Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Eve

In mere hours we'll dismiss 2009 and welcome 2010. I like New Year's simply because it reminds me every year of a restart of things - a new chance to do things differently, a time to reflect and above all, a time to make resolutions. I actually used to think that making resolutions was a waste. Nothing changes, right? But after I got married and realized that things in life can change {more than little changes}, after your wedding day, you've created this little family consisting of yourself and your new spouse. Perhaps you've changed your name, your location, your job. The biggest change I noticed after getting married is that decisions now have more weight to them. You have to consider the welfare of your family when it comes to making decisions, it isn't just how it affects you, its also how it affects your new family.

So where am I going with all this? Sit down today and make some resolutions. Resolve to be nicer to yourself and make time for yourself. Do good things for yourself. During your wedding planning you'll get so caught up between work, planning and managing life that its easy to forget to take care of ourselves - make a resolution that you'll take care of yourself weekly and monthly. Do things that make YOU feel good about yourself. Its okay to not think about the wedding 24/7, I promise. It doesn't make you any less of a bride!

I wish all of you the very best in 2010 - I hope that each of us has a fabulous and meaningful year.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Approaching Parents About The Wedding Budget

At some point {hopefully before any major planning happens} there needs to be a very open conversation regarding the wedding budget with whomever will be paying or contributing to the wedding finances. It's not a pleasant conversation but it is one that must be discussed. If you're asking your parents for money, go to them with either a firm number or specific items that you want them to responsible for. When coming up with these numbers, do your research. Come to the meeting prepared with your thoughts on what you want for the wedding day, places you've reached out to and a rough number of ideal guests. The more prepared you are, the more likely it is that the conversation won't become an overly emotional occasion.

Finances are a sticky subject to begin with, so use the appropriate discretion. Be understanding and supportive of not only what you want but what your financiers can afford. No one needs to go into debt to pay for the wedding. While you may not walk away with your desired outcome, you've opened the door to understanding. Perhaps now your financiers have a better understanding of what you and your fiance envision for the wedding day, or perhaps you've found out something you didn't know was important to your parents or in-laws. Open lines of communication during the wedding planning will lead to a much less stress for all.

Happy Planning!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

New Wedding Planning Resource

If you've been planning a wedding or just starting out in your wedding planning process, you're probably becoming an expert in Wedding Blogs and Wedding Resources. There are so many to find advice, ideas and inspiration that it can be quite overwhelming! But, there's a new resource that goes live on January 1st and its definitely worth checking out. Kate Parker, a fabulous planner in New Hampshire has built a wedding resource site that really is divine. Its got practical advice from wedding vendors, profiles of some of the best and more galleries and images than you could imagine. If you're in need of anything wedding related, check out myKPwedding on January 1st and be prepared to be wow'ed!

{Disclosure: Although I am a paying advertiser on myKPw, I received no financial compensation for this post nor was I asked by Kate Parker to write this post}

Monday, December 28, 2009

To The Newly Engaged

It's the last week of 2009. Wow, what a fabulous year it has been. I've officially been blogging for over a year now. I hope that the advice, tips and real weddings that I offer up is helpful to your wedding planning.

For the newly engaged {tis the season!} CONGRATULATIONS! If you've just began your wedding planning, check out the 30 Days Series that I wrote over the summer. Its focused on wedding planning in a stress free manner regardless of how long your engagement spans. For 30 days I posted advice and information related to wedding planning. There's a ton of helpful stuff in there! Check it out!

Enjoy the last week of 2009 ~ its almost 2010!

Friday, December 25, 2009


Wishing you a lovely day filled with good cheer & laughter


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Wrapping Things Up: Lessons Learned From a Wedding Planner

I wanted to take a moment and recap all the lessons that I've shared with you regarding the weddings that I was a coordinator with. Each post is meant to be reflective, helpful and real - while I aim for a perfect wedding day for my clients, little snafus do arise and its best to be prepared for them. Some could have been avoided on the wedding day, others you should take in stride. Remember: the only thing that really truly matters on your wedding day is that you're getting married to the love of your life. Everything else is just gravy.

Some highlights:

* Sign a contract with EVERY vendor

* When it comes to wedding planning: organization & time management skills are key

* Have a set budget and stick to it

* Let go of all the white noise you'll hear from parents, friends - its your wedding

* If the tradition doesn't fit you, don't include it

* Don't sweat the small stuff - its not important

* DIY if you a natural Martha Stewart - stick to the pros if you aren't crafty

Above all, its your wedding, make it yours

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

2009 Wedding Lessons Learned: War of the Vendors

2009 Wedding Lessons Learned

Throughout your wedding planning, you've met with vendors, evaluated their services and products and ultimately gone into contract with whomever you feel will provide the best service for your wedding day. What you've probably not remembered to do is ensure that they can work with all the other vendors you've chosen. Now, should you have to do this? Most vendors and most couples take for granted that everyone in this industry can work together, right? Isn't the common goal for everyone involved very simple: bride and groom get married and have a blast, right? You'd hope so. You'd hope that your vendors are professional enough to work with anyone.

What if they can't be professional on your wedding day? Whats a gal to do? Firstly, it should become fairly apparent long before the wedding day that two vendors may not see eye to eye. When you and your coordinator have this realization, construct a strategy, then go discuss this with each vendor. The goal is to ensure that neither vendor wages war on the other on the wedding day. Firstly, waging war isn't very classy; secondly, its going to upset several people, and thirdly, it could have been avoided. Make it known to all parties who is IN CHARGE. {This should be your wedding coordinator, but sometimes vendors get different ideas on this topic ...} Whomever is in charge, should be the final decision maker. If the two war'ing vendors can't even speak to each other, use the coordinator as a buffer. Do everything in your power to make sure that A) Bride nor Groom nor Guest are subjected to the war and B) realize that you're being silly. If you can't get along, fine, but its one day, get over it.

I was the so called buffer at a wedding this year between two war'ing vendors {ironically, I could see both their points, but that is neither here nor there} who weren't able to put aside their differences at the wedding and just let it go. While their differences were dealt with privately, there was a ting of hostility between the two in the air the whole night. Not Cool. Had we all sat down and discussed, all the snide comments would have been thrown out the window, instead of plugged into my ear. While their tiff luckily didn't harm the wedding, it could have. The couple got lucky that I was able to intervene appropriately.

Be a lover and not a hater. If you think your vendors can't be civil, discuss this in advance with all interested parties!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

2009 Wedding Lessons Learned: DIY Does Not Equal Do It Yourself

2009 Wedding Lessons Learned

With all the inspiration and ideas floating around wedding blogs and wedding magazines, please keep in mind this: Not all inspiration is created equal and not all inspiration is appropriate for your wedding. If you are particularly crafty and have the time and effort, then by all means if you can fit the projects into your life, then go for it; but if you are really good at finding ideas but not executing them, then please, do yourself a favor and scrap the DIY bent. It won't work out for you on the wedding day.

If you choose to go the DIY route for some things on your wedding day - please be mindful that you need to fully prepare each project well in advance of the wedding day. What seems so simple to you to prepare, set up and execute may be a gargantuan task to someone else. If you've hired a wedding planner then be up front with them about all the DIY projects you want them to help with. Don't just skim over things or shove them under the carpet. If your wedding coordinator knows about these projects in advance, they can build their timeline and their staffing to ensure that everything happens as you want it to. But, if you fail to mention all of these "little" DIY projects then your coordinator will come ill-equipped to handle them and yes, your wedding will not be as you envisioned. Honesty is the best policy in this DIY case.

I was the unfortunate planner - victim at a wedding this year where at least 10+ DIY projects were not mentioned to me prior to the wedding day and yes, the wedding day did go off but with many hitches as I was understaffed and ill prepared to handle all of the tasks which meant that the wedding day did suffer. Try as I might, my staff and I cannot become superhuman if we aren't told about things in advance. While yes, I may have experience arranging flowers, do not assume that you can give your planner a bunch of materials and expect them to be able to whip up 20 centerpieces in an hour. Its just not going to turn out as you wished.

Therefore, DIY is a fabulous route if you've got the talent and wherewithal for it, but if you aren't a Martha Stewart wannabe, then it may be wise to leave the DIY at home.

Monday, December 21, 2009

2009 Wedding Lessons Learned: If the Wedding Tradition Doesn't Fit

2009 Wedding Lessons Learned

While there has been a definite shift from the weddings of years ago to the weddings of today, there are still basic pre-conceived notions of how a wedding should be. Everyone expects a Saturday affair, ceremony followed by cocktails followed by dinner and dancing. It's like we've all been trained to think one dimensionally when it comes to a wedding, so anything that doesn't follow that convention is met with apprehension and needs a lot of explaining. What I've come to love is that weddings do not need to be one dimensional or "normal"; in fact, its so much better if they aren't. If you choose not to do all the traditional aspects, its actually quite refreshing. Convincing your guests however, does take a bit of magic, but in every 'non-conventional' wedding I've worked or been a guest at, they always wind up being the best affairs, so trust me, it does always work out in the end.

I had the opportunity to work with a couple this year who were certainly breaking all the traditional wedding rules. They opted for a Sunday morning ceremony followed by a few hours break and then a late afternoon lunch. For them, the importance was getting married and the space they wanted could only accomodate them on a Sunday morning. The late afternoon lunch was perfect as they were able to reserve an entire restaurant and make the space work for them. While I am sure their wedding was met with resistance by fellow guests, the day flowed so nicely and it really was perfect for what they wanted. They didn't want the huge party, they wanted something small and intimate, which is exactly what they got.

So please, if there is some traditional aspect of weddings that isn't working for you - don't bend to make the tradition fit you, bend the tradition to fit you. At the end of the day, it's your wedding and you can do what you want!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Weekly Round Up: Fabulous Finds and Advice

Eeeck, Christmas is in a week! New Year's Eve is in two weeks. Seriously, where did the month of December go? The days keep whipping by and my to do list keeps getting longer, and there's still present shopping to be done.

Check out these fabulous finds and advice from around the web - Enjoy:

Just when I thought that Dana from Broke Ass Bride couldn't get any more fabulous, she redesigns her website and it is much more fabulous. If you want real life 'broke ass' wedding advice, her blog is an amazing resource.

Eco-Beautiful Weddings Magazine debuted this week and its simply delightful. Even if you aren't planning an eco-wedding, there are some amazing ideas and inspiration throughout. Enjoy!

Great little read on how hiring a planner is actually helpful to your budget - click here!

While I can see the beauty and artistry of tall arrangements, unless they are done to perfectly {which sadly isn't always the case}, tall arrangements to me are just cumbersome. The DC Ladies have posted a great article on why tall centerpieces are not the best route to go in your floral budget - click here to read it.

If you're in the NYC / NE area - we're getting snow! How exciting!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

2009 Wedding Lessons Learned: Don't Sweat The Small Stuff

2009 Wedding Lessons Learned

From first hand experience, I can tell you that your wedding day will literally feel like it lasted for five minutes. All the months of planning and effort you've put into creating this lovely day will whip by in mere moments, so, I implore you: Don't sweat the little things. If something does or doesn't happen that you didn't plan for: just roll with it. The day is too short and too important to worry about little things that really in the grand scheme, mean nothing and are irrelevant. You don't want to look back at your wedding day with regret.

One of my brides could have easily gone down the stressed out road on her wedding day, when the transportation company failed to return to get the bridesmaids after dropping off the groomsmen at the church. I had gone over the details with the limo company repeatedly, but the driver chose not to cooperate. Instead of the bride getting upset and letting this setback ruin her moment, she simply said "Gals, get in a cab and get to Brooklyn" - she was so matter of fact and calm, it was refreshing. All that mattered to her was getting married and despite little obstacles popping up, she just went with it and created a plan B. She didn't let this hiccup ruin her day at all.

So please, I know its very easy to get wrapped up in the drama or the small issues, but really, they don't matter. What matters most is that its your wedding day.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Turning One Year Older

Today is my birthday and while this isn't wedding related news by any stretch of the imagination, I wanted to share some personal goals with you as I am now one year closer to a very important big birthday!

I've decided that this next year in my life is going to be about becoming a healthier version of me. A Me 2.0 if you will. I've read an inordinate amount of literature this past year that has got me thinking about all that we consume and do to our bodies. There's some really scary stuff out there. I am a firm believer that how we treat ourselves affects what happens to us down the road, and I for one would rather be kinder to myself now so that years later, things aren't that bad. I'd rather spend the money now on organic items {though more pricey} than hefty hospital bills in 40 years.

Thus, I've decided that this year in my life I will be kinder to myself. Eat cleaner, exercise more, gain much more positivity and basically become a healthier in mind and body version of me. While I may slip up on occassion, I really want 80%+ of this next year in my life to be healthier and more positive.

I wanted to write this note so that you, the reader, would hold me accountable, share your healthy tips with me and travel down this journey with me. I'll be writing sporadically about healthy changes I've found to be beneficial because at the end of the day, we're all still students who want to learn and become better.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

2009 Wedding Lessons Learned: When Your Wedding Funding Disappears

2009 Wedding Lessons Learned

While I would hate for this scenario to happen to anyone, what if during the midst of your wedding planning, the money that you thought would pay for your big day disappeared. Either your parents or other contributors were now unable to give you money that you had been promised {for whatever reason} or you yourself were now unable to pay for the wedding that you have been planning. How would you react?

Unfortunately I had this occur to one of my couples and while it was a very big shock to their system, I was humbled by their reaction and I can only hope that others would react this way as well. Instead of crying, canceling the wedding or getting angry, they simply changed direction in their wedding planning process. They went back to all the contract vendors and explained the situation. Most were amenable to cancelling contracts {we were about 11 months out from the wedding at this point}.

The bride and groom sat down and thought about what was the most important aspects of the wedding: 1. Getting married & saying their vows 2. Being with their closest 24 people instead of their non-closest 150 people and 3. Not going broke over one day of their life. With those as their top three priorities, we started to plan their real wedding, one that was much more true to them. They chose their favorite local restaurant as the venue, decided to do a meaningful ceremony in a park 5 blocks from the restaurant and they whittled down their guest list to the people that truly meant something to them.

Their wedding day was one of the best that I have been a part of. The bride wanted no frou frou fluffiness on the day, so she didn't have any of that. They didn't do any traditions {first dance, parent dances etc} because they felt that those traditions weren't them. Their wedding day was about their love for each other and the group of people there. It was so refreshing to see that despite their wedding day taking a potential turn for the worse, it wound up being so much more meaningful. I applaud them for not letting a monetary setback impede their plans for getting married.

How have you taken a set back in your wedding planning and turned it into a positive?

Monday, December 14, 2009

2009 Wedding Lessons Learned: When Your Wedding Budget Is Out of Control

2009 Wedding Lessons Learned

Regardless of what number your wedding budget is; you've put a budget in place to make sure that you don't start wildly spending here and there and start putting the person who foots the bill in future financial jeopardy. Remember that while the wedding day is a very important day in your life, its one day, while your marriage is forever.

In an ideal world, you'd find vendors that fit into your budget from the get go, rather than booking vendors that begin to stretch your budget, forcing you to start scrambling on where you can cut and delete to reign the spending in. When you are interviewing vendors and gathering ideas, keep in mind that regardless of what you plan for the day - your guests won't know what you spent on the day unless you tell them. So, if there is a way to bring costs down but still be classy: DO IT.

I had one such wedding this year - it was simply a divine affair, but they very much had a budget and they very much had to stick with it. But yet, throughout the planning, the spending started getting out of control and a month before the wedding we had to sit down and go through proposals and contracts and figure out what adjustments needed to be made so that they could actually afford the wedding day {I was the DOC for it}. It wasn't the most pleasant day in their wedding planning process simply because I had to be the non-emotional voice of reason aka "the bad guy" saying that this, this and this had to be cut and this, this and this had to be changed. At the end of our meeting, we had reigned in the spending but the stress of going back to vendors and re-negotiating contracts wasn't exactly what the bride and groom wanted to be doing during their final month of engagement. Had they not spent so freely when they were choosing vendors, they wouldn't have been put in the scramble position. Everything worked out for the wedding weekend - but free spending = more stress in the end. They also decided to cut some labor costs from certain vendors that were passed along to the waitstaff which wasn't appropriate - so please, if you've hired a florist, pay for them to do the arrangements - its a part of their job.

If you've got a budget, aim to stick to it and keep in mind - when you come up with the number - pad it a bit for last minute things!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Weekly Round Up: The Inner Workings of Wedding Photographers

I was fortunate enough to have drinks last night with Missy of Missy Photography {who is beyond fabulous} and decided that this week's round up would consist of photography articles that give more insight into Wedding Photography, so read on to be educated!

I am a firm believer in the Engagement Shoot - it gives both the couple and the photographer the chance to warm up to each other and for the photographer to become attuned to how you are in front of the camera, so that they can prepare to take incredible images of you on your wedding day. Read this by Jason Aten for more insight!

A lot of my clients are always a bit surprised to find out pricing for photographers - they seem to think that photographers show up on the wedding day, take pictures, upload them to a CD and that's it. Their job is so much more than that, read this, from the International Society of Professional Wedding Photographers to gain more perspective on the inner workings of a photographer and their business.

Lastly, check out this insightful article from Seattle Metropolitan - written by photographers about their craft.

Happy Weekend - Stay Warm!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

2009 Wedding Lessons Learned: Making Your Wedding Your Own

2009 Wedding Lessons Learned

I was lucky enough to work with a couple this year who was the epitome of a movie worthy love story - they had met years and year ago, only to go their separate ways to be reunited a few years later and realized that they were deeply in love. When they decided to get married, you could see on their wedding day that their love was very genuine. It wasn't until we were entrenched in the coordination process that I came to find out that this was the bride's second marriage. And, she was determined that the first marriage wasn't going to have anything to do with her "real marriage" {as she called it!}.

Besides the location and venue being vastly different, my bride made a point of being a bride on her wedding day. It didn't matter to her that this was the second gown she was going to wear, she was going to go big or go home. She didn't harp on "but I've already done a first dance, or I've already cut the cake" she wanted to do these traditional aspects with her new husband and there wasn't any reason not to. Too often I hear that second weddings really aim to be the antithesis of the first wedding, so much so that all the fun parts of the wedding are scrapped because 'been there, done that'. I don't see why things need to be that way. It's your wedding day - make it your own. Regardless of whether or not you've already done x,y, and z aspect of a wedding at the first, if you and the hubby want to partake in that aspect - do it. Its not the same as the first time around. It simply can't and won't be. The people are different {even if a few guests came to your previous wedding}, the atmosphere is different and above all: you are different. You've grown and gotten more enlightened, you've expanded your world and you've gained a wider perspective in life. There isn't a possibility that you're the same as you were, so there's no possibility that your second wedding will be the same.

Go ahead and own your wedding day, you deserve it!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Getting to Know This Wedding Planner

I was fortunate enough to attend an advance screening of the new Clint Eastwood movie, Invictus, last night and it prompted me to write a more personal post about my heritage, since it is so important to me and because not many of you within the wedding world know all about me! {Side note, go see the movie, its fabulous and very poignant to the history of South Africa}

I was born in Durban, South Africa into a family whose history is very ingrained in Durban {ps: Durban is the largest port city in Africa, but if you're not from there, don't waste your time visiting!}. Both sides of my family had settled in South Africa long before 1900 from Scotland, England, Wales and Germany. While I don't know exactly why each of my ancestors wound up there, my family has a strong foothold in the local community and would never consider themselves anything but purely South African. I come from an extremely small family given the fact that my father's older brother married my mother's older sister and well that tends to keep things really small. After my parents got married in their early 20's, they had the opportunity to travel the world for a few months before settling down in London in 1969. After a year in London, they moved to New York City (86th and 3rd to be exact) and a year later they wound up in Montreal. They finally moved back to South Africa for 6 years, which during that time, I arrived. Quite a few years before, my families' company had been sold to a US conglomerate {now known as Unilever} and apart of the deal was that my dad got a job in the US. So when I was small, we moved over to NYC for my dad to work.

Despite growing up in America, I've never actually felt that American. Yes, I had my South African accent practically beaten out of me in grade school {but, its still around - especially after a fun night out or when we go back to the home country}, but my core values are very much influenced by my family and my SA heritage. I've been extremely fortunate to be able to return home yearly {and did 9th grade there} to see my family and friends and am really lucky to be married to a Michigander who loves the entire country. By going back yearly means that I have lived through Apartheid {it means apartness in Afrikaans} - and have first hand experience with how the country has transitioned since Mandela's election in 1994. Even if you aren't schooled in South African history, its hard not to be aware of the difficulties that the country has faced for over 60 years {Apartheid was from 1948 to 1994} - the high levels of crime, the political and economic problems - but - to me, its still home. Its the place where I can have a meal comparable to Per Se but at Chipotle prices, the place where I can drink the most amazing wine of all time {personal rec: try anything by Mulderbosch}, the place where I can go on Safari and spend time in the bush, and most meaningful of all the place where I feel the most comfortable in the entire world. I am proud to be South African.

So, go and see the movie. Its a feel good film with three very important messages for not only South Africa, but for life in general: Truth, Reconciliation and Hope. How one man {Mandela} can inspire 43 million people to be better human beings is one gigantic lesson that we can all learn from.

If you are thinking about visiting the country, let me know! I'd love to give you the 'insiders' travel information!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Weekly Round Up: Wedding Goodness

Happy Friday y'all! I hope that everyone has a fabulous December weekend!

Through my internet travels this week, here are some awesome things that I have found and rounded up for you:

The fabulous Laura Hooper of LHCalligraphy, has created several wedding related stamps that are sure to spice up your invitations, I wish these had been around when I got married!

Julianne Smith aka GarterGirl has a fantastic discount going on for the newly engaged. Comment on her blog {in 3 words!} to earn a discounted one of a kind garter!

Found these articles some time ago, but wanted to share them with you!

Take this quiz to find out if you need a wedding coordinator!

Here's a fabulous article on the value of hiring a wedding coordinator - really gets to the heart of it!


Thursday, December 3, 2009

2009 Wedding Lessons Learned: Dealing with Debbie Downer

2009 Wedding Lessons Learned

As a wedding planner, one of my roles is to act as a neutral party on the wedding day - particularly between parents and the couple getting married. Most of the time, everyone is just so happy and full of love that there isn't any issues, sometimes however, this isn't the case and emotions get overwhelming and get the best of people. I know, as a bride, that its very difficult to shut out the negativity that you may receive from a family member, but honestly, you have to. You have to make a concerted effort to shut out words and thoughts that will upset you. Its your wedding day! Be happy and strong! Remember that who ever is lashing out is doing so because their emotions and thoughts are unstable - it almost never actually has anything to do with YOU. Its hard to do, but blocking out the negative will ensure that your day isn't a gloomy one.

I witnessed this at a wedding this year and it simply broke my heart. The mother of the bride was insistent that her daughter had planned the worst wedding ever {trust me, it was quite the opposite}. She stated this over and over to the point that her daughter became inconsolable and miserable. Her newly minted husband tried his hardest to bring her back up to enjoy the beautiful day, but he couldn't. I was devastated at everyones behavior and repeatedly tried to get everyone into neutral corners and to just let it all go. In the end, all the bride is going to remember is how her mother ruined her fabulous day. Please - don't let this happen to you. If you think or know that someone will try and be a downer on your day, tell your wedding planner so they know in advance to keep everyone apart. We can intervene and will intervene, but sometimes the damage is already done.

Seek out positivity on your day, and don't let any negativity bring you down - you're getting married!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

2009 Wedding Lessons Learned: Mr.and Mrs. United Front - Resisting the Naysayers

2009 Wedding Lessons Learned

One would hope that a couple's wedding day is a very true reflection of them as a couple, and not a day influenced by anyone else. It's sad to say, but that's not always the case and I wish it were. Fortunately, I had the opportunity and honor to help plan and coordinate a wedding this year that was 100% couple only. Firstly, they did a two day affair - small intimate ceremony in their backyard followed by a fabulous soiree the next night for their closest 100. For them, this was exactly how they wanted their wedding and no matter how 'untraditional' the whole affair seemed to everyone else, they didn't care. And believe me, they received a lot of flack for the whole experience. The parents didn't get it, there were friends and family that were upset about who got invited to the ceremony and who didn't ... the list of gripes goes on and on. But, the couple stood firm in what they wanted and they didn't listen to the naysayers. It was their wedding and they could and would do what they wanted with it. And you know what, it was an amazing weekend that every guest loved.

So, how hard or easy is it to close off all the white noise that you'll inevitably get regarding your wedding planning? Firstly, be a united front. You're a mini family, the two of you, stay that way. This is probably the first of many battles that you'll face together once you're officially Mr. and Mrs. - this is the perfect time to start working together and be a unit. This may be difficult, but if you trust and support each other, and above all, believe in each other, it will be much easier to stand your ground. No one wants to be bullied into something anyways, right? Secondly, its your wedding. Do what you want. There really isn't any notion of 'traditions' these days as everyone wants their wedding to not be typical and the same. The new tradition is creating your own traditions. Picking and choosing what represents you as a couple, not doing something because someone says you have to. If you find an idea, great! Make it your own. Believe in it. Trust me, any resistance you may get before the big day will be gone when everyone sees how truly fabulous your wedding day is.

How will you be representing yourself as a couple on your wedding day? How have you handled any push back you've receiving during your wedding planning process?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

2009 Wedding Lessons Learned: The Valueless Meaning of the Unlimited Wedding Budget

2009 Wedding Lessons Learned

I know that talking about money is like talking about a dirty little secret. No one feels comfortable doing it, BUT, when it comes to planning your wedding, its a conversation that absolutely MUST HAPPEN! Whenever I have a consultation, its one of the first questions I ask, simply because as a wedding planner, knowing what your threshold is, makes me do my job better. I will recommend vendors that are appropriate to your budget, so no one's time gets wasted. So, please don't think I am being nosy, I am just trying to do my job!

When you sit down to discuss your budget - please be reasonable. There is no need to have a wedding that will start your marriage off in debt. Remember that a wedding lasts for one day, a marriage lasts forever. On the flipside - if you have unlimited funds for the wedding day - set a limit. Its actually not helpful to any of your vendors if you say the budget is unlimited. Unlimited and Wedding mean very different things to each person. Unlimited could mean $50,000 to one vendor, or it could mean $1,000,000 to another vendor. I know those are two extremes, but they get my point across, unlimited does not hold the same value for every person. Set a limit.

I ran into this budgetary conundrum with one of my couple's this year. They were adamant that unlimited meant unlimited, no expense spared. When we started getting quotes from vendors for every aspect of the day, unlimited came to have a very defined number that was near where close to Unlimited. They had quickly realized that if you say "unlimited" to your vendors, they will create very pricey proposals. We had to scale back every vendor to fit into their definition of unlimited - something that could have been avoided if a budget had been pre-determined.

For more budget information, please read this post!