We asked an expert for the best ideas
Planning a wedding is a huge deal and can turn even the calmest of women into a so-called Bridezilla! A wedding often takes a good year of planning and preparation, everything from sourcing the right venue, picking the dress, choosing the perfect flowers, deciding on what food will be served and the kind of car you’ll arrive in style in, amongst a whole host of other decisions that have to be made. A great deal of brides-to-be look to take the stress out of the ‘wed-min’ by hiring the services of a wedding planner or coordinator to help them plan their big day.
As the Autumn season comes rolling in we speak to Gillian Hunt of Hunt & Heart Wedding Event Planners to get her expert advice on planning the ultimate Autumn Wedding.
For me your venue is your very first consideration. Research, view and then BOOK as soon as you are clear that you have found your place! Things to consider again are the style of wedding you are wanting. For Autumn weddings I usually recommend having an indoor wedding as days are getting cooler and you don’t want your guests to freeze in an icy, windy outdoor setting. The size of your wedding is probably the biggest determinant of where you should be booking. There are a few things that I would be including on my list of questions to ask the venues:
My advice to brides is to book your photographer as soon as you have your venue confirmed. Once your venue and date is locked in you should start looking for that photographer whose work best reflects the images and mood that you have in mind for your own photos. Booking too early, before you have your venue confirmed, can mean that your date might change and your photographer may not be available or able to change your date which means you end up losing your security deposit. Waiting too long may also mean that you don’t have the option of selecting the best photographer for your day.
When choosing flowers for your Autumn wedding I would start with your colour palette and wedding theme. A good wedding floral designer will work with you to create unique flower arrangements and bouquets that accessorise you the best. Pinterest is a good place to start to develop an idea of your theme, but nothing beats working with your floral designer to create a unique look designed with you and your wedding in mind.
I always encourage my brides to go for flowers that are hardy, will last and will look stunning even when they are out of water for the day. That being said, here in Australia we have such an abundance of beautiful native varieties that are guaranteed to make a statement. I usually encourage my brides to use the old favourites – we can never go wrong with roses!! And they are available all year round. In addition I recommend Tulips, my favourite red Amaranthus to create those beautiful soft cascades, Carnations (yes they are definitely back in vogue and SO hardy), Daphne in pink, purple and white, strong and hardy Chrysanthemums in a range of colours, Freesias ( a little bit more expensive) Hyacinth (various colours) and the beautiful soft Snap Dragons.
There are three things that will keep your guests raving about how amazing your wedding was: great food, enough alcohol, and great entertainment. So choosing your wedding food is top on your list of priorities. It really doesn’t matter what you choose, as long as there is enough of it, and it is great quality. From Brazilian BBQ and Paella pans, to formal seated dining, your budget will determine what you can afford, and your wedding theme will determine whether its canapes and cocktails, or seated and plated.
Autumn weddings, whilst beautiful for lighting and great mild days, might also mean that the days are a little colder with the possibility of rain. My advice to all my brides is – NO CONVERTIBLES – they may seem romantic but hey, the wind just messes with your hair and makeup which is not really worth the stress. I would choose a wedding car style based on the style and theme of your wedding: wedding combis are a great idea for beach weddings; vintage Rolls Royces are a must if yours is the big formal affair; stretch limos work wonderfully for a large bridal party – you get the idea.
Your bridal party numbers are also a big consideration – how many of you will there be? Do you all want to have the fun of travelling together, or would you rather multiple cars with the bride travelling in style?
Prioritise those things you absolutely HAVE to have – dress, venue, food, alcohol, photographer, entertainment, flowers – and start to cut costs on items that aren’t essential. For example – instead of spending thousands of dollars on invitations, use an online print service combined with email invitations. Most guests will post your invitation on their fridge to remind them of the date, and it’s into the bin after that. Create a budget, rework it and rework it and then … stick to it no matter what!
Draw up a project plan, understand what you can achieve alone and where you need assistance. Don’t rely on friends to get the big things done – it usually creates a huge amount of stress the closer you get to the wedding. Hire a wedding planner or day of wedding coordinator. Don’t sweat the small stuff!! And take good care of yourself. Probably most importantly – don’t lose sight of the fact that after the wedding there is a beautiful marriage ahead – stay close to your fiancé and share the load.
The Oneflare Cost Guide Centre is your one-stop shop to help you set your budget; from smaller tasks to larger projects.