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Wedding planning 101: How to start planning your wedding

Wedding planning 101: How to start planning your wedding

Blue sofas outside in front of wedding ceremony setup

Firstly, congratulations! Whether it’s a spur-of-the-moment decision or something that’s been in the works for a while, finding a partner to share your life with is something to celebrate.

If you’ve begun to tell people, you may have started to hear those same old questions over and over.

  • When’s the wedding?
  • Do you have a theme
  • Are you having a big do?
  • Is it going to be inside or out?

This list goes on!

So, down to planning the big day. But where to begin? What are the key decisions?

How do you start planning a wedding?

Most important is having a day you both enjoy and will remember for all the right reasons. So start by taking some time to discuss the bigger picture with your partner. You don’t need to make every decision in one go. But having a general idea of what you both want will help make other decisions easier.

  • Are there any non-negotiables? Something vital that you need to be included or considered from the beginning.
  • What are the must-haves? Things that you really want to make the day as memorable as possible.
  • Anything you’re more relaxed about? Not fussed either way but happy to go along with it if your partner wants it.

It’s good to get any potential issues out in the open straight away. There’s no point in planning an intimate wedding for close family only if your partner has been dreaming of a giant party with an equally giant guest list.

Jot all your thoughts in a notebook and keep it in a place where you can both add notes when inspiration strikes.

Get organised with an organiser 

Having a dedicated notebook for all your planning is a simple way to get started and stay organised. You could use a simple notepad or splash out in a personalised notebook. Either way, it’s a smart way to keep all the details, thoughts and ideas in one place. You could even create your own fully customisable wedding planner and choose your own inserts. Our Planning Resources include printable lists that you can use in your planner, making it even easier to tick all the right boxes.

Purple flowers laying on wedding notebook

Bonus; Once the honeymoon is over, you can use your planner for everyday use. 

Now you can start your guest list, choose your bridal party and save some suggestions for music choices. Once you’ve talked things over with your partner, you should have a rough idea of how you both want the day to go. Now you can start putting together some of the finer details of the day. This is where the fun can start!

Choosing a wedding theme

Having a theme or “feel” that you want for the day will help you decide on venue options and potential vendors. 

Are you thinking of a more classic style or leaning towards a bohemian feel? Maybe a glamorous wedding with a black-tie dress code, or go more relaxed with a garden wedding with barefoot bridesmaids? If you need some inspiration, look no further than our Gallery teeming with different set-ups. Our Real Wedding blogs are also a good way to see how some of our couples created their dream events. 

The options are only limited by your imagination, so open your mind and let your heart be free!


The venue usually represents a significant amount of the budget, so it’s important to get it right. Once you’ve settled on your theme, you’ll need a venue that reflects that vibe. But before you rush into any hasty decisions, have a check over your non-negotiables in case there’s something you need to keep in mind.

For example, if it’s important that your wheelchair-bound Nana is on the guest list, you’ll need a venue that has the right accessibility. A boho wedding in the middle of a paddock might sound perfect, but wouldn’t be practical for Nana’s needs. 

Is it big enough for your potential guest list? Make sure there will be enough room for all. No one wants to overflow to the carpark! If there is an open area, you could potentially add in a marquee or a sperry tent to increase capacity. Or simply to offer your guest a range of spaces to enjoy the day.

Keep your options open and visit a few venues so you can see for yourself which is right for you. The choice of potential places can be endless. We’ve done some of the hard work to get you started and created a list of our favourite wedding venues on the NSW South Coast.

Get familiar with the facilities

You’ve got your ideal venue in your sights and the date is pencilled in. Things are coming together nicely. Then, you realise there aren’t enough tables and chairs for the formal wedding breakfast you had planned. No need to panic or change all your plans just yet. Whatever your venue can’t provide to style your big day, you can hire from external vendors, such as SCPH.

From cutlery and crockery to napkins and nightlights, we can coordinate the furnishings and decor you need to make your vision for your big day a reality.

  • The weather report says it’s going to be a bit chilly by the evening? We’ve got heating options for that.
  • Need backdrops for those perfect pictures? We’ve got decor choices for that.
  • Dreamed of a dance floor for your first waltz together? We’ve got your floor covered.

And if we can’t supply it, we’ll know someone who does. 

Show off your style

Styling a wedding isn’t as simple as a table cloth with matching napkins. It’s about those special touches that truly make the event your own. But it’s not always easy to know exactly what will work and what won’t. Our Collections and Packages take all the guesswork out of it so you can concentrate on enjoying the day.

From furniture that works in all sorts of venues, to complete table settings, you can rely on us to have thought of everything.

Have the right people on your team

Creating the perfect atmosphere for your event takes more than one person. This is why it’s important to have vendors you can rely on to bring everything together.

With over a decade of experience in the Events industry, we have worked with our fair share of suppliers and vendors. Our Vendor Planning List is full of our favourites that we trust, knowing they have the exceptional attention to detail that you need when planning a wedding.

Our list includes 

  • Catering
  • Photographers
  • Celebrants
  • Florists
  • Mobile bars
  • Wedding planners
  • Wedding stylists
  • Music

Dress to impress

It’s time to say Yes to the dress! All eyes may be on the bride, but the whole bridal party will be up front for the ceremony, so it’s a good idea to plan the whole look. Nothing has to be matchy matchy if that’s not your thing, but it’s good to have a cohesive look that brings the party together.

If you’re having a traditional bridal party, a few things to think about could be

  • Will the bridesmaids wear the exact same dress or the same colour in different styles?
  • Long gowns or shorter dresses?
  • Will the groom match the groomsmen or the bride?
  • Tuxedos or shirts and trousers?

There’s no need to make these decisions on your own. Getting others involved can help take the pressure off you and give them a chance to have a say. They’ll be the ones wearing the outfit all day so they need to be happy in it. 

As for the bride’s dress, there can be so many decisions to make, that it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Looking through magazines can help give you an idea of what you might like, but our best tip, try on everything! You may have your heart set on a particular style, but a dress can look different when tried on. Something you may have dismissed could actually be THE dress. 

If you’re going to a bridal shop, 

  • Take along some trusted friends who will give their honest opinion. 
  • Be open to suggestions from shop assistants.
  • Consider your comfort as you’ll be in that dress all day.
  • Schedule enough time for delivery and any alterations that may be needed.

But most importantly, have fun!

The finishing touches

No one likes that ominous feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when you think you’ve forgotten something. Even if it’s just a small thing, it has the potential to put a damper on your day.

This is exactly why we created our Wedding Run Sheet Checklist. Curated over many years and many, many wonderful events, this template will help get you started on your own timeline of events.

It includes space to 

  • List and confirm all your suppliers and their details.
  • The day before run sheet 
  • On the day run sheet 

So you can make your own play-by-play schedule ahead of time and keep everyone in the loop. That way, the chances of anything being forgotten or overlooked are practically zero.

We’re here for you

If you’re beginning to wonder how you’re going to be able to do all this, that’s where we come in. We want to help create the wedding of your dreams and take away any stress so you can enjoy the whole experience.

If you have a question – big or small – about your event, our team is happy to help you in any way we can. So get in touch today and let’s get planning your dream wedding on the NSW South Coast.

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