In a little less than 3 months one of my little sisters will tie the knot. I am so excited and happy for her and can’t wait for the wedding. We are now in the throws of wedding planning and while sometimes stressful it has been a blast for me. I have always said, that if I could do any job in the whole world, it would be wedding planning. I LOVE weddings and really enjoy getting into the knitty gritty of planning, coordinating and making decisions. Ironically enough I never had my own wedding, (I eloped but have no fear…..3 more years and we will do our ceremony) so I am so glad my sister has given me the opportunity to fulfill my wedding planner dreams and plan her wedding. With the help of my husband we’ve managed to finally nail down the “Country Chic” vibe and I think their day is going to be absolutely beautiful!!
Because the wedding is consuming so much of our time I will probably have a few posts on the pending nuptials so hopefully you all don’t get too bored. 😉
Since I have assisted with a few weddings in my day I thought I would share some tips that I have for anyone planning or helping plan a wedding.
1) When there is a limited and small budget, allow the bride and groom to each choose their most important “big ticket” item. I ask everyone this question, “What is the most important thing to you on the day of the wedding?” For most brides it’s the dress and for many grooms it’s the food/drinks/dancing etc. I then map out the budget and allow the highest percentage of money for those two requests. Money can be saved on every aspect of a wedding but it’s okay to splurge on the two most “important” things to the bride and groom. If they were able to go all out for those two items they are willing to spend less on everything else yet still have a beautiful wedding and be completely happy. Plus, they’re not starting off their new life together in a mountain of debt.
2) Gather ideas for all aspects of the wedding (i.e. decor, flowers, lighting, music etc) but go try on, decide and purchase all the clothing first. This may seem odd to some people but I have found that the clothing really sets the mood for the whole entire wedding. The wedding dress and bridal party attire is the main focus for most of the day so it is the one thing that ties all of the decor and lighting and music together. It’s harder to find a dress that would fit into a bunch of decor than it is to find decor that will work with the dress. There are also 2 different types of brides. Bride A has been thinking, dreaming and planning her wedding since she was old enough to walk. She knows exactly what she wants, she has a vision inside her head and she has the whole feel of the wedding down pat. Bride B has thought about her wedding but has really never known what she wanted, how it would all look and can’t really visualize the final picture. So another good reason to purchase clothing first is because it helps a Bride B to see the vision for the wedding. It gives them a more clear picture of the direction the wedding will take place. They can start to see how it will all come together and how each piece fits in with one another. My sister happens to be a Bride B (which is fine…by the way) and once we were able to get the dresses and the grooms wear the couple had a much better visual image of what they wanted. It’s like a light bulb goes off and it makes planning and making other decisions so much easier and less stressful for the bride and the planner.
3) When assembling the bridal party there is a certain etiquette that should be followed. If the bridal party is expected to pay half or all of their dress, shoes, hair and nails fee then that should be told to them from the beginning. You never want to have someone agree to be in the wedding and then enlighten them to the fact they may have to drop 200-400 dollars on your wedding. If they can’t financially afford it that puts them in a very awkward and difficult place to either have to go into debt or come back and refuse your offer after they have accepted. The bridal party should never feel embarrassed or awkward since they are helping you out and supporting you on your big day. It’s always best to just lay out the expectations and request before they even agree that way no one is left being blindsided at the end. By the way it is becoming increasingly more common for the bridal party to purchase their own dresses and shoes and take on that expense. Therefore, most girls and guys and know this and are willing but it’s still common courtesy to let them know so they can willingly take on that expense.
4) If you are the bride or the planner don’t get caught up in pleasing everyone. With any big event in life there will be a lot of people with a lot of opinions. Everyone has their own way of doing things, their own ideas about how things should look and their own deep rooted convictions on how small and simple or big and lavish a wedding should be. While everyone’s opinions can be respected, it is YOUR day. If you are paying for your wedding then you get to make it as big and lavish or as small as you want. If you try to please everyone then all the fun of planning will be sucked out and everything will become stressful. A stressful bride does not make good or informed decisions and certainly doesn’t want to spend her last few weeks as an unmarried beauty creating crows feet and pimples from stress. My advice is this…..If you are the bride and you are like Bride A and can plan and organize on your own then allow help but be the one who ultimately makes all the decisions. If you are more of a Bride B and require help then get a planner (professional, family or friend) and have them be the main decision maker. I don’t mean that they become the “bride” and take over your wedding but when there is conflict between the party or family or when the bride is struggling to make a decision allow the wedding planner to step in and make an executive “final answer.” This eases the tension and allows for less stress. The planner can field phone calls, schedule appointments and if need be can serve as the “bad guy” if things temporarily get a little crazy. (It is a wedding after all) 🙂
5) Get your man involved. This seems like a no brainer but often times women assume that men don’t care about weddings and forget to ask their opinion. Yes, when asked about flowers or linens or centerpieces men seem to turn into zombies with glazed over eyes and the latest commercial on TV about Advil seems to be like the 4th quarter of the Superbowl and they just can’t look away. So get your man involved in the aspects of the wedding they do actually care about. Men are great at picking out and selecting music, they always have an opinion when it comes to food and if you serve alcohol or have an open bar they can certainly give suggestions and input on that. The key is to not shut them down as soon as they spit out their first idea. A man is going to be hesitant to give his input at the beginning because it has been engrained in their heads that a wedding is all about the woman. So when they do finally say something stroke their egos a bit and let them open up. Even if you don’t go with every single idea they had it gave them the opportunity to share their thoughts and now an open line of communication has been formed. Plus, the man feels like maybe he can be involved in the planning process. Who knows, maybe a miracle will occur and he will actually have an opinion on a centerpiece!!!
So to all those planning a wedding or will have to in the near future……Stress less, enjoy and at the end of the day you get to marry your Prince Charming so smile, gorgeous!!!