Wedding planners have to keep track of A LOT. From details as small as the color of your bouquet, all the way to the inner workings of your big day’s timeline, we’re calculating every single thing – all while preparing for mistakes and mishaps (because yes, there will be some, no matter how hard we plan).
As wedding planners, our job is to ensure that your day runs as smooth as possible, so you can enjoy everything that’s going on in the moment. that’s why when we give you advice and input, we’re actually doing it for your best interest!
We got you your back, if you have ours! This is what your wedding planner wants you to know…
1. TRUST US AND YOUR TEAM
Starting off with a harsh truth: if you’re hiring a professional (likely for a good amount of your hard-earned cash), you need to trust their expert advice. Listening to the advice we give is important, because a) you’re paying for it, and b) we’re looking out for your best interest, and c) we’re pretty good at what we do. After all, we do plan weddings for a living.
Wedding planning is a team-based collaborative effort, and you can be as involved as you’d like to be, as long as you trust the people you invested in and know they want to knock this out of the park for you, so let ‘em!
2. STICKER SHOCK IS REAL
I know that feeling all too well… I remember when I started planning my own wedding and I had to pick my mouth off the floor and put my eyes back into my head because I got slapped in the face with the reality that weddings are expensive.
Whether you hire someone to help you along the way or not, your wedding day is going to be pricy. It all comes down to you dishing out a little more moola in your big day to make it so much easier for YOU! We get that it’s a big deal to invest in planners, vendors, and venues, among all of the other wedding costs you’re going to incur — but remember that it’s an investment in your happiness, your guests’ experience, and a day that you’ll remember for the rest of your life.
Moral of the story, though, no matter what way you slice it: weddings are expensive AF, so…
3. PLAN A BUDGET
The first (and best) place to start with any wedding planning is budget. In order to know what is realistic and what is within your actual range of reality, you’ll need to sit down and figure out what budget you are working with and who is contributing to that budget… and what strings are attached to those decisions.
For example, if the in-laws are giving you money, is it for a specific vendor, or do you have the freedom of choice? If Mom and Dad are paying, are they expecting you to invite Dad’s work colleagues and Mom’s 5th cousin? Because those are definitely conversations to have up front and in the beginning of your planning and budgeting process.
It’s these early and honest conversations that will help alleviate any drama that will come later on when you start to really get into the nitty-gritty of it all.
If you are working with a planner (hi) we are here to protect that budget and stick to it, and also to let you know what the reality of that budget will get you.
And we’re also here to tell you that no matter how hard we try, there is a possibility you are going about 15-20% over your initial budget. Sorry. All couples do this. Sometimes those extra details are simply too cute to ignore, and brides get into that ‘have to have it’ mentality — and we can’t stop a woman on a mission!
4. READ EVERY SINGLE CONTRACT
And make sure to do that reading BEFORE you sign it!
It is imperative that before you jump into signing any contract or paying any deposit, you do your due diligence and read through your vendors contracts.
Again, when working with a planner, reminding you to read prior to signing contracts is basically a part of our DNA, but in case you onboard vendors prior to finding your planner or choosing not to work with one at all, we need to tell ya: read your dang contracts. There may be clauses about travel, exclusivity, photo rights, etc.
With the current social climate and dealing with COVID, many vendors have updated their contracts to rightfully protect themselves if postponements or cancellations happen.
READ. EVERYTHING. Just in case something happens, you won’t be caught by surprise when there is a rebooking or cancellation fee.
Again, not to sound harsh, but it’s not the vendor’s fault if you sign on the dotted line without reading through and later on say, “well I didn’t see that part” – Unfortunately there’s no excuse for ignorance!
5. THE WEDDING PLANNING PROCESS IS JUST AS BIG AS THE ‘BIG DAY’
When planning a wedding, people tend to think that they’ll just look back and smile and remember their big day.
HA! – News flash, it’s going to be a heck of a lot more you remember. Yes, it will be the amazing showers, celebrations, shopping for your dress memories that come fluttering back – but also, in that other corner of your brain, you’ll remember the arguments, fights, and debates that you and your partner and/or parents had about the details leading up to the day.
I strongly believe that your planning process will reflect the kind of marriage you will have. Wedding planning is one of those relationship turning points that can define what your communication will look like when you have to make big decisions. It can be good training for what the future will bring!
The defining question is: how will you handle it together?
Will you talk things out? Listen to each other’s opinion? Or did one partner’s voice drown out the other? Was it a conflict around every turn?
I promise you, when you arrive on that big day, your guests may not know, but that little voice inside your head will see all the details that you two fought about, and I promise you, it’s not worth it. You want the entire experience to be something you look back on and say wow, we did it, and we did it together!
6. PRIORITIZE (AND BE REALISTIC ABOUT) YOUR DECOR
Repurposing will be your best friend.
There’s always wants and needs involved in planning a wedding, but unless you’re a Rockefeller, you can’t have everything — and some of those ‘wants’ will have to be put on the back burner.
Something we always try to do with our clients when designing their wedding is find ways to repurpose their floral elements. Florals are a HUGE part of the decor, and often take up a large part of a budget.
Nothing is worse than spending a few thousand dollars on a ceremony piece, using it for 20 minutes during the ceremony, and then not seeing it again.
Example: rather than an entire arbor, choose low arrangements that can be picked up and brought into the reception for the sweetheart table or tent entrance!
And keep in mind, trends come and go.
It’s sooo important to really think about what decor elements will enhance your day. This is an opportunity to make decor elements feel meaningful and unique to you as a couple.
7. MAKE YOUR GUEST EXPERIENCE (REALLY) COUNT
Listen – if you are choosing to have a big wedding (post-COVID, obvi), then you need to consider your guests.
The 3 biggest things guests bitch are:
- Was I comfortable?
- Could I get a cocktail easily?
- Was the party good?
So, here are some things to think about to avoid that bitching…
- The ceremony location. Are you making them sit in the sweltering heat or shivering cold? If so, provide them some refreshments or blankets to balance out the environment. Let’s make sure they can actually be present and relish in your love!
- The bar pitch. Don’t skimp out — it’s an easy way to piss your guests off.
- The type of party. Think of the guests that will be attending, and determine how they like to have fun. Is it a dance crew or more low key? Find a band or DJ that will execute exactly what you want!
People are bringing you gifts and risking their lives (literally, if you’re having a during-COVID wedding) to support you on your big day – the least you can do is make it enjoyable!
8. VENUE VS. TENT WEDDING
Don’t get us wrong – we love a good tented wedding. They are gorgeous and offer different elements than a venue can, and you have the freedom to bring in different elements that a venue wouldn’t (think: caterers and cool cocktail trucks). Plus, there are some unbelievably gorgeous properties that you can use.
However… tented weddings are sooo much more work than you think.
Having a tented wedding essentially means building a venue from the ground up: think permits, lighting, flooring, heat, air, tables, chairs… the list goes on. There are hidden costs everywhere. It can be a lot!
Now, we’re not trying to talk you out of a tented wedding (again—love them), but we don’t want you to think that by renting a tent, you getting off easy with the cheaper option. You’ll probably be paying around the same amount as a venue, or more.
9. DON’T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF
You have now likely spent a year or more (not counting the years dreaming about your wedding) planning every detail of your wedding. And while, yes, you want it to be perfect, inevitably, things can (and will) go wrong.
Unfortunately, we haven’t quite mastered a way of controlling mother or human nature. As best we try!
So, at some point, you have to let go of your expectations and remember that this day is ultimately about marrying your partner, beginning the rest of your life, and being surrounded by loved ones.
Allow the day to just HAPPEN. Be present and happy in that! Because (fingers crossed), you’ll only get one wedding day.
Also, remember: rain on your wedding day is good luck!
10. KINDNESS GETS YOU FAR
Like, really far.
Speaking from (a lot of) experience – vendors are typically always willing to go that extra mile, throw in that extra 30 minutes, or provide you with those extra decor pieces… if you are just NICE, plain and simple!
When you speak to your team and treat them with the kindness and respect they deserve, they’ll be much more willing to take that extra step to make sure your day is everything you dreamed of and more.
And even if your kindness doesn’t get you anything in return – It never hurts to be nice to the people helping you!
Anddd there you have it, folks — our 10 things we want all of our couples to know before they work with us! If you take away one thing from this blog post, let it be this: as much as you’d like for things to be absolutely perfect, they won’t be. But your wedding planners will try their damn hardest to get it as close to perfect as humanly possible!