It's almost been 6 months since our wedding! I'm so excited to finally share some of my favourite photos with you from our magical day! And if you make it past the photos, 12 pieces of advice for planning a wedding.
The best day of my life is actually an understatement. There was rain and then sunshine, lots of yellow, pizza and ice-cream, so many good friends and family, cowboy boots, dancing, laughing, cupcakes, homemade decorations, yellow shoes, hilarious speeches, a kick ass band, noise control, bubbly, and a whole lotta love.
It was the perfect day.
12 pieces of advice for planning a wedding
Don't worry too much about what other people think - a really good friend of mine told me this a while before our wedding. It was great advice. For about 5 minutes I was worried about what people would think of the food we were serving and then I remembered what he had said. We served woodfired pizza, set up an ice-cream sundae bar and cupcakes that I made myself because they are our favourite things. People are still talking about it...in a good way!
Your husband-to-be will not share your levels of excitement about floral arrangements or table decorations. Or about how there are "only 218 sleeps to go!!" He is excited about the wedding but in his own manly way. Don't push it. Give him a hammer and some nails and get him to build something. That works.
Add those personal touches. Other people might not notice, but you will. Everything at our wedding was so us...and other people did notice.
Ask for help!! And accept it when people offer! I knew from my own experience helping other people with their weddings that if I offered to help, I really meant it. People want to help you. Let them. Especially if you're taking the DIY route - it's a LOT of work.
Choose a bridal party that you can trust. My 3 bridesmaids were incredible. They were there to help make decisions, calm me down and they planned me a kick-ass hen's party. We had so much fun leading up to the wedding and on the day. Best ever.
Have a back up plan - right up until about 2 hours before the ceremony it was raining and I thought we were going to have to pull pin on the beautiful outdoor spot we had chosen. Luckily, we had planned how we would move the tables around in the marquee so that we would still have a pretty backdrop for the ceremony. We didn't have to use it (phew) but it was good knowing we had that option.
Don't compromise on the dress. "But it's so much money for a dress that I'm only going to wear for one day!" True, but it's the most important day. If you don't love the dress you (or your bridesmaids) are in, you will regret it.
Spend money on a great photographer! It took me a good 6 months to talk Josh around to spending quite a big chunk of our budget on an amazing photographer. Worth. Every. Cent. Our photographer (Jonathan Suckling) was so much fun to be around, made us all so relaxed and took incredible images of our day.
Invite the people you want to spend the day with. If you haven't spoken to your old high school friend in 5 years, chances are you won't speak to her again for another 5 years after the wedding. Don't invite her. New friends that you get along with like a house on fire even though you've only known them less than a year? Invite them! Kids? We invited them and left the decision up to the parents. Great call. My little cousins all came and I had so much fun with them...they rocked the dance floor! Friends of ours who have kids left them at home, which was also awesome because it meant we got to party with them and they got a night off. Win-win.
Stretch it out over 2 days. We had the wedding on the Saturday of a long weekend and invited everyone back for lunch on Sunday. It was perfect because there was no pressure to try and talk to everyone on the Saturday night. Plus Sunday night ended up being just as big a party!
Pick an awesome MC who will not only do the speaking, but will be behind the scenes making sure everything is running smoothly. And make sure they have a few helpers that also know what is going on. My friend Tammi & her band of helpers were priceless.
Allow yourself to be a bridezilla - ONCE. I am a pretty calm sort of person and I almost lost my biscuits in the middle of a fabric store because I couldn't find artificial flowers to match my bridesmaids dresses. Take a deep breath. Cry a little if you need to. Figure out what is causing the issue and do something about it. I went home and ordered new bridesmaids dresses because deep down I knew I wasn't totally happy with them. Great decision. Look how good my girls looked!
And in case you're in NZ planning a wedding, here are the vendors that we used and that I would 100% recommend!
Celebrant: Evelyn Adams - Evelyn is based in Whangamata and we loved her from the moment we met her. She took on board our super relaxed attitude towards the day and helped us to create a personalised ceremony that reflected us.
Photographer: Jonathan Suckling - Jonathan was AMAZING! He came down a day early and scoped out some incredible locations that we didn't even know existed! He was hilarious, made us all feel completely at ease and the photos are just outstanding...even better than we could have hoped for! He was a bundle of energy that made taking photos super easy.
Band: Ruckus - came over from Hamilton for the night and they ROCKED the party...everyone loved them from my 4 year old cousin, to my 80 year old Granny! They were so awesome that our grumpy neighbours called noise control.
Marquee & equipment: Whangamata Hire Centre - Greg & Bronwyn were awesome to deal with. Also based in Whangamata they were on hand to help with anything we needed.
Food: Mizzoni Woodfired Pizza. Great call! The pizzas went down a treat & we even had leftovers for the next day. They traveled over from Hamilton which was perfect. They also offered several options for serving the pizzas - we set up a buffet along with salads & buns that we ordered from Whangamata New World (also great to deal with!)
Hair & make-up: Ree's Room for Hair & Beauty - Ann Marie used to be my hairdresser WAY back when I was at high school so it was so nice to have her on board! She now has her own salon with Amy who does make-up and they also traveled over from Hamilton for the day. We did a trial and they nailed it which made the day so easy. They pretty much had free rein with the girls and they did so well!
Boys clothes: Hallensteins - we went in, sized them up, picked the outfits & they ordered everything for us. Jandals too. Too easy! And cheaper than hiring.
Girls dresses: Candela Bridal - this was a Facebook page that I found - I was a little nervous but they were great to deal with and we loved the dresses.
Most other things we made - the bunting flags were my mum & her friends, we made the table decorations, I made the bouquets, Josh built the archway and I had my dress made in Vietnam when we were there last year!