That’s exactly what I thought when I was first starting out as a Wedding Planner. I certainly didn’t remember spending over 30 working days planning my own wedding. To be honest, I thought it was a ploy by the people in the wedding industry to exaggerate the value of their services.
Rather than take their often-quoted word for it, I decided to sit down and work it out for myself
I come from a supply-chain background so I love a good spreadsheet! I actually enjoy breaking things down and tabulating them so that’s exactly what I did. I listed each and every step from engagement through to the honeymoon and sending off thank you notes. Beside each, I put a modest estimation of time – big things like researching, visiting and choosing venues, right down to the important minutiae such as lodging the Notice of Intended Marriage form - I tell you, this spreadsheet is a beast! I was shocked to discover that 250 hours is potentially just the tip of the iceberg, especially if you’re planning a wedding for the first time, which most people are.
As the old saying goes, “failing to plan is planning to fail”, so here are some insider tips that can help you save time and frustration on the road to your wedding day:
· Know what you want. This may sound obvious but it pays to be specific. For example, how many guests do you expect to have? What time will your reception start and finish? What type and how many cars will you have? Before you start shopping around, know what your priorities are and what you will and won’t compromise.
· Set a realistic budget. Asking how much a wedding costs is like asking how long a piece of string is – it varies hugely depending on individual budgets. Nonetheless, you may be able to get a more realistic idea by asking a friend who has recently been married what they spent on each element of their wedding. Better yet, ask them for their actual expense tracker.
· Interview your vendors. This will take some time initially but it’s a worthwhile investment at the outset to save time further down the track. Start with those recommended to you by people you trust. Assuming you know what you want and have set a realistic budget, you’ll be able to confidently lead the meeting with questions relevant to you and assess whether they will be able to meet your needs.
· Let your Bridal Party help. Presumably you’ve chosen the people nearest and dearest to you who are ready, willing and able to help. Don’t be afraid to trust them with your clearly defined and well-articulated vision. Whilst they won’t be able to write your vows or build your bridal registry, you can delegate anything that doesn’t require your personal touch or decision.
· Manage your time. Selecting your venues and sourcing and selecting your vendors and service providers will take up about a third of your time. Establishing your guest list, managing it and then finalising your seating arrangements is also a lengthy process. Whatever you do, don’t leave these to the last minute.
· Have a complete event run sheet. Most reception venues have a Wedding Coordinator who will put together an event run sheet. Flesh this out for the rest of the day, not just the reception. Be sure to provide copies to your vendors and your Master of Ceremonies. Remember to include all your vendor names and mobile phone numbers in the document for easy access. It’s also a good idea to give a copy to a trusted friend to oversee on the big day.
· Work with a Wedding Planner. If any or all of the planning process feels too overwhelming or time consuming, consider working with a Wedding Planner. Wedding Planners are professionals who’ve already done the hard yards and built trusted industry relationships that will ultimately save you a great deal of time, money and stress so that you can enjoy the journey to your wedding as much as the day itself.
At For Thy Sweet Love we offer a range of packages to suit any budget or preferred level of involvement - from purely advisory through to planning absolutely everything including your honeymoon. Whatever your choice, we are committed to working with you to realise your own unique vision for your wedding.
If you’re interested in finding out what we can do for you, or even if you want to see that monster spreadsheet, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call on +61 414 419 895 for a complimentary consultation.