What to Expect When You’re Planning A Wedding
When I was pregnant with my first child, I remember my sister getting me the “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” and I read it voraciously, zipping through chapters, giggling at the stories and anticipating the milestones ahead. I was recently thinking that brides could really use some sort of guide like that for planning their weddings, because it is not all puppies and rainbows, luxeling.
Take Whatever You Think Something Should Cost…and Multiply it By 3. Brides get sticker shock BIG TIME when it comes to things like decor and food. I have heard some say “It’s just roses” or “It’s just food”. It’s never just anything when it comes to weddings. You are paying for the product, yes; but you are also paying for your wedding professional’s time, skill and creativity. No, these aren’t your supermarket’s flowers– that cost $9 for a bouquet of roses. These are gorgeous florals that have to be processed, cut, wrapped, positioned and designed to create what you want. The same thing goes with photography! I’ve ranted on and on about why photography is so important, so I won’t carry on. But I will say this: it is so much more than someone “showing up” on your wedding day to take photos.
It’s Nothing Like What You See on TV or on the Blogs. Styled Shoots and Wedding stories on reality TV are heavily designed but also heavily comp’ed. Don’t compare your wedding to those that you see on blogs or TV and feel bad about what you’re doing with your wedding. It’s completely okay to garner inspiration from these places. Make sure you keep it into perspective and in correlation with your budget. If you find something that you absolutely must have– splurge on it, but make sure it is complementary to everything else that you have.
Be Prepared to Spend Some Money…Before Any Work is Done. Lawyers (and most wedding professionals should) call it a retainer. A retainer is a non-refundable payment to reserve space for your event on the wedding professional’s calendar. Any work done between the date you book and your next payment will be deducted from that payment. Why is that? Well, sweetling, there are only 52 weeks in a year, which all only have one Saturday. Most wedding professionals do not want to work each Saturday, so they have blackout dates, which makes their availability even more complex and crucial. Since many brides are going to be vying for the same date, typically it’s first come, first served with whomever gets their retainer into the vendor first. You need not worry about anyone running off with your money, as you are working with professionals. But you can fully expect to pay a retainer to hold your date and please don’t balk at it being non-refundable. In the event that you cancel your wedding or your services with the the vendor, they have possibly turned down other events because they have committed to yours. Your retainer helps them recoup some of those losses.
No One Is Going To Care About Your Wedding As Much As You Do. If that comes across as harsh, I don’t mean for it to come across that way. This is your wedding– the day that you have dreamed of all of your life that is special to both of your families. To some of your friends it’s just another celebration and for some of your vendors, it’s another event within the season. While we enjoy and love our clients– it’s not just the personalities that we have to take care of, it’s logistics, payments, details, budgets, and more. It is not personal that your vendors don’t get as excited about your wedding, but it is important that they are excited and look forward to putting forth an awesome event.
It’s Not Going to Always Go Your Way. Some things aren’t available in your season, some things aren’t going to be in your financial comfort zone. Vendors will not respond as quickly as you would like or say the things you would like them to say. A majority of the time, though, you will enjoy your wedding planning process if you are have a good team of professionals in your corner. Even with your bridesmaids– they may argue about the color or style of the dress, your groom may not be as involved as you want, but I promise, it will all work out. Just reevaluate your approach and if you need to express your expectations a bit better to vendors and friends, certainly do so and make sure it is something everyone can be happy with.
It’s Going to Be Beautiful. No matter what you may encounter in your engagement with your vendors and family or even little things that will happen that aren’t planned, your wedding will be beautiful. See the bigger picture and realize this is the beginning of your marriage and enjoy the small moments that make everything worthwhile.
I am sure some of my wedding planning friends and former brides will have lots to say on this subject, so please share your wisdom!