Beach Wedding Countdown (and choosing a date)

You're engaged! Congrats! Our wedding planner’s hot tip: choose your venue and date as soon as you can, and the rest of your countdown will flow from there.

    Why choose the venue and date first?

    Because no other part of your wedding countdown can go ahead until you know where and when you’re getting married. Firstly, the venue has to be available on the date you want to have the ceremony. Once that’s established, you and your wedding partner can go full steam ahead on sorting the flowers, décor, menu, drinks, music, dress and photographer. But if you start with your vendors, only to find your venue and date aren’t actually clear, you have to undo all that work and start again. And no one wants that (especially if deposits and cancellations fees are involved).

    Set a date that's special AND practical

    We’ve planned weddings for two years in advance and full-on parties in just six weeks. The average is around about a year and engaged couples have to take a lot of things into consideration:

    • If you get engaged on Christmas Day, New Year’s or Valentine’s and want a summer wedding, it’s likely you’ll only get married in a year’s time. Why? Because all the other folks who want the same have booked the venues already.
    • Bear in mind things like public holidays, regional festivals or events and school holidays. Margaret River is a really popular destination over these times so accommodation may be in short supply for you and your guests.
    • Check for major occasions like big sports matches or baby due dates. You don’t want the guys glued to their phones or a bridesmaid going into labour on your wedding day.
    • Consider seasonality. High season over summer is not only busier but generally a little pricier for some services. Over low season, you’ll have more options and may be able to negotiate better rates from some vendors.
    • Check the average weather and time of sunset. Both can have an impact on how long you can be outside taking photos, for example. The sun obviously sets earlier in winter.
    • Are there any obvious clashes you want to avoid? Some friends or fam may not be thrilled if you get married on their birthday or anniversary (we say, the more celebrations on a day, the better!).
    • Do you want a cool number? Dates like 11/11/22 or 02/02/22 or 01/02/23 are lucky or auspicious for some. Check the calendar and let us know.
    • Check for cosmological events. OK, this is rare but a lunar eclipse could make or break your wedding party. Some folks love getting married at full moon since it lights up the ocean and looks stunning.
    • Fridays and Saturdays will always be popular. Gnarabup Beach is a destination wedding venue so almost all wedding parties make a long weekend of it. There’s nothing wrong with arriving on a Sunday arvie to have a Monday wedding… Kinda of cool to be celebrating when the rest of the world is at work!
    • When can you and most of your guests get leave? Remote working has made life easier but if a large chunk of your guests are FIFO, contract or seasonal workers, bear this in mind when choosing a date.

    Beach wedding countdown

    No two weddings are the same but here is a general countdown to the big day.

    # 1 Date & Place

    Choose your date.
    Select your venue.

    #2 Invites

    Create your guest list and send out invitations. They don’t have to be printed anymore – some couples send awesome video invitations.

    Once RSVPs start coming in, help guests who need to book flights or accommodation.

    If you are having a gift registry, consider asking guests not to bring presents to the reception otherwise you’ll just have to fly home with them. Many couples whose lives are pretty much sorted skip registries in favour of donations to their favourite charities. Do you really need another vase or set of side plates?

    #3 Plan with a Pro

    Meet your Barefoot Beach Weddings’ planner and start considering packages based on the size of your guest list. The more people you have, the more cocktail-style it will be. Our planners can meet over Skye, email, Zoom, FaceTime, phone or even in person, whatever works.

    Start considering photographers, videographers, DJs, florists and a baker for your cake – luckily, we have a full team of trusted partners so you don’t have to sift through stacks of dodgy options.

    Ask attendants like your best man and bridesmaids if they’ll do the honours.

    Think about whether any children will be attending and what they will do during the ceremony.

    Thank people for any gifts you receive.

    #4 Weeks to go

    You should be wrapping up your dress and have had a trial hair-and-make-up session done. Bouquet design will be finalized. Music will be decided: first dance song, any special requests, a song for your parents to dance to and your favourites to get the party started.

    Have your hen party or stag do – you want enough time to get over the hangover!

    #5 Days to go

    Get any beauty, hair or spa treatments done in advance. Yes, you may want them on the day to ‘relax’ but there’s nothing relaxing about highlights that came out wrong or an allergic reaction to a face peel. Give yourself a few days in case there are any mishaps that need fixing.

    Final dress and suit check.

    Check that your flights, accommodation, rental car etc are all in order. Remind your attendants of their duties and any special requests you have.

    #6 The Big W

    Get dressed, rock up, and say ‘I do’ - whatever else you do, HAVE FUN! 

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