Weddings are stressful. There are lots of things that have to happen before, during and after the big event. The biggest piece of advice I can give my brides and grooms is for them to understand what they decide are the most important pieces of their day. They have a budget and each of the things that they agree are important must fit within this amount of money. That said, they need to go into this investigation with eyes open.
Contact service providers and get quotations. Keep in mind that the highest dollar doesn’t always buy the best and similarly the least expensive may not deliver on what you think you are buying. The only way to know if that service provider is a fit for you is to actually meet with them --- see the product for yourself --- meet the person behind the product. Have discussions on what you are looking for and what money you have to spend on that service. Keep in mind if you are making decisions solely based on what you see on the internet, on webpages, on Facebook, these can be very deceiving as stock photos can be bought and what you are seeing may not be what you get.
Keep in mind that there is definitely room for DYI bits and pieces as part of the overall look being designed and assembled by your Decorator. It is wonderful that brides want to put their own touch on the day. Your Decorator’s job then is to ensure that the items provided are assembled and showcased within the room décor as decided between you and your decorator.
Colours and overall look for the day is an ever-changing entity with all the gorgeous online photos and ideas. Some brides know exactly what they want, while others find it hard to decide what they want their wedding day to look like. Once you have at least an idea of what you may want, you can then seek out venues that suit your vision. This is a huge beast to get booked and out of the way as soon as possible as most book up over a year in advance. Your venue and what it has to offer will lead to what more you will need in way of décor to ensure you will capture the “vision”.
I often have discussions with brides who have arranged a wedding venue and who have opted for that venue’s standard wedding decoration package believing that they do not have to think about it again. When I ask what “décor” means in terms of what is being supplied, the reply is vague in most cases. At the venue when the contract is being signed, excitement and emotion is playing a big part and what is actually remembered of the day is that “décor” is provided. I get that. While this blind trust is justified with some of the more reputable locations, in other cases the venue provides the same décor package to every bride. All too often table linens begin to show their age with constant use and laundering. There may be no opportunity to make changes to the venue’s design theme such as floor length tablecloths, coloured table runners, chair covers or centrepieces, as for better or for worse, these items are already paid for in the venue wedding package. They may not accurately reflect the bride’s vision for the day.
In other cases, brides (and sometimes the bride’s mothers) decide on a DYI décor package whereby they will solicit the help of other family members and friends to come together on the big day to locate, make or rent décor items, transport the items to the venue, set up the decoration before the wedding party arrives and dismantle and remove the decoration immediately after last dance. Depending on the size of the wedding, the venue, and the complexity of the wedding decor, this approach might work but leaves Mom and Aunties stressed and tired. The time allotted for the set up effort with all the little obstacles that come with it at the time, are totally under estimated and the “volunteers” remember the wedding only for the hard work that it involved, instead of their having a good time with friends and family that was intended by the bride.
A good wedding planner /decorator will take full responsibility for ensuring that the wedding event is everything that the bride and groom dreamed of. They will work closely with you to ensure you have thought of all of the components of your day including entertainment, lighting, cake, photographer and flowers. Your decorator should propose a full range of decoration items including coordinated linens, chair covers, backdrops, centrepieces to capture the “vision” portrayed by the bride and groom.
The time and schedule set by the venue for installation and teardown will determine the number of experienced staff working on the wedding day and into the wee small hours immediately after it. This turnaround time can be extremely tight if there are back to back weddings and the bride and groom need to be aware that more hands on deck may be the only way to carry off the day as they envision it.
There is a lot of information to digest here, so I will leave it to next week to talk about the actual selection of a Planner/Decorator and what you should be looking for in that person.