01 May, 2012

You Asked For It: Logistical Roundup

Hey, gang!
I am starting out the week by answering more of your clever questions.  As you'll remember, we got sidetracked with some events and client meetings and marriage (oop, just seeing if your awake!) and a million other little things this week.  But I wouldn't want you to think I forgot you!  Quite the contrary!

And away we go!

So, we are really excited about the planner we've chosen.  Her designs are amazing!  Unfortunately, though, we are worried about the price tag.  My dude is wondering if we could pay her a little less, or take her ideas to the next planner on our list.  What do you think?
Stop.  Right.  There. You may absolutely NOT take her ideas to someone else.  It isn't an honest thing to do. In my opinion, you've three options:

          1.  Walk away from this designer and try to find someone in your price range that you are equally excited about.  If you choose this option, work with the new designer to come up with something you love.  Something unique...you know, not stolen.

         2.  Work with this designer to figure out a payment schedule that will work for both parties.  If you are drawn to her work and her designs are so amazing, she's probably used to working out payment schedules.  Explain your situation. 

         3.  Stick with this designer, but work with her to distill the design into something a little more budget friendly.  That way, by focusing on the design elements that are the most important to you, you'll settle on something a little more affordable.

Above all, be honest.  Be honest with her and be honest with yourselves.

Do we really need a vegetarian option?  It just seems so overdone.
Well, have you any vegetarian friends?  Family members?  Members of the bridal party?  If the answer to that is 'yes' and you'd like them to be able to eat at your reception, then yes.  Yes, you need a vegetarian option.  It's not overdone, it's proper behavior to accommodate as many guests as you can.

What do we do with the gifts?  
Work with your venue to find a location for the gift table that is as secure as possible. Assign a member of the family or bridal party to keep an eye on them throughout the night.  If your venue is in or near your hotel, can you have them taken up to your room when the dancing starts?  If you are off to a gift opening the next morning, arrange to have them taken to that location.  If not, I'm sure you can find a few helpful souls willing to help you get them home.

Posed shots or candids?  We can't decide.  How do we choose a photographer if we can't decide on what style photos we want?
Choose the photog who's adept at both.  Seriously.  Let me tell you a little story:  Personally, I detest posed shots.  Like, hate hate them.  So does The Hubs.  However, it was really important to his parents to get some.  So we compromised.  It was a Genuis Idea. Posed shots for them and a whole evening full of mindbogglingly gorgeous candids for us (my parents included).

Help!  Everything is so expensive, we had no idea.  How can we manage our budget and get everything we want?
In my opinion,  the first, easiest thing you can do is make a Splurge/Save list.  Just split a piece of paper into to columns.  One marked 'save' and one marked 'splurge'.  Now, think of all the elements you want your wedding to have and put them in one of the two columns.  Want a killer bar? Splurge.  Not really into floral centerpieces? Save.  Once you and your SO can agree on the list-stick.  To.  It.    The other thing you can do that can be really helpful is talk to some other couples you know that have gotten married or seek consultation from a planner.  They can give you some actual, real world cost references.  But remember, your wedding doesn't 'have' to be anything but a fun celebration of your lurve.  Take a deep breath.  You're going to be fine!

Do I need to have my SO's sisters in the wedding party?
Need to, no. Consider your relationship with them and decide the best course of action.  If you choose not to include them in the bridal party, just think of other ways they can be involved.  Dress shopping, planning the shower...there are lots of ways to involve them.  Remember, be tactful and gentle if you decide not to include them.  You don't want to damage your relationship with them down the road.  Besides, we're all adults.  There's no need to intentionally hurt someone's feelings with careless speech.

How can I get the vendors to better understand our vision?
I usually ask that prospective clients bring some of their inspiration with them.  Pictures, fabric swatches, paint samples, favorite books...anything that inspires them.  Are you on Pinterest?  If you are, why not create a wedding pinboard and shoot the link to your vendor.  You can go through it together and discuss what it means to you.  The visual aids can help you more accurately articulate your vision.  I will say this: Do not expect any of your vendors to copy another designer's work.  The ethical ones won't do it and the unethical ones...well, do you really want your special day to be a copy of someone else's?

How do I hold it all together on the big day without a planner?
Be prepared.  Make a spreadsheet of all the moving parts of the wedding (when's the cake coming, when should dinner be on the table, how long is the ceremony).  I'm serious.  You need everything in one, easily accessible place.  Make three copies.  One for you, one for your SO and one for a trusted person (friend, bridesmaid, mom...you get it).  Decide which questions you will answer on the day.  Direct all other questions to someone else with the list. You might also ascertain whether a friend might be willing to step in for the day.  Just make sure to brief them.  The best advice I can give you is to just relax.  Enjoy your day-you're getting married, damnit!  You should be focusing on that!

Want to agree, disagree or share your own advice?  Leave it in the comments.  As always, I am happy to answer (just about) any question you can throw at me.  Feel free to e-mail me at goldiluxeevents@gmail.com.

Photo credit:  smilingsilversmith.blogspot.com

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