8 Top Tips for Anyone Planning a Wedding by Planning Redefined

Written by Emma Hla
At the end of last year, I was honored (well, that was one emotion to say the least!) to have been asked by our very own Resident Wedding Planner, Kat (aka Katrina Otter Weddings) to present alongside her at one of her Planning Redefined workshops – Redefined 2018.

For those of you that haven’t heard of Planning Redefined it, in a nutshell, offers honest, modern and engaging training and mentoring for aspiring, new and experienced wedding planners. Run by Kat & Louise, of Louise Perry Weddings, Redefined 2018 was their biggest workshop of the year with 3-days of jam-packed content, an incredible line-up of guest speakers, mini hands-on workshops and all set in the most beautiful of Millbridge Court settings with delicious treats and feasts courtesy of Kalm Kitchen.

The content itself was aimed at aspiring and new wedding planners HOWEVER a LOT of what was said and discussed can easily be applied to anyone planning a wedding which is why I’m delighted to hand over the blogging reigns today to Planning Redefined who are imparting 8 top (transferable) planning tips from Redefined 2018.

Notes from Planning Redefined

Kat & Louise say…

Redefined 2018, what an incredible few days and definitely a lot of information learnt by all, including the two of us! That’s because weddings and life in general are constantly evolving and changing – the way in which we work, socialise, research, trends, social media (you get the drift!) – it’s all changing at an alarming rate BUT there are still some constants and key ingredients that everyone needs to consider when planning a wedding – whether you’re a bride, groom or wedding planner.

So, without further ado, here are our personal top 8 transferable planning tips (from Redefined 2018) for ANYONE planning a wedding…

The venue

IS KEY! And we’re not just saying that because we’re on the Coco Wedding Venues blog!

When it came to planning Redefined 2018 we had very specific criteria that we needed to meet in order to host our workshop – 2 separate rooms (one for the main workshop, the other for breakouts and our Kalm Kitchen feasts!), accommodation, plenty of natural daylight, onsite catering, easy access, an experienced in-house team, facilities and furniture. We took our time, we did our research and Millbridge Court ticked every single box and more.

The exact same principles apply to wedding planning especially because your wedding venue is such an integral part of your day and will set the tone for pretty much everything else! So, take your time, think about and then list your venue requirements and then and only then start to research the ones that tick those all-important boxes.

Once we’d confirmed, read the Millbridge contract (another transferable tip – READ THE T&Cs!) and signed on the dotted line we worked alongside and constantly communicated with Millbridge as a team to deliver our workshop, which leads us nicely on to…

Build and then work alongside your A Team

At Redefined 2018 our attendees listened to various speakers, including Millbridge Court, Kalm Kitchen, Hannah Duffy Photography, Storybook Films and Blue Sky Flowers, who all talked about the importance of forming great working relationships with suppliers so that they can deliver the absolute best.

The same theory applies if you’re planning your own wedding:

  • Enter into any supplier relationship positively
  • Trust that your suppliers will fulfill their obligations to you and they’ll act in a professional and competent way
  • Trust their judgement and expertise
  • Respect a supplier’s professionalism
  • Constantly COMMUNICATE and keep your suppliers in the loop
  • Give all suppliers clear and relevant briefs

Obviously, this is a two-way process but if you can take on board and embrace the above (especially the communication part) and your suppliers in turn work with you towards similar goals and in a similar way then you’ll be well on your way to developing a solid foundation for an incredibly successful working relationship. 

Get organised

A wedding planner is a professional who assists with the design, planning and management of a client’s wedding so you’d expect them to be all over their paperwork!

And if you’re planning your own wedding then guess what… you need to be as well!

Get organised, file things away, create schedules… LOTS of schedules, record budgets and payments, diarize and then keep it that way!

Reduce or eliminate the risk of those ‘what ifs’

All professional wedding planners should have Contracts/T&Cs and the relevant business insurances… it’s what covers our butts!

The legalities are also something you need to take seriously when planning your own wedding and to guide you on your butt covering way, here’s one from the Coco Wedding Venues planning archives: Wedding Contracts, T&Cs, Deposits and Insurance.

Embrace your timelines

Planning Timelines are a vital tool for planners and couples alike – why, well they keep you on track, keep you organised, ensure that you don’t try and do everything all at once, keep things manageable and realistic, make you take your time and stop you rushing into decisions.

Enough of a reason? Thought so!

Define your style

For anyone setting up a business it’s important to take the time to truly understand your ideal client, your style/vibe and where you fit within the industry.

This also applies to anyone planning a wedding – before you jump straight in and book the first suppliers you see, take the time to visualize and define the style of day that you want. Defining your style before you start searching will ensure that your suppliers are the right fit for you and your wedding.

 Look after yourself

A very valuable lesson that we learnt at Redefined 2018 was courtesy of lifestyle and empowerment coach Val Mattinson – wedding planning burnout is real and the subject of self-care is something that’s vitally important in any industry, but for wedding planners in particular, it’s something that often gets overlooked. We build ourselves up to peak wedding season and power through, then as the summer comes to an end, we’re often left exhausted and running on fumes.

If you’re planning your own wedding then burnout is something you also need to be aware of so, throughout the planning process, remember to breathe, be kind to yourself, keep your sense of perspective, take time off and time out from planning your wedding and make sure that you don’t neglect you, your life, your friends and especially your partner.

Weddings ARE imperfectly perfect

All weddings are imperfectly perfect – that’s something we as wedding planners need to remember (especially those of us who are certified perfectionists) and something that anyone planning a wedding needs to embrace.

Things can, and very often do, go ‘wrong’ in the lead up to a wedding and on the day itself, no matter how well you’ve planned.  Whatever you do, there are just some things that you can’t plan for. You can’t foresee every eventuality and you can’t be prepared for everything.

Remember that an issue will only become a problem if you let it so embrace the imperfections, go with the flow, remind yourself that you’re not alone and that weddings ARE imperfectly perfect.


Photography Hannah Duffy Photography

Film Storybook Films

Venue Millbridge Court

Caterer Kalm Kitchen

Florist Blue Sky Flowers

Furniture Wedhead

Tableware Classic Crockery

Speakers & Partners Katrina Otter WeddingsLouise Perry Weddings, The Timeless Stylist, Julie Michaelson Photography, Coco & KatThe Wedding Shop, Orla by Sarah Shuttle, Jackdaw Editorial, LAMP Productions, Val Mattinson Coaching, Stanford Gould Online and Matthew Oliver Weddings.

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