Working in the industry for over 6 years, you can definitely pick up on things that could have gone better. I'm not a wedding planner by any means, but here are some things that I think should be considered so you can SAVE money, have your night run more smoothly, or fit in more dance time!
By all means, consulting wedding planners and talking to your venue wedding co-ordinators is a great start to have the wedding of your dreams. Here's 7 things I think you should keep on the radar.
1. Your Timeline is your lifeline!
I have found two main ways to run your wedding night. A) "Let's get the formalities done so we can party" or B) "Let's take our time and enjoy every moment"
Option A is literally
This is great if you can put the first hour or so of your reception aside to get this done, provided speeches don't drag on too long. All the hard bit is done and you can relax and put on your dancing shoes!
Option B can vary depending on kitchen operations or your personal preference
Depending on your guests, your caterers and also your personal preference, I find that these two main formats are good to work from or at least discuss as possibilities with clients.
2. If things run late, the only thing that's affected is the dancing!
If you want to dance, don't dilly dally. If anything runs late (usually they do) the thing that's affected is the end of the night - which is the dancing time. An average wedding can generally get one and a half hours of dance time. A good wedding allows two. Sometimes, a really great wedding has three!
If dancing and partying is your preference, start planning the formalities around it and make your party time a priority. Sometimes option A in your timeline works well.
3. Choosing your suppliers
This IS an important note!
Choosing your suppliers is such an important task. Each supplier will work together as an entire team for your wedding day. Keeping to the run sheet, touching base with you and your guests, liaising with the venue.
This is a choice that you make for one of the most important days of your life. Go with your gut instincts. Arrange face to face meetings with your potential suitors! If you aren't getting clear answers, exact prices or if they haven't got good reviews, then consider other professional suppliers.
Check Facebook reviews, ask Facebook wedding groups for opinions from other brides or client's interactions, search their business on google even check their business on ABN Lookup to see if they are even a registered trading business or if they are just a casual part-timer.
4. Good service isn't cheap and cheap service isn't good
The age old saying of you get what you pay for. Well, it's true.
Pricing can be a good indication on someones level of professionalism. It doesn't always work but it can obviously point out something to pay attention to.
"If something seems too good to be true, it probably is".
Always ask friends, facebook groups, check out ABIA, Easy weddings, google reviews.
5. Check out wedding planning sites
Websites such as the Australian Bridal Industry Academy and Easy Weddings allow clients to see honest reviews, and see if business have won awards or have been accredited for their honest business dealings with brides. The ABIA database is huge with all kinds of wedding suppliers across the state and even the whole of Australia.
Easy Weddings provide a massive online planning experience for brides and grooms to pick and choose their suppliers, read their reviews, and also email a bunch of tips and tricks. They also have massive giveaways and prizes too!
6. The Bridal party are starving!
In that period between the ceremony, the start of reception and when you go off for photos, you are going to be REALLY HUNGRY!
Organise some canapés, snacks and even drinks before you get to reception for your bridal party and yourselves. There will come a time when you are just going to want to hurry up and eat something. A typical wedding day can start with 7am makeup session, 3pm ceremony and 11pm last drinks being called so plan some nibbles.
7. What about the cake?
After cake cutting, what happens?
Cakes are NOT cheap! Rather than paying extra per head for a dessert, consider having the caterer's cut up and platter or even serve your cake as dessert so it gets eaten. Make sure you run this idea past them as some caterers are only booked until a certain time. I have even had some clients arrange takeaway containers to the cake can be taken home for guests! This is also a great idea!
Other alternatives are to organise a smaller one tier cake for the cake cutting and having cupcakes or muffins for guests for dessert. It allows a small convenient serve for guests to walk around with.
However in SOME cases, venues can allow dessert courses to be served for just an extra $3-8 per person which is worth considering if your cake isn't huge.
By all means, talk to your suppliers, ask questions and liaise with your venue or private wedding coordinator. The only silly questions are the ones that are not asked!
Congratulations on your engagement and if you found this content helpful, please share for others!