The Planning Process


You said I do! Now what? I know right right? *Nervous laugh* To those who had a blast planning their wedding, they went on and started their own wedding planning consulting businesses, to the ones that dreaded the process, they either hired said wedding planner or were just happy it was done with. Who ever you are, you can’t escape the fact that wedding planning can be stressful and very time consuming. To help you in the beginning stages of this process, I have compiled seven essential tips for your reference. 

SEVEN ESSENTIAL PLANNING TIPS

1.     You need to have a set budget. This is key to making your planning process fun and easy. Too many couples spend major cash before they've created a wedding budget, or worse, they don't create one at all. Couples who don't budget, might book a venue that takes too much from the total budget. Before you buy a single item or book a vendor, you should sit down and determine your budget. Bride to be, don’t try on a dress, no matter how beautiful, if it’s three times the cost of your dress budget. And by all means, avoid shiny dresses, as they reflect colors badly on film. Opt for matte dresses for both you and your bridesmaids. 

2.     You could be tempted to a book a photographer whose packages are more in line with your budget rather than your aesthetic. Or perhaps you've fallen head-over-heals for a professional's portfolio of outdoor, natural light photos and haven't consider you're hosting an evening fĂȘte in a dimly lit ballroom. Instead of choosing a photographer based on price, ensure you're choosing a photographer that will deliver the types of images you're expecting for what you can afford. At the same time, plan a rough wedding day schedule before you meet your photographer.


3.     Don’t be afraid to contact vendors and find out as much information as you can. However, don’t give vendors the feeling you’re shopping around for the lowest price. There’s a reason prices are what they are, haggling them will only make them feel unappreciated and devalued. You want a team that’s ecstatic to work with you and these vendors will often go above and beyond for you. Just don’t rush into decisions, excitement can often lead to impulsive decisions you may regret later. To avoid heartaches, do your research and look at these decisions from a clear and level headed perspective. However, don’t overthink your decisions. It's very easy to overthink things and be paralyzed by fear, but if you've done your due diligence and checked out references, then trust your gut and go for it. Limit yourself to choosing between three vendors for each category, but don't let the search go on for an eternity. The consequences can really kill your spirit, and take the joy out of the planning process.

4.     Organizing your priorities is key to a successful wedding plan. Once you have your list of the most important things, you can give and take a little within the budget for other things. Keep in mind, if you spend too much on your venue, you may spend the rest of your budget penny-pinching and back-pedaling with lower end vendors, resulting with inferior goods and services. Hiring professionals will avoid disappointment and ensure a smooth day. A wedding is not the time for a friend to launch a new cake business or the time for your cousin to launch a photography career. It's best for you and your friendship, to politely decline your friend's offer to pose as a pro. 

5.     Don’t get too attached to something. If you have your heart set on a specific flower or have picked your color palette before your venue, you might be setting yourself up for disappointment. You might love peonies, but if you're getting married in September, it’s highly unlikely they'll be your wedding flower. Ditto for being hell-bent on a certain color, which could clash with your venue's overall natural look and feel, think of seasonal and pastel colors instead. Stay clear of being too specific and keep an open mind until you've at least locked in the basics.


6.     Wedding planning is intense, and can take a life of its own, impact your health, relationships, and your job, not to mention your mood. You could lose work hours to vendor phone calls and social schedules to wedding related meetings, especially if you were already busy before the planning process began. Be sure to schedule untouchable time for date nights, lunch breaks, and even a bubble bath, whatever will help you keep calm and collected during the planning process. 

7.     Snack on fruits throughout the wedding day and keep hydrated. You don’t want to overeat and feel bloated during the reception. This will prevent you from being grouchy and hungry during your wedding, which never translates well on photos. Most importantly, relax and enjoy your wedding. Absorb every minute of it, because it will go by in a flash! Remember, if something goes wrong or not as planned, no one will notice, unless you point it out.

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You might have noticed wedding planning can be reason for conflicts here and there. Many people tend to get involved, they mean well but, have only been to a handful of weddings so far. I have photographed and edited countless weddings over the years, and next to your wedding planner, I have gained valuable experience in the vast, fast paced, ever evolving, wedding industry. My advice comes from personal and professional experience, however, I’m by no means an expert in wedding planning. As what I have put together in this guide comes from the heart, my advice should not be the definitive guide to wedding planning.

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