Follow this simple(ish) advice and we’ll both enjoy planning your wedding!
1. Keep your planning style in mind. If you are free and easy, willing to go with the flow, you’ll probably require less time and structure to plan your wedding. However, if you have very specific requirements and are firm about following your plan, allow yourself plenty of time to make sure you can get exactly what you want.*
*That being said, always have second choices. Because, some things are like unicorns: beautiful, mystical, and the product of Pinterest-induced hallucinations.
2. Invest in a big sturdy binder, a package of dividers, and a 3-hole punch. Even though much of your planning will likely be done by phone and email, having hard copies of any contracts or orders will give you something tangible to deal with and that will feel like progress. You should have a divider for your venue and/or caterer, the cake, the music, the florist, the rental company, the bridal party attire, the photographer, any miscellaneous (liquor receipts, transportation, etc.), as well as a section for thoughts or ideas you want to pursue further.
3. Get a handle on your guest list. It will influence every decision you make from the earliest stages, from venue to favours. Accept the fact that you’ll likely hurt some feelings, and keep cutting until it starts to take a realistic shape.
4. Whenever you make a change to a contract or order, always request a new copy and put it immediately into the aforementioned binder. Then, scrap the old copy, or date the most recent one, so that you always know what your most current arrangements are.
5. Make lists. Of everything. Things to do, things that you discussed with your vendors, ideas you have on the fly. Anytime you think, “I need to remember to do that,” make a note of whatever “that” is. Write it down, create a spreadsheet, use your smartphone, whatever feels most accessible to you. Getting it out of your head right away stops it from being lost in the shuffle.
6. Designate only one or two other people beside yourself to make changes to any wedding arrangements, such as your bride or groom, parents, maid of honour, best man, wedding planner, etc. This helps to eliminate the unexpected and keeps the overly helpful from incurring additional charges on your behalf. Make sure your vendors are aware of who you have authorized and arrange for copies of any changes to be sent directly to you.
If you choose to authorize a vendor, such as your caterer, to make changes or place orders on your behalf, make sure they know your budget, rental company, and preferences, and communicate with your rental company so that they know someone else will be placing an order or making changes on your behalf.
7. Talk to your vendors. Make sure you know exactly what they are delivering, and that they know exactly what you’re expecting. We are very, very good at anticipating your needs but, sadly, we still fall short of outright psychic.
8. While it’s not necessary, allowing one vendor to recommend others can be a great way to choose your suppliers. It ensures that the people and businesses responsible for supplying your wedding have already worked together successfully and will be able to coordinate their services with one another, easing the pressure of set-up on the big day.
9. Remember to designate helpers for the day-of and the next morning. Spending the morning after your wedding night picking up dirty plates and empty liquor bottles is not what you want to be doing. The elegant wedding you attended the night before will not be there at 8:00 a.m. the next morning. Take our word for it.
10. Be realistic. Everything has a cost, and nobody has a fairy godmother. Sometimes, pumpkins will not become horse-drawn carriages, even if you really want them to. Do your research, find out what you can afford, and keep your expectations within reach. Some of the most personal and beautiful weddings can be planned with the smallest of budgets.
Try to remember, this is your wedding. It belongs to you and your partner, and there is no required formula. It can be anything you want it to be from lavish to relaxed. There is no law stating that there must be a church, a white dress, a three-tiered cake, and a string quartet. Get married in your backyard, wear pink, eat pie, play music off your laptop, or don’t do any of those things at all. There are no rules. Isn’t that great? So, breathe deep, count to ten, say your mantra, go to your happy place, or better yet, give us a call and let us help!