Planning a wedding is something you can’t truly understand until you have done it yourself. I have been in and out of the full-service wedding industry for almost a decade now and thought I was pretty in the know. I have amazing friends who have decades more of experience than me who have taught me, supported me and guided me through this industry. I have attended hundreds of weddings at premiere event venues and seen some pretty amazing and unique things. All of these experiences, whether a couple broke up right before their ceremony, two wedding cakes arrived or the ring bearer fell in the pond, have all educated me to be well prepared and stay light on my toes. I considered myself an expert. That was until I planned my own. There are so many things that happen behind the scenes that as a wedding planner, we don’t see! Sure, our couples come in and vent to us but I didn’t fully understand the gravity of these situations until I was in those shoes myself.
If you are a bride out there reading this, I’m imagining quite a few head nods or “preach it, sister” shout outs coming from you. Can we all just take a moment to be thankful we made it? I mean, that is pretty much why the honeymoon exists. You think it is for what everyone jokes around about but the reality is that getaway is to celebrate that your wedding planning is over! This sounds harsh. If you are currently planning your own wedding, it’s really not all that bad. You only notice these feelings post reception. My biggest piece of advice for you would be: PREPARE FOR LOTS AND LOTS OF QUESTIONS.
You would think this is normal, right? Your baker is going to ask you some questions. Your coordinator will. Your DJ. Your Makeup artist. Totally normal. Here is the difference - These experts are coaches. They know the drill. They know what questions to ask to guide you towards what is best for you. These questions are okay. They are not impulsive or irrelevant. They understand this process can be overwhelming and they have your back over any bridesmaid. This is the honest truth. That is why you must choose your vendors wisely and trust them.
It is not your wedding vendors that I am talking about. You know those best friends of yours that you asked to stand beside you on the most important day of your life? Yeah. I am talking about those jerks right there. If you are going to only take one piece of advice from this article, take this: DO NOT START A GROUP TEXT MESSAGE. There are so many different dynamics happening within your inner circle, there is no reason to pull them all together in one place where communication runs freely, body language is absent and no concept of what anyone on the other side of that text message is doing. I remember thinking: “do y’all not have jobs?” I am at work right now trying to help run a business and I have 15 messages on my iPhone about what kind of sandwiches everyone will want at our bachelorette weekend that is in 4 months.
Be prepared for the dress code questions. Be prepared for it even if it is on your invitation. Be prepared for it even if it is on your wedding website. Be prepared for it even if you have told them that it is a rustic wedding venue, outdoors and this is the expected weather. Be prepared for it if you buy their outfit and ship it to them with instruction in numerical order of what to put on and when. The, what should I wear questions really drove me crazy. Your guests don’t realize that you are researching tents in case it rains, waiting on your shipment that got delayed, paying invoices based on different due dates, signing contracts and answering a plethora of other questions on top of the 50 other guests that asked you what to wear. This is why we make websites! Wedding guests, If you are going to take one piece of advice from this article here it is: ask someone who is not the Bride or Groom these questions. (Feel free to share this with everyone to hopefully cut down on these pesky questions!)
The other question that drove me bonkers: Where is it, again? How do I get there? That one is easy. By traveling through space and time, obvi. That is the only way to possibly find the magic land where my wedding venue exists. Oh wait, I paid a good amount of money for my fancy invitations, burgundy envelopes and floral stamps so that you would have all the information that you needed: League City, Tx. Also, um, Google much? I don’t like this question in general. Or ever. Like when I am hosting my daughter’s birthday party at Cici’s and people are calling me asking how to get there. I am busy right now, Ask Siri!
The miscellaneous questions from those closest to me and other guests is what I remember causing me the most stress. There are already so many details to handle, even with an all inclusive venue, added questions did not help. Especially ones that I had already taken time to answer. However, if you know this going in and can manage your expectations you will save yourself some tense shoulders. Questions like what should I wear, can be simply addressed by having an answer already typed in your notes app. This way a simple copy/paste will save you the brain space of writing out an answer. You will seriously need all the brain space you can get! The same can be said about time and place. Have a picture of your invitation saved on your phone that you can easily respond with instead of searching for the address each time. Send a pin from the Maps app of the location. Delegate someone to handle this response. For example your venue; at Butler’s Courtyard I gladly give directions to guests that call in all the time. All you have to do is give them your venue’s number and explain they are the best suited to give directions.
As far as your bridal party goes, have grace with them. Our tribe went above and beyond for us and we are so appreciative of their hard work and the memories they created for us. Even if they did wait until the week of to buy their hat and vest and didn’t know what to do because they were out of stock. Gotta love your tribe!