5 Steps to planning the perfect wedding.
So technically, I didn’t, I don’t…I mean I haven’t ever said I do; but what’s that expression? Those who can’t do teach?
Here’s why I am qualified to give wedding planning advice:
I’ve been a real live party/events planner for the past 15 years; and a wedding is basically a big event.
Before that, I was a hotel convention sales manager and dealt with many brides; but the job that most qualifies me to give wedding advice was my four year stint as a banquet waitress, while in University.
I seriously must have I worked hundreds and hundreds of weddings! And if I hear the song, “I knew the bride when she used to rock and roll”, one more time, I am going to lose my freaking mind!…oh and I was a bridesmaid twice; both friends are no longer married, but I hardly think I can be blamed for that?? (and they did result is some pretty amazing children!)
Here are my top 5 expert tips
What’s your vibe?
You need to decide what vibe you’re going for? Here’s a hint, if your DJ plays, “ I knew the bride when she used to rock and roll”, you have failed in creating a cool vibe, lol.
But seriously, before you start planning you need to do a bit of soul searching on what you and your mate want your wedding to be?
You’ll be surprised by how many decisions you’ll need to make and you’ll be shocked at how quickly things can snowball out of control, so you need a plan.
In order to help you figure out what’s your vibe, you need to decide what kind of bride you want to be? Are you a Princess Bride, a Hippie Bride, a Shy Bride or a Party Bride? Ok, I just made those up, but they are brilliant!
The Princess Bride wants to be…well a princess, obviously. She wants a full ballgown with 8 to 10 bridesmaids. If you want a Princess wedding, then don’t look at beachfront locations. Ballgowns and beach balls don’t mix.
Now if you’re a Hippie Bride a beach wedding with a flowy dress and flip flops are a perfect fit!
The photos below are of a Princess Bride in all her glory! The horse drawn carriage, the adorable flower girl and the castle.
The bride in the picture above is definitely a Party Bride. The most important thing to a her is to have fun. Her dress is fun, her shoes are fun; she’s literally dancing in the streets.
One of my cousins is a Shy Bride, she knows her vibe and is owning it. She doesn’t want to be on display or be gawked at, which is the princess bride’s dream.
Knowing this she has planned a super small fall wedding in a rustic cabin. No head table and no fussiness, oh and she is bringing her dog and I am pretty sure she and her dog will have a matching dresses, lol.
Adding your own quirkiness to your big day is endearing. The trick is to know your vibe and keep it consistent.
I absolutely love this picture above of my friend Stacey on her wedding day getting her glam on. I love it because, this is Stacey’s vibe. She’s always calm cool and collected. There’s no need for a big entourage and no drama. FYI, she is still happily married; I wasn’t a bridesmaid.
Show me the money honey!
Weddings are expensive!! So before you start making plans and spending money, you need a plan. You need to list out what’s important to you and what’s not.
Here’s an idea, right off the bat. What if you could take an extra few thousand dollars from your wedding and spend it on your engagement ring? Since it’s something that you will wear everyday and have forever; as opposed to something that will be over in a day?? Just a thought.
Now if you’re a Princess Bride, there is nothing I can say to you that will sway you away from all the bells and whistles; and if that’s what you want, then go for it!
For those who are more budget conscious, you need to list out your priorities. If I was planning my own wedding, I would spend money on my dress and the photographer. I would skimp on other things in order to stay within my budget.
There are things that I would skip altogether, like wedding favors and the grooms cake; and here’s why. Now, full disclosure, when I throw parties, I always have a party favor, but, and this is a big but, I host small gathering so I buy nice favors. If yo can’t afford a nice favor, maybe just skip it? Also a lot of wedding parties make their own favors, which is very sweet, but depending on what it is, you may want to focus your energy on other things?
While working as a banquet waitress, I will tell you that more than 50% of your party favors end up being left behind and thrown out; same thing with the grooms cake?
Let’s just say that a grooms cake is out of fashion anyway and move on. If you have your heart set on having a wedding favor, go with a bottles of wine or home made jams or something like that. I am going to be harsh here, but the only people who want something with your face or your initials on it is your mother and your crazy aunt Carol.
You may also want to revisit your wedding cake. I would get an amazing looking cake, but it would be a small cake for you to cut in the photos and take home with you. If you are doing a full meal, your guests are going to be too full for cake by the time it’s served.
Or do cupcakes or donuts, something a bit different that people will remember. If you do want to serve cake, get a big slab and have the venue serve your guests.
Fun fact; did you know that some wedding cakes are fake?? Those big fancy cakes that you see couples cutting, some are just one layer of real cake and the others are foam covered with icing. Why spend hundreds of dollars on a fake cake?
Another great way to save money is to select an amazing looking venue so that you don’t have to spend lots of money on decorations. And here’s a question to ask yourself when deciding if you should spend the money or skip it? Will your aunt Carol remember it in a year?
If budget wasn’t a concern you could have huge overflowing flowery centerpieces on each table a la Kardashian. But just modest flowers on every table in a large wedding is going to cost you thousands of dollars without making a huge impact. Now let’s ask the question; will aunt Carol be able to remember what type of flowers were at her table in a year? The answer is no! So why not boost up and spend a bit more money on your bouquet and skip the table flowers? Candles are less expensive and create a cozy mood.
It’s also worth exploring a different kind of wedding. A former coworker of mine has opened an amazingly brilliant business. They do pop up weddings, elopements and engagements and they are spectacular!! You need to check out their website: https://www.thehytch.com/ and follow them on Facebook, (The Hytch) and Insta, (thehytch).
The locations are breathtaking, the pictures are soooooo pretty! They currently offer pop up weddings, renewals and engagements in Reno, Lake Tahoe and Denver.
Be prepared to be blown away by crazy beautiful wedding photos, all provided by The Hytch. These are real couples and real weddings. I feel like I need to add that because they are so Instagrammable, they look staged.
I am going to show the picture above to my cousin Brigitte, she is going to love this idea.
This is definitely the kind of wedding I would want. I would want a winter wedding…maybe I should book it for 2020? Yeah, that should give me enough time to find the perfect man right??!!
I think it’s possible to have an amazing chic wedding on a limited budget, you made need to think outside of the box? And maybe as you get older your priorities change? But a small intimate wedding seems like are a better choice then spending a down payment on a house on a wedding; but that’s just me, you do you!
Know your limitations
Do you get stressed out hosting a dinner party for 8? If so, you might not have what it takes to execute the perfect wedding by yourself? And that’s ok; know your strengths and be real about your limitations.
Get a wedding planner or recruit your friends and family. If you are asking friends and family members to help you, give them specific tasks and don’t overload one person, spread it out! If you aren’t paying them, you need to be nice and thankful!!
You can also lean on your venue manager to help with centerpieces and a few other tasks…within reason.
One thing you should never do is be setting up your own reception in your wedding dress! If you can’t get in your venue the day before, delegate, delegate, delegate! I have seen brides blowing up balloons for an arch while all made up and in their dresses. Don’t do it!!!
By show up, I mean, be present. It’s a big day with lots going on. You will be running on excitement, nerves and adrenaline. You have been working on this day for months and have spent a lot of money; you need to make a conscious effort to stop and enjoy your day.
You also need to eat and stay hydrated, plan ahead and have healthy snacks, or chocolate…either or, on hand when getting ready.
And when at the reception, pace yourself with the champagne, a puky bride is never cute!!
Let It Go!
So it’s your big day and you are present; now let it go!
I have witnessed so many bridezillas, in the early nineties, before that was a thing, we just called them crazy brides.
Here is the best advice that anyone will ever give you on your wedding day; let things go!! I have witnessed so many crazy brides sabotage their own wedding receptions, it was hard to pick just one crazy bride story.
But here’s a good one; this one bride poked her head into the ballroom before we opened the doors to see how the room looked. It looked beautiful, btw, but she proceeded to freak out because the salmon colored napkins, looked more peach than salmon. Freaked out may be an understatement, because she had a full blown, stage 5 meltdown over salmon napkins, minutes before her guests arrived. May I add that the lights were dimmed and candles lit, the napkins were perfectly salmony.
To make my point, I googled the color salmon and the color peach, can you tell which is which??? No, no you can’t, because there isn’t a difference. Lol
Needless to say, she never really recovered and looked pissy all night. I have seen so many brides look absolutely miserable during their wedding receptions; don’t be that bride!
The only way to enjoy yourself the day of your wedding is to roll with the punches and go with whatever happens. If anything goes wrong on the day of, and something will, let it go! First of all, chances are you will be the only one who notices that something is off; so don’t point it out or make a big deal, just let it go!
I have one great example of a bride who rolled with it. The MC was speaking and said that he had a game that would determine who wore the pants in the family. He explained that the bride had to hug each male at the reception and the groom each female and that whoever did so and got back to their seat first would be the one who wore the pants in the marriage.
The groom looked horrified and after an awkward moment of silence, you could tell this was not planned; the bride stood up, hiked up her dress and stared running to the first table to start the hug fest. The groom quickly followed and the crowd went wild!
I love, love, love this picture of my parents. Tell me they are not adorable!! My dad looks like a movie star. There is something really glamorous about old wedding pictures. Their 53rd wedding anniversary was this past May.
At the end of the day, your wedding is one day in hopefully many, many days together. It’s so easy to get caught up in the wedding that you lose perspective and focus more on the wedding than the marriage…said the single girl. But think about it, you know I am right.
I am pretty sure I will be a fun bride…just saying, lol.
My dad recently passed away, a few weeks before his death, one of my cousins asked him for relationship advice. He told her to be herself and that she needs to find someone who makes her happy, if he doesn’t make you happy, don’t marry him. Treat him like you would want to be treated and you will be ok, because you are a good person. It seemed like simple advice, but if you stop and think about it, it really is that simple!
I hope you enjoyed this post even if you aren’t planning a wedding at this very moment or are already married. If you are happily married and want to share your words of wisdom, please do!!
And if you are happily divorced, you probably have words of wisdom too! Sharing is caring, lol.