As I have stressed before, when it comes to planning weddings, knowing what you want is the most important decision. And being able to translate that vision into reality…is often a challenge.
As a couple, you must first convey that vision to each other to make sure you both share the same dream. Know what’s realistic and what can be placed on the back burner. Talk about money! Yes, we’re back to that darn budget (lol), but it’s like the difference between buying a Volkswagen, a Lexis, or Porsche, they all require different financial planning, and probably one or more conversations with your partner.
You can indeed have that beautiful wedding of your dream if you are smart and communicate with others what you want to achieve. So, who are these “others” Peter speaks of? They, my friend, would be “your vendors,” the lifeline of your wedding!
I say the same thing to all my couples planning a wedding, “it’s like having a part-time job or getting your masters degree.”
You must again discover what’s important to you and what you can live without. I create and execute events for a living. Whether it’s a corporate cocktail party for 50 or our Annual Gala fundraiser for 400, there is always a budget, a plan, and LOTS of conversations.
I coordinate and execute events with my team, who are just the best, and together we implement our plan. This means dissecting the event into separate components, deciding where and how much money to allocate, and what’s needed to create a fun, unique, and entertaining event that people would want to purchase a ticket to. So, in other words, your goal should be to create a beautiful celebration that all your friends and family would be willing to pay to come to see.
It all starts with the couple, a chart, and a wish list. Go old school and create a big pie chart. Start with the largest piece of the pie, the venue, and work your way down the line to catering, the bar, dress, music, flowers, photography, invites, and the list goes on…
Choose vendors you both trust and are comfortable working with.
Realize that it’s in the best interest of your vendors that your wedding goes well. This is what they do for a living and if your wedding looks good, they look good!
In respect to full disclosure, The Bryan Museum, as a venue is also considered a vendor. Like a VIP vendor, but a vendor none the less.
A wedding coordinator is also a vendor, so if you have one of those, by all means, they should be your “bestie” throughout this entire process. Communication with your wedding pros is of utmost importance. You need to be able to convey to them EXACTLY what you want on your wedding day. Don’t assume anything!
Keep a log of transmissions you have with your wedding planner and other vendors. I try to keep all conversations with my clients on the same email thread. I can simply scroll back down and view everything we’ve talked about.
Be direct with your vendors about what you want them to provide for you and how much you are willing to pay for that service. No one likes surprises, so have candid exchanges about realistic expectations, read your contracts carefully, and ask questions. I deal with vendors every day! They would rather have an “extra consult” with you to get things right!
We should all get what we pay for! Don’t expect things to “appear” when they were never included in the original plan. For example, that missing photobooth you “thought” was included, but never was. It’s a common occurrence with couples, they believe they are getting one thing, and get upset when they receive another. It’s never a pretty sight…
Don’t let wedding planning to overshadow your wonderful experience of being engaged! We all have a multitude of stress in our lives, and Mr. Covid19 is not helping, so try to direct your frustration towards solving the problem. Don’t get frustrated with each other, and definitely don’t get angry with me (lol). This should be a FUN & EXCITING time in your lives, so celebrate your engagement to the fullest.
My motto is, “it’s best to know, than not to,” and its meant to encourage you to ask lots of questions! Trust me, there is a lot of info to be learned, just take it slow and make notes!
A DJ will only know what songs you love if you give him an explicit list. A florist can only create the bouquet you want if given clear directions, photos, or even names of flowers. A photographer can’t possibly know who you went to first grade with, Aunt Martha, and your “absolute must-have photos” if you don’t go over all of that with them ahead of time.
I realize a lot of couples just don’t know the right questions to ask. 95% of you have never “built” a wedding before, so, logically, you need to spend a little more time dissecting the information and confirming the feedback. The other 5% of you, y’all should know better. (lol)
Remember you and your wedding partners are working towards the same goal – a joyous day to remember. I know I speak of planning a wedding like it’s taking the bar exam, but I take weddings seriously, and so do all the wedding experts I work with.
Remember the more you converse with all of us, the closer you get to achieving that magical vision. Communication is the key to many successful unions, none more important than your wedding!
Until next time, take care,