When seeking out wedding advice, things can very quickly get out of hand and super specific. Often, it's the most boring, or pragmatic advice, that gets overlooked. But these 7 points are pragmatic for a reason: because they are important, and they work!
Photos from Pipkin Paper Company, Pinterest, and featuring a collaborative shoot we did with Davie & Chiyo featuring super budget friendly bridal wear.
Rushing your Save the Dates
So you've been engaged for a month and by the grace of God you've booked your venue for the most auspicious date next year. The stars have aligned, and you are feeling so good about your whole wedding. Trust us: resist the temptation to mail out your Save the Dates right this minute. You're excited and feeling generous, but believe us when we say your guest list will change. Then, you'll have folks who did receive a Save the Date feeling left out (and requiring a formal uninvite) and folks who will actually make the final cut not receiving a Save the Date. Price out your food and alcohol, decide on the seating capacity. Spend a few weeks just sitting with your guest list, and make the tough decisions. Then send out those gorgeous Save the Date cards.
Not being specific with your vendors
So much of finding a vendor is trying to find a person or company with whom you just click. Especially with vendors like photographers, the key to loving the end result is making sure that you and your vendor mesh on an interpersonal level. However, just because you think you've met your new best friend does not mean that you can lean into intuitive, vague communications. Your photographer needs to know specifically what you're looking for; every contract should be thorough and clear. We're not saying you should micromanage, but if you don't tell your caterer that you hate microgreens, or you don't tell your photographer that your dogs must be present in the family photos, they won't know. Save time and hopes: be explicit up front.
Not prioritizing the budget
This is the first (or second, see below) order of business when wedding planning. Sit down with your soon to be spouse, pull out your budgets and bank statements, and think about how much you can save before your ideal date. Be honest with yourselves, and do yourselves the ultimate favour: don't start off married life in debt. No matter how happy splurging for a chicken, fish, and lamb option will make you, we can guarantee you will be far, far happier and far better off if you set your budget early and stick to it.
Photos from Rosan Weddings, Urban Flora, and Paper / Paper.
Your friend is a great photographer? Another is great at making playlists? A third is an absolute sensation on the trumpet, or so they say? That's all great for them, but not necessarily great for you. Think of it this way—if they're a close friend, you would want them to enjoy the wedding all night, and not be preoccupied with their duties. If they're not a close friend, you probably don't want them at your wedding! There you go. Additional concerns come in as money changes hands—is your friend giving you a discount? Are you properly valuing their services? And the nightmare: what if they do a terrible job? It's a lot easier to ask a refund from a professional vendor than it is from your guitar playing third cousin who butchers your recessional song.
This one is self explanatory but it is so important. Your wedding ceremony, and party, should be concise if you want it to really pack a punch. You want people to dance until the very last song, not quietly sing along to Sweet Caroline long after the bulk of the guests have left. Leave them wanting more! A key part of this scheduling is keeping your toasts on lockdown. We know you love your Dad, and he loves you dearly too—but tell him he has five minutes and not a minute more. After both Dads speak, both Moms, two sisters, one brother, and one best friend, you're looking at 35 minutes plus breaks of chattering. Prioritize, and be firm with your time allocations.
Trying to please everyone
Do you ever think about how funny funerals are? They aren't for the person who has passed away, they're for the people who knew them to mourn. The same can wind up the case with weddings. If you've already started your planning, you've probably had a glimpse of everyone's opinions. We recommend, before doing anything (even planning your budget!), that you and your fiancé(e) sit down and write out a list of four words that you want your wedding to feel like, or how you want to feel on your wedding day. Think of words like, intimate, refined, relaxed, and romantic. This way, when your lovable but rambunctious cousin pipes up that she really wants a conga line, you can run down your checklist. A conga line is not intimate, or relaxed, or refined, or romantic—so it doesn't make the cut. Having a few keywords like that will help you recentre and keep on track so that you don't wind up trying to please everyone. It's your day! Don't compromise!
Counting your chickens before they've hatched
There's a funny statistic that goes around every year which notes that between 10 and 20% of your invitees will not attend your local wedding, and that even more will not attend a destination wedding. Do not bank on this. Don't send out 200 invitations if you can only feed 150 people! You're inviting complications that could easily be avoided if you set an early RSVP deadline and you stick to it. We love using wedding websites for this reason, because you can send reminder emails and people can RSVP online!
What is your best tip for wedding planning? Is there anything you wish you'd done that you didn't? Did anything sneak up on you? Let us know below.
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