A Love Letter to the Engaged
To the beautiful women and men who have put your heart out there, who have said YES, and who have stepped onto the winding path toward marrying your person, this note is for you.
To be sure, being engaged is a heady time. There are so many things to think about and plan and do. Yet it is most assuredly a labor of love. So when bumps in the road get you off course, just come back to love. It's the reason you're doing what you're doing, and at the end of the day that's what matters.
Of course other things do make a difference, so here are a few pointers that may save you a bump or two!
Wedding planning, can be overwhelming and confusing, and everyone has an opinion. As you begin planning, and throughout your journey, have a look in the mirror. Take some quiet time, and make sure you know what's important to you. Write it down. Share it with your fiance. Stay in touch with that conversation. Keep each other authentic. Do this regularly so if a change needs to happen it's not too late. A gorgeous example of this is one of my couples who (almost) booked a beautiful venue which would have led them down a certain path. It would have been an absolutely gorgeous, dream wedding, but it wasn't authentic to them. They took a chance and let the venue go, and decided to start over. They are now both over the moon with their new plan (and so is their planner!)
Keep Your Eyes Up
It's also important to insulate yourself from all the voices. While it's fun to look at other people's weddings, styled shoots, vision boards... 99.9% of it doesn't belong to you. Your wedding belongs to you, and the multitude of influences can sometimes block you from seeing that. Enjoy looking, definitely take inspiration from all the beauty out there. But also save space for reflection. Step away from the computer, take a walk in nature or the city streets or whatever makes your heart happy. Get outside the wedding zone for a bit. If all is well with your planning, then carry on and enjoy your walk! If, however, there are places of discomfort, this is where they'll come to the surface. When your eyes are up, you can see clearly and avoid some ... bumps in the road!
Read Your Contracts
Yep, I said it. (Are you saying right now, "Duh! Of course I'll read my contracts!"?) Well I'm going to say it again... Read your contracts and be sure you know what you're signing. You don't want to be the client who comes back and says, "I didn't know"... even though it was clearly written in the contract. If you have a planner who can read through contracts with you, that's definitely a benefit. We can point out things to be aware of, items of note for your particular wedding, etc. But you are ultimately responsible for what you're agreeing to. If you don't have a planner, ask the vendor to clarify any points of interest. It's not often when confusion after the fact or even a dispute arises, but it's easy to avoid if you've read the fine print.
This may also seem self-evident, but it bears reminding. With so many aspects of wedding planning to stay on top of, I can totally sympathize with trying to keep up with it all. But it's a really great feeling when my couples and I are in sync, and can have meaningful discussions and be on the same page. I always encourage (read: urge) my couples to take their own notes during meetings, for their benefit as much as mine. When dates are given, put them in your calendar right then and there. If a change is made, jot it down. Rest assured, your planner totally has your back. So yes, rely on your planner, but taking responsibility for your own experience will not only give you wonderful peace of mind, but your planner and your vendors will be so appreciative!
Trust Your Planner
With an ocean of wedding vendors out there, and beautiful images around every corner, it's easy to fall in love with someone's work online. A fabulous profile is a great start, but there is a lot more to it than that. The reason planners have a network of favorite vendors is because we have extensive experience in exceptional weddings. We know what goes into it, and we know what it takes. And we truly want the best experience for our couples - throughout planning and on the wedding day. When I introduce my couples to a vendor, I already know they will return phone calls on time, they'll treat my couple like VIPs - no matter what. I know they will show up on time to the wedding and always put their best foot forward with a lovely and loving attitude!
As a bride or a groom, it's tempting to want to follow your own instincts, and sometimes that works out just fine. As your planning partner, I want you to trust me as I guide you down the path and help you navigate those waters!
Photo Credits: Sowing Clover Photography, Greg Ross, Someplace Wild, Lauren Rae, Dash Photography, Lily McGregor, Jack Parada, Kate Thompson, Vue Photography, Carla Gates, Matt Altmix