Monday, March 5, 2012

Top 5 Mistakes Brides Make When Planning Their Wedding

You've just got engaged and you're over the moon with happiness and excitement! Now you're wondering what to do next. Do you run to the store and pick up the newest wedding magazine or do you start selecting the date? Planning a wedding is one of the most exciting and stressful times of your life no doubt. There are so many decisions to be made, research to be done and tasks to be completed, it's hard to know where to start.

Working with literally HUNDREDS of brides, I know just how stressful the process can be. But if you do your research and have a professional to guide you, you most likely wont make The Bridal Solution's top 5 mistakes that brides make when planning their wedding.

These mistakes are looked over so often that they lose their importance. Really take a minute to read each one and apply it your wedding.

#5. Budget

Let's get right down to the nitty gritty. This should be the top priority after you get engaged. You need to sit down with all parties participating and get a clear idea of 1: how much a wedding in your area typically costs and 2: how much you have available to use on your wedding. When you have a clear and concise budget, you need to stick with it. It's easy to go over budget, so by understanding and not compromising your budget, you'll be less stressed out.

Budgets also help your vendors. For one, you need to create an itemized budget and select vendors within it. When you get engaged, choose 3 to 4 elements of your wedding that you are not willing to compromise on. Maybe you have to have this certain dress, or you REALLY want your pictures to be amazing, so you're willing to spend a little extra. Either way, make sure those 3 to 4 items are on the budget and budgeted for. This will probably be a give an take. If you're spending more money on your dress, then maybe cut down on the cake, or alcohol? Make sense?

A huge mistake brides make is not being clear with your vendors what your budget is. It's a waste of every one's time if you sit down with your florist and they show you bouquets and centerpieces that are not in reach. But if you tell them you have $5,000 to use on flowers and here is the overall look, they can work around it. This goes for all your vendors. We know you have a budget so share it ... let's not take up precious wedding time by looking at weddings we can't afford, and start planning a wedding that is within your budget with elements that you love! When budgeting, allow for a 5% fluff ... that last month there will be things here and there you think of, and it's an added cost. That way you will be prepared!

#4. Not Giving yourself Enough Time

I know sometimes the excitement is overwhelming, but take your time during the planning process. If you know you are going to spend the rest of your life with someone, what is the big deal taking your time and adding a few more months to the engagement? Am I right? Find time to do your research. This will relieve stress, and will be fun to do. Try different cake samples, do menu tastings, see vendor's work. A wedding takes over 400 hours to plan from start to finish ... most of you have jobs or are in school ... don't make your wedding another job ... HAVE FUN! It may take you 2 to 3 months to even figure out what your style is, and when you do figure it out, don't rush it, enjoy it!

#3. Hire the right vendors

I can not tell you how important this is. It takes time to find the right vendors. Like in mistake #5, once you figure out your wedding style, find vendors who compliment that. If your style is rustic chic, don't reserve the art gallery because you get a percentage off this month. Find a photographer who has done a wedding like yours in the past, one who will use the outdoor elements to better represent you and your style. The right vendors are key, and my right vendors will most likely be different than your right vendors ... and that is OK! Call them up, ask for their references, ask about past awards, and most importantly, see their work. In fact, ask them to show you a wedding similar to yours around the same budget. Taste, Sip & See ... taste their food, drink their wine, and see what they can create for you. It's your wedding, and if your wedding isn't top priority for them, then they are your not vendor. Just because a vendor takes 30 weddings a year, doesn't make them the best. They will need costumer service and time in their schedule to accommodate YOU!

When it comes to vendors I hear a couple of things ... 1. make sure, and I mean MAKE SURE, your entertainment is rock solid. You don't want crickets chirping and your don't want music to make your guests go to sleep. Whether it's a band, dj or pianist ... make it fun! 2. Make sure the vendors that you do choose, play well with others. Meaning, we all work together, and when all of us play nicely, the wedding will go off without a hitch! And lastly, #3. hire a videographer too. SO many brides tell me they wish they would have got their wedding on tape. It's one day and memories have a tendency to fade. You'll be glad you did!

#2. Hire a Wedding Coordinator

To me, this is a no brainer. Our motto at The Bridal Solution is "let your guests be your guests." I know Aunt Mary wants to help set up and I know your family plans to stay later after everyone leaves to clean up. BUT, a relaxed bride is a happy bride. Allow yourself for one day to let go and have someone, outside of your family, help with the wedding. You will be SO GLAD you did. In many cases, after the wedding is all said and done, I will hear having a wedding planner there was they best well spent money of the entire wedding. It's because the details were taken care of, there are no worries, and your style and overall look was carried out.

Imagine at midnight the guests begin to leave and you look back at your mom and dad, they just spent all this money on your wedding, the day is done, and they are sitting down enjoying each other's company, champagne in hand. Music stops, mom picks up her shoes after kicking them off in the middle of a dance, and after all of this, they get to go home and sleep. Or you can imagine lights coming on in the ballroom, guests begin to leave, and mom and dad are running from table to table to collect the centerpieces, rentals and linens. They aren't sure where the staff placed the top layer of your wedding cake, and they have a car full of gifts as is.

Trust me, the best gift your parents can give you on your wedding day is no stress. And the best gift you can give back to them, is the same thing! Whether it's The Bridal Solution or someone else, don't make this top mistake.

And the number one mistake brides make when planning their upcoming wedding ...

#1. Make your Wedding Unique to YOU

Your wedding should reflect you and your style. The most unforgettable weddings that I've planned have one common aspect ... the personalities of the bride and groom are shown throughout the wedding day. Sit down and really think about what things in life make you happy. What are you quirks? What makes you .. YOU? This is what will make your wedding unforgettable. There are no rules and restrictions. Free your personality and add your personal touches and details. Your wedding guests will no doubt love every aspect of it, taking it home with them and always remembering the day.

Happy Planning!
Natalie Imhoff
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