don't end up stuck sitting with someone they don't want to be with. Otherwise, if you want to throw all caution to the wind let your guests decide themselves where they want to sit.
9. When do I take off my veil?
There is no right or wrong way to answer this. You can wear it for the ceremony only, for some or all of the photos, or even for some or part of your reception. It really comes down to what you want. If you are after some more veil tips, read more here.
10. How can I simplify this whole wedding planning thing?
Remember, the choice is entirely your partner's and yours! Aside from the legal paperwork and the legal vows, there is nothing else that is essential for a wedding. Make sure not to lose sight of the bigger picture and always come back to what is meaningful to you as a couple. If you are after some more specific advice we have rounded up a few tips here.