So you worked out your wedding budget (if not check out our post here) now it's time to plan!! I know, I know, not your cup of tea but I got you cover, I didn't made your list too long ;) With so many tasks, planning a wedding is at 1st overwhelming. But, if you give yourself enough time to plan and sort the tasks month by month it will be less stressful!! All weddings are unique and different, so is the planning process. If you haven't determine your time-frame yet, check our post here. The most popular engagement period time is generally 12-18 months so I'll give you a 12 months checklist, READY !?! 12 to 9 Months before : Select the Venue. So, she said YES and now it is sure you're marrying her. Now the real question is where? The venue is one of the most important decisions, OK maybe after choosing the right photographer and videographer ;) But no, seriously, the location will influence everything else, from how many people you can invite to the theme of your day. It will also most likely be the biggest part of your budget. That's why you want to explore your options, visit the venues you like and are within your budget and see how you feel when you're there. Trust your gut!! If you are planning a destination wedding, check the venue through photographers and videographers portfolios in Cairns or the area of your wedding.
Hire Vendors Who Book Up Quickly. Depending on how involved you are in the planning, you want to start booking all the talents who will make your wedding day memorable. This does not including only your Photographer and Videographer but also those who will make your night fun and one to remember!! Not sure if it is a tradition but you will most likely be in charge to choose the band or DJ. Live entertainment is great and the best excuse to take your fiancée out for a date night. Whether you’re looking for an acoustic guitarist or a full band do not hesitate to ask us about our favorite Cairns wedding Musicians. If you're a foodie like me then make sure to be involved when it is time to choose your caterer, your wedding will the best and bigger dinner you'll ever throw unless. It is not easy to feed over 100 peoples. Make sure to hire people who can deliver!! Many options to choose from, whether that's the venue's in-house caterer, a favorite caterer recommended by your friend or me (I'm a big foodie, remember?) or even your favorite "pulled pork served in a soft and buttery brioche bun" food truck, male sure to go and try some food!!
Make a guest list. When deciding who to invite, consider your budget and how many people does your venue fit. Also, who's paying for what? Figure out who you really want to be there on the day and start drawing up your guest list. You might want to get your parents on it too, especially if they are contributing in your wedding budget. Depending of your entourage, it might become a long process but it will all comes down to cutting, negotiating, and cutting some more until you reach your final guest list.
Organise your bros. After you ask your best man to do the honors, make up your groomsmen list. You too need your tribe for the day, make sure to delegate some of the important tasks of the to the most reliable one ;) Not sure of how many of your besties to have, ask your fiancée the size of the bridal party. Always run things through her 1st, you'll thanks me later :D
9 to 6 Months before:
Take Engagement Photos. It will be fun, trust me and also a great occasion to practice being in front of the camera for the BIG day. It can also be again another great excuse, not that you need any, to take your fiancée out for a date (again) ;) And the images you will get out of it will be so useful!! You can use them for display on your wedding day, make a guest book for the reception, print your save the dates, use them on your wedding website. Looking for an Engagement Photographer in Cairns, shout me a message!! Book Transportation. 1st thing 1st, will your guests or some of them only need to be transported during the day? Think about your venue’s parking situation for those that come on their own. A shuttle bus might be a good idea here. Now it's time to think about you two. Whether you'll make your exit of the ceremony on a Vespa or by helicopter make sure to think about about all the other part of the day. Before the ceremony, you will most likely need two different vehicles, one for you and one for her. Last thing, if airfares are involves in your wedding destination, for you or family members, now is a good time to book too. The earlier the cheaper.
Plan & Book your honeymoon. The tradition wants for you, the groom to plan a surprise honeymoon. But you guys are a team (and you don't want to disappoint her the very next day, do you?) so plan it together!! Whether you are going to Hawaii, France or Bali, now would be a good time to check on your passport. Are they still valid, are they still in that draw you left them last time? Also check any vaccinations and the visas you might need.
6 to 3 Months before: Suit up or not. What's your style? White or black? Traditional or relax? When choosing, remember a few factors, you will be wearing it all, your ceremony might be on the beach, you will dance etc... then buy. Once you are done, it is your groomsmen's turn.
Get the wedding rings. That one is pretty straight forward, go ring-shopping together and have the jeweler starting them especially if you’re going for a custom made design. Once they're here don't lose them, put them in a safe place. While you're at it, check the engraving, just in case.
Choose the Cake. Who said cake? I love cake, go for a chocolate cake please. Fine, your wedding your cake. You and your partner should settle on a look and flavor you both love, don't worry about me or your guests. Go for cake tasting, that's the best part, in my opinion. Did I told you I love cakes?
3 to one Months before: Your look. I wish someone gave me that advice years ago when I was in your shoes. It will be pictures and video made on the day, heaps. I am far from being a self-conscious person but every time my wife and I look back at our wedding pictures, I tell her "Dang, I wish I lost a few kilos before our wedding". I'm not telling you to go the gym everyday, just watch what you eat or go full diet if you'd like to!! And of course, this advice only apply if like me, you could lose a few kilos ;) Staying in that topic, if you want a sparkly withe smile now is a good time to cut down on coffee and try a whitening toothpaste.
Wows & speech. If you decided to write your own vows, start thinking about it now. Especially if you are having a wedding film, it will add SO MUCH to it, don't forget audio is 50% of the experience when you watch a film :) Bachelor party. I told you you'll get to have some fun, it's your bachelor party!! Don't go too crazy but have a really good time with your groomsmen and enjoy!! Tips: don't have it the night before, trust me.
Her wedding gift. Put some thought into it and your bride a meaningful wedding gift. Something personal and memorable. Oh yeah, when you're out shopping, you might want buy your groomsmen a gift ;) Last Month!! Try your suit again. Either you gone a diet or not you weight might have change. If needed get the alterations made and tell your groomsmen and best man to do the same. Assign wedding day tasks to your boyz. You don’t want be running around on the day picking up last minutes items, transporting some family members etc.. assign those tasks to your groomsmen so that you can relax and look sharp.
Confirm transportation. Double check where everyone is coming from, who need transport and who will be driving who. Your pre-ceremony transport too, check it all and confirm times!! Date her. Do something really romantic with your fiancée, maybe a little weekend gateway!! Honeymoon. Double-check the honeymoon reservations, visas, flights an start packing your bags!! The Day Before: Love you note. Write a sweet little note for her to read during her getting ready time. Make sure to find someone to get it her in time, I often deliver the letter so do not hesitate to ask.
Relax and have a good sleep. This is your chance to get that beauty sleep that you need before all the wedding functions start. Make sure you utilize the most of it! That's it the day is here!! I hope this list will help to not turn into a groomzilla :D And remember, whatever happened, at the end of the day you will still be married to each other ;) Getting married in Far North Queensland, from Cairns to Port Douglas, Atherton Tablelands, Mission Beach or Palm Cove ? As wedding photographer and videographer based in Cairns, I am always happy to help so do not hesitate to ask me any questions you may have.