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Recently I was invited as a designer to showcase at the Canberra Wedding Fair and wow did it impress on many levels

Over the years I have talked with many brides and I’ve learnt some important things about weddings along the way. Thinking back to my wedding planning time back 15 years ago, my husband and I have an Italian background, you can just imagine… Let’s just say, there were certain expectations we could have gone without! Pleasing 2 sets of Italian parents, was no easy feat, to say the least.

Planning your wedding is exciting… Until you start thinking about

  • The guest list and feeling the pressure to invite your parents’ friends that you barely know
  • Deciding on a menu that will make everyone happy
  • Seating arrangements and which person refuses to speak to which people
  • Never ending, pointless politics
  • Feeling like you are planning your parents big day, rather than your own

I had my heart set on being married at the Witchmount Winery Estate. I met with the Wedding venue manager & they only had 2 available dates for the entire following year, so we said yes the earlier date.

When my dream venue was booked, I felt so relieved. So lucky. So completely unaware we had booked our wedding on the Grand Prix long weekend! Our die-hard racing enthusiasts (my hubby included) were not impressed.

We had booked our wedding during a major city event so all the hotels were booked out. I was prematurely excited when I found a cute heritage looking hotel available. That feeling was short lived as once we arrived, we realised we were staying at ‘Faulty Towers‘.

fashion dessigner wedding gown in silver

Planning YOUR wedding

The hardest part is starting. The second hardest part is disconnecting value from other peoples opinions about your choices. Sure, you want everyone to have fun. Of course, you do. You’re not a monster! But seriously, This is your day. A day you will remember forever. So put yourself first. Look after you, then, and only then worry about everyone else.

My pro tip. Make sure to surround yourself with people who are optimistic and on the same page as you. Look, maybe your BFF, who is amazing by the way, great choice, has different taste and strong opinions. These are amazing qualities. But are they the right qualities to plan YOUR wedding?

Weddings are a mix of business and personal. The lines can get blurred. Choose a friend to help who is supportive and just as excited as you. It will make a world of difference, boosting your confidence along the way.

white wedding dress

OK, so what is important? Where should you start? I’ll tell you a fact; You only need one thing to get married. Yup, just one thing. A registered wedding celebrant. That’s it. That’s all you need. If you want to throw a party, then you’ll want a wedding venue too and your planning job just got a whole lot bigger.

Most couples will prioritise their wedding venue

This is a highly emotional decision and once you get the feels for a venue, you’ve just got to have it. Before you lock it down…Visit for a menu tasting! The food doesn’t have to be the most amazing meal ever known to woman, but you need to make sure it’s not a deal breaker kinda bad.

Think about the logistics of your day. If you can find one venue that ticks all the boxes, – ceremony space – reception area – photo locations on site or close by, it will save you and your guests the stress of getting to multiple locations on time.

Once your venue is booked, you have your wedding date and your deadline to organising everything else. So now find a wedding celebrant who is available on that date. Just make sure that isn’t your only pre-requisite.

Choosing a celebrant is personal. Well, it should be! This is the person who is going to keep you on track when stress kicks in. The person who realises you are nervous, even before you do. Put some effort into getting to know a few celebrants until you know for sure, who you want.

By this stage, you are getting married. You know when. You know where. I’ll be honest, everything else from here is secondary. Having said that, we’ve been dreaming about this day forever so…..

Research wedding theme inspirations for the latest bridal designer trends. Otherwise known as Pinterest and Instagram time #weddingplanning! Get on to social media and wedding planning websites. Go down the rabbit hole until you know what you want, and just as important, what you don’t want. No doubt, you’ll come across a local who can help!

bridesmaid dress on the catwalk

How to have your wedding guests in awe

I’ve heard brides to be talking about being the star on the day. They worry someone else might steal the show. It’s natural to feel this way. I can tell you how to do this and It doesn’t matter what your budget is for your wedding day. There is only one way to have your guests mesmerised. It happens when they see you as your most confident, happy self. So forget about everyone else. Have fun. Be authentic. That’s all you need to know.

It all turned out peachy and I’m still happily married, but we weren’t short of stress-fuelled arguments, late nights, early mornings, lists & lists of tasks, the pressure to please everyone, shedding weight (ok so that one I put down as a positive) But shedding weight creates another obvious drama the GOWN.

As many of you know I inherited my creative flare from my mother & it was my mother who was making my wedding gown so, this was the one time she did not want me dropping weight. Let’s just say chicken fillets saved the day & I was able to carry off wearing my very heavy strapless gown!

Our wedding day went smoothly in the end. Sure, my flower girl was too scared to walk down the aisle so her bigger sister stepped in. It was a beautiful sisterly moment.

My boss at the time decided to take her dog to the wedding – church & reception. Everyone was talking about it!

My mums’ friends husband got totally drunk and was dancing around, non-stop, as Rowan Atkinson in Johnny English strikes again. … Until he fell and split his suit jacket. Hillarious!

Sure, you’ll make a plan. You’ll know exactly what is going to happen and when. This will ease your anxiety. For a while. To keep anxiety at bay, ignore your own schedule. Whaaaat? I hear you say… here’s what I mean by that.

Live in the moment. Enjoy every minute. Focus your full attention on your partner and how happy you are to be spending the rest of your lives together. That is what matters. Not the flavour of the cake. Not a stain on your wedding dress (heaven forbid!). Not some perfectly timed schedule.
Love. love is all that matters.

Things happen, emotions are at extreme highs as well as lows. That’s life. Sure it can be hard along the way, but I have a beautiful family and I couldn’t feel more grateful. It’s all worth it. Every second.

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Lucy Laurita gowns on show at CWF are exclusive in Canberra to Momento Dezigns

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