As a wedding photographer, one of my favourite moments is meeting the happy couple for the first time. This is typically when they are looking for a photographer or other wedding advice.
For me, it's a great opportunity to hear about the wedding planning and the rest of the details that may or may not be in place at the time we meet.
In-fact, the order of planning a wedding is typically part of the conversation, the main reason why today we are looking at the ideal order of planning the big day.
In other words, where do you start and what comes first?
Firstly, take a deep breath. You may have heard from family and friends that organising a wedding is full of stress, pressure and arguments, but it doesn't have to be.
The starting point.
Whether your invitation list is 10 people or 200 people, keeping everything in order will make life a lot easier.
Create yourself a document (Excel spreadsheet or pen and paper) that you are most comfortable with and use it as the one source of truth.
Then, the first big decision – the date. The wedding date will impact everything else that comes after so make sure it is the first thing you do. This will be subject to the availability of the venue that you choose, so finding your venue and setting your date may go hand-in-hand.
When setting the date, you are likely to hear opinions about weather, school holidays, traveling time and so on. Find a date that works for you, it is very hard to keep everybody happy.
Once your venue and your date are set, you can move on to the fun parts.
Save the dates/Invitations
Going back to your guests for a moment. Whether you have family and friends traveling from overseas or interstate, it is best to give people as much notice as possible so that they can plan ahead. Keep in mind your guests may need to organise travel, accommodation, babysitters, dog sitters, etc., so the more notice you can give, the better.
You may choose to skip your save the dates and go straight to sending out invitations, although save the dates are a great option to get your guests to lock in their attendance if your date is a fair while away. You may decide to find a save the date/invitation online and have them printed by a third party (such as Etsy), or you may choose a professional wedding stationer (my preferred choice for couples would be Lala Design Perth).
The wedding photographer
If there’s a specific photographer you really want at your wedding, reaching out to them as soon as you have a date would be the way to go. Even if they are yet to release their schedule for the time you plan to have your wedding, many will put you on their early bird list and let you know when their schedule opens up.
Same goes for a celebrant, DJ, band, florists and other vendors.
To make it a little simpler, here’s the order I recommend:
The wedding date
Save the dates/invitations
Hair and makeup etc.
** This list is different from couple to couple. Sometimes the photographer is booked before a venue is secured. Again, it is completely up to you!
Once the above are decided on, there are a number of other details and logistics you may be looking at. That could be the cake, buses to take the guests, photo-booths for the party, or anything else you may want on your big day.
Remember, your wedding day is your day so while the recommendations above are a great starting point, it
doesn’t mean that your wedding needs to include everything that was mentioned.
That said, following the order mentioned above will make your planning a lot easier.
If you are looking for further advice regarding weddings or wedding photography, reach out to me at Sev’s Weddings. I would be honoured to help.
Wishing you all the best and a lifetime of happy moments.