- 9 years ago
- Wedding: June 2009
Hi ladies, I got married 2 weeks ago and really want to start this post on the lessons I have learned about wedding planning. I do think I was very smart on some things, and I made life harder for myself on other things. Here goes:
Things I would do differently:
1. I would’ve had a Saturday instead of a Sunday wedding. I know it sounds obvious, but I was in love with my historical mansion venue. If your #1 venue does not offer any Saturdays, go with a different venue, or (better yet) consider extending the engagement and have a fall or winter wedding.
2. I would’ve found a venue were the time of rental is really long (like 10-12 hours). Mine was 5 hours of party time, so the wedding was over when people were probably still wanting to dance another hour. Also, we only had 2 hours to set up things, which was too short. You need at least 3-4 hours for a proper set up.
3. Don’t do DIY liquor. Some caterers suggest that you buy a bunch of liquor from a store, and they will provide the baretnder. This can be enticing because you just return all the bottles you dont use. However, beer is un-returnable in most places. And also, I now have like 10 semi-finished bottles that I can’t return.
4. Indian bride alert: if you get a henna artist, book her from morning to evening. I did an evening mehndi party, and the artist ran out of time and 2 people had to go to her house the next day to get it done!
5. Have someone dedicated ENTIRELY to helping you that day. I’m not talking about a bridesmaid. Bridesmaids have to dress up and get their hair and makeup done too. I’m talking about a nice aunt or a cousin who will be dressed and ready to go. Have this person come in when you’re all getting ready, and make her in charge of helping you and watching out for you throughout your day. I had a random aunt from the groom’s side do this for me as a last minute notice and it was a HUGE help.
6. Find time to eat at your wedding. FIND the time dammit.
7. Try to order wedding invitations where the RSVP card says "RSVP by ______" instead of a particular date. That way, if you mail someone’s card out late, you can just write in a date and no one is the wiser.
Here are the things I did right, and I’m proud of it:
1. I’m happy to have splurged on the following vendors:
– Photographer. Price does not equal quality. my photog was mid-range ($3,300), but her portfolio was as good as the guys who charge twice or thrice that. So do your research, and increase your budget if necessary but get a great photog. Your wedding day will go by in the blink of an eye and a good photog is totally worth it.
– DJ/MC: if you’re running ahead or behind schedule, a good experienced DJ/MC will set it right. You won’t even have to think about it. Also, a good one will know how to work a crowd. We had a morning wedding and my DJ had people dancing like crazy at 10 in the morning for the baraat (Indian groom’s procession).
– Food & drinks. Don’t. Skimp.
– Venue. Go for the historical mansion, the vineyard, the museum, whatever. But make it memorable. It’s your one wedding day. I’ve had many people tell me it was the most beautiful wedding they ever went to and its in large part because of my venue choice.
– Invitations. They’re the guest’s first (and sometimes only) impression. Don’t have to cost a bundle, but make them good. Go for a personal touch like wax stamps to seal the envelope.
– Your hair and makeup. It matters SO much I don’t even know how to stress that.
2. I’m happy to have either skimped or DIY’ed the following:
– wedding programs (had a friend design them, printed them at a printer in college)
– out of town bags (bought fabric paint from Joanne fabrics, canvas bags online, and stenciled away. filled with snacks from BJs)
– place cards (bought from Joanne Fabrics, printed them, looked great, no calligraphist needed)
– centerpieces (my mandap decorator ordered the flowers, I bought all other materials, and assembled on the day-of. Saved a bundle and it looked great. I might do a separate blog on that)
– cake. My cake was without fondant. Just a simple white cake with my wedding day flowers sprinked on them and some green swiss dots. when placed inside a beautiful venue with fresh flowers, the simplest cake looks timeless. Just make sure the taste is great!
That’s it for now. I’d love to hear other recent brides give their input on lessons learned!