How To Choose And Work With Wedding Vendors, Professionals And Service Providers

Many brides and grooms contact us, requesting information about planning their weddings. The typical inquiry is as follows. ” We just got engaged. What do we do now? Where do we begin?”

Well, weddings are very personal and each has its own unique character.

It is very difficult to list every possible scenario but the basics are the style of wedding, the size, the budget involved , the location and of course the bride and groom choices and their personalities.

  • WEDDING STYLE can range form a classic, elegant and glitzy black tie affair to a picnic in a park.
  • WEDDING SIZE depends on the number of guests.
  • WEDDING BUDGET can range from a few hundred to thousands of dollars.
  • WEDDING LOCATION local or a destination wedding.
  • BRIDE and GROOM choose the setting, the colors, the music, the wedding theme etc… that reflect their personalities and interests.

    Some couples hire a wedding planner, some rely on the experience of friends and family, but most want to experience the excitement of planning their wedding by themselves.

    The wedding day is only part of the term wedding as a whole. Wedding as it will be referred to in this article includes the preparations for, and the activities following the big day including the honeymoon.
    So, you got engaged and are looking forward with anticipation, to your dream wedding but do not know where to start and what to do. You are not alone! This article is dedicated to the many engaged couples facing this dilemma and those who want to be focused.

    It is very important that both of you, bride and groom, start planning your wedding as soon after the engagement as possible. This allows you to:

  • take your time, brain storm and leisurely discuss your needs and desires,
  • prevent and correct any errors,
  • deal with delays,
  • handle any possible mishaps,
  • have fun and enjoy planning your wedding rather than stress over it.

    You need to choose your priorities first and write down everything that is:

    very important – urgent,

    less important – allows for flexibility

    least important – most adaptable for changes and compromises.
    For example:

    VERY IMPORTANT- URGENT

  • Date
  • Budget
  • Securing your wedding attendants
  • Location of ceremony – location of reception
  • Size of guest list
  • Offificiant – Clergy
  • A specific wedding vendor or service provider
  • Time of year time of day
    Having prioritized, put together your wedding information and a list of questions and requests, to present to the vendor or service provider.LESS URGENT BUT NEEDS TOME TO ORGANIZE. YET CAN BE FLEXIBLE.
  • Attire
  • Menu and Beverages
  • Florist
  • Cake
  • Photographer – videographer
  • Invitations
  • Musicians
  • Wedding day help – before, during and after the wedding.

    LEAST IMPORTANT – MOST FLEXIBILE TO, CHANGES AND COMPROMISES.

  • Wedding day schedule
  • Readings at ceremony
  • Music selection
  • Final flower selection
  • Gifts for family and wedding attendants
  • A wedding gift from the bride to the groom
  • A wedding gift from the groom to the bride
  • Wedding favors
  • Centerpieces
  • Reception seating arrangements
    HOW TO FIND THE APPROPRIATE WEDDING VENDORS, PROFESSIONALS AND SERVICE PROVIDERS.
    Before setting any appointments it is a good idea to:
  • ask your friend, acquaintances and family for recommendations,
  • Check the internet, read as many articles as you have questions and book mark or enter the web sites you feel will be helpful.
  • Attend bridal shows
  • Visit bridal shops and ask for referrals,
  • Check the yellow pages

    Go over your written notes and organize them by priority and ease of use.

    Armed with a list of vendors and service providers, it is time for you to pick up the phone and set appointments.

    Schedule your appointments by PRIORITY. So, if a specific person or company’s participation at the wedding is required, you should contact them FIRST to find out when they have an opening.

    If the date is a priority you need to focus on securing an officiant, and a location for the ceremony and the reception, and so on.

    Money saving tip 1

    Do not limit your search to wedding specific service providers. It is not un-common for them to charge higher fees only because it is a wedding. In fact, when you set up your appointment to interview a vendor, DO NOT mention the word WEDDING. Ask about the vendor’s availability on such and such a date, for an EVENT, A GET-TOGETHER, A PARTY or any other term you can think of.

    Mention WEDDING, and your price will most probably be higher.

    Money saving tip 2

    If you have a set budget, DO NOT reveal it to the vendors until you know what they offer for what fee. Use it as a negotiating point if necessary.

    We know of couples who mentioned their budget up front. Knowing their budget, vendors took advantage of it by tailoring their offering to meet it.

    However, further research showed that these couple would have been satisfied with less services that would have met their needs yet cost a lot less.

    Contacting, interviewing and Working with the vendors

    Interview consultants, caterers, florists, DJs and-or musicians, photographers, ceremony and reception sites and videographers, who also provide services to other types of parties, business events, conventions etc… They may be open to negotiations. You may be able to secure their services at a reduced rates or receive a free gift.

    Actually, while on the phone to set an interview appointment, request a price quote for a party. Give the service providers the basic information including number of guests, date, and hours requested and ask for a quote. When you arrive at the interview, with the price quote in hand you may let them know that the party is a wedding.

    Do not, however, commit until you have accumulated at least a few bids and found the person(s) you interviewed accommodating and easy to work with.

    Interview various vendors of each category to find out what they offer, what they charge and what complementary extras they are add to the package.

    Use this information as a negotiating leverage to either secure extrar have some charges waived.

    Remember – There is no harm in asking.

    If you do not ask – you do not get!
    If the vendor wants your business, and believes that if theyt do not meet your your offer you will go elsewhere, they WILL offer some creative solutions to secure it.

    Oh, yes! one more thing you need to do before booking any of your vendors. Check them out at the Better Business Bureau to make sure no complaints have been filed against them.

    Once you made your choice, do not look for other alternatives or you’ll drive yourselves crazy. Instead go on to the next detail that requires your attention.

    Be prepared! Go to each interview ready with your questions and information neatly written.

    Bring a pen and paper and take notes at meetings with the different wedding professionals, service providers and wedding vendors.

    These notes serve as a fun keepsake too. You may want to add them later to your wedding journal or scrap book.

    You have special needs. So check the Internet for wedding web sites that offer unique and personalized wedding gifts and accessories.

    Visit a discount wedding shopping mall and save. Use the money you save on other aspects of your wedding.
    I’ll list the wedding professionals, service providers and vendors that are part of the BASIC WEDDING. You may not need every service, or you may need more than listed.
    So, without further ado, Here is the list in alphabetical order.

  • Accommodations – Bride and Groom, Family, Wedding Guests
  • Addressing and calligraphy
  • Banquet facility – restaurant, event hall or wedding reception venue
  • Beauty – make-up, nails and hair
  • Catering- pre-wedding parties, rehearsal meal, reception, other
  • Disc Jockey
  • Destination weddings
  • Do it yourself, make your own – materials and supplies outlets
  • Florists, Floral Designers, Decorators
  • Honeymoon
  • Honeymoon -travel, guided tours, sports, recreation, other
  • Invitations and wedding stationery. Pre-printed or print your own.
    Jwelry – engagement ring, wedding bands, wedding jewelry, gifts from bride and groom
  • Musicians
  • Officiant – clergy
  • Printers – save the day, invitations, reply cards, programs, place cards, menus, thank you notes, other
  • Religious site – Church, Synagogue, Temple, Mosque, other
  • Transportation – limo, horse and carriage, taxi, car rental for guests, other
  • Travel agent- destination wedding, honeymoon, guest travel, other
  • Wedding Accessories
  • Wedding and guest Accommodations
  • Wedding Attire – Gowns, Tuxedos
  • Wedding Cakes
  • Wedding Flowers
  • wedding gift for – best man, maid of honor, bridesmaids, ushers, kids, other
  • wedding gifts for – family, wedding party, other
  • wedding music – DJ, soloist, band or a small orchestra
  • Wedding Photographers – videographers
  • Wedding Planners
  • Wedding rehearsal and reception venue and catering
  • Wedding Rings
  • Other important considerations
    With the basic information on hand, click on the above links to the wedding vendors, professionals and service providers you need for your dream wedding.

    Have fun!

    To read more articles by Nily Glaser click here
    To read more articles by Nily Glaser CLICK HERE

    Copyrights © Nily Glaser 2007
    For your FREE “Planning your wedding” checklist, CLICK HERE

  • 16 Things a Bride and Groom to Be Need to Ask Their Wedding Venue

    Is the wedding venue available on our wedding day?

    Sounds like an obvious first question doesn’t it, but you really need to ask it first. There is no point visiting a potential wedding venue, falling in love with the idea of getting married there and not being able to make your dreams happen because another bride and groom got there first.

    If you’ve already chosen your special date, then we suggest you telephone the wedding venue ahead of the visit and state you can only make that date, if they are already booked up then get back to the list and find another fantastic wedding venue.

    How many guests can be seated for a meal at the wedding venue?

    This is fairly crucial, you don’t want to book a wedding venue that have a seating area for 250 people if you’re only inviting 60 to a sit down meal.

    In turn you also want to ensure your guests can sit comfortably without being crammed into a small venue, or even worse, being left to feel as if they’re shoved in at the back, and can barely see the top table. Once you’ve got a rough idea of how many wedding guests are being invited, you need to make sure your chosen wedding venue suits your requirements.

    Request to see a sample seating plan, ask about whether they have round tables, maybe even ask to see photos of previous wedding meals and how the tables are laid out. This will give you a good indication of whether you can seat your wedding party and ensure everyone is happy.

    How many guests can the wedding venue accommodate for the wedding reception?

    Some couples prefer to have a small and intimate wedding ceremony, and then follow that with the mother of all parties in the evening. If this is your plan, be sure that the wedding venue can accommodate this. You don’t want to have 200 evening guests descend on your wedding and find them all squeezed in, or unable to get to the bar. Again, the flip-side is that you don’t want to find out your wedding venue has a separate dance floor and bar area that resembles a barn – the single easiest way to have zero-atmosphere at your wedding reception is to find the wedding DJ or band playing to a half empty hall, with your wedding guests sitting around the edges not mingling.

    What time can we access the wedding venue?

    “Exclusively yours for the entire day!”… says their website. But what does that mean exactly? Each wedding venue will have their own rules of when you can access the building on your wedding day.

    Simply confirm what time you can arrive ahead of the wedding, you don’t want to be left standing outside waiting for the cleaner to turn up.

    Can the bridal party get ready at the wedding venue?

    Maybe this is something the bride would prefer, instead of rushing around in the morning, why not ask the venue if they have the facilities for the bride to prepare for her wedding day in the comfort of her wedding venue.

    Obviously you’ll want something nicer then a conference room, or a ladies changing room at a golf club, but if the wedding venue has a nice quiet comfortable room for the bride to arrive and perhaps have her hairdresser, make-up artist and the rest of her entourage help her prepare for her wedding day then all the easier.

    Can we give you a CD of our wedding music for the bride’s entrance?

    If you’re having a civil ceremony performed in an approved premises you won’t be able to use any music that has religious references in the song at all. By this we mean, terms like: Angels, Heaven, God etc etc. So no Robbie Williams ballads. The wedding venue will be fully aware of this and may have a CD of acceptable music, which is fine. However, if you want to make your wedding entrance to music of your choice you need to ensure that the wedding venue does actually allow this.

    Assuming they are OK with you bringing along your own CD with your favourite song on it to play at the bridal entrance, it’s well worth dropping it off a day or two in advance to the wedding venue and asking them to test the CD on their player. You don’t want for them to try and play it as you’re nervously standing there only to find out your old CD is scratched or your CD-R won’t work on their machine.

    The registrar will have to approve the songs you’ve chosen ahead of the wedding, but they should clarify all of this when you meet them.

    Can we agree a timetable of the day, or are we set to your times?

    Obviously a good wedding venue will suggest times to you, they’ll know how long each stage of the day will take. Ensure you can discuss the day’s timetable, agree when the ceremony will start (you’ll also need to approve that time with the registrar), plan how long the photos will take, agree the start time of the meal, decide what time to invite the evening wedding guests, and when the cutting of the cake and first dance will take place.

    Can we bring our own drinks to the wedding venue, if not can we see the bar prices?

    This is an interesting one, and well worth asking the question. Even if a wedding venue has a licensed bar available they still may agree that you could bring your own drinks along – even if it’s just fruit juices for the kids, it could save you money.

    If you’re hiring a marquee at a venue, they will have a temporary bar for your guests – ask if you can stock the bar yourself, maybe even do a deal with someone who’ll buy all the booze for you and manage the bar for the night.

    Should the wedding venue insist that you must use their bar facilities, ensure you ask to see the bar prices first, whether you or your guests are paying, no one wants a huge bar bill. Also check about wine served at the meal, and champagne for toasts.

    Do we have to use your caterers, or can we instruct our own?

    Some wedding venues insist that you must use their caters. This may be a restriction, however their own caters obviously have the knowledge of the venue and their kitchens, and would of catered for many weddings before – so maybe it’s not a bad thing.

    However, it’s worth asking the question as if you are not committed to their caters you can shop around, and enjoy plenty of food tasting along the way.

    If it’s raining, where would be the best spot to take our photos?

    It won’t rain on your wedding day, surely not. Hopefully not. Maybe.

    If the sun lets you down on the most important day of your life, you need a back-up plan. Have a good look around the wedding venue and ask where photos are normally taken during rainy days.

    You really want to avoid having an awful backdrop indoors, when you were planning lovely photos out on the lawn. Most wedding venues are beautiful places anyhow, so they’ll be used to the British weather letting down brides before, and no doubt have a proffered beauty spot indoors to act as the back-drop for your wedding photographers to take your photos.

    Is there a sound limiter on our wedding DJ or band?

    Not a question most brides or grooms would consider asking, hence we threw it in the mix.

    The thought is that if you’ve paid up to £500 for a wedding DJ, or potentially even more for a wedding band, then you want to be able to hear them at the back.

    Unfortunately a lot of wedding venues in residential areas will be restricted to acceptable noise levels – this may mean your live entertainment loses some atmosphere on the dance floor. If you are planning a huge party for your wedding – check this first.

    Do we need to order the full amount of guests for the buffet?

    If you have 100 wedding guests in the evening, do you need to book a buffet for 100 people? You know that your mates will be more interested in the bar, most people who ate the wedding breakfast won’t be too hungry, so why not ask the wedding venue if you can just pay for 80% of the expected guests.

    This way you’re saving some more money, and potentially saving wasted food at the end of the night.

    Is there accommodation available at the wedding venue?

    Maybe the wedding venue has a honeymoon suite available? A lot of weddings have visiting relatives from far afield, this means they’ll need somewhere to stay. You need to check in advance where you are going to spend your first night as a married couple, and if the venue has accommodation available then this could be your best option.

    Even if you chosen wedding venue happens to be part of a hotel complex, you’ll still need to book accommodation for those who need it, so get your bookings in early.

    Do you have a wedding cake stand we can use?

    Your wedding cake needs to sit on something, it’s a focal point of your wedding day, and will set you back a fair few quid. No doubt the wedding cake maker will offer you a cake stand and knife for hire, but quite often the wedding venue will have a top quality cake stand ready for you.

    If they do, it’s another little saving and one less thing to worry about.

    Will there be any other weddings on at the same venue?

    Why have we left this one so late? Well, it’s a personal choice whether you want a wedding venue entirely to yourself for the day, or whether you mind having another wedding party on the same day.

    Whether it makes much difference or not depends on the size of the wedding venue. A small wedding venue may not have the space, or the different rooms for two large weddings.

    You may find yourself sharing facilities, do you mind bumping into another bride?

    Large hotels or golf clubs or private manor houses are often designed in a way that they can easily accommodate more then one wedding. Lets face it, weddings are big business so they want to attract as many as possible. If your chosen wedding venue will be playing host to more then one wedding on YOUR wedding day, ask to see where the two parties take place and ensure you’re comfortable with the idea.

    What time does the bar shut, and what time do we have to leave?

    Surely the most important question, what time can we party until? A good wedding venue will not go around at the end of the night throwing guests out of the door, however they will expect your wedding guests to leave at an appropriate time. Clarify with the venue what time is last orders at the bar, and what time does the music have to be finished by.

    You’ll want one big farewell and send-off at the end of the night, so ensure your DJ is aware of the closing time and that he is prepared for the last dance and farewell to the new Mr & Mrs!

    Planning Your Wedding In Australia – Ideas For Choosing The Right Location For You And Your Guests!

    Weddings in Perth, Western Australia and Beyond!

    Australia’s North West from Exmouth to Broome and beyond! The Northern winter or dry season is April to September and boasts long days of blue skies and beautiful sunshine, some would say this is the perfect WA weather! However many European visitors will wait for the summer wet season where the temperatures are in the mid 30s and you can experience a balmy combination of heat, humidity and sunshine!

    Below the Tropic of Capricorn in the south the weather is far less dramatic, with Perth enjoying more sunny days in a year than any other capital city in the country! Because of this beautiful weather Western Australia has built up a reputation for fine food and world-famous wine regions, and overall needs no explanation as to why it would be the perfect place for you to organise your destination wedding. Whether you are from Western Australia, interstate or abroad there are so many advantages to getting married in Perth, the internet is a wonderful place and you can do a little research to find out about Perth and WA to choose the perfect wedding venue and location for your big day!

    The Coral Coast; Experience the whitest sand and the bluest ocean that plays host to some of the most breathtaking and exotic marine life in the world! You can find Ningaloo Reef, the world heritage listed site that is awesome for fishing and diving, one of the few places that you can swim with a whale shark, be sure to extend your wedding into a honeymoon – what an amazing thing to do after your big day! With a wide selection of fabulous wedding venues and accommodation to suit your personalities and number of guests you will be sure to have plenty of choice.

    Australia’s North West; home to the world-famous Kimberley, a true desert wilderness that offers an outback adventure for those four-wheel drive junkies! Be sure to stop off at the Bungle-Bungle Ranges, the Karijiini National Park and Lake Argyle on your tour of this region. Maybe you will choose The Billi Resort or Cable Beach Club in the North West near the town of Broome. These beautiful venues offer outstanding ceremony and reception settings.

    South West; when you hear the name Margaret River the first thing that springs to mind is top-class wineries and scrumptious local produce. The perfect location for a wedding boasting spectacular views and idyllic settings for your ceremony and reception venue.

    Perth; the gateway to the west. Direct flights to Perth airport make it easy to arrive both from international destinations and around Australia, you can arrive in the western capital via rail, taking the Indian-Pacific service that spans the entire country from sea to sea, you can hop on in Sydney, Melbourne or Adelaide and the whole journey would take 3 days. Might be the way to travel back after your wedding, a short honeymoon journey for the newly-weds. Alternatively, in the summer months you can get on board a coastal cruise as part of your honeymoon, much of WA including Perth, Broome and Esperance will feature on a world cruise itinerary.

    Once you arrive in Perth this relaxed city spends most of its time with sunny blue skies and has so much to offer, with an exciting and young vibe you will be able to find something to suit you and all of your guests and create a truly unique experience for your wedding in Perth, WA. You can choose a beach or garden wedding and from an extensive list of venues like the Northbridge Hotel or Cottesloe Surf Life Saving Club. You can also take the trip over to Rottnest Island, an increasingly popular destination for weddings as there is a Chapel or Catholic Church as well as a selection of beautiful outdoor locations for your ceremony. The Rottnest Island Lodge and Aristos Waterfront venues can cater for all your reception needs.

    Maybe you will venture inland to the Swan Valley where you will encounter the oldest wine region in Western Australia, also a fabulous location for a wedding in WA.

    Say “I do” in Sydney, or Regional New South Wales.

    There are so many locations available to you in this beautiful state from remote outback to Sydney and all along the coast of New South Wales!

    Outback New South Wales; some of the most remote towns including Lightening Ridge, Tibooburra and Broken Hill can be found in outback NSW. The rugged landscape provides some stunning scenery for any event, with outstanding Aboriginal rock art and national parks covering most of the land.

    The Broken Hill region would provide a unique and romantic setting for your outback wedding, you could choose from the Broken Hill sculpture park or if you are the adventurous type say ‘I do’ from the top of a historic mountain range.

    Country NSW; if you are looking for a country themed wedding or fancy getting married next to the highest waterfall in Australia then you have come to the right place. The Wollomombi Falls in Oxley Wild Rivers National Park would be a spectacular location for your ceremony. Country New South Wales has so many gorgeous locations for you to choose from, make sure you add your own little country twist to your bridesmaid outfits with the addition of cute cow-girl boots!

    Be sure to check out Corowa, Deneiquin and Moama, you can hire a houseboat for your honeymoon on the Murray River, an amazing and romantic experience, or for something really different why not hire a boat big enough for all of your guests and get married on board.

    Hunter Valley; if you and your guests enjoy good food, good wine and stunning views then the Hunter Valley would be the perfect place for your destination wedding! With vineyards in abundance and garden weddings becoming ever more popular you will be spoilt for venues in these wonderful surroundings.

    With famous wineries such as Lindemans and Wyndham Estate offering wedding packages to suit all, you can get married on the banks of the Hunter River or amongst the vines in this picture perfect location, the ideal setting to create fantastic memories.

    North Coast; the Northern Coast of New South Wales is home to some of the most popular beaches in Australia, stretching from Byron Bay to Newcastle, you can follow the Pacific Coast route and be astounded by the delights of Lennox Head, Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie and Port Stephens! All of these beautiful coastal towns are fabulous holiday destinations and would make the ideal location for a beach wedding in Australia.

    Check out the Aanuka Beach Resort perfect for an elopement package or a small wedding, they also have several ceremony locations to choose from so that you can have things just the way you wish for, they have a stunning resort chapel or you could get married on the lawn by the beach!

    Snowy Mountains; this is the perfect location for the adventurous bride and groom looking for some winter wedding inspiration and a celebration that is flourishing with snowflakes, blue skies and après-ski! You could even arrive at your ceremony or reception on a husky led sleigh or even on your skis depending on how skilled you are so that you don’t get your outfit covered in snow!

    The aptly named Snowy Mountains home to the well-known snow fields of Thredbo, Perisher and Charlotte Pass have so many hotels and resorts that would be the ideal, check out The Station at Jindabyne or Lake Crackenback Resort for two fabulous options for a winter wedding!

    Lord Howe Island; located about 600km off the North coast of NSW this World Heritage listed haven is home to some of the most amazing species of flower, crystal clear water that is great for exploring the underwater marine life and the rare coral that makes up the island’s marine park!

    This island would make an exclusive location for your wedding as there can only be 400 visitors at any one time. Consider the Capella Lodge as a place of serenity for your big day, whether you go for an intimate elopement or book the entire resort this place of beauty will be sure to provide the perfect backdrop.

    Sydney; this amazing city would be a spectacular location for your wedding no matter what style or size you choose. Maybe you will have the Opera House or Sydney Harbour Bridge in the background of your ceremony or perhaps these will be the scene for your fabulous wedding photographs. This bustling metropolis has wedding planners, wedding accessories and Sydney wedding photographers in their hundreds; you will be spoilt for choice and will need to do some specific research to create the perfect occasion.

    Sydney harbour and the romance that surrounds it is simply remarkable, combine that with a unique wedding venue and you will have yourself the perfect day! Sydney harbour wedding cruises are a fantastic idea for a wedding that you and your guests will never forget! You can choose from a small boat up to the Harbour Ballroom or the Sydney Showboat, both able to accommodate up to 350 guests – obviously your choice will be dependent on your budget and the number of people you will have with you on your big day!

    Celebrate in Adelaide and South Australia.

    The entire state of South Australia boasts long, warm summers from December to February and mild temperatures throughout autumn and winter. The state’s capital Adelaide is the gateway to the Flinders Ranges and Kangaroo Island, and is easily accessible by air. It is also home to a small population of just over a million people Adelaide is classed as one of the most liveable cities in Australia.

    Adelaide City; with its cafe culture lifestyle and diverse mix of people the city has a modern feel and an amazing variety of cuisine. With the choice of the Hills and Beach within half an hour drive of the city and state heritage listed parklands surrounding it this wonderful place can make a fabulous destination for your wedding.

    The city prides itself on the many ‘green’ initiatives and set up as Australia’s most sustainable city; this is therefore the ideal place to hold an eco-friendly wedding. Bring in some natural elements to your big day, make sure that you pick native flowers that are in season, beeswax or soy candles for your decorations and choose bonbonniere gift ideas that your guests can take home and use time and time again to minimise their negative impact on the environment.

    Adelaide Hills, Barossa & Clare Valley; boasting stunning views across the Valleys the Adelaide Hills has so much to offer, known as one of the finest areas for cool-climate grapes there are charming boutique wineries in abundance. The Lane Vineyard, Bridgewater Mill and the Stirling Hotel are amongst the many places that make the Adelaide hills the perfect spot for your wedding or reception venue.

    The fresh produce is just one of the things that might pull you towards the Barossa Valley for your wedding venue! You can also follow the butcher, baker & winemaker trails to check out some of the culinary delights on offer in this special place – a great excuse for a trip to SA before the big day!

    Looking for a more intimate setting for your wedding ceremony, then head to the Care Valley, there are many cute bed & breakfasts in this area and some stunning locations to get those perfect shots of you in your wedding dress in the South Australia scenery.

    Flinders Ranges & The Outback; perhaps for the more adventurous this will be on the list of possible destinations for your adventure honeymoon. Pack up the camper-trailer and head off into the dusty red desert. Keep your eyes open for wedge-tailed eagles and lazy lizards along your journey into the wilderness and you will be sure to get some fantastic photographs of the bush backdrop.

    Maybe you are a couple that just love the country, if an outback setting for your wedding is more up your street then why not seek somewhere like the Arkaba Station, a wild bush luxury resort on the southern edge of the Finders Range National Park. Choose for your wedding in the ranges from a ridge top dinner to a woolshed venue, or boutique heritage homestead to a deluxe swag for two and camping under the stars! With 4WD trips, hot air balloon rides, viewing the local wildlife, mountain biking and many other adventurous activities to keep your guests amused this is the perfect location for your outback destination wedding.

    Kangaroo Island; just a Kangaroo’s jump away from Adelaide this island is a true sanctuary of wildlife and tranquillity with untouched bushland and immaculate beaches. You can choose from a waterfront location or head to the West of the island to the Wilderness Retreat for an intimate ceremony. Rest assured that your guests will be well fed and watered on this amazing island, due to its location in South Australia a state that is renowned for its produce and preparation, Kangaroo Island is one of the must-do food and wine experiences in Australia that you and your guests will remember for years to come.

    The Murray River; there are two river regions on the Murray in South Australia, known as the Riverland and the Murray lands both great locations to begin your adventure. Why not experience the romance of this mysterious river aboard a houseboat, you can hire your own for an intimate celebration or take all of your guests on board a serviced boat like the Proud Mary, get married and hold your reception on the Murray River!

    This is such an amazing place for all of the family, consider it one big waterpark with boat ramps along the way for you to launch your own or hire a boat, jet-ski, water skis or wakeboard. For the more relaxed approach grab your kayak or canoe and drift down stream in the wonderful outdoors.

    Getting Married in Melbourne.

    The city of Melbourne is made up of the city centre and a number of precincts and inner-city suburbs, each with their own character and charm. Renowned for its art and culture, live music, dining variety and shopping, Melbourne has a wealth of opportunity for you and your guests when you choose this wonderful city for your wedding.

    The city ‘Laneways’ are famous for their back street corridors covered in graffiti making an awesome backdrop for your wedding photography, and there is nothing stopping you from saying your vows in front of your favourite piece of art.

    With parks and gardens in abundance this city welcomes the garden wedding trend, and offers a huge selection of intimate settings for your nuptials. From the rotunda in Alexandra Gardens to the Old Cheese Factory in Berwick, there are hundreds of beautiful spots in Melbourne for your garden ceremony, and hotels and venues of all different styles to carry on into the evening for your reception.

    Docklands; in the early 90s this disused port and rail area was transformed into a modern urban waterfront. In the Docklands, where the city of Melbourne meets the water you will find the perfect location for your inner-city wedding. You can choose from a heap of function venues to suit your wedding, cocktail packages to formal sit down receptions, you will find all that you could wish for with the city as your backdrop.

    Yarra Valley; this picturesque area surrounding the Yarra River is one of Australia’s leading wine-producing regions, with wineries in abundance you can discover a whole world of beauty from art galleries to restaurants, markets and more. If you are looking for a winery for your wedding then you have certainly come to the right place, the Yarra Valley has some amazing venues to choose from including the Yering Station Winery and Rochford Winery.

    If you’re looking for an intimate venue for your closest family and friends then you could try Stones of the Yarra Valley, they offer a stunning Chapel, Dairy and Barn combination all intertwined with paths and luscious green gardens making a perfect setting for your wedding photographs.

    Mornington Peninsula; to the east of Melbourne and below the eastern suburbs you will find the beautiful Mornington Peninsula, this picture perfect piece of land is covered in rolling hills, vineyards, olive groves all within a stone’s throw of the ocean.

    With the pretty seaside villages from Mornington and Dromana along Port Phillip Bay and down to Sorrento if you are planning a beach wedding then these beautiful locations will certainly fit the bill, in the summer months you can expect gorgeous weather, creating some stunning backdrops for your wedding. Perhaps you would prefer to take in the views from higher ground; Arthur’s Seat is one of the most popular locations on the peninsula for hilltop weddings.

    Phillip Island; connected to the mainland by bridge from the town of San Remo to the Island town of Newhaven, Phillip Island is located less than 2 hours away from the city and is easily accessible from across the whole of Victoria. Tempered by the ocean breeze the island tends to experience milder weather all year-round, making it a wonderful place for a summer wedding that is not too hot!

    Great Ocean Road; travelling this famous stretch of road is one of Victoria’s greatest highlights, from Geelong and the Bellarine Peninsula all the way along to Warrnambool you will see some spectacular sights and take in some breathtaking scenery.

    Planning your wedding in this part of the country leaves everything to the imagination; you could consider Apollo Bay as a central point, or beautiful Lorne where you could marry in the gorgeous settings of the Lorne Beach Pavilion, this is in the perfect position to allow a beach ceremony followed by a sit down reception or cocktail event in the cafe or restaurant right on the beach front.

    If you are looking for somewhere completely different then why no rent the famous Pole House, in Fairhaven, it could be a place to retreat to as your bridal suite or perhaps as a location for your actual wedding, ideal if you are only having your close friends and family.

    Your Wedding in the Northern Territory

    From the coast to the red centre the Northern Territory has so much to offer. With a landscape like no other stretching from Australia’s famous monolith Uluru, to the Barkly Tablelands and the Tropical North where wetlands and waterfalls cut through the national parks to create a stunning backdrop for any wedding photograph. Make sure that you take some time out to meet the locals and soak in the rich aboriginal culture and history, be mindful to watch out for some other locals like the crocodile!

    Darwin & Surrounds; with its tropical outdoor lifestyle, beautiful harbour scenery, surrounded with World War II history and its cuisine heavily influenced by their nearby Asian neighbours, Darwin is a true adventure paradise for you and your guests.

    Renowned for its sunset markets, if you need to pick up a last minute gift for the bride and groom, or grab some final wedding decorations then you’ve come to the right place as you can expect to see arts and crafts in abundance here! For a truly unique wedding experience you could take in a Darwin Harbour Cruise or discover the Melville and Bathurst Islands, (Tiwi Islands) on tropical sailing journey. Say “I do” on-board a private catamaran!

    If you prefer to keep your feet on the ground then Darwin also has some amazing hotels and resorts that can cater for all of your needs to create the perfect wedding in Darwin! The amazing Sky City has some fantastic wedding packages on offer to help you plan your big day!

    Kakadu & Arnhem Land; in this stunning location you can witness world heritage-listed scenery and outstanding rock art, Australia’s largest national park features cascading waterfalls, giant crocodiles and exotic birds! Check out the Wilderness Safari Retreat for some exclusive bush luxury, you can speak to the lodge team about arranging your wedding in Bamurru Plains, an amazing marriage amongst the wildlife.

    Perhaps for the more adventurous this is somewhere to consider for your honeymoon, you could hire a campervan and takes the Nature’s Way Tourism Drive for a romantic adventure! Experience the Mamukala Wetlands, Nourlangie Rock, Jim Jim and Twin Falls along the way, what an amazing way to start your married lives together.

    Katherine & Surrounds; the Katherine region extends from the Queensland border in the east to the Kimberly region in the west and is a wonderful gateway to nature and adventure. Perhaps the more remote areas like Elsley National Park would not be ideal for your ceremony but certainly your honeymoon of adventure might start with a bushwalk over the spectacular Katherine Gorge! You could hire a car and go on the drive of your life, crossing the Daley river and onto the Douglas Daley area, off into Butterfly Gorge and explore the many waterholes and hot springs that natures beauty has to offer.

    There are heaps of wedding venues in the area including Knotts Crossing, secluded amongst tropical gardens near Katherine River is the perfect location for your wedding in the Northern territory.

    Alice Springs & Uluru; famous for the personality of its locals, their love for contemporary art and traditional aboriginal influence along with all the natural wonders around it, Alice Springs is the gateway to your outback adventure and a true Australian wedding location.

    You could consider a romantic hot air balloon ride over the West McDonnell Ranges for a unique red centre experience. Maybe you could convince your Alice Springs celebrant to go up with you and say your vows in the sky. Venture out to the spiritual heart of Australia and experience the one true gemstone that is Uluru, also known by the name Ayers rock this awesome sight is a must see. With its extraordinary display of ever-changing colours, you simply cannot miss the natural show at both sunset and sunrise, just amazing!

    Voyages and Ayers Rock resort offer a choice of apartments, a luxury wilderness camp, hotel, backpacker rooms or campground accommodation! You can choose whichever style suits your needs, and your guests, however the Longitude 131° offers a truly wonderful experience for your nuptials. In 5-star luxury you and your guests will have private views of the sunset and sunrise over Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, what an amazing way to start your married lives together in awe of Australia’s most amazing rock.

    Getting Married in Tropical Queensland.

    With sunny days in abundance and a year round temperate climate, Queensland really does have so much to offer and countless places to visit! No matter what type of adventure or Queensland wedding you are seeking you will be sure to find something to suit your style. With a variety of terrain from rainforest to ocean, outback to reef you can be sure to tailor a fantastic package to suit you and your guests anywhere in QLD!

    Cairns & Great Barrier Reef; this is Queensland’s Tropical North where you will find thousands of locations for a wedding and discover a place that is full of natural wonders and beauty! Cairns City, gateway to some spectacular scenery from rainforest to the Great Barrier Reef with the village of Port Douglas offering a more sophisticated, low-key escape. This is an extremely popular place for couples looking for a more intimate wedding to elope to and there are so many amazing deals available in this part of Australia.

    Perhaps you are looking for a unique spin on your wedding, and well this is one of the most renowned places in the world for scuba-diving. You could even go completely different and say ‘I do’ amongst the coral, you would have to hold up cards of acceptance to your vows at an underwater wedding but what a magical and unusual way to get married!

    The Daintree Forest is also a must see, the oldest surviving tropical rainforest on earth is home to an astounding amount of plants and species of animals. You can get an indigenous guide to give you a tour to find out more about the culture and history of the surrounding area and its people.

    Townsville; this beautiful coastal region has such a diverse terrain, with the ocean reefs in the east and the outback in the west the opportunities for exploring are simply endless. The town of Townsville is at the centre of all that is on offer, you should take a trip up Castle Hill to take in the views of the city and the nearby Magnetic Island. This tropical island offers some outstanding resorts and is a wonderful destination for a beach wedding with the perfect setting for a unique escape. Getting to the island is only a short 25 minute cruise across the bay, a beautiful way to begin our journey.

    Be sure to think about your honeymoon in this area too, perhaps the more adventurous might take the Great Tropical Drive, a self-driving route that will take you from Cairns and Townsville to some amazing places in Tropical Australia. Take in Charters Towers and sample outback life at a cattle station farm stay or see the historic gold milling site at Venus Battery. Ravenswood is another old gold mining town well worth a look.

    The Whitsundays; the 74 island wonders that make up the Whitsundays are mostly uninhabited and provide the perfect setting for a day of exploring or simply relaxing on the secluded beaches and coves.

    Airlie Beach is the gateway to these stunning islands and the epitome of a beach town, with a carefree vibe and packed full of palm-fringed beaches, waterfront parks, restaurants and bars. The after dark backpacker and travelling vibe is full of energy and most will party to the early hours before embarking on a party boat or organised cruise.

    Be sure to take in Whitehaven Beach, this 4 mile stretch of pure white silica sand has been voted one of the best beaches in the world. If you have a little more budget to play with then why not take a romantic flight over heart reef, a stunning collection of coral that has naturally formed into the shape of a heart and looks amazing from the sky above.

    The resort islands include the Hayman Island, one of the top luxury destinations for weddings and honeymoons. Hamilton Island, this is the largest inhabited island and has an airport making it easily accessible for both families and couples. Daydream, Lindeman, Brampton, Long, Hook and South Molle Island are scattered across this beautiful ocean, all offering an array of resort accommodation to suit your personal preference.

    Fraser Coast; this wonderful region is filled with some of the word’s greatest attractions and beautiful scenery. If you can plan your wedding between June and November then the perfect treat for you and your guests would be to venture to Hervey bay and take a trip on the water to see the humpback whales that frequent this water during this time.

    Just a short ferry ride from Hervey Bay is the outstanding Fraser Island, you can arrange your own way across or join a tour to take you along the highway of sand and the tracks that lead you to some spectacular lakes and waterholes including Lake McKenzie with its crystal clear freshwater.

    You will also find the eco-friendly resort of Kingfisher Bay, if you are planning a wedding with them then they offer discounts on guest accommodation, advice about hens and bucks nights on the island along with a special wedding package and honeymoon visit all in one.

    Brisbane; this cosmopolitan city has some top-notch restaurants, cafes and bars. From the river to the coast this green city has the perfect climate, with an average of 300 days of sunshine a year you would be unlucky not to have the sun shining on your wedding day. From the Brisbane River to views of the Storey Bridge there are so many places to visit in the locally known ‘Brissy’.

    If you are looking for something alternative, then why not hop on board The Kookaburra Queen from Eagle Street Pier, this beautiful paddle wheeler boat is an icon of the Brisbane River and will offer you an experience you will never forget! You can also check out the Brisbane Powerhouse, with their rooftop terrace offering a unique space for a memorable event. Or the XXXX Brewery has a wedding package to suit any beer lover and their guests.

    The Sunshine Coast; just north of Brisbane, this beautiful stretch of beach from Caloundra to Noosa has so much on offer with sparkling water and breathtaking scenery what more could you wish for to create your perfect wedding. Noosa Heads is one of the most popular destinations for a wedding in Australia. With pristine beaches and stylish settings, it is the perfect spot for a beach ceremony or your wedding reception.

    Often weddings held in the region will bring family and friends from all over Australia and the globe to help you celebrate in style. After the wedding celebrations are over, your guests may wish to extend their stay and take advantage of this holiday haven. With resorts like Oceans Mooloolaba and Out-rigger Noosa you will be spoilt for choice!

    Now that you have picked the perfect location and venue for your wedding you can start to organise the fun stuff! Whether you are based in Australia or overseas there are so many resources available to you locally for your wedding dress choices, decoration ideas and of course your bonbonniere personalised gifts – be sure to check out ideas that offer a direct postage service so that if you are travelling you can arrange for your wedding gifts to be there when you arrive.

    Happy planning!

    Tips for Planning a Small Wedding

    A small wedding can be far more intimate than a large wedding, and planning a small wedding is well within the reach of most people. At a small wedding, you will have more time to spend with your friends and family, and it will most likely be far less stressful. You will be able to concentrate on the details and make sure everyone has an enjoyable time.

    When planning a small wedding for a few close friends and family members, you will be able to be more flexible with some of the details than you would otherwise. For example, where food is concerned you’ll have a lot more leeway. Depending on what your budget will allow, you can have hors d’oeuvres, a full buffet, or go all out with a catered event. If your wedding party is small enough, you can even reserve a room at a nice restaurant.

    Planning a small wedding should not break the budget, and you can spend the money where it really matters. While no one will remember what they ate or drank, the photos and videos from the event will last forever. Your wedding should be a one-time affair, and you’ll want to capture photos of you in your wedding gown, and you’ll want them to be of the highest quality. You definitely don’t want to skimp on the photos and videos.

    You will be able to involve your guests for when planning a small wedding. At one wedding, the couple had each guest sign their name and write their sentiments on the tablecloth. Through the next several years, the wife took those sentiments and embroidered them onto the tablecloth. Today, that is a cherished heirloom that will get passed down through the generations.

    Smaller, more intimate weddings generally seem more personal than the large social gatherings some couples choose. When you are planning a small wedding, you have a lot more options on where to hold the event. You can have it in your home or another home, you could have a garden wedding, or you could rent a gazebo and have the wedding guests gather around it has you exchange vows.

    Whether you decide to plan a small wedding or a large wedding, the size of the wedding is not necessarily tied to the size of the budget. Many couples have large weddings on a small budget, and you can definitely have a small wedding on a large budget. If you are planning a small wedding though, you should be better able to get the groom involved with the planning. Large weddings can be intimidating to the groom, as they see a lot of people involved. Planning a small wedding gives you both an opportunity to exchange ideas before you exchange your vows.