In the beginning of your wedding planning process my first suggestion is to always look for a wedding planner who suites your style, your budget and has the same way of looking at marriage & wedding days as you.
Even if you just book a consult to get some professional perspective on the process & how to get going.
If you don’t want to bring on professional help or don’t even know where to start looking for a wedding planner never mind all the other suppliers you may need for you day, these few Do’s & Don’ts will help.
DON’T assume the internet knows all.
The best way to get a contact you trust is from someone else you trust. Instead of ploughing straight into the overwhelming realm of the internet, call up a few friends or family members who recently got married or went to a wedding they loved and ask them who planned it, photographed it, catered for it etc.
DO set up calls, site visits & in person meetings.
Email & Websites can be deceiving things (for the better or worse) I find it easier to see if I connect to a person after a phone call or meeting vs a million emails back & forth. Plus the best way to see if a venue is right for you is to go and ‘feel’ it.
DON’T invite anyone, choose bridesmaids or book big ticket suppliers (venue or photographer) out of fear or feeling rushed.
Fear decisions are normally way more expensive and traumatic than any late decision will ever be. Things change and you want to make sure your decisions don’t tie you in or prevent that positive change.
DO go with your gut.
If there is something that doesn’t feel right about the way a supplier replies to you, makes you feel or something you don’t like in the work they produce but can’t really put your finger on it, trust your gut and find some else.
DON’T make any binding decisions until you are clear on your budget and direction!
To come to a wedding planner once you have already book your big ticket items (venue, date, and photographer) and spent the majority of your budget will not really help you. (Sorry to be the bearer of bad news here)
If you have signed a contract or paid a deposit with the wrong supplier there is no amount of wedding planner talent, experience or advice a planner can give you to undo that. Prevention is better than cure.
DO get a clear idea on how many guests you want to invite and what amount of money you can/want to spend on your day.
The amount of guests attending a wedding and the amount of money in a budget are two of the most important things for me to clarify with my couples as they have the biggest affect on the Where, When & How of the entire planning process.
This is also where the below point of keeping an open mind and being open to some reality checks comes in. Depending on your mindset around money, worth and priorities it may be a big shock (also for the better or worse) on how much things cost.
DON’T assume expensive means quality & affordable means crap.
The general rule of thumb is ‘you get what you pay for’ and I do believe quality takes time and is worth paying for BUT there are many a supplier who charge a rate far outside their ability spectrum! Look deeper and make sure their work is right for you and you aren’t just being swept up in others opinions & shiny things.
On the flip side there are many suppliers entering the industry or in a place where they don’t have to (or aren’t brave enough to) charge higher rates, that doesn’t automatically make them bad at what they do.
You are smart, you will know the difference!
DO keep an open mind.
Most people have never done this before or planned anything this big, it’s understandable that you may not know where to start or how much time or money things will cost.. It’s ok!! Ask for help but when the right help is given be open enough to take it on and look at changing some things to make it work.
If you think this could be useful to someone you know please share with the easy email or Facebook links below. If you agree with me I’d love to hear why? And if you don’t agree I would love to know why even more!
Much love and happy planning