This week, we invite you to raise your international glasses to toast our New Zealand bride. Don’t worry. You’ll feel right at home with her up-close-and-personal insight.
NAME: Taryn Charles
LOCATION: Wellington, New Zealand (in the depths of their cold, rainy, windy winter, no less!)
DATE: June 20th
THEME: Everything Warm—the reception will be in a cozy wine bar with hot chocolate, tea and coffee to keep everyone warm and toasty
COLORS: Green and brown to embrace the natural beauty of the country
GUESTS: 60 people
BUDGET: Even with help from our parents, we have a very low budget. To avoid cutting corners, there has been a crazy amount of DIY to ensure the wedding is under budget, yet personal and special.
Q: When did the wedding planning begin?
A: We got engaged about a year ago, but both had big overseas trips soon after. The wedding planning really got underway in about October of last year.
Q: Besides keeping warm, what’s the most important thing on your mind right now?
A: The reception. There is so much that needs to be organized–and so many little bitsy pieces that could go wrong! I am in the middle of organizing a chart and a checklist for me, my mum and the reception staff because I am so worried that, after all of our effort, we could miss something.
Q: Wow, you seem to be so organized. Does that help cut down on the stress?
It does. But to help ease things, my fiance’ and I plan an hour a week just to enjoy each other’s company for lunch or brunch, and we don’t say the “W” word at all. It’s so easy to forget, in the hullaballoo of wedding planning, what you are doing this for. (Amen to that!)
Q: Speaking of wedding planning stress, what has been the most stressful part?
A: Other people! Definitely! People have so many expectations of what weddings should be (or shouldn’t be). If you challenge tradition by not doing something (i.e. the bouquet toss), people can be quite aggressive and make you feel very small. Trying to please everyone has been like walking a tightrope.
Q: With all of that said, would you do anything differently given the opportunity?
A: For me, I’d pick my battles a bit more shrewdly and not care so much about pleasing others. When I was feeling some wedding pressure from others, people said to me, “the wedding is about your relationship” not everyone else. But, I didn’t listen to them because I wanted everyone to be happy. That’s ridiculous, because it is impossible to please everyone. When I stopped trying to do that, I started to really enjoy the planning process.
Q: Besides the personal growth and insight you’ve obviously gained, what has been the most rewarding part of the process?
A: Seeing things come together—and finding bargains! It takes so much extra effort to plan a wedding on a budget. You don’t have the luxury of picking something without worrying about the price. But it so much more rewarding when you hunt for months and find something at half price that is exactly what you were after. It doesn’t happen a lot, but when it does, it’s amazing!
Q: How thrilling! Can I assume then that you pretty much did everything yourself without a wedding planner?
A: Yes. New Zealand doesn’t really have a culture of wedding planners. We just go it alone in general. Even if wedding planners were popular here, it wouldn’t have fit into the budget at all. My philosophy with the wedding was that if I could do it myself I would.
Q: So, have you gotten everything done?
A: Not quite. Centerpieces are still to be designed, but I have left that in the hands of my talented aunt. Other things, like the reception program and the church ceremony, are nearly there but I will rest easier once they are completed.
Q: I’m curious, did you choose to forego any of your wedding plans because of the economy?
A: Not at all. Our wedding was always going to be low budget, so the poor economy only confirmed this.
Q: Many brides discover something new about themselves during the wedding planning process. What did you learn?
A: I have learnt that I take what other people say far too seriously. I have learnt to be stronger in my own beliefs, and also that relationships can successfully withstand extreme amounts of stress.
Q: With all that said, what advice would you give another bride planning her wedding?
A: Again, it really is YOUR wedding. Don’t get so caught up in the details that you forget what it is all about. And don’t get so preoccupied with trying to please everybody else that you forget yourself. I think it’s really important to make compromises every now and then so that you don’t cut out important people, but learn to pick your battles. And when you get to this stage of planning (a month away from the big day), it’s incredibly, incredibly exciting because every day brings you closer to your wedding day ??
Watch for the next edition of Brides On the Brink…30 Days and Counting! It’s for brides, it’s about brides, and most importantly, it’s by Brides On the Brink who are one month away from walking down the aisle.
Become One of our Brides On The Brink!
If you’re about one, two or three months from tying the knot and would like to be a featured bride, please click here to e-mail your contact information and wedding date. I’ll send you the questionnaire to fill out and return. For passing on your wedding wisdom, featured brides will receive a $25 gift certificate* for MyWeddingFavors.com, where you’ll find fabulous wedding favors, wedding accessories, bridesmaids’ gifts and so much more!
* For shipping only within the US and Canada.