Planning A NZ Wedding

Planning a wedding: where do we start? What is most important? What order do you recommend when planning a wedding?

Most couples ask themselves these and many other questions at the beginning of their planning. You can save a lot of time here by making the right decisions very early on.

Read here how to leave the usual wedding stress outside the door and stay completely relaxed.

What month to celebrate?

The classic and most popular time for weddings begins at the end of September and lasts until around mid-February. During this period, most bridal couples plan their wedding date.

Statistically, the weather in New Zealand is significantly better during this time than in the months before or after. But that doesn't mean that it rains exactly on your weekend. Therefore, always plan in such a way that you can go inside if the weather is not so good after all.

Incidentally, there is nothing wrong with getting married outside of the usual months. Although the temperatures can be a bit lower, there are advantages too.

For one thing, it's much easier to find a place to celebrate. Popular restaurants and rental rooms are usually fully booked for more than 1 year at peak times (this applies in particular to weddings with more than 80 people). As a rule, the more guests you have, the sooner you should arrange the dates and the premises. On the other hand, not so high temperatures are more pleasant for the guests than sweating at 30-35 degrees. An extensive wedding menu is also much less fun when the temperatures are high. Fine clothing and very warm temperatures reach their limits (especially for the bride and the gentlemen).

So first of all, plan the month for your main celebration and ask possible locations about the dates; The registry office and the church agree immediately afterwards, unless you want to have the civil wedding separately anyway.

How many guests do we want to invite?

First, start thinking about the different guest groups. This is one of the trickiest points when planning a wedding. For example, if you invite aunt x, doesn't aunt y have to be there too? Anything else would be embarrassing, right? Does the guest list end with close friends and relatives or should work colleagues or certain neighbors also be present? What about potential guests that you “only” know through their parents?

Think of planning a guest list like the rings of a tree trunk: in the middle is the bride and groom and their closest guests. Then come the wider circles of relatives, acquaintances and work colleagues further out. The more rings you include in your wedding planning, the larger the number of guests and thus the cost of the entire celebration and the difficulty of finding adequately sized rooms.

Maybe you should first of all simply determine how big your wedding should be at most. 60-80 guests or only 30-40 or significantly more. Also keep in mind that the larger the wedding is planned, the less you can talk to individual people yourself - there simply isn't enough time to really take care of all the guests.

Then calculate a possible budget and see if this fits your ideas and possibilities. The personal wedding planner will help you with the calculation within a few minutes (for information please click here).

Plan the wedding location

As already mentioned, the prerequisite for thinking about the location of the wedding celebration is the approximate number of guests and the possible month. In this way, you can immediately separate suitable and unsuitable locations from one another. A phone call or email is often enough to clarify whether a restaurant or a room to be rented is even possible. You don't even have to visit locations that are fully booked or too small.

Also contact the parish office of your church wedding and ask whether a wedding is possible on your desired date and time. This is usually quite easy, since several weddings are possible on one day. Nevertheless, you should ask and, if necessary, have the date reserved until the date is coordinated with the premises.

This approach saves you a lot of time and makes planning your wedding much less stressful.

An important preliminary consideration to help you

Good wedding planning begins with deciding how you want to get married.

  • Only in a civil ceremony with an invitation in a small circle
  • Civil and religious on a small, medium or large scale
  • Registry office and church within a short time (a few days or weeks)
  • Registry office / church with a few weeks or months in between

Variant 1: registry office and celebration in a small circle

Would you like to celebrate a small but fine wedding without much effort? Then this type of wedding is recommended. On the one hand, the planning effort is clear, on the other hand, the budget can be easily kept under control.

But you can also use the financial framework to achieve a significantly higher quality, e.g. in the restaurant.

Variant 2: registry office and church

The classic. Most couples choose this way of getting married. Here, too, you can decide how extensive your wedding should be. Rather small (20-40 people), medium-sized (40-80 guests) or even 100 or more invited guests.

First think about the budget available and which people should be invited. This is where the real planning of your wedding begins at the latest, because the number of people has a major impact on many details. This is mainly the budget, the rooms for the wedding reception, planning the seating arrangement, etc.

Registry office and church: how close together?

Even without a definitive guest list, you can already decide when everything should take place. This makes your wedding planning easier. So think about it as early as possible whether you would like the registry office and church to be separated shortly after each other or whether you would prefer to have them separated for a few weeks or even months.

Many couples even equal these two dates in 2 different years. First there is a civil marriage, the following year the big celebration with church. As far as the planning of the wedding is concerned, this naturally has a great relaxing effect.

In addition, you celebrate twice, so to speak. If church and registry office are very close together, it feels more like an appointment and the wedding planning is much more intense. Many details have to be determined within a short period of time.

Step 1: How to find an appointment quickly

If possible, you should plan your wedding date in the year before your wedding. Especially if you get married in the popular months. These are the weeks from June, July, August and the first half of September. Since the weather conditions during this period are usually better than in the other months and it is also warmer, these months are preferred by most couples when planning their wedding.

For this reason, it is more difficult to coordinate an appointment in this period. While at church weddings several couples can marry one after the other on one day, it is not possible to assign the same rooms more than once in restaurants and popular locations. In addition, the planning is naturally concentrated on Saturdays.

Another criterion that must be included in the planning is the number of guests. On average, around 60 guests are invited to a wedding (98% of whom accept and come). The larger your wedding, the more difficult it becomes to find suitable premises or a restaurant with the right equipment.

So make a rough estimate of the number of your possible guests right from the start; e.g. 80-100, 40-60 etc. so that you can plan the premises of your wedding as early as possible if necessary.

Also think about the month in which you would like to get married. Also take a look at your private calendar so that you can take planned appointments (holidays, work-related matters, etc.) into account during these months.

When the month is fixed, coordinate with your most important guests - if you want to. These are usually the parents, grandparents, siblings, very close friends and best man. Of course, this can also be a favorite aunt / uncle. But remember: only really important people; because the more there are, the more difficult it becomes to coordinate the scheduling.

Step 2: How to quickly create a guest list

In order to quickly and easily estimate the costs of your wedding when planning, it is important that you know the approximate number of guests. First of all, it is sufficient if you set a range; e.g. 40-60, 80-100 people etc.

First make a preliminary list, starting with the people you will definitely invite. Then all the people you most likely want to welcome as guests at your wedding, and finally anyone you might just invite.

This gives you a quick overview of where the journey is going. Don't discuss every single person, otherwise the first step of your wedding planning will become too complicated. First of all, it is enough to find a framework so that you know where the journey is going.

It is better to first discuss who will be invited than who will not.

Step 3: registry office

Wedding planning and registry office of course belong together like pot and lid. Nevertheless, you can separate the appointment at the registry office from your "big" celebration and, for example, get married in a registry office the year before. In this way you equalize 2 appointments and have enough time in between to plan your wedding celebration with many guests.

If you know in which year and in which month you would like to celebrate the civil wedding, first call the registry office and arrange an appointment. Most registry offices make an appointment for the wedding ceremony a maximum of 6 months in advance. You can find more information on the website of your responsible registry office, by e-mail or by telephone.

Step 4: Groomsmen

Groomsmen are no longer required at the registry office in Germany, while in Austria and Switzerland there must be 2 witnesses. Nevertheless, most couples in Germany do not do without witnesses at the civil wedding.

Likewise, witnesses are desired both at the Catholic wedding (mandatory) and at the Protestant wedding (mandatory).

Therefore, when planning your wedding, you should think about the subject of groomsmen as early as possible so that you can coordinate your appointments with them.

In addition to parents, siblings and grandparents, the best man is the most important guest. Therefore, first determine whether you would like to marry with witnesses (registry office, church) and ask the possible witnesses whether they are available on the dates you want. The sooner you do this the better. If a desired person has already booked a trip or, for example, has a business appointment abroad, it can be difficult to postpone or cancel it.

Step 5: Church / Parish

For most couples, it is clear from the start where exactly the church wedding is to take place. Of course, this makes planning the wedding easier, because you can immediately discuss possible dates with the parish.

If you have not yet considered a church / parish, you should do so now or make a list of possible churches. This is especially the case in mixed denomination weddings. But also the desire to marry at a former place of residence can change the planning and take a little more time than a marriage at the current place of residence.

Step 6: Location

Once you have determined the approximate number of guests, you can start looking for suitable rooms for the celebration. First, think about how far you and your guests are willing to drive after the wedding and see how long it takes to travel the distance. Driving 25 km on the Autobahn is much faster than on a winding country road.
Once you have determined the maximum radius, you can note the places that are within it and start looking for restaurants or rented rooms there. Also ask friends and relatives nearby if they have a recommendation for you. The local transport/tourism office can also help you (just give them a call).

Then contact the locations in question to see if your desired dates/month and the number of people is possible. Only when that works do you look at individual locations.

Make a list of all locations with your criteria so that you can compare them all on one sheet.

Step 7: Estimate costs

The following components make up the largest part of the costs of a wedding: meals for the guests, wedding dress, wedding rings, groom's clothes, professional wedding photos, floral arrangements and printed matter.

Since some things depend on the number of guests, you can estimate possible costs well if you have already estimated the approximate number of guests. With 60-80 guests and catering costs of around $40, you can calculate the following:

70 guests x $40 = $2,800 as the estimated cost of the meal

In this way, make a quick calculation of the above points or, for example, estimate a spending range for the wedding dress and take the middle.

If you have determined an amount for all components, you can calculate the sum and then multiply by 1.2 (that is a 20% surcharge for various small items). So you quickly have a realistic sum for your wedding planning.

If it is not yet clear how the amount will be financed, you can now plan realistically and ask your parents or grandparents about it or consider what amount you would like to take over yourself.

Wedding planning at a glance

  • First determine the 3 most important points of your wedding
  • Month in which you want to celebrate
  • Approximate number of guests
  • Type of location (restaurant, rented room, etc.)
  • Approximately determine the date of the celebration (month)
  • Roughly plan guest list
  • Registry office: in which month?
  • Determine witnesses, ask for an appointment
  • Determine the church, ask for an appointment
  • Contact locations (date, number of guests possible?)
  • Estimate costs and plan financing
  • Use checklists that are coordinated with each other

If you consider these important points first when planning your wedding, nothing will stand in the way of stress-free wedding planning. If possible, work on paper so that you can understand your thoughts later.