What I changed my mind on for my wedding
A few things were really important to me when I first started wedding planning, but flowers weren't one of them. Don't get me wrong, I love flowers. They're gorgeous and I believe people who do it right are true artists. But, for my wedding, they felt like a big expense that I didn't really need. I thought I could DIY the florals using some great sites like FiftyFlowers . These sites allow you to order exactly what you want, right in time so they'll be fresh and beautiful! They even have a special "get the look" section where you can recreate a specific design so you don't need to become an expert florist overnight! However, ultimately it came down to a question of logistics. If my venue was closer to my home and smaller I'd have stuck to my guns and DIY'd the sh*t out of my flowers. I actually think it would be fun! But because I may not be able to get into my venue until the day of and I'd need to figure out transporting all my flowers 2 hours from my home it just wasn't practical for me. Luckily, I was able to find an incredibly affordable and unbelievably talented florist that was able to give me a great deal because I'm going very heavy with greenery which is less expensive. I'm also leaning heavily on other "prop" items, antique pieces I've bargain hunted and lots of candles.
There are two takeaways here:
1. Do you research! What time of the year are you getting married? The type of flowers in season make a huge difference in their price tag. Also, not all florists are created equal. I started chatting with many florists via facebook and if you talk to them let them know what your budget is and what you're picturing, I've found that many florists are willing to work within your constraints.
2. Be practical! Not just about your budget but your venue size, travel distance, etc. I hadn't really considered traveling with my flowers. Where would I store them the night before? Who would arrange them at the venue? Some people are fine having a friend do this or their wedding planner will, but this is not always the case. I'm still really glad I did the research and found all these great floral DIY options. I'm 100% going to use them for my engagement party!
I was so set on a band when I first started my wedding planning. I thought a live band added a great element that would infuse a lot of energy into the evening. I researched and found several bands that looked amazing! But many of those were almost 10k as a starting cost. I just couldn't justify that price tag when that was almost the same cost of my entire venue. So I looked at bands in the 4-7k range. Many were solid but, there were various issues we encountered with each band, flaky managers, limited song selection etc. Then one sleepless night I decided to research DJs. I was really impressed with the quality of DJs in my area. More impressive was the price tag! Even higher end DJs were several thousand dollars less than a band. This makes sense as the overhead and logistics are just less for a DJ as opposed to a 5-7 piece band. Plus many of the DJs offered other amenities like uplighting, speciality musicians and special effects that no bands were offering. With a little more research I was sold! It all comes down to what is really important to you and what your budget is. The takeaway is, be open to exploring new options! You may be happier with something you never envisioned!
I'm a full time producer. I've produced many videos for celebs and big brands. So it may shock you to know that I was actually considering skipping a videographer! I know what was I thinking?! Again I was trying to save in as many places as possible and thought, who is really going to watch this video besides myself and my fiancé? But after reading several blogs and articles from brides about their top regrets, not having any video of their wedding seemed to be on EVERYONE's list! I realized I am going to want to look back and be in the moment again, hear people's voices and be transported back to that day. So, I thought, "I'm a video professional. I can just make sure a camera is set up on a tripod and ask my planner to hit record." But after thinking it through I realized how this plan would not work. Someone might think they hit record and didn't or someone could sit in front of the camera blocking everything! I from experience there was too high a chance something might go awry. After doing research on facebook again (a reoccurring theme) and chatting with professionals in the area, I discovered I could book a videographer for a lot less than I thought was possible. Yes, if you want a fully produced, cinematic video, with a highlight reel it's going to be a significant expense. But all I want is a video of my ceremony, speeches and a few dances. I don't need a highlight reel because I can edit the video myself! While many brides can't do that, you can still hire a videographer for a portion of your celebration and forgo the bells and whistles. Then if you decide after the fact you want someone to put together a highlight reel, there are tons of freelancers and film students that can do this for you at a much more affordable rate! The takeaway is do you research and don't assume you can't afford something because of the initial figures you're quoted. There is often other alternatives if you're flexible and willing to think outside the box.
4. Start Time
I'm getting married in late October. At the risk of sounding like a basic b, I love the fall. Not a huge pumpkin latte fan but, the weather, the leaves, orchards, halloween everything about that season just jives with me. Plus I love a good "faux" leather jacket as you'll see in future posts! But getting married at this time of year and on a Friday does present certain challenges. One of which is light! It gets dark earlier. We intended to have our ceremony around 6pm to allow people more time to get to our venue if they're working that day. The only hiccup is, as my fiancé doesn't want to do a first look (more on that later) we wouldn't have any photos of us in natural light. My photographer was one of the most important vendor. In fact, the photographer was the first vendor I booked after the venue. Therefore, I immediately consulted him to see what his thoughts were on the light issue. I didn't want to seem unreasonable to my guests by having an earlier start time. However, I also didn't want to sacrifice photos and having light for the ceremony as well. My photographer is amazing! Not just in terms of his talent but his willingness to provide advice and guidance months before the wedding. He gave us permission to do what is best for us. I'm trying to be as accommodating and thoughtful of my guests as possible. I'm not a "it's my day, my way or the highway" kind of bride. But it's important to decide when you should allow yourself to do what is best for you! After weighing all the options it seemed obvious that pushing our start time up was the best plan. My work around, is I'll have two arrival times, one for guests attending the ceremony and reception and one for those who can only attend the reception. This allows everyone to enjoy and celebrate with us when they can, guilt free! The takeaway is, there is always a solution. Try not to get overwhelmed, get creative, ask for help/advice and you'll find a solution!