As a wedding coordinator, my job is to take people’s wedding plans and make them happen. But since most people are novices at wedding planning, my job is to also guide them through all the logistics to make sure nothing is forgotten. That’s why I have spent hours upon hours developing our wedding planning guide that covers each and every detail of the wedding day. My brides usually are the ones who fill them out and I feel pretty good once we have worked through the whole guide. I’m often working on multiple weddings at the same time, so having a detailed guide keeps everything straight and gives ME assurance that we’ve truly covered everything! So how can it be that we get to a part of the wedding day that feels chaotic? Where people seem to look at each other unsure of their responsibilities? Where I, the “detailed” coordinator, have got burnt on more than one occasion before I learned to spell everything out in even MORE crystal clear terms? I am talking about how to avoid the most common wedding planning mistake – (more…)
Planning your own wedding seems easy in the beginning. You’ve got family support. Or maybe you just have time – up to a year or more to plan your big day. So you say to yourself, “I can do this!” You turn to the internet and lo and behold there are wonderful free planning lists that tell you what you are supposed to do x months before your wedding. There are lists, checklists, spreadsheets, even apps to guide you through the process. The problem is that all those kind of resources are great for what I call the “macro” planning stage, getting all the major pieces in place like picking your venue, buying your dress, and finding your photographer. But then comes the “micro” stage – you know, all the fine DETAILS and LOGISTICS of the wedding day. That’s where all those great resources go strangely silent. Which explains why planning your own wedding seems easy in the beginning, until one day you wake up and reality smacks you in the face. And you realize you need help. (more…)
Everyone knows that choosing a wedding venue is one of the first important decisions a couple makes when planning their wedding. In fact many couples are having to choose their venue 1-2 years before their wedding just to save their date. But when couples make a quick decision, mistakes can be made. And these mistakes directly affect the budget and many of the decisions that are made afterward. So here are 7 key factors you should consider when choosing a wedding venue: (more…)
“Wedding planning is so stressful. I just want to get this day over with so I don’t have to stress about it anymore! ” Sadly, as a wedding coordinator I hear brides talk like this when they first come to me. When you think about it, it makes no sense. Couples plan their wedding for a year or longer, spend thousands and thousands of dollars in order to make the day special and then are just ready for it to be over already! What is it about wedding planning that is so stressful and what can be done to reduce the stress of wedding planning?
I could talk about many ways to reduce stress, but if I had to hone in on just one thing for this article it would be SYSTEMS. Why are systems important? Consider the following: (more…)
If you are a bride taking on the responsibility of planning your wedding, stop first and honestly evaluate yourself to see if you have what it takes. If you are convinced this challenge is one you can conquer, make sure you avoid these 5 “rookie” wedding planning mistakes as you begin this amazing adventure.
- Concentrating only on the majors. First, you must absolutely get organized. The bare minimum requirements are a planning binder which captures all your notes & research, contacts, vendor information, etc along with wedding planning checklists, to-do lists, and the internet at your fingertips. But while these things are necessities for hitting the major planning points, most “free” wedding to- do lists and things you see on-line do not delve far enough into the minor planning points. In other words, having a guide to tell you when to pick certain vendors or purchase invitations is one thing. But these tools generally won’t alert you, before you spend hours making your handmade escort cards, that they won’t work at your outdoor wedding because the wind will blow them over. This is where even one consultation with a wedding planner at the beginning stages could prove very beneficial.
- Trying to do too much in too little time. This is the Pinterest-victim syndrome I commonly refer to. There are many DIY projects a bride can do to save money or add personal touches, but most underestimate the time required to complete these projects. If you are going to do your DIY projects, make sure you plan to complete them EARLY in the planning process if possible. You don’t want to still have time consuming projects on your plate when you get down to two months or sooner before your wedding. Instead of trying to do too much, begin by choosing one or two “high impact” areas that you want to personalize. If you find yourself sitting around on a Saturday with nothing to do, you could always consider adding to your list.
- Not starting at the beginning. When starting out on a wedding planning adventure, a bride may have already fallen in love with a certain vendor or color or look and may immediately lock in a choice that will affect all other choices. This may work out ok, but the smarter thing to do is to start at the beginning. Lock down the big 3 first: budget, estimated guest list, and theme. Then immediately proceed to the biggest chunks of your wedding budget: venue, food, photographer and possibly decor/equipment. It will be easier then to determine how much you can afford for centerpieces or your floral arrangements once these are decided on.
- Letting details overwhelm you. It’s true that planning a wedding is a task composed of numerous details. But instead of being driven crazy by all the thoughts that swarm in your head, sometimes it’s best to seek a little professional advice. Having an expert put you on the right track can alleviate a lot of anxiety. If you know you will utilize the services of a wedding coordinator a month or two before the wedding, you can rest a little easier knowing a professional will be helping you pull together all the logistics at the end, while you focus on main tasks at hand.
- Impulse decision-making. It’s really important to stick to your budget and theme once you determine them. You will always fall in love with something pricey. When you go to try on wedding gowns or look at rings, someone will try to convince you to buy something out of the price range you determined. It’s best to be prepared and be armed with level-headedness when heading out to such vendor meetings or on wedding shopping excursions. If you can make room in your budget for the pricier item by cutting back on something else, great. If not, take at least a day or two to think it over, enough time for you become less emotional in your decision making.
Avoiding these pitfalls should help you to start planning your wedding with confidence and success. If you have any other tips, please feel free to comment and share.
When a couple first gets engaged, it’s pure bliss. Their minds instantly travel to that glorious day as they stand in front of their closest family and friends, pledging their undying love for one another as husband and wife. The only obstacle standing in their way? The wedding. Actually, the wedding day should not be thought of an obstacle, but when a couple decides to start planning their own wedding, it can be a daunting task.
It takes a special kind of bride to plan her own wedding. Not everyone has what it takes. And to be clear, I’m referring to a traditional wedding including the ceremony and reception, guests, food, dessert, music, etc. I wouldn’t recommend going completely solo, as this post explains, but if you do have what it takes, you can be that savvy bride who saves money for the honeymoon and furniture, and yet still shines on the stage of her own beautiful wedding day sprinkled with her personal style and creative touches.
Here are qualities that every bride needs heading into this endeavor:
- Time. You can not be under any delusion. Planning this kind of event requires time. If you do not have someone who can be devoted to this undertaking for several months, it will turn out to be less blissful and more stressful that what you anticipated.
- Organization. You need training and quality tools for the task at hand. General planning checklists you find on-line won’t cut it. You can consider this blog one of your tools but you will need a few more which I will cover in detail in future posts.
- Decisiveness. One of the biggest blessings of planning in a wedding in this day and age is the overwhelming amount of wedding planning information, ideas, & inspiration available via the web. That’s also one of the biggest curses if you like everything you see! You must be a bride who can thoroughly research options, find what speaks to you, and then stick to it. You must avoid being a Pinterest victim, which I will discuss in future posts. Decisiveness also applies to the ability to decide on a budget and stick to it, no matter what those higher priced temptations are that may be calling your name.
- Resourcefulness. This quality includes the ability to know the right places and right sources for the information you need, and the ability to adapt the ideas you find to fit your wedding, your budget, etc. I hope to share in future posts some of the best resources for planning.
- Style. Professional wedding planners will guide the process in developing a style and theme for the wedding that ties all the elements of the day together. As a DIY planner, you must do the same. You will not have the wealth of experience and resources at your fingertips that a professional planner will have, which is why you must rely on tools (#2), the proper internet resources (#4) and the ability to come to a decision (#3) without trying to do too much or mix in every adorable idea you come across. Without a style and theme, you will not be able to hone in on exactly what you need while dismissing those wonderful ideas that simply don’t fit.
- Discipline. You will need to set goals over the course of your planning months and achieve those monthly goals so you aren’t stressed out by too much to do at the end. Procrastination will not work. You must discipline yourself to do what needs to be done, while still making sure you have time for that Friday night date with your fiancee. After all, you are getting married!
So, if all these describe you, then you just might have what it takes to begin your own wedding planning journey. Please understand I wouldn’t recommend anyone try to finish the journey going solo if at all possible. It’s really not a luxury to join forces with a good day-of-wedding coordinator – it’s practically essential for most weddings. And coordinators that step in to the rescue during the last month or two are worth their weight in gold, because no one can anticipate all the details which must be accounted and planned for when you’ve never planned a wedding before. Besides, you will have to turn over the controls to someone else anyway to run the show on the day, and who better than a pro who can identify loose ends, tie everything together and execute the plan? That way you can switch back to being the bride and enjoy every moment of your most special day!