Okay, I need to confess. I love this job but it has one side-effect. And that is I cannot help but to critique when I attend weddings as a guest. Here I’m seating at the pew thinking to myself, ‘Lily! Don’t look at the centerpieces figuring out which vendor they chose, just enjoy and bless their marriage! But here I am, looking at all the details and critiquing every aspect of the wedding and I’m making a mental note on my head what was good and what was bad. OMG~!! Yeah.. I know but I just can’t help it.
Anyways, as I have been to many weddings, here are some mistakes you can avoid while planning yours.
1) Don’t think that your work is done once you’ve chosen your vendors and have signed the contracts with them. You’re only half way done. I don’t want you to be too discouraged as if your many months of searching for the vendors was for nothing! Good job! I just want you to make sure you have everything in paper, even the small changes here and there, you need to confirm with the vendors at least twice! Even if you need to bother them… Do so. I’ve seen some vendors totally ignore the bride’s wish on floral arrangements and went with whatever was convenient for them.
2) When you assign your friends to help out with the wedding, (for example, slideshow, or video presentation) make sure you review the work at least 2 weeks before the wedding. That way, they’ll have time to revise it. You simply can’t expect them to know what you’re thinking and expect a quality work! It’s always good to have a list of job descriptions for the helpers and what time they need to arrive in prior to your wedding.
3) Don’t let your money go down the drain. Sure, there are a lot of costs associated with a wedding, but overspending can be avoided if you have a budget and stick to it. Don’t let people who are looking to make a profit off of you talk you into spending more than you’re comfortable with.
4) Don’t get too caught up with planning the wedding that you miss what’s most important to you! Keep in mind that you are getting married and starting a life together, not just planning a wedding. Some tension between the two of you is inevitable, but don’t ever let things get out of control. I know how sensitive you can get when the days are approaching, but make sure both of you have fully discussed your future plans and resolve any issue that might come up again during marriage. (I would definitely recommend taking pre-marital counseling to seek a professional advice)
5) Don’t expect everything will flow just as you’ve imagined. There will be unexpected trouble shoots and miscommunication, so you ABSOLUTELY need to designate one person to oversee your wedding. If you cannot afford a wedding coordinator, then make sure the person you’re designating knows every detail of your wedding schedule! (this person should attend rehearsal)
6) Don’t try to DO too much! what I mean by that is, keep the ceremony short and sweet! the reception, fun and entertaining! Yes… the wedding is about You! But you need to also ask yourself, ‘who are my guests?’ If you have way too many adults, keep the reception short and have a 2nd reception with your friends afterwards. Don’t make the ceremony/reception hour way too long and make your guests wait.
7) Just because you get a good deal doesn’t mean you will receive a quality work. For example, a lot of photographers these days offer Casual, Formal & ‘The Day Of’ photography for less than $2,000 but this never means that they’re good at taking candid, detailed,& creative shots. You need a photographer who can take good shots on the day of the wedding! Don’t be deceived by their free offers such as parents album with unlimited proofs and what not.
8 ) If you’re having a reception at church, don’t even bother to do RSVP! It’s just a waste of postage and time. Guest will seat wherever they want to if the wedding is at church with buffet-style. It’s just a reality! If the wedding is at a hotel, then make sure you have one usher per 30 guests to guide their seating.
9) Make sure to thank the guests and all the helpers! The earlier the better! I’ve been helping out with weddings since my college years (back then, I wasn’t getting paid or anything) but I couldn’t help but to feel this sense of being used when the bride and groom didn’t appreciate me for what I did. Not that I was expecting a lot, but a simple appreciation word/gift will be nice.
10) And last but not least, don’t pick a bad time of day/month for weather– Of course, you can still have a good time if it’s raining or windy…but one of the worst mistakes brides can make is to plan a wedding outdoors in the heat of the day (1pm-4pm), in April/May/June. I’ve seen many weddings made insufferable by outdoor heat…. Obviously, if it’s indoors, make sure there will be sufficient air conditioning. If you’re planning an outdoor wedding and that date there is a slight possibility of rain, research getting a tent beforehand, so you won’t be a frazzled if it happens.
(as usual) Stay tuned for more updates. . .