The highs and lows of wedding planning are all a part of the natural planning process, and still we see many couples, (and their families), lose energy and time focusing on that which is out of their control. Our first expert piece of advice is to embrace the planning process, and take it all one step at a time. Our second expert tip is to do a bit of research in advance for some of these potential wedding planning pitfalls. Some of these can be avoided by doing your due diligence, and for those out of your control, how you respond when faced with a mini-crisis can make all the difference in the outcome. Read on to learn more about how you can glide with grace throughout the planning stages and come out on top for your big day.
Hotel Overbooked and/or Venue Double Booked
“I’m sorry; we have no record of your wedding on our calendar, and the date has been booked by another couple.” These words are the sounds of every bride’s worst nightmare. If you feel you may be seeing some red flags in regards to your venue booking, it’s time to follow your gut and investigate further. Some red flags may include having a difficult time getting in touch with the venue main point of contact, not receiving a counter-signed copy of your venue contract, encountering forgetful staff, or not receiving proof from your venue that your deposit was received. If you’re experiencing any of these scenarios, it’s time to meet with your venue coordinator in person, and ensure that all of the proper documents and deposits have been received, are agreed upon by both parties, and importantly, that your date is secured.
If your hotel is connected to your venue, you will want to look out for the same red flags as that with your venue. If your hotel isn’t connected, there are ways that you can avoid rooms becoming overbooked and guests stranded. One option is to reserve a room block for your guests, which would guarantee that your guests have access to book a room within the number that you’ve reserved in your block. This generally requires the couple to guarantee that they will meet a minimum booking, and are held financially responsible if this requirement isn’t met. Usually a hotel will allow you to scale up as needed, (based on availability), so you can start small and get a feel for what guest’s preferences are, and go from there. If you don’t want to go this route, we recommend sending your Save the Dates with plenty of time before the wedding. You can also call the hotels in advance of making your recommendations and ask about how many rooms are left for the night that you require.
Holiday Wedding Weekend Obstacles
Getting married over a holiday weekend can be super fun for both you and your guests. Plus a long weekend gives your guests an extra day to travel without needing to request time-off formally. However, there can also be a few obstacles to overcome when booking a holiday weekend. For example, consider booking your wedding over Memorial Day or Labor Day. Both of these days can be expensive travel dates with the increase in demand, making it difficult for guests traveling from out of town to attend if they are on a budget. Or consider Valentine’s - not exactly an official government holiday, but one where some vendors, like florists, will be in high demand, and therefore less available. Our advice is to go for it if booking on a holiday is important to you, but make sure that you allow additional time for planning not only for you, but out of consideration for you guests. Send your Save the Dates with at least eight months advanced notice, and reach out to the major vendors a year or more out from your date.
The bad news is that this happens all the time, but the great news is that it can be completely avoided by taking a few steps before committing to the specifics of your wedding. This may sound biased, but it’s worth mentioning. Setting up a consultation with a wedding planner before you send Save the Dates, commit to any vendors, or choose a venue can save you thousands in the long run. A great wedding planner will help set expectations in terms of costs, and from there you can make informed decisions about all of the details of your big day. If you’ve already signed contracts, and are looking to cut costs as you get closer to your wedding day, think about some of the details that, while may be nice touches, ultimately do not impact the outcome of your wedding. These things may include wedding favors or welcome bags, ceremony programs or an elaborate desert bar, for example.
Loss of Romance
In news you already knew, wedding planning can be stressful. For some couples, the tension created in a short-lived, but high-pressure period of time can put a strain on a relationship. While this is normal, it important to recognize it, and work through wedding planning with intention to keep the excitement in your relationship high. Make sure that you make time for dates, keep in even better communication than you’re already used to, get active together, and even take a few weekends out of town to reconnect as a couple. Another idea you can borrow is to write your vows privately early in the process, and then to each take an active role in living out these vows before your big day.
Doing it Yourself
Sure, we are biased on this one, but think about it, do you really want to be the one that literally every person calls with every question and concern they can think of? Probably not. Of course you want to be involved in the major decisions, and even some of the seemingly smaller, insignificant ones, but there will be times that delegating tasks will be your planning M.O. If you haven’t yet, reach out to your local wedding planner, and book a consultation to see what aspects of planning they can help you with so that you are free to enjoy the exciting aspects of your engagement. A wedding planner can not only save you time, but with their insider knowledge of the industry, and their insights about various local vendors, they may even be able to save you thousands in the long term.
While wedding planning has its ups and downs, the process should be joy-filled and FUN. We at Sip and Twirl get jazzed about helping couples' enjoy the planning process and ultimately create the day of their dreams. Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 480-648-0663 to see if your date is available.