I wish I’d hired a Wedding Planner

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This week we have a special blogger – A real Life Bride. The lovely Tani is one of our On The Day wedding coordinators at white+white. She got married recently on a private property in a marquee with 200 guests. Tani was a DIY Bride – responsible for creating a four day wedding extravaganza. Learn about her planning and styling experience and her top tips for creating an amazing marquee wedding. Brides to be having a marquee wedding this is a must READ!

Planning a wedding is a daunting task for most people. There are endless possibilities for location, theme, flowers, decor, order of events and music. Most importantly, it must fit your budget and be your dream day simultaneously. It is one of the most exciting and spectacular times in your life, so it should be stress free as well, right?

As a television producer the task seemed simple to me, I was planning yet another creative production. A four-day wedding festival in my hometown, complete with marquee on my Dad’s rural property, 200+ guests and a schedule of events every day. But it was all consuming, a full time job. I became extremely tired during the process, juggling my real full time paying job and the monumental task list for the wedding.

In hindsight a wedding planner would have been a smart investment from the beginning – eliminated stress and kept my budget on track. In the end, I did hire a local coordinator for the wedding day. This was one of the best decisions I made during my planning process; they were my eyes and ears, taking care of every detail and every supplier I had so meticulously organised. If only I had learnt the art of delegation sooner than that!

So what would I do next time I am planning a large-scale outdoor wedding?

Delegate more

This is hard to do, but there are so many family and friends in your life who are willing to help, trust them with your instruction and let go (as much as you can).

Invest in a wedding planner or coordinator from the start

Even if you plan on a lot of DIY planners can set you on the right path, tailor your ideas down to a single focus, suggest unique options (such as unusual venues) and contact trusted suppliers with the best rates. Planners are invaluable if you are planning an interstate wedding, even if it is happening in your hometown. Remember – getting a planner does not mean you have failed!

Know your budget from the beginning

No budget is too small for a wedding planner, so don’t be intimidated by having a small budget. Planners don’t charge a fortune for their services and they will help you prioritise your ideas to what is affordable for you.

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Our wedding was colossal. A four-day event on a vacant rural property meant absolutely everything needed to be brought onto the site (power, toilets, showers, the works!). The key to successful planning was – keep it simple and local where possible!

Festival atmosphere

  • We used the natural environment as our canvas, choosing on a feature tree to base the wedding around.
  • Our marquee created the festival look and provided a wet weather safety option.
  • We used the property creek for our wedding photos and other grass areas for guest activities/ games.

Styling/Décor

  • We incorporated a lot of elements from the natural environment in to the styling, which kept decorating costs to a minimum.
  • Hanging wreaths and baskets were made from vines found at the property’s creek.
  • Native grasses hung in bunches from the marquee ceiling.
  • Wild flowers were used lavishly on tables and in the Bride’s bouquet.
  • Buying from op shops kept costs down.
  • Unique furniture pieces were borrowed from family and friends.
  • Signs were made from recycled timber.

Festival Events

  • Simple, fun activities throughout the festival provided entertainment for our guests at minimal expense (ie. a trivia night, poet’s breakfast, lawn games, jelly eating competition, bush dance and billy cart races).

Food/ Drink

  • A buffet style dinner kept food costs down (we had 200+ mouths to feed!).
  • We hired a local catering company who were outstanding and employed extra local wait staff to serve drinks and clear plates until the formalities were over.

Music

  • Our live band The Borderers from Adelaide (they were worth it!) added an amazing atmosphere to the night as guests danced under the big top.

Surprises for guests

  • Fireworks, fire twirling and a bonfire replaced traditional bonbonniere for our guests and added that extra special surprise.

This is your event as a couple and it must remain fun at all times! To ensure this, hiring a wedding planner is a smart idea and a worthy investment. So remember: this is their full time job, so they are good at it!; all budgets matter and your ideal wedding can be achieved on any budget; and you are guaranteed a unique wedding experience as everything is tailored to you!

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