Whole Lotta Love Weddings
Red Flags to Look Out For When Planning a Wedding
Updated: Feb 23
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 with your partner 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 are 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 beginning of your wedding planning journey, and one of you starts booking/buying things without discussing it with the partner, 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.
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, knowing what to prioritise within the budget, what needs to be actioned when 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 it), 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 and connections is a massive bonus! Not to mention a much-needed stress reliever and a sounding board at your fingertips.
Having said that, 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 must feel comfortable with them, trust them and let them do their job.
Unrealistic expectations from your wedding suppliers
This particular red flag is often experienced by us planners and trust me, we will flag it up immediately. We understand that you had great plans for the wedding design but we have to be realistic about what can be achieved within your budget.
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 photos.
Florals play such a huge part in the overall aesthetic so be prepared to budget for it. It is vital that you communicate with your planner/vendors and prioritise what's important to you from the start. In my experience, the average spend on flowers for a 100-guest wedding is anything from £1500 minimum and can run into thousands depending on what you want.
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. Make sure that you triple-check what has been agreed with each - read their contracts. Talk to them on regular basis asking loads of questions so you understand the process. All wedding suppliers cost their prices according to their time, expertise, experience, staff members needed, overhead costs, etc. Always ask for the cost breakdown to understand how much each element costs.
Wedding suppliers spend more time and money on your wedding/event than you could imagine. Things that might look easily achievable because they look simple to you, can often take a large team a lot of prep and setup time to pull off.
When things go wrong
Not all weddings happen glitch-free. To be honest, no wedding is perfect. 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 can be very challenging!), all of which can cause wedding timeline delays.
The most important thing here is not to start stressing and go with the flow. Let the planner or coordinator do what they are paid to do and 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 for you to micro-manage everything. Let the experts sort it out the best way they can - and they will. On your wedding day, all you need to do is have a stress-free good time.
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. 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.
Remember what was the most important thing - 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 falling out with your suppliers over the little things only you noticed?
Of course, if you've experienced an absolute disaster and the wedding was ruined, start the complaint process immediately. If you feel that there was a serious breach of contract with a supplier, you will be entitled to a full or partial refund. And if you find that the situation is beyond repair and the supplier is being rude or dismissive, start the compensation procedure through your wedding insurance.
Wedding supplier reputations
Wedding suppliers are there 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 the complaint is unquestionable, reasonable and justifiable. They are small businesses run by passionate good people wanting to make their clients happy. After all, nobody wants a bad review!
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/fix it in the best and quickest way possible.
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. Are they responsive and accommodating? Did they listen to you and understand what you want? Are you comfortable working with them? Find out about their core values and always read the contract carefully.
Don't just book any supplier. You need to trust them completely. This is one of the reasons couples book a wedding planner - for their little black book of trusted suppliers.
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!