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Find a local wedding planner

    The ultimate wedding planning guide

    Plan your perfect wedding

    Hannah | Oneflare

    Planning a wedding can be stressful. You need to arrange for the venue, theme, catering, decor, legalities, flowers, transport, attire, etc. Couples want their wedding ceremony to be perfect and spend months sometimes years planning their special day. The process can be both intimidating and exhausting, especially if you don’t have a proper wedding plan in place. There are countless guides and checklists available online to help you plan, and you can even hire a professional wedding planner to handle the task for you if your wallet allows you.

    No two weddings are exactly the same. Different couples have specific preferences for their special day. For example, a smaller backyard wedding has its own challenges when compared to large venue weddings. Before you start planning for your wedding ceremony, think about what kind of wedding you want to have. Here’s a guide on how to handle different types of ceremonies:

    Wedding themes

    Every wedding should have a special theme. A great theme will ensure your special day is more memorable and entertaining. The theme can be traditional and familiar or quirky and unique. For example, a spring or winter-themed wedding is more traditional while a gothic or Harry Potter-themed wedding is quirky and unique. Here are some tips that can help you decide a theme:

    • Decide whether you want a traditional or non-traditional (unique theme) wedding. A non-traditional wedding is just as challenging as a traditional one, and may even require a little more effort. – look to considerations list when looking at options. An idea is great, but delivering all aspects of this dream wedding idea can be hard conceptually and extremely expensive.
    • Browse through wedding magazines, blogs and Pinterest for unique wedding ideas. That might spark your creativity and give you an idea of what you want.
    • Make sure your theme is consistent throughout the event. For example, if you want a winter-themed wedding, you should choose white and pale blue colours, include winter-specific food and drinks, and make sure your wedding stationery has the same theme. Consistency will ensure your wedding is unique and magical.

    Rural Wedding / Source: Little Glimpses

    Destination weddings

    There’s something very magical about having a wedding in an exotic and interesting location. If you have room in your budget, you can even have your wedding ceremony in another country like New Zealand, Thailand or Bali, which are all popular destinations for Australians. However, if you want to stay a little closer to home, there are several amazing places in Australia where you can have a wedding as well. They can be very difficult to plan and arrange but they’re worth the effort.

    Tips to plan:

    • Choose a destination that will comfortably fit into your budget. While destination weddings are memorable, they can be a financial burden if you’re not careful.
    • Make sure people you want to be present at the wedding can travel to the destination.
    • Look at the legal requirements of travelling to a different country for a wedding if you intend to have your wedding outside Australia.
    • Arrange for travel and accommodations well in advance to avoid last minute problems and cancellations. Be sure to check the venue’s payment and cancellation policies and don’t hesitate to ask them questions if needed.

    Civil ceremony

    A civil ceremony is a wedding ceremony performed by an authorised Civil Celebrant who’s registered with the Federal Attorney General’s office. This is a great option for people who want to have a formal marriage ceremony without any kind of religious authority. In civil wedding ceremonies, the things you need to consider.

    Tips to plan:

    • To apply for a civil ceremony in Australia, you need to be at least 18 years of age with a photo ID like a driver’s license or a passport. You might also have to make a statutory declaration to support your identity and evidence provided.
    • You need to file The Notice of Intended Marriage form, one month before you’re due to be married. There are exceptions like medical emergencies, errors, legal proceedings, etc, but it’s best to file the form in advance.
    • You’ll be married by the Civil Celebrant and asked to sign three different certificates to confirm your marriage.
    • The celebrant will register your marriage around 14 days after the ceremony is performed
    Greek Wedding / Source: Iclickyou Photos

    Cruise weddings

    Cruise weddings can be a great deal of fun, especially if you love to travel and enjoy the sea. They’re also surprisingly easy to organise. Most cruise ships will offer a wedding package that includes everything from the ceremony and decor to the food and drinks. You won’t have to spend much time or effort to on the planning.

    Tips to plan:

    • Find a cruise ship that fits into your budget and follows a route that’s most convenient for you. For example, if you and your loved ones can only spare two days for the wedding, choose a cruise that doesn’t venture far and can bring you back to your city within that time period.
    • Create a short guest list, especially if you intend to finance the entire trip. A lengthy guest list will be expensive and very difficult to manage. Prioritise your list and focus on people you want rather than the ones you feel obligated to call.
    • Arrange for a photographer instead of relying on the one provided by the cruise ship. You’ll want to document the entire trip instead of just the ceremony and a professional photographer can help with that.

    Religious ceremony

    Many people consider religion to be a vital aspect of their life and want to have a religious ceremony. Different religions have different customs and traditions. In fact, different factions of the same religion have different customs and traditions. For example, a Catholic marriage ceremony would be slightly different from a Protestant marriage ceremony.  Inter-religious marriages can be a challenge to plan as well. Here are some tips that can help.

    Tips to plan:

    • Consider the requirements of your religious ceremony carefully. That will help you plan the wedding around the ceremony. You’ll know when you have your reception and what kind of food you can include in your wedding lunch or dinner.
    • Choose a church or temple according to your religious requirements. Most couples prefer to have their wedding at their local Church.
    • Your recessional and processional song options might be limited if you choose a religious wedding ceremony. This depends largely on the religious institution you have your wedding in. Some churches and temples are stricter than others.
    • You might also have to follow a dress code. This depends on how strict the church or temple is but some religious institutions will require that everyone who attends the wedding, follow a specific dress code.
    Formal wedding / Source: Just B Photography

    Formal wedding

    Formal weddings are similar to “black tie” events. They’re luxurious, glamorous, and fashionable. If you love the allure of the red carpet, you’ll love the idea of a formal wedding. This wedding also has a dress code and men are usually required to wear black-tie and women need formal gowns and dresses. Here are some tips to keep in mind if you want a formal wedding.

    Tips to plan:

    • Maintain the theme throughout the wedding day so everything from the wedding clothes to the catering is formal and elegant.
    • Make sure your wedding cards have a traditional and formal design. You’ll also need to mention that the wedding is a “black-tie” event to ensure your guests wear the right clothes and are prepared for the event.
    • Keep the music classic and refined. You can choose songs from the Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack era. That will help you maintain the formal wedding theme.
    • The decor should be soft and elegant with an almost monochromatic theme. Candle lights, chandeliers, white and pink roses, white satin decor, etc, will contribute to the formal and traditional theme of the wedding.

    Contact local wedding planners

    Military wedding

    Military weddings have a special charm because people who serve their country deserve every bit of happiness they can find. Military weddings are different from traditional weddings because you need to follow some rules and formalities. Here are some things you should keep in mind.

    Tips to plan:

    • Choose a military chapel or academy as your wedding venue. While other locations do work, military chapels or an academy will showcase your history and background. These venues will add a special touch to your wedding day.
    • Your next step is to arrange for an officiant who can formalise your marriage. If you get married in the military chapel, the chaplain will handle the ceremony. If you want to hire a civil chaplain or officiant, you should speak with them well in advance to discuss the ceremony and fees.
    • You need to respect the military rank during the wedding so all your guests should be seated accordingly. The highest ranking officers will be placed at the front and lower ranking offers at the back.
    • You will also need to follow the traditional military dress code. Grooms must wear their full-dress uniform. Brides have the option to choose between their full dress uniform or a wedding gown.

    Wedding planning can be quite stressful but if you develop a strategy and know your limits, you can plan a beautiful and memorable day. You can also hire professional wedding planners to take the burden off your shoulders entirely and just enjoy your day. Wedding planners will still discuss the entire process with you to ensure the wedding theme and atmosphere suits your taste and preferences.

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