As some of you may know, I recently tied the knot on Oct. 23rd with my now ‘husband’ Mark! Now that a few months have past since the big day, I’ve had some time to reflect on what I learned throughout the process and what I can share to hopefully help you brides-to-be have a smooth and happy pre-wedding process. The suggestions below include both my tips and my overall observations, most of what I hadn’t known prior to being an engaged lady myself. Even though I have spent 10 years now in the wedding industry, doing it yourself and planning your own wedding really does educate you so much more. I loved walking in a brides shoes for a day and now that it’s all said and done, I feel fortunate to not have even one regret. Enjoy my pointers below and feel free to reach out with any questions you may have leading up to your special day!
- Your initial thoughts on budget will most definitely change. Whatever amount of money you think your wedding will cost… think again. In this day and age, a lot of people are now getting married in their late 20’s and 30’s, so with that being said, by this point, a lot of us have the finances to pay for our own weddings. I know in some families it is still very traditional for the parents to foot the bill, however more and more I see a shift in that. With that being said, if you are paying for your wedding, tack on an extra $15,000-$20,000 to your initial thoughts of what you think your wedding will cost. If you budget for that extra money, you won’t be surprised in the end. With today’s Pinterest standards of what a wedding should look like, most brides find themselves wow’d by what everything adds up to cost.
- Understand that the style of dress you think you want will likely not be the one you choose. I probably tried on 50-60 dresses and went to every bridal shop imaginable prior to choosing the dress that felt the most like me. I initially thought I wanted a ball gown for all of the drama that a dress of that sort can offer, however after a ton of searching and hours of trying on dress after dress after dress, I ended up choosing a mermaid style dress that I would have NEVER thought I would have chosen. It’s important to know that if you are struggling with finding ‘the one’, be patient and wait for that ‘ah ha’ moment where your eyes tear up and you and your mom, bridesmaids and who ever else may be with you also feels the same. Patience is a virtue however do not settle until you find the one you can truly see yourself getting married in. My best advice = Opt for timeless elegance rather than whats on trend.
- Try your best to hire a floral and decor company that does BOTH. This will save you a ton of time, stress and money in the long haul. I have to say, hiring Rachel A. Clingen for my florals, decor and design of the ceremony and reception space really did make things SO much easier. I only had one contact person to deal with and I never had to worry about whether the pieces I had chosen from different companies would all work well together on the wedding day. There are a lot of companies that just do florals or just do decor, however having a company that offers both is truly a god send.
- Cut back on your bridal party. As much as it is a fun thought to think of having 6-10 bridesmaids surrounding you on your day, trust me when I say that the more bridesmaids you have, the more money you will have to spend, the more people you will have to make happy and perhaps the more stress it will cause. It isn’t easy to coordinate the schedules of that many people for things like dress shopping, bridal shower arranging, etc. so trust me when I say, LESS IS MORE. Choose the people that mean the most of you, will stand the test of time and that you see being a part of your lives forever. If they haven’t really spend time getting to know your fiancé, they probably aren’t the best choice. If they have a tendency to be loud, out-spoken, difficult to be around…also probably not the best choice. For our wedding, I chose a Man Of Honour who has been my best friend for over 15 years and my two cousins, who I know will be a part of my life forever. I left the rest of my friends out of it. When you keep it really small, you don’t hurt peoples feelings, you keep within budget and trust me, you’ll be happier in the end.
- Hire vendors who you trust and who you personally have a great rapport with. I was VERY picky about the vendors I chose. I have seen in the past 10 years of working weddings, that some vendors can be loud and obnoxious to be around the morning of your wedding. I see this the most from videographers and the odd photographer. You want to hire people that will be calm, relaxed, happy and supportive of you on a very nerve wracking day. Trust your gut and lean on those that your intuition tells you that you can trust. Also, be an investigator. You want to be sure they have amazing reviews and that other brides recommend them. Reputation is key for a wedding vendor and if they’re good, they will ensure to keep their clients happy. Weddingwire.com is an amazing source for investigating the reputations of the vendors you may want to hire.
With the tips and suggestions above, I hope you gained a little bit of insight into the wedding planning process. I will be sure to share a great deal more of what I’ve learned over the next year. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for specific tips or advice. I love helping brides-to-be have the happiest day of their lives.
Britt -Owner of Fancy Face Inc.