I didn’t realize how big engagement season was until I became a wedding planner. Engagement season is from Thanksgiving through Valentines Day and according to Wedding Wire, Christmas Day is the most popular day to get engaged! Engagement season is in full swing and if you got recently engaged….CONGRATS!
However, I know what you are thinking…..what happens next? What are the next steps to take? I know some of you will make an appointment to a bridal shop ASAP because who doesn’t want to try on pretty dresses? Hello! You’ve been waiting so long, why wait any longer?! Am I right? Maybe some of you have made an appointment to see your dream venue or you have a dream photographer you’ve been eyeing on Instagram for over a year. Or maybe you have “friendors” in the wedding business you want to contact and hire. So really….what are the first steps you should make after getting engaged?
A great start should be to talk to your fiancé and anyone else helping with the wedding financially (i.e. parents, etc) to come up with a realistic budget for your wedding. Although this conversation may be uncomfortable for some, it’s necessary and will set the correct expectations of what you can and can’t do.
If you have your budget set or if you have no idea where to start or don’t know what a wedding costs these days, then the FIRST STEP you should make is to contact a wedding planner. Hear me out….A wedding planner will guide you through the process and the steps you need to take to stay on task and stay organized. We know this is the first time you are doing this so how should you know what everything costs? How should you know the steps to take? A planner can help you come up with a realistic budget both you and your fiancé are comfortable and happy with as well as help you stay on track throughout the process.
Another great advantage to hiring a wedding planner first is that they will recommend vendors that specifically fit your needs, style and budget. Did I mention it takes approximately 250+ hours to plan a wedding from start to finish? Crazy right? We have been doing this for years though and know who all the reputable vendors are that you will absolutely love. If I had a dollar for each time someone told me they regretted hiring one of their vendors. Yes, as a planner I hear horror stories all the time and have even witnessed some as a wedding guest. Such as the time a photographer (although hired a year before) forgot to hire a sitter and brought her 3 year old daughter to the wedding. The child started crying and the photographer left the church and didn’t take any photos of the couple exchanging vows and their first kiss….yeah, I am not making this up, I promise you! Then there was a DJ who was hired because he was a friend of the family only to find out he didn’t have the proper equipment and the wedding had to be postponed until he finished setting up. Another DJ didn’t have the ceremony songs ready so they had to postpone the ceremony until he pulled up the songs on youtube. What about a caterer that overpromised and underdelivered as they were so understaffed during the wedding that guests had to wait forever to eat. Hangry guests are not a good thing, believe me! Oh, and here is my least favorite but one that sadly happens too often, the photographer that took horrible photos even though their Instagram was filled with great photos (sometimes theirs, sometimes other people’s work) or worse, never sent the gallery to the couple because the photographer is no where to be found! Listen, people don’t like talking about this but it’s real. I can go on and on about all these stories and people often think it won’t happen to them but it happens more often than you’d think.
You know what is the best thing about a planners relationship with their vendors? Not only has a reputable planner vetted all of their vendors and worked with them before, but they have built trust with each other and know that each vendor will go above and beyond each time for their couples.
Do you have a Pinterest board with so many different ideas and color schemes that now you are wondering how your wedding will actually look like or how you’ll make all these ideas work? I get this a lot from clients so don’t worry, you aren’t alone! Some planners offer design services to help you through all the ideas you may have and interpret them for you so you are left with the beautiful cohesive look you were dreaming of!
WEDDING DAY BLISS
I’m sure you’ve heard how planners can help make planning your wedding a little less stressful. There is a lot to plan in the months leading up to your wedding and definitely quite a bit of moving parts the day of your wedding but a planner will help you with all of the logistics and help you build a perfect timeline so your day is seamless and smooth. I’ll be honest with you, it’s hard for a planner to sell their services because we don’t have a product you can physically touch or see. Our services are actually felt in your soul and you won’t even know it until the day of your wedding….when you are dancing care free with the love of your life, laughing, crying, taking every moment in. When you look around and see your friends and family enjoying themselves, talking, having a good time. When you are in a state of bliss and look around and think, is this all for us? Is this even real life? A planner will help you enjoy every single moment of your wedding because while you and your family are out there dancing and having a good time, as you should be, planners are behind the scenes making sure every single little detail you have planned and dreamt of is being executed flawlessly. Planners are answering messages, calls, vendor questions, family questions, mitigating risks before they happen, coming up with solutions to last minute changes, directing everything so you and your guests have a once in a lifetime experience, so that you are making beautiful new memories to last you a lifetime.
Believe me when I say that the investment will be worth it. The feeling of being in complete bliss, having a peace of mind, knowing your whole family is enjoying your day is well…. priceless.
Photography | Jennifer Lourie Photography