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5 Tips for Planning your Luxury Wedding.

By Fiona Deans-Dundas from Couture Wedding Planning

Are you feeling a little overwhelmed and not sure what to do next. Then read on as Fiona Deans-Dundas from Couture Wedding Planning takes you through her top tips on planning the wedding day of your dreams.

Luxury Wedding Planning
Image supplied by Sydney Wedding Photographer: GM Photographics

1. Create a Budget

Start a basic Budget Spreadsheet with some approximate costs – what you think items will cost and then add in the actual costs as you receive the quotes from your wedding Vendors. 

For Couture Wedding Planning Couples they will visit 2 or 3 Vendors for each item so they can provide you with the best value.

Once you have locked in a particular vendor, add the paid deposit amount to your spreadsheet.
Tip: always make a note on when final payments are due so you don't have to go back through all the invoices and contracts again a month out from the wedding.

Sourcing & booking the right Vendors which meet your budget is a major part to what Couture Wedding Planning do for each and everyone one of their couples. They also create a final payment schedule 2 months before the wedding day, that way your know when each final payment is due and how much the balance is.

How to Plan a Luxury Wedding Image supplied by Sydney Wedding Photographer: GM Photographics

2. Create a Timeline

Fiona recommends you create a rough timeline from the beginning of your planning. 

Begin the timeline by adding the start time of the ceremony and reception.

Then as you go through the wedding planning process, add all the information as you receive it from your Vendors such as the start time of the make-up artist, when your cars will arrive, what time your florist will be setting up for the ceremony + reception, what time you cake arrive etc.

Make a summary of all the items that your Vendors are providing on the day which prevents you from going back to find all the invoices and contracts. This means all the information for your wedding is in one central location. Be sure to add the main contact + mobile numbers for each vendor as you learn them. Highlight anything that still needs to be worked on in red so it reminds you to focus on that each time you go back into the timeline to check something. 

Then around a week out from the wedding you can just send a copy of timeline document to all your Vendors to confirm you are all on the same page. 

For each Couture Wedding Planning Couple, they create a very comprehensive & detailed timeline that is communicated to all your Vendors.  They love to communicate the whole timeline to every vendor, this allows everyone to see how their component affects the other Vendors around them on the day.

Wedding Luxury Planning​ Image supplied by Sydney Wedding Photographer: GM Photographics


3. Create a Style Guide

One of Fiona's favourite things to as a Wedding Stylist & Planner is to create a Style Guide for each of her wedding couples.

Fiona mentions that the Style Guide is a very important step in your wedding planning process. A fun way to start a style guide is to look at Pinterest and Instagram and find images that communicate the style and feel you would like for your wedding day. 

Then, take your Favourite images and place them in a central document and make notes of where you like to have these items at the wedding.This way when you go to see your Florist and Décor Hiring Company you can easily show them the direction, style and colour scheme you would like to incorporate into your wedding. 

At Couture Wedding Planning, they love to take inspiration from Store Windows, architecture, the botanical gardens and then create a unique Style Guide for each couple, this way they'll have a clear understanding of what their wedding will look like before the wedding day. 

To see the behind the scenes and Couture Wedding Planning's beautiful wedding portfolio follow us on Instagram

Luxury Wedding Dessert Buffet Image supplied by Sydney Wedding Photographer: GM Photographics


​4. Always Read the Contract

This is incredibly important component of the wedding planning process. Couture Wedding Planning has had a number of couples panic after they had signed the contract with their reception venue and not realised what they have agreed to. Make sure you read and understand the minimum spend & guests numbers a Wedding Venue requires in order for you to actually host your wedding there.

For example:

Fiona once had a couple come to her after they had signed a contract that locked them in at 140 guests, making their minimum spend for their wedding $28,000 ($200 per head). But, they only planned to have 120 guests (or $24,000).When there is a discrepancy like this always make sure you can use the remaining money (in this case $4000) toward upgrading your beverage package, adding a live food station, adding platters to table, adding cocktails on arrival.Make sure you discuss this with you reception before you sign your contract and just make sure it not dead money and deemed by venue as room hire.

Check bump-in times.

Couture Wedding Planning also advised that another important aspect to know before you sign the contract is what time can your Vendors can access the venue to set up.This is a very important question especially if you are planning on doing some detailed styling in the room like a large-scale floral installation, this will take time.

We would suggest you always try to negotiate the earliest time you can get into your venue before you sign the contract as you will have more leverage at this stage and this will allow your stylist and florist time to create you a beautiful space.


luxury Weddings Image supplied by Sydney Wedding Photographer: GM Photographics


5. Always do a Final meeting

We completely understand how crazy things get before the wedding day itself but we would strongly suggest you have a final meeting with each of your key Vendors before the wedding day.

The big items to check-in with are: your wedding reception venue, your photographer, your florist and your band. Always take along your timeline with you to each meeting and discuss it with each of the Vendors.  This gives you the opportunity to discuss anything that comes up and adjust the timeline so it works for each wedding business. 

For example:

Perhaps, you learn that is takes 45 Minutes to serve, each meal-course on the night at the reception meeting and then you can adjust the timeline to include this and then communicate the new timings to the photographer and band. 

Another example:

In the final meeting with your florist you may find out it is going to take 2 hours to install the flowers in the ceiling, this way you know to advise the white dance floor company to only come after the florist has competed this task so the white dance floor does not get dirty in the process and then you can advise your cake maker to bring the cake once the white dance floor has been put in place. 

Couture Wedding Planning will attend all their final meetings with their couples to ensure nothing in missed and that the wedding day timeline is updated with all the latest information that is discovered during the discussions.

We hope these top 5 tips were helpful and if you looking for a Luxury Award-Winning Wedding Planner please feel free to contact Couture Wedding Planning.


Luxury Wedding Planning with Couture Wedding Planning​ Image supplied by Sydney Wedding Photographer: GM Photographics