Many brides get to do a big wedding with all the frills only once. So there are no second chances to get things right or use the wisdom earned while planning a wedding. The best alternative is to learn from the experiences of other brides. These are some of the things brides wish they knew before they started planning their weddings.
Never “Hire” Family and Friends – If a family member is a florist or a friend is a whiz with invitations, it can be tempting to use their services and get a discount on the wedding. Unless that friend is a true professional they may place a friend’s wedding on the back burner because it is not a paid gig or not something they will profit. Paying extra for a professional vendor means one can demand professionalism and prompt service and replies. To buffer any offense that the friend or family member may feel, a bride or groom can simply tell them that they want all their friends and family to be able to relax and enjoy the wedding day. Or the couple can say they have their heart set on a certain vendor and gush about why. Then ask the family member to help with another task like addressing invitations.
Don’t Pick the Bridal Party Too Far in Advance – A lot can change during the course of a 2 year engagement. Friendships can drift, feuds happen and people’s priorities change. Bridesmaids may become pregnant, some attendants may move for work and a billion other things that can unfortunately trump someone else’s wedding for the planned attendants can happen.
Always Haggle – Even if a vendor’s estimate fits nicely into the couple’s budget, a lower price or more perks can always be negotiated. Try to get the florist to throw in a few more arrangements. See if the baker will provide cake boxes.
Stay Away From Special and Quirky Dates – Holidays and quirky dates (like 9/10/11) will add a significant amount to a wedding budget. Lots of brides will want the date and vendors will be able to charge more. Not to mention it will be tough to book the best vendors unless it is well in advance.
Word the RSVPs Carefully – Guests will always try to add unwelcome plus ones or bring their children to an adult’s only wedding. Address the invitation only to the people you wish to attend. Make sure the RSVP card says how many spots have been reserved for that guest. Leave the lines blank and fill it in as each invitation is addressed. Guests will still push, so don’t give in to the pressure.
Prevent Incidents Involving Alcohol – Tell the bartender to cut people off if it becomes necessary. Give the bartender pictures of people who may be at high risk for enjoying the bar a little too much.
Carry Swatches of the Wedding Colors – At any time a bride may happen upon a deal on clutches or vases. A swatch of the exact wedding colors will come in handy to see if the shade of pink matches just right.
Whoever Pays Gets Final Say – When parents are helping pay for the wedding they get more of a say than the bride and groom may feel comfortable with accepting.
Do a Head to Toe Check on Everyone Before Pictures – Small things may not be noticed in the rush of taking pictures. Bridesmaids may leave a hairband on their wrists. Pocket squares may need refolding.