Thing I wish I’d known before my wedding (or: confessions of a not-so bridezilla)

This week, Honeypot co-founder (and married nearly a year woman) Katie decided to look back on her 2016 wedding and give a few insights into what she wished she had known before getting married – hopefully it may help a few of our soon-to-be brides!

When we decided on this blog topic, I picked up a pen and paper. My first bullet point was EVERYTHING! The fact is, Shane and I have attended very few weddings prior to getting hitched, as we were among the first of our friends to get married. Early on we decided this was a positive, as we didn’t have any expectations to live up to. We were the wedding guinea pigs!

I certainly don’t consider myself to be a wedding expert – then or now. But I thought I’d share some words of wisdom that might have saved me a few grey hairs!

Don’t sweat the small stuff

Funnily enough, this was the advice I was given the most, and yet I still ignored! I was never a “bridezilla” (if anything, Shane was definitely a groomzilla at times!), but there were a few things I stressed about unnecessarily. For example, things like getting the wedding favours perfect. I spent AGES trying to decide what to do, ordering the containers, printing and cutting our messages – yet the guests were far more interested in the candy bar!

Book your florist early

We were pretty organised when it came to booking our venue, accommodation and photographer. But for some reason, we left it until 3 months before the wedding to book a florist. We quickly discovered that every florist we approached was booked out since we were getting married in the popular Easter weekend. Luckily for us, I happened upon the facebook page of Twig and Twine and found out they were available. It turned out to be the best last minute decision ever, but we could have saved some stress by organising this earlier!

Don’t stress over seating arrangements

Many people told us that seating arrangements can be challenging, and they were right! We had everything planned, but then received a few last minute RSVPs which meant we had to start over again. Our families both had specific ideas of how they thought it should go, which led to inevitable stress and late nights. Looking back, no one seemed too bothered by where they were seated, so long as they knew a few people around them. After all, they’re only there for dinner before heading to the dance floor!

Don’t rely on taxis

Our wedding was a magical, perfect and stress-free day. That is, until right at the end when our taxis failed to show up. I had booked in advance two minivans to take the bridal party and families back to our accommodation, but after 15 minutes of arguments over the phone with the taxi company, it was clear they weren’t coming. We were extremely lucky that the wedding venue was able to book us taxis through a different company, otherwise we would have been stranded in the middle of the Waitakere bush.

The fact is, our wedding was so fabulous that I can’t really regret anything about the day – but I’m sure the process could have been less stressful at times. I hope these pieces of advice come in handy and you have a wonderful, stress-free and above all FUN wedding!

Note: Thanks to the amazing Samantha Donaldson for our gorgeous wedding photos, including this one!

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!