Isn’t a wedding planner a bit unnecessary/indulgent and only for big budget weddings?
Attended or seen a fabulous wedding lately? Odds are, the happy couple had professional help. Wedding planners and stylists are not just for the rich and famous. More and more couples are realising that to achieve the wedding they want, they need experts to make it happen.
Plus, apart from being able to help you to stay on budget, negotiate better prices and make your precious dollars go further, we can help to ensure that all that time, money and effort you have put into your wedding is worth it. A wedding is a huge investment, and when you think that you could spend anywhere from $20,000-$100,000+ on your day, it seems a little illogical not to make sure that everything you have been working on and saving for actually turns out the way you want it.
Compared to most wedding budgets, a planner is a relatively small investment and arguably one of the most important. If you want to wing it, that’s totally ok. Plenty of couples go it alone. You just need to consider whether or not you want to maximise the opportunity for you to enjoy every moment of your day, have the wedding you really want and minimise potential for issues or hiccups. Remember, there’s no second chances when it comes to your wedding day.
Do you do weddings outside of Geelong & Melbourne?
Yes we do. We actually service all of Australia! We currently have 4 planners. Allana is based in Sydney, Solène is in Melbourne and across regional Victoria we have Jac in Geelong and Jess in Mount Evelyn.
Between the 4 of us, we easily service clients all over Victoria and New South Wales. For clients in other parts of Australia, Jac services these areas and a Travel Surcharge applies. Ask at the time of booking what this cost will be. If it’s a direct flight from Avalon airport, in most cases it’s only an extra $500.
As of August 2018, we now also offer destination weddings to Noumea and other parts of New Caledonia. Jac previously worked as a travel agent with speciality certification from New Caledonia Tourism, and is able to offer both Oh So Pretty & First Class packages in Noumea with a small travel cost in addition.
At what point should I book my planner?
It’s funny, we get a great deal of initial enquiries from brides who then “disappear” with their enquiry pack, only to come back later in the planning process and find we are booked out- or even still, they’ve paid too much or booked the wrong suppliers. Get in touch early. We are more than happy to jump on a free consultation and give you some free advice.
We’d actually love to squash the common misconception that a planner is a luxury and something to book down the track of the journey. A good planner should actually make your budget work harder and save you money!
If I book a free consultation with Darling Don't Panic, am I under any further obligation
No – your first consultation with DDP is always complimentary and completely obligation free. At the end of the consultation you can choose whether you would like us to secure your date, which can be done with payment in full (small discount applies) or you can just leave a 50% deposit and pay off the rest before your event.
How long does it really take to plan a wedding?
The average time it takes to plan a wedding is around 200 – 250 hours. That’s 6 weeks of full time work! If you want something extraordinary, something chock full of gorgeous details you will need to spend at least that many hours if not more. And, if you’re planning your big day in a marquee or empty space, and you don’t have any previous event planning experience, plan for 300+ hours at a minimum. Don’t worry though, DDP can create a downright fabulous occasion for you. We have the skills, experience, contacts and commitment to ensure your perfect day actually happens (and it won’t take us 200 hours to do it).
I don’t know what I want - I’m totally overwhelmed – should I get in touch?
Yes. In fact, we would recommend it. So many couples (let’s be honest, mostly brides) waste precious time confused and overwhelmed while they jump from one idea to the next and try to find some kind of clarity and direction.
Don’t panic – not knowing what you want or how you’re going to achieve it is completely normal. The sooner you get in touch with us the sooner we can help you to get all those ideas and options and sort them into a concept that feels like it fits. Once you have your direction clear, everything will become instantly easier.
Can you absolutely guarantee nothing will go wrong on the day?
While we’re great at what we do, there are some things even we can’t control. We can’t control the weather, stop your relative from drinking a little too much or ensure a baby doesn’t cry during your ceremony.What we can guarantee is that every potential issue or hiccup that can be prevented or planned for will be. We will have your wet weather plan ready to implement, a spare place setting set up in no time for the relative that unexpectedly turns up and cooling on hand for your marquee when the weather gets warm. Anything that does go wrong will be dealt with quickly, professionally and usually without the bride and groom even noticing.
My family, friends and/or bridesmaids want to help – can you include them somehow?
Weddings are not only about the couple but also the people they love. We encourage you to get your family and friends involved wherever you feel comfortable doing so.
When we first sit down with you to work out how and where we can help, we will talk to you about the ‘team’ you have around you and what areas you potentially see them assisting with. We are also experts at involving grooms (if that’s something you and your groom would like to discuss).
My family/friends want to plan my day for me – is this a good idea?
Some couples have family and friends around them that operate like a well-oiled wedding planning machine. Giving support where it’s required, offering appropriate, well-timed and insightful advice, listening to your ideas and your vision and working towards your perfect day without any personal agenda involved.
These couples may very well exist; however, unfortunately, we’ve never met them.
Jokes aside, it’s all too common for well-meaning family and friends to inadvertently make the planning process somewhat harder for the couple. Your wedding is a really big deal and it’s normal for everyone you love to shower you with enthusiastic input and opinions.
Unfortunately, their over-excitement or personal ideas of what a wedding ‘should’ be tend to get in the way of what you really want. Often, ideas offered don’t necessarily feel right for you and can leave you more confused and overwhelmed than before.
There’s a million ways your loved ones can be helpful and involved and including them in the process is super important.
However, in our experience having an expert on side with the sole objective of ensuring that you have the wedding you want can be very handy. It’s particularly useful when you’re thrown an idea that you simply don’t want to go with – it’s much easier to explain your reasoning when you have an impartial expert on your side!
Does Darling Don't Panic only use certain vendors & suppliers?
We have lots of fantastic contacts within the wedding industry and that means we can suggest and match you with suppliers and vendors that are your perfect fit.
We only work with the best and there are some businesses that we often recommend because we know them, trust them and are familiar with the quality of their work.
However, our top priority is delivering to you the wedding you want. If that means searching high and low for that elusive vendor or supplier that offers something completely new and unique we will do so and if you have ideas or preferences we will investigate them too.
When suggesting vendors or suppliers to you we always give you several options and quotes to choose from, and a full breakdown of how each does or doesn’t meet your requirements, so you make the final decision.
Does Darling Don't Panic have any special relationships with suppliers where Darling Don't Panic benefits?
Absolutely not. We receive no payment for recommendation or referrals from any suppliers or vendors. Some vendors and suppliers do offer our clients a discount if you are referred to them by DDP and that discount is given directly to you.
We do work with some vendors and suppliers on a regular basis, because we know they are the best of the best and will deliver incredible results for our clients. However, we are not locked into a relationship with any one business.
Do you have a certain style or look that you always create for weddings?
We love gorgeous and gorgeous comes in a million shapes and sizes. From modern romance and industrial glam through to elegant vintage, boho and eclectic or retro cool, we love weddings that stand out for all the right reasons!
No wedding should ever be the same and no DDP wedding will ever be the same. What is consistent about our weddings is that the have the wow factor and they are tailored to our beautiful couples. Every wedding we produce is of the highest standard, and we ensure your styling looks absolutely spot on, but we’re definitely not into copycat weddings (in fact we’re downright against them). We use work with each couple to determine what perfect means to them, and then we make it happen.
My venue has a function manager. Do I need a wedding planner as well?
Venue coordinators and function managers can be very helpful to the planning process. However, their involvement is always limited to venue-related tasks. Depending on the agreement you have with the venue, they are likely to assist you with areas like food and wine packages and selection, wait and bar staff management and basic set table set up. Some might offer a list of recommended suppliers, however these suppliers are not selected on your behalf or with your individual dreams and requirements in mind.
Ultimately, a coordinator works for the venue rather than for you.
A wedding planner or stylist goes well beyond this. DDP works for you and has your best interests in mind. We can help you with every element of your day, ensuring a cohesive event from start to finish. From styling and full coordination through to advising and working with your venue manager to ensure everything runs to schedule, we do it all. We are also well placed to match you with the best vendors and suppliers that best suit you and what you really want.
What kind of couples do you work with best?
We love couples who are in love. Yes, that sounds way too obvious, we know. What we mean by that is that weddings that are about celebrating the love and commitment shared between two people first and foremost are our favourites, because these weddings tend to be the most personal, meaningful and fun occasions.
We also love couples who want their wedding to stand out from the rest. Couples who say no to following rules that don’t feel like them and want a day that reflects who they really area.
We don’t enjoy weddings that are a copy of the same old wedding day everyone you have ever known has had and has no personal meaning to you as a couple. That’s not to say we want all weddings to be completely outrageous, we love classic and elegant as well, it just means that the weddings we love the most are the weddings with heart.
Do you have any payment plans available?
We simply ask for 50% deposit and the balance is due 60 days before your event. You may make payments as it suits you along the way using Credit Card online/in person, PayPal, Cash, Direct Debit or Cheque.
New Caledonia Questions
I read you had to be in the country for 30 days to get married?
Yes, this was the case, but recently the New Caledonian government have lifted this rule. If you wish to legally get married in New Caledonia, you should plan for a few days in the country to lodge all the paperwork at the Town Hall and hold your ceremony.
I can't find all the forms & paperwork online!
Yes it’s all hidden away in french on various websites and some you may need to get translated to complete! We make it our job to stay on top of the current legal paperwork and always have the copies on hand of the appropriate forms.
All the marriage paperwork is in french! Help!
At Darling Don’t Panic we have a dedicated team member who is a professional french translator – so she’ll be able to assist with preparing all your paperwork as required by the Town Hall.
What is the price for your New Caledonia packages?
Our Oh So Pretty & First Class packages are available in New Caledonia. There is a small additional travel fee of $750.
In some instances this can be waived if your planner will already be in Noumea at the time of the event.
In addition to the standard package inclusions, you also get travel advice in relation to flights, accommodation, activities, tours and transfers and standard french translation of your paperwork.
Should you require your planner to make an additional trip to NC to do research or meet with the venue or other suppliers, this price will be quoted independently of your package. This is not usually required for most weddings.