Wedding Planning; Where to Start?

I recently got engaged to a handsome young man who surprised me with a beautiful ring. After all the celebrations and congratulations, you chuckle with your fiancé because you can now call them your fiancé. Then reality sinks in. I realise we actually have to start planning our wedding eventually. What do I wear? Do I break out with some karaoke? A group dance? So many questions.

I think I’m a bit too organised for my own good since it’s a while away. But alas, I love planning it’s so fun. So I have asked friends and people for advice on what on earth I am doing! Along with some tips to move you closer to that dream wedding. In no particular order here are a few things which have helped me so far.

Draw up a Budget

Will it be a grand ordeal or small and intimate? What budget do you need to get your perfect wedding? Taking into account the good old honeymoon afterward as well and traveling expenses. I can imagine trying to stick to a budget will save stress later on. Hopefully.

Decide on the Bridal Party

The big question is who to ask to be a bridesmaid or the best man. I definitely included my sister and also best friends who always have my back. These are the people who can listen to you stress out about wedding madness. Or asking them out of a hundred dresses which one looks the best. Then come the fun times like the hens night, cute bridesmaid gift bags, and getting ready for the day. Fabulous.


The Guest List

Whether it’s a large wedding or a small one, narrowing down your close friends and family can help decide what kind of venue you might like. When picking your list think of whether you’ve spoken to them in a year. Has your fiancé met them before? Although it’s tempting to invite everyone you’ve known since 2001 on Facebook try to think of who you’re closest to. Also, are you wanting children at the wedding? I have seen a few toddlers running around at previous weddings screaming. Not ideal, but to avoid feelings getting hurt, try to organise babysitting in advance for the young ones.

Research Venues in the Area

Once you’ve decided on a day and a date now it’s time to pick the venue. Deciding can be a tricky one. One thing I’ve tried is to email the top three places myself and my fiancé like. Then wait for the response of the packages they offer. You may need a different location for your ceremony and reception, or if it’s in the same place, even better!

castle wedding Beautiful achnagairn castle wedding venue inverness inverness hitched

The Photographer

This is one of the hardest things we’ve found so far. Out of thousands of photographers who is the best one who can capture those magical moments? Depending on your style, staged dramatic poses, or more natural, this can help you choose someone who might be a good fit. Think of the theme, mood, and colour of the photos. Who stands out? Then message your top picks!

Get on Instagram 

If you aren’t using Instagram whilst planning a wedding, get amongst. Basically, I’ve started searching for bridal shops and photographers through Instagram. The more pages I follow relating to weddings the better. I’ve had so many sponsored adverts from wedding content which means I can research even more and stalk amazing photographers. YES. This is also how I came across our engagement photo shoot photographer!

RVSP for Wedding Expo’s

I’m jumping on the bandwagon and heading along to some wedding expo’s here in Auckland for some inspiration. As well as back home in New Plymouth. I’m bringing the fiancé along as well even though he would probably rather watch rugby. It’s a good time to get inspiration and get advice from the experts. From colour scheme, the venue, planning, to floral decoration all in one place. Check out a few key events below:

Event: Heartfelt Weddings Showcase, at the Cordis in Auckland April 8th. Free entry but you do need to RSVP.

Event: Bride and Groom Wedding Expo in Auckland, Ellerslie Racecourse, 6th May.

Event: The Taranaki Weddings Show 2018, June 10th. Tickets cost about $20 – early bird tickets are $17.

The Dress

Take along a trusted friend or family member to try dresses with you so you can get a second opinion. I bought one of my best friends to help me with mine. While there are lovely dresses, quite often other people will have worn them as well or similar. I’m getting mine custom made which is exciting (it’ll have to be a surprise). If you’re looking for a few ideas in Auckland check out Rue De Seine, Alma J Boutique, and Hera Couture. Most bridal shops do charge a fee to try on dresses ranging from $50-$75 for about an hour session.


If you’re into vintage or quirky items to include at your wedding such as little signs, things on the table, there are some really cool websites which don’t require a massive budget. DIY wedding shop has small things here and there. My wedding store is also a good one they sell wedding bubbles. Perfect.

DIY Wedding

If you aren’t getting a wedding planner it can help to get a little wedding book which has all the details you’ll need and checklists as well. Plus, it can help to create a wedding website so you have all of your guests in one place, accommodation for people who may be travelling, and cute photos of course. Check out minted, it’s a great platform to use and free.

Also, subscribing to wedding magazines can help with inspiration like New Zealand Wedding Magazine. They have great blogs on there, competitions and style ideas. Asking family or friends for advice can help you not panic as well especially if they’ve already walked down the aisle.


There are many things to put together for a wedding. The marriage license, catering, makeup – ahh! Which we will worry about closer to the time. One key thing I guess is don’t do it all by yourself. Enjoy the journey because the day will be a wonderful celebration with close friends and family. Oh and lots of food. Getting to show your love for each other and feeling like a princess in that dress. The countdown begins.










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