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Top 5 Things to Do When Starting Your Wedding Planning

Hi, I'm Tracey.
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Say goodbye to wedding day stress and hello to unforgettable memories with these three essential tips for planning your big day. From ensuring a day filled with joy and laughter to capturing the most stunning photos that truly reflect your love story, let's make your dream wedding a reality.
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Top 5 Things to Do When Starting Your Wedding Planning

Hooray! You’re engaged – the exciting journey to matrimony has begun! As fun, as it sounds, planning a wedding can be a bit stressful at times. With tasks such as picking a date and constructing a guest list, it’s no wonder one might feel somewhat overwhelmed. To help you begin your wedding planning journey, here are the top 5 things to do when starting your Wedding Planning: figure out your budget, pick a date, choose a venue, decide on a theme, and start researching vendors. Taking the time to research each task thoroughly will help ensure that your special day goes off without a hitch and will create the perfect foundation for your dream wedding day.

Dream it, Visualise

Dreaming about your perfect wedding day is an amazing life event. It’s an occasion you will always treasure, so make it an unforgettable experience. The initial step to begin planning is to visualise what you desire for the big day. Aim for the stars and think of the various possibilities that your special day can bring. Picture yourself strolling down the aisle in the wedding spot of your dreams. Perhaps a tropical getaway wedding has been a long-time desire. If this is the situation, then an idyllic island in the Maldives is perfect. The tranquil waves crashing onto the shore, combined with a pleasant ocean breeze on your skin will add to the magic of the moment. An outdoor garden ceremony with your friends and family can also be a spectacular and unique experience, surrounded by greenery, fresh air, and warmth from your dearest ones. On the other hand, for a more intimate celebration, an elaborate micro-wedding with the closest people and high-quality details could be ideal. A stunning view of a mountain after an adventurous helicopter ride, an elopement away from the hustle and bustle is an option as well. Alternatively, for a celebration with everyone you love, why not look into a holiday resort? This would give your wedding guests a chance to relax and appreciate your day in full.No matter the place and atmosphere you go for, the most significant aspect is to have a vivid view of your perfect wedding. 

When you’ve figured this out, the goal is within your reach! Be bold and think big – the options are endless and you can create your dream wedding. Get planning and be sure to create a Pinterest board with all your ideas to assist you with the vision. 

Ask yourself the right questions to aid you in your search: 

Is this a local or a destination wedding? 

How many guests do I want to invite? 

What kind of theme and ambience do I desire? 

Answering these queries can help narrow down your choices. Lastly, don’t forget to focus on what matters the most to you. Start putting it all together, and enjoy the process!

Establish a Budget

Without a budget, it’s easy to overspend and put yourself in a difficult financial situation. Establishing a budget allows you to prioritize what’s important to you and avoid any unnecessary expenses. 

The budget you set should take into consideration the guest counts you have in mind, as well as any contributions from family members. 

Once you have an idea of your budget, you can start to allocate funds to the different areas of your wedding, such as the venue, catering, and photography. 

It’s essential to be realistic with your budget and not to try and fit too much into it. Your budget needs to be sustainable, so it’s important to factor in any unforeseen expenses that may arise. If you’re struggling to allocate funds, consider using a wedding budget planner tool, which can help you get a clearer picture of where your money is going. 

Ultimately, setting a budget will give you the peace of mind to move forward confidently with your wedding planning, knowing that you have a plan in place and can make informed decisions about your spending.

Select the Date and Time

Choosing the date and time for your wedding is a crucial step in the planning process. Not only will it determine the availability of your preferred vendors, but it will also set the tone and atmosphere for your special day. 

Start by considering the season you want to get married in. Do you have a preference for warm weather and outdoor activities, or do you prefer a cozy indoor setting with cool weather? Once you’ve narrowed down the season, look into the specific dates that work for you and your partner.

When selecting a date, keep in mind that certain venues may book up quickly, especially during peak wedding season. Be prepared with a few alternative dates in case your preferred venue is already booked. 

If you’re planning a destination wedding, research the weather patterns and peak tourist seasons for your chosen location. This will help ensure that your guests have a comfortable and enjoyable experience.

Once you’ve selected a few potential dates, reach out to your preferred vendors to check availability. Booking your vendors early will help ensure that you get your top choices and allow you to move forward with the rest of your planning process. Overall, selecting the date and time is a critical step in the planning process that requires careful consideration and research.

Choose the Venue

When it comes to choosing your wedding venue, it’s a decision that should be made early on in the planning process. Booking your venue first will not only determine the date of your wedding but will also have a significant impact on your budget and set the tone for your event. 

To start, think about the type of venue that fits your vision and style. Do you dream of a rustic barn, a glamorous ballroom, or a charming outdoor garden? Consider the size of the venue and whether it can comfortably accommodate your guest count. 

It’s important to visit potential venues in person to get a feel for the space and its amenities. Take note of the ambience, layout, and any restrictions or guidelines they may have. Ask about the availability of dates that work for you and your partner. 

Once you have a shortlist of venues that meet your criteria, compare the pricing, packages, and included services. Keep in mind any additional costs such as catering or decor that may need to be considered. 

Finally, when you have found the perfect venue, don’t hesitate to book it as soon as possible. Popular venues can book up quickly, so it’s best to secure your desired date at least 12-15 months in advance. If you are looking for an Old World Timeless Venue, click here to see the venue I recommend. 

For elopements, you may have more flexibility and can book 6-12 months in advance. 

Choosing the right venue is a significant decision in your wedding planning journey. It sets the foundation for your special day and ensures that you have the perfect backdrop for your celebration.

Pick a Theme or Style

Once you have your venue, date, and photographer secured, it’s time to dive into the exciting world of wedding planning. This is where the fun really begins, as you start to explore the various possibilities and envision your dream day. Finding inspiration is a crucial part of the process, and luckily, there are plenty of resources available to help you along the way.

One great place to start is online wedding magazines. Websites like Style Me Pretty, Brides, Martha Stewart Weddings, and Wedding Sparrow offer a vast array of information and inspiration for planning your big day. From real weddings to style editorials and vendor directories, these websites are a treasure trove of ideas and resources.

If you’re a visual person, Pinterest is a fantastic resource for finding wedding inspiration. You can create boards dedicated to different aspects of your wedding, such as decor, flowers, and attire, and save images that catch your eye. It’s an excellent way to gather ideas and see how different elements can come together to create a cohesive look and feel.

Another important consideration when planning your wedding is choosing a colour theme or palette. Think about the mood and atmosphere you want to create, and select colours that reflect that. You can find colour inspiration on websites like Design Seeds or by creating a colour palette on Adobe Color. This will help ensure that all the elements of your wedding, from the flowers to the invitations, work together beautifully.

However, it’s essential to remember that while these resources can offer great ideas and guidance, the most crucial aspect of wedding planning is staying true to yourself. Incorporate your unique style and personality into every detail of your special day. Remember, this is a celebration of your love and commitment, and it should reflect who you are as a couple.

Find and Book Vendors (e.g. catering, photography, music)

Once you have established your budget, chosen a venue, set a date, and picked a theme for your wedding, it’s time to find and book the vendors who will help bring your vision to life. This includes crucial aspects such as catering, photography, and music.

Start by doing thorough research on different vendors in your area. Look for ones that align with your style, budget, and preferences. Read reviews and browse their portfolios or samples of work to ensure they meet your expectations.

Contact potential vendors and schedule meetings or consultations to discuss your needs and get a sense of their expertise. Ask about pricing, packages, and any additional services they offer. It’s important to feel comfortable with your vendors and confident in their ability to execute your vision.

Once you have gathered all the necessary information, compare your options and make a final decision on which vendors to book. Keep in mind that popular vendors often get booked quickly, so it’s best to secure your desired vendors as early as possible.

When booking vendors, make sure to get all agreements in writing and clearly outline all terms and conditions, including payment schedules and cancellation policies. This will protect both parties and ensure a smooth and professional working relationship.

By taking the time to carefully research, meet with, and book reputable vendors (Florist I recommend), you can ensure that your wedding day is executed flawlessly, and your guests have an unforgettable experience.

Booking your photographer

Booking your photographer is an important step in the planning process and one that should not be overlooked. It’s best to start this process early, as the best photographers are usually booked well in advance. 

Photographers including myself can be booked out 12- 15 months in advance. If you’re taken by a certain photographer’s aesthetic and wish to collaborate with them, you should check for their availability while taking your wedding venue and date into account. 

Your wedding photos are some of the most important keepsakes from your special day, so it’s crucial to choose a photographer that matches your style and vision. 

Firstly, consider what kind of photography style you prefer and does it match your wedding vision. 

Once you have an idea of the kind of photography style you like, it’s time to start looking for a photographer that matches that style. – Most wedding Photographers are dark and moody but if you’re looking for natural, bright and true-to-life images. I might be the photographer for you

When you’ve found a few photographers that you like, reach out to them to see if they are available on your wedding date. It’s a good idea to book your photographer 12 months out from your wedding day, especially if you’re planning on getting married during a busy time of year. Don’t simply pick someone out of necessity – choose the photographer whose work you’re in love with and that truly aligns with your vision. This will help ensure your wedding photos will be the keepsakes you’ve always dreamed of.

Once you’ve found the photographer you want to work with, be sure to sign a contract and pay the deposit to secure your date. 

By booking your photographer early on in the wedding planning process, you can rest assured that you’ll have someone you trust to capture all the special moments of your big day.

Hire a Wedding Planner or Coordinator

Planning a wedding is a significant task, and it’s not always easy to keep track of every detail. A wedding planner or coordinator can help ease your stress by managing everything for you. They will ensure that everything runs smoothly and that all your vendors are coordinated. If you’re struggling to figure out your vision for your big day, a planner or coordinator can guide you in making decisions about themes, colours, and overall design.

They can help you create a realistic budget and stick to it. A wedding planner will also ensure that all your vendors are reliable, well-priced, and provide the services that you need. They can help you avoid the headache of negotiating contracts, and they’ll make sure that everything is in writing.

Finally, wedding planners can also be a lifesaver when it comes to dealing with last-minute issues that may arise. They have the experience and expertise to handle any problems quickly and efficiently, ensuring that your day runs smoothly.

Hiring a wedding planner is not cheap, but the benefits are immense. You will have a dedicated professional who can handle everything for you, leaving you free to enjoy your big day without worrying about the details.

Planning mistakes that can be Avoided

1. Not sticking to the budget: It’s easy to get carried away with all the beautiful things you can add to your wedding day, but don’t forget to stick to your budget. Overspending in one area can affect the rest of your planning.

2. Procrastinating: Waiting until the last minute to book vendors or make important decisions can lead to stress and disappointment. Plan ahead and give yourself enough time to make informed choices.

3. Ignoring the weather: While you can’t control the weather, you can plan for it. Make sure to have a backup plan in case of rain or extreme heat/cold.

4. Neglecting to communicate with vendors: Communication is key when it comes to working with vendors. Be clear about your expectations and listen to their input as well they may have some great ideas to consider. An example of this is with the styling of tables: a bride entered her wedding reception to find that the colour blue they used on the tables was not a match to the theme that she had meticulously chosen.

This day is ultimately all about the two of you, and your vision of what your wedding day should look and feel like. It’s important to remain true to yourselves and prioritise what matters most. Planning a wedding is a big dream for the two of you and having the right vendors on your side makes a world of difference. 

If you are in need of a photographer who has your best interests at heart, and who can support and understand your vision, I would love to help. Please get in touch – I’d be honoured to be part of your wedding day celebrations. 

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Behind the lens

Welcome to my journal

Welcome to my journal! I am thrilled to have you here, whether you're seeking love story inspiration or helpful tips for your wedding day planning. As a fine art wedding photographer based in Western Australia, I specialize in capturing the special moments of couples in Perth, Swan Valley, Dunsborough, and the Margaret River Region. But even if you're from further afield, my love for travel means I am eager to follow you wherever your journey takes you.

With my camera in hand and your vision as our guide, we can create incredible images that tell the unique story of your love. I believe in the magic that happens when people are captured at their most authentic and beautiful, and it is my passion to make that happen for you.

Whether you're a soon-to-be bride or groom, a hopeless romantic, or just someone who loves a good story, I invite you to stay awhile and journey with me through the pages of my journal. Together, we can unlock the secrets to creating a love story that will last a lifetime.

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