We all plan for our big day. Let’s face it, most Brides have planned for their big day since they were five! For the most part, many already know exactly how they want their day to go. We just needed to insert a Groom.
That is our fantasy and, as a planner, my goal is to get you as close to that fantasy as possible while living in reality. The realities that sometimes come in direct conflict to your vision are; budget constraints (a big one during a time of recession), any visions that your groom may have for what is supposed to be his day too, and then there are the parents , step parents, grandparents and, well you name it, of both sides of the family. I’ve seen too often how what one side of the Bride/Groom mixed bag of families wants is sometimes in direct conflict with what the other side wants and how the couple envision their day.
But there is a way. That I promise. Here is where a good planner comes into play to keep the peace and make everyone as happy as everyone can possibly be.
The first thing I always remind my Bride’s is that it’s their day. If they are paying for my services, as well as for the wedding themselves, that is even more true. If their parents are paying, then I dole out the “requests” , so to speak, on what I consider a percentage basis. In negotiating through the visions of others that conflict with the Bride & Groom, I am emotionally unattached, unlike the Bride and the family. This gives me the ability to see what requests are reasonable and which are, well not so much so. I can act as Switzerland and help all sides come to an agreeable solution where everyone’s vision of the day is met.
If you don’t have a neutral third party, things can get a little dicey.
Then there is the other aspect of planning; all the details, and the work involved. A bad planner can doom a wedding day. Last summer I received a phone call from a caterer that a Bride was in trouble. She had a “planner” that was a friend of the family that didn’t order linens and so she had nothing to cover the tables with. The Bride’s family was contemplating running to Walmart to get whatever plastic tableclothes they could find. So, they had these gorgeous chair covers with satin sashes , over 150 guests . went to the expense of having some delicious food in a beautiful venue, but would be serving it on cheap plastic tableclothes! Well, I felt so horrible for that Bride that I ran over to the venue , made a few phone calls, called in a favor or two, and managed to gather enough table linens to make it work.
I’m sure the family friend’s intentions were all well and good, but no matter, if you do not use an experienced planner with references and a good reputation for getting it done, you could end up with many hiccups and missteps. Not everything will and can always be perfect, but it certainly should come with as little stress as possible. You want to be sure that the vision for your day, if not in your own hands alone, is in the hands of someone that can deliver and make it happen.
Having a planner doesn’t have to be expensive and many, myself included, offer different levels of service. The most practical, and popular , is what I call the “Day of” package which entails making sure that all the details the Bride & Groom went to the trouble to arrange, actually gets done without them having to give out orders or delegate on their actual wedding day. After all, it’s their day, they shouldn’t have to lift a finger or give an order; just sit back and enjoy being the focal point of the day.
It’s also important to remember, your time is money, and if doing stuff for your wedding takes you away from the time you need to actually make that money, it adds up. You also want to be careful about leaning too heavily on family and friends before, during and after. They want to enjoy your day with you.