Planning a wedding is one of the most exciting and rewarding things a person will ever do, but it is also one of the most stressful. As a wedding coordinator I see all of the excitement and frustrations that a bride goes through. The following is a list of tips that I give brides that I work with. We have found them very helpful, and I believe you will too.
1. Start planning as early as possible.
Places and service providers are booked earlier and earlier each year. So to insure that you get exactly what you want, start early. It also gives you plenty of time to find investigate other options if your first choice does not work out.
2. Know your service providers.
The reputation of the service providers you choose is of the utmost importance. Avoid unpleasant surprises on the day of your wedding by selecting service providers with impeccable records.
3. Put everything in writing.
When you book your service providers, anything that you discuss, including special arrangements or deals, that you want included in your package for the quoted price make certain is written in the contract. People can’t remember promises they made to you a year ago verbally, so make sure all the details are written in the signed contract.
4. Be organized.
In order to avoid feeling overwhelmed by the number of tasks ahead of you, stay organized. Make an action plan by week of what you are going to do, and keep track of progress. This will help you to keep your thoughts and plans in order.
5. Pursue proper etiquette.
Following proper etiquette has two advantages. Firstly, you will avoid embarrassing social blunders that can ruin your most special day. Secondly, since weddings are an emotional event for everyone involved, not just the bride and groom, it is important to keep all relevant parties happy and excited. By following the proper rules of etiquette you can never go wrong. People cannot argue with what is right!
6. Invite people to participate in your wedding party because they care about you, not out of obligation.
I can’t tell you how often a bride asks someone to be in her wedding out of obligation, and is only frustrated by that individual’s lack of interest and participation. This is the one of the most important days of your life. Only involve people who genuinely share in your happiness and love. If they don’t, there is no way they can behave the way you might expect them to. It is impossible.
7. Watch your budget.
It is very easy to get drawn into spending more on your wedding than you planned or may be able to. There are so many wonderful choices available to brides that you should not have to put yourself in debt to have the wedding you want. If you start out with a budget, stick to it and find alternatives that allow you to do that. You do not want to start your new life with your partner paying off wedding bills for years to come!
Knowing how to compromise will save a lot of stress through the planning process. You, your groom, and families all should enjoy the wedding and be proud of it. While the bride and groom should do what makes them happy, be open to suggestions and sensitive to the feelings of those around you. If you disagree with their recommendations, speak about it calmly and diplomatically until an understanding is reached. It will make the day more enjoyable for all!
9. Confirm and follow-up.
Make sure as the date gets closer, about 2 months before, that you follow-up with your service providers such as the band, limos, photographer, florist, and videographer to confirm your arrangements, provide any last minute instructions, and reiterate timing of all activities. It will make you feel secure and will insure that they understand your expectations.
10. Relax and enjoy!
It is a fun, happy, beautiful time. Do not let the planning process mask that for you. Take moments to step back and enjoy what is happening. Especially the day of your wedding, just enjoy it. At that point, you have done all you can and it is in the hands of the trustworthy people you have hired.
By Karen Bentley
Bentley Event Coordinators, LLC