Planning a wedding can be the most amazing time of your life, it is a romantic and special time in which you and your partner get to spend time preparing a wonderful event in which to celebrate your love in front of your friends and family. But if you’re busy working, running a family or with other things it can also be difficult to get anything done in a timely manner or at all which may become stressful. so here are a few tips to make things a little easier for you........to create a wonderful experience for you and your guest, as well as to give you some breathing room so you and your partner do not get to overwhelmed with the planning process..
Make It Personal
From your choice of flowers to your choice of a starter, every decision should be a personal one for you the couple. When you go to a venue, the coordinators takes you and shows you around, ‘This is the ballroom and every bride has her photo taken here, you have your ceremony here’. But if you have two brides who both have their weddings in the same venue, you’re essentially having the same wedding, just with different people. I thought, there needs to be a way to make this personal, which is what I bring to every single wedding that I do.
My focus is very much understanding the wedding couple and being sure that I’m able to not just put an amazing day together, but an amazing day that is just so personal for them and their family.
Create an Experience
Making people feel welcome, considered, and entertained are the key elements of luxury planning that can be easily transferred, whatever your budget. I think it’s looking at the details and the organization, and making sure that you understand the process, basically put yourself in your guests shoes and look at every element of the day, and every area they are going to have interactions with, and how do you want that to look. Is there anything that you can do at each of those areas which will make it more of an experience. And that doesn’t have to take so much of your time or so much of your budget. It can be as simple as a little note or sign, or something you can do in advance.
Feast of the Senses
From scented candles to delicious canapés, your wedding is a series of opportunities to treat your guests to fabulous sounds, sights and smells. A wedding is a production, it’s a huge production. Look at the day, or the weekend, and every separate element is a different act. For each act you have to look at the elements and the components that fall into play.
Whether it’s the food or the entertainment, for me, it’s everything that touches the senses, look, feel, sound, smell, they all come into play. It’s the attention to detail. Say for example the escort card experience, that people are there to greet rather than people having to pile in and crouch to find their table. It’s that touch, that element of experience that people in the luxury end want, for every single element of the day.
There is No “Most Important” Element
When you’re planning your budget for the day, and you think, ‘Well I really want to spend my money on the main course because that’s important to me, and that will be so impressive.’ But if you’ve left out the canapés and everyone’s been standing around in 90 degree heat for three hours, they’re not going to remember that that main course was amazing, they’re going to remember that they stood around waiting for food and drink. So when people ask me, ‘Is this important?’, I turn it around, ‘If you were at this wedding, would it be important to you?
Think About Your Timeline
Create a timeline or checklist for your wedding, but don’t just copy one from the internet, cater it for your needs, both for the lead-up and on the day itself. If you look at 12 months out, and you’re planning your wedding in six weeks, you’re going to go crazy. So part of the service that we’re hoping to launch is a bespoke checklist, so you tell us when your wedding is, how many guests, what your expectation is, and how long you have, and we’ll tell you what to do each month and how to divide the time. On the day itself, you have people managing and coordinating everything to ensure that every element is ready to go when it’s supposed to.
You need to look at the timeline and ensure there’s a flow. What you don’t want is people sitting around for an hour and a half while you’re off getting photos.
Take a Week (Or Two!) Off
We shuttered when we heard this one, but it makes sense! If you’re planning your own wedding, don’t schedule anything to do in the last two weeks. I say two weeks, but at least a week! The last thing you want to do is to be stressing out about tying ribbons on something, when you could have had that done a month in advance. You want to enjoy it! I always say, the week before a wedding, completely let go. Be reassured that anything you possible could have done, is done, and accept the fact that if any element is not perfect, (can I say that!?), the likelihood is that the only person who’s going to notice is you. But I know that’s a very difficult thing to do!
There Are Some Things Money Can’t Buy
Believe it or not, even a wedding that costs hundreds of thousands of dollars is nothing without the right atmosphere. The thing that money can’t buy is the atmosphere, from the guests to the experience, and at the end of the day, the best weddings are not about the ones where the most money was spent, they’re the ones where the wedding couple were both happy, and smiling the entire time.
I did a wedding last summer, and it was the best wedding I ever did because I’ve never seen a couple so happy in my life. I’ve never seen guests so happy and appreciative. Even the staff were coming up to me from the venue saying that this was the best wedding they’d ever seen, when you get those comments on site, on the day, you know it’s a good event. The couple just let go, they never asked for anything, they never once demanded anything, they just showed up, played their role perfectly and had the time of their lives. And everybody felt it.
Always Keep Your Game Face
As a wedding planner who’s had her fair share of behind-the-scenes drama. The key to keeping calm is holding your game face, and knowing what you can (and can’t!) control. If I’m walking around and I’m looking stressed, people will wonder what’s going on, they’ll start to look for something. I will never let on if there’s anything wrong behind the scenes, I will smile like everything is great! Once, I had a wedding and the venue had an unexplainable power outage, to the point where I was literally five minutes away from moving the entire wedding to another venue. And the wedding couple never knew, to this day, they still don’t know they were this close to it being moved.
But when something like that happens, we go into a mode where, ‘Okay, what are the options, what can I control, and what can’t I control?’ You always have a Plan B for the elements you’ve planned for. But a florist and a production team setting up by candlelight in a venue where you don’t even know if you’ll have to take everything down again and ship it off in a hurry, you don’t plan for that. That was the closest call, I've ever had!
Be Decisive (And Set Deadlines)
Be confident in your decisions and set a deadlines for every one, so you can move on to the next stage of planning. I can deal with a power outage five minutes before the wedding, but I think the biggest challenge is people who can’t make decisions, or make them, then change their mind! My philosophy is, if it’s possible to change something and we have the time to change, then we’ll do it, but at the end of the day, I clearly establish decision-making timelines, not because I’m being firm or directive, but because if we’ve said we’ll make a decision on flowers this week, we have all these other things to decide on next week, and even more the week after that. The last thing you want to do two weeks before your wedding is be finalizng flowers, or worse, changing florists.
Both Brides & Grooms Are Important
Don’t leave your other half out of the planning, from my experience, grooms and brides (for the LGBT couples) are just as eager to join in. I find brides/grooms are much more interested and involved now, than they even were a couple of years ago. They make a lot of the decisions. Of my last five weddings, three of the couples were both involved, one of which was even more involved, than than their other half. Sometimes that depends on the age, if they’re in their 30s, 40s or 50s, it’s more about the experience for them, they want to know what’s going on, they want to look good, they want a say. The food and beverage side is particularly important and so is the grooming.
Watch Out For Trends
Trends can be gorgeous, as long as they mean something to you. When it comes to wedding planning, don’t be a dedicated follower of fashion. The thing you need to be careful with trends is that it's just a fad? Is it something you’ll want to look back on 10, 20, 50 years from now, and will you want to show your children? When they ask about it, you don’t want to say, ‘Oh, it was because there was this movie out!’ If it’s personal and it’s important to you, then go for it!
Look After Your Suppliers
One of my top tips for planning (and something I find many couples overlook) is to look after your vendors on the day. That’s something I always, always stress with clients, that the people that we’re hiring, we need to make sure we take care of them. It will effect their production on the day. Your photographer, for example, if he’s there for ten hours on the day, he needs a hot meal, and if he has a hot meal, he’ll do a much better job.
If you focus on that, and simply let go and enjoy yourself, then you can create the most fabulous wedding, whatever your budget. For more information on the services we provide contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 321-201-8326