When it comes to planning your wedding day, knowing where to start is often the hardest part, writes Kineta Booker.

Some people grow up knowing exactly what they want on their big day, changing things in their minds along the way as trends and fashion change.

But what if ideas don’t come flowing as you thought they might? These tips might be a good starting place for you:

  • What do you want from your wedding? Do you want it to be a simple, elegant affair? Less than 80 guests? More than 150? Know exactly what you want.
  • What is your budget? $2000? $10,000? More?
  • What is your theme? Will you go with a current trend? Will you forget the latest trends and throw a superhero-themed wedding? Know which theme you want, then everything else seems to slot into place.
  • Where will it be? A local chapel with the reception in the church hall? A beautiful garden? Perhaps a destination wedding?
  • Who is coming? This is a big deal. You don’t want to accidentally leave anyone that matters off the list. It’s happened before and you don’t want to be the one that creates hurt and awkwardness among friends and family.
  • Who’s catering? Which photographer will you choose? What music will you walk up the aisle to, and dance your first dance to? Who’s in your wedding party? Who is doing your makeup? What will you wear? What will everyone else wear?

There are literally a hundred questions to ask, but only one to focus on for now: what is your theme?

When designing your wedding, as that’s exactly what you’re doing, having a theme is the first thing you want to do. Know your theme. Start with a blank Word document and type out everything that comes to mind. Do some research. If you want to go with a current trend Pinterest is always going to be a great starting place. It can either be your best friend or give you an overwhelming sense of confusion and dread.

Recent bride Lily Simons says ‘boho’ is trending at the moment – “big floral arrangements are everywhere, floral crowns, and boho dresses that only Victoria’s Secret models can wear.”

Simons loves the leafy green look with flowers hanging as far as the eye can see but feels this look may date. She believes “looking like a fairy on your wedding day is devine: I would have loved to incorporate this but it didn’t suit my natural state as a person. I am vintage and I love bringing old with new.”

Rather than go for the current boho trend, Simons went for ‘rustic carnivals’. “People say [this] has been done but I feel it had classic, simple elements. My dress lace was made to look older – more ‘Gatsby classic’ with a jewelled head piece for a ‘classic romantic’. I had a champagne lace which is also very current but I added my own twists of awesome.”

Her advice is “do what you know and love! Think about your images 20 years from now. Not about what Pinterest or Vogue Weddings are telling you to do. Just do you!”

Destination-wedding bride Jess Williams sees the current trends as anything DIY, photobooths, vintage, pastel colours and natural materials.

Williams says she got carried away with wanting to incorporate things into her wedding but it wasn’t practical taking it over in her luggage, so instead of going with a current trend she ended up as ‘Fiji’ being her theme.

She encourages other brides to “keep to your own style and what suits you. It’s easy to try and keep up with everyone else. Pinterest can sometimes be your enemy and get overwhelming and then you have too many ideas. Keep it simple and have a few special things. Stick to budget.” Williams says it’s easy to stray, so recommends checking out cheaper department stores, op shops and fairs to keep costs down.

Doing research and not being afraid to ask the silly questions, is also important, she says. “It will put your ‘bridezilla’ mind at ease in regard to destination weddings. Williams found joining a Facebook page for Fiji brides was helpful at finding all the information she needed – from nail colours to filling out wedding applications.

Williams’ final piece of advice – don’t sweat the small stuff: “On the day I didn’t even notice the small things you spent so much time worrying about.”