For this blog, I thought I would back track a little and give you tips and advice on how you can stay organized and simplify the planning of your wedding. I understand that you have never planned a wedding before and you are probably searching online on “how to plan a wedding,” – RIGHT? Take it from a coordinator that has planned many weddings and events, I know how stressful it can be! Here are some tips you can follow to make your planning process a little easier for you.
1. Assemble The Team – Decide who is going to be in your wedding party and delegate tasks to them, friends and professionals (the wedding coordinators especially). I highly advise that you leave the most important tasks to the professionals to handle and give the smaller tasks to the others. Who is part of the wedding party? It’s the bridesmaids, groomsmen, maid or matron of honor, best man, junior bridesmaids, ushers, flower girls, ring bearer and the parents. The people you choose obviously care a lot about you and probably won’t mind helping with these small tasks & will feel like part of the team (i.e. running errands, helping with a diy project, putting together party favors or invitations, go shopping to find essential items like the ring bearer pillow or flower girl basket, creating the seating charts, etc).
2. Hiring a wedding consultant is the #1 way of making your wedding planning process easier. Wedding consultants can do as much or as little as you wish them to – from helping out with referrals and ideas at the beginning to handling the entire affair. Consultants are a valuable source for find the best vendors just for YOU. They pride themselves on interpreting and creatively executing your vision. No matter what your budget is, there will always be a creative way to orchestrate the wedding you envision. The consultant can do this.
3. Stay organized. Over the months of planning you would have visited with many vendors, venues, stores, etc. That means you will accumulate lots of brochures, receipts, pictures and business cards. Be sure to purchase either a 3 ring binder or better yet, a wedding planner binder where you can keep all your wedding related items together. A pouch for the receipts is essential. If you plan on tearing out pages from magazines invest in a small 3 hole punch so you can place in the binder without being loose (or use clear pocket sheets). As a consultant, I use 3 ring binders for my full planning couples as well. I even have it tabbed in different categories. I recommend you do this as well in yours. Example: Vendors with sub categories of Florist, Photographer, Cake, Caterer, Venue, Invitations, Formal Wear, Entertainment, Hair/Makeup, Hotel, Transportation, Registry, etc. Other tabs could be Bridal Showers, Bachelorette/Bachelor Party, Wedding Party, Pictures, Inspirations, Receipts, etc.
4. DO NOT delete emails from your vendor correspondence. You need a paper trail of some sort. A contract with all the specifics is a must but having what was discussed in an email can be beneficial as well if later on they say they didn’t agree to that (and it wasn’t on the contract). You can then show them that they, in fact, agreed to that particular item. I recommend you create a folder in your email for, “Wedding” and then move all those emails into that folder. It will make it easier to find later on. If something was discussed in person or over the phone it is crucial that you get it in writing! I have a bride dealing with a venue right now that won’t pay for the linens that the couple says they agreed to at the initial consultation. Nothing was ever in writing about this so the venue will not agree to pay for the linens now. ALWAYS GET IT IN WRITING!
5. Lastly, I know money can be a touchy area but you need to discuss with those involved with paying for the wedding what they are willing to help with at the beginning of the planning process. This is so important because it will factor in what your budget will be and just how big or small your wedding can be. It will determine the type of vendors you can choose from, where you have your venue and what you can include. This is definitely going to simplify so much because you’ll know how to plan for everything. Something that I tell my couples the first time I meet with them is to just be aware that what you think something is going to cost probably will be more. They have never planned a wedding before and they just don’t know. As they start talking to the vendors they realize pretty quickly that it is going to cost them more than they originally thought. That’s when the list of most important to least important items for your wedding comes into play (I discussed that in my catering blog post). I just spoke to a bride that wants to have her wedding at a pricey venue for 150-200 guests with a $15,000 budget plus she wants me for her full planner. She asked if this was feasible. I honestly told her, “No,” she could not afford a full planning coordinator with that budget and at that venue. What I recommended to her was to look at other venues that were less pricey and to make the list. Creative thinking by me.
As a professional coordinator, I am very organized myself. You have to be when you are planning multiple weddings all at the same time. There is a lot to keep track especially when each couple is at different points of their planning process. If you need help simplifying and organizing your wedding I can help! Contact Trudy at 210-595-9263 or Trudy@RoyaltyEventsPlanning.com.