We love when we are asked to be part of the wedding planning process from start to finish, but we also cherish coming alongside couples who have done most of the planning themselves and need someone to coordinate all of the many logistics of their big day.
When working with coordination clients, we jump in a couple of months before the wedding day. The bride and groom have planned the details up until that point and we simply tie up the loose ends so they can soak in those special moments leading up to their wedding day as they prepare for a lifelong marriage.
For our brides who want to plan it all themselves, here are little bits of advice from us not only as professional wedding planners, but as brides who have been in your shoes as well!
Planning your day is one thing, but executing it is another
Being a planner myself, I knew I had the bandwidth, tools, and the resources necessary to plan and design my own wedding. I also knew I didn’t want to be the one everyone would come to with questions and I couldn’t be the one making sure vendors executed their contracts precisely. So, I hired someone I knew I could trust to make myself, my family and friends be at ease on my wedding day. I never checked the time once; I knew everything was taken care of, thanks to my coordinator. She even helped me change out of my heels into my dancing sneakers! Run, don’t walk to hire a wedding coordinator. -Catherine
Know your priorities
At the beginning of wedding season determine what aspects of your wedding day are most important to you. For some it’s the design and decor elements of the day, for others it could be the food and dancing. Know what features you definitely can’t live without and what you can be flexible on. For example, I knew that flowers were important to me, so I wanted to make sure I found someone who could bring my floral vision to life. Many people view photography as a priority and they will prioritize finding the perfect photographer for their exact style. Hopefully you are able to make all of your dreams come true for your wedding day, but knowing what is most important upfront will help you stay true to your vision and budget. What are those priorities for you? – Sarah
One thing I always mention to our brides on a budget is to look for a venue that already has an ambiance that you love. Look for a space that isn’t a blank canvas; something that has beautiful in-house dining tables, chairs, linens, and all of the glassware. This ends up saving you a lot of money down the road! And, you can always rent a few statement pieces for a kings table or sweetheart table. Instead of spending money on the gold flatware you love, save that for the live band that will keep your guests on the dance floor the entire night! – Catherine
If you choose to plan your own wedding instead of work with a wedding planner, you will want to keep everything organized and in one place. With so many vendors and moving pieces involved, having one place where information is recorded is extremely helpful. Spreadsheets will become your best friend, I promise! This will also be helpful when it is time to hand over details to your trusted wedding coordinator. It’s never too early to start a wedding planning folder! -Sarah
Vendor selection takes time, research, and lots of patience
I knew I wanted to plan my own wedding, but I wasn’t aware of all the time it would take to simply find the right vendors. Wedding planning became a part time job on top of my full time job and I very quickly understood the value in hiring a wedding planner! If you want to plan your own wedding, make sure you truly have the time it takes to do so. No-one wants to be burnt out and unable to enjoy the joys of engagement! Be willing to ask for help from others who know exactly where to look and who to contact. -Sarah
Keep your wedding party & family members informed
I always recommend sending an email to your wedding party and family members the week of your wedding. This helps alleviate the inevitable list of questions friends and family have as they arrive for your wedding weekend. I recommend including a high level itinerary with times and locations for important events taking place throughout the weekend as well as a few of your favorite local spots for them to check out, especially if they are from out of town! Then, when questions arise, you can simply direct them to the email with information you’ve already shared. – Catherine
Once the wedding weekend arrives, let go of the details
When your wedding week finally arrives, you’ll want to take in each and every moment. This is one of the few times all of your closest family and friends will be together. After months of planning, let go of the details and give them fully over to someone else. I am so glad I did this and contacted a coordinator early on in the planning process. Get ready for the best weekend of your life! –Sarah
Above all, enjoy those little moments of the planning process! The engagement season will fly by and before you know it you will be starting the most wonderful chapter of marriage. Prepare not only for the big day, but a lifetime of love with your best friend.