My Wedding Became My Side Job
Ok, you may have been wondering where I have been. I haven’t given up my blogging; just busy planning a wedding – that’s all.
So I think it is only fair that I take the past year and a half experience and apply it to this blog. After all it is the reason I haven’t been able to write in five months.
I found that the wedding planning process became my second job. It consumed all of my spare time and was on my mind 24/7. The outcome was magnificent and I received so many compliments but the time and effort put into planning this wedding (or any other) is just outstanding.
So I got to thinking – it did become my second job – scratch that it was more like an internship, because no one paid me. Yet I had to use my communication and marketing skills to pull it off. For those DIY, in the weeds brides like myself, here are the similarities you should expect when planning your wedding. It is exactly like being an intern in the PR/marketing industry.
Hyping up the Event: From the beginning you are promoting your brand, the brand of you and your husband and the feel of your wedding. You want to market yourself and the wedding as a fun event that no one would wants to miss. So you start hyping it, sending out Save the Dates to ensure all your guests know to mark it on their calendars way ahead of time.
Promoting a Consistent Message: The color/theme of your wedding must be decided in the beginning and creates the feel and ambience of your wedding. This also ties in with what kind of wedding you are having; garden ceremony, ballroom affair, hotel reception, etc. This theme also determines, your invitations, dress, the bridesmaid dresses, the invitations, stationary, cake, décor, etc.
It is important to present a consistent message to your guests. However, you don’t want to overdo it. For instance hot pink is your color theme; you don’t want people to think they are at Barbie’s wedding so you must find the perfect balance of using enough of the color to make an impact but not to annoy your guests. A great way to find a balance is to bring in accent colors. I love the color Aqua, but decided to put the bridesmaids in Navy with Aqua accents to tone down the brightness of the color. The main issue I found was that Aqua is a fun, bright, exciting color but our reception was at a Country Club with warmer tones so we needed to find a balance. What I did was put the Bridesmaids in Navy and had the Aqua in their bouquet ribbons. Also, I put the Aqua sashes on the flower girls, a youthful color that added a pop to their white gowns. Aqua was also added to the table linens in little ribbons tied around navy napkins.
You may not realize it but you become a copyrighter: As mentioned before, the invitation should promote the feel of your wedding. This may be the first glimpse your guests are going to have of your wedding. You want it to be flawless and amp up the event. Copyrighting at its finest, proofread and double check to make sure the correct usage is used on your invites to imply who is paying for the wedding. You may choose other stationary, signs, programs, menus, etc.
Reputation management: It is easy to be tacked with the term Bridezilla, you have one bridal moment and then next thing you know bridesmaids are threatening to call the camera crews. Ok this may be a bit exaggerated – but with a wedding comes stress. For me, we paid for 75% of our wedding. As a bride, if you are spending a large amount of money on the happiest day of your life, you want it to be perfect. That is where the mentality comes from. I don’t think people get it until they have walked in the shoes.
Managing guests is another side that one may not think about when planning their wedding. Let’s face it not everyone gets together, different personalities, and family/friend dynamics, not to mention throwing alcohol into the mix. You have to find a way to manage these people, a way to talk to them, where to sit them, etc. to make ensure that everyone has an amazing time at your affair.
Managing the guest list. You have an “A list”. Is everyone you would want to be at your wedding on that list? Probably not, because let’s face it, the wedding would be over 500 people and who can afford that? So you pick and choose, and then manage the RSVPs as they come in. Most likely you will have a scenario where you call someone “We just had a space open up would you like to come?” Of course this is an uncomfortable convo to have but finding the right words with the right spin to make these B-listers feel loved. Then there are managing those who aren’t invited, “Why aren’t I invited, if you are having 200 people?” Or the comment I heard many times even before we sent out our save the dates “Well I better be invited”. Finding the right way to let people know that as much as you would love to have them there unfortunately there is a list and they aren’t on it.
Managing vendors. Dress, Alterations, Venue, Caterers, Florists, Photographers, Videographers, Cake Bakers, Wedding Planners, Musicians, DJs, and any other professional you plan to include in your day. When you have this many people involved in your wedding, you must balance everyone’s interests including your own. Photographers want the most time to take photos while they have daylight, meanwhile the venue coordinator wants to keep everything on schedule. You are paying everyone and want the best wedding possible, so it is a matter of finding that balance. The best way around this is to make sure everything is planned ahead of time that way if any issues arise they can be dealt with accordingly. And with vendors comes, contracts, payment plans and making certain you get the services you have requested and paid for.
Managing the Bridal party. Making sure they are where they need to be, when they should be there. Delegating roles and tasks for them to tend to leading up to and the day of the wedding. The last thing you want is vendors coming up to you asking about details, you want to enjoy the day, relinquish some power and put it on the bridal party.
Event planning, Budget Maintenance: Do I even need to go into detail with this? Making sure everything comes together and falls into place the day of and doesn’t put you in debt over this special day. Having a schedule, making sure everyone knows their responsibilities, having a point of contact and emergency list. And remember that with any event things always don’t go according to schedule. Things happen, for us, the limo was a half hour late because of rush hour traffic (the downfall to having a Friday night wedding). So you learn to adjust, shuffle things around and make it work. Being flexible is key! It is all worth it in the end!
So do you “propose” I updated my resume with this valuable bridal experience?
File under: Spinning my way down the aisle
Photos: Courtesy Dina K. Photography