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Planning your wedding
The golden rule is - don't underestimate the task involved! Small or big, you'll probably find there's a fair bit more to do than you expected. Here's a sample of what you might want to consider (note - this is by no means definitive!):

How big will your wedding be?
Lavish, or more modest? An extensive guest list, or small and intimate?

How big will the official wedding party be?
Will you want a more traditional party - three bridesmaids, a best man, and two or three groomsmen? Maybe you'd like two best men and two best women? Or why not a ‘bridesman’ and a ‘groomsmaid’?? If either of you have children, they could be part of the official wedding party. Or - perhaps you'd prefer just you and your betrothed to be the focus?”

Have you got all the documents you need?
You'll need quite a few documents before you can get married:
Birth certificates are a must - although, an overseas passport will do if you were born overseas and can't get a birth certificate. (Failing that, a statutory declaration might be okay.)

If one of you has been married before, you'll need either a divorce certificate or a death certificate (if widowed).

A change of name certificate might be desirable, for example if you've been raised by a step-parent and want to get married using their surname (but have never legally changed your surname to theirs), or if you're divorced and don't want to get married using your ex's surname.

Pre-marriage documentation, for example the NOIM (Notice Of Intended Marriage).
(Don't worry - Mike can give you a complete list, and point you in the right directions!)

Inside? Outside? Will the location have a particular meaning for you? If you met at school, do you want to see if you can get married in the sc
hool grounds? If a sports club is where you hooked up, that might be an option. If you're keen divers (sky, or marine), why not arrive at the wedding by parachute, or have the ceremony at your favourite reef? Maybe you'd prefer a 'magical mystery wedding' - invite your guests to a particular place, then hop on a bus together and head off for the real venue!

Securing the venue
Many venues are booked well in advance, so you might need to get cracking. And, if the wedding will be at a different location to the reception, that's two venues you'll need to book.

Will the wedding party be decked out in the same clothing? If so, will the dresses, suits etc. need to be handmade? How quickly can this be done?

How soon before the wedding takes place?
Remember, guests might need to make all sorts of arrangements - time off work, buying suitable clothing, booking flights etc. The more lead time they have, the easier it will be to make these arrangements.

The length of the ceremony
Short? Or longer?

Other stuff!
Will you be designing your own invitations? If so, how long will this take?
Will you want a wedding full of flowers? Will the ones you want be in season?
Do you want recorded or live music during the ceremony? If you'd prefer live, is the person or act you want available? Will they need extra time to learn a particular piece?

Whatever you decide, don't leave it to the last minute - and remember: don't underestimate what's involved!

See also FAQ - in particular, 'How long will it take to organise a wedding'?

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Mike Ockerby Registered Wedding Celebrant