Getting married can be stressful - there are a million things to think about and decide upon, from the all-important dress to catering to the venue itself.
We asked two fantastic Localist-listed wedding planners, Nicky Gomes-Luis of The Celebration Studio (aka the Wedding Coach) and Vai Leo of Exquisite Wedding Planning Limited for their tips on getting the basics planned.
What are some of the things to consider when choosing the venue?
Vai: Probably the most important thing is to plan ahead and book early. Think about whether you’d like the ceremony and the reception at the same place - it’s important not to just assume that you can hold both at the same venue.
Nicky: Before you book a venue, establish the style of wedding - is it more of a relaxed beach wedding, tuxedos and ballgowns, a dinner, a lunch time ceremony etc? Also keep in mind guest numbers, whether you’ll be inviting 50 people or 150 people. Your wedding planner will check that there is sufficient parking, accommodation, staffing etc.
Any advice on choosing a dress?
Vai: Perhaps discuss it with family - there might be a dress that has been passed down grandmother to mother which you weren’t aware of! If you’re choosing a bridal dress of your own, make sure you choose something comfortable. Nothing’s worse than finding out on the day that the dress doesn’t feel right! If you feel good you look good. As for bridesmaids' dresses, keep it simple, contemporary, and classic.
Nicky: Think about the style of the wedding when deciding what to wear. If you’re getting married on the beach, you don’t really want the big meringue type of dress; if you are getting married in June you might want something more covered up. Also, don’t assume that you have to choose white - some people look better in ivory.
Do you have any tips for planning the wedding cake and food?
Vai: Ensure the food and wedding cake will sustain any type of environment. You wouldn’t use cream when you’re holding a wedding in Fiji, so think about the season. It’s important to keep the cake and any food that might spoil as chilled as possible. I always ask the cake makers to go over an hour before the reception, and if they can’t do that, the venue keeps it chilled.
Nicky: Cocktail receptions are becoming more and more popular and are a great way to cut costs, and they are a more sociable option - rather than coming in and sitting at a table of eight people for hours, you get to wander around. Another great option to look into is a buffet - especially because a lot of local venues right now are offering a buffet option cheaper than the plated option.
What’s your advice on choosing flowers?
Vai: I believe in keeping things simple. Tight unopened rose buds look great, and orchids in pale whites, creams and pale pinks have been a huge hit recently. It’s up to personal taste, but always remember that the flowers should be enhancing the dress and the photographs, not dominating.
Nicky: Keep the season in mind. I find that a lot of clients see photos of something they like online or in overseas magazines and want to use the same flowers here, not thinking about whether or not they are in season. You can go for the fake options - we actually have the most incredible silk flowers here. Go with a traditional favourite like roses, or think outside the box - freesias are a lovely option for spring.
Looking for a local venue? Here are some great spots to tie the knot in each region.