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By One Fine Day Director, Kath MacKenzie

Image of newlyweds on their wedding day amongst long grass in a beautiful mountain landscape

You’re probably here because you are planning a Queenstown or Wanaka Wedding. Well, you’ve come to the right place for advice from a team of local professionals who know their stuff.

Planning a wedding can be one of the most stressful things you do in your lifetime. Often, this is the result of your family, your friends, and your busy schedules. Many brides forget that their wedding day is ultimately about you and your fiancé – no one else. One of the best ways to avoid all of the unnecessary frustration is to hire a professional Wedding Planner. Here at One Fine Day, we have put some packages together so that you can pick and choose how much assistance you require. If the budget doesn’t allow, then read on and take these Top 5 Wedding Planning Tips to heart.

Image of newlyweds getting their wedding photos taken

1. Everyone has their own ideas on what the planning process should look like, but to effectively plan a wedding with as little stress possible; how soon in advance should a bride & groom begin planning their wedding and what items should they secure first?

In order to effectively plan a wedding with little stress, it is a must to begin the planning process at least 12 months in advance. The ceremony and reception venues should be secured first!

OFD pro tip: Some venues book out up to two years in advance, particularly in the busy summer months.

Black and white image of bride standing next to her wedding dress on hanger

2. The Dress. High on the list as the most important item of the day. What advice can you give brides-to-be on where to look for “the dress”, what to expect when shopping and how far in advance should she order.

The dress is for sure one of the most important items of the day! I would say to look at more than one bridal dress shop if you don’t find “the one” at the first shop. A few of our, One Fine Day team, favorite designers are; Rue DeSeine, InbalDror, Pallas Couture, GraceLovesLace, Bo&Luca, Pronovias. We suggest starting shopping 9 – 10 months in advance and make sure you have fun!
OFD Pro tip: Don’t bring your entire wedding party or a huge entourage of people. Bring 2-3 people whose opinions for your wedding day attire matter to you most. The more people you bring, the more confused you will be.
Image of newlyweds leaving wedding reception under confetti archway

3. What is the difference between hiring a day-of wedding planner and purchasing a planner’s full planning package? What are some pros & cons?

 Both day-of planning and full planning can differ between Wedding Planners. The biggest overall difference is that with hiring a day-of wedding planner, you will fully plan you’re wedding on your own and have extra help to execute your wedding plans on the actual Wedding Day. A full Planning Package involves help in every step of the way with every single aspect involved in the planning process.

Day-of Wedding Planning Pros: Allows you to get married on the day of your wedding — stress-free, knowing that you have someone there to help take care of things when unexpected situations arise (and they will).

Day-of Wedding Planning Cons: All of the planning details and stresses throughout the wedding planning process are on you. In my opinion planning a wedding can be a full-time job in itself, so adding that to the average person’s typical work schedule can be a lot to handle.
Full Wedding Planning Pros: Your wedding planner will make sure you are getting items checked off on time while staying in budget. While also serving when it comes to differing opinions between family and the engaged couple. This may be the single most important feature.
Full Wedding Planning Cons: It can be costly, but is so very worth every penny.
OFD Pro tip: If it fits the budget, go for the full planning package. You won’t regret it!
Black and white image of bridesmaids at wedding table

4. When hiring a Wedding Planner what is the number one thing a bride should look for?

When hiring a wedding planner, the number one thing to look for would be chemistry and communication. You have to have good chemistry and “gel” well with your wedding planner because you will be spending a lot of time together during the wedding planning process. Communication is a big item to consider because not everyone communicates with others in the most effective way. Make sure your potential wedding planner’s style fits your needs.
OFD Pro tip: Great customer service and timely communication in a wedding planner are very important!
Image displaying helicopter dropping off wedding party at lake

5. Every person has the one “interfering” family member or friend who offers to or just takes over the wedding planning for the bride. What advice can you give brides-to-be that are facing this challenge, but don’t want to hurt their family member or friend’s feelings by hiring a wedding planner?

Oh yes! We all have that “someone”. My best advice is to find a task that needs to be done on your wedding day that you feel comfortable giving to that person. An example might be something like transporting items from the ceremony location to reception or passing out the programs.
OFD Pro tip: Just remember it is YOUR wedding day!
Image of couple pouring champagne on their wedding day
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