So, you've just gotten engaged! You've shared the news with friends and family. You've even spoken to your wedding party and started on your guest list! But the stress, and sometimes panic, is already bubbling? Then one night it comes to you; you realize you need a planner! That's where we come in! Sometimes bride and grooms aren't entirely sure how to set themselves and their wedding planner up for success. There are certain difficult or "sticky" conversations that you MUST have with your planner in order for them to be able to bring your dream wedding to a reality the way you want it.
We've listed below some of the KEY conversations you should have with your planner EARLY on in your relationship. These will help your planner be your best advocate, cheerleader, and defender! Knowing these key opinions, facts, and situations will allow your planner to represent you in the most accurate ways throughout the process and on the wedding day!
1. Communication Style
When it comes to your wedding day, you and your planner should have completely open communication. It is paramount that you both find a way to communicate that puts your mind at ease during the process and allows your planner to do her job effectively. If you are a more visual person and you'd like to see more photos or sketches of your design or reception layout, let your planner know. If you absolutely hate email and never ever remember to respond, let them know text or calling is the way to go. If you have zero interest in the nitty gritty of the process but you'd like updates along the way just to know how things are going, they can accommodate! The key is to establish this early on in the journey, so you are able to relax and enjoy being engaged!
2. Family Stuff
Someone once said that weddings are a lot like family reunions, and we agree! We know that this day will be exciting and exhausting, but on top of that, you're getting to see hundreds of your closest friends and family! Family gatherings can bring joy, fun and a bit of drama. Whether this drama is light-hearted or related to Illness, divorce, loss, etc. your planner can help you maintain focus on your wedding day. Some of these things can help bring us closer and make us stronger individuals, but with all of the emotions of a wedding buzzing about, we want to be prepared for anything. This could mean having a moment to memorialize lost family members, or knowing not to sit Cousin Suzy next to Aunt Lisa at the reception. Whatever the family drama or struggle, your wedding planner can help alleviate the discomfort and help focus the day around happiness and love.
It may seem strange to have this one on the list because it seems obvious. But a lot of couples don't realize how important this is to share with their planners. How you prioritize your wedding is the backbone of the planning process. Your priorities affect how you spend your budget and inevitably how you experience your wedding day. It is important to fill your planner in on which pieces of the day you want to spend more money on and which moments are most important to you. For instance, if your dream wedding includes having that big band playing all the jazzy classics, your planner will shift your budget to allow for the price of a big band. If your main priority is having an open bar with lots of options for your guests, or if you have always known you wanted to get married in a specific venue, let your planner know. When she knows these things up front, she can make smart choices for you along the way so that you stay in budget.
But priorities are not all about the money. Moments of your wedding that are the top of your list, matter a lot! If you know that you want to have a specific photo or song or family tradition at your reception, your planner can make that happen! It can even be something you wish to guard against. If you want to enjoy your cocktail of the night, but know you wish to remain steady, let your planner know! She will be able to help make sure you're hydrated, you are free to soak up the excitement and energy of your day.
With the importance of communicating your priorities in mind, non-negotiables are incredibly important for you to share with your planner! They're, well, non-negotiable! Your planner needs to know the things that you and your fiance feel strongly about. If you know that you HAVE to have your pup in the ceremony or if line dancing is strictly prohibited at your reception, it is a must-share! All of these have ripple effects and will be kept at the forefront of your planner's mind.
We all know it's weird and uncomfortable to talk about money. It's even more weird to talk about it with someone you've only just begun to know. But in reality, talking to your planner about your budget is key to allowing her to do the job you've hired her to do. A wedding planner's job includes a lot of different things: helping with design, dress bustling, calling the cues of the day, etc. But a HUGE part of a wedding planner's job is making sure you get the dream wedding you've always wanted while staying within your budget!
In addition to what the bottom line number is, it is important to share with your planner who is contributing to the budget. Not only will knowing this information help you to spend your money intelligently, but it will also help to know this as we go into each step of the the decision making process. Maneuvering through family opinions, wants, and needs with regards to contributors to the budget can get tricky, but never fear! Your planner is here to help you through it!
Rest assured that you have already begun to set yourself up for success by hiring a wedding planner! We hope this short list of must shares has helped you kick off the planning process a little easier. These five tools will vastly increase your chances of accomplishing the day you've always dreamed of!
Sarah & Caleb,
It was such a pleasure getting to know you two during your planning process. I think it goes without saying, but I am so happy that our friendship has gone on LONG after your wedding day! Thank you for allowing me to share your sweet story (& amazing photos) over and over! It has been such a blessing knowing you!