Planning Your Wedding In Australia – Ideas For Choosing The Right Location For You And Your Guests!

Weddings in Perth, Western Australia and Beyond!

Australia’s North West from Exmouth to Broome and beyond! The Northern winter or dry season is April to September and boasts long days of blue skies and beautiful sunshine, some would say this is the perfect WA weather! However many European visitors will wait for the summer wet season where the temperatures are in the mid 30s and you can experience a balmy combination of heat, humidity and sunshine!

Below the Tropic of Capricorn in the south the weather is far less dramatic, with Perth enjoying more sunny days in a year than any other capital city in the country! Because of this beautiful weather Western Australia has built up a reputation for fine food and world-famous wine regions, and overall needs no explanation as to why it would be the perfect place for you to organise your destination wedding. Whether you are from Western Australia, interstate or abroad there are so many advantages to getting married in Perth, the internet is a wonderful place and you can do a little research to find out about Perth and WA to choose the perfect wedding venue and location for your big day!

The Coral Coast; Experience the whitest sand and the bluest ocean that plays host to some of the most breathtaking and exotic marine life in the world! You can find Ningaloo Reef, the world heritage listed site that is awesome for fishing and diving, one of the few places that you can swim with a whale shark, be sure to extend your wedding into a honeymoon – what an amazing thing to do after your big day! With a wide selection of fabulous wedding venues and accommodation to suit your personalities and number of guests you will be sure to have plenty of choice.

Australia’s North West; home to the world-famous Kimberley, a true desert wilderness that offers an outback adventure for those four-wheel drive junkies! Be sure to stop off at the Bungle-Bungle Ranges, the Karijiini National Park and Lake Argyle on your tour of this region. Maybe you will choose The Billi Resort or Cable Beach Club in the North West near the town of Broome. These beautiful venues offer outstanding ceremony and reception settings.

South West; when you hear the name Margaret River the first thing that springs to mind is top-class wineries and scrumptious local produce. The perfect location for a wedding boasting spectacular views and idyllic settings for your ceremony and reception venue.

Perth; the gateway to the west. Direct flights to Perth airport make it easy to arrive both from international destinations and around Australia, you can arrive in the western capital via rail, taking the Indian-Pacific service that spans the entire country from sea to sea, you can hop on in Sydney, Melbourne or Adelaide and the whole journey would take 3 days. Might be the way to travel back after your wedding, a short honeymoon journey for the newly-weds. Alternatively, in the summer months you can get on board a coastal cruise as part of your honeymoon, much of WA including Perth, Broome and Esperance will feature on a world cruise itinerary.

Once you arrive in Perth this relaxed city spends most of its time with sunny blue skies and has so much to offer, with an exciting and young vibe you will be able to find something to suit you and all of your guests and create a truly unique experience for your wedding in Perth, WA. You can choose a beach or garden wedding and from an extensive list of venues like the Northbridge Hotel or Cottesloe Surf Life Saving Club. You can also take the trip over to Rottnest Island, an increasingly popular destination for weddings as there is a Chapel or Catholic Church as well as a selection of beautiful outdoor locations for your ceremony. The Rottnest Island Lodge and Aristos Waterfront venues can cater for all your reception needs.

Maybe you will venture inland to the Swan Valley where you will encounter the oldest wine region in Western Australia, also a fabulous location for a wedding in WA.

Say “I do” in Sydney, or Regional New South Wales.

There are so many locations available to you in this beautiful state from remote outback to Sydney and all along the coast of New South Wales!

Outback New South Wales; some of the most remote towns including Lightening Ridge, Tibooburra and Broken Hill can be found in outback NSW. The rugged landscape provides some stunning scenery for any event, with outstanding Aboriginal rock art and national parks covering most of the land.

The Broken Hill region would provide a unique and romantic setting for your outback wedding, you could choose from the Broken Hill sculpture park or if you are the adventurous type say ‘I do’ from the top of a historic mountain range.

Country NSW; if you are looking for a country themed wedding or fancy getting married next to the highest waterfall in Australia then you have come to the right place. The Wollomombi Falls in Oxley Wild Rivers National Park would be a spectacular location for your ceremony. Country New South Wales has so many gorgeous locations for you to choose from, make sure you add your own little country twist to your bridesmaid outfits with the addition of cute cow-girl boots!

Be sure to check out Corowa, Deneiquin and Moama, you can hire a houseboat for your honeymoon on the Murray River, an amazing and romantic experience, or for something really different why not hire a boat big enough for all of your guests and get married on board.

Hunter Valley; if you and your guests enjoy good food, good wine and stunning views then the Hunter Valley would be the perfect place for your destination wedding! With vineyards in abundance and garden weddings becoming ever more popular you will be spoilt for venues in these wonderful surroundings.

With famous wineries such as Lindemans and Wyndham Estate offering wedding packages to suit all, you can get married on the banks of the Hunter River or amongst the vines in this picture perfect location, the ideal setting to create fantastic memories.

North Coast; the Northern Coast of New South Wales is home to some of the most popular beaches in Australia, stretching from Byron Bay to Newcastle, you can follow the Pacific Coast route and be astounded by the delights of Lennox Head, Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie and Port Stephens! All of these beautiful coastal towns are fabulous holiday destinations and would make the ideal location for a beach wedding in Australia.

Check out the Aanuka Beach Resort perfect for an elopement package or a small wedding, they also have several ceremony locations to choose from so that you can have things just the way you wish for, they have a stunning resort chapel or you could get married on the lawn by the beach!

Snowy Mountains; this is the perfect location for the adventurous bride and groom looking for some winter wedding inspiration and a celebration that is flourishing with snowflakes, blue skies and après-ski! You could even arrive at your ceremony or reception on a husky led sleigh or even on your skis depending on how skilled you are so that you don’t get your outfit covered in snow!

The aptly named Snowy Mountains home to the well-known snow fields of Thredbo, Perisher and Charlotte Pass have so many hotels and resorts that would be the ideal, check out The Station at Jindabyne or Lake Crackenback Resort for two fabulous options for a winter wedding!

Lord Howe Island; located about 600km off the North coast of NSW this World Heritage listed haven is home to some of the most amazing species of flower, crystal clear water that is great for exploring the underwater marine life and the rare coral that makes up the island’s marine park!

This island would make an exclusive location for your wedding as there can only be 400 visitors at any one time. Consider the Capella Lodge as a place of serenity for your big day, whether you go for an intimate elopement or book the entire resort this place of beauty will be sure to provide the perfect backdrop.

Sydney; this amazing city would be a spectacular location for your wedding no matter what style or size you choose. Maybe you will have the Opera House or Sydney Harbour Bridge in the background of your ceremony or perhaps these will be the scene for your fabulous wedding photographs. This bustling metropolis has wedding planners, wedding accessories and Sydney wedding photographers in their hundreds; you will be spoilt for choice and will need to do some specific research to create the perfect occasion.

Sydney harbour and the romance that surrounds it is simply remarkable, combine that with a unique wedding venue and you will have yourself the perfect day! Sydney harbour wedding cruises are a fantastic idea for a wedding that you and your guests will never forget! You can choose from a small boat up to the Harbour Ballroom or the Sydney Showboat, both able to accommodate up to 350 guests – obviously your choice will be dependent on your budget and the number of people you will have with you on your big day!

Celebrate in Adelaide and South Australia.

The entire state of South Australia boasts long, warm summers from December to February and mild temperatures throughout autumn and winter. The state’s capital Adelaide is the gateway to the Flinders Ranges and Kangaroo Island, and is easily accessible by air. It is also home to a small population of just over a million people Adelaide is classed as one of the most liveable cities in Australia.

Adelaide City; with its cafe culture lifestyle and diverse mix of people the city has a modern feel and an amazing variety of cuisine. With the choice of the Hills and Beach within half an hour drive of the city and state heritage listed parklands surrounding it this wonderful place can make a fabulous destination for your wedding.

The city prides itself on the many ‘green’ initiatives and set up as Australia’s most sustainable city; this is therefore the ideal place to hold an eco-friendly wedding. Bring in some natural elements to your big day, make sure that you pick native flowers that are in season, beeswax or soy candles for your decorations and choose bonbonniere gift ideas that your guests can take home and use time and time again to minimise their negative impact on the environment.

Adelaide Hills, Barossa & Clare Valley; boasting stunning views across the Valleys the Adelaide Hills has so much to offer, known as one of the finest areas for cool-climate grapes there are charming boutique wineries in abundance. The Lane Vineyard, Bridgewater Mill and the Stirling Hotel are amongst the many places that make the Adelaide hills the perfect spot for your wedding or reception venue.

The fresh produce is just one of the things that might pull you towards the Barossa Valley for your wedding venue! You can also follow the butcher, baker & winemaker trails to check out some of the culinary delights on offer in this special place – a great excuse for a trip to SA before the big day!

Looking for a more intimate setting for your wedding ceremony, then head to the Care Valley, there are many cute bed & breakfasts in this area and some stunning locations to get those perfect shots of you in your wedding dress in the South Australia scenery.

Flinders Ranges & The Outback; perhaps for the more adventurous this will be on the list of possible destinations for your adventure honeymoon. Pack up the camper-trailer and head off into the dusty red desert. Keep your eyes open for wedge-tailed eagles and lazy lizards along your journey into the wilderness and you will be sure to get some fantastic photographs of the bush backdrop.

Maybe you are a couple that just love the country, if an outback setting for your wedding is more up your street then why not seek somewhere like the Arkaba Station, a wild bush luxury resort on the southern edge of the Finders Range National Park. Choose for your wedding in the ranges from a ridge top dinner to a woolshed venue, or boutique heritage homestead to a deluxe swag for two and camping under the stars! With 4WD trips, hot air balloon rides, viewing the local wildlife, mountain biking and many other adventurous activities to keep your guests amused this is the perfect location for your outback destination wedding.

Kangaroo Island; just a Kangaroo’s jump away from Adelaide this island is a true sanctuary of wildlife and tranquillity with untouched bushland and immaculate beaches. You can choose from a waterfront location or head to the West of the island to the Wilderness Retreat for an intimate ceremony. Rest assured that your guests will be well fed and watered on this amazing island, due to its location in South Australia a state that is renowned for its produce and preparation, Kangaroo Island is one of the must-do food and wine experiences in Australia that you and your guests will remember for years to come.

The Murray River; there are two river regions on the Murray in South Australia, known as the Riverland and the Murray lands both great locations to begin your adventure. Why not experience the romance of this mysterious river aboard a houseboat, you can hire your own for an intimate celebration or take all of your guests on board a serviced boat like the Proud Mary, get married and hold your reception on the Murray River!

This is such an amazing place for all of the family, consider it one big waterpark with boat ramps along the way for you to launch your own or hire a boat, jet-ski, water skis or wakeboard. For the more relaxed approach grab your kayak or canoe and drift down stream in the wonderful outdoors.

Getting Married in Melbourne.

The city of Melbourne is made up of the city centre and a number of precincts and inner-city suburbs, each with their own character and charm. Renowned for its art and culture, live music, dining variety and shopping, Melbourne has a wealth of opportunity for you and your guests when you choose this wonderful city for your wedding.

The city ‘Laneways’ are famous for their back street corridors covered in graffiti making an awesome backdrop for your wedding photography, and there is nothing stopping you from saying your vows in front of your favourite piece of art.

With parks and gardens in abundance this city welcomes the garden wedding trend, and offers a huge selection of intimate settings for your nuptials. From the rotunda in Alexandra Gardens to the Old Cheese Factory in Berwick, there are hundreds of beautiful spots in Melbourne for your garden ceremony, and hotels and venues of all different styles to carry on into the evening for your reception.

Docklands; in the early 90s this disused port and rail area was transformed into a modern urban waterfront. In the Docklands, where the city of Melbourne meets the water you will find the perfect location for your inner-city wedding. You can choose from a heap of function venues to suit your wedding, cocktail packages to formal sit down receptions, you will find all that you could wish for with the city as your backdrop.

Yarra Valley; this picturesque area surrounding the Yarra River is one of Australia’s leading wine-producing regions, with wineries in abundance you can discover a whole world of beauty from art galleries to restaurants, markets and more. If you are looking for a winery for your wedding then you have certainly come to the right place, the Yarra Valley has some amazing venues to choose from including the Yering Station Winery and Rochford Winery.

If you’re looking for an intimate venue for your closest family and friends then you could try Stones of the Yarra Valley, they offer a stunning Chapel, Dairy and Barn combination all intertwined with paths and luscious green gardens making a perfect setting for your wedding photographs.

Mornington Peninsula; to the east of Melbourne and below the eastern suburbs you will find the beautiful Mornington Peninsula, this picture perfect piece of land is covered in rolling hills, vineyards, olive groves all within a stone’s throw of the ocean.

With the pretty seaside villages from Mornington and Dromana along Port Phillip Bay and down to Sorrento if you are planning a beach wedding then these beautiful locations will certainly fit the bill, in the summer months you can expect gorgeous weather, creating some stunning backdrops for your wedding. Perhaps you would prefer to take in the views from higher ground; Arthur’s Seat is one of the most popular locations on the peninsula for hilltop weddings.

Phillip Island; connected to the mainland by bridge from the town of San Remo to the Island town of Newhaven, Phillip Island is located less than 2 hours away from the city and is easily accessible from across the whole of Victoria. Tempered by the ocean breeze the island tends to experience milder weather all year-round, making it a wonderful place for a summer wedding that is not too hot!

Great Ocean Road; travelling this famous stretch of road is one of Victoria’s greatest highlights, from Geelong and the Bellarine Peninsula all the way along to Warrnambool you will see some spectacular sights and take in some breathtaking scenery.

Planning your wedding in this part of the country leaves everything to the imagination; you could consider Apollo Bay as a central point, or beautiful Lorne where you could marry in the gorgeous settings of the Lorne Beach Pavilion, this is in the perfect position to allow a beach ceremony followed by a sit down reception or cocktail event in the cafe or restaurant right on the beach front.

If you are looking for somewhere completely different then why no rent the famous Pole House, in Fairhaven, it could be a place to retreat to as your bridal suite or perhaps as a location for your actual wedding, ideal if you are only having your close friends and family.

Your Wedding in the Northern Territory

From the coast to the red centre the Northern Territory has so much to offer. With a landscape like no other stretching from Australia’s famous monolith Uluru, to the Barkly Tablelands and the Tropical North where wetlands and waterfalls cut through the national parks to create a stunning backdrop for any wedding photograph. Make sure that you take some time out to meet the locals and soak in the rich aboriginal culture and history, be mindful to watch out for some other locals like the crocodile!

Darwin & Surrounds; with its tropical outdoor lifestyle, beautiful harbour scenery, surrounded with World War II history and its cuisine heavily influenced by their nearby Asian neighbours, Darwin is a true adventure paradise for you and your guests.

Renowned for its sunset markets, if you need to pick up a last minute gift for the bride and groom, or grab some final wedding decorations then you’ve come to the right place as you can expect to see arts and crafts in abundance here! For a truly unique wedding experience you could take in a Darwin Harbour Cruise or discover the Melville and Bathurst Islands, (Tiwi Islands) on tropical sailing journey. Say “I do” on-board a private catamaran!

If you prefer to keep your feet on the ground then Darwin also has some amazing hotels and resorts that can cater for all of your needs to create the perfect wedding in Darwin! The amazing Sky City has some fantastic wedding packages on offer to help you plan your big day!

Kakadu & Arnhem Land; in this stunning location you can witness world heritage-listed scenery and outstanding rock art, Australia’s largest national park features cascading waterfalls, giant crocodiles and exotic birds! Check out the Wilderness Safari Retreat for some exclusive bush luxury, you can speak to the lodge team about arranging your wedding in Bamurru Plains, an amazing marriage amongst the wildlife.

Perhaps for the more adventurous this is somewhere to consider for your honeymoon, you could hire a campervan and takes the Nature’s Way Tourism Drive for a romantic adventure! Experience the Mamukala Wetlands, Nourlangie Rock, Jim Jim and Twin Falls along the way, what an amazing way to start your married lives together.

Katherine & Surrounds; the Katherine region extends from the Queensland border in the east to the Kimberly region in the west and is a wonderful gateway to nature and adventure. Perhaps the more remote areas like Elsley National Park would not be ideal for your ceremony but certainly your honeymoon of adventure might start with a bushwalk over the spectacular Katherine Gorge! You could hire a car and go on the drive of your life, crossing the Daley river and onto the Douglas Daley area, off into Butterfly Gorge and explore the many waterholes and hot springs that natures beauty has to offer.

There are heaps of wedding venues in the area including Knotts Crossing, secluded amongst tropical gardens near Katherine River is the perfect location for your wedding in the Northern territory.

Alice Springs & Uluru; famous for the personality of its locals, their love for contemporary art and traditional aboriginal influence along with all the natural wonders around it, Alice Springs is the gateway to your outback adventure and a true Australian wedding location.

You could consider a romantic hot air balloon ride over the West McDonnell Ranges for a unique red centre experience. Maybe you could convince your Alice Springs celebrant to go up with you and say your vows in the sky. Venture out to the spiritual heart of Australia and experience the one true gemstone that is Uluru, also known by the name Ayers rock this awesome sight is a must see. With its extraordinary display of ever-changing colours, you simply cannot miss the natural show at both sunset and sunrise, just amazing!

Voyages and Ayers Rock resort offer a choice of apartments, a luxury wilderness camp, hotel, backpacker rooms or campground accommodation! You can choose whichever style suits your needs, and your guests, however the Longitude 131° offers a truly wonderful experience for your nuptials. In 5-star luxury you and your guests will have private views of the sunset and sunrise over Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, what an amazing way to start your married lives together in awe of Australia’s most amazing rock.

Getting Married in Tropical Queensland.

With sunny days in abundance and a year round temperate climate, Queensland really does have so much to offer and countless places to visit! No matter what type of adventure or Queensland wedding you are seeking you will be sure to find something to suit your style. With a variety of terrain from rainforest to ocean, outback to reef you can be sure to tailor a fantastic package to suit you and your guests anywhere in QLD!

Cairns & Great Barrier Reef; this is Queensland’s Tropical North where you will find thousands of locations for a wedding and discover a place that is full of natural wonders and beauty! Cairns City, gateway to some spectacular scenery from rainforest to the Great Barrier Reef with the village of Port Douglas offering a more sophisticated, low-key escape. This is an extremely popular place for couples looking for a more intimate wedding to elope to and there are so many amazing deals available in this part of Australia.

Perhaps you are looking for a unique spin on your wedding, and well this is one of the most renowned places in the world for scuba-diving. You could even go completely different and say ‘I do’ amongst the coral, you would have to hold up cards of acceptance to your vows at an underwater wedding but what a magical and unusual way to get married!

The Daintree Forest is also a must see, the oldest surviving tropical rainforest on earth is home to an astounding amount of plants and species of animals. You can get an indigenous guide to give you a tour to find out more about the culture and history of the surrounding area and its people.

Townsville; this beautiful coastal region has such a diverse terrain, with the ocean reefs in the east and the outback in the west the opportunities for exploring are simply endless. The town of Townsville is at the centre of all that is on offer, you should take a trip up Castle Hill to take in the views of the city and the nearby Magnetic Island. This tropical island offers some outstanding resorts and is a wonderful destination for a beach wedding with the perfect setting for a unique escape. Getting to the island is only a short 25 minute cruise across the bay, a beautiful way to begin our journey.

Be sure to think about your honeymoon in this area too, perhaps the more adventurous might take the Great Tropical Drive, a self-driving route that will take you from Cairns and Townsville to some amazing places in Tropical Australia. Take in Charters Towers and sample outback life at a cattle station farm stay or see the historic gold milling site at Venus Battery. Ravenswood is another old gold mining town well worth a look.

The Whitsundays; the 74 island wonders that make up the Whitsundays are mostly uninhabited and provide the perfect setting for a day of exploring or simply relaxing on the secluded beaches and coves.

Airlie Beach is the gateway to these stunning islands and the epitome of a beach town, with a carefree vibe and packed full of palm-fringed beaches, waterfront parks, restaurants and bars. The after dark backpacker and travelling vibe is full of energy and most will party to the early hours before embarking on a party boat or organised cruise.

Be sure to take in Whitehaven Beach, this 4 mile stretch of pure white silica sand has been voted one of the best beaches in the world. If you have a little more budget to play with then why not take a romantic flight over heart reef, a stunning collection of coral that has naturally formed into the shape of a heart and looks amazing from the sky above.

The resort islands include the Hayman Island, one of the top luxury destinations for weddings and honeymoons. Hamilton Island, this is the largest inhabited island and has an airport making it easily accessible for both families and couples. Daydream, Lindeman, Brampton, Long, Hook and South Molle Island are scattered across this beautiful ocean, all offering an array of resort accommodation to suit your personal preference.

Fraser Coast; this wonderful region is filled with some of the word’s greatest attractions and beautiful scenery. If you can plan your wedding between June and November then the perfect treat for you and your guests would be to venture to Hervey bay and take a trip on the water to see the humpback whales that frequent this water during this time.

Just a short ferry ride from Hervey Bay is the outstanding Fraser Island, you can arrange your own way across or join a tour to take you along the highway of sand and the tracks that lead you to some spectacular lakes and waterholes including Lake McKenzie with its crystal clear freshwater.

You will also find the eco-friendly resort of Kingfisher Bay, if you are planning a wedding with them then they offer discounts on guest accommodation, advice about hens and bucks nights on the island along with a special wedding package and honeymoon visit all in one.

Brisbane; this cosmopolitan city has some top-notch restaurants, cafes and bars. From the river to the coast this green city has the perfect climate, with an average of 300 days of sunshine a year you would be unlucky not to have the sun shining on your wedding day. From the Brisbane River to views of the Storey Bridge there are so many places to visit in the locally known ‘Brissy’.

If you are looking for something alternative, then why not hop on board The Kookaburra Queen from Eagle Street Pier, this beautiful paddle wheeler boat is an icon of the Brisbane River and will offer you an experience you will never forget! You can also check out the Brisbane Powerhouse, with their rooftop terrace offering a unique space for a memorable event. Or the XXXX Brewery has a wedding package to suit any beer lover and their guests.

The Sunshine Coast; just north of Brisbane, this beautiful stretch of beach from Caloundra to Noosa has so much on offer with sparkling water and breathtaking scenery what more could you wish for to create your perfect wedding. Noosa Heads is one of the most popular destinations for a wedding in Australia. With pristine beaches and stylish settings, it is the perfect spot for a beach ceremony or your wedding reception.

Often weddings held in the region will bring family and friends from all over Australia and the globe to help you celebrate in style. After the wedding celebrations are over, your guests may wish to extend their stay and take advantage of this holiday haven. With resorts like Oceans Mooloolaba and Out-rigger Noosa you will be spoilt for choice!

Now that you have picked the perfect location and venue for your wedding you can start to organise the fun stuff! Whether you are based in Australia or overseas there are so many resources available to you locally for your wedding dress choices, decoration ideas and of course your bonbonniere personalised gifts – be sure to check out ideas that offer a direct postage service so that if you are travelling you can arrange for your wedding gifts to be there when you arrive.

Happy planning!

Recommendations on How to Plan For Your Wedding Photography

Planning a wedding means making a lot of decisions. One of the most important decisions is how the wedding will be photographed and by whom. Based upon my 20+ years of wedding photography in Kansas and surrounding states, I have prepared 5 key points that will help keep your wedding photography planning on track.

An important part of that planning process is the selection and communication with the wedding photographer.

What kind of coverage do you want?

Wedding photography styles generally fall into three categories: photojournalist, traditional, or a combination of both. Traditional photographers will tend to work with more posed images, and have great skills in lighting and working with groups of people. A photographer who is a photojournalist will document the day from a guest’s perspective, and will work to capture more of the day’s emotions and all the behind-the-scenes action. The photojournalist will rely more upon the natural lighting of the venue and less on creating the perfect look.

A hot trend for modern brides is to go solely for the photojournalistic style of photography. Personally, I think this is a mistake. Your wedding day is also a day to record the family as it was on the day that you got married. You decorated the venue, picked the dress and the tux, and you want to make sure those are captured as a part of your wedding day. 

Interview Wedding Photographers

The work of the photographer is obviously very important. When you talk to a photography studio make sure that the work you are looking at was created by the photographer you are interviewing. Many studios use contract photographers who will work to emulate the studio’s style.

Another consideration is: does the photographer fit with your personality. Even if you are selecting a photojournalist who will be taking no formal photographs, you still want to meet the photographer and feel comfortable with him/them. They will be seen by your guests and you need to feel that they are a good fit for the temperament of you and your family.

Communicate What You Want in Writing

One of the most important things you need to do when planning your wedding photography is to communicate what you want with your wedding photographer. Many wedding photographers will have a shot list that they can give you to help you plan the wedding day. This list is a great start, but it is generic and does not show the special images that reflect who you are or the uniqueness of the wedding venue.

The reason you want to provide this communication in writing is so the photographer can have it with them during the wedding. You may think you will remember to make a request at the wedding, but will you?

While it’s “Your Day”, it is also recommended that you review the list with your Groom and all parents. This extra step will give them a chance to add to the list; when you provide it to the photographer, it will be more complete and last minute changes will be reduced.

Plan the Schedule to Allow Enough Time

Way too often the schedule does not allow for time for photographs. For example, if you are a traditionalist, and want to have the formal photographs taken after the wedding, you will need to allow enough time. If the thirty-minute ceremony starts at 6:00, don’t have the limo arrive at 6:30 so you can be at the reception by 7:00. It won’t work. Photographs will need to be cut or the limo and caterer will need to wait.

The “before-the-wedding” schedule planning is very critical. Brides often schedule hair and nail appointments too close to the time they need to be at the church. These sessions can often run late for a variety of reasons. Allow a little extra time for that problem styling or nail. It is better to have a little down time to socialize than to be rushed.

Another common area where the after-wedding planning can go wrong is with the DJ. If you have purchased a 5-hour package from the photographer, be sure that the DJ knows that key traditional photos need to take place before the photographer is scheduled to leave.

Know The Costs

While this seems somewhat elementary, you will want to make sure that what you are expecting to receive from the photographer is spelled out and in writing. Photographers do not mean to be misleading, but misunderstanding can happen. If you are expecting to have 4 hours of coverage, a finished wedding album with 20 pages and two parents albums, make sure it is spelled out in plain English. If there are potential extra charges for something like overtime or change of location, make sure those charges are spelled out on the agreement.

If the photographer can’t provide a simple plain English statement of costs and deliverables you should reconsider not using that photographer. Yes, there can be variables, but those variables should be able to be stated and written down.

Small Wedding Planning – How to Plan Your Budget, Wedding Speech, and Other Things the Right Way

Less stress and flexible organization make the preparations for a small wedding easier. The number of guests for the wedding shouldn’t be higher than fifty people, and they’re usually composed of close friends and family members. The atmosphere is more relaxed, and no one is that eager when it comes to etiquette. Small wedding planning comes with an advantage of more savings, unlike those big events. Likewise, there will be lesser pressure in planning the wedding speech as it is going to be addressed in front of a smaller audience (but still, there’s still a need to make it interesting for the bride and the visitors).

Rather than paying for trifles, why not get a nice dress, good food and drinks and quality videography. In addition to this, when the planning isn’t really that complex, the family can help more with the preparations. There’s smaller stress involved with such planning as you don’t have lots of things to do.

Even so, the concept of this kind of wedding planning is very relative, because what one understands by “small”, it might mean “medium” to others. You’ll be certain that an event planned to be small from the beginning, has higher probabilities of turning out as different from typical events. Therefore, don’t expect everybody to be excited about the plans, as there’ll be a chance that you will be wrong about it.

Some opinions may be daunting, but don’t trouble yourself with negative reviews if what you’re doing is according to your own good judgment. What matters most is that you and your would-be-spouse should feel contented with the choices and planning you’re making. And if family and friends are supportive, what more could you ask for?

Books and online guides can also assist you with the planning, like helping you find the best theme for the event, the groom wedding speech, the menu for the party, and others. Also, you should be able to decide carefully what’s good and practical for your situation and then go on. Grins and discouraging statements shouldn’t trouble you. Just remember that you are in charge of your wedding. Therefore, without calling it a competition, event planning is a race that you need to win!

A to Z Guide to Wedding Planning!

  • A is for Atmosphere

Setting the scene for the perfect wedding can be a daunting task and with wedding trends changing rapidly over time, it can mean decision making is hard. Often the best place to start is by thinking about the formality of the event and how you would like your guests to feel on your wedding day! Whether you choose a relaxed garden wedding with subtle coloring and natural tones or a themed wedding at a wild venue with bold wedding colors and outlandish wedding decorations, whichever way you go it is the wedding atmosphere that you create that will generate the most memories!

  • B is for Bachelorette Party & Bridal Shower

Second to choosing your bridesmaids, this is often the next stage in the planning of your pre-wedding activities! This is the event, other than the wedding itself, that the girls look forward to most! Renowned as the tamer of the two, a bridal shower is a gift-giving party held for a bride-to-be in anticipation of her wedding, it is a time for the females in your life to get to know each other and to share advice before your big day.

The Bachelorette Party also known as a hens night, hens party or hens do on the other hand is deemed “an evening of debauchery,” a girls night out in honor of the bride-to-be in the style that is common to that social circle. This is when the bridesmaids take control, organising silly outfits for the bride, dares and games along with gifts for the girls including name tags, fun drinking straws along with personalised bachelorette koozies for a unique gift idea!

  • C is for Ceremony

Ultimately your ceremony, the moment where two people are united in marriage, is the reason you are planning this special day. The way that you choose to perform your ceremony and the wedding reception that follows are often linked in formality and theme and the options are endless.

For the ceremony you will have to give some thought to the location, a church or temple, beach, garden or formal venue often this is driven by the choice for a civil or religious ceremony. Most ceremonies have a similar structure, with your vows, readings and music making a personal service.

  • D is for Destination Wedding

More and more couples are escaping the traditional big celebration wedding in favor of a smaller more intimate ceremony in an exotic location. Whether your destination wedding is overseas or interstate it can still take a lot of organization, not only for the couple and the wedding day itself but in making it fabulous for the guests that have gone that extra mile to share in your special day!

  • E is for Engagement

Congratulations on your Engagement, let the fun begin. Start with your engagement announcements, maybe a notice in the newspaper to inform the community or an item that you can send in the mail to let your friends and family know the good news! If you are moving fast you could even add your wedding save the date to your engagement announcement to help with your planning budget.

Some couples will choose to have an engagement party, an opportunity to celebrate with family and friends and for future guests to get to know each other before the big day. Engagement party favors are often handed out to the guests as a thank you for attending, such as candy treats or custom beer koozies to take home as a memento.

  • F is for Favors

Wedding favors also known as bonbonniere are small gifts given as a gesture of thanks to guests from the bride and groom. Wedding favor ideas have become a major part of wedding planning, with modern gift trends including: CDs with the favorite music of the bride and groom, candy jars, picture frames and wedding koozies. Gifts may also be personalized with the couple’s names, initials or wedding date and even an individual guest name to create a gift and place card.

If you choose wedding Koozies as your wedding favors then it is a great idea to start browsing the designs a few weeks before you need them to be delivered. There is an extensive range of designs available to help you create the perfect match to your wedding color scheme, theme and more. Please read a previous article to help with your design; Personalized Wedding Favors on a Budget – Inspiration for Wedding Koozies to Wow Your Guests!

  • G is for Gift

A wedding present is a gift taken by a guest to congratulate the couple on their marriage. There is usually some etiquette when it comes to gift giving, some couples may choose to take the hard work out of this for their guests and have a gift registry with a wish list to choose from. Others may have a wishing well, this is where guests can anonymously drop cards and monetary gifts into a box known as a wishing well to help the couple on their way to starting a new life together.

  • H is for Honeymoon

A honeymoon is the traditional holiday taken by newlyweds to celebrate their marriage in seclusion. Jetting off to somewhere exotic and romantic is not uncommon although the holiday should be something of choice that suits the couple’s outlook and interests. For couples on a budget a destination wedding can be a great way to spread the cost making the addition of a few days for a honeymoon easy.

  • I is for Invitations

Wedding invitations are a great way to set the scene for your guests. As a follow on from your wedding announcement or save the dates, your wedding invitations can be fun or formal but should be informative and hold an RSVP date so that you can keep to a deadline in your wedding planning.

In modern times the way an invitation arrives is becoming more and more imaginative, you might choose a link to an online wedding website where guests can respond electronically or include a link to a video message. Items sent in the mail can also be creative and unique such as origami style folded gifts, printing a message on a balloon that can only be read once blown up or sending custom wedding koozies for your guests to enjoy at home and on bring on the day!

  • J is for Jewellery

Wedding jewellery can be simple and sophisticated or bold and colorful. This is a very personal choice that that bride will make when choosing her wedding dress and bridal party attire.

Sometimes traditional jewellery will be passed down the generations within a family, bridal accessories can include earrings, bracelets, tiaras and hair combs to name a few.

  • K is for Kiss

“You may now kiss the bride”… the words that the groom has been waiting for all day! Many couples will have a discussion prior to the wedding about the kiss, some even finding this the moment that makes them most nervous! Questions like, how long should it be? Should it be a full-on smooch? Or just a peck? What is the etiquette in wedding kisses? The answer to which is that there is not really an etiquette, just show each other how happy you are to be making this promise to each other and show this off to your guests, just bear in mind that you might be in front of your parents, grandparents and young children.

  • L is for Love

LOVE. An intense feeling of deep affection and the reason you have been ploughing all of your time into planning the ultimate wedding celebration. Say no more.

  • M is for is for Music

One big question for your wedding reception, DJ or Band? Often the answer to which is dependent on budget, formality of your event and location. There is also the decision of which music you should be walking down the aisle to, creating an amazing playlist that will get your guests on their feet and of course the first dance! Here are our choices for a first dance song;

Top 5 First Dance Wedding Songs

  1. Make You Feel My Love – Adele
  2. You Are The Best Thing – Ray LaMontagne
  3. Kiss Me – Ed Sheeran
  4. The Way You Look Tonight – Michael Bublé
  5. Better Together – Jack Johnson

  • N is for New

If you are following tradition in the sense of the rhyme “something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue” then this is your something NEW! You can include your wedding dress as your something new if it is made to order, or perhaps one of your bridal accessories or a fancy new pair of shoes. Let’s face it when it comes to your wedding there will be a whole heap of items that you can consider using to tick this box!

  • O is for Outdoor Wedding Venue

Weddings are often planned for the perfect weather, the most popular seasons for a wedding are spring and summer so that you can have great light for your wedding photographs and that you have the best chance of enjoying sunny spells outdoors with your guests over welcome drinks.

Your outdoor wedding venue might be in a national park, flower garden, winery or a beautiful beach, whichever you choose for your outdoor wedding be sure to have a wet weather plan on hand, just in case!

  • P is for Photographer

Wedding photography for a lot of couples is a big box to tick. It is lovely to be able to capture your big day and all of that hard work into images that you can cherish for years to come. Choosing a photographer can be a daunting task, be sure to ask around for recommendations, view portfolios of previous work and get to know your photographer so that they learn to capture what is important to you. Looking at your photographs together as a family is a beautiful way to connect after the event, each image will tell its own story and each story will be a memory captured for life!

  • Q is for Quiz

The Mr & Mrs Quiz, the ultimate quiz that any bachelorette should have to complete on their ‘last night of freedom’..! It is a fun way for the maid of honor to connect with and get to know the groom before the event. She will prepare a series of questions that the groom will answer, things can of course get a little cheeky depending on the formality of the bridal shower or bachelorette party, the bride will then need to see how many answers she can match to the groom’s responses, often followed by a forfeit for every wrong answer.

  • R is for Reception

Wedding reception, this is the fun part, after you have nervously said your vows in front of your family and friends you can relax with food, drinks and dancing at your wedding reception. Wedding reception ideas include a formal sit-down meal, cocktail reception or a casual beach BBQ. You can usually leave this up to your wedding planner or venue to organise, that way you can enjoy the celebration and spending time with your guests.

  • S is for Save the Dates & Stationery

Your wedding announcement and first item of wedding stationery is your Save the Date! An ideal gift used for long engagements this is designed to be sent out to your guests well in advance of the formal invitation, once you have your date set you can mail these out so that your guests can save the date in their diary. Some popular methods of sending a save the date include; postcards, calendars, tickets, magnets, custom beer koozies and more.

  • T is for Table Plan

T is also for troublesome, often considered one of the most controversial parts of the wedding planning process, the dreaded table plan! Great aunt Joan cannot be near second cousin John and really you’d like to sit with your pals rather than follow the traditional top table style with your parents… at the end of the day this is your wedding and as a couple you should be able to choose a seating plan to suit your wedding formality and your guests.

  • U is for Ushers

An usher, also known as a groomsman is normally a friend of the groom that has been recruited to direct guests at the ceremony, and generally be available to the bride and groom for assistance throughout the whole wedding event. The ushers would generally be dressed in the same wedding attire as the groom and best man and would feature in the formal wedding photographs alongside the bridesmaids.

  • V is for Vows

The exchange of wedding vows is an important part of your wedding ceremony. It can be a very romantic moment and often the perfect place to express your feelings for each other. Vows can be modern or traditional, led by a minister or celebrant, written for you or by you and can be tailored to your individual personalities.

  • W is for Wedding Dress

Almost every girls wedding dream begins with the dress! There are so many gorgeous styles available and all designed to suit different shapes and sizes… you can find the perfect wedding dress style amongst these… Ball gown, mermaid, A-line, Sheath. Strapless, V-neck, halter-neck, one-shoulder, illusion and more!

Once you have found the perfect style, you can start to create a unique look through the color and density of the material, heavier fabrics such as brocade and jacquard or lighter materials like silk and chiffon, traditionally a wedding dress would be predominantly white or ivory in color, but these days anything goes!

  • X is for X -rated (entertainment at bachelor party)

Although it is not necessarily the way every groom will spend their last night of ‘freedom’, the bachelor party, as portrayed in the movie The Hangover, certainly has a reputation for being a night or indeed a weekend of debauchery! Some will go all out with a weekend in Vegas, but generally the party vibe will include trendy bars, nightclubs and, most importantly, strip clubs!

Much like the bachelorette party, this is where the best man and other members of the bridal party will shine with ideas, organising embarrassing outfits for the groom, along with drinking games and dares! Gifts for the guys might include matching t-shirts, shot glasses, beer horns or custom beer koozies personalised for each of the guys!

  • Y is for Years

The number of years spent together, number of years engaged and then number of years married. Once your wedding day becomes a wonderful memory you have the many years of wedding anniversaries to look forward to and to celebrate. Each anniversary that passes will have a symbolic gift that is presented, there is both a traditional and modern gift here is the traditional list;

  • 1st Paper
  • 2nd Cotton
  • 3rd Leather
  • 4th Fruit/Flowers
  • 5th Wood
  • 10th Tin/Aluminium
  • 15th Crystal
  • 20th China
  • 25th Silver
  • 30th Pearl
  • 35th Coral
  • 40th Ruby
  • 45th Sapphire
  • 50th Gold
  • 60th Diamond

  • Z is for Zero Regrets

In a perfect world, every bride and groom would have the perfect wedding with absolutely no mishaps. However, this is not the perfect world and every turn makes for a new story! Our only advice is to enjoy every minute of your special day, spend as much time with each guest as you possibly, and have zero regrets!