I am all about empowering my couples by providing them hands on and personable guidance, so they can experience the joy, excitement, and certainty the wedding planning process should have.
But wedding planning often IS hard. Why is that?!
I could give you a hundred reasons, because I was a bride myself and I can easily recall the times I burst into a sobbing puddle of stress over all the things I had to do. So I get it, sister. We all have our pain points in this journey. Some things will come easier for us, while some things will come harder for us.
But now that I have been in the industry as a professional Wedding Planner and Coordinator since 2019, I have identified a trend that has undoubtedly made wedding planning harder than it needs to be.
The bad news? People bring it on themselves.
The good news? People bring it on themselves, therefore it’s easily fixable and the benefits of fixing it will make your life a million times easier.
Healthy communication isn’t just the key to success for a happy marriage, it’s the key to success for any relationship – whether it be friendly, professional, familial, you name it. The lack of good communication if often the root of most issues between two people, but with a little practice and prompting, you’ll be well on your way to a simpler journey of wedding planning.
I will confidently say this is the Number 1 Rule of Wedding Planning. It cannot be stressed enough.
Hear me when I say: Never, ever, EVER assume of anyone or anything – hired professional, friends or family – that something will get done without asking them and, in turn, receiving a confirmation.
Some real life examples of assumptions that led to not-so-fun wedding days:
Assumption is the main culprit for causing things to slip through the cracks. If you don’t have a firm answer to something, then you need to obtain a firm answer. Which leads me to Number 2!
Because you’re a smarty pants and chose not to assume something, you have instead asked somebody – namely your contracted vendors – if they can cover x, y, and z.
They give you an answer, so then what?
You make sure that every single thing they agree (or disagree to) is put into writing. This protects you AND them. Send a confirmation email or text stating what they agree/disagree to, and ask them to confirm. It may seem redundant, but it will save you in the long run if there is ever a miscommunication or an “Oops, I forgot” moment.
With that, I will take a minute to share a real life story from a couple that never got an agreement in writing:
Bride and Groom – we’ll call them Lisa and Kramer – hired their bartenders through their caterer. At an in-person meeting with the caterer, they asked if the bartenders could forego leaving their tip jar out. Lisa and Kramer didn’t like the tackiness of a tip jar, nor did they want their guests to feel pressured into tipping. They would, instead, provide a private tip for the bartenders. This is basic etiquette.
The caterer, albeit hesitantly, said “Sure, we can make that work.”
On the wedding day, serving as their Coordinator, I collected the tips and dispersed them accordingly. When I handed the bartenders their tip, I reiterated that per Lisa and Kramer’s discussion with the caterer (aka: the bartenders’ boss) they should not put a tip jar out.
Half way through the wedding day, Kramer comes up to me quite angry. “We said no tip jar and the bartenders have their tip jar out, including a Venmo code. Please ask them to remove that.” Doing my due diligence, I talked with the caterer about this and noted that he did tell Lisa and Kramer that a private tip would suffice and he would notify the bartenders of this decision.
His response? “Well, we never put it in writing, so…”
And the tip jar remained out. And the couple remained upset.
This is a tricky one, because oftentimes we may feel like we’re being rude, bossy, or Bride-zilla-y. But I can promise you this is not rude, bossy, or Bride-zilla-y. In fact, most people would probably appreciate hearing your expectations because they have nothing but your best interests at heart on your wedding day. They want to make sure they’re doing things right, and reading your mind is one-thousand percent impossible, because hi, Bride Brain!
Now, on the flip side, you will also be well off asking your hired professionals what THEIR expectations are of YOU (i.e. to the Venue Owner, “What is your expectation of us in terms of cleaning the venue at the end of the night?”). This ensures clear lines of communication, and no surprise confrontations on the wedding day itself.
While it may seem obvious to assume certain expectations or standards, it never pays off to leave things unsaid. If you do not have a firm, final answer then don’t assume you know it. Ask the appropriate party, get their answer in writing, and then communicate that to whomever may need to know about it.
You will make wedding planning so much more difficult if you ignore these three rules. So do yourself a favor and write these down so you can always refer back to them as you move through the phases of wedding planning.
If writing isn’t your style, you can save my Instagram post.