So you’ve said yes (or asked the question and she said yes), and now you’re looking at each other excited at your future, but also asking yourselves – now what? Weddings can be daunting and overwhelming, and it can be difficult to know where to even begin when planning your special day. We’ve devised the ultimate check-list for you, starting from the basics such as when and where, continuing with the planning and through to the actual day when you say “I do”. Of course not all of these will be relevant to you, but hopefully you’ll find it helpful to not leave anything off when devising your own list.
Let’s start at the beginning
You’ve both agreed that you’re in for the long haul, so where do you begin next? Here are the first items you should start to check-off your list.
- Make a list of ceremony and reception venues – and book a date
Spring/Summer is the most popular time of the year to get married, and there’s a finite number of weekends. If you have a special venue in mind, you’ll want to find out their availabilities and book as soon as you can. Keep in mind if your date is unavailable, Friday afternoon weddings are becoming increasingly common (and usually are a bit of a cheaper option too).
- Check the date people most important to you firstly end – and then send your “Save the Dates” ASAP
Similarly to the booked out venues, most people are attending weddings at the same time of the year. Whether you send out a ‘Save the Date’ via mail (fridge magnets are a great idea), or use a website such as Paperless Post to send it electronically – it’s best to give people as much notice as you can, especially if you’re planning a destination wedding.
- Start a Pinterest board
It might sound cliche, but Pinterest is an excellent way to collate all your ideas onto one platform. Check out our Party Hire Pinterest page here.
The venue is booked and you have a date – now what?
- Choose a theme / style for your wedding
This might feel unnecessary first, but having a general theme or style for your wedding will help you with each cross-road of your decision making. For example if you’re after a more modern reception where your guests are free to mingle and roam, you’re probably best to plan for a cocktail event. If you love shabby chic and vintage decor, you’re more likely to get a better style for this with a sit-down event where you can hire tables and Tiffany or Bentwood chairs.
- Create a floor plan and make a list
Having a visual layout and reference, will make it much easier when it comes to making your list. A floorplan will enable you to measure and calculate exactly how many tables you need, how many chairs, dancefloor, bar area etc. Every furniture and event hire decision you make will be based on this.
- Hire the major items as soon as possible
As with confirming the venue, there is a traditional wedding season and things book out. You’ll want to ensure you have the major items ready for your big day so you’re not facing a last minute scramble or disappointment.
Leading up to the big day
- Have a run sheet that includes bump in and bump out
When creating your run sheet for the day, make sure you include the logistics of bumping in and bumping out. Your suppliers should be able to tell you how long they need to set-up, and your venue will let you know from what time you’ll have access from and until. If you have friends helping you set-up, make sure you also check with them their most suitable times and their preferences, i.e. Whether they prefer to start and finish early to have a bit of down time before the festivities begin.
- Confirm RSVPs with your guests and dietary requirements
We all have a few friends who can be tardy, and when you’re usually paying per head, it’s extra important to ensure that you have a confirmed attendance or not from each of your invited guests (no assumptions). It’s easiest to ask your guests to also advice any dietary requirements with their RSVP, so you can plan your catering with actual numbers.
- Have a few “must-have” shots in mind for your photographer
You’ve most likely chosen your photographer based on his/her style and portfolio, so you expect to receive shots similar to what you’ve seen them do already. Remember though that every wedding is different, and that’s not just the people getting married! Also the event set-up, theme and layout is going to be unique to everyone. If you know for example you want a special shot of you both signing your marriage certificate, make sure to hire the table and chairs you want featured in this. Similarly for the ceremony, a bridal arch is a beautiful way to frame you both in photos, so you’ll want to consider hiring this too.
On the day
- Have your floor plan, run sheet and contact numbers handy
If everything else has been followed, thought out and well planned, hopefully on the day everything will run smoothly! It’s likely that there will be some hiccups, however as long as you have everyone well briefed, most things can be handled and resolved. Having a list of emergency contact numbers is also super useful, in case you are not always available to answer your phone or respond to question.Most of all, remember that it’s your special day and the most important thing is to enjoy yourself and take it all in.