I was talking to a friend who has organized and “put on” about as many smaller weddings as I have. The topic was “Brides Don’t Know What They Don’t Know.”
So, what do wedding planners know that brides do not? Let me mention just a few my friend and I put at the top of our list:
Time management Part I
The fact is, a large party couple with a large and important event (a wedding ceremony) requires more structure and understanding of how things work and how people behave than most brides–and most people–understand. We were horrified to hear of a wedding where the bride said “show up when you can get here. We’ll start when all are here.” They waited unnecessarily for the catering to arrive and layout the food because they were also unable to tell the caterer exactly when to serve dinner. This one was NOT a potluck in a tent in the woods; it was at a fine, upscale property where things should have run elegantly and seamlessly so everyone was relaxed and enjoying themselves, not wondering when/if dinner would arrive. The bride may have felt that no time was “relaxing” when, in fact, no schedule is VERY stressful.
Time management Part II
I can do all these things, I can make all these DIY projects. I can do most of it the Friday before the wedding OR I can count on my friends and family to help get it all done. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. The week of the wedding is no time to… be reinventing then reforging the wheel! Do your projects early and enlist your friends’ help at that time. Aside from “the dearest of dear friends” do not rely on friends to step up on your wedding weekend. A mature groom at one of my events set up a bar with a beer keg and mixed drinks. The beer keg was messy and located a bit out of the center of things. He then tried to tell his 22-year-old daughter she’d be tending bar for the afternoon and night. The girl flatly refused. Lucky my 22-year-old employee was also onsite and stepped in–for a price! Just what would have been done IF left to their own devices. Granted, some friends and family are very capable–and willing– to help out. But ask yourself: How much fun is that person going to have at your wedding if they are stuck dishing out beer from a messy keg? Our writing place cards? Or making chicken salad sandwiches in the kitchen? Or decorating the gazebo 45 min. before the ceremony. I had a “friend” of the bride’s mother show up with the supposed decorations. In her go-to-wedding suit and heels. I told her to put the stuff up on the gazebo. She asked me WHY? Well, maybe, just maybe because you made the stuff, brought it to the wedding and now it belongs installed on the altar for the wedding. I grabbed a ladder and did it myself since it was clear nothing would otherwise get done.
THIS is why you hire a wedding planner. Then THEY do it or their own (paid) flunkies do it and it gets done without anyone asking. The bride never sees the workers. No anxiety, no disappointments. And THAT is how the magic fairies behind the scenes do it.
Pinterest is us – Brides often see dozens, no, thousands of things online they want for their wedding. Please, pick a theme, pick a few choice items and don’t turn your wedding into a pin board. It detracts from the reason you are getting married. IF you can’t decide, have no experience in bringing a design together, get some help. This is a great place to bring in your talented girlfriend for help early on to keep you on topic and on budget. Let her help be her wedding gift to you. Please, do it well in advance; nail down all the details and delegate the Friday-Saturday work to professionals.
Use a planner – My #1 recommendation to brides is this: Let the onsite planner help you. This is not their first (or last) wedding or big party. They know how their venue works best and they generally have some creative ideas to make your day special and unlike any other. Please don’t look at the planner as trying to take over and “change” your event. What they will do is make YOUR vision come alive perfectly and without a hassle. They are your extra right hand. And don’t judge a book by its cover: a grey-haired planner is NOT your nosy grandmother or your overbearing mother! She’s your mature friend with lots of great advice and help. Lean on her.