Grab your best friend, find a high speed wireless connection and pour yourself a glass of wine â€“ because these are the three essential items for planning a wedding in just 2 hours. Remember, the goal here is â€śHappy ever afterâ€ť â€“ not wedding day perfection. So letâ€™s plan this wedding and you can get back to the important stuff, like enjoying quality time with fiancĂ©.
Step 1 â€“ Download a fab wedding planning app
One of my favourites is Appy Couple. The app is user-friendly and syncs seamlessly, whether youâ€™re planning from your office desktop (not during work time of courseâ€¦. wink wink) or on the go via your mobile. Plus, it has three of the things youâ€™re going to need over the next 1 hour and 59 minutes:
â€˘ Guest list/rsvp collection and seating plan creator
â€˘ Your own personalised website, complete with modern designs (including on-trend looks such as gold and copper, rather than the standard â€śflowery-weddingâ€ť theme.
Because letâ€™s be realistic, if you want to plan your wedding in two hours there is NO time for DIY. Book a professional, put your feet up and let them do all the work.
Step 2 â€“ Write the guest list
Once you know how many people youâ€™re inviting, you know which venues you can look at for your reception. Think of guests in terms of their relationship to you and go through each group methodically.
Now is also the time to make the tricky decision about those pesky +1â€™s. They are a serious hit to the budget and a source of potential friendship conflict. So have a chat with your fiancĂ© about who can to bring a plus one, and be prepared to stand together as a united front when the questions start to arise.
Donâ€™t forget to include the kids on your guest list too, if theyâ€™re invited to the reception. You may also consider adding kidâ€™s entertainment to your budget.
Step 3 â€“ Write your budget
Google Sheets has recently released a Wedding Planning sheet complete with formulas to help keep your Wedding Budget on track. Follow the link below and youâ€™ll be on your way in no time.
Start by plugging in your total wedding budget (can you believe the average is close to $50,000?!) and this fabulous piece of tech will apportion this total across all the different areas of your wedding.
So, if youâ€™re total wedding budget is $50,000 then your dress should be coming in at around $4,000.
But this is just a suggestion. Now is the time to get realistic about your priorities and put your actual budget alongside the suggested budget.
Donâ€™t forget to mark things off as you pay each supplier. I recommend paying things off over time rather than being hit with a lump sum at the end â€“ paying the bills is a huge source of pre-wedding anxiety!
Step 4 â€“ Set your date by booking the ceremony and reception
Now that we know our guest numbers and budget, this seriously narrows down our options for the Reception Venue. But thereâ€™s one more question you need to answer before proceeding: How much work do you want to do on styling the venue?
There are some incredible venues out there that have amazing views, but youâ€™re going to need a small army of stylists armed with beaded linen and drapes to bring the luxe factor you need for a wedding.
So if weâ€™re going to stick to our time limit of 2 hours, I highly recommend one of the Wedding Reception Venues that come with the complete package. Some of my favourites are any of the Le Montage, Sergeants Mess and Doltone House Hyde Park.
NB: Chair covers went out with the last century. If your venue only comes with chairs that require covers, keep looking. Itâ€™s an extra expense that a good full service venue should include.
Now is the time to decide if youâ€™re going to pull out your â€śSunday Bestâ€ť and become an active part of your local parish, or follow the growing trend of making the most of Sydneyâ€™s amazing outdoor locations. For a fab guide to ceremonies in Sydney, check out these two websites:
Outdoor locations in Sydney
Church and outdoor locations in Sydney
If you can find a Reception and Ceremony venue available on the same date â€“ SNAP! You have a wedding date!
Step 5 â€“ Dress time!
Time to get off the couch and hit the dress shops. You definitely cannot order your dress online. Hereâ€™s a tip you might find surprising: do tell the Bridal Shop Assistant what your real budget is. And DONâ€™T try on anything over it. Thereâ€™s no point getting your heart set on something you canâ€™t afford, trust me.
Step 6 â€“ Get off social media
Social media is a fantastic place for inspiration. But it sucks for actually booking in suppliers. So once youâ€™ve used Pinterest and Instagram to find a colour palette and theme you like â€“ put yourself out of your misery and stop screen grabbing floral designs from overseas luxury weddings. Instead look to local wedding publications where you can find a directory of suppliers for each category.
Step 7 â€“ No seriously, just make a decision and book it in
There are a lot of beautiful distractions in wedding world. So be decisive, tick off your list and move forward!
Step 8 â€“ Hire an â€śOn the Day Plannerâ€ť
Even the greatest control freak in the world cannot manage her wedding day. As the bride you will be at home getting ready while the flowers and reception are set up. So to avoid any last minutes stresses, book in an â€śOn the Day Plannerâ€ť to take care of all the last minute details for you. Most wedding planners will provide this service.
Planning your wedding should be fun â€“ for you. So whether that means planning your wedding over 2 years or 2 hours, enjoy the experience and donâ€™t be afraid to be bold and decisive. Your wedding is a reflection of who you are as a couple, so donâ€™t feel like you need everyone elseâ€™s opinion. Know who you are, relish it and plan away!
One of the countryâ€™s most in-demand Bridal Coaches and Director of Inlighten Photography, Rachael has been involved with over 1,000 weddings in the past 10 years. Itâ€™s safe to safe sheâ€™s seen it all.
Today Rachael devotes her time to running Inlighten, while also hosting group coaching sessions for brides. She advises women on everything from event styling to seating plans, and helps to alleviate the stress associated with planning a wedding.
Rachael will host her next bridal coaching session in February 2016. To keep up to date on session dates as they are confirmed visit http://www.rachaelbentick.com/events/
For more information about Inlighten Photography visit www.inlighten.com.au or call 02 9550 0332