February 21, 2020
As wedding industry professionals (and brides ourselves), there are so many things we wished our brides knew. We work really hard to educate you guys and help you along your wedding planning journey! Wedding planning tips are essential! Through my bridal guide, many emails & phone chats, I hope that in some way I alleviate some of the stress by sharing what i’ve learned over the years. I asked my dear friend Rachel of Rachel Kelly Events to share some of her wisdom!
Naturally, you may want to jump right into planning and get that date that everyone keeps asking about! This is where hiring a planner first is a huge advantage. A planner will help you look at your total budget and set realistic budgets for each category of the wedding. The venue and catering is most likely the largest expense, so having a planner to ensure you are getting the most out of your venue and budget is incredibly helpful. Your planner will help you create a cohesive style and vision for your wedding, which starts with the venue. Take full advantage of your full-service planner and book before you decide on a venue!
Your core vendor team consists of your wedding planner, venue, catering company, florist, photographer, and DJ. These vendors will be in charge of the overall flow and aesthetic of your wedding day. Look closely at your photographer’s work, do they shoot details well or does it look rushed? Do you connect with the style of the editing? Does the DJ have a less is more approach or will they have a cheesy dialogue throughout the reception?
If you are deciding between a few of your favorite vendors, consult your planner or do some research on the vendors that frequently work at your venue. If your venue has a list of preferred vendors, you can refer to their portfolio or recent weddings to get an idea of their style. These vendors have an advantage because they are familiar with the layout, policies, and timeline of a typical wedding at that location.
Will you be having a first look? Will you be taking family formals before or after the ceremony? Are you planning on walking around the reception and greeting each table? These are important questions to discuss with your planner and photographer to start to layout how your day will be spent. Your wedding is only one day after all, so you want to get the most out of it! Without a planner, the timeline is often left solely to the wedding photographer which can create more stress for them and less time for them to capture your day. Having a planner ensures that each and every vendor are on the same page, are on time, and you are where you are supposed to be at every point during the day!
Pinterest is one of the sources I use to pull imagery from for design and inspiration but it definitely is not the only place. Pinterest can at times create unrealistic expectations for couples. Pinterest should serve as an inspiration for color palettes, themes, or other design elements. I hear a lot from various vendors seeing brides who want an exact replication of what they see online. This article from Washingtonian Magazine gives realistic costs for some of your favorite trends. Your vendors are experts and love what they do! Having an experienced and reputable vendor team allows you to work with them to come up with a design that is unique to you and realistic for your budget. Try to be conscious of overly trendy decor and instead focus on items that speak to your love story. Whether you want hanging floral chandeliers for your reception or for your makeup to be as on point as Kylie Jenner, your vendor team will use their industry knowledge and skills to create something that is perfect for you and your individual style!
Take a moment after you get engaged to think about what the most important aspects of the wedding day are to you and your fiancé. If you want to make the most out of the time you have with your friends and family, consider spanning the wedding activities over the entire weekend with a rehearsal dinner on Friday, the wedding Saturday, and a post-wedding brunch Sunday. If you really love dancing, ask your planner to help you find a really lively and experienced DJ to keep the party going. Maybe you want to incorporate your dog on your big day! Whatever the list may be, your wedding day should be a reflection of you as a couple. It is easy to get caught up in all the pretty details, but at the end of the day, this wedding is about your love for each other.