Wedding Wednesday: What I’ve Learned

Categories: Tips for Clients.

Planning our wedding has been such an experience. I don’t have a wedding planner (lesson learned below), and I’m 500+ miles from all of my friends and family, with the exception of my Maid of Honor who lives 90 miles away in Charleston. So, I’ve basically been doing most of everything on my own and am thankful for my bridesmaids who keep me accountable via email and Facebook and who have made visits and helped in all their own little ways :)
So in honor of WW, here’s some of the things I’ve learned since embarking on this journey to being Mrs. Croft…

- Hire a wedding planner. If I could have a do-over, this would have been the first vendor I booked. I’d have told her my my budget, my priorities, and the things that were less important but obviously still a part of the process. Now that I understand how much is involved in planning a wedding, I understand why planning weddings is literally a job. Because when you already have a full-time job, planning a wedding is basically adding a second one to your plate.

- Details are all about YOU. In the beginning, it was so easy to scour Pinterest and say “ohh I love that” or “we HAVE to do that!” but creating projects and details based on what was unique to someone else does not create a wedding that is unique to you and your fiance. Start with a list of attribute that are unique to you as a couple, THEN find inspiration based on those attributes. And then, tweak them until they are 100% “you.” Otherwise, you’ll look back and feel like you were at someone else’s wedding, not your own.

- I know it can be done, but you don’t really want to do it. Trust me…just don’t DIY your invitations. It’s too late for me now, but I totally would have hired Dodeline Design or Little Bit Heart (for Marylanders) to do mine. Or if going through a designer isn’t you’re method of choice, you can find many beautiful suites on Etsy. It will all be okay, but this was so much unnecessary stress. I already know I’m not a designer, so I don’t know why I thought I could pull this off.

- Do a little at a time. I think everyone gives this advice, but there’s a reason. It can be flat out overwhelming if you try to tackle a ton of things all at once rather than chipping away slowly.

- Don’t lose sight of what it’s all about. Day in and day out I just can’t wait to read my vows to my best friend, walk back up the aisle with a new husband, and celebrate with all my favorite people. It’s not about favors or escort cards or linens…you have to be able to let go of the things that might not go as planned and know that what’s meant to be will.

- Hire good vendors! So important! I remember when I was looking for a caterer…I inquired with several who specialized in good down home country cooking, and ONE emailed me back within a week. ONE…out of four. And that one emailed me within a day. When I finally got two of the others (never could get the fourth), it took WEEKS to even get a quote back. By the time I’d gotten a quote back from the other two, I’d already booked with the first. Why on earth would I expect someone to give such an important day ANY real attention if they can’t even respond to my inquiry in a timely manner? You should have high expectations for your vendors to be reliable, timely, and helpful. Our caterer wasn’t the least expensive one I inquired with, but guess what? They’re also coordinating my rentals for me AND also sent me a floor plan of my venue with all the tables on it…talk about helpful! Their willingness to go above and beyond with make me feel so much more comfortable spending extra money with them…I’m getting a lot of value for my dollar.

3 Comments Sweet As Tea

  1. Cassandra says:

    The last piece of advice is so true. I’m a wedding photographer AND I’m getting married in August and it was so interesting to be on the other side of things. I have a new-found respect for my clients.

    As a photographer, I’ve always been quick to respond to inquiries. To me, that’s just how you get things done. If you want the business, it needs to show. You need to care and you need to respond to emails and call quickly or you’ll lose that client to the next vendor.

    And let me tell you, I was SHOCKED at how long it took some vendors to get back to me while I was planning my own wedding. I had my sights set on just one cake decorator. I didn’t have a backup plan. And I realized that any time I wanted to get a hold of her, I had to call her three and four times and she never responded to emails. I finally gave up on her and to this day, she hasn’t followed up to even ask if I’m still using her. And when I look back on booking my photographer, he was the only one who called me. I left my phone number for the countless photographers I reached out to. Some emailed me back pretty quickly, but he was the only one to follow up on the phone and that made a world of difference to me. I felt comfortable with him right away and appreciated his urgency and understanding. I’m so glad he’ll be capturing my day.

    So yes, choose your vendors wisely. It’s the best advice I can offer.

    And DIY really only works for someone who has the natural talent and time. And I’m talking about a lot of time. I realized that half way in. There were so many things I wanted to do on my own, but then realized I would feel ten times better just having it done already. Etsy was my saving grace. A-MA-ZING.

  2. This is excellent insight and I couldn’t agree more! Thank you for sharing :)

  3. Just saw this on Twitter- you made our day with the mention, thank you!

    This is all AWESOME advice- it’s so cool to hear it from a wedding-pro-getting-married’s perspective. I was just starting out in the wedding business when I got married, and dealing with my own vendors was definitely a lesson in how I want to treat our clients!

    Good luck with everything and if there are any questions we can help with, let us know :) Can’t wait to see!

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