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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Wedding Planning Tips

Hi, friends! In honor of being married for a whole half year, a wedding post.

The best five lessons I learned about planning a wedding:

DIY is not always more affordable.
While the DIY movement is fun and creative, I thought at first that it was a way to save money. It's not necessarily that. It can be a great creative outlet and way to make the wedding your own, but DIY costs money, too. I did my fair share of thrifting for our wedding (mainly for vases), but that taught me the other thing DIY takes from you: time. Planning a wedding yourself starts to feel like a second full time job, so choose a few favorite projects and do them well. I started with a million great ideas and soon realized I would need to let many of them go. 

Sometimes it's really nice to let a professional do the work while you think about what's most important: your new spouse.
If I had it to do over again, I would probably ask for more help from friends, or hire an event designer. I really loved designing our wedding, but on top of life and other jobs, it's a lot of work. It's fun work, but it taught me how valuable my time is. While I enjoyed doing it myself (John helped as much as he could!), it would also be fun to have more creative types to collaborate with. 
A tight budget doesn't necessarily mean you can't have professional help, either. There are many vendors who will take your budget into account and find ways to meet your needs within that framework. Our invitation designer did this for me, which I really appreciated. 

Quality control.
For me, this is the scariest part of planning a wedding. One simple search for "wedding band" or "florist" gets a million hits on Wedding Wire, The Knot, and the like. How do you know who's good and who's not? How do you know those reviewers weren't just going for a free print from their photographer? You don't. And there's nothing worse than paying someone to later be disappointed in their work. (This happened to me - yikes.) The only thing I can tell you is to do lots of research about the vendor you're choosing. 
Style Me Pretty has a vendor guide called the Little Black Book that is highly committed to quality control. Check it for vendors in your area who have been approved by the Style Me Pretty team!  

Wedding blogs are a wonderful source of inspiration.
They can also, if you're not careful, give you horrible last minute design doubts or make you feel inferior in some way.  I stopped looking at blogs a couple of months before our wedding. There are too many good ideas out there, and by the time you're committed to your own design, why torture yourself with different aesthetics that you might have chosen at another time?
My friend Lauren wrote a piece about this for the Baltimore Sun. On the other hand, it's fun to keep looking, because everything is just.so.beautiful.

Compromise is always better. No one's going to remember the passed apps, anyway.
People get really silly around weddings. Suddenly stupid things seem really important, when really, you're probably just worried about making sure 150 of your closest friends have a great time all at once. John was really good at those moments (better than I was). He helped me keep the process fun and joyful, and he kept reminding me that the vows were the only thing that actually mattered. :)  
Happy planning!

P.S. For fun, here's the piece Megan wrote about our wedding in the Sun.


  1. Thumbs up for this post, I was reading it with a smile on my face. I've had a pleasure to plan something like 120 weddings over past five years. I work and leave in Dubrovnik, Croatia and most of my clients are UK based, some from the States, Canada, Ireland or Australia.

    It basically comes to a project like renovating a house. A loads of possible traps: hiring the Wrong contractors (slow, inaccurate, wrong pace - forget it!), setting an unrealistic budget (middle way is the best way, you will feel comfortable with it), ignoring your style (just forget be-like-that trendy nonsenses that doesn't make you feel good) , choosing the wrong materials (is this venue really for you?), failure to anticipate chaos (remember you're most likely doing it the first time in your life), going to trendy (do you really need all that splendour?), inaccurate measurement (hey is this venue really for 12 round 8-pax tables and dancing floor?) etc, etc....
    Most of these traps you can avoid by hiring someone that has seen (and been!) into this for many times. Still you'll have a bunch of staff on your mind: who to invite, what to wear, how much to spend (your word is here last of course), when to plan it (who may attend and who doesn't), and dozens more.

    By hiring a professional you put all these questions under just one question: who's the right person to take care of it all? Now, depending of how long does it take for you to put the trust in someone - take your time to check that one well and you're done.

    About the latest: I've been facing very different stories here: brides signing the wedding planning contract and booking entire weddings after exchanging just a few emails from one side, and brides that only after 50 or 60 emails, couple of Skype calls, a few inspection visits decided to book (of course: with many brides to be that never booked, :).

    About planning a wedding in Dubrovnik, Croatia: http://doyouwed.me
    About rennovating the house inspiration: http://www.hgtv.com/home-improvement/25-biggest-renovating-mistakes/index.html

    1. Thanks for reading and for your ideas. :)

  2. Good ideas! True! DYI is not "always" affordable! sometimes it's more time consuming and exhausting!

    Unique Wedding Favors


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