So You Think You're a Wedding Planner? Think Again!
Posted on December 16 2016
So you think you’re a wedding planner? Think again!
In October of 2015 my beautiful daughter got engaged to a wonderful man. I had dreamed of this magical wedding that she would one day have. She had set the date to be one year later so I kept thinking to myself "yes! We will have plenty of time to plan". Little did I know that with running a Etsy shop and commitments to this and that the time would just fly by so quickly.
I think when you have a year you better get yourself motivated to start right away because before you know it, it is here! We were hoping to try to do it on a budget and by budget that meant doing a lot of things ourselves that we were able to do and of course not using a wedding planner because I didn't have a $40,000 budget.
Utilizing a planner right away was key to getting everything done. My daughter bought a wedding planner but didn't utilize it really so it was basically my job to stay on top of things. She works a very demanding full time job and I am retired so it made sense for me to become "the planner" and who better to do that than an actual planner lady!
I first mapped out what seemed to be the most critical decisions which were the venue, food, and the photographer. Those were the items I wanted to lock in quickly. We did select a venue pretty easily due to the extreme cost of some venues it was a matter of elimination because of the cost. The venue was going to serve as a place to have the ceremony and reception. We planned on a very casual setting where everyone would be seated at the table they would watch the ceremony from and eat at the same table. We had planned on leaving an open spot in the center of the room to have the ceremony at under the chandeliers.
This venue also did catering and that WOULD have made our lives much easier and later on would find out that would have been the best decision had we gone that direction but after the tasting, we had decided for the cost we were paying that we wanted to pick a caterer that could provide great food as well. So outside caterer it was. So we knew exactly who that would be and locked that in with a deposit. So venue....check.....caterer....check. My daughter had a photographer take pics of her soon to be husband and her a while back and they were excellent so the choice of photographer was an easy one too. So as you see the big decisions came quickly and easily. The rest was the hard part.
Cake tasting was next and dare I say my absolutely favorite thing to have to do! We live in a small town so choices were narrowed down to two main places. Both were equally good so it was a matter of the Benjamins. Cake was then checked off.
I would say the most time consuming and most painful part of the process was planning table decorations. We did a lot of thrift shopping because my daughter was wanting a more vintage/shabby chic style so we just bought and bought and bought and until the day came to set up the tables had no clue how it was going to look! In hindsight, if you can piece together table settings and photograph them so that the day of the wedding you can set them up easily would be a good thing to do but we lacked the space and the time to do that.
I did all the signage and fun decorations since I am also a crafter. I made anything I could which took a lot of prep. My planner was utilized to write down cute signs I had seen on Pinterest that I planned to make, mark where they were to go and also keep track of how many I needed to make. I also made notes along the way of things that needed to be done and checked off as I did them.
Here are some samples of things I made:
This was a glass block that was to be used during the sand ceremony
One of the signs that went on each table for sharing pics
Now a days the traditional guest book is very different! I made this for all the guest to sign with sharpies and it will hang on their wall.
This was going to be sitting on the table next to a vintage small suitcase that was holding vintage hand embroidered hankies and a suitcase for cards etc. It was really hard to write on these vintage books because the pages were old and no longer laid smoothly but it is a cute little way to do something different.
When it came time to create the save the dates my daughter and I sat down and designed them ourselves. Here is the real comical part....we forgot to put the date on the save the dates! Lord who would have thought that the most crucial part of the save the date would be left off! So crafter mom to the rescue. I created a cute sticker to place on them so that it looked planned! Once I created the wedding invitation myself I made sure to look that thing over a hundred times to make sure I left nothing off! So you can see it was a real DIY wedding.
Dress shopping was the best part of the entire planning procedure but the most hurtful to my purse. She picked a beautiful gown with loads of lace and a vintage feel. We found a beautiful belt with loads of pretty crystals etc. on it and it cost a pretty penny but just made the dress even more beautiful. I about fell off my chair when finding out the cost of the gown but also the cost of alterations since it had over 8 different layers of lace and stuff in the dress. A wedding is something every mother dreams of planning with their daughters. But the joy you feel you will have doing it is a myth. It’s a lot of work, it is a lot of stress. But seeing your beautiful daughter in her gown makes it all worth it.
All of the things that I did to stay on top of things I couldn't have done without using my planner. The day went so quickly and the wedding was a blur but it was beautiful. She looked beautiful. We are still waiting for all the photos from photographer but thought I would share this pic of her and her bridesmaids. I love this girl <3