Tag Archives: managing

Wedding Planning – Too many choices, too little time!

wedding

If I asked you…”do you like having choices” what would you say? My guess is “yes!” While options are great in creating the freedom to select what you exactly want…they’re also problematic if you’re indecisive or easily overwhelmed with options. Think about it, have you ever been asked “what do you want to do for dinner?” If so, how did you respond? Did you ever say, “oh I don’t care…I’m good with anything…you decide” ?  If so, with something as simple as dinner, why were you indecisive? Now, such an example is not a big decision, but what about if it had to do with your wedding? Everything from picking out the date, attire, accessories, venue, entertainment, music, and even guests & the wedding party involves a great variety of choices. How do you pick what you truly want? And, how do you assure that you stay within an affordable budget?

Planning a wedding is not easy. With all the possible combinations available, one can easily feel overwhelmed and outright frustrated when dealing with wedding vendors.  While you may know it’s the right decision when you see it, how do you know when you see it? By all means, most vendors are not mind readers, but I bet for the amount of money you’re paying…you wish they were. So what do you do?

  • Create a wish list! Start looking through wedding magazines, books, sites, pictures, etc…and gather all the ideas you like and don’t like. Place the images of your ideal wedding on a board or in a binder.
  • Rank it! Establish which aspects of your wish list are most important. Consider ordering (from most important to least) what you need to include in your dream wedding and what you would like to include. At the same time, make sure to rank what you absolutely don’t want at your wedding.
  • Set a budget! Why jump into a new chapter of your life with excessive debt? Look at your finances and how much you’re able to apply towards your wedding. Then allocate your budget accordingly to what you’ve ranked as the most important aspects.
  • Meet with wedding vendors!  Ask around, look for reviews, and don’t be afraid to interview them. Find vendors that you’ll feel comfortable to communicate with.
  • Present your wish list! When communicating with vendors, present your wish list. Let them know exactly what you want so that they’ll focus on your list as opposed to offering options that you have no interest in.

Think of it as a shopping list. What would happen if you go to the grocery store without a list? Most likely you’ll end up spending more money purchasing items you don’t need as opposed to those you do. When shopping around for your wedding it’s important to be prepared and know exactly what you want. Not only will this save you money, but you’ll be able to communicate exactly what you want with vendors.

When a vendor has a visual of what you need (i.e. via your wish list), the vendor will be able to offer you options that meet exactly your needs, as opposed to present, upsell, and cross-sell items that aren’t what you’re looking for. Not only will this prevent confusion between you and the vendor…but why waste your time, budget, and energy looking through things you don’t really want? As mentioned earlier, planning a wedding is not easy. But trying to communicate what you want, without a wish list, doesn’t make it any easier.

Wedding Insurance – Are you covered?

Labeled File FoldersYou’ve said yes to the “big question,” and have invested countless hours and money to prepare for your “big day.” What will you do if the unexpected arises?

Disasters can hit. You may lose your venue and consequently your deposit. You may find your gown, tuxedo or gifts damaged or stolen. You may need to postpone due to bad weather, or vendors canceling last minute. What are your options?

With weddings come unforeseen circumstances. With unforeseen circumstances come additional costs, headaches, and lost investments. Nevertheless, wedding insurance can protect you. Costing anywhere from $125 to $550, coverage can protect a couple’s investment in venue, attire, rings, lost or damaged gifts, photos, videos, deposits, etc.

When catastrophes happen, you may lose deposits, postpone your wedding, and pay for additional, unexpected costs. Venues and rehearsal sites can close down due to inclement weather and natural disasters. Vendors (i.e. caterers, minister, florists, photographers, videographers, DJs) may cancel at the last minute or not show, forcing you to find replacements. The bride or groom can be called into military duty or last minute corporate relocation. Wedding insurance can cover your costs with supplemental policies to protect costs associated with the honeymoon.

Insurance usually doesn’t cover costs associated with canceling the wedding due to cold feet or change of heart. Nor does it cover lost or damaged engagement rings or gemstones and pearls.

Investing in insurance is important to protect your investment and keep your peace of mind, but don’t pay for overlapping coverage. Many times, vendors and venues already have their own coverage. Ask questions and find out about existing policies.

In addition, each policy is different. Read the small print. What does “bad weather” coverage mean? Does it cover rain, wind, and/or blizzard? What sicknesses and injuries are covered? Does it refer to cold, flu, surgery, broken bones, and/or disease? Talk to your agent; get a thorough understanding of what’s covered and what’s not.

Planning vs. Managing your Wedding

weddingDo you know the difference between planning and managing your wedding? If not, no worries. Allow me to explain. Planning the wedding of your dreams, its’ theme, the venue, décor, the menu, drinks, etc…can be very exciting and lots of fun. It’s your opportunity to identify what you like, what you don’t, and what you want to have on your special day. Managing your wedding on the other hand, is an entirely different animal. Booking the venue, selecting qualified vendors, and assuring all parties are doing what you’ve paid them to do as planned, on schedule and within the agreed budget, is no easy task.

Think about it, you may have an idea of your dream home in your head. But, when it comes to actually building it, a dream is just that…a dream…a vision. You’ll need to hire a general contractor to bring that dream into reality. They ensure everyone is highly qualified, oversee attendance, work quality, and in the event something goes awry…they must know exactly what to do to fix it.

For instance, Villa Incanta’s Wedding Planner, Samantha Potter, recently attended a friend’s wedding as a guest (not on duty). The day of the event she was horrified to hear the DJ had lost the couple’s first dance music. As the highly experienced planner she is, she stepped in, arranged for the recording studio to recreate the music and have it delivered to the venue, all during the reception. Without such professional expertise, the outcome would have been entirely different!

As you can see, managing a wedding by no means is easy, and accomplishing it on budget, is another story. While hiring professionals is optional, it’s strongly recommended. According to Potter, finding a planner who creates exactly what the couple wants has been shown to save time and money in the process.

Many couples decide to hand over the duties to a family member or a friend. While at first the family member or friend may be honored that you have selected them to plan and manage your big day, the feeling of honor can quickly turn to frustration due to the excessive time required and stress entailed. It’s a full time job and they’re unaware they won’t be able to participate in the activity because they are going to be busy.

Would you feel confident in a family member or friends experience and qualifications to organize and oversee an entire team to build a home? Would they know who to hire or how to save on costs without sacrificing quality? The same holds true for a wedding. Can they cut on expenses where need be yet maintain quality of service? Can they handle all the hours of research, phone calls, meetings, obstacles, road blocks, etc…that takes place in managing a wedding? They might say yes because it sounds like fun but what if they back out the day of because “it’s too much work” then what do you do?

It’s hard to put a price on “peace of mind,” considering that the memories of your wedding day will last a lifetime. What memories would you would like to hold? Freedom and ease…or… busy, harried, and worked?

A professional is masterful at creating and bringing a dream wedding into reality. They have the necessary contacts, ability to negotiate the best deals, choose reputable vendors, and deliver what you are looking for within budget. Samantha highly recommends having the presence of a professional at the actual wedding to oversee all details go as planned. The goal of hiring a day-of wedding professional is to assure the bride, groom, and their guests are free to enjoy their special day without any worries.

Hiring professionals isn’t necessary to plan and manage a wedding, but with all the responsibilities involved, it should be considered. And if hiring such professionals as Potter will result in saving more money in the long run and allow the happy couple to truly enjoy their engagement experience as well as their “special day,” what is there to question?