Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Top mistakes newly engaged couples make.

Mazel Tov if you're one of the lucky couples who just got engaged! And, if you are like most newly engaged couples, you are overwhelmed with where to start when it comes to planning your wedding. The feeling of being overwhelmed is normal, but there a few things you can do to ease any stress you or others might put upon yourself in the beginning stages of planning your nuptials.

I know you want to scream your engagement from the rooftops and rightly so; it's an exciting time in your life and you want share it with friends and family. But I caution this because you should take the time to embrace this moment with your fiancé, close family and friends. The next 9 to 12 months are going to go by so fast, and will be filled with so many decisions, that you can get caught up in unnecessary drama and not enjoy what should be a special time in your life. Take a week or two and ease into letting those around you know your engaged. Hold off on announcing it on facebook, twitter or email blasts. By taking the time to enjoy the engagement glow, it will allow you to keep a level head when moving forward with the planning.

One of the biggest mistakes I see couples make is that they rush to try to plan everything at once. They want to book the venue, shop for the dress, pick the attendants, book the flowers, and all in the first month of their engagement. They become so overwhelmed with all the choices they actually have a meltdown. They run away, sometimes crying, fighting with their parents or future in-laws that the process is no longer fun. Rather than rush into the process, take your time…and most of all communicate with whoever is helping to pay for the wedding. Sit down and actually write out what is important and what isn't important. Brides, although this is your wedding it's also his wedding too. So be sure to include him in some of the choices even if he seems completely disinterested. Chances are the music, the food and the drink are important to him so let him have a say too.

If the parents are helping to pay for the wedding they do have a say in some of the choices. So be prepared to compromise. That is what any relationship is about; especially marriage. Don't put your blinders on and insist something go your way. So often brides come into my studio insisting they must get their way. They actually revert back to being little girls rather than grown women. Listen to everything people have to say and take everything into consideration. Don't get me wrong…this is your wedding and you are entitled to get what you want, but also be reasonable. If you don't like something, that's okay, but remember there is always a solution whereby everyone can be happy.

Another unfortunate mistake newly engaged couples make is that they don't do their research. They rush to sign contracts for fear they might lose the venue, the photographer or the band. This is a huge no, no! Do your research before signing. See what things are going to cost. There's good information out there on the web, but truth be told, some of it is completely misguided. It's like getting a second opinion from another doctor…it's best to not jump at the first opinion and to get several quotes from vendors in the same category. Try to get apple to apple comparisons when shopping for your wedding vendors.

When shopping for vendors, be honest with them. Vendors want to help you and they know you're shopping around, so the more information you provide the better they can meet your expectations. For example don't call or email a floral designer or flower shop and say I need 20 table arrangements, 4 bouquets and a chuppa, what will it cost? There are many different factors when it comes to flowers such as what look are you going for? Do you want sleek or do you want huge and full? Do you want gardenias and stephanotis in your bouquet or do you want tulips? And there's always budget…There is such a variety when it comes to cost that you need to help them manage your expectations by providing as much information as possible.

Another mistake couples make is they try to do everything themselves. DIY (Do It Yourself) has become so huge in recent years, due in large part to the state of the economy. But couples often take too much on and that's where the stress starts and mistakes happen. Wedding planners are there for a reason. This is what they do day in and day out. You wouldn't try to perform surgery on yourself or cut your own hair, why plan your own wedding. Hire the experts. And if you are afraid wedding planners are too expensive you have to ask yourself; “Is the money spent worth the peace of mind?” Knowing you have a professional that can help you organize, navigate and manage your needs along with the vendor's needs can be worth its weight in gold. SO when you go shopping for a planner understand that the cost is most certainly worth it.

And finally, I think the number one mistake couples make is that they forget to have fun. They get so wrapped up in the planning they forget what the wedding is really about. It's about joining their lives with the person they love. It's not about the future mother in law or sister in law they don't get along with. It's not about the fact they can't get the 2,000 white doves to fly overhead…it's about your marriage, your love and your commitment to your fiancé. Couples often lose sight of that and as a result they don't have fun and they don't enjoy the process. 

So take your time, have fun and...

Courtesy of Craig Paulson Studios

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