Wedding Blunder # 1 – A friend or family member as the Wedding Planner
Wedding planners put in countless hours of work into each and every wedding. They know the ins and the outs of this industry and each wedding professional in the area. Wedding Planners have the best wedding professional referrals, they can help you with your overall design concept, they handle all the administrative work and act as your personal assistant. They can save you thousands of dollars by saving you from making costly mistakes and through price negotiations. Be careful not to mistake the help you are offered by your friends and family member as a substitute for a well-trained, experienced certified wedding planner to guide you through the many twists and turns you will encounter along the way. A wedding planner knows which vendors in your area will provide you with the best possible service at the lowest price and which ones just talk about it. Wedding Planners are able to negotiate great discounted rates with each vendor. It is also extremely important to have a neutral party to act as an advocate for you when conflicts flare up. Finally, having someone on your side on your most important day is invaluable. There are approximately 5000 details that will need to come together seamlessly and you will need someone with experience to make the day smooth. Even wedding planners who have been in business for decades hire other wedding planners to assist them when they have a wedding in their own family. Laurie Hartwell, owner of the wedding planning firm “A Wedding To Remember”, and Founder/CEO of The Bridal Society, the nations leader in wedding planning certification and training has this to say on the subject: “In the future, when my daughter gets engaged, there’s no doubt in my mind that I will have a wedding planner assist with the big day. I want to remember, enjoy, and embrace the whole experience as any Mother of the Bride is meant to.” Don’t make your friends and family work on your wedding day, let them enjoy this time with you. You only get to do this once and your family will appreciate being guests at your wedding, not workers. Leave the work to the professionals so that you can all savor the moment free from stress.
Wedding Blunder # 2 – A friend or family member takes the pictures
Today, everyone with a digital camera seems to think they are a professional photographer. Every once in a while I will hear a bride say that they have a friend or family member who is willing to shoot the wedding. Too often, it goes terribly, terribly wrong. In fact, our wedding planning firm won’t take a client if they are in fact going to have a “friend” shoot the wedding. There is a lot to consider because photographing a wedding presents many unique challenges. A professional photographer with experience and proper equipment will (1.) know the right questions to ask you before the wedding to ensure you are not disappointed after. (2.) They will be familiar with your ceremony and reception locations and will know what the requirements are. (3.) They will spend hours and hours editing your wedding photos. (4.) They will know when to anticipate the shutter release to capture that special moment. (5.) They are prepared for any equipment failures by having the proper back up equipment. (6.) Your professional photographer is aware of digital file preservation and will back up the data.
So please, tell your friend or family member that you would rather have them enjoy your wedding and be a guest. Understand this, you will never get a “do-over” of your wedding day. The pictures (other than video) will be the only memory that you can take away from all of this… don’t leave it to chance, hire a professional photographer with a great reputation… like Angel Gray Photography!
Wedding Blunder # 3 – Have a friend or family member bake the cake
“A cake, Haunk, is made of flour and water…my first car didn’t cost that much…”, so the line goes from the movie Father of the Bride.
Before you have a someone who is not a professional write “Congratulations” in her best cursive on a sheet cake from the grocery store consider this… On your wedding day as your guests are meandering about your reception admiring the splendor of the room, the unique centerpieces or the great tasting champagne, one of the highlights of the tour will be a close inspection of the cake. When your guests survey your cake what they will see is an extension of your personality, style, and the level of elegance you attribute to the day. Bakers, real bakers with experience, are not just bakers, they are artists. They will take the time to sit down with you for a free consultation. They will listen to all of your ideas, they will look at all the pictures you have cut out of magazines. Only a professional baker can incorporate all of those things in their edible art. Of course, let’s not forget about the way your cake will taste. You should always do a taste testing. Bring your fiance, your mom, your best friend. Try many flavors of the cake and icing. Is it too dry, too moist? Was the frosting too sweet, too hard, too thin? These are all things you will want to find out well before Aunt Betty rolls out her home-made version of the leaning tower of Pisa on your wedding day. Hire a professional baker.
Wedding Blunder # 4 – A friend plays the music on their ipod
Have you ever been in an uncomfortable situation? You see an old friend in the mall but you forget her name, you’re having lunch with your boss and there’s a piece of spinach in her teeth? Now imagine your wedding day, you are holding your new groom in your arms and you are both ready for your first dance. All of your friends and family are watching with anticipation, the lights are low and love is in the air. But wait… what is that sound coming from those speakers in the corner? Silence. Worse yet, your ipod DJ has a puzzled look on his face as he frantically tries to find the right song. What you are feeling right now is exactly what countless brides who thought they would save a few hundred dollars on a DJ have felt when they asked a friend to play some songs at their wedding. There is so much more than just playing music that goes on at a wedding. Who is going to announce the toasts and the dances? Who is going to keep things flowing, making sure that your guests know where to go and when to get there? Who is going to let them know when it’s time for their table to go to the buffet line so the line isn’t one hundred guests long? Who is going to tell them what to expect next? Who is going to make sure there are no uncomfortable pauses throughout the night? Who will get your guests excited about the customary formalities like the mother & son dance, the father & daughter dance, the garter and bouquet toss? The answer, if you are smart, is a professional DJ or band. This is YOUR wedding. Your DJ or band will make or break the day. You owe it to yourself to hire a professional.
Wedding Blunder # 5 – A friend shoots the wedding video
In today’s world of video phones just about anything that happens can be shared in cyberspace within the minute. It is tempting then to think that enough people will use those phones or flip cams or maybe even one of those real video cameras and you’ll have plenty of footage to look back on. Think again. Your guests want to enjoy your day. The last thing on their mind is pulling out their i-phone to document what’s going on. Even if some of your guests took their time to capture your special ceremony the sound quality would be less than ideal. Do you want to hear your vows or do you want to hear wind, muffled words, or worse yet… nothing. Having a professionally shot video (Preferably High Definition) will ensure you have captured the magic of your most special day in a way that still pictures could never do. Ask perspective videographers what kind of experience they have. Can you see some samples of their work? You would be surprised at how many different styles of editing there are out there. Remember, fifty years from now when you are sharing your memories with your grandchildren, you will want to show them a video that won’t make them laugh.
Wedding Blunder # 6 – Ordering your invitations online
From ordering pizza to checking names off of your Christmas shopping list there’s no doubt about it, we are already a society who depend on the internet for even the most basic of our needs. The average ten-year old types faster now than he writes so it’s only natural for us to look to the internet first and ask questions later. When it comes to your wedding invitations it’s time to draw the line. You’re not planning your sisters graduation party here, you are inviting people to YOUR WEDDING! An invitation specialist is well versed in all of the proper wording on your invitation. There are also so many other factors to consider. Do you need place cards, escort cards, directions to the reception, response cards, menu cards, programs? Are you going to mention his parents, your parents, neither of them? Is his dad a doctor, a reverend, a diplomat, or a senator? How many people are you inviting? How many of those do you think will really come? Is your list finalized? There are certain ways to address all of these situations and there is a certain order in which everything should be done to save your time and stress. An invitation specialist will guide you through all of your options. Make a day of it. Go out to lunch before hand with your mom and your best friend. Sit down with the invitations, feel them, smell them, hold them in your hands. If you pour through dozens of books and don’t find what you are looking for there are people who can create a custom invitation just for you. This is your one and only chance to experience every aspect of planning a wedding. Embrace it and enjoy it.
Wedding Blunder # 7 – A friend or family member makes the food.
So Grandma Gertrude makes the bast lasagna this side of Sicily. Cousin Carl has a secret recipe for smoked salmon that would make Wolfgang Puck weep. This doesn’t mean you need to put them to work on your wedding day. It also doesn’t mean that the dish they make so perfectly for a family of eight will turn out just as well when feeding a hundred and fifty-eight. There are other things to consider before you throw away that caterers card. A professional caterer will know how many plates, dishes, sets of silverware, napkins, chargers, glasses, champagne flutes, centerpieces, (are you getting my point or should I go on because I haven’t even scratched the surface) to bring. A professional knows how much food to make so that you don’t run out. A professional caterer has the pots, pans, platters, spatulas, butter, spices, the license, the refrigeration, and the staff to serve the food that your guests will be talking about long after the wedding reception is over. Oh, by the way… who is going to clean up all of those things I just mentioned? Not you if you do the right thing, let your family enjoy your day and hire a professional caterer. By the way, make sure your caterer allows you to do a taste test. If they can’t take the time to let you taste their food ahead of time then go ahead and throw away THAT card and move on.
Wedding Blunder # 8 – Order and arrange your own flowers and centerpieces
So you’ve always wanted to explore your more creative side. You have wandered the aisles of your favorite craft store. You may have even put together a few arrangements using some silk flowers you found at an “Old Time This” or a “Hobby That”. This does not give you the experience you need to be a wedding florist. Do you know what flowers are in season at the time of your wedding? If you don’t plan ahead you will pay much more than you should. Do you know when to order the flowers so they get to you in enough time to trim them and put together the arrangements but not too soon that they spoil? Have you ever created a bouquet? a boutonniere? a centerpiece? Have you ever decorated an arch on the beach in the sun an hour before a wedding? Do you have the refrigerator space to keep all of this fresh right up until the time that you walk down the aisle? I could go on and on but I hope you get the point. Leave the flowers to a professional. Again, make a day of it. Most florists will sit down with you for a free consultation and will take the time to ask you the right questions to make sure that you get exactly the look you want within the budget you can afford.
Wedding Blunder # 9 – Stress out about every little detail
If you have followed the advice in this article and hired professionals to handle the details of you big day then there should be no reason to stress. Even if something goes wrong (And it very possible will) what you need to remember is that you are marrying the man or woman of your dreams. At the end of the day you will have made a promise to another human being to stand by them through thick and through thin, for better, for worse, in sickness and in health until death do you part!
Don’t stress.. if you have a professional wedding planner, a magnificent DJ, a brilliant photographer, and an amazing baker and florist… there won’t be anything for you to stress about.
Finally, consider this. If you needed surgery you would call a doctor. If you were being sued you would call a lawyer. It is just as important for you to hire a certified wedding planner. They have the expertise you need to save you THOUSANDS of dollars. Take a deep breath, look around, embrace the process and be in the moment enough to enjoy it. Congratulations on your engagement.
Now get out there and have some fun!
www.weddingtoremember.net / 321-258-1393 / firstname.lastname@example.org