As a marriage celebrant I have been so lucky to be able to marry some of my very dear friends and family. I met Narissa over 10 years ago when we participated in a year long leadership course. We clicked pretty instantaneously, and although we don't see each other as much as we'd like, we know we can message each other whenever we want! Today is the one year anniversary of Narissa's wedding to Steve at Hillstone St Lucia and so I share her tips for ensuring your wedding day is amazing.

"Being a perfectionist and a compulsive planner in everything I do, it was a surprise when the wedding rings were left behind and I was the one to say “I do” before I was meant to! (Luckily, Fiona from Coastal Weddings had my back and smoothed it over with a good laugh). With all the spreadsheets, run sheets, colour palettes, here are my top five tips for planning a wedding that sings love:

1. Spend money on whatʼs important to you: This was some of the best advice given to me by a friend. Decide on the must haves you want as a couple and budget around these. For us having a really good photographer was important and a venue where the food was great. We were happy to spend less on other things and direct our money more to the important things that we wanted.

2. Recycle & Revamp: Everything as far as decorations went, they were secondhand or purchased cheap and revamped. At the beginning of my planning I put a lot of pressure on myself on having the best table decorations and bonbonnieres. I kept getting drawn into all these beautiful candles and gift sites that you see at expos. I found table napkins and bonbonnieres second-hand. Instead of purchasing extra flowers we just use our bouquets to decorate the bridal table. In the end I decided table decorations and bonbonnieres were not going to make or break our wedding day so I kept it simple and gave myself a budget of $200.

3. Build relationships: Your suppliers will ultimately reflect you as a couple. So, trust your gut with this. Do what you need to do. For me having trials, conversations and meeting with suppliers was the best way for me to know what was going to work. Some suppliers I didnʼt gel with and others things just fell into place straight away. Some choices are no-brainers. For us choosing our wedding celebrant (Fiona from Coastal Weddings) was our quickest decision. We wanted someone we could both ultimately feel comfortable with, got us as a couple, was quirky but fun and who was going to invest in us as a couple. Everything fell into place with Fiona and we never question our decision.

4. Being open to change: This was so important which allowed for things to happen and change easier. In the beginning I was set on certain colours and a particular look and feel for our wedding. However as things started to come together I quickly realised that I needed to adapt in order for everything to come together as well as it did. This meant completely changing my theme and colours three months out from the wedding. Because I had tried to keep the colours quite neutral by picking “gold” as my dominant colour I could then match anything really to this.

5. Donʼt sweat the small stuff: Everyone is going to have an opinion on whatever you do for the wedding whether it is the guest list, seating plan, venue choice, date etc. Remain true to what is important to you and your partner and what you both want for the day. When I would get stressed with the planning, the budget, suppliers, changes, Steve would always say to me “It doesnʼt matter what happens, as long as you are there on the day”. Now, isnʼt that what itʼs all about? Your love for one another. And, he was right. The seating plans, flowers and wood arrows that I was lying awake thinking about at 2 oʼclock in the morning didnʼt matter on the day when we were both standing there in front of each other."

I couldn't say it better myself - I totally agree with Narissa's top 5! Here's Narissa & Steve's wedding team:

Photographer: Ian Wilkinson 

Ceremony & Reception: Hillstone St Lucia

Flowers: Mrs Gibbons Flowers

Entertainment: Ebony Reid Musician

Dress: Virginia Carr

Suits: Roger David

Rings: McLean & Co Jewellers (formerly Underwoods Fine Jewellers)

Hair: A1 Hair Landsborough

Makeup: Blissful Makeup

Cake: Seventeen Cakes

Cars: Family's Cortina and Limo