TO the Feathered Arrow blog. I'M Kari! A WEDDING PLANNER, PODCAST HOST, BIZ EDUCATOR, AND A LOVER OF COFFEE, ALL THINGS OUTDOORS + A SUCKER FOR A GOOD LOVE STORY.
Hello, friends! If you’ve been following along then you already know that I am engaged and currently in the process of planning my own wedding! As the day gets closer, I wanted to take a moment to write a blog post about my experience so far. Being a wedding planner planning my own wedding, I’ve learned some new things and even believe more deeply in things I already knew. This is why it’s so important for me to share these tips + continue to educate my clients.
First things first: Set a budget and plan for additional expenses! It’s easy to start spending and buying random items here and there, but remember small additional items add up and can end up costing you more than you realize. Don’t just make impulse purchases. Ask yourself, “do I really need this?” or is it something that seems like a good idea in the moment. Talk to your partner and really decide if it’s important to making your day that much better or not. Pro tip: keep a spreadsheet of expenses to help keep you on track!
A lesson I’ve had to learn was to let go of my wedding being “Pinterest perfect” and blog worthy. Yes, as a wedding planner, design is very important to me. However, I just don’t have the budget or want to spend the money to make things over the top. Although I LOVE seeing the creativity of my clients who have the budget to spend, it’s just not my experience. My fiancé and I have had many conversations about our budget and many initial ideas have shifted because WE decided it’s not worth the money. For us, it’s really about the overall experience + our guests having a great time along with making sure everyone is fed and has a drink in their hand! Yes, the design is still on point but we’ve scrapped some ideas that just seemed like too much work + ultimately, not worth the time and effort.
I cannot stress this enough: Over communicate with your vendors. It’s so helpful to making the process go smoothly and really conveying your visions and your desires. No one is a mind reader and as a planner, we love when our clients over-communicate. It helps us to do our job better! So don’t be shy!
Hire a great photographer and someone you vibe with! We love our photographer and her editing style and when we met for our engagement photos we knew we could trust her and just feel relaxed with her! It’s important to trust their creative process, their talent + their experience. I feel lucky that we found someone whose work we love and who we vibe with! Be sure to research, and ask friends or family for referrals!
Delegate tasks equally between your partner + yourself. Additionally, ask family for help! Yes, it may be hard to relinquish control (coming from the planner) but I learned to ask others for help even with small tasks that were stressing me out. For example, my mom helped me write thank you cards and send them out after my shower. My sister-in-law is helping with bridal party gifts, and my dad is helping make signs for our wedding. Ask for help and you’ll be surprised how many people are willing to help. It’s one less task for you and friends and family are willing and able!
Lastly, be sure to always stay true to what you + your partner want. Weddings are expensive! Now look, I knew this wholeheartedly going into it but hosting an event for over 100 people is not cheap. Therefore, my biggest piece of advice is to have an honest conversation with your partner after you get engaged and decide what is truly right for the two of you. Not what your family wants or what your friends are expecting, but what’s right for you two. Don’t get me wrong, I’m beyond excited that we are having a bigger wedding that includes a wedding weekend with our closest friends + family. However, I think being transparent is so very important! Weddings are expensive + a luxury! So, decide what’s right for you! Is it a small wedding or an elopement? Maybe it’s a big ol’ wedding with your friends and family! There is no wrong answer. Whatever you decide, stick with that decision and make it the best day ever!
I hope this list has been helpful! Remember, I’m just a click away if you’re ready to start planning your big day too! And stay tuned for more updates on my own wedding planning journey!