Got engaged over the Christmas break? Here are our tips on what to do to get your planning underway
You probably can’t wait to catch up with all your friends to tell them all about the proposal! Once the Moet has settled, and you start to get used to the bling on your left hand, where do you go next?
Tip 1: Start your guest list
Pulling together a draft list is vital – and helps with picking a venue that meets your needs.  Whether you’ve dreamed of a small, intimate group of 60 or less; or a 250-strong extended family affair, the number of guests will help you narrow down the venue selection, and keep you focused on only those venues that will work for you!
For most weddings, the reception is the single biggest expense.  Knowing how many people you need to budget for will also help you compare venues.  In our experience, being open with venues about your ‘true’ budget allows your venue contact to cater a package to suit you, rather than their standard T&Cs.  While the final number might go up and down a little, this ballpark will give you a good indication of what kind of space you’ll need.  Our suggestion? If you need to look up their name and address, they’re probably not that close…
Tip 2: Secure your venue
Now with your numbers settled, think about the kind of wedding you’d like – and the mood you want to create.  Is it an all-out party, or a more romantic affair? Are you going to the country or to a laneway? Industrial or colonial?Classic or modern? Are you going full Etsy or just a little DIY touch on the side? Your venue will help set the tone for your event; once you have this tone, it should permeate the whole experience, from invitations to table arrangements. 
Some venues offer an all-inclusive package (including a wedding planner!) which while convenient can be a little more expensive. Others venues can provide the room, and leave it to you to inspire!  These might be a little more cost effective, but you will undoubtedly pay in man-hours.  
For me, the best part about booking a wedding venue is you’ll have a firm answer for those “when’s the date” questions!
Tip 3: Happy snaps
Something to think about in tandem with your venue selection: who will be capturing your cherished memories on the day? With so much going on in your race to the altar, you’ll need someone who’ll help you capture the vibe of the day (and rack up those Instagram hearts!). Many photographers book out very early in the year, so make sure you’re booking both photographer and venue simultaneously.
Tip 4: Assemble your squad
Who’ll be standing by your side?  Being a bridesmaid can be an utter joy but anyone who’s been one before will tell you it comes with real responsibilities. How involved will your want your bridesmaids, and how many of them will there be? 
And this is where Bridesmaids Only come in: dresses! Gone are the days of each bridesmaids rocking the same dress.  Focus now is on a colour hue you’re happy with, with the bridesmaids each selecting the style that suits them best.  If the colours are all ‘on-point’ and the girls are feeling great, you’ll be thankful on the day!  It also looks stunning!
Tip 5: Enjoy it
Find 30 seconds in the middle of it all to grab your now HUSBAND(!) and just take it all in.  Watch your family and friends celebrating you.  It’s a beautiful thing! It’s going to be amazing. Savour it. 
Got a real wedding you want to share? We’d love to hear from you. Contact us here.

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