Posts in the 'Liz' Category

Wedding Tech vs. Your Wedding Guests

Wedding Tech vs. Your Wedding Guests

Obviously, technology plays a huge part in our lives, but there’s a lot of corners you can find yourself banging into when it comes to tech in Wedding World.

Look, first it started with personal wedding websites and online gift registries. Then e-vites and e-RSVPs and cute apps that keep your guests and your wedding party constantly updated on your plans for the Big Day. You know, if they download the app.

It can never be enough, it seems, but it can also be too much. Because your pursuit of a perfectly efficient, streamlined, green wedding planning experience, will, somewhere along the way, fall victim to human nature.

The Tech That is Good

Wedding websites. One stop shop for additional information, which is just the best. Sign up on The Knot, Wedding Wire, Wedding Paper Divas or one of a dozen other sites, put it somewhere on your invite. Done.

Evites. The popular thought is still that you either have to send out paper invites or you have to send out both, but I’m not sure. I think that’s more of an expectation thing – you expect your grandmother (last seen checking email on her Kindle) won’t be able to open up an email, or will be offended that she has to. We’ve been working with this internet thing for over 20 years, now. Might be time to save a little money, a little paper and give everyone the benefit of the doubt.

Online registries. Listed, hopefully on your wedding website. Ready to ship your wedding gifts to the house of your choice. For the most part, it prevents guests from having to bring gifts to your wedding, which you then have to lug to the house of your choice. For the most part.

When you’re looking for good Wed Tech, again, think “one-stop shopping.” The wedding website or e-vite that can track your RSVPs, that can tell your guests, with a click, where to buy your gifts and where to stay. Don’t drive yourself or your guests nuts trying to find the right information in a combination of seven different places.

The Tech That is Not So Great

Wedding apps. You can build a wedding app that takes the place of a wedding website. An app that stores/sends any pictures guests take at your wedding. The aforementioned app that keeps everyone informed on your planning progress. It’s not that the apps in of themselves are bad, but you’re going to lose most people when you send them to a secondary location (the app website) to get them to the third location (the app), and expecting everyone to download it, and then remember to use it. I checked – I have 120 apps on my phone. I use seven, maybe, on a daily or weekly basis. How about you? And before you think, “well, I can set up a notification system for updates”?

Just … No. Don’t spam your guests.

That’s a good rule for any Wed Tech you use. Don’t spam. Universal truth: No one cares about your wedding as much as you do. No one is as invested as you are, and it would be a little weird if they were. Don’t get me wrong, they care about you. They care about whether or not they can be there, and about doing the right thing when they get there. So, give them a place to go to get that information. But don’t worry that they have to know about every little change when it changes. Everyone’s grown. For the most part. Which brings us to …

The Tech That Will Not Work As Well As You Want It To

Manage your expectations:

Online RSVPs. It does not matter what you do, you will not get a 100% RSVP by your deadline. The human nature thing. People procrastinate, people aren’t sure if they can come when the deadline hits, people forget. Or they assume that you know that they’re coming, or that you know they’re not. Whatever the reason, you will have hunt the RSVP AWOLs down. Be proactive: Set up a spreadsheet with everyone’s names, phone numbers and email address and avoid scrambling. Scrambling sucks.

Online registries will not prevent some guests from physically bringing their gift to your wedding. Many guests will also bring envelopes with checks and cash. Have a place where those can go when they get there, and a plan for how to get them out.

So, seriously, is it time to go full green and make e-vites the new norm? What tech are you using for your wedding?

Let me know in the comments below. And if you’d like to find out more about me and my part of Wedding World, go to www.silvercharmevents.com.

See you at the end of the aisle,

Liz

Wedding Photography: The Unknown Unknowns

Wedding Photography: The Unknown Unknowns

Photo: Chasing Glimpses

Weddings are complicated creatures. There are a  there a lot of things about your wedding  that you can extrapolate from real life, and a lot of that you can find out by asking obvious questions. But there are also the unknown unknowns, the stuff that you don’t know that you don’t know.  And you don’t – or wouldn’t — know, because you haven’t done this before.

As a wedding planner, finding your photographer is always the next thing on our checklist, after your venue and a caterer. For one thing, it’s usually the next most expensive line item on your budget. Your wedding pictures are the only permanent thing, other than your spouse and your ring, that you’re taking away from your wedding day! But wedding photography  is filled with unknown unknowns. What is that you don’t know that you don’t know about your wedding photography?

Choosing a Good Photographer

 Like most art forms, “good photography” is subjective. So, first of all, look for pictures and styles that personally appeal to you. Look for pictures that are focused, whose subjects are are well-lit, against backgrounds that don’t distract from the photograph.

There are also no standard costs for photography, though here in Los Angeles, you can expect to throw back a few thousand dollars.  When you’re deciding between photographers that you like, try and compare apples and apples. What services do they each provide, what are you getting for what you’re paying? How many hours on site? Are engagement pictures included? An album? A disk of pictures? And if one photographer doesn’t offer one apple that another does, ask how much it would be to add it. Either way, you’ll be able to find a great photographer in your price range. But don’t settle – sign that contract knowing that your pictures are going to be beautiful.

And, seriously? Choose a photographer that you like. They are going to literally be in your face all day during your wedding and you’ll be dealing with them after the wedding while they’re finishing your pictures and albums. You need to be okay with that.

How Much Time and Work is Invested in Your Pictures

There’s the lead-up to your wedding, the consultations about what pictures you want, the ones you don’t and discussing (several times) the general flow of the day. Engagement pictures usually take 2-3 hours. They are at your wedding for 8-12 hours. If you don’t have a planner, they’re going to be running the day with help from your DJ. And, depending on your venue and your guest count, there could be two photographers. And, no kidding, those photographers are going to take thousands of pictures. So, after your wedding, thousands pictures have to be sorted in chronological order, duplicates and blurry shots have to be deleted, and the rest have to be edited and touched up before you even see them. Raw images are not an option you want. So, it takes a few weeks! And, how fast you get your album after that depends on you and how fast you can pick the pictures you want in it.

About Those Pictures On Your Wedding Day …

As you’ve probably figured out if you’ve been reading for a while, I’m into wedding timing. How to manage it, when to ignore it, and when to pay very, very close attention to it. Pictures take a lot of time. Assembling everyone, for one. Posing. Posing again. Different locations, different shots. Groomsmen wander back to the bar, other people blink during group shots. This can eat up the time you have between hair and makeup and leaving for your venue, and it can definitely make your cocktail hour hectic! You don’t have to do it (you don’t have to do anything) but talk to your photographer about taking pictures of you and your fiance before the wedding, and getting as many group shots as you can after that. Less pictures during the cocktail hour, more of a chance for an appetizer and a drink, and to marvel in wonder that, WOW, you just got married! Ask your photographer about other ways to streamline the day. Trust me, they’ll have a ton of suggestions.

Are starting to look for photographers? And if you’ve already picked yours, how many did you talk to before you made a decision? Have you decided to do a first look? Let me know, along with any questions, in the comments below!

And if you would like to find out more about me, and my little part of Wedding World, go to www.silvercharmevents.com.

Liz

How to Love Your Wedding

13.1

 

It works better if you love it.

-Danielle La Porte
So, you’re at least a couple of months (or so) into planning your wedding, with a few months (or so) to go. It’s been a bit much, and not quite what you expected. And with so many moving pieces and so many unknown unknowns hiding in the back corners of any choice, it’s easy to start resenting it . The money, the time, the checklists. One of my new brides expressed all of this during our first consult, and I asked her, “Do you love your wedding?” And she said, “Not right now. I love the idea of it. I love what I want it to look like.” Well, that’s a start. “But I don’t really love it,  there’s too much to get through to get there.”

In the quote at the top, Danielle was not talking about weddings, specifically, but if she was, she’d still be right. Planning your wedding works better if you figure out how to love it.

Here are a few ways to start:

Replace the word “overwhelmed” with the sentence “I have a  lot of options.”

It’s the difference between feeling trapped, or feeling like you have choices, because you do. And you have time to go through them, one at a time. Embrace the Pretty. Focus on what you like, instead of what you don’t. And if you have to move on, do it believing what I believe: You will find what you want and need. Because you will.

Replace the word “worry” with “decide.”

Full-stop on the anxiety. A wedding cake isn’t the next thing you have to worry about, it’s just a decision that you have to make … out of the many options that you have. Embrace the Pretty or the Yummy, ask the questions, and trust yourself to ultimately make the right decision.  Because you will.

Replace the word “dread” with “anticipate.”

This is the huge one. And tough, I know. So many things haven’t worked out, it’s hard to take a deep breath and walk through another door hoping for the best. Meet it halfway – hope to see something cool, even if the cool thing ends up being a story about how awful it was! When you’re really at ready to throw something off of something, think about all the people that you can’t wait to see on your wedding day, and all the fun you’ll have, even if the bouquet you wanted is twice as much because peonies aren’t in season. What are you looking forward to on that day? It’s okay if the answer is, “for the planning to be over.” But until then, wait, what did that caterer just say to you??

Replace the word “how” with “when.”

“How am I going to do this?” One Google search and phone call at a time,  like I do. Again, avoid feeling trapped, take back the control and schedule the time to get it done. It could be during lunch, you can shoot a phone call or email out once you get home, but pencil it in. That’s how you do it.

Celebrate everything.

You booked your venue. Awesome. You found three photographers that you can afford whose work you love.  YES. Got through your first bridal shop visit? That calls for at least one margarita break. Found $4 gold chiavari chairs? Brush that dirt off your shoulder, woman. Celebrate each crossed off checkbox, no matter how high up on the list it is. And look for stuff to celebrate. You’d be surprised how quickly that will become a habit. {Eds. Note: We HIGHLY advocate keeping a cheap bottle of bubbly in the fridge at all times during your engagement.}

And most importantly, on your wedding day, CELEBRATE. First of all you made it – because of course you did – but most of all because this is a day that you filled with your choices, that you filled with things that you love, and people that you love. My favorite part of every wedding is watching you have a good time, sometimes despite yourself! Give up, stop worrying and enjoy the day. The love and the fun will all be there waiting for you.

And, there’s your pep talk for the month! What was your last wedding win, and your last wedding frustration? How did you celebrate, or pull yourself out of a funk. Let me know in the comments below!

And if you would like to find out more about me and my part of Wedding World, go to www.silvercharmevents.com.

See you at the end of the aisle,

 

 

Liz

Your Fun and Fabulous Elopement and How to Make It Happen

Your Fun and Fabulous Elopement and How to Make It Happen

Yes. Have the Wedding You Want.

The average cost of a wedding in the U.S. is $28,000, whereas grabbing your Sig-O (does anyone use that term anymore?) and driving to the courthouse, or if you’d rather, hiring an officiant to marry you on the hilltop of your choice? Even if you tack a fancy dinner onto that, it’s still only a few hundred bucks.

So, you can’t really talk about Broke-Ass Bride brilliance without talking about Eloping. I’m a wedding officiant, too, and last year was big on elopements for me. Historic monuments, beaches, parks, the balcony at the AMC theater  (no lie). Short, fast and very, very sweet.

But before you head out the door with a pair of shiny rings and visions of the Honeymoon night dancing in your head, there are four important questions you need answers to:

Why?

“Because we want to” is a perfectly acceptable answer! “Because we can’t afford a big wedding,” or “I don’t want to have to deal with a lot of people” or “Because she needs health insurance NOW,” or “Because he’s moving out of the country next month,” or “Because we were going to be on vacation anyway,” I have heard them all.  The important thing is that what goes at the end of that “Because” sentence is “ … and we were going to get married anyway,” AKA, “The Love.” People are going to ask, repeatedly, so you might as well have an answer. Also good for you to know why you’re doing this, too. Side note: If their follow up question is, “Are you pregnant??” I give you permission to laugh in their face and not answer. They’ll figure it out in a few months, either way, right?

Where?

Location, location, location? Logistics, logistics, logistics. Even Elopements have to be mapped out. Going to the courthouse requires money, and your IDs, and knowing when and if that particular courthouse is performing ceremonies. Oh, and if you need a third person to be a witness. “Destination” weddings require tickets and hotel reservations. Beach and park ceremonies might require a permit or at least a heads up. You can try and “guerilla” it, but do yourself a favor and find out what the rules are. You rebel, you.

One more thing on that: A public location is a public location. Keep in mind that other people at that location will stare, hover, and, you know, exist. But at the end, they will also clap and cheer, which is pretty cool.

How?

Is it just going to be the two of you and your officiant, or are you inviting a few friends and family to come along? Is anyone going to need a chair or a table? Do you want a bouquet, a wedding dress or a tux/suit? Jeans for everyone? RedBull toast after your kiss ? A photographer or a videography to record it for Facebook and posterity? You can do whatever you want, of course … but figure out what you want to do!

When?

Today, tomorrow? In a couple of months so your Mom can fly down? The second day you’re in Vegas? Think about it. But not too long, or else someone is going to wedge a dinner party for 50 or a three-tier wedding cake in there. Seriously.

I know you’ve thought about it, and if you haven’t thought about it, that’s because you’re doing it! So, why did you decide to elope, or why did you decide not to? Let me know in the comments below, along with any questions on how to pull it off. And if you would like more information about me and my little part of Wedding World, visit www.silvercharmevents.com.

 

Have fun and I’ll see you at the end of the aisle,

Liz

Let Your Wedding Crew Choose. Follow and Get Out of the Way.

Rosales_LeClair_Powell_Pictures_DSC0963_low

Credit: Powell Pictures

So, I’ve been checking in with my 2015 couples a lot this week. March’s backyard wedding was relocated to another backyard. May wants a photo booth.  I’m looking at venues with July #2 this weekend. June #1 is in way better shape than she thinks she is. And, actually, so are you. Remember that the next time you start to wonder.

What’s been interesting is that each of them asked about managing their wedding party. And managing their families. Or, rather, managing their wedding party and families’ questions and expectations.

There are just so many of them, you know? Wedding party and family members. And questions.

When is the bridal shower, where is the bachelorette party? Should all 10 of your family members wear the same color as your bridesmaids and/or groomsmen? When should everyone, or anyone, fly in for the wedding? And on and on.

Should you let them choose, or just tell them what to do?

Well, yeah, definitely one or the other.

But here’s the thing: It’s up to you, what they get to choose, and what you want to  dictate. And it doesn’t always have to be one or the other. Most of the time, wedding-wise, people want (cough, cough, NEED) direction. But if it’s something that’s not a big priority for you, it’s okay to let them make the choice .

But let them know one way or the other.  And if the answer is, “This is what we’re doing,” remember to smile and say “Thank you.” And if it’s “Whatever you want to do,” give them a deadline to let you know, well, what they’re going to do. Every choice needs to come with a deadline. Every mandate needs to come with gratitude and a smile. Got it? Now go forth and plan …

What’s the last detail your wedding crew has thrown back to you? And which way did you decide to go. Let me know in the comments below! And if you’d like to learn a little bit more about me and my part of Wedding World, visit www.silvercharmevents.com.

 

See you at the end of the aisle,

Liz

Five Good Wedding Planning Habits You Should Probably Start Now

Five Good Wedding Planning Habits That You  Should Probably Start Now

I believe that it’s not enough to simply survive planning your wedding, you should thrive and feel like a Boss while you’re doing it.  Here are five wedding planning habits to start practicing now that will help.

Let’s start with the money, first:

1.Multiplication. Avoid sticker shock that every couple goes through, and  remember that you are buying in bulk. For example, Chiavari chairs  for  $10 each? Multiply by 100 = $1o00. $2000 if you’re getting another set for the reception.

2.Ask about the other STDs – Service, Tax and Delivery. Always. Everyone who is delivering a product – your photographer, your photo booth, your cake – is going to charge tax, plus a delivery or travel fee. Your venue and your caterer will charge tax, plus a service fee. Here in Los Angeles, that’s usually adds up to  30% of the bill, on top of the bill, turning your $85 per person dinner into $110.50 per person. Multiply that by 100 …

3. Your last question to any potential vendor needs to be, “Is there anything else I need to know?” There are many unknown unknowns in wedding planning – the stuff that you don’t know that you don’t know, or need to know.  Asking this question will give the opportunity for your vendor to go over anything they might have missed in their spiel, but are mentioned in the contract, or cover concerns other couples should have had. Things like, late fees, open fire permits, parking, vendor meals. That question might lead to more questions, but there are never too many questions. Or answers, for that matter.

And then there’s the mindset:

4. Treat this like any other shopping trip. This past weekend, I walked through Bloomingdales – like an idiot – to get to the rest of the mall, and I was stopped dead by an ankle length full-sweeping silk skirt. If you follow me on Pinterest, you know that’s My Style. $598? No. I took a picture of it so I can maybe find it cheaper online, and then skipped over to Banana Republic and bought another ankle-length sweeping skirt for $75. My point is, that with every vendor, every service, you have alternatives. The last thing you look at is not the only option you have. It’s not only being able to afford it, maybe you just don’t like it. As an ex-bride of mine once said to the hovering bridal salon sales lady, “I know I look good in it, I just don’t feel good in it!” Feel good in it, feel good about it, whatever it is. If you don’t, move on.

5. Keep reminding yourself that you are not a victim of your wedding.  This wedding isn’t something that’s happening to you, you’re not being forced to pay $110 per person for dinner on a Saturday night. If you start thinking otherwise, or continue thinking that way, you are going to be very, very unhappy through this whole thing.  Throwing a wedding is a choice that you are making. That can be frustrating, or it can be empowering: You get to choose how you’re going to do it, what your wedding is  going to look like, or if you’re going to do it all. You get to say “Yes,” and you also get to say, “No,” and your reasons for doing either are perfectly valid, okay? So, stay empowered and don’t confuse “want to” with “have to.”

You’ve got this.

What are some habits that you’re already starting with your wedding planning? And what do you think of mine? Let me know in the comments below. And if you would like more information about me and my little area of Wedding World, visit www.silvercharmevents.com.

See you at the end of the aisle,

Liz

Best of 2014: The High Cost of Wedding Fear

Former BAB advice columnist / current wedding planner extraordinaire Liz Coopersmith, of Silver Charm Events, stopped by to give you guys a boost this week! Guys, there’s no reason to feel fear about or shame toward your wedding. Really, honestly and truly. It should be a very happy time in your life, because hey! You’re in love! And you’re getting married! And yes, there’s a lot of bullsh that can surround a wedding day, but don’t let that get you down. Liz explains why:

steve and bridget

From Bridget & Steve’s Intimate, Beautiful Palm Springs Wedding. Credit: EPLove

I talk to a lot of brides every week, as you can imagine. I’ve watched a lot of you exhibit two very disturbing emotions when it comes to your weddings: Fear and Shame.

It’s in the way it takes me at least a couple of tries to find out how much your budget is.

Or, in the reverse, getting upset that you’re spending so much of your/your parents/whomever’s money on one day, when you could use it on a downpayment on a house, instead.

Or, the sideways look you and your fiance give each other when I ask how you met.

Or, when you tell me how much certain family members need to be kept away from each other, or, kept away from you. And then follow up, five minutes later, by saying it’s not that bad … but seriously, everyone has to be on opposite sides of the room.

Or, how you keep giving in to what your parents or your friends want you to do, instead of standing up for what you want. Are you being a doormat?

Or, not giving into what your parents/friends want you to do, and standing up for what you want. Are you turning into a Bridezilla??

You can’t win, because you won’t let yourself win. You’re ashamed of where you are, so you won’t allow yourself to be happy with what you have, whatever that is right now.

Researcher Brene Brown defines shame as “the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing we are flawed and therefore unworthy of acceptance and belonging.” Shame is built out of the fear that you won’t be understood. And I’ve noticed that a big reason that people don’t feel worthy of acceptance and belonging is that they don’t really think that they can ever get what they want. Not really.

I understand – there is a lot of pressure to make your wedding the best and most perfect and most beautiful day of your life. And (GASP!) there are not supposed to be any limits – financial, personal, logistical – on the best day of your life! That’s what makes it such a great day, right? Poor people don’t have beautiful and perfect days, only people with unlimited budgets do. You can’t have a beautiful and perfect day if your families are always at each other’s throats, only people with close, well-behaved relatives can. Do you deserve to live happily ever after if you met online and not through a Random Act of Fate? What will happen if you tell the truth? You want to impress your family and friends, and most of all, you want to impress yourself. It is a lot of pressure, and completely unrealistic.

The cost of wedding fear is that it focuses on what you don’t have, and on hiding what’s not there. It’s a waste of time. Plus, it makes you feel like crap.

So, what’s the cure?

1. Be honest, with yourself and with anyone else you’re dealing with, wedding-wise. Just … be honest. The more you try to hide what you’re afraid of, the more control you give it. And, eventually, it’s going to have to come out. Are you worried about being judged and rejected by potential vendors … who don’t know you? It’s business, not personal. If they can’t work with you, for whatever reason, then you can’t work with them. If they are going to be mean or snooty about it, then you really don’t want to work with them, right? Which brings me to …

2. Don’t go in looking for a fight; don’t walk into the room expecting resistance. What you look for, you will find. I’ve met with many brides who will, in one sentence, tell me they have a limited amount of money, and then tell me that’s not enough for them to have the wedding they want, and then ask me, “You can’t work with that, can you?” This is before I’ve even opened my mouth to reply. I get it – you’re rejecting yourself before I get a chance to do it, but don’t assume. Same thing with your family and friends. Tell them what you need and what you want, and then see what happens. Don’t be defensive, just have a conversation.

3. Remember that you are not alone. Not even close to being alone. If you’re facing a wedding planning problem, there are tons of other couples facing the same thing. Find them online and and seek empathy and sympathy. And solutions, too.

4. Some things will not change, but they can be worked around. If your parents couldn’t be in the same room with each other before you started planning your wedding, odds are then they won’t be able to on your wedding day. You’ve been managing your family for years, and you know how to deal with them — or not deal with them — so they don’t drive you insane. Keep doing that. The historic house you love is not going to drop their rental rate by a couple thousand dollars on a Saturday night. You are probably not going to win the lottery before then, either. Accept it. You might not have Ivanka Trump’s budget, but you’re not so broke that you can’t have a beautiful wedding day, and the love surrounding you will be free (Aww!). It is what it is. If you can’t afford Saturday night, what about Friday or Sunday? Less guests? What about a cocktail or dessert reception? Figure out what you feel comfortable with and go from there.

5. Use what you have to get what you want and need. You think you don’t have anything, or not nearly enough? You’re so wrong. If you have access to the Internet, you can find a local bridal show and see what’s possible. If you’ve picked your venue, you can ask for photographer and florist recommendations. Don’t know how to do something? Google it. If anything, you have too many choices. Keep looking until you find the best option for you.

6. Be grateful for what you do have. A fiance who loves you, and who you want to spend the rest of your life with, no matter how you met them, or what type of reputation either of you had during the Bush administration. Friends and family that are happy and eager to help, even if they won’t back off (they mean well, I swear). One day to celebrate that with all your favorite people in the world. Pollyannish? Sure. True? Totally.

7. Don’t twist yourself into knots. Many a bride has overextended her budget, her patience, and her good will trying to overcompensate for a perceived lack of … whatever. Pull the brakes anytime you hear yourself saying, “I don’t want them to think … ” or “I know it’s still not going to work, but … ” Full stop. Turn around. Find an option that doesn’t make you hyperventilate. Ask for help if you need it. Take help when it’s offered.

8. Finally, give yourself some credit. You’re sitting there thinking, “HowamIgoingtodothishowamIgoingtodo thisHOWAMIGOINGTODOTHIS?”Look around! You are doing it, the way everyone does it: One step at a time.

See you at the end of the aisle,

Liz Coopersmith

Liz

Wedding Time: The Big To-Do, Part II

EPLove

 Photo: EPLove

Last week I said that while you’re planning your wedding — like, the actual planning and choosing and deciding — you shouldn’t focus on when you’re making those decisions or feel pressured to stay on track and not fall behind, whatever that means. You have a list of checkboxes, take them on by one until they’re X’ed out. Timing is not the biggest factor.

Well, not yet.

Your wedding day on the other hand …

It’s all the contracts. How many hours you have your photographer for. How long hair and makeup has to take. When you can set up your ceremony and reception. When you have to shut the doors behind you. There are so many things that have to fit into so many time frames, within time frames. Manage it by managing your expectations:

Swifter, higher, faster? It’s a Wedding dress, not a cape.

Nothing is going to take less time to do. You will not be capable of doing more in that time than you would normally be able to. So, if hair and makeup takes three hours, make sure you have the three hours, even if it means starting earlier. If your photographer needs an hour for first look and wedding party pictures, give it to her.

Create it in order to save it

The easiest way to stay on schedule is to buffer it — Hair and makeup starts at 9, make sure everyone shows up early and ready to go. Take an hour after hair and makeup, or after the last “event” that morning, for everyone to get their stuff before you jump into the limo. If you have two hours to set up your reception, be there before the doors open, prepared and ready to use all of that time. Tell your wedding party to meet at point B 20 minutes before your ceremony. Announce last call 15 minutes before the bar is gong to close. Twirl away the last dance an hour before you have to have everything out of the venue. Lots of people — and there are always a lot of people involved, one way or another — need lots of time.

Making up for lost time

It happens. There are so many moving parts to the day, and so many distractions (most of them fun) that sometimes you fall behind. 8:45pm, photography ends at 9pm, and you haven’t done toasts – yet. Or the cake hasn’t been cut or your bouquet tossed.  Or the music has to stop and you haven’t danced with your Dad – yet.

Jump on it, and get it done, quickest to longest. Cake cutting takes five minutes. And you never have to dance to the entire song. Tell anyone who’s toasting to keep it short and tell them why. And ask your vendors for help and suggestions, okay? That’s what we’re there for.

Do you have any questions about saving time on your wedding day? Let me know in the comments below!

See you at the end of the aisle,

Liz

Wedding Time, Part One: The Big To-Do

Wedding Time, Part 1 The Big To-Do

Photo: Persimmon Images 

It’s not always the first meeting. Sometimes it’s the second meeting where it comes up:

“The wedding timeline I found online says that I should have started planning this seven months ago. I’m supposed to have my engagement photos and my lingerie by now!”

Or something to that effect.

Basically, whatever  you’ve done so far, whenever you are, the clock on the wall and the page on the screen is telling you that you’re already behind.  And the clock is still ticking …

Guess what? You are not behind. You are not late. You are fine where you are.

Change the way  you look at it, and the way you look at it will change: Focus on the checklist, not the countdown. These timelines are pretty good about the order of what you should do (pick a date, find a venue, find a caterer, etc.), so stick with that. But it’a all about managing the (admittedly long) checklist. You can borrow my Rule of Threes, if you want.

The Rule of Threes:

I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but for every wedding checkbox, there are a ton of choices, and a ton of choices that depend on other choices. In order to narrow it down, and, well, be flexible at the same time, I give my couples three options for each one. So, instead of picking one date that will work, pick three. That way, if you find the perfect venue, you’re not stuck with an unavailable date. Three wedding venues that will work with your style and budget, before you schedule your appointment, so, you’re not as disappointed if the first one won’t fly. Three caterers, three photographers, three dress shops. One at a time for a little less stress. Decide who you want to meet, and then decide who you want to hire.

But won’t that take a lot of time? Truthfully, once you knock one thing off the list, you can use it to find another thing. Venues will have a list of vendors that they recommend, for example. Photographers can recommend videographers and photo booths. If a DJ on your list isn’t available on your date, he or she can refer you to someone who is. Use what you have to get what you want.

Where Time Will Come Into Play

So, you are going to have to manage your expectations a little. You will not always be able to reach or hear back from your prospects right away; it might take a couple of emails and calls. Do both. Try to avoid contacting them over the weekend, because that’s when we all work. Most hotel and venue managers take Mondays off. And, again, figure out at least three days and times when you’re available before you schedule appointments. If you’re meeting face-to-face, expect it to take at least an hour, plus travel time.

There’s one wedding checkbox where timing does come into play: your dress. If you don’t buy off the rack, ordering your dress can take 4-6 months. You can have it rush ordered, but you know … rush fees. Be aware, and don’t be afraid to ask.

It’s the checklist, not the countdown. You’ve got this.

In Part Two, we’ll talk about time management on your Wedding Day, where, ironically, it’s the countdown and not the checklist. Sorry about that.

So, where in  your checklist are you feeling the pressure right now? Let’s figure it out in the comments below. And if you would like to learn more about my little part of Wedding World, visit me at www.silvercharmevents.com

See you at the end of the aisle,

 

 

 

 

Liz