Are you currently planning your wedding in Melbourne. We are sure you have lots of things to organise – the venue, the photographer (that’s us), the dress, the music, the rings, the celebrant, the dinner, speeches, bridesmaids dresses, make up and hair, flower girls, invites and so much more.
It might get help to get a wedding planner to organise all this but on the other side it’s a very personal event and wedding planning can be a lot of fun.
Basics of wedding planning in Melbourne
For us there are two different parts to the wedding planning – must haves … and nice to haves. What are the essentials for a Melbourne wedding?
- You need a wedding date (we assume here – to keep it simple – that you found already your future groom or bride and don’t start with the dating process 😉
- Where do you want to get married? Find a location ( for the ceremony and the reception).
- Choose a celebrant or registration office in Melbourne.
- You need 2 rings.
Doesn’t sound that bad. Easy! The bare minimums are easy to organise – so don’t make it too complicated. Weddings in Melbourne should be fun and the planning process is enjoyable for the two of you when you share some tasks.
How to organise a Melbourne wedding
Wedding planning is unfortunately in most cases far more complicated. There are so many things to think of (we put a little list together here – read this little checklist to get an idea what you might need or have forgotten – think about the wedding photographer, the printed menus, the music list, the table decoration … and so much more.)
As there are so many items to think of – most couples forget one basic – the wedding timeline.
How to create a wedding timeline?
It’s pretty simple. Just write down what happens when at your wedding. Think about what will happen when, where and who is impacted and write it down. You can plan as detailed as you wish. Even if you don’t want to plan by the minute it’s advisable to have at least some basic wedding timeline in place.
A bigger wedding might require a timeline per location or person involved but usually it is sufficient to have everything in on list.
When you mention a location for the first time write in the full address – so it is absolutely clear where to go. This is especially helpful when you have a chauffeur – he will have all the information in one spot – addresses and times.
It helps to have the timeline in electronic form (just a word document, excel spreadsheet or even a text file will do it). You can send them to your immediate family, bridal team, wedding photographer, videographer, wedding venue, make up artist, celebrant and others.
As wedding photographers we are happy to help you with your timeline. We always see the same things going wrong which can be easily avoided when you plan ahead. A wedding timeline will help you to run the wedding smoothly but don’t worry when something goes not by plan – most people won’t even realise. When you read on we give some little insider tips and a sample timeline.
Insider tips from the wedding photographers view
Plan every now and then some buffer time. You can use this time in case you run late and something didn’t go to plan. Sometimes it’s outside of your control – things can go wrong but with the buffer time in place you don’t need to worry. Spread some extra minutes throughout the day.
Most brides plan this time too tight. It takes some time to get the make up and hair done and very often goes a few minutes overtime. We see often a ripped dress (not necessarily the brides dress – but it’s a big drama when of the bridesmaids or the mother of the bride has some trouble with their dress.
Make sure the bridesmaids and your immediate family are dressed early. It’s much more beautiful to capture everyone when everyone is dressed up. Don’t forget … you usually have only one bathroom and toilet and everyone will want to use it last minute.
The moments when you are fully dressed in your wedding gown and your family sees you for the first time are emotional moments which your wedding photographer will not want to miss. Open a bottle champagne and relax with you bridesmaids and/or family before the ceremony. You might even have some time for some bridal portraits (just a few moments – we love seeing mingling with your friends and family – it’s a special moment).
Don’t forget that the wedding photographer will leave a bit earlier to the ceremony than the bride. The photographer needs to park the car, get the equipment ready and start already capturing the guests waiting at the ceremony. We you usually try to leave 15min earlier.
We always suggest to plan being dressed around 1 hour before you have to leave – this is a personal opinion and depends on the wedding – but in most cases this will give you enough time to get relaxed and excited.
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Melbourne Travel times
Plan your travel times accordingly – the time of day might be rush hour or a big event in Melbourne is happening and the streets are packed. A vintage wedding car or a long limousine might be a bit slower than your normal city car.
Parking in a busy city street might be an issue for photographers and videographers who follow you throughout the day. Your timeline and location plan will help your suppliers to find out.
Make sure you know who will hold a speech at your reception and assign them some time for it (personal preference – we usually see around 5 min is a perfect time).
You know your family and friends best and know if they love to go overtime. A nice way of announcing the end of a speech is playing some silent music after a certain time to let the speaker know it’s nearly time to wrap up.
Plan the speech brackets before entree, main or dessert … Everyone is seated and it’s simple to get the guests attention.
There is lots more …
It’s impossible to write everything about wedding planning in Melbourne in one article … so maybe check out this page. Lots of more wedding tips for your wedding in Melbourne.