We want you to love us. We want you to adore us. And we want you to feel as though you are our best friend through the planning process.
And as it turns out, there is a lot we haven't been telling you but we think you really need to know.
I asked wedding professionals from around the world, "What do you want all of your brides to know, but just don't have the guts to tell them?" It's not because we are mean or because we are harsh, but because we want to make you happy. And some of this stuff, just is plain hard to spit out in front of your face!
This was BY FAR my favorite blog post I've published in the history of The Overwhelmed Bride. There are some key items in here that you may have heard before or some may create a realization today! Take it with a grain of salt and remember, we just want everything to be perfect.
So with that being said, get to studying!
1. Just because you saw it done at a California wedding, doesn't mean it's possible in Michigan.
"Every market is different. Products that are available in one part of the country, and found all over Pinterest, may not be available in your area. This can apply to flowers (i.e. delicate flowers don't hold up in South Florida heat or might only be seasonal), rental products, and even certain styles of venues. If there is a specific product or look you are going for, it may have to be brought in from a specialty supplier and can impact the logistic and pricing on the day. - Parish Designs
2. Your favorite vendor could literally disappear out of your life.
“Always do your research. But once you find the vendor you are looking for, do not hesitate to book them! Quality vendors are highly sought after and in high demand. You do not want to miss your opportunity to book the perfect vendor while "thinking about it."” – Kurtis Cross
3. Only asking for pricing is the worst thing you can do.
Of course pricing is necessary to make sure you stick within your budget, but “beware of vendors with a low ball pricing strategy. It's a red flag that their service may lack heart and soul. The right vendors are worth a fair price, because we deliver an amazing product with superior service. If a vendor's pricing seems a tad high at first glance, it's because they're real people supporting real families. And they're running a real business - not a hobby." - Sizzle Cone Designs
And make sure you are comparing apples to apples. So many brides say to me, "Well I am going with them because their month-of package is cheaper." Well what exactly does their month-of package include? "It is okay to share your budget with your vendors. Every bride has an idea of what they have to work with, and a good vendor will work to get the highest quality for your budget." - To Hold & To Have
4. Your vendors get to eat before your guests...and before you!
That is the only time they have a chance to eat before the festivities begin…toasts, dancing, cake cutting, etc. "If we are served after the guests, it's too late for us to eat because we have to jump into parent dances and so on.” - Hey Mister DJ
We are human too and need nourishment in order to deliver what you are expecting from us!
5. Your guests will show up on time.
Don’t tell your guests to be there an hour before the ceremony is “supposed” to start, just in case. I understand half an hour or fifteen minutes, but “Many guests don't eat prior to the wedding so hungry guests are not happy guests.” - – I DO Weddings by Sheri
And it isn’t fun for a guest who did show up on time, to be sitting in the hot sun (or freezing cold) for over an hour.
6. No matter how much you love a photo, it will never be re-created by your photographer.
“I would love brides to not send me images of other photographers’ weddings and ask to recreate them, especially if is not even the style we do.” – Robert Bruce Photography
You hired your photographer because they are creative and are great at what they do! By giving them a list of photos to take, you cannot capture your day truthfully. And unless you are at the same venue and are identical twins with the couple in the photo, it's never going to turn out the same. And even then, it probably will look different because your photographer is capturing love, happiness, and fun...and those can only truly be captured truthfully.
7. Even 10 minutes can throw off your entire day.
Just because your coordinator padded your timeline with an extra hour for hair and makeup, doesn’t mean you can be laid back about time. “Sticking to the hair and make up start times is crucial.”– Kandice ShaRhea Hair & Makeup Company
"The photographers arrive as you're finishing up hair and makeup to get those last images of you getting ready, photos of getting your dress on, shoes on, and jewelry on. And they tend to take a little loner than what we anticipate." - Makeup by Sahar So if you don't want to miss out on those precious details, show up on time and make sure your bridesmaids do the same!
8. You can’t take a cake home without a box.
9. A hanger can make or break your photos.
10. A smaller guest count actually costs more?
“When on a budget, do not assume having a smaller guest list will cut your catering costs. A majority of caterers charge an additional fee for staff for smaller parties,” - Jimmy Duffy's Catering or they charge a higher price per person as your guest count goes down.
11. You don't know more than we do. Just trust us.
Your wedding vendors have probably done thousands of weddings combined. And we know what works and what doesn't.
"Let us do the job you have hired us to do. Especially with a unique venue, there are things that work and things that do not work. We know this from years of experience and learning the hard way. If we turn down an idea or something you have always wanted to do, it isn't because we are just being mean. It is because we want your day to be perfect and the best it can be! We have seen things go wrong and we know how to avoid it. We are the experts at planning an event within our venue." - Carolina Girl Events
12. Your inquiry email could be hurting you.
We need your wedding date (to make sure we are available) and more information about your wedding day to provide the best information possible. If we have a travel fee, we can’t add that into your quote without knowing where your wedding is! “Emails that read "pricing and packages please" will typically NOT get a great response from us.”- Jeff Lundstrom Photography
A bride who emails me and is excited about their wedding, will make us excited about your wedding day too!
13. Your hair and makeup will never look like that photo.
Because you are beautiful in your own unique way and you are not her! “Your hair texture and length will be something to consider when bringing a photo of a celebrity who most likely has extensions and hair pieces.” - Verve Hair & Makeup Artistry
14. You can't do a hair and makeup trial without a dress.
“Trial runs should be booked after you have your wedding dress, venue and all other style details locked in. Have pictures of hair and makeup you desire on hand at your appointment. That way there is a complete understanding of the mood you want on your special day! “ – Devon Duff Makeup
15. Photographers are wrong about the first look.
Every photographer will tell you the first look is best. But do what you want to do, not what they want. Yes, a first look allows you to enjoy your cocktail hour, to have a "better" timeline, to get those true emotions captured and to spend some alone time together in the midst of a busy day but if you love tradition, stick the to tradition. Believe me, we can make it work either way :) - Me
16. BUT...you don't get to have everything you want.
"You want photos but you want to be in cocktail hour but you also don’t want a first look. It doesn’t work. Good photos most likely can't be done in 15 minutes." - Vito Rade Photography
17. A wedding coordinator can get you better prices.
"Hire a day-of wedding coordinator! The discounts they can get you and referrals to good vendors will save you the cost of the coordinator, maybe more — plus having peace of mind on your big day is so worth it." - Bilmar Beach Resort
18. A comfortable pair of heels doesn't exist.
"If you are wearing bridal heels, plan on bringing a change of shoes (it's a l-o-n-g day!) and let the dress shop know. Once you take off your 4 inch heels and put on flip-flops, your dress will be 4 inches too long unless you plan for it." - Peabody Essex Museum
19. Size 0 equals size 6?
*NO ONE is a "size __" -- every designer uses their own size chart, and they vary greatly. Size is dependent upon current body measurements, designers specifications, and is greatly affected by fabric and cut of a gown. And NO ONE cares that you "plan" on losing weight or are "bloated" when we measure you. Order the size we measure you for! - VIP Occasions, Inc.
20. You can wash your hair the day before the wedding.
"It's okay to wash your hair. :) I have so many brides who think they can't wash their hair or even show up on their wedding day with greasy hair because they thought they couldn't wash it." - Mindy City Hair
21. No wedding has ever or will ever go according to the timeline.
"I have encountered very few weddings that have gone according to the pre-made time line. Weddings have a time line of their own, and will unfold just as they are meant to! My couples who enjoy their day the most, are the ones that don't get too caught up in everything having to BE JUST SO. They are full of love and gratitude, that they have found the person they are meant to be with. As you embark on a lifelong journey together, does it really matter if the ceremony starts 5 minutes late?" - Modern Love Photography
22. Toasts aren't fun to watch.
"If you have several people that want to give a toast at your wedding, invite them to do it at the rehearsal dinner and keep the toasts at the reception limited to the best man/maid of honor and maybe a parent. And as always-- keep toasts short and sweet!" - Wabeek Country Club
23. There is a difference between a wedding planner and a venue coordinator.
"Most caterers, venue employees, DJ's etc are not wedding planners. They have their roles to make your day special." - The Urban Event
"While there are many venue managers who will go above and beyond their job description in the name of customer service, there are actually many pieces of the day as a whole they are not responsible for. If you aren’t sure, ask. If you are thinking of hiring a day-of coordinator, ask your venue manager for recommendations. Things work like clock-work when the venue manager and the planner enjoy working together!" - SHOWORKS, Inc.
24. You're wasting your money if your photographer stays until the end.
And the only exception to that rule is if you are having a grand exit with sparklers or glow sticks or anything of that kind. "Paying extra for photographers to be at a reception until midnight is pointless. We only need about 30 minutes of dancing to get a few hundred shots. Who needs a thousand photos of people dancing that have had too much to drink anyways? - Frame 805 Photo
25. No, we cannot meet with you on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.
"I wish brides understood that on someone else’s wedding day, we are giving that bride our full attention so if we do not return their call or email on a Saturday, it’s because we are in full event mode.
A lot of vendors are off on Sundays and Mondays or other midweek days because our business is typically the busiest on weekends. . When a bride says it’s the only day she can meet, she needs to understand that sometimes is simply hard for vendors to not take regular days off to re-charge." - Tahoe Beach Retreat
"We understand you work full time and do not want to take off work. But it is nearly impossible to conduct a client appointment on a weekend." - Kentlands Mansion
26. We don't own magic wands.
"The amount of decor you can have at the event is contingent on the amount of installation time the venue will allow for the vendors. For example, is the space open to the public and only opens to vendors after closing? Has the hotel sold the room for a prior event that day? This all impacts what we can feasibly produce in a short window. - Parish Designs
And we can't read minds either. If you don't tell us, we won't know.
27. Ignore your fairytale.
"This is going to sound harsh but the one thing I wish all my brides knew but I would NEVER tell them is to ignore that fairy tale picture they see in their heads of themselves as a bride when purchasing a wedding gown. Too many times I see a bride in the wrong style dress that does nothing for their figure because they had their heart set on a certain style.
Stop looking at the size 0, 6-foot tall models in bridal fashion magazines! They are not you and thinking that you will look EXACTLY like them is unrealistic (unless of course you are a size zero, 6 foot tall woman). Try on every style of dress there is to find the one that fits YOUR body and then you can hone in on the dress that makes you look like a million bucks! - Kay Photo & Design
28. Navy blue doesn't match navy blue.
"Don't be afraid to think outside the box for you wedding flowers. You don't have to match the blue flower to your blue dress." - Loess Hills Floral
Just because your dress is navy blue, doesn't mean it will match exactly with a navy blue flower because different textures create a different look. And that is okay! Personally, I love color palettes far more than a matchy-matchy color-scheme.
29. Those dance floor lights will ruin your photographs.
Choose lighting based on colors that "work" for your photographer and are going to photograph well! "A dark reception is great for setting the mood for a dance party, but if you keep it brighter, the pictures and video will be much better. - Bob's Eye View Weddings
"And some of the new laser lights are extremely unflattering (think hundreds of green dots) and can not be compensated for with flash. - Umbrella Studios
30. The secret to getting your guests to dance...
The bride and groom dancing means a full dance floor. If you're out there, they all will be out there." - Skysight Photography
31. Time is Money
Well, not literally money. But a happy bride means a successful wedding. "Being able to give yourself an extra 15 minutes between parts of the day will really help keep you calm and less stressed through out the day." - Inspire Me Imagery
And that's what a wedding coordinator is for ;)
32. What even is a bustle?
"Make sure you designate one bridesmaid to help with bustling your dress. And more importantly, make sure they have done a practice run a couple of times to be familiar with your specific bustle system." - Steven Lam Photography
Believe it or not, they come in all shapes and sizes! So knowing how to bustle ahead of time, will save you a lot of time!
33. The bride comes last.
"The bride's makeup should be done next to last. Not exactly last so the artist isn't rushing but also not first so that her makeup feels fresh." - City Lights Makeup If she is done first, then her hair and makeup needs to last perfectly that much longer!
34. Your guests don't like your music.
"I wish brides understood that when they make up a four hour playlist of all their favorite tunes, so many times tunes that they choose simply clear the dance floor, and the DJ gets the blame. A pro DJ's job is play the right music at the right moment. That can't happen when someone else who has never had to fill a dance floor before picks all the music." - Da Spin Doctor