Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Advice from a Wanna-be Wedding Planner

I'm going to admit something to all of you:


Yes, I get great satisfaction from my career as a teacher. Yes, I love my students. Yes, I am pursuing a graduate degree in education. However...


Don't get me wrong. I am not going to give up my life. Wedding planning is my fantasy career. Everyone has a job that they secretly wish they could do, but for one reason or another would never seriously pursue it. My biggest hang-ups about the job can be summed up in a three words: Saturdays, summer, and bridezillas. I especially Love (with a capital L) summer. You don't really get one of those as a wedding planner.

Anyway, enough rambling discourse on why I'm glad that I teach pudding-smeared middle schoolers instead of corralling bridezillas and their families! I want to put some good wedding karma out into the universe since it seems like all of my single ladies are getting married this year. The following would be my biggest pieces of advice if I were to go into business as a wedding planner:
  • Be yourself! Your fiance proposed to you just the way you are because he loves you--just the way you are. Don't go nuts dieting, tanning, and dying until you no longer resemble yourself. In 20 years, you don't want to look back at your pictures and think, "Who was that girl with my husband?"
  • Be reasonable! I really wished at the time of our wedding that there was money in the budget for chair covers, color coordinated table linens, floral centerpieces, light design, a helicopter ride (Bachelorette-style) and a videographer. Do I regret cutting any of those ideas before I ever even talked to my parents seriously about budget? NO! My wedding was the best night of my life.
  • Have everything completely arranged by noon on the Thursday before your wedding. It is meant to be the best weekend of your life, and having to tie ribbons on programs until 2 AM the night before will make you one grumpy Gus. Avoid the headaches, and have everything sorted out and duties assigned well in advance.
  • Be compromising! Is this your wedding? Yes. Is this your fiance's wedding? Also yes. Is this the wedding your mom and dad have always wanted to give you? Yes. There are a lot of people with a vested interest in your special day. When you get into a big disagreement with someone, think about it like this: On a scale from 1-10, how important is this to me? On a scale from 1-10, how important is this to __________? If it is honestly more important to the other person, seriously consider being flexible. This kept me from absolutely devastating my relationship with my mother about five days before our wedding. Thinking back, I honestly can't remember what the disagreement was over!
  • Don't do a tradition just because it's a tradition! I got really bent out of shape about the logistics of doing a petal toss and send-off for about 10 minutes until my mom said to me, "Do you even care if you have a petal toss or send-off?" Sure enough, I didn't. It saved me a lot of headache to just drop it. Ultimately, I got the best petal toss and send-off; my girlfriends spontaneously scooped up all of the rose petals from the tables and showered me with them on the dance floor, and my family got kicked out of the ballroom by the hotel because we had over-stayed our welcome. We went upstairs with my bouquet and a bottle of bubbly after hugging our nearest and dearest. It was perfect.
OK... I probably have a few more choice pieces of advice, but I have heard a rumor that my niece is going to be making her first appearance soon. I need some beauty rest for the insuing storm of pictures (on Facebook for privacy reasons).

Do you all have any good advice to add? Leave a comment! I would love to hear it so that I can steal it for my future wedding planning business, or book, or movie... JK! I just want to store it up so that I can pass it off as my own when a friend is in need. That's only a smidge selfish. :-)


  1. My advice: You can plan and execute a beautiful wedding in two weeks. It doesn't have to be a huge production or cost a lot of money. Utilize your resources. Your friend is a photographer, maybe that can be his gift to you; Christmas lights and sheer fabric make beautiful decoration.

  2. my advice: handmade! Whenever I get married I want most of my "Decorations" to be handmade. I love to be crafty and have lots of crafty friends, and sometimes (through sometimes not) crafty can be cheeper!

  3. My advice: figure out your budget and then set priorities, which is what Sarah and Jeff did. Then the question of how quickly or how cheaply can be easily handled.