Choosing the Right Wedding Planning Company for Your Big Day

Just after that beautiful proposal from your fiancée, starts the stress and frustration of wedding planning. But nowadays this is not as tough as before as various wedding planning companies are available in the market to help you with all the arrangements.

The expression “wedding planner” is often the most used term to describe the professionals who assist in wedding arrangements, however there is still not a consensus in the industry and various other terms like consultant, coordinator, wedding designer, event director, event producer and wedding stylist, also keep emerging. So, is there any distinction amongst these designations or are they just a marketing gimmick?

Following explanation about various types of wedding planners and the assortment of services they offer, will help you in deciding the kind of wedding planning company, you want for your wedding:

• Wedding Planners

Basically a wedding producer or planner from wedding planning companies uses your ideas, visions and thoughts to plan and arrange your big day. They have liaisons with different wedding service providers and help you put together all the arrangements to the every tiny detail. Usually wedding planners hold a valid professional degree in event or hospitality management from a certified establishment. They are well aware about all the customs, wedding etiquette and procedures. They are generally quite experienced and their fee ranges from 10k to 40k.

• Wedding Consultant

These professionals usually guide and supervise the wedding arrangements. They play a key role in planning and offer active suggestions. They also refer good vendors for wedding arrangements, but handling and negotiating a deal with them will be your job. They assist in scheduling the wedding day events and are present on site to supervise all preparations on your special day. They are usually less experienced than wedding planners and their fees can range from 2.5k to 10k.

• Wedding Stylist

Also called wedding architects or designers, wedding stylists basically work on making your dream wedding vision a reality. They have professional training in interior designing, floral arrangements and fashion. They not only offer the planning services but take care of the designing aspect as well. Their fees can range anywhere from 5k to 20k.

Many budget-conscious couples decide to opt for the DIY route to save on the wedding and believe that they can always hire a planner at a later stage if they get into a fix. However, this is not always possible. Though, some wedding planning companies provide their services especially for the wedding day, but this is a majorly flawed strategy. This is because it is almost impossible for any planner, irrespective of how experienced he is, to coordinate and take care of all preparations without having met various vendors beforehand and without having a proper insight about the vision the couple has. Therefore, no matter what you do and which wedding planning company you hire to plan your big day, make sure you give them at least a month to 45 days to plan and implement everything flawlessly.

Wedding Planning Tips – DIY In 10 Big Steps

Plan Your Own Wedding… In 10 Big Steps!!

Congratulations!! You’re engaged and you know the next move is to start planning the wedding. You’re probably on the internet, looking for a way to get started! If you’re a couple on a budget, I would like to help you with planning your own wedding!!

I’ve created a detailed step-by-step system, to get you to your dream wedding and guide you through your planning process. Now… I could have easily titled this article as “10 Easy steps”, but I didn’t because, let’s not fool anyone; No matter how Big or Small you chose your wedding to be, it’s a BIG STEP nonetheless! Think of your wedding as… a 1000 piece puzzle. You know what it’s supposed to look like once all the pieces are put together, you just need to make sure you first have all the pieces and they are well laid out and organized to make sure they fit into place. With my 10 Step approach and a little extra dedication from you (which I’m sure I won’t need to ask for twice), you could have your very own, DIY Dream Wedding planned! So here goes…

Step 1:- PRIORITIZE Everything

This is something you need to remember throughout the planning process. You will constantly be challenged with choices and compromises that you will have to take. When in dilemma, prioritize the job! Give your attention to the more important task / problem / challenge till is sorted or completed. So, as a step one, write down the Top 5 priorities that you and your fiancé want for your wedding.

Step 2:- MAKE THE BIG DECISIONS

It’s easier to work on the nitty-gritty details of any task, after you know what the big picture is supposed to look like. So, decide now on what you both want your dream wedding to be. Sleep on it. Think about it. Talk to each other about it. Research it. Draw it. Write it. Whatever it takes to make it seem and feel real and doable to you both.

Step 3:- ORGANIZE the work

Now that you know what you want the end-picture to look like, start working on creating the puzzle pieces.

– The first thing you need to do before getting into action is to decide on your budget, and who is paying for what

– Second, I would suggest looking at the big categories of requirements that need attention to plan any successful wedding. Create a flow chart (of sorts) for these categories. These big categories can be:

o [BRIDE]

o [GROOM]

o [GUESTS]

o [STATIONARY]

o [VENUE]

o [MENU]

o [DECOR]

o [ENTERTAINMENT]

o [BAKERY]

o [MoH + Best Man]

o [PARENTS]

o… and there could be others, based on your wedding plan

– Third, create sub-requirements for each main category by itself. Thus ensuring that you don’t overlook anything important. For example, under ‘Bride’ you would have; Dress, Make-up, Manicure, Pedicure, Shoes, Clutch, Bouquet, Headgear, Garter etc…

– Finally, pick a few dates for the wedding and do research about them. Make sure they don’t coincide with any political or social functions. This would also help to understand ahead of time which are the best area’s and what the possible weather conditions could be around the week of your wedding

Step 4:- TIMING IS EVERYTHING

Create a proper time schedule for each and every task that you have detailed above and under each sub-category. This way you can have control of what’s supposed to be happening by when! Put them on your calendar, create a chart or create a presentation, whatever helps you get your head wrapped around all the aspects for the wedding.

This is also about the time that you begin to develop a rough draft of your overall guest list and start working back words, cutting out people who would either not be able to make it or either you or your fiancé don’t think is a necessity to being there. In short, bring down your guest list to your final draft and number and start sending out the invites or the Save-the-Date cards.

Step 5:- DELEGATE RESPONSIBILITIES

Accept the fact; you are going to need help! You both are just 2 people, who have full time jobs and other facets of life you can’t ignore while planning the wedding, so call in the cavalry and start delegating the jobs that need to get done. Make sure they are important people you can trust wholeheartedly and preferably who have a role to play in the wedding! People like, your Parents, the MoH, Best Man, Sister, Brother etc. Don’t ask the neighbours daughter or high school buddy, just because they’re invited and / or lives close by! Give your ‘wedding warriors’ tasks and ‘pieces’ of the categories and schedule that you created. Thus giving them important roles and a guideline by when the tasks have to be done.

Most importantly, whoever you chose to get involved in the planning and executing process of your wedding, don’t forget to follow-up on them to make sure they follow-up on their list!

Step 6:- GETTING IN THE FIELD

Here’s where the heavy stuff kicks in. You have your happy wedding helpers getting things moving for you, but that also means, that you’ll be pulled in all directions every which way. Stay calm and collected, share the responsibilities between you and your fiancé and get into the field. You’ll have to go for sampling, testing, reviewing and fitting sessions for yourself and for others in the wedding entourage. You will have to meet, greet and verify all the different vendors that will come by. You will have to review and decide which one you want to go ahead with and give your final word.

Also, if you’ve already sent out Save-the-Date cards, now would be the time you will have to start sending out invites to all your guests. You will have to chase for RSVP’s and keep updating your wedding guest list. Always remember your priorities when making these big decisions. Your priorities may be around budget, theme, style, culture or other things. So don’t let yourself get overwhelmed and just enjoy the attention!

Step 7:- UPDATES ESSENTIALS

Get back to the drawing board now (or whatever system you chose to organize your tasks) and update your categories and tasks. Check against things done, highlight things pending and take a look at what’s outstanding and what’s overdue! See if there are other things you would like to add on or take off. Again, follow-up on all those who have responsibilities delegated to them and have not completed. Remember to stay calm, no one likes a Bridezilla and you won’t be encouraging them to go ANY Faster in getting your work done! Remember, you need them on your side!!

Step 8:- DOUBLE UP – Follow-up

Wedding vendors tend to be extremely busy and thus, as scary as it sounds, they tend to miss out things. So, you need to do a double take on all your vendors and suppliers. Remember, you are not alone in this. Go back to your wedding warriors and ask them to reconfirm all the contracts signed with everything that was under their list of responsibilities.

By now, you should also have a final guest-list and RSVP list of those coming, so you can begin finalizing your Table name cards!

Step 9:- FINAL COUNTDOWN

Make sure everything for the wedding is set in motion. If need be, have a final meeting with all the vendors to reassure yourself that everything is ready. Keep an emergency kit with someone reliable and who will be around for you throughout the day, like your MoH. Recheck on the Suits and Dresses, the transportation and all the immediate needs that will arise for the wedding day.

Very importantly, do weather check for the day of the wedding! If anything unsure pop’s up, try to make necessary arrangements. For example, if it says it may have light rain and you have an outdoor wedding; make sure everyone in the wedding party bring in an umbrella and give the venue a call to give them a heads up in case things get nasty, that they can make emergency arrangements; or, if it’s bound to be too hot, get the best man and grooms men to go get crates of juice and refreshments that can be kept cold and handy to give the guests on arrival to stay cool!

Step 10:- YOUR BIG DAY

Forget the rest, leave the stress. Just Wake up, Dress up, Show up… And Enjoy your Wonderful Wedding day unfold!!

For further tips on planning your wedding visit my website or read my blog posts.

Till then, enjoy planning and have a fabulous wedding!

Tips For Avoiding Wedding Planning Stress

Every bride has good intentions when she starts planning her wedding. You envision a beautiful day, surrounded by your family and friends, bursting with happiness and taking in all of the gorgeous details. No bride ever anticipates the pressure that can come with planning such an important day, but it’s inevitable. Everybody feels stressed at some point during their daily lives, and adding wedding planning to your already busy life can be overwhelming.

Remember that you set the tone for the wedding day and the months leading up to it. Those around you will feed off of your energy and if you are stressed, they will feel stressed. Starting off on the right track will not only keep your stress to a minimum, but the stress of the people around you as well.

So how do you get from engaged to I do without losing your mind? Here are some tips for feeling calm and balanced during the wedding planning process.

Have a Plan

The best way to avoid any stress during wedding planning is to start off with a good plan. You and your fiancé must first decide on the type of wedding you’d like to have. Discuss the options with your parents as their input often comes into play as well. If you don’t have a wedding planner, you will be on your own to create a budget plan and wedding planning timeline for the months leading up to your wedding. These are very important! Make this your first step before moving forward.

Create a Realistic Budget

Budget is the number one cause of arguments and stress during the wedding planning process. You have to discuss the budget with your fiancé and anyone else that will be contributing to the wedding – come up with a number that works for everyone and stick to it. Be honest and don’t purchase anything that is over budget without discussing it with your fiancé. Prices vary from city to city, so you might have to do some research to see what average wedding costs are in your area.

Stay Healthy

Eating well and exercising has been proven to reduce stress. Physical activity creates endorphins and improves your mood, while a balanced diet can provide the necessary vitamins and minerals that help reduce stress levels. As little as thirty minutes of exercise three times a week will make a huge difference. A few easy changes to your diet like drinking more water, eating more fruits and vegetables and cutting out fast food will give you the natural defences you need to combat stress.

Find Your Happy Place

This is my favorite and most beneficial tip I can give any bride. We all deal with stress at some point, so you need to find that one thing you can turn to when things get out of control. Whether it’s reading, or getting a massage or a pedicure, yoga, or even if it’s just locking yourself in your bedroom to meditate for five minutes – find something that works for you. When things get too stressful, you are prepared and can automatically turn to your happy place. You’ve heard that expression ‘Just sleep on it’. When you come back from your happy place, you might realize the problem wasn’t even that bad after all, or you’ll come back with the mental focus to face the problem head on and deal with it.

Be Grateful

This will also be a big year for your parents, siblings, close friends and family. They will be asked to throw bridal showers and engagement parties, purchase bridesmaid dresses, and take some time away from their personal lives to help with the planning of your wedding. Be patient and grateful, and make sure to include everyone in the planning process. Often the root of all family issues stems from someone not feeling like they’ve been heard or appreciated. Family dynamics are a part of every wedding, and this can be stressful when everyone has their own ideas and suggestions, and insists on providing their opinions. So patience, forgiveness, and a small thank-you note or a loving hug can go a long way in keeping everyone happy during this time.

Know It Won’t Be Perfect

Let go of the idea that everything has to be perfect. Perfection is impossible to achieve and puts far too much pressure on brides. Every bride wants their day to go perfectly, but I can tell you this, your day will NOT be perfect. Little things will happen that you can’t anticipate, plans may not run exactly to schedule, and people will not always behave or react how you would like them to. In the end, your wedding day will be the perfect day FOR YOU. Have some perspective and appreciate all the good things about the day. Move forward knowing that there will be some bumps in the road, and you will feel less stress when you look at it that way instead of trying to pull off the impossible.

Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff

It can be easy to let your emotions take over when things don’t go how you want them to, especially for the most important day of your life. But if the napkins aren’t the exact color you wanted, or your bridesmaid orders the wrong shoes, or some wording gets mixed up on the invitations – remember there are worse things in life that can happen. Be thankful for the opportunity to be planning such a joyous celebration in the first place. Causing unnecessary drama will only create bad energy for your day.

Have Fun

This is supposed to be fun! If wedding planning is starting to feel more like a job, then you really have to take a step back and re-evaluate. Maybe you need some extra help – wedding planners can step in at any stage of the planning process to take over if you are feeling too overwhelmed or stressed out. Talk to your fiancé and your family – don’t be afraid to delegate some of the jobs so that you aren’t doing it all on your own.

Remember, if the bride is happy, everyone is happy. You set the tone and energy for your wedding day and the months of planning. Making an effort to stay calm and stress free is important to a memorable wedding planning experience. Otherwise you could become overwhelmed and turn into the dreaded Bridezilla, which no bride (or those close to her) wants.

Wedding Planning On a Budget

Almost since the beginning of time women have always dreamt about their wedding day. They want the most important time in their lives to be memorable and if at all possible, extraordinary. Nowhere in their frenzy of wedding planning do they say to themselves, “Oh, have I really wanted a cheap wedding with no frills.”

Not likely. But it is possible to make a perfectly lovely wedding without breaking the bank. All it takes is some careful wedding planning to make a bride’s dreams come true without putting her parents into cardiac arrest wondering how they are going to pay for it all. And you don’t need a wedding planning guide to do it. Here are some ideas on how to do wedding planning on a budget:

First, let’s start with the invitations: You can save a bundle on your wedding invitations if you just follow a few simple rules:

1. Invitations

a. Don’t Purchase Invitations from Party Stores

Yes, party or stationery stores are wonderful places to look for wedding invitations, because they have a wide variety to choose from. Unfortunately, they are not the most reasonably priced places to go to.

If you can restrain yourself from buying the first set of invites that you fall in love with, you will find that by doing some comparison shopping, you can frequently find invitations closely resembling the ones you liked somewhere else at a more affordable price.

Then comes the cake! Here is an interesting wedding idea for the perfect cake without all the financial hassles:

2. Wedding Cake

a. Get a Sheet Cake Instead of a Wedding Cake

It should taste just as good as a wedding cake would, and you will end up spending a much smaller amount of money on it.

Now for the next item on your wedding planning checklist:

3. Inexpensive Flowers

a. Only Buy Flowers in Season

If you don’t know which flowers will be in season at the time of your wedding, make it a point to find out. Regardless of what types they are, you should be able to pick plenty that are perfectly lovely and will match your color scheme.

4. Opt for a Wedding Dress Featured on Sale

Selecting a wedding dress is the part of the wedding planning where it’s easiest to spend way more than you can realistically afford.

a. Don’t Be Afraid of the Discount Rack

Don’t be self-conscious about buying a wedding dress from the discount rack. Remember that you’re not viewing a bunch of rag-tag rejects, but dresses that need to be sold so that the store can have room for a new batch. The savings will absolutely delight you.

So in concluding, these are just a few ways in which you can ease the financial pain of a wedding. But just keep in mind that you don’t have to sacrifice your dream wedding for the sake of saving money. These are some ways that will help lower the cost and make your wedding planning a little less nerve-wrecking.