05 Jan 2015

Planning from Oz

First off, congratulations on your upcoming wedding, it’s a really exciting time. Planning from afar can be a daunting task, the time difference is a huge challenge, this leads to communicating via endless emails, Skype and Viber calls. Ultimately, this can lead to miscommunications and you being left feeling frustrated.

Fear not, here are my top tips to help you get everything organised with ease. Let’s face it, you don’t want to arrive back to the Emerald Isle looking exhausted and stressed out from all the planning!

1. Make Pinterest your friend. It's a really easy and free way to get a handle on what you like and dislike. Sharing your Pinterest board with your potential suppliers will help them enormously in getting a sense of your style. As they say a picture paints a thousand words!

2. Don't expect too much from your venues’ wedding planner. Remember the venues’ wedding planner is there to coordinate everything at the venue. Whilst most venues will be able to recommend trusted suppliers, they cannot act as a full on planner to each and every couple. This might cause you frustration; for example, if they are not being as responsive as you might like, so I guess just keep it in mind.

3. Don't be afraid to haggle. Since you left Ireland a lot has changed and we are all getting a little bit better at asking for discounts. You would be surprised what you can save. I recently saved a couple over €2,000 just by negotiating their wedding hotel package on their behalf. If you don't ask, you won't get.

4. Be flexible. There are certain things you have your heart set on, that is totally cool. In fairness, you may have been planning this wedding since Barbie met Ken! But try to be flexible on certain things, thus saving you a few euro. Think about it, do you really need a 5-tier cake? With the remaining 4 tiers being stored in your parents’ freezer for years to come?

5. Delegate. Call on your family and friends back home in Ireland. Most people love all the excitement and romance of planning a wedding and will be happy to help you. Have family check out your venue and band on your behalf, before you book them. I would urge every bride to have seen their venue and heard their band before their wedding, if at all possible.

If this isn't an option, get a trusted person to check them out and report back to you with photos and video footage, so you can get an honest impression of them.

6. Keep on track of budget. This may seem obvious, but we all have a ‘proposed budget’ for things and then without proper review we can go a little crazy, sound familiar? A simple spreadsheet will help you keep on track. Make sure you factor in small things like, postage, administration fees and service charges; these items often get overlooked and can add up.

7. Come home early. Arrange to come back to Ireland at least a week before your wedding day. This will allow you to get over the jet lag, deal with any outstanding wedministration (Gosh, I am loving my new word!) and get your bridal hair and make up trials done. It will also give you an opportunity to enjoy the final build up to the big day with your family and friends around you.

8. Relax. If you are feeling overwhelmed or stressed, take a deep breath and a long walk with your fiancée and just remember why you are taking this journey. Love is what brought you to this point, so take a walk and just chat about your future lives together and the stress of whether or not you should pay for great aunt Bessie’s accommodation will pale into insignificance!

So there you have it, a few tips to help everything run smoothly from afar and keep the stress at bay.

If I can help you in anyway, just drop me a note Ciara@abrideabroad.ie

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