Tips from Local Experts on How to Avoid Common Wedding Mishaps.
Brides-to-be want fairy tale wedding days; they don’t want receptions that look like a Three Stooges pie fight.
What can they do to ensure the former and avoid the latter?
Sometimes it’s more a matter of what they don’t do.
When you talk to wedding experts in the Merrimack Valley about planning that perfect day, one specific theme keeps surfacing: Brides-to-be take on too much and need to rely more on other people.
Or, as Kerianne Steele, director of weddings and events at Les Fleurs in Andover, quipped, “DIY? DI DON’T.”
“DIY [do it yourself] is a great way for couples to save some money and have a part in creating their wedding,” Steele says. “But limit how many tasks you take on. Three things is a manageable number within a 12-month engagement time. More than that, reach out to friends, family or members of your bridal party. Clients often place too much stress on themselves to make all the favors, print the wedding invitations, make the welcome bags, sew the table runners …”
And it’s easy to see her point. It’s difficult to enjoy what is supposed to be the best day of your life when you are borderline psychotic over whether there are enough candied almonds in each table favor.
Stress is a good thing to take to the gym, but it should be left home on your wedding day. Stephanie Gendron, sales and marketing coordinator at Castleton Banquet and Conference Center in Windham, N.H., says the biggest mistake many brides make is failing to hire “the right vendors to make [the] special day as stress-free as possible.”
“I tell my brides all the time to shop around, talk to as many people as possible so they can make an informed decision,” Gendron says. “Sometimes it’s easy to find a vendor that is convenient without getting the proper referral or information on how the vendor operates.”
And why can that be a problem? Gendron saw firsthand the kind of horror story that must make brides-to-be wake up screaming in the middle of the night.
“I had a couple a year ago that hired a company to provide a photo booth for the wedding,” she says. “The day of the wedding, the photo booth company just never showed up. This was the one thing the bride had pushed for and had made room for in her budget.
“She was devastated,” Gendron adds. “I tried that day calling different vendors I work with on a regular basis to see if any had a photo booth. But none were available on such short notice.”
According to Gendron, the bride hired the company online, and all communications had been by email. The phone number she had for them was not a working number.
“[The Internet] is a wonderful tool for today’s bride,” Gendron says. “But it is important to connect with your vendors by telephone, meet with them, see some of their work.”
Steele mentions another key mistake that’s made by some brides. “Establish a realistic budget overall … and stick to it. But don’t underestimate the cost,” she says. “Good services and products are always worth the money.”
According to Steele, determining the most important elements of your wedding day should be done at the beginning of the planning stage. For most couples, this is the first time they have planned an event so large, and they often miscalculate how much they will need to spend.
“Understanding [that] your ‘dream’ photographer just may be too expensive is OK,” she adds. “Look to area professionals to guide you to the right vendors for your budget.”
So make sure to delegate, be real about your budget, and listen to the experts. Then you’ll have a wedding that everyone will remember… for all the right reasons.