I know it had been a while since I last posted on my blog, however being knee deep into wedding season I had completely been remiss of the time lag and for that I do apologise. I thought it also timely that I write about this topic since I have been receiving loads of enquiries even as far as 2014, yes you heard correctly ~ so here we go.

Congratulations, you’re engaged! Before your head starts spinning with thoughts of the perfect centrepiece, a dress to die for or what choice of cake to select ~ take a step back. When choosing the right wedding planner, she will be able to guide you through the process of making your day personal, execute your dreams flawlessly and help you to make decisions that are representative of you and your relationship in every way. A planner’s job, amongst other things, is to get into your brain, understand your needs and desires and make them a reality. Just remember they can’t do that unless you first do your homework! Below are a few things I call my “non negotiables”. These are steps that should be addressed and discussed as early in the planning process as possible & if you spend a bit of time on them, it will not only streamline the process of planning your wedding, but enable you to avoid many of the speed bumps that brides commonly trip over.

  1. The guest list. You don’t need to get every little detail at this stage of the game, but focus on putting pen to paper to determine an actual guest count. This is essential in searching for locations that make sense. You don’t want to consider locations that hold 150 if you have 200 guests. Make sure you talk to your parents and get their lists, as well. Try to include an alternate list for people who you will undoubtedly run into at some stage whom you have completely overlooked.
  2. Determine a budget. (this is definitely close to my heart!) As your planner we are responsible to let you know whether the budget you decide upon is realistic, but you need a starting place for that to happen. Discuss the finances with your fianc√© and parents, and find out up front what each party is contributing. Wedding budgets can spiral out of control, but having a number in mind will prevent you from looking at items that don’t make sense and help prevent that from happening. You don’t want to get your heart set on items that aren’t in your financial comfort zone.
  3. Discuss the tone of your wedding. What & How would you like your guests to feel at your wedding? How formal/informal would like the day or evening to be? Is the focus a sophisticated multi-course dinner or a high energy dance party? This will impact just about every decision you make, and it’s best to start thinking about it.
  4. Discuss the big items with your fiance√©. It’s amazing how many couples start planning a wedding without going over even the basics together. Getting on the same page from the beginning will prevent arguments down the road.Communication is key!
  5. Location, location, location. Where is your wedding taking place? Is the ceremony in a house or church or at the same place as the reception? Is this a destination wedding or in your capital city? Will you need additional transport organised for guests? Is it a place that is convenient for the majority of your guests?

If you take the time to figure out these basic items before you hire a planner, you will be able to give your wedding professional the tools that they need to begin planning a wedding that is specific to your needs. It will help to eliminate false expectations and get you on track for a smooth planning experience. Once you have these items ironed out, you will be ready to plan your wedding ~ have loads of fun and get knee deep into the entire process.

So just remember that you always must……Honour ~ Love ~ Cherish & PLAN

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