Your wedding memories will last a lifetime and planning a wedding can be overwhelming… It is my goal that these tips can help you to plan your way to an AMAZING wedding!
Be organized – Even this is “not you”, it will makes your planning much easier down the road if you start the planning process as organize as possible. Open a new Excel sheet to keep track with all of your vendors, how much down payment you made and when, favorite songs to pass to your DJ, … … The best thing about MS Excel is you can add as many tab (sheet) as you like, one tab for each item. This way all you need is just ONE document to go by! Not computer savvy? NO PROBLEM! Go with the “old-school” way, which is the most dependable way! Start with a filing system to keep your contracts, receipts and notes together from day one. The key is to keep just one source of information for efficient information management.
Surround yourself with positive people – You know it, as soon as you started your wedding planning, there are lots of voices coming from all different directions that want to “give you an advice”. You know exactly who puts you at ease and who sets your nerves on edge. You know what you want on your wedding day but there are always people who tells you the other way. So, be wise and surround yourself with someone who can make you smile. You don’t need the entire clan to help planning. Share your ideas with people you know who can share constructive thoughts with you. Overall, you don’t want too many people to know what you are going to do anyway. It’s more fun to keep things secret 🙂
Get a good consultant – Wedding planner (an experienced one) and photographer are two of the most important parties in your planning process. These are the people that often dealing with timeline and therefore it will be a GREAT idea to talk to them before you settle your timetable. If you don’t have a wedding coordinator, talk to your photographer to figure out the timeline needed for photos, then plan around it. Remember, when you wedding is over, all you have left is the precious memories and photos to remind you of what happen that day. So finding a photographer you can trust and well-organized is very important. Consult them for timeline advice.
Keeping things in perspective – Being a wedding photographer, I have seen many weddings. Let’s face it, chances are, there will most likely be some obstacle along the way on your wedding days. I remembered on my own wedding day, the cupcakes were the wrong flavor, flowers in the chapel wilted and have to be replaced, … … You can’t expect what will happen. But remember — nothing should overshadow the joy of the day. And the best thing is, if things don’t go according to your plan, you will most likely be the only one who notice it! Set your heart to focus on what’s matter most!
Back-up, back-up and BACK-UP – You spent a long time planning for your wedding. That is the one day where you expect many parties to come together and perform perfectly in a few hours. But things can happen, and sometimes people might not carry out their duties the way they should. In order to avoid any last minute freak out, it is wise to develop a back-up plan from the beginning. On my wedding day both of my hair stylist and my photographer were late!!! Thankfully I have a back-up plan! One of my mother-in-law’s friend is going to be my back-up hair stylist, and I have all my camera gears ready to give it to my father & brother-in-law. I ended up taking all décor photos myself and few minutes after the wedding started the photographer showed up! But imagine if I didn’t think of any back-up plan, I would have a huge emotional breakdown that day (actually I did, a little… but if there’s no plan, it will be worse).
Tell all associated parties to be punctual – one of the most common hiccups on wedding day is the bridal party/vendors are late. For the bridal party, it is very common because all the girls are worrying about their hair/make-up/dresses and the guys probably didn’t go to bed till 5am the day before! However, this often led to delay in getting photos taken, and worst, you might missed many photo ideas you want because you don’t have enough time! So it is best to give yourself some cushion time in your timeline and tell your best friends it is most important for them to be on time. As for the vendors go, start observing them during your initial meetings. If the vendor is always “just a little late” or if it always take them very long time to reply your emails or returning your call, you might want to reconsider your choice before making the final payment. You see people in the pattern they conduct their business, not what they “say” they are going to do. I made a big mistake with my own photographer and so this is speaking out of my own experience. Remember – on a wedding day, if your vendor is on-time, that means they are already late. Make your selection wisely because it is one of the most important days in your life!
Relax… and enjoy one of the best days of your life!