As this year´s wedding season is fastly approaching, I decided to share my experience from last year to everyone who wants to be their own wedding planner.
I was determined to do it myself. Not only because I am a control freak. Not at all. Firstly, because I love organizing events. This is what I used to do a lot before starting my own label and sometimes I miss it. Secondly, because it felt like a very nice thing to do for a change – throw a big party to friends and family and to ourselves. No business involved. Purely to feed our souls.
But of course the road was bumpy. At some point I felt like I had overrated my capabilities and it was impossible to organize a wedding while running a start-up business. Luckily that point passed and I felt confident again. Here are 5 of my wedding planning tips that I learnt on this journey.
1) Wedding is not like any other party – If you´re organizing your birthday your parents will never ask what type of chairs you´ll have or how many relatives you´re inviting. After all, birthdays come and go and weddings are “once in a lifetime” events. You screw up with birthday food, that´s fine, next year you´ll get better food. But try to screw up with your wedding food. Ouch. You have to report to many close people along the way and that doubles your work. Even if you´re doing something low-key. But my tip here is to think of yourself and your partner. What do you want? It´s your wedding, it has to have your personality.
If you like it, go for it.
2) Get a support group – even if you do it yourself you can’t do it alone. On top of our families, we had 2 amazing people involved towards the end of the planning stage. One in charge of set-up & decorations and other making sure everything ran smoothly on the day. If you refuse to get help before, then at least you need someone on the day. You don´t want guests to come and ask you where to put their dirty dishes. I was still moving chairs 10 pm the night before but just because I enjoyed it not because I had to. On the wedding day I couldn´t care less. We had pre-planned everything to the smallest detail and I trusted the people helping me. Plus a little surprise might be fun.
3) Don’t give up on your imagination – if you have an idea, if you have a dream, go for it and do it. It can be quite disheartening to find out that something is way too expensive or impossible to find. Trust me, keep looking, keep dreaming and you´ll find a solution. We had a terrible problem with chairs, I didn´t want the classic white-covered conference chairs. No way. But that´s basically all that was out there. So in the end we gathered 120 chairs from friends and family. Every single one unique and special. Yes, it was an extra hassle but we got what we wanted.
4) Negotiate – mention the word wedding & the prices triple. You can do stuff at quite low budgets as long as you are willing to put your heart and soul into it. Whenever I sent an email, I said we were throwing a garden grill party (after all that was our theme). People don´t usually have wedding budgets for their picnics. Plus as a bonus, companies won´t start pushing the traditional wedding stuff at you when you don’t mention the word.
5) Have fun organizing – if you don’t enjoy it, get help. The pre-wedding time is the time of your life. Looking back a lot of fond memories of the wedding were related to that stage. The day itself will pass really quickly. After that you’re married. So just enjoy the ride!