Wedding Planning Tips & Tricks by Auckland Weddings Expert

This week I was lucky enough to get some incredible advice for brides from the lovely Lydia Martin. Lydia is the Social Media Manager at Auckland Weddings and knows everything there is to know when it comes to weddings. I am very lucky to be a vendor on Auckland Weddings and one of the reasons I loved their site was how it was so full of really good honest advice for brides to be. I am often asked often the same questions by my brides so I thought I would ask Lydia the same questions and I am so glad I did. Her advice for brides is gold!

1. When it comes to brides planning their wedding day what do you think is the biggest hurdle brides face?

Wedding planning is exciting and it can be lots of fun too! It doesn’t have to be a stressful time, and it won’t be if you learn from those who have gone before & pre-empt these two common hurdles. Having talked to many newlywed couples, and having planned a wedding myself, the hardest decision by far is choosing the wedding venue/s. Most brides-to-be will have a pre-conceived idea of what they’re after before the search begins – this can be both a blessing and a curse!

If your wedding day vision is very narrow (i.e. you’ve always dreamed of a traditional church ceremony followed by a garden reception in the countryside), you may struggle to find the perfect venue.

However, if you have absolutely no idea what you want before you start looking the choices will be overwhelming! Since your venue/s set the tone for your whole wedding there is a lot of pressure to find and book something quickly so you can begin the next phase of planning. But don’t rush your decision! Unless the place is so wonderfully magical that you’re willing to plan your whole event around it, you need to spend some time working out exactly what you need in a venue. Sit down with your fiancé and write a list of ‘must-haves’ and ‘wants’ for your wedding venue/s. Use the ‘must-have’ list to create a shortlist of 3-4 venues and then let the ‘wants’ determine your final choice. Once you’ve found a venue that appears to be absolutely perfect, we recommend you ask these 18 essential questions before you sign on the dotted line.

The second most common hurdle is creating a realistic and workable budget, and then, of course, sticking to it! There are lots of easy ways to save on your wedding, but it’s the pre-wedding and post-wedding hidden costs which can make the budget hard to balance. So make sure you budget between $500-1000 for ‘extras’ if you want to avoid any financial pitfalls.

Photo by By Perspectives Photo + Cinema
Photo by By Perspectives Photo + Cinema

2. What is the main question/concern brides ask you about?

“How do we make the wedding day a true reflection of us as a couple? What’s really important?” We love it when brides ask this question! Rather than focusing purely on traditional formalities, more and more couples are looking to make their big day a unique expression of themselves. However, it’s still so easy to get caught up in a ‘we must do this for tradition’s sake’ or ‘we must have that because our friends did’ attitude.

So instead of letting ‘things’ or traditions govern your wedding planning decisions, we believe you should focus on the ‘marry me’ aspect of your wedding day,

letting who you are and your relationship with one another define your decisions. Ultimately, your wedding day should be a fantastic experience, rather than simply a beautiful, picture-perfect event.

3. Is there a secret to picking the perfect vendor for your wedding?

There really are no hard and fast rules anymore when it comes to weddings! But as you begin your search for vendors, our number one piece of advice is to choose wedding professionals who fit your vision, rather than letting them dictate your style. If you want to create a particular ‘theme’ or ‘look’ for your big day, i.e. vintage, boho, rustic, or modern, search for vendors who have successfully worked with the style you’re interested in before. Real weddings are a great place to start as they not only show a vendor’s work in detail (i.e. the venue, photographer, stylist, etc…), but will give you a starting point for your own inspiration. When it comes to picking a photographer, don’t go for the cheapest package deal or most affordable collection. Your wedding photos will shape your memories for years to come, so make your decision based on who the photographer is and what they are capable of. The same advice also goes for videographers. If you’re not sure where to start, Perry Trotter Photography have some great advice on the most important things to consider before booking a photographer.

Photo by Lavara Wedding Photography
Photo by Lavara Wedding Photography

4. What sets Kiwi weddings apart?

Kiwi couples love to add gorgeous DIY aspects to their weddings. Whether it’s intricate flower arches or handmade wedding favours, our ‘can-do’ attitude makes us a particularly creative bunch when it comes to special events. And not only do DIY additions look stunning, but they also save on cost! Our love of the outdoors also makes beach, forest and scenic weddings a popular choice for New Zealand brides. Just make sure you have a wet weather plan.

5. What advice would you give to a bride who has just started planning her wedding?

As soon as you get engaged sit down with your fiancé and write a list of all the things that are important to you, both individually and as a couple. Don’t go out and book anything until you have agreed together on a style and a realistic budget!

By Perspectives Photo + Cinema
By Perspectives Photo + Cinema

We also love these snippets of advice from our very own real Auckland brides:

“Be true to yourself. Don’t feel pressured into having a strictly traditional wedding. This is your big day, so have it how you want it.” – Rachael & Matthew


“Invest in a really good photographer to document these once-in-a-lifetime moments – the photos are priceless.” – Amira & Nick


“…amongst all the hustle and bustle and potential stress of wedding planning, remember the reason why you are getting married.” – Emma & Lee


“Brides-to-be, don’t take your wedding day to seriously! It is meant to be a celebration with your family and friends where everyone is having fun, including you!” – Naomi & Aidan

About Auckland Weddings


Auckland Weddings is a premium wedding guide showcasing the city’s best wedding vendors, offering hundreds of great wedding advice articles, and providing Auckland couples with helpful tools for planning their own wedding. Our aim is to make planning your wedding both simple and fun! ♥

Featured Image by Lavara Wedding Photography

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