Planning Tips

Planning Your Wedding

Weddings require good and careful planning as you do not want one of your most important days of your life ruined by poor organization. Having said that, it is also a fun process if approached with a sense of practicality.

When you start planning your wedding one of the key things you need to ask yourself is what does this wedding mean to you? As you go through the process of piecing together your day, make sure that you keep reminding yourselves that it is one of the most important days in your life I have created a list to help you focus on planning and what’s important on the day.

Careful Selection of Suppliers & Vendors
You may have seen some suppliers in action or they may have been recommended by others. This includes the venue,
mandap suppliers,
food caterers,
marriage celebrant and/or
Master of Ceremonies.

Meeting with them before making your selection will help you to get a sense of their style and whether it matches the style you're after.

Reflect on what is important, prioritising your lists,, wants and needs.I have seen many ceremonies where the Pundit first recites the “mantras” in Hindi and then tries to translate them into English for a handful of non-hindi speaking guests. To me only a few do a good job in this regard.

Many are not fluent English speakers so the translation, and, the marriage ceremony suffers as a whole, not to mention the valuable time all that repetition takes. For example, if you have a printed Programme Card on the tables which explains the main rituals in English, then where is the need for translation for a small number of non-hindi speaking guests?

Make a list of what jobs there are and who can trust to do them. Allow others to be responsible for planning certain aspects of your day.

Share Something Personal with Your Guests
At the function, wherever you can, include personal touches unique to you as a couple and tell your story up until this moment in time if you deem fit.

Operational Planning

A wedding ceremony must be facilitated by a Registered Marriage Celebrant. Creating a unique ceremony can be more involved than people initially think.

Apart from style and décor, below are some ideas that are important to think about within your day.

  • Travel – what mode of travel – limousine, classic car etc to the venue..
  • Marriage Celebrant and/or MC – Meet and then select someone who is suitable for you.
  • Music- what type of music to be played – will you have shehnai during the”pheras”.
  • Photos/Videos – Select carefully after evaluating their previous work;-decision should not be based on cost alone..
  • Cake cutting – at a reception adds more variety- if you so desire.

Below are some questions to ask and consider when beginning the search for a suitable wedding venue.

Dates, Set up, layout and timing

  • What dates are available in the month you are considering?
  • How many can the venue hold and what styles and configurations are on offer?
  • Talk layout – positioning of where things will be located so you can visualise. Is there a space for a dance floor if required?
  • Discuss timings of your day – how the venue runs, what timings work best in their experience?

Pricing & Costs involved

  • What is the hiring fee and what is included in that price? Is there a discount for booking an off-season date or Sunday through Friday?
  • How much is the deposit, when is it due, and is it refundable? What’s the payment plan for the entire bill?
  • Can I hold my ceremony here, too? Is there an additional charge? Is the ceremony site close to the reception site? Is there a bride’s changing area?
  • What’s the cancellation policy?
  • If outdoors, what is the weather contingency plan ?
  • How long will I have use of the event space(s) I reserve? Is there an overtime fee if I stay longer?
  • Can we conduct a rehearsal at the venue? If so are there any specified time / day preference?
  • Music for ceremony? Is there a sound system?
  • Are there decoration guidelines/restrictions?
  • What time can the vendors start setting up on the day of the wedding?
  • Do you have to use the in-house caterer, or do I need to provide my own? If I hire my own caterer, are kitchen facilities available for them?
  • Are tables, linens, chairs, plates, silverware and glassware provided, or will I have to hire them myself or get them through my caterer?
  • What is the food & beverage cost on a per-person basis?
  • What wine and menu options are available?
  • Can I bring my own wine, beer or champagne, and is there a corkage fee if I do? Can I bring in other alcohol?
  • Are you licensed to provide alcohol service? If so, is alcohol priced per person? Are there additional charges for bar staff? Is there a bar minimum that must be met before the conclusion of the event? Do you need a liquor licence ?

What the venue will ask of you…

  • Numbers
  • Sit down or walk and fork.
  • Buffet / Set menu / – mixture?
  • Menu selection
  • Wine selection
  • Entertainment.
  • Special requirements for guest regarding menu – vegetarian, guests with allergies?
  • When will the ceremony and photos take place – what timings are they working towards regarding food service?
  • Special inclusions, toast, drinks to be served on arrival etc.
  • Is there a stage?
  • Special Requests for set up of both ceremony and reception?

Legal Stuff- Why Marriage Certificate is Necessary
A marriage certificate is confirmation that a marriage has been registered with the Registrar’s office. Some organisations and countries accept the "Copy of Particulars of Marriage" form as evidence of the marriage, however, some do not. It’s a good idea for couples to order a marriage certificate because:

  • A marriage certificate confirms that the marriage has been officially registered.
  • If needed for any legal reason, the certificate is prima facie evidence of the truth of the information it contains.
  • Some organisations may require a marriage certificate as evidence to enrol with the organisation, or update name details, if the assumed surname from marriage is different from the birth surname.
    Some of these places are tertiary institutions, banks, Immigration New Zealand and the New Zealand Transport Authority.
  • In the event that one or both partners file for divorce, a marriage certificate may be needed with the application.
  • A marriage certificate may be used as proof of marriage to show overseas organisations. This can be for purposes such as visas, passports and residency.

The Process

Celebrant Costs
In Auckland celebrants charge anywhere between $200 – $900

My Celebrant cost is in the range $150-$250 depending on the services required ; this reflects modestly the time, effort and quality of the service I provide within the Auckland area. If the ceremony is out of Auckland then the cost is $300.

Now it’s time to get in contact, either send an email, or phone me to begin the process.
I look forward to the possibility of working with you both in the future!

Where do you go from here?
To begin let’s establish if I am available on your special Wedding date?
If so… am I the celebrant for you?

From here it’s time to meet up for an initial meeting. There is no charge and of course no obligation. I am located in Dannemora Auckland.

At this first meeting we will discuss your ideas for your wedding and share what I can offer you. This meeting is simply to establish that if we choose to work together we then begin to weave a programme for a magical evening that runs smoothly and is memorable for years to come.