There are a ton of reasons why you may wish to go down the DIY route, maybe you are just in love with a venue or location but its only the bare bones, maybe you and your other half are Uni students and its the only way this wedding budget is going to stretch to the big day, maybe your just a control freak (hey no judgement here). Whatever your excuse, your our type of people! We have seen all types of weddings over the years, from a Circus themed wedding down Picton way, to a high-rise terrace reception in the heart of Randwick, we even once went to a wedding set up on 12 inches of solid mud (yep mud!) One things for sure, planning is hard enough when all the furniture, decor and props are already there for you, once you have to organise where every bum is going to sit at every minute of the day, it can get overwhelming, but never fear we are here to help. Here are our top 10 tips to simplify your planning process.
1. Make a timeline By making a rough timeline of how the day is going to play out, not just for yourself but for your guests, you can get an understanding of how long they will be at certain locations or doing certain things, and how much effort its worth putting into that portion of the day, because remember...it doesn't stop!
Here is a perfect example from our own wedding at Camden Town farm back in 2015 where our whole vintage adventure began: Our Ceremony, photo shoot and reception were all at different areas of the one location. Our ceremony went for roughly 40 minutes, long enough for the younger and fitter of the guests to stand in the courtyard, so having enough chairs for every guest wasn't necessary... Whilst the bridal party had the photo shoot, since the rest of the guests didn't have to travel to the reception that left them to mingle, enjoy the scenery and of course ....drink! Cocktail seating and possibly a mobile bar is a great idea if you have guests waiting around for longer than an hour, it creates a relaxed environment and if (like us) you decide not to have a formal seating plan, it will open up the conversation gates for the reception.
2. Think about your demographic
You know who your inviting, so think about what type of people will be at your big day, how many grandma's and grandpa's that may need to get comfy, are you getting married in your 20's, 30's, 40's..50's (you go girl!). Chances are a majority of your friends will be around your age, so set your styling accordingly. If your group are all big drinkers, maybe don't splash out on lavish lounge suites that may end up covered in red wine at your expense. Alternatively if the venue has an early curfew, it may not be worth worrying about hiring the mobile bar and Carl the sexy barman who your Aunt Berryl has been hitting on all night, as you may not have time to get your moneys worth (or Berryl's).
3. Visit the site at night if possible
Its all well and good to have an idea of how everything is going to look, but if your planning to kick on all night long, its a good idea to visit the site at night to get an idea of the level of lightning, and what aspects you can and cannot see. We had a client at a private property wedding in Bowral make the mistake of hiring a thousand dollars worth of lounge suites and then placing them in an area of the property that was poorly lit at night and so they were not utilised at all.
Festoon lighting hire is a great option to subtly light up a large area and create a magic vibe.
4. Communicate with the Venue owners well in advance about requirements
Sometimes hire items, ceremony requirements and reception seating may need to be delivered days in advance, or in time for styling and floristry. If these products need to be set up or packed up on the day, make sure your vendor is happy to provide staff, or alternatively you can organise people to do so. Often products like wedding arbours, wine barrels and timber tables cannot be left out in the weather overnight, so to avoid damage costs, ask the questions well in advance.
5. A picture tells a thousand words The night will fly by before you know it. It will be amazing, wonderful magical and unforgettable, but also gone in a flash. Make sure you tell your photographer to capture not only the people but also some of the hard work, effort and uniqueness that went into your big day. A few well placed feature pieces such as peacock chairs for the bride
and groom, or a stunning, well decorated wedding arbour really help capture the feel of the day. Don't overdue it with the little things, they will consume you.