When you get engaged, it’s natural to get caught up in the excitement surrounding the thought of planning the wedding you’ve always dreamed of. However, with a wedding comes expectations, and constraints. It can be difficult to maintain a budget and your sanity while counting down to the big day. Hiring a planner is a hugely helpful way to ensure your vision comes together perfectly, and you stay on budget (maybe even save money!). Not to mention, you can actually enjoy your own big day instead of stressing! That said, planners can make the magic happen because this isn’t their first rodeo. They understand the ins and outs of planning a large scale event and what it takes. Today we’re laying out some important advice that wedding planners want you to know.
1) You shouldn’t DIY everything. While DIY is a nice way to add a personalized touch to a wedding and stay within budget, it’s not realistic to think that you and your bridesmaids are going to make center pieces, favors, decor, signage AND the napkin swans yourselves. You have enough on your plate, as does your bridal party. Setting out to do-it-yourself on every aspect of your wedding is setting yourself up for failure, and animosity from those you recruit to help at all hours of the night. Find an event rental company or event stylist that has on hand the items with the look you want to achieve. Renting is a good way to cut costs and ensure you get the vision you want.
2) On that note, limit your time on Pinterest. We said it. It creates unrealistic expectations, disjointed theme ideas and breeds copying, instead of trying to achieve an original event that reflects the couple. Unless you have an incredibly specific idea you’re looking for, such as lanterns lining the aisle, just limit your time on Pinterest. The stars in your eyes will fade when your planner points out that your wedding board is an eclectic mix of nautical decor, rustic venues and glam invite options. Strive for originality and cohesiveness. Apple Brides’ preferred vendor, Robyn of Red Letter Event Planning agrees. “Pinterest is a great resource for ideas, however it is also very overwhelming. It’s easy to pin something you like, but before you know it you have a wedding board full of pictures that are of other people’s weddings. It’s better to use Pinterest sparingly to develop your initial concept but then work with professionals like your planner or florist to refine your design so it reflects you.”
3) Have realistic expectations. Your wedding should be everything you’ve dreamed of, and your planner is there to help make that happen. However, they can only work in the constraints you give them. That beautiful flower wall you saw (on Pinterest) can not be achieved with the same grandeur for under $100. You don’t have time to DIY 300 favors and sleep. You can’t expect steak with a $10 per person catering budget. Planners help you achieve your wedding dreams, realistically.
4) In case you hadn’t figured it out yet and we have to spell it out, hire a planner! You’ve heard it before – do you really want your mother directing the caterers where to go while you’re getting ready, and your soon to be father-in-law cleaning up linens while everyone else celebrates your union? No. Friends and family are guests, and should be allowed to enjoy the day as such. The same goes for the bride and groom! You deserve to focus on the first look, not the first vendor to arrive. A planner is there to take care of all the logistics from inception to the “I do”s, so that you don’t have to worry. Mistakes will happen and things will go wrong. The beauty of it is that no one will know except you, your planner and maybe your groom. If there’s a cardinal rule of event planning, it’s to roll with the punches. Brides should take the same advice: if your florist shows up with ranunculus instead of peonies, or your bridesmaids have different earrings, no one will notice – unless you point out the mistake. So roll with it! Don’t sweat the small stuff. This day will be over before you know it, and wouldn’t you rather spend it relishing in the moment than yelling at someone?
5) Pick your big-ticket items. Too often brides want a $70,000 wedding on a $7,000 budget. It’s just not possible! You get what you pay for. One of the first questions a bride and groom should ask themselves when they begin the planning process is what is most important to them. For example, maybe it’s the venue and photographer. So plan to spend big bucks on those and scrimp in other areas. Unless you have an unlimited budget, you’ll have to pick your battles. Apple Brides’ preferred vendor Soiree Event Design notes the importance or prioritizing. “Looking at the overall budget is too much, you have to sit down and decided what’s top priority and what isn’t. Make a list of the items you need and one that you want. Learn to compromise, number your top priorities 1-10 (1 being lowest and 10 highest on your list) and have your significant other do the same then compare and execute. This is a good jumping off point when looking at the big picture. For example, if you both decide your photography is highest priority and favors are low on your list, skip the favors and go for the high quality photography. This is your day, decide what’s most important to you!” Every wedding, and couple, is unique. It’s important to find a planner that understands your vision, and you mesh with well. Each planner, and bride, has their own experiences and input to contribute to the wedding planning journey. When you combine the two, you get a truly remarkable event to signify the beginning of an even more remarkable chapter!