You thought the hard part was over. You found the love of your life, the big question has been popped, and the bigger answer has been given. All that’s left is to be married and live happily ever after.
First, you have to get through the wedding. For those looking to make their wedding something memorable, Donaji at Event Professionals, who has 14 years of wedding planning experience under her belt, has some tips.
“What I thought was going to be a happy environment everyday, was not always the case,” she recalls. She found brides stressed out from doing all the planning themselves and mistakes happening during the wedding due to miscommunication and lack of organization. “So I felt if was necessary to start networking with various vendors and try to work in my own circle of professionals and found that it truly does take a team of professionals to have a successful event.”
Here are the top 10 things to consider for your wedding:
It’s important to have realistic goals while working within the budget you have. Start with knowing how much your parents, padrinos, madrinas, and you can afford. Only then can you start dividing your capital among your expenses like the church, dress, entertainment, reception, flowers, and more. This may mean compromising your vision of your wedding. Just remember not to sacrifice quality to save money. Instead, consider cutting your guest list in half for a more intimate wedding or renting the wedding dress instead of buying one.
2. Divide the Work
The bride can’t do everything herself. The two of you should consider assigning tasks for each other to research, like the food, the china, the flowers, and so on. Budget a day when the two of you can sit down and present your options and decide on which services and products to use. For the cases where you have to compare locations by visiting them, limit your visits to your top three choices to save time.
It’s important to have a clear idea of what you want for your wedding day in order to communicate those needs to vendors. Plan a theme. Decide on the season. Once it’s finalized, look for pictures or articles that describe your vision and show them to the vendors so that they know exactly what you want. The clearer you are upfront, the easier it will be to make your dreams come true.
4. Vendor Selection
Treat your wedding like your child and vendors like babysitters. Check their backgrounds, references, and services. Don’t feel pressured to book them on the same day. Shop around and compare prices. Just remember: saving money doesn’t mean sacrificing quality.
5. Time Management
Be prepared to have your wedding consume your life during the months leading up to it. There’s research, meetings, note-taking, and following up. Be realistic about your schedule. If there’s something you can’t cover, consider cutting it out or delegating it to someone. Most importantly, don’t procrastinate. The last thing you want is to be stressed during your wedding. Remember, this is a celebration!
6. Resource Organization
You’re not the first person in the world who’s gotten married before, so capitalize on the experience of others. Get yourself a wedding organizer or look online for wedding websites like www.theknot.com. Consider reading The Everything Wedding Organizer by Laura Morin, which covers every aspect of your Big Day. You should also create a binder for yourself with different sections to keep track of everything. Above all, write everything down! You’ll lose less sleep trying to remember every detail later.
Keep clear and continual communication between you and your spouse to be so that you’ll both be on the same page. Just as important, make sure you communicate with your vendors. Have them put their services down in writing. This way, you protect yourself and both sides know exactly what to expect out of the agreement.
8. The One Month Warning
Donaji calls this time the “final consultation meeting.” This is the time when all of your planning and organizing should start wrapping up. Menus should be finalized. Most of your RSVPs should be received. Final meetings with vendors should take place. Only a few things, like dress-fitting and manicures, should take place beyond this point.
9. Mental Preparation
Something is going to go wrong. It might be big. It might be small. But it’s going to happen. Be prepared to handle that. Don’t see it as a problem that ruins your day. See it as a challenge that allows you to be creative in your solution.
10. Professional Assistance
A wedding is a lot of work. By the end of all the planning and organizing, some couples adopt a “let’s just get this over with” mentality. Before you get to that point, why not hire someone to take some of the work off your shoulders? A wedding coordinator—sometimes called wedding planner, full-wedding planner, or wedding consultant—will take care of almost everything and can save you a lot of time and energy. Their services usually range from $2,500 to $4,500 and up. Alternatively, you might consider hiring a “day-of coordinator” that will meet with you a few times, confirm your vendors during the week of your wedding, and make sure your wedding day runs smoothly. Their services range roughly from $600 to $1,500. Whichever service you go with, just make sure to do the proper research on them. If they’re good, you won’t even know about any of the problems that arise during your wedding.
Donaji says, “I have made it my mission to help couples simplify the planning and make it more enjoyable and as affordable as possible. When I first opened up my company, I had a friend who also had his own business say to me, ‘If you treat your business casually, it will become a casualty.’ I find that it’s the same when planning a wedding.”