How to Plan your Wedding, Wedding Planning Ideas

How to save on wedding catering

When thinking about weddings one of the first things we think about is free food and (potentially, lots of free) drinks! (Or is that just me??) Anyway… food and drink is often the biggest budget-item on your wedding planning list. Understandably, there can be a lot of pressure to reduce costs and get the most value for your money.

Here are my top picks of the most budget-friendly catering options for weddings.

Cocktail Reception

Cocktail receptions can be a cheaper alternative to a full sit-down meal. If you have a big guest list, serving cocktail-style food can reduce your overall price-per-head which can add up to big savings. If you enjoy gourmet food and beverages, serving in smaller quantities can allow for better quality. Champagne and oysters anyone??

Brunch

If the venue you want is a bit out of reach, consider a brunch reception. Many venues will provide this option at a reduced rate- especially if they can cater another evening function the same day.

While everyone loves a mimosa or two, your alcohol bill probably won’t be quite so steep if you are catering for a morning reception.

(If you don’t mind an early start, a morning wedding will give you more of the day to celebrate as a couple!).

Picnics

Nothing can beat the relaxed vibe of a good, old-fashioned picnic! Picnics are a fantastic idea for couples who want to DIY their catering. Most elements of a picnic basket can be prepared in advance- with no culinary skill required!

Buffets and Gourmet BBQs

Buffets are DIY-doable if the cooking and preparation can be minimised. Think of creative ways to serve cold dishes that are simple to prepare and serve. The more you are able to prepare your buffet in advance, the less stress you will have trying to throw things on a table just before the guests arrive. Some examples of a no-fuss buffet are:

  • A selection of high-tea inspired sandwiches and sweets
  • Lolly and dessert buffets
  • Seafood buffets (keep the seafood on ice to keep fresh)
  • Grazing boards

If you have a family member or friend who likes nothing better than getting behind a barbeque at social events, consider asking them to help you out and ‘fire up the barbie’.

Bonus Tip:

Don’t feel like you need to do everything yourself just to cut costs. Who wants to be washing up 100 plates straight after their wedding! Many venues will allow BYO beverages and provide the food. Or, you may wish to prepare the cocktail hour platters and only have the main course professionally catered.

 

Wedding Planning Ideas

Weddings on the Web

There are days when I feel like my eyes never leave a screen. Whether it’s my computer or my phone, it’s easy to spend most of my day online. Heck! I even complete my daily workouts online (read that as: I aim for daily). Like me, the world of weddings is progressively finding its way into cyber space.

Here are three ways weddings have come online in the hope of making life easier and saving time:

Instagram Photos

Set up an Instagram account with a personal, wedding-related hashtag and let your guests know about it. You will have all the guests’ photos in one place- #instantphotoalbum!

Wedding Websites

Wedding websites are relatively new and can sound a little bit scary. There are options where you can create your own wedding website with little computer experience and for little expense. On your wedding website you can include much more information than in an invitation, so they can actually save you money in printing and postage costs.

One thing to keep in mind though, not everyone may want to get online to find their way to your wedding. If you are aware of guests who don’t enjoy surfing the internet, ensure they have a paper copy of everything they need.

Wedding Planning Programs

Online programs and apps that can be accessed through your tablet or phone are great for ticking wedding planning jobs off your list while you’re on the go. If you’re on your commute to work or waiting in line, you can easily get some wedding planning done. Some programs can include budgets, vendor contact details, checklists and even floor plans. These programs can be especially handy when you need to share information between your wedding suppliers and special helpers.

If I can give any advice about online options for your wedding planning or wedding day, I would say, choose anything that will help you save time and ultimately get you offline and enjoying time with your family and friends. So, if you’ll excuse me I better go do my ‘daily’ workout. Today, I think I’ll skip the screen time and talk my dog for a walk.

Wedding Planning Ideas

Love your way: fun ways to celebrate your special day

I love celebrations! I believe the celebration of a marriage is an important element in your special day and the beginning of married-life. I’m happy to see there has been a significant trend away from the formal sit-down dinner reception to a celebration unique to the newly-wed couple.

So many brides look back on their wedding photos and say ‘but it looks like everyone else’s wedding!’. Well, while the colour scheme might be different, if you bring aspects of other people’s weddings into your day, no matter how fabulous they are, there’s no doubt it’s not going to look as ‘unique’ as you might have expected.

Here is a list of alternatives to a formal wedding reception which are no less fabulous and quite possibly more fun!

Champagne Brunch

There’s a reason so many cafes offer all-day breakfast. Breakfast food is delicious! A brunch can be fancy, with gourmet pancakes or casual with bacon and egg rolls. Add some champagne and you are in instant celebration-mode!

Perfect Picnics

Personally, I think eating outside makes the food taste better! Yes, you are at the mercy of the weather, but get prepared with shelter, throw some blankets and cushions on the ground, choose a picturesque location and you have set a gorgeous scene for a fun celebration- no seating charts required!

Backyard BBQ

If you’re a couple who loves backyard get-togethers on the weekend and you don’t want to scrimp on the guest-list, a backyard BBQ can be the perfect option for your wedding celebration. Decorating with easy DIY projects can transform the most boring backyard into any theme you can imagine. Scattered tea lights and fairy lights throughout the garden look spectacular with very little cost and effort. Think about getting a caterer to save the groom getting stuck behind the BBQ. There are many caterers now offering packages specifically for weddings.

High Tea

If you enjoy the elegant things in life, a pretty high tea full of dainty delicacies can be a memorable occasion. High tea’s can be a sit-down affair or a stunning buffet-display that will get your guest’s talking- with their pinkies extended, of course! You can incorporate mini wedding cakes into your sweets selection to add a touch a wedding tradition.

Hire a Boat

If you live near water, whether it’s a river or the ocean, getting out on a boat can feel like a mini-holiday, even if it’s for only a few hours. From cocktail cruises at sunset to lazy lunches drifting down a river, there are so many ways you can create a celebration to suite your personal style.

Winery Tour

Most celebrations involve a few drinks and winery tours can get pretty jolly! The best thing about winery tours is while you are enjoying the vino, you also get a taste of some stunning winery locations; and lunch is usually provided. Make sure you grab some bottles to open on your wedding anniversary!

Extreme Adventures

Is there some crazy thing the two of you have talked about doing, but never got around to? Maybe skydiving, bungy jumping or a hot-air balloon ride on the day you ‘take the plunge’- yes okay, the clichés are endless! You can invite family and friends to witness your heroic feat- or dare them to join in. You are guaranteed to never forget your wedding day if you start married life with a thrilling adventure!

I think it’s exciting that couples have the freedom today, to move completely away from the traditional wedding ‘checklist’ and celebrate in a way that is as personal and meaningful to them as their wedding vows. You can now celebrate, your way.

As an additional service to our pop up wedding package, we can assist with any of these alternatives to a formal wedding reception- or perhaps you have your own unique idea!

Have you been to a unique wedding celebration? We would love to hear about it!

Wedding Planning Ideas

Should Man’s Best Friend be your Best Man?

Many couples already have a pet or two as part of their family when they tie the knot. It’s only natural that you would want to include these precious members of the family as part of your wedding day. From proposals, to walking down the aisle there are so many ways you can involve your pets in your wedding celebrations. There are a couple of things to consider however, before turning man’s best friend into your best man.

Will your pet be happy and comfortable at your wedding?

Some animals will not relish a crowded, hectic and really, really long wedding day! If your pet doesn’t enjoy crowds or would find it difficult to behave, having your pet physically present may not be the best idea.

Will your venue and guests welcome your pet?

Some venues just won’t allow pets and some guests may not appreciate them as much as you do. While you might not be able to do much about the rules of the venue, if your pet does make the guest list, just make sure everyone knows so it isn’t a surprise.

I have a one-year old Labrador called Buddy, who was subjected to a little experiment. I attempted to dress him up in a typical doggy ‘wedding outfit’. While I managed with some struggle to get the bow-tie around his neck, he tried to eat the cute little cuff I had wrapped around his paw before I could get the other three on. I wouldn’t exactly call it a success; and I have a new-found respect for anyone who can get a half-decent shot of a boisterous Labrador in wedding attire!

Creative ways to include your pet in your wedding

There are plenty of ways you can include your pet and personalise your wedding without having them in attendance. Mention them in your wedding vows; use a cute ‘family photo’ for your invitations or seating chart; add them to your cake topper; or have some photos taken while you’re getting ready before the wedding.

If your pet will be making a cameo appearance, hiring a pet minder to ensure that your pet is well looked after is essential. It takes all the worry out of including your pet in your wedding day. A pet minder can take your pet to and from the wedding and even help with any ‘duties’ they may have.

Your pet can be a priceless addition to your special day. There is so much inspiration out there, with ideas on how you can include your pet in a way that you and your pet will enjoy. Here are some links to some of my favourite blogs about pets in weddings. And while I might have failed in doggy obedience and animal photography, there’s no reason why you can’t have your pet play a special part in your wedding day!