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wedding guide

Bride and Groom

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the wedding planner

Quotation Mark  No matter what stage you are at in planning your wedding, I hope you find some valuable tips in my wedding planner to make it the wedding of your dreams.

6 to 12 months before the wedding

  • Choose a date and begin to vision the type of wedding you would both like. (formal or informal, traditional, contemporary or a theme wedding...)
  • Determine your budget and discuss expenses.  
  • Book your celebrant, priest or minister. Discuss your ceremony and complete the Notice of Intended Marriage. (This must be filled in at least a month before your wedding and no earlier than 18 months before.) Provide necessary original documents.
  • Start to get your ideas for your wedding ceremony - The beautiful e-book 'Create Your Own Inspiring Wedding Ceremony' is packed full of ideas, stories and examples of inspirational ceremonies. The inspirational e-book on wedding vows with over 100 examples is only $3.95! Available now to download upon here.
  • Choose and book a ceremony venue. Consider wet weather options if outdoors.
  • Find a reception location and make reservation.
  • Compile a guest list with names and addresses.
  • Choose who you would like to be in the Wedding Party (Best Man, best woman, bridesmaid, etc) and ask them if they would like to take on the roles you have chosen.
  • Find out about wedding service providers that you may be using: 
    • photographer
    • videographer
    • florist
    • cake
    • entertainment and musicians
    • hair dressers, nails, make-up
    • cars
    • venue decorators
    • wedding co-ordinator…
  • Discuss price, what they offer, what you want, make notes… then decide and book!

4 to 6 months before the wedding

  • Finalise your guest list.
  • Select a wedding outfit for both parties with accessories and extras: shoes, belts, hoop, tiara, veil...
  • Choose attendant’s dresses.
  • Buy wedding rings and arrange for engraving or fitting if necessary.
  • Book caterer/discuss catering.
  • Book DJ or band.
  • Decide on honeymoon arrangements– do you need passports, visas, etc? Book all travel plans in the names you are getting married - you may not have time to change your passport or ID if you are changing your name after you are married.
  • Begin to work on your ceremony. Discuss with your celebrant any ideas or selections you have made so far.  Do the ‘Love Letter’ exercise from my e-book "Create Your Own Inspiring Wedding Ceremony"  Need some inspiration for your wedding vows? You can see what other brides and grooms wrote for their vows to each other in this fabulous ebook!
  • Plan ceremony and reception music.
  • Choose and order invitations and any reception party gifts
  • Select a gift register

2 to 4 months before the wedding

  • Send invitations and gift list. Also include local brochures or contact details for the local visitor information centre for out of towners.  Maps and contact numbers for change of plans can also be included. You may wish to include an itinerary for any other planned events that are happening. (Breakfast or lunch the next day??)
  • Plan wedding decorations.
  • Make transport arrangements.
  • Finalise honeymoon plans
  • Put together ideas for wedding registry.
  • Order the wedding cake.
  • Reserve rooms for out of town guests.
  • Begin to prepare for your reception speech. ‘Create An Inspiring Reception Speech’ covers every thing you could possibly want to know about this.
  • Choose an MC for your wedding and ask them if they would be happy to do it.

one month before the wedding

  • Confirm details of every aspect of your wedding. (venue, decorators, photographer, videographer, florist, cake, entertainment and musicians, cars) Make final payments.
  • Discuss photo shoot with photographer. List the ‘must have’ photos.
  • Have all final fittings for dresses.
  • Have all final fittings for suits.
  • Ask a friend to take charge of a guest book at the reception.
  • Pick up wedding rings.
  • Purchase any gifts you would like to give.
  • Confirm ceremony details with Celebrant.
  • Keep a list of RSVP’s.
  • Arrange a hen’s and/or stag’s night. Best advice: not the night before the wedding!

two weeks before the wedding

  • Review reception seating and order place cards.
  • Prepare a wedding announcement and send to newspapers.
  • Contact guests who have not responded.
  • Confirm honeymoon and travel arrangements
  • Plan an itinerary for your wedding weekend. Aim to finish your running around two days before your wedding and then you can be free to greet guests as they arrive in town.
  • Have a trial hair and make-up appointment.

one week before the wedding

  • Pick up dresses and suits and accessories.  Arrange for someone to return hire clothes.
  • Confirm details with all participants and inform them of any changes.
  • See Celebrant. Show them your original birth certificates and any other necessary documentation. Sign Statutory Declarations. Discuss the details of the ceremony, run through the start of the ceremony and standing positions. Rehearse vows and exchanging of the rings. Make final payment.
  • Give final guest count to caterer.
  • Pack for honeymoon.
  • Make sure you have rings and/or other gifts.
  • Have a rehearsal with bridal party if necessary.
  • Make final touches to your speech.
  • Have a massage!

the wedding day

  • Make sure you have a good breakfast.
  • Get hair, nails and make up done.
  • Go for a surf, play a game of golf… preferably keep away from the trail bike riding and more risky sports!
  • Make sure you have lunch if it’s an afternoon wedding. If you are getting your hair done then organise for a platter to be brought to you.
  • Drink lots of fluid but keep away from the alcohol before your wedding. (You may wish to discuss beforehand how much you are going to drink after your ceremony and plan it out. There have many who have woken up the next day to not remember any of their special day)
  • Begin to dress two hours before the ceremony is to begin. Give yourself plenty of time so that day unfolds smoothly and you get to enjoy every moment.
  • Arrive on time. (Be sure discuss with your celebrant and groom a ‘late entrance’ if you are planning one!)
  • Relax
  • ENJOY!
In all of your planning always remind yourselves why you are having this celebration. It is for you both to celebrate your love and friendship, and your marriage. Take time out to be together to discuss your wedding day, and also take time out to not discuss your wedding day. Both are important.

If you need a hand with any aspect of your ceremony planning, please contact me at:
Wendy Haynes Signature

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what people say

Heidi, Cairns
Hi Wendy, I have been reading through your site and from feeling overwhelmed at the whole wedding planning now feel more relaxed!

Candy & Lincoln, Sydney, NSW
Your book gave us an insight as to what the important aspects of a perfect ceremony are. Had I not read your book I don’t know whether I would have put so much thought into the most memorable part of our wedding.
button to wendy's wedding testimonials  wedding ceremony book