Top 5 Wedding Planning Tips From Feathered Arrow!
It’s summertime, which means it’s wedding season, but really I live in California, so it’s wedding season all year round. Which I don’t mind as a wedding planner! 9 times out of 10 my clients at the very end of the planning process or immediately after their wedding say to me, “I don’t know what we would have done without you!” Now, this of course is something that’s great for me, but when it comes down to planning a wedding, which most of my clients have never done before, I’m their most valuable resource! There are a lot of steps and details, big and little, that go into planning a wedding and sometimes they’re just things you don’t know and that’s where a professional can be super helpful. Essentially at the end of the day you’re planning a big party for anywhere from 100-200 guests and that’s a lot of details to make sure things run smoothly! So here are my top 5 tips to plan a successful wedding!
- Hire a wedding planner! Now, I know this might sound like I’m selling myself, but seriously, hire a wedding planner. They are your ultimate guide, they have checklists galore, and tons of relationships with people in the industry and they know all the great vendors. They are a great resource for questions, your main person to remind you of all the small details, your own personal checklist creator, your designer to help make your wedding look cohesive + beautiful, and really your go-to person the day of the wedding. Now, I know it sounds nice to save some money and have your family members do different tasks or have your mom super involved, but we want you, your friends, and your whole family to simply enjoy the day not moving tables and chairs and setting up decor! The goal isn’t to stress them out or to have them setting things up and tearing things down. Your wedding planner can do it all so you don’t have to! (Think about it, when was the last time you hosted a party and truly enjoyed every minute of it without worrying about your guests enjoying themselves?)
- Utilize your checklists. This is key to making sure you’re getting things done on time. I give all my clients a 9-12 month countdown checklist so that they can make sure they are on track in the planning process. This is beyond helpful because you know when to book your vendors, when to discuss ceremony details, when to send invites, when to have dress fittings, etc.
- Stay organized. Create spreadsheets, timelines and utilize seating charts. Your wedding planner usually creates these for you, but they are essential to getting everything done on time, staying on budget, and making sure you have all the details for the day. I typically create docs on my google drive or use an amazing tool called AllSeated, so that all the important parties have access and can view or edit them when needed. AllSeated helps with layouts, RSVPs and where your guests are going to sit. Creating spreadsheets is great to keep record of your budget, vendor information, decor set-up, and a schedule for the day.
- Research your vendors and read contracts (entirely!) Again, your wedding planner is someone that can provide the best of the best vendors and go over contracts with you. But research your vendors, ask information, understand what’s included in the packages, and meet them! At the end of the day you want to love who you are working with and love their style. It’s key to connect with your vendors because you’re spending a lot of time with them and they are a part of the biggest day of your life. Oh, and don’t forget to read the contracts thoroughly! Make sure you know what your vendors charge for, whether it’s additional time, travel fees, policies, etc. That way everyone is on the same page from the beginning!
- Communicate, Communicate, Communicate! Be sure to voice your opinion with your fiance, your family and your vendors and keep communication open. This is so essential in planning a successful wedding! Keeping everyone in the loop from your family, your bridal party, to your vendors will streamline everything once the big day arrives. Don’t wait to change things a couple weeks out, sometimes it’s too late. So be sure to say what you want and have honest and open communication with those in the planning process. If you communicate well, the day will be smooth sailing!
If you keep these 5 things in mind, planning will be easy, fun + exciting! Remember, it’s a special season of life, so why not do it right and enjoy the planning process!