Your go-to wedding planning timeline

Here at Honeypot, we know how overwhelming wedding planning can be. If you’ve never been involved in one before, it can be hard to know when you need to be booking wedding venues, finding a florist, looking for a dress or figuring out what to do for a wedding registry (hint: we’d suggest a honeymoon registry with Honeypot, but we might be a little biased…)

That’s why we’ve put together our handy wedding planning timeline – your basic guide to when we’d recommend doing each of your main wedding related tasks. Of course, you can stick to any timeline you like – but it doesn’t hurt to know what other people are doing (and with Katie and Shane having just gotten married in March, they’ve lived and breathed this timeline!)

So without further ado, here’s your go-to wedding planning timeline:

wedding-timeline

 

What to ask the wedding venue

Wedding planning can be scary – that’s why we’ve gotten recent bride Katie to put together her thoughts on how to make wedding planning easy and fun. First up – questions to ask the venue!

When you start looking at venues, the process can be daunting and overwhelming. While most venues provide comprehensive info on details such as menu, drinks lists and prices, other information is more difficult to come by. Here are just a few of the things you could be asking:

1. What are our option/s for wet weather?

If you have an outdoor ceremony, the risk of rain is unfortunately something you need to consider. Some venues offer outdoor marquees or covered areas, while others may require you to use the same area for both ceremony and reception.

2. What is the minimum and maximum capacity of the venue?

Venues vary greatly in size, from small 30-person venues to large venues which can fit hundreds of guests. This means you will need a rough idea of you guest numbers before you book your venue. Sit down beforehand and write a draft guest list before approaching venues – it may not be completely accurate but at least it will give you an idea.

3. Any unusual rules or regulations that we’ll need to comply with? 

You might be surprised by some of the rules set by venues or the areas they are situated in. For example, some venues in protected areas have noise restrictions – not great if you’re wanting to party into the wee hours of the morning!

4. Is the venue well-equipped for people with disabilities?

This may not apply, but consider any older relatives or friends with disabilities who may require a walker or wheelchair. Check whether the staff are available to help with seating and making sure all your guests are comfortable.

5. What are the options for younger guests?

If you’re planning to invite children to your wedding, keep them in mind when looking at venues. They may offer kiddie meals or special chairs for children.

6. What is the bathroom situation?

While this is definitely not the most romantic aspect of the venue, it can be very important! Believe it or not, some guests we have spoken have pointed out a lack of bathrooms as one of the major drawbacks of previous weddings.

7. What additional services are included in the venue price? 

When comparing venues, many couples look to the hire fee and food and drink costs. While this is a good starting point, it’s really important to consider what else a venue is offering. Some venues include centrepieces, decorations, canapés and even entertainment in their hire fee, while others require the couple to provide or hire these separately.

 8. What are the payment options? 

Payment options vary greatly between venues. Some will require large deposits to secure a booking, which may not be within your initial budget.

What’s most important is that you’re not afraid to ask! When picking a venue, it needs to work for you and your needs – so asking what you might think are silly questions could be the difference between worrying about little things on the day and having a stress-free wedding.

 

Thinking outside the honeymoon – alternate wedding registry items

People have started asking what you would like as a wedding gift, but you’re stumped. Perhaps you already have all the traditional items such as kitchenware, and a honeymoon isn’t on the cards for you.

To help you out, we’ve come up with some ideas for larger items that multiple guests can contribute towards – after all, what wedding guest doesn’t want you to help you achieve your dreams? Using Honeypot will allow your guests to get excited about what they’re putting money towards and allow you to thank those who contributed.

Deposit on a house

For many couples, purchasing your first home is a big step towards your future life together – and with the house prices in New Zealand (okay, mostly Auckland), it couldn’t hurt to get some help. Allowing your guests to be a part of this may be the perfect option for the budget-conscious couple – just remember to throw an awesome house-warming party for everyone once you move in!

Renovation costs

If you’re already past the step of purchasing your first home, you may be considering renovations. You could list items needed, such as timber, tiles or even tradesman costs. Once your renovations are finished, invite everyone around to thank them and show off the house!

Large appliances or furniture

If you’re anything like the Honeypot team, your furniture and whiteware is probably a mishmash of hand-me-downs, TradeMe purchases and leftovers from old flatmates! Asking guests to contribute to a good quality dining table, lounge suite, fridge or washing machine could be a great practical option that will last for years to come.

Home entertainment

Maybe you’re less of a homemaker and more into gadgets? A new TV or gaming console could be the perfect gift for you. Just remember to invite your guests over to watch the game or for a gaming afternoon to thank them!

 

Whatever you decide you need some help with, add it to your Honeypot gift registry and let your guests choose what they’d like to help you save for. Rather than just giving you impersonal cash, they’ll get to make a contribution to your future – and who doesn’t want to do that?

6 ways to make your wedding special for your guests

In the lead up to wedding season, you’re probably stressing a little about how much is left to do before your big day. While you’re busy planning anyway, you might as well make sure you’ve had a think about what your wedding will be like for your guests. After all, your wedding is all about you – but who doesn’t want to make their special day special for all their loved ones as well?

Here, Honeypot co-founder (and first guest to hit the dance floor) Verity gives her top tips for making your wedding fun for your guests:

Make sure they can get to and from the wedding

There’s nothing worse than going to an open bar wedding and only being able to have one drink because you’re driving. Have a think about whether there’s public transport easily accessible to your venue, or if it’s really far out, whether you need to organise group transport to and from the wedding. You don’t necessarily have to be the one who pays for it, but it means guests can kick back and have an awesome time without having to stress about transport.

Look out for those with intolerances or allergies

It might be frustrating when someone says they’re gluten free, dairy free, egg free and nut free, but for those with intolerances, allergies, or conditions like coeliac disease, weddings can be a really tough time with everyone else eating delicious things around them (believe me, I know!)

Ask on your invitations/RSVPs whether anyone has any food intolerances, and try to ensure that you have an option for them. Most venues or caterers can easily sort this with advance warning, and it will make them feel much more included.

Keep speeches short and inclusive

We all know the horror of a long, drunken best man’s speech – and for the majority of guests who don’t understand the inside jokes or find the best man funny, it can seriously take the fun out of a wedding. Ask everyone giving a speech to keep it short and as inclusive as possible; stories that are funny or sweet regardless of whether someone was there or not are the best. Finally, try to keep all the speeches under half an hour total.

Think about your playlist

You might love heavy metal, but that doesn’t mean Uncle Jim or Cousin Polly loves head banging in quite the same way. Let your playlist reflect your personal tastes, but have a think about what will appeal to the most people as well, so that everyone can have a good time. A good spread of well-known songs is usually a winner (although if you include Puppy Love, your DJ might be labelled the worst DJ ever – hello Love Actually reference!)

Look out for your older guests

Your wedding might be the biggest party of your life, but for your grandparents or other older guests, it can be a really tiring day. Think about how they can be most comfortable – seat them away from loud speakers, make sure they’ve got a seat at times when everyone else may be standing (such as during cocktails), and if needed, organise transport for them to leave the reception a little earlier if needed.

Think about how much it’s costing them

We all know that weddings cost a lot for the happy couple – but have a think about how much it’s costing your guests as well. If it’s a destination wedding, give your loved ones plenty of advance notice so they can save for flights and accommodation, and accept that some people won’t be able to make it.

Even a local wedding can cost guests a few hundred dollars between their outfit, transport, gift, and childcare if needed. Many 20 and 30 somethings end up attending several weddings a year, so make sure yours isn’t the one that breaks the bank for them. Creating a Honeypot registry for your honeymoon or gifts means they can give as much or as little as they want for a gift – they can even keep their amount anonymous if they choose.

Most of all though, remember that your guests just want to celebrate your special day with both of you – so make it fun for everyone and you’re sure to all have an absolutely fantastic day.

Honeymooning on a budget

After the stress of planning a wedding, all most couples want to do is relax on a romantic honeymoon together. But after you’ve spent so much on a wedding, often you want to keep costs down for your honeymoon. So here are Honeypot’s top tips for a thrifty honeymoon:

Keep an eye out for bargains

Start looking well in advance so you can grab bargains as they come along – try signing up to the airline’s newsletters or to Skyscanner Price Alerts to be notified when deals come along. If you’re flexible with dates and don’t want to leave the day after the wedding, you can catch some fantastic deals.

Keep it local

Who says you need to leave New Zealand to go on honeymoon? Take a newlywed road trip and discover the beauty of your own country, or hop on a cheap domestic flight to discover a part of the country that you’ve never been to before. You’ll save on flight costs, and if you can use your own car then you’ll save on transport costs too.

Avoid the peak season

If you don’t feel the need to jet off on your honeymoon as soon as you’ve said your vows, then consider travelling outside of peak season. Avoid school holidays and long weekends, and look at when you can get the best deals. If in doubt, a travel agent should be able to tell you the cheapest times of the year to fly.

Get off the beaten track

Do you really need to head to Paris, New York or London? How about hitting up a less touristy spot? Even if your flights cost you a fair amount, places in the developing world can be much cheaper once you’re there. Wanting an island holiday? Instead of jetting off to Hawaii, consider Thailand or Bali. History buffs? Avoid Western Europe and instead go see the Aztec pyramids in Mexico. 

Make the most of technology

In this day and age, budgeting for a honeymoon shouldn’t be a case of crossing your fingers and hoping that there’s enough left over at the end of the wedding. Try using a budgeting app to really take control of your finances and make sure you’ve got enough in the kitty for your dream honeymoon. There are loads out there, but our favourite’s YNAB, which stands for You Need A Budget (Verity’s only a TINY bit obsessed with it…)

Ask for contributions to your honeymoon as gifts

Help your guests give you a gift you’ll cherish forever by asking for contributions to your flights, meals out, experiences or any other part of your honeymoon through your Honeypot registry. Couples who’ve used Honeypot have had their generous gifts fund up to 70% of their honeymoon – which was a welcome relief after all the costs of their wedding!

Keen to get started? Create your Honeypot account now!

 

What on earth is a honeymoon registry?

Get the gift you really want – in other words, what on earth is a honeymoon registry?

So you’re getting married. Congratulations! I’m sure by now you’ve looked at several wedding mags, scrawled through countless blogs and been inundated with wedding advice. Never before have you been asked to make so many decisions!

One thing that might feel like too much hard work to think about right now is your wedding registry. Continue reading “What on earth is a honeymoon registry?”