Planning your wedding can be fun, exhausting, exhilarating, stressful, exciting and frustrating. Here are 20 tips that you should never do whilst planning the party of the year.
1.) Never book any venue without seeing it. My only exception to this is if you have a wedding planner working your behalf and doing the scouting for you.
2.) Never work with any vendor without a contract. Ever. This includes Aunt Jan and Uncle Marty. Contracts put everyone’s expectations and obligations on paper.
3.) Never start planning or interviewing vendors without a budget. You will waste your time and the time of the vendors you meet. Whenever a potential client says “There is no budget” or something similar, they are not impressed. The red flags go up.
4.) Never start your wedding planning in the “middle”. In other words, start at the beginning and work your way down with tasks and duties. Find a planning timeline to help you figure out where you should be in your planning process. Don’t start designing your floor plan when you haven’t chosen a venue.
5.) Never be afraid to speak up with your vendors. If you have questions or concerns, ask while changes can still be made as opposed to being stuck with something you will regret on your wedding day.
6.) Never take your family and friends for granted. Using the “But it’s my wedding” carte blanche will get very old, very fast. Your bridesmaids and groomsmen will spend a small fortune to participate in your day. Please treat them nicely.
7.) Never believe anything you see on the wedding shows. Ever.
8.) Never choose a dress under the condition you will lose weight to fit in it later. Stress eating is a huge monster during wedding planning. It is easier to take a dress in than it is to let it out.
9.) Never forget what you are planning for—your wedding, which is the birth of your marriage. I encourage you to plaster pictures all over your planning binder of you and your honey. That is your motivation.
10.) Never pick a vendor that has poor communication skills or makes you feel silly, “cheap”, "spoiled, or otherwise about your choices. Period.
11.) Never put your registry information on or with your invitation. Times may have changed and “some” etiquette rules can be bent. I don’t feel this is one of them. You do not want people to feel like there is a cover charge for your wedding. This information needs to be sent word of mouth, on your wedding website/newsletter or with your bridal/couple shower invite.
12.) Never choose a photographer with your budget solely in mind. This is the only thing that will preserve your memories for your special day. Please choose someone with style, talent and charisma so that you can remember your day fifty years from now as if it were yesterday.
13.) Never go to your catering tasting starving. Everything will taste good. You need to be discerning with mingling flavors and scents…and be able to appreciate them.
14.) Never go to your florist without a concept. There are several breeds of roses, lilies, and orchids. Your floral designer will be more than happy to provide you with inspiration, guidance and ideas, but you need to know where the destination is before you get in the car.
15.) Never assume a vendor’s “retainer” is the same as a deposit. A deposit is refundable. A retainer is not.
16.) Never think you will be able to make everyone happy with your decisions. Don’t try to make them all angry either. Ask for ideas, and find ways to incorporate everyone into the wedding. Nothing will make your FMIL beam brighter than to point at something and say "I picked that!”
17.) Never try to micromanage your day while wearing the gown. The day will be a blur anyway, it will go by so much faster (and harder) if you are playing the starring role and the director. Enjoy your day. Save your sanity. Please get a wedding coordinator. If you do, let her/him do her/his job.
18.) Never withhold the final payment from a vendor with the belief that this will pressure them to show up. If you have chosen to hire professionals for your wedding, this will never be an issue. The wedding industry thrives on reputation, and several vendors have reputations that precede them. Many have the philosophy if you do not pay them on the due date, they will not be there, and you will be without the vendor anyway.
19.) Never lose sight of the fact that you will have several hundred people at your wedding with different tastes and likes. While you cannot make them all happy, as a host, it is your job to make it enjoyable and comfortable. Remember this when it comes to design, location and food.
20.) Never forget to read this blog. (ok, I was really running low. Shameless plug over).