Wedding Planning: What I’ve Learned So Far – Part II

The last six months of wedding planning have been a whirlwind! While it’s definitely been a fun process so far, it’s also felt like I’m climbing an extremely steep mountain with no peak. I never realized how many little details there are! It seems like every time I check something off my list, something else adds itself to the bottom.

Right off the bat, I was lucky enough to be able to book my venue, my photographer, my DJ, and get the food lined up, as well as a wait staff and bartenders to help with drinks and food. I was feeling pretty confident in myself, and admittedly had myself on quite a pedestal, and then I ran into some snags.

The thing about the wedding circuit is, things are trendy, just like in the fashion world. And, as it happens, I don’t actually like what’s in “style” for weddings right now [read: whispy, wildflower-y bouquets and arrangements, and mermaid-style wedding gowns, just to name two].

I have been STRUGGLING HARD to find a florist. I’m not kidding you, I’ve emailed somewhere between 20 and 30 florists to try and find somebody who shares the same style as I do, and who is also in my price range [I received a $10,000 minimum quote from a lady – I was absolutely speechless! who spends that much money on PLANTS?! plants that are inevitably going to DIE. apparently some people can and do..]. I have found a few, but it’s been extremely hard to keep track of them. One of the biggest things I would suggest to you is to not email vendors through their websites, if you can. If they have their email address listed on their site, email them directly! Some websites have a bounceback email that lets you know they’ve received your inquiry, but most don’t. I didn’t hear back from a good chunk of the vendors I messaged, and when I kept running into dead ends and had to go back to the drawing board, I couldn’t remember who I’d already emailed and who I hadn’t [I initially tried to keep an Excel spreadsheet to house all the vendors that I’d been in touch with, but that was way too time consuming and was taking a big chunk of my time that I really didn’t have].

In my last wedding post, I made a point of noting to get your Pinterest boards organized. Since that time, I’ve actually pulled photos from Pinterest and made an “Inspiration Board” that houses all my favorite pics in one. Creating an Inspiration Board is a great way to streamline your vision into one small [ish] space [if you’re anything like me, you have 20 wedding boards with hundreds of photos in each – that is way too overwhelming for a vendor to hunt through]. My coordinator was actually the one who suggested I do this; at the beginning of my planning process, I knew what I wanted for a venue, but I didn’t have a design direction. I had thousands of ideas on Pinterest, but nothing really flowed. Putting my inspo board together really helped to get my ideas to flow, and then I fell in love with my design plans! On my board, I included florals, table decor, a wedding gown, color palette and the aisle and arch/altar. It was long overdue, but in the end, that is what ultimately helped me to give florists an idea of what I wanted. This also gave my wedding coordinator a vision to go off for suggesting vendors to help with planning my big day.

Before you get in touch with vendors, RESEARCH exactly what it is that you want and expect the outcome to be. I ran into major roadblocks and communication gaps with florists because I didn’t know anything about flowers, let alone the ones that are available in the fall. I kept receiving proposals with flowers I hated – I felt like I was getting my point across to them during our meetings and discussions, but I clearly wasn’t. When I finally took some time to look up the flowers they were proposing, the flowers that are in season, and eliminated the ones that I didn’t like, I finally started connecting more successfully with the vendors. The same was also true for my coordinator – I explained to her what I wanted for my vision, and she has been doing everything in her power to make that happen.

I highly recommend hiring a coordinator of some sort. Or at least be sure to have a friend or acquaintance who has experience with combing through contracts and siphoning out little details. I have been so thankful for my coordinator throughout this entire process, but especially in the last few weeks – we ran into some HUGE glitches with the owners of my venue, and luckily my coordinator was able to break down the contract and keep things according to agreement. Vendors can be sketchy AF! They will often times try to pull the wool over your eyes, and it’s in your best interest to know what you’re signing when you come to an agreement with them. If something in the contract seems odd, don’t sign it! Things are always negotiable, which is something that I’ve really had to learn throughout this entire process. Another bonus about having a coordinator: you don’t have to worry about anything on they day of and leading up to your wedding day. That, to me, is worth every penny.