Engagement season is here once again, and it’s safe to say you can count us excited! If you’re one of the couples who just got engaged over the holiday season and you’re here starting your wedding planning, let us be among the first to say CONGRATULATIONS!
At Every Last Detail, our hearts are for providing couples with education and insight. We love pulling you behind the proverbial curtain to reveal all of the details that help explain the process of planning your wedding. From things you should know and things you should avoid, to clarification on ideas you already want to put into motion, our mission is to HELP you plan your wedding with knowledge!
But, what about the advice that isn’t normally shared? Aren’t you wondering what wedding professionals are really thinking when you contact them? We did too. So, we asked them, plain and simple, what they would want you to know about planning a wedding as a newly engaged couple.
Below, you will find 10+ of the country’s top wedding professionals not holding back one bit as they share pieces of advice that many vendors tend not to share. Get ready, because our V List members are spilling all of the secrets- for your benefit of course!
Setting Your Priorities:
“Enjoy your time as an engaged couple! Together, really stop and figure out what you and your fiance want on your wedding day. The location can change everything from the direction of your paper suite, to the dress you buy, so even if you don’t quite know where you want to get married, think about the other pieces that make up your event. It should make sense that you would not want to choose a wedding venue in an elaborate ballroom if you really have your heart set on getting married shoe-less and boho. You also wouldn’t want to dream of a fully beaded ball gown, but get married on the beach.” – Avis Glenister, Peach & Pearl Events
“Take a minute to define what your priorities are. Don’t just go by online wedding budget planners. If the band is the most important thing to you, don’t be afraid to spend more on that and serve fried chicken :)” – Tracie Domino, Tracie Domino Events
“As a wedding planner and event/floral designer – I see time and time again couples that are stuck in a budget spiral and have to cut corners based on what other vendors have told them. Regardless of what your budget is…just know that you should always, always, always go with your absolute minimum needs because, folks…any and all vendors will be more than happy to take more money from you later. I am not a fan of charging people up front for things that they are not sure they are going to need. As a wedding planner…the other thing that a lot of wedding vendors will not tell you during the booking process is that in all likelihood you will end up spending almost 10-15% more than the price you are paying up front. You have control over this and it has everything to do with your choices during the wedding planning process.” – Katie Martin, Elegance & Simplicity
“Be honest about your budget! If you’re working within a certain budget, let us know! We love being able to create custom collections for couples that will work perfectly for you! Plus, we get the opportunity to still capture this next chapter of your love story!” – Tami Garber, Tami & Ryan Photography
Choosing Your Wedding Date:
“Pick 3 Dates: The number is really up to you, but try not to get your heart set on one and only one date. There are a lot of other items to consider when choosing your date, depending on what is important to you. For me personally, we chose two different months (in different seasons of the year), and then went from there. It’s almost impossible to choose a date where every single person you want to attend can make it, but consider your family and close friends’ schedules. Also think about holidays, sports seasons (my family loves college football so one of our wedding date options that fell on an important bowl game didn’t get chosen). In a location like Florida, you may also consider time of year as far as heat, rainy seasons, and hurricane season. Last, you may want to choose your date working around the venue of your dreams, or an important vendor’s availability too.” – Brittany Bishop, Brittany Bishop Photography
Image via Tracie Domino Events
Choosing the Right Wedding Professionals:
“Do your homework on vendors! Every vendor looks great on their own website, but make sure you’re vetting your vendors properly or reading blogs that already vet them for you. Ask around to other vendors you’ve hired about someone you’re considering hiring. We’re always transparent with our clients about who and who not to hire.” – Caitlin Jones, Plan It Event Design + Management
*Editor’s note: This is why we’re SO picky about who we accept into The V List! Head over there to find vendors who we have extensively vetted and verified!
Being Excited About Your Wedding Day:
“I would tell the couple that when getting in touch with your potential photographer to make your wedding sounds as personal and special as possible. So often couples try to downplay their celebration thinking that it will seem like ‘less work’ for the photographer – but we WANT to be excited by your love story and these little details help us to visualize and get inspired.” – Arielle Doneson, Arielle Doneson Photography
Contacting Wedding Professionals:
“A good vendor will tell you if you’re not a good fit for them just as much as the couple decides vendors are or are not appropriate for their wedding. As a photographer, if a couple tells me they’re looking for a lot of dark, moody imagery I kindly share my style is colorful and bright and will refer them to another great photographer who better matches their style. This should be seen as a win-win for all rather than an insult of turning the couple away! Great vendors want to ensure their couples are going to be happy with their product or results provided – vetting vendors and couples is just one step along the road to success for all.” – Mikkel Paige Mihlrad, Mikkel Paige Photography
Not “Ghosting” Wedding Professionals:
“Don’t ghost wedding professionals that you’ve taken the time to inquire with! We tend to get so invested in our potential couples and their wedding day. So, when we never hear back from a couple, it hurts our hearts a little. If you found your dream wedding professional, just take a minute and let us know! We’ll be super excited for you!” – Tami Garber, Tami & Ryan Photography
Image by Tami & Ryan Photography
“Strapless dresses emphasize your shoulders and make them appear broader in photos. Please do yourself a favor and try on a few different sleeve options (sleeveless v-neck, halter, short sleeve, cap sleeve, etc.) to see the differences and to make sure you do indeed feel your best in the strapless before committing to it. Because if you are even a little self-conscious about your shoulders and/or arms, you will likely not like how your photos turn out in a strapless dress.” – Nicole Jansma, Nicole Jansma Photography
“When planning your wedding date, make sure you keep in mind Daylight Savings Time. Many couples forget that the sun goes down so early in the winter. A 5:30 sunset can put a damper on the lighting for photos if you have a late ceremony with no first look.” – Ashley Granstad, Brooke Images
Planning the Wedding You Want vs the Wedding Your Guests Want to Experience:
“The ceremony is all about you and your partner celebrating your love, but beyond that, this is more than just ‘your’ day. Of course, we want you to have the most amazing day, but when it comes to the reception, focus on the guest experience. Invest in great entertainment, good food, a quality bar, and interactive experiences. This is the first party you’re hosting as a married couple, and you want it to be memorable for your guests. You’re going to hear – and may feel like – it’s your day, do what you want, but don’t forget to keep your guests in mind when making decisions, and make sure you don’t get caught up in having to have everything Pinterest or publication-worthy.” – Christina Sloan, Christina Sloan Events