Red Flags to Look Out For When Planning a Wedding
Image Via Lisa Jane Photo
We all know that planning a wedding is a massively overwhelming undertaking. If your natural state is highly strung and controlling, wedding planning stress can highlight this even more and, if not handled properly, it can really affect your relationship/s.
The term ‘Bridezilla’ wasn’t invented just for laughs. The stress of it all needing to be perfect can turn the nicest people into unreasonable monsters. Yes, I’ve experienced it with friends and dealt with the likes by being their wedding planner!
Not being on the same page when it comes to the budget
One of the first things that you'll have to set in stone is THE BUDGET! Communicating about what can actually be afforded is vital at the very start of your wedding planning journey so that arguments and disappointments can be avoided or at least reduced. Remember that you are doing this together! No one is more or less important than the other. If you aren't on the same page at the start, and one of you starts booking/buying things without discussing it with the other, the budget will very quickly spiral out of control.
In situations like these, you either work together as a team - I'm talking full-on dedication on both your parts or, if you aren't made that way, find a pro to work with you. Simple as.
Hiring a wedding planner
Your wedding planner will explain how the wedding planning process works. They will guide you along your planning journey, saving you time by finding your perfect suppliers and give you loads of money-saving tips.
As much as you think that you can do this on your own (don't get me wrong, loads of people do!), acknowledging that you need help isn't a weakness, but a smart move. Remember, you haven't planned a wedding before, therefore having an expert at your disposal with all of their insider knowledge is a massive bonus! Not to mention a much-needed stress reliever and a sounding board at your fingertips.
Having said all of this, if micro-managing is something you can not let go of, working with a wedding planner isn't going to be a pleasant experience for either of you. To enjoy your wedding planning with a planner, you will need to feel comfortable with them, build trust with them and let them do their job.
Unrealistic expectations from your wedding suppliers
This particular red flag is often seen by us planners and it is our responsibility to inform the couple about it immediately. We understand that you had great plans for the wedding look but we have to be allowed to explain what can be achieved within your budget. And you need to be willing to hear and accept that! You will have to be flexible and willing to compromise. If, for example, you are not willing to spend a large chunk of your budget on florals, but expect an Insta-worthy floral paradise, there is a high possibility you will be disappointed with the overall look of your venue and your wedding photos.
Florals play such a huge part in the overall wedding look so if that is what takes priority, be prepared to set aside a large chunk of your budget towards it. Harsh words, I know. But I'm speaking out of experience here. Some people can understand that. And some people can not. So make sure you communicate with your planner/vendors and prioritise where and when needed.
This is a very important topic here at Whole Lotta Love. It is one of our main core values. I'm not only talking about the couples respecting each other, and understanding each other's wants and wishes, which are super important but respecting everyone involved with their wedding. I'm talking about wedding suppliers.
Wedding suppliers exist to provide you with a service. Always in your corner, bending over backwards to get you what you want. But that doesn't mean you can make unreasonable demands and treat them badly. Read our contracts. Talk to us. Don't expect favours or abuse our generosity. We cost our services not just on the physical products you get but by hiring us you are paying for our time and expertise. Wedding suppliers spend more time and money on your wedding/event than you could ever imagine. Things that might look easily achievable because they look simple to you, can often take a large team a lot of time and a lot of prep to pull off. Communicate with us. Understand the process. Express your wishes and accept what can be achieved. Be understanding and flexible.
When things go wrong
Not all weddings happen glitch-free. There are so many factors that can go wrong on the actual wedding day. From deliveries being late, vans breaking down, wrong props being delivered, suppliers falling ill, breakages, traffic causing delays, faulty equipment, to guests not doing what they are told on the day (coordinating 100+ tipsy happy guests on the day is a monster of a task!), all of which can cause wedding timeline delays. The most important thing here is not to lose control and go with the flow. Let the planner or coordinator try to get the wedding back on track. They are experts at navigating the unexpected after all. They are also good at reading the room and responding accordingly. This is definitely not the time to start stressing about it all and try to micro-manage everything. Barking orders at staff isn't your job. There is nothing worst than watching a stressed-out bride or groom. Leave the experts to do their job and focus on the good stuff.
Of course, if you feel that something wasn't done to your expectations or the service promised wasn't delivered, you have all the right to make a complaint - after the wedding. In these circumstances look to make peaceful resolutions. Let the dust settle before shooting from a hip. A massive adrenaline crash is a very real post-wedding state. Give yourself some time to get back to reality. Ask yourself, is it really necessary to sully the memory of your great day by fighting with your suppliers days or weeks after your big day?
Remember what was the most important thing for getting married in the first place - you getting married to the love of your life! Did everyone have a good time? Did everyone love your wedding? If the answers to these questions are yes, is it really worth throwing all your toys out of the pram because the backdrop wasn't big enough or the flowers weren't exactly the way you imagined them to be? I can tell you, as time passes, none of the things only you noticed on the day will matter anymore! And that is a god-honest truth.
Wedding supplier reputations
Wedding suppliers exist to provide you with the best service possible. They exist to serve and listen to you, take on board your feedback and give you resolutions if they can and if the complaint is reasonable and justifiable. They are small businesses run by passionate good people wanting to make their clients happy. You got to remember that sometimes unexpected things can and will happen on the day. Being insulting and threatening to suppliers will not solve anything but burn bridges and cause upset to both parties.
I and most of my fellow planners/vendors will do everything in our power to fix problems. We will always put our couples first and if we are in the wrong, we will rectify it the best we can.
It is vital that you do your research properly. Read the supplier's reviews. Ask to talk to their previous clients if necessary. Listen to your gut when you talk to them the first time. Are they responsive and accommodating? Did they listen to you and understand what you are after? Are you comfortable working with them? Ask for their core values.
Don't just book suppliers your venue recommends. You need to get on with them and trust them completely. This is where a wedding planner can help you so much. They would have worked with some suppliers previously and will know who to trust.
Here at WLL Weddings, we pride ourselves on our Core Values:
Integrity & Honesty
If you think you could do with much-needed wedding planning advice, don't hesitate to get in touch here.
Happy wedding planning!
Whole Lotta Love, always!