Top 10 Planning Tips for Weddings
Planning weddings can be both exciting and rewarding. Weddings can also be very stressful. As a wedding professional Alison has come to realise what makes a wedding a success, irrespective of budget or expense. Use her top ten tips as a starting point for your wedding planning...
1. Plan early. Start at least 8-10 months if your preferred wedding day is a Saturday in the summer or... choose another day or season for easier weddings with a 3-6 month lead-in time. There is high competition for services and wedding venues for summer Saturday weddings. Be creative with your scheduling and get a wider selection of wedding professionals to hire.
2. Know your service providers. Referrals work well as the reputation of the service providers you choose is important. Avoid unpleasant surprises on your wedding day by selecting professional service providers with a depth of experience. Emailing works great but close the deal by telephone with a written agreement to follow.
3. Get it in writing. Your quoted prices should include all the details as agreed. Verbal agreements at weddings get lost in the excitement.
4. Be methodical. Keep copious notes and plan achievable goals in a weekly task list. Revise your overall action plan regularly as you progress. When feeling overwhelmed midway look back to see all your successes to date. Weddings take lots of planning. (Elope if you are in a hurry).
5. Know your desired outcomes. Be clear as to the outcomes you want and articulate them well. People cannot please you if you do not know what you want. Wedding professionals create magic if they know what “works” for you.
6. Your social rules apply. You set the social boundaries for your event – not etiquette nor obligation. Invite exactly the people you want to your wedding and no more. Social obligations dampen many a special day. Choose to be surrounded by people who love and care for you. Opt only for the conventions that have meaning for you and create your own significant moments that work even better for you.
7. Prioritise your budget. It is very easy to spend large sums for weddings. There are so many wonderful choices available but many are secondary to your immediate wedding needs. Separate the “must haves” from the luxuries and your spending priorities become clearer. Do not go into to debt simply because of social obligation.
8. Tact. The bridal couple and their families should all enjoy the wedding and be proud of it. This means your being open to hear the expectations of those around you. If you disagree with their ideas, speak about it calmly and tactfully until an understanding is reached as to what will be in both yours and their interests. See Tip #6 if there is no agreement.
9. Confirmations. Follow up with a phone call or email 2-4 weeks prior with your service providers and confirm your prior arrangements, provide any additional instructions, and reiterate the wedding schedule and your desired outcomes. It will reassure you and assists the professionals in understanding your expectations. This is not the time for radical revision of weddings with anxious brides but rather a reassurance that all the key areas are covered. Weddings never go 100% to plan – the professional providers know this and as long as they know all your desired outcomes they make weddings flow seamlessly.
10. Relax and enjoy! Choose a strong Master of Ceremonies for the day that you trust and allow the M/C to liaise with all the wedding professionals for all that day. A well briefed M/C will allow you to enjoy your wedding for its full emotional significance. Do not let your “micro-managing" spoil an otherwise fun, happy, beautiful time. Take moments to step back and enjoy what is happening around you – smell the air, catch the view, focus on your partner-to-be, enjoy a flower. At a certain point, you have to let go, let others manage and entrust your wedding to the people you have chosen well to make you day flow beautifully.