Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Keep Your Sanity & Enjoy The Experience, "Don't Become Your Very Own Wedding Planner!" Response to the "Brides Magazine Blog"

As I sit and wait for my next client to arrive, 
I stroll through my Facebook news feed to 
come across a Blog Post from the popular 
"Brides" wedding magazine titled, 
"How to become your very own Wedding Planner!"

First I was shocked and appalled that such an established and respected magazine would publish such an article which disrespects the Wedding Planner advertisers they have. I do understand that not everybody can shell out thousands of dollars for a professional wedding planner, and this magazine was just trying to give those brides some tips to help them plan a successful wedding, but if you hire a good wedding planner, the savings they provide you in proper planning and budget management should cover the cost of the wedding planner!

Here is my response to the blogs suggestions! 

Tip #1 Get Organised:
The problem with this is, many couples don't know where to start to even get organised! They suggest creating different folders in your in-box to store paperwork, templates and etc. Which is a good idea, but a better idea is if you don't want to hire a professional full time, most professional wedding planners offer hourly rates, or a kick start your wedding planning offer where they help you create a proper foundation to planning a successful wedding. This usually cost a very minimal hourly rate or a small inclusive rate. By doing this, the DIY bride is given a proper plan to be organised and this could not only save time, but 1000's of wasted dollars she may have spent researching and booking the wrong things out of order. 

Tip #2 Use Online Tools:
This is a great tip! You can find lots of charts, to do list, check list, budget calculators, time-lines that are free to help the DIY Bride plan her wedding, but what usually happens is once the bride prints them all out, or saves the app, or papers to their device they began to go over those and quickly get overwhelmed will all the tasks especially if you are in school, working, taking care of a child, or any number of things life hands to you. In many professional Wedding Planners Kick Start wedding planning packages they will give you a customized plan just for your wedding and budget so you only have the charts, checklist and time'lines you need and can stay focused instead of feeling bogged down! 

Tip #3 Make your to-do list accessible no matter where you are
This is the best tip that they give, do keep your to do list virtual , so it is available on your computer, phone, pad and any other device you may have. Saving things to Google docs is perfect because once you long in on any device all of your files are available to you. 
                 *Notice they add a link to their blog, "What to do when you hate wedding planning," They added this because if you try to become your own wedding planner, at some point you are going to start hating wedding planning which I really hate to hear from Brides who find me after they are sick with planning their wedding. This is a once in a lifetime experience and you should be enjoying every moment of it not stressing over details and worrying about if who you hired can live up to what you contracted them to do. They mention in this link blog, not to sweat the small stuff because something wrong will happen and no one will notice. Yes, no wedding is perfect, but if you hire someone to be their at least to be the wedding coordinator for the day, you will have a professional to handle to issues that come up or least have them covered up enough so no one really won't notice and you can at least enjoy your wedding day and not just be happy when its all over! 

Tip #4 Do your research
OMG this is the most overwhelming statement that they could have added to this blog. My company has been in the wedding planning business for 20 years and we are constantly meeting new wedding industry providers, finding new great ones, marking off new and old ones that never provided good service or stopped providing good service. This statement of, "Doing your research", can be a full time job all by itself!
This is where hiring a professional can really save you time, wasted dollars, and save you lots of tears in the end! A good wedding planning company that has been around for a while, can save you research time by recommending wedding professionals that not only fit into your budget but will work with your personality and provide you with the service you are looking for. 
It is never proper to haggle or try to negotiate with wedding vendors over prices! This is this persons livelihood, how would you feel if your boss says, I know we said we would pay you $18 an hour to work for us, but since we don't want XYZ from you this week how about we pay you $15 and hour instead! 
That is what you are saying to wedding vendors when you want to haggle with them, also when you do this you discredit yourself and they feel like you don't respect them and after that they really don't want to do your wedding. In every case it takes lots of time, (not just on the wedding day) to do what it is you are hiring them for. They are charging you according to their experience, education, talent, how many workers they may have to pay & time!  A photographer who charges $600 for a 4 hour wedding verses a photographer who charges $3000 for a 4 hour wedding is because the $600 may have just graduated photography school, did not go to photography school, or is not a full time professional and does this as a side job in their spare time (which means a longer wait to get your pictures back). The $3000 one for 4 hours has done it for years, will edit your photos for wedding perfection, and they will be of crisp excellent quality for years to come. This example works for all wedding vendor types. 

Tip #5 Ask other brides
Do ask other brides, but remember they only can tell you about what not to do or to do  if their wedding is over, because during the process they are in the same situation you are and have the same about of information you do . They are not a professional so you are sharing same time experiences. This is a great idea for support because unlike many friends and family who may tire of hearing wedding ideas and stories form you, this community will never tire of your stories and even welcome more!

Tip #6 Become friendly with Pinterest
Pinterest is great for ideas and learning how to create things to make for your wedding. Pinterest can also be deceiving, many post show how you can create what would be a very costly wedding look for pennies. Many brides see this and get discouraged when talking to wedding vendors and they quote them a very surprising number and they think the vendor is trying to price gouge them, when that is truly the price and cost of materials! The truth really is, wedding vendors for the most part aren't really over charging many are truly under charging! By the time they get what they need to do your event, give you what it is you ask for, they make a very minimal amount to live on and to provide for their family. 

Tip #7 Divide and Conquer
When you start to feel stress, delegate the task to others to do.... 
This is a great idea if you have people who will do this for you and won't let their lives distract them form getting it done for you. When you hire a professional to do things, they get it done and it is a business transaction, yes by the end they could possibly be your friend, but the job will be done. When you delegate to friends and family they may or may not get it done at all or if done not the way you asked. I have seen many friendships end over things like this and family disputes. What happens when tragedy strikes and the person helping you cannot do what they said and its 2 weeks until the wedding..... 

We at 1 Elegant Event understand that everyone can't spend 1000's of dollars on their wedding, or on a wedding planner, but it is smart to seek out one to get you started and to coordinate the day of your wedding! Your wedding day and the wedding planning process should be enjoyed so you can have great memories of the entire process! Happy Planning!

Blog Written By:
Cossie Crosswhite
Owner, 1 Elegant Event Wedding & Event Planning

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