weddings

Just a list of genius wedding planning tips from an obsessively organised bride.

My husband and I were lucky enough to get married in the winter of 2019, a simpler time where COVID didn’t exist and 'pandemic' was a word I would not be using in a sentence.

I can’t imagine how difficult it must be for 2022 brides, with the added stress of having backup plans to reschedule, downsize or cancel their dream wedding. 

Wedding planning is already a stressful place, with a million elements to bring together and the pressure of social media on top of it all (for me, this was particularly true, as I was working full time in social media at the time of our wedding). 

Watch: The things people never say at weddings. Post continues below. 


Video via Mamamia.

We were married within seven months of becoming engaged, and as a perfectionist who regularly has a computer-crashing-amount of Google Chrome tabs open at one time, I was determined to make my planning as efficient and stress-free as possible. 

I embedded the following two things into my mind in order to achieve this, and I believe they are applicable to a bride pre, during, and post-COVID:

1. Advice I read in the very early days from a bridal mag. Be decisive; it's so easy to screenshot/save too many ideas and become overwhelmed with choice (as I mentioned, opening too many tabs is literally the story of my life so this was like, the most helpful and resonating thing I could have read).

2. The only thing that matters on your wedding day is that you get to marry your best friend! This was so true and helpful for me, that I held it close to my heart and put it in my wedding speech.

Yes, both of the above points are very important, but we all know the finer details are cool too. Below is my unconventional guide to the perfect wedding, with tips which are applicable whether your day will involve two or 200 guests.

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Organisation and planning.

I am an obsessive Trello user and struggled a lot to manage the wedding board I created, which once populated with to-do’s stretched about 1km wide.

My favourite website/app, Trello, became way too much to handle, so I migrated to my second favourite program, Google Sheets - best decision ever. 

Google Sheets allowed me to share it with my husband, and others involved in the planning process who could make live changes.

Google Sheets also allowed me to go through and filter by different status. I chose 'to do, in progress, canning, completed'. When something was completed, I refreshed the filter, and the list became smaller. #HACKS!

Other important Google Sheet tabs to manage ourselves/everyone else included:

  • Finances tracker.

  • Bridal party (details i.e. shoe size, dress size, PJ sizes.)

  • Run sheet for rehearsal dinner and wedding day.

  • Bridal party hair/makeup timings - I recommend you don’t leave this to the last minute and do not go last yourself as a bride or you will be STRESSED, and this is the time where you want to have a breather/have fun! Second last slot is the sweet spot.

  • Guest RSVPs.

  • Seating chart (Google Sheets was actually an amazing place to do the seating chart).

The Hens.

Whilst this didn’t apply to me, a timing element worth noting is, if possible, space out your hens/bucks more than two weeks prior to your wedding date. 

This ensures no one comes down with COVID from your respective parties and, depending on your state government restrictions and isolation policies, no one is stuck at home unable to attend your wedding as a result of the hens/bucks (most importantly you!).

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Wedding day survival kit.

Throughout the planning process I added to an ongoing 'wedding day survival kit' list, which included:

  • Visine.

  • Baby wipes.

  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash. 

  • Tissues. 

  • Sewing kit.

  • Makeup/concealer for touch-ups.

  • Hydralite.

  • Polaroid camera/film.

  • Perfume.

  • Bandaids. 

  • Bride/bridesmaids lipsticks.

  • Lip balm.

  • Deodorant.

  • Phone charger/battery.

  • Headache tablets.

Lipstick.

If makeup is something you take seriously, choosing lipstick is a task that you do not want to wind up doing on the day of the wedding.

I made dedicated trips into Mecca and the Chanel counter at DJs and struggled hard to choose with the unnatural lighting and overwhelming options.

In the end, I went with my all-time favourite Chanel La Romanesque (Rouge Allure Velvet) for myself and Chanel Suspense (Rouge Coco Shine - more glossy, sheer and wearable) for my bridesmaids.

Boob tape.

Wedding tape trial - necessary for booby gals/low-cut dresses! 

I tried every stick-on available from eBay, Myer, Cotton On, and the local bra shop. 

I was recommended this Secret Weapons boob tape and I can’t really describe how amazing it was. It will continue to change my life!

Hair and makeup.

In my opinion, wedding hair trial - necessary. Wedding makeup trial - necessary. 

Avoid the vision (which possibly only exists in your mind) failing to come to life, and unnecessary anxiety on the day. 

Only do your hair and makeup trial for your hens if you plan to have it recreated exactly the same for the wedding. I had my trial separately due to my very ~extra~ hens makeup.

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Tan.

If you’re tanning, I also believe a wedding tan trial is very worthwhile! 

Firstly, you can be allergic to this stuff so it’s quite important to test it. I wasn’t allergic, but wanted a spray tan for my hens, so I combined this with my wedding trial on the Thursday night before my hens to see how it appeared on the Saturday (same time in between as the wedding).

Nails.

Choosing nail colour (getting a bit hardcore I know). 

I have an at-home gel kit (unsolicited advice for another time) and use Faby in Pink Nude on the reg. 

It a beautiful sheer, but simultaneously bright, light pink and I knew this was the colour for me and the gals. 

I went to the local nail salon we were using and selected a similar pink in advance, so I didn’t make a rash decision on the day we all had them done.

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Photography tips.

- Consider a no phones rule during the ceremony. Your professional photos of your family and friends aren’t going to live up to their full potential if they’re all watching the ceremony through an iPhone.

- Count to four during your first kiss (we practised this every night in the two weeks leading up to the wedding and it was very fun).

- Remember to hold on to each other's hands after the ceremony (everyone wants to get couple shots whilst also wanting to hug you both so it's easy to get pulled apart!)

- If your celebrant is not a celebrantzilla, they will happily oblige to wear neutral colours as well as step aside during the first kiss. 100 per cent request this if it's important to you not to have a second party standing in between you for your first kiss photo.

Stress management.

  • My wedding year New Year's resolution was perfect for the stressed 'zilla: No phone in the bedroom. I charged and set my alarm in the kitchen. This lead me to reading books instead and therefore sleeping. I only had one bad wedding nightmare where my face peeled off.

  • Saying no to plans. Important for me.

  • Hot showers and baths.

  • Essential oil diffuser. My little sidekick I carry around with me between bedroom and living room.

  • Regular exercise.

  • Spending couch and sleep time under a weighted blanket (arguably the best present I have ever received).

  • Words to live by: 'Not everything that weighs you down is yours to carry'. Everyone has an opinion on the wedding, everyone involved is stressed by the wedding, sometimes it gets too much and that’s when it’s important to take a step back and let things go. I tried really hard to be nice and always think of the other perspective (not always easy, the word bridezilla exists for a reason). The purpose of a wedding is love and this should go beyond you and your partner - if someone has an opinion it’s because they care, which may be annoying but it’s also heartwarming.

Skincare.

I splurged on every expensive skincare thing you can imagine. I had no control over the hormonal acne I had on the day (which was easily covered up by makeup!). I’ve lost faith in a lot of skincare and I now believe the best options are from brands The Ordinary and CeraVe. I also highly appreciate that these brands are very affordable. 

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Moving away from "inspo".

At some point when your ducks are in line, you 100 per cent have to stop looking at Instagram wedding inspo and be happy with your choices.

For me, the no phone in the bedroom thing was helpful for this, and so was having a winter wedding. 

I imagine this would be much harder during wedding season and think a strategy around this is not a bad idea i.e. limiting Instagram or unfollowing 50 per cent of the 500 wedding 'grams you follow.

Honeymooning.

We initially planned to go on our honeymoon directly after the wedding but had work commitments so pushed it back three months.

My husband was devo about this, but it ended up being the best thing ever, because…

  • Planning a honeymoon at the same time as a wedding would have detracted from both the wedding and honeymoon.

  • Having something to look forward to post-wedding is fabulous.

  • The thought that if we had gone on an immediate honeymoon, the wedding and honeymoon would have been over in just over a month makes me feel a little bit sick.

I recommend you push the honeymoon back!

Tori Falzon is a trained chef and nutritionist turned recipe developer and social media manager. Under her brand ‘Into The Sauce’, Tori shares her obsessively tried and tested recipes, providing inspiration for everything from weeknight meals to entertaining. Tori’s other skills include finding hacks and efficiency in life and the kitchen, fashion and style. You can follow her on Instagram  @intothesauce.

Feature Image: Instagram / @tozzamate.

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