How to plan a wedding when you're the furthest thing from a wedding planner.

Maybe you can see, feel, smell every detail of your wedding. You’ve got the scrapbooks, the Pinterest boards. You know exactly what you want and you can see yourself walking down the aisle in a sweetheart-cut dress, plunging a knife into the three-tiered cake, and dancing to Michael Bublé’s You and I. 

Or, you’re more like me and nothing like that.

I cannot visualise any aspect of my wedding. All I know I want is good people (preferably including someone to get married to) and excellent champagne.

The problem with this? If I were proposed to tomorrow, I would have no idea where to start.

That’s the reason for this first-steps guide to planning a wedding if you’re not a wedding planner… or an anything-planner for that matter. (Perhaps your diary, like mine, is non-existent and filled with all the things you’ve ever forgotten you have to do.)

Announce your engagement

Some people do this with a fancy photo-shoot, designed to be prettily packaged and posted to Facebook. Maybe it’s a not-to-subtle shot of your engagement ring. Maybe the two of you are on bicycles, with an ‘about to be married’ sign. Maybe your dog is between you with a cute ‘Mum & Dad’ placard at his feet.

Maybe you scrap the photo-shoot and use the telephone because… personable.

Whatever the way, be extremely careful about how you deliver the news. Remember, your guest list is not yet finalised. You don’t want to inadvertently invite people you will later have to cull.

people who hate weddings
It can take time to plan your perfect day. Image via iStock.

Create a timetable...

This is difficult if you're in the don't-know-how-to-use-a-diary segment of the population, but it has to be done.

Set yourself a date. Consider the seasons, the weather, when you might be able to get time off work.

Think about people travelling from other parts of the country, or the globe, to be there. How closely do you want it to other holidays, like Christmas and Easter?

Also consider the amount of time it's going to take you to plan the wedding after you've finished reading this article. Most people give it at least a year.

Studio 10's Sarah Harris discusses being papped in her wedding dress before her big day. Post continues... 


And then a budget

Helpful hint: YOU WILL NEED TO SAVE.

It's also a good idea to sit down with your prospective families before you start planning to establish an idea of what budget is possible. Yes, it might be an awkward conversation. Yes, it will be a more awkward conversation if you wind up on your honeymoon and you have to call your mum to wire you money because you overspent on the wedding and can't actually get home from the south of France.

A great thing to remember when planning your wedding, is to never actually mention the fact you're getting married. It's called the 'white tax' and it's when florists and venues and car-hire companies bump up the price because they know you're more likely to pay.

(For more information about sticking to your wedding budget, click here. It's written by a lovely individual much better acquainted with the actual workings of money than I am... Apparently, buying a $7 croissant every morning for breakfast is not conducive to saving money.)

Need some wedding cake inspo? See below! Post continues after gallery... 

Make your priority bookings

Once the people-who-need-to-know are aware of your upcoming nuptials, it's time to look at your priority bookings.

(Yes, the word 'priority' feels good. It makes you sound as if you've thought of a million other things that aren't as important, but they're still on your mind in a very structured order. #fakeittillyoumakeit)

These are the things you need to book first. If you leave them too long, they will get expensive and you might miss out.

  • Wedding reception venue (Bear in mind, popular venues can be booked from between 18 months and 2 years in advance.)
  • Wedding ceremony venue
  • Wedding photographer
  • Wedding videographer
bride and groom
Source: iStock.

Use technology

Apps are wonderful creations designed to make life easier for non-planners. There're apps for designing wedding dresses. For writing to-do lists. And for managing your budget.

Actually... come to think of it... Before you do anything, it might be a good idea to browse the App Store.

Good luck with your planning. Remember: announcement; timetable; budget; and priority bookings. Most of all, don't forget the champagne!

What aspect of your wedding did you first plan?