As a wedding planning company, we try to make the planning process as easy and enjoyable as possible. But like most milestones in life, the experience is more like navigating a mountain than participating in a cakewalk. And whether you’ve personally scaled a mountain or not, you know it has challenges.
The ground is uneven, and the path twists and turns. There’s no one right way to climb a mountain, but there are things you can do to make the experience easier.
And so it is with wedding planning. There’s no template or one-size-fits-all way of making it happen. And this, my friends, is why having a flexible mindset is so important throughout the journey. If you come into seeing things as black and white with no room for change, it will make the trek up the mountain and down the aisle a lot trickier.
However, stay open and flexible on the five big things we’ve outlined below, and your path will be much smoother.
This tip goes out to the brides and grooms who take charge of the spreadsheets at work or in daily life. You’re more practical about money and haven’t had a lot of experience with the emotional side of budgeting.
And right now you are asking yourself if that is even a thing?
Yes! Because while it may not make sense to spend 20k on ceiling treatment on a practical level, it may be the most important thing on an emotional level for you or your partner.
Creating and managing a wedding budget is important – there’s no doubt about that. But it’s only meant as a guideline. There’s nothing set in concrete, and you can’t budget your way through the process. No matter how much you’d like to come to us with a preset number, it’s just not possible because every single project is customized to you.
And along the way, things will change. And we’ll make adjustments. We’ll manage the practical dollars and cents alongside the emotional aspect, so everyone gets what they need and want.
Here is where we dive into expectations versus reality. You might have big dreams for your design, but when we look at those pesky logistics, we realize it’s not realistic.
For example, you may want to hang something from the ceiling, but your venue has a 100-year-old ceiling that can’t physically accommodate the suspension. It doesn’t mean we have to strike the idea altogether – only that the dream needs to transform. And possibly into something even better than you imagined.
Let’s compare designing your wedding to finding your dream neighborhood and home. You go into the process with the ultimate vision of a six-bedroom house with fully updated everything, marble flooring, etc. You start your search knowing you’ll see various places, and you’ll have professionals give you their best advice based on their experience. And ultimately, you’ll come out with a new vision.
It may not check every box you originally had, but during the process, you’ll create new boxes that may be even better than the old ones.
The point: it’s your job to dream, and it’s our job to make those dreams come true, but sometimes plans will evolve and transform.
Nearly everything you’ll read about wedding planning will advise you to start with a guest list; we can’t disagree. Having a good idea of the number of people you invite will help you with other planning decisions.
So while you can create a guest list with a certain number of people in mind, you have to leave room for alterations.
After all, people are fickle and can cancel or show up without notification. Having some additional space to work with will give you just enough of an idea to continue planning and allow you to make adjustments without causing chaos.
When it comes to the guest experience, your expectations (once again) have to match reality. Dreaming of a 600-glass champagne tower? While that sounds absolutely amazing, and we’re sure guests’ jaws would drop, it’s just not functionally feasible.
Or let’s say you’re envisioning a four-sided bar, but your guest count is 50 max. That kind of bar configuration is going to be too big. How it looks in your head isn’t how it will look (or function) in real life.
A beautiful vision may not make sense in the real world. And for your guests to truly enjoy their experience, we need your visions to function.
So again, your job is to dream, and our job is to make those dreams a reality as much as possible. We may even be able to elevate them into something grander, but none of us will know unless you come into the process with an open mind.
We know it can be challenging to pick priorities when there are so many good things to choose from. But unfortunately, not everything can be a priority. And of the things that are, you may not get your number one choice. Even with an ultra-luxury budget, items aren’t always available.
And then there are times when everything is available, but they still don’t meet your needs. So, you have to shift.
For example, we worked with a couple who wanted us to find them a venue in California. The venue needed to be within 2 1/2 hours driving range from Sacramento, and many other priorities went along with that.
We found several venues that checked all of their boxes, but when we all went to look at them, the couple turned down every single one.
Fortunately, they were open and flexible, so we moved their wedding to Italy. Now that’s a shift!
Here’s the thing, you don’t know what you don’t know until you’re actively in the process. You can gather information and resources (like this post) and do what you can to learn as much as you can, but ultimately, you won’t really know until you’re walking the path.
And when you step onto that path, trust your vendors to turn your visions into a reality – and remain open to the possibilities of how the destination may look.
We’re here to help you every step up the mountain. Just reach out!