a newlywed wedding planner's expert tips for a wedding you'll love

a newlywed wedding planner's expert tips for a wedding you'll love

We just got married, and here’s what I learned as a wedding planner undercover.

Being a wedding planner on the other side of a wedding was an incredible (and sometimes strange!) experience. It was amazing to experience first hand so many of the emotions and stresses that our clients go through in planning their weddings, and I learned so much from the journey.

Here are some of my top favourite tips from my own experience as a bride and newlywed!


Tip #1:

Do away with things that don’t feel authentic to you.

We changed our plans a few times during our wedding planning journey. Each time, it was a HARD conversation. But we always came back to what actually feels good and like us. It meant that we came out the other side with a beautifully intimate wedding in a very special place. Whatever your wedding looks like, it will feel that much more meaningful it feels like YOU. So feel safe and supported to make the decisions to remove or change things to fit the both of you.

Tip #2:

Pick the right venue and it will speak for itself.

We wanted to keep things simple, especially since our guest list was so intimate. This meant picking a venue that would blow everyone away without needing too much decor. Kualoa Ranch on Oahu was that place. The view was everything, from every angle. It made the experience so special and gave our guests something to talk about for years to come. Here on Vancouver Island you usually can’t go wrong with your venue, but take your time to find the venue that speaks to you and fits with your design and atmosphere vision.

Image of Paliku Gardens showing palm trees and a meadow, out to the ocean.


Tip #3:

Give yourself a LOT of time to get ready, and extra time for fun things!

Everything takes longer on a wedding day, and you want to be able to enjoy the morning being pampered and getting those day-of butterflies. This goes for brides and grooms! Take time for breakfast and drinks, assign someone to grab candid pics of getting ready (or your photographer) to look back on. We snagged breakfast with our friends early in the morning and it was perfect. It felt so relaxed and enjoyable before we dove into getting ready. This is even easier if you have someone assigned/hired to set up your wedding for you so you don’t have anything to worry about!

Tip #4:

Write your own vows and find the right officiant.

Our ceremony was truly beautiful. We had a wonderful officiant who infused so much meaning into the moments and made us and our guests feel so comfortable. I think it’s important to remember that your guests are not wedding experts either, and our officiant walked them through a few things (including putting phones away during the ceremony - which my dad promptly ignored haha!) that allowed them to participate fully. We also did personal vows as well as the more traditional vows, and this was truly my favourite part still. Those who know me know I pretty much cry through all personal vows I hear at weddings - I did pretty good this time, just a few tears!

Tip #5:

Hire a planner.

Yes, even an experienced planner like myself needs someone who has our back! Especially when planning a destination wedding, it was critical that we had someone who lives and breathes the area and venue we held our ceremony at. It made the experience 100% more enjoyable to know we had a pro in our corner who was selecting the right team and pulling everything together on the day. Huge thank you and shoutout to Tropical Moon Events for being an incredible team to work with and for making it all beautiful!

Some bonus tips from my experience:

  1. Sometimes wedding planning is lonely, and you worry that not everyone cares as much as you about your day, or that they are acting differently than you expected. Find yourself a wedding buddy or planner that will be there for you to talk through your emotions and challenges. It’s why I always tell our clients to reach out any time with the wins and the hard stuff, this should feel like a special journey and we’re here for you!

  1. Wear the right shoes. I loved my sparkly heels but wow after standing just for the ceremony on the grass they HURT! Find something as comfy as you can, and bring a change of shoes for when you need to walk on unsteady ground or just to give those feet a break.

  1. First looks are fun and emotional. I was worried I wouldn’t enjoy the first look as much as I did, but having a moment with just the two of us set up the ceremony SO WELL. And then we got to line up to go down the aisle together and get in those last nervous looks. Perfect.

  1. Have a ceremony rehearsal. I already of course knew this one, but I’d like to still include it! Get everyone involved in your ceremony (wedding party, parents, flower and ring carriers, etc) and walk through the going down the aisle and back, and any key moments in the ceremony itself. It helps with the nerves, and takes pressure off of you on the day.

  1. If you’re having a destination wedding, plan ahead for how you are getting things there and back. We traveled by plane, and on the way home ended up with photo frames and our wooden guest book sign that our families had provided to us - plus all the associated wedding garb, shoes, and supplies - so our baggage was overweight! Avoid the same stress by asking your family and wedding party to help you with splitting up some of those items, if possible, on the way home, or ship the items to your home before you leave.

I feel like over the next days and months I will think of even more things that I learned as a bride in the process, but overall it has made me so much more grateful and excited to work with my clients to help them have the amazing day, just like we did. I’m always here to chat weddings, so get in touch if you want to know more tips or be my new wedding bestie!


Photos from my amazing sister, Rebecca Crooks.

Back to blog