When you are just engaged and about to embark on the interesting, but challenging task of wedding planning, it’s funny how everyone seems to share wedding planning advice. Well, it is the first time you will be planning something of this magnitude, and so you deserve some well-intended help. You may obtain some very useful information, and then again there is the occasional chance of hearing something totally unexpected or even bizarre. Nevertheless, there are always some things that most brides wish they’d known while they were planning their wedding but had to tackle as an unexpected and usually challenge.
While it is impossible to foresee everything that will happen on your big day, it helps to prepare for whatever is possible. Plan for everything, collate all the information you can possibly obtain, and execute it with gusto—you can then enjoy every expected and unexpected challenge that wedding planning throws at you.
Here is a list of ten things that every soon-to-be bride should know before she starts wedding planning. Check it out.
Checklists are your friend
Wedding planning is a complex task, and you are probably doing it for the first time ever. There are hundreds of details to plan, tasks to handle and arrangements to make. It is only human to make errors and miss out on certain things when planning everything.
The easiest way to stay on track is to turn to checklists for help. Divide up every wedding aspect into an individual project and create checklists of tasks to be completed for each of them. This will help you organize your time better, sort out tasks based on their priority and most importantly, make sure that you do not miss anything when planning your wedding.
You can always take the trusted pen-and-paper route for planning your checklists, or if you are a tech-savvy bride, use a tool that will help you manage it efficiently. Evernote is a handy option to keep track and manage your lists with precision on your digital devices.
Now, for the checklists that you will require, you can find a comprehensive checklist on Real Simple. This is divided based on the time by which you should accomplish each task. You may also like to take a look at this interactive checklist on Brides.com. This can be customized to meet your individual needs.
When choosing vendors, only go with those you are most comfortable with
If there is one task that you have to research well, it is choosing your vendors. From your photographer to your florist, you will have several options. The important thing is to remember that none of them will be the same. In fact, they’ll each be as distinct as you can possibly expect. Every vendor is different in the way they approach their work, how they interact with customers and how experienced they are in handling specific tasks.
You will be interacting with your vendors a LOT! So, don’t make the mistake of settling for someone who you aren’t comfortable with, right from the start. The personality of the person you have to work with will affect the way you feel about that aspect of your wedding. So, dig a little deeper than just trying to get the cheapest deal. Don’t just go with what others have to say about the vendor you have shortlisted. Don’t hesitate to ask for portfolios, samples or explanations, as is necessary in each case. It is also wise if you do not make assumptions, but clarify your doubts outright, so you can be certain that you and your vendor are on the same page. If you feel that the vendor you speak to doesn’t understand your vision, or cuts you off by saying that what you want is impractical, don’t let it be and comply with what they have in mind instead. Keep looking. After all, it is your wedding and there will be someone who can get you what you want, or at least the closest to what you have in mind.
Don’t forego this part even if you are working with a friend or family as your wedding vendor. However close they may be to you, you do not want anything ruining your wedding. So, make sure that you are one hundred percent comfortable with the decision you make, and you will not regret it later.
Disagreements are a given evil
You will be touching on several details during your wedding planning, and it is only natural to hit a roadblock once in a while. You may disagree with your parents, partner, vendor or even bridesmaids on some factor or the other. Everyone will have expectations and opinions. Your maid-of-honour may condemn the colour you choose for the bridesmaid’s dresses or your friends may try to convince you that a DJ is a better choice than a live band. If your parents or to-be in-laws are paying for part of your wedding, it is only natural that they will expect to have a say in it. You may also have friends or relatives who may pressurize you into handing over a wedding task to them when you prefer hiring a professional for the same. There is no easy way out, and you should realize where to draw the line. Accept that there will be disagreements along the way, and you may have to reject suggestions that you simply cannot take.
It is impossible to please everyone, or you wouldn’t have the wedding YOU want! Be prepared to say No when necessary, and it will be a lot easier to handle. As a bride, one of the most difficult tasks is to recognize when it is more important to go with your choice and when it is another opinion that would be a better choice in that situation. Our article on “How to Handle it when others try to take over your wedding” should give you some advice on how to tackle tricky situations in the best possible way. Don’t worry about what others may think of your wedding decisions. Finally, you will regret it if everyone had their way, but you didn’t get to do anything you wanted to.
Plan to spend on the most important things
There is no rule book that specifies how should get married. Like we said earlier, you will hear suggestions and receive advice. Nevertheless, it is your wedding, and you should get to pick what is important, so this day is special for you. Split your budget accordingly, and splurge on the things that are most important to you. Don’t worry about the rest.
Think of what you will find most memorable about your wedding day. If it is where it will be held, set aside the greater part of your budget for the venue and décor. If it is how you look, it should be your wedding outfits and accessories. If both of you favourite food, make sure the wedding menu is given due importance. If you have a penchant for the finer details, it could be the smaller things like your tableware, party favours and statement pieces that you should focus on. Some couples prefer to spend a major part of their budget on the photographer. If fashion photography or elaborate scenic settings are what you want, so be it.
Your wedding planning is hard work, irrespective of the style you choose
Whether you plan to host a casual or a formal wedding, it will be hard work either way. Remember that even though you needn’t choose the classic centrepiece flower design if you are having a casual affair, you will still have to decide what you want instead. Every decision has to be yours, and every single aspect is arranged under your supervision. This simply means that you will need time, organization skills and effort to plan everything. We think wedding planning is a difficult task, as almost every married woman will agree. When you handle every aspect of it yourself, it becomes even more tedious. A wedding planner can relieve your stress to a considerable extent, and so every bride should at least consider a day-of planner to get some breathing space.
Wedding planners can direct you to the right vendors who can meet your requirements, and they can also follow up and ensure everything moves as per plan. This in itself, is a huge stress-buster. Nevertheless, there is always a point in time when a bride suddenly feels overwhelmed and tends to buckle under wedding planning stress. The best way out is to realize the extent of effort that goes in and be prepared for it. Time is a valuable entity, so make sure you have plenty of time and divide your tasks so you have sufficient bandwidth to complete them all on time. Also, don’t forget to catch much-wanted breaks, when you spend time away from everything that is wedding-related.
Everyone has their own interpretation of terms
Almost every term in wedding lingo is highly subjective. When you say romantic, you may have a colour palette with peach, gold and gray in mind. You may envision your wedding to be at a casual, romantic outdoor setting such as a resort or garden. At the same time, the same term may give your mother an entirely different idea. She may consider your getting married to your prince charming in fairy tale style romantic. She may expect it to be held in an elaborate ballroom setting, with a four-course plated meal to complete it in classic style. The same goes for your dress selection, choice of wedding cake, entertainment and almost every other aspect of your wedding.
In the world of weddings, a word that is thrown around a lot is “classic.” Take a look at this page on the Knot, with some Real classic wedding examples. You will soon see how one couple’s idea of classic, is entirely different from another. So, the term classic can mean anything by itself.
So, make sure that you elaborate on what you mean, wherever necessary. Specify what you mean, especially to your vendors, instead of using vague terms or those that are prone to varying interpretations. If you have pictures to convey your ideas, that is the best option of all. When the concerned person can see what you mean, there is no scope for confusion. You can thus be certain that you will get exactly what you envisioned.
You will have to spend a lot of time reading terms and conditions
Once you shortlist your vendors, it is necessary to sign contracts with all of them, so the terms and conditions of service are documented. This will ensure that both of you know what is expected and that it is done properly. Unfortunately, many couples simply sign the vendor contracts that are drawn up by the vendors themselves, without really going through them in detail. This can cause many unexpected hassles on the day of the wedding.
For example, you may not have noticed the part where your photographer’s contract mentions that you will have to pay extra for every extra hour he spends at your wedding, or that he will be available only for so many hours. Imagine running up a bill that goes beyond what you anticipated, or worse, not having a photographer for the crucial exit moment of your wedding!
Make sure that you read every single sentence on your vendor contract, and have it modified to meet your needs, so you actually get what you expected. If you are unclear about any of the terms, make sure to ask and clarify before approving it. You can always negotiate and discuss the terms and modify the contract before you sign it. This will save misunderstanding later, and also allow you to make alternate arrangements when required.
At Best for Bride, we can help you realize your vision of the perfect wedding and help you plan every single detail to perfection. Visit our store online and check out the various wedding services we offer. Trust us to make your wedding dreams come true