I’ve always thought to myself that weddings are glorious. What is better than dedicating a whole day to love, followed by cake? You get to dress up and celebrate a couple’s love for each other, while sipping on champagne before cocktail hour. Guaranteed good time.

But before the fun, there is every possibility that a Zilla may emerge between the glow of the engagement period and the start of the wedding planning. Terrifying cases have been reported over the years, with everyday men and women morphing into a sub-breed of self-absorbed and demanding beings, requesting their bridal team to colour their hair the same shade, or taking out loans to cater for the escalating budget they never had in the first place. And then the whole thing loses it’s meaning.

I’m proud to say, that wasn’t me. And for those of you lurking in those corners, I would say chill out, and read on.

Instead, I was bloody overwhelmed. Not because I didn’t want to get married, but the idea of planning a major life event seemed big. Like, stressful. Overwhelming. Particularly when modern weddings seem to have their own themes, branding and marketing campaigns. And couples can be weirdly competitive. And there is an unnatural pressure to consume wedding paraphernalia, appease parents, perform traditions without reason and host the best bloody time ever. So… not much to think about really.

But I survived. We did it. I felt full of love the whole day, and it really was the best bloody time ever.

The key to navigating the weird and wonderful wedding world without becoming a Zilla? Get organised and get it done.

thefoodcuratorsweddingjen

Where to start

Tradition Schmadition

Don’t feel like you need to do everything by the book. If you don’t want bridesmaids, don’t have them. If you don’t want the rings or the white dress, then don’t buy into it. Big, puffy and white wasn’t my jam either. I was terrified of outdated bridal shops, so instead I trawled amazing designer boutiques that were modern and on-trend (Rachel Gilbert, you’re my GIRL). For other “non-brides”, I suggest cool Melbourne boutique One Day Bridal or Fame and Partners).

Tailor your wedding to your own beliefs and needs, and make the celebration as big or intimate as you like.

Get some inspo  

Call it the rise of Pinterest, but errybody is throwing a “hipster” wedding these days (mason jars, I’m looking at you). Nothing wrong with that, and Pinterest proves popular when you’re in need of ideas. Maybe start there, but also check out cool wedding blogs like Hello May and Nouba, or get yourself scrolling on Instagram for wedding photographer accounts like Whitewall or Shane Shepherd. From here, you’ll start to see patterns – which vendors work with who – and a certain style you like may emerge. Go with your gut. If you want the mason jars, we aren’t judging. Then, once you’ve gathered your inspo, log out and don’t look at Pinterest again.

Check your couple style

Is it casual? Is it glamorous? Is it adventurous? You can make this day as fun or as serious as you want, but don’t forget it’s all about you two and your love for each other, so find a place that will be special (breathtaking also doesn’t hurt). Think outside the box with private properties or nature. Maybe it’s in a New York registry office. Your call.

Divide and conquer

Oh that’s right. You’re not alone in this. This is an event, celebrating your love as a couple. For some reason there’s a misconception that the bride needs to do all the work. So maybe you should plan it together. Sure, one of you might be more in tune with flower arranging or catering, but the other might be better at organising a run sheet.

Tick it off

There are great resources out there for “wedding to-dos.” Kikki K and Google docs have templates – you can share these with your partner/family/wedding team. If you’re a little bit scary like me, you can create Excel spreadsheets until the cows come home. Mine included: budget, guest lists, vendor lists, weekly to-dos and a running sheet of the day.

The family influence

Depending on your cultural background, some parents are relaxed, and others might like to be involved every step of the way. Be clear about your vision and delegate tasks from there. Family are there to help – so let them! But do it in a way that suits you.

Vendors

If you are having flowers and cake and other special things, choose great suppliers and trust. If you have a specific vision, bring pictures. If you don’t mind, just brief them on what you like. If they’re good at what they do, they’ll bring it.

Chill out and live in the moment

This is an important and fabulous occasion. Stretch out every moment, breathe and take it in.

thefoodcuratorsweddingjen

Images: Whitewall Photography