10 Tips to Make You Ditch Your Wedding Planner
$33,391 — that’s the average sum of money that a couple spends on their wedding in America, according to The Knot, one of the leading digital wedding websites. One might say that’s lot of money, and they’d be right. A great proportion of this budget goes to wedding specialists. Some of them cannot be replaced because of their importance, but what you can definitely do is plan the day yourself.
We at Bright Side know that there are lots of ways to cut the costs while tying the knot. These tips and tricks will save you some trouble.
The concept and how to figure it out
We suggest starting with creating a mood board which will collect all your ideas, motivational pieces, pictures, and cut-outs that together combine your whole vision of the occasion.
A systematic approach provides good results. The concept of your event should consist of separate elements all united by one idea and style: invitations, decorations, program, dress code, flowers, textiles, color scheme, you name it! Look in the following directions that can help you decide on the idea and style:
- think of an artistic concept (e.g. baroque), design style (e.g. minimalism), historical era (e.g. the beginning of the 20th century) that inspire you;
- think about your favorite movies or books, perhaps you can become their heroes for the day or surround yourself with decorations imitating their scenery;
- remember your love story and how you met, maybe you can play with that;
- use your hobbies or places you’ve been to together as a foundation.
Wedding decor and its rules
There are some rules to follow when deciding on the wedding’s decor and concept. Following these will save you some trouble in the process of preparing and implementing your ideas.
- The decor concept should always fit the venue, otherwise it will all look awkward.
- Talking to the head manager of the venue where you plan to celebrate is crucial — they will consult with you in terms of options for the installation and de-installation of all parts of the decor.
- The decor should be discussed with the photographer — collaborating with them on this will mean that the pictures in the end will turn out gorgeous, plus they can always give you some advice based on their experience.
- You should preferably have 2 plans, plan A and plan B, for a wedding that will be held outdoors. If it rains or gets too windy, don’t be discouraged. Just get inside a big tent and keep being festive! They say rain brings happiness and good luck on these days anyway.
The venue and what to look for when choosing it
- if you can bring your own alcohol and how much they charge for it;
- if there’s a smaller hall or room next to the main one that can be used for children’s entertainment and a dressing or utility room where people working at your wedding (like the photographer and others) can leave their belongings and prepare;
- if there’s enough light, because light is essential for great photos;
- if they provide a sound system or if you need to bring your own;
- how much space the parking lot has.
Common mistakes to avoid
Some slips seem inevitable, but we know a couple of mistakes to avoid when it comes to decor and flowers.
- All fresh flowers that are placed on the tables where guests will sit should follow 2 rules. First, the size of the flower composition should be a minimum of 30-40 cm to look presentable and not get lost between the plates and glasses. Second, all roots should be either hidden in a special flower sponge or covered in some other decorative way. When the guests are sitting at the table, those flowers will be right at their eye level, and no one wants to look at their roots. Have a look at the picture above and you’ll see what we mean.
- Make sure that the color of the decor goes well with the color of the walls and the other parts of the venue.
- If you want a beautiful photo background at the reception area for your guests to take pictures in front of and entertain themselves before the actual wedding, pay attention to its size. The background should fit the size of the shot and should be big enough for groups of people to not block all of it.
Questions to ask your photographer
Believe us, a photographer and a videographer are the 2 most important people at your wedding (after the bride and the groom of course). They capture moments and create memories that will stay with you forever, so treating the process seriously of choosing these professionals is a must.
Ask the photographer:
- about their prices and the way they charge you — is it per hour or per whole day?
- if they have extra lights in case it gets dark or they don’t like the light at the venue;
- if their package includes an engagement shoot before the wedding or if they give you a photobook for free;
- about how they work in the process, edit pictures in Photoshop, and perform color correction;
- how much time it usually takes them to do everything after the event and give you the images.
Questions to ask your videographer
If you are wondering whether the video is worth it, don’t — it is. You’ll watch it hundreds of times in the years to come, because it brings even more memories than the photos. So, ask the videographer:
- if they work alone or with another person (2 people means more and better angles);
- what they give you as the final product — all of the material they shot or an edited video (plus how long do they usually make their videos, if they edit them);
- how much time it usually takes them to edit the video.
p.s. Kindly ask all your guests to not use their phones for taking pictures or shooting videos during the ceremony. First, if they do so, then what are you paying the photographer and videographer for? Second, when they do so, you’ll see your guests looking at their phones — and not at the 2 of you — both on your wedding day and in the photos later.
Entertainment program options
The choice nowadays is huge, no one will argue about that. It all depends on your financial abilities and your desire to entertain your guests — and yourself — during the evening. When your guests are busy with watching or doing something, it gives you a short break to catch your breath from toasts and congratulations.
Here are some not so trivial ideas: soap bubbles, a fire show or fireworks (ask the restaurant or banquet hall manager if you can do fireworks somewhere outside the venue in case you want a bright ending to the event), a live music band, a sand show, mimes, a magician show, a cartoonist, a puppet show, a bar on wheels, a workshop, or a photobooth.
A survival kit for the wedding day and its contents
Life is unpredictable and so are big events like weddings. He who is warned is armed. So, to ensure that everything goes smoothly, you need to be fully ready and prepared for whatever comes. We recommend putting together a survival kit with all kinds of different things that might be useful on that day and then trusting it to a highly reliable person like your mom or best friend. They can keep it on hand and provide you — or a guest — with the needed item at the right time.
Here’s which things should definitely be in the bag: scissors, a pair of tights/stockings, plaster, sanitizer, wet wipes and tissues, a small medical kit (containing headache and stomachache medicine, lozenges, etc.), some needles and thread in several colors, duct tape, a glue stick, batteries, some cosmetics (like lipstick, lip gloss, pressed powder, etc.), mattifying paper, hair spray, transparent nail polish (can be used to mend torn tights), elastic bands and pins, a comb, antistatic spray, a lint roller, portable headphones, an umbrella, and insect repellent (in case you’re having an outdoor event). Done! Now you’re equipped and can forget about the little things.
Things to do a week before the wedding
When you’re in the final stretch, it’s best to just take a deep breath and finish the final touches. Everything will go fine.
A week before the wedding:
- Make sure you have your music playlist ready (and it’s backed up on 2 USB flash drives).
- The guest list should be ready too, together with the seating plan, and a description of each guest (if the person that’s helping run the show needs it).
- You know the whole menu, you are aware of any allergies that your guests have (especially children), and you know whether there are vegetarians, so you can take care of them as well.
- You’ve ordered food for personnel too. They will have some time to eat and they will definitely be hungry.
Things to do the day before the wedding
The day before the wedding:
- Call everyone like your photographer and videographer and make sure everything is OK.
- Run through the timing and make all necessary corrections.
- Relax. Tomorrow is your happy day.
We sincerely hope that our advice will be useful and just in time for you if you’re having a wedding this summer. Summer is just perfect for that, isn’t it!
Please help us make other soon-to-marry lucky ones happy by providing more valuable tips and tricks in the comments and share this article with anyone who needs it!