So as many of you have probably seen here on the blog, we have had a wedding survey up that we’ve asked folks to fill out just to get a centralized spot for all of the advice we know people have to share. We’ve had 20 responses so far which is awesome (and apparently brides like talking more about weddings than the grooms, only had 2 grooms fill out the survey), so thanks to everyone who filled it out! The stats we got on number of wedding guests, venue location, and reception were helpful but the absolute best part are the free-form answers. Here are a few of my favorite responses to
“If there was one lesson you learned that you wish you had known before you started, what was it?”
When working with vendors:
Pay attention to the recommendations from other vendors (i.e. so and so’s flowers look great and hold up well, so and so’s cakes look great and everybody raves about them, etc)
Use pictures as examples when selecting anything visual with any vendor (for example … don’t describe the flowers you want, confirm with picture examples).
Bridal “stuff” is negotiable in price. Barter barter barter! If you find a dress/shoes/hat/hairstyle you like, shop around. Tell people what you would pay at “that other shop.” Deals can be made, bridal markup is like 300%.
I think it will definitely be a challenge negotiating and planning with all the vendors but I will be keeping all this in mind, not sure how good I will be at bartering though, I always feel silly trying to do it as I don’t think I’m very convincing ;)
Make your own wedding invitations or get really inexpensive ones. No one really cares what they look like, only that they got invited. Plus you can start making those as soon as you book your vendors so you can do them way ahead of time.
We’ve got the wedding invitations (and the save the date cards) covered, Jeremy and I are too much of design and typography geeks to have someone else do our invitations…the invitations will most likely be letterpress though ;)
There were quite a few folks who emphasized actually making sure to eat and enjoy the food/drink provided at your reception, but the quote below was by far the most entertaining.
EAT. Recognize that on this day, all the forces in the universe have aligned to prevent you from eating a single bite of a meal you spent thousands of dollars on.
In the name of all that is holy to you, no matter how many great-aunts you must offend or kneecaps of friends’ too-drunk dates you must break, EAT THE FOOD AT YOUR OWN WEDDING.
Thus endeth the lecture.
In terms of planning (and interacting with family members):
Realize that you can’t please everyone and don’t worry about it because it is YOUR wedding and you have to do what makes YOU happy – especially if you are the one paying for it! Also (and more importantly), this advice applies to the marriage itself.
Your family will inevitably drive you crazy with well-meant ‘suggestions’ – don’t forget that it’s their big day too but stand your ground on stuff that really matters to you.
This was a pretty prevalent theme, “it’s your wedding, don’t stress to much, do what you want but listen to other’s thoughts/opinions.” I think I can get behind that idea!
I think this is a great summarizing bit of advice:
Best advice my mother gave me throughout the planning and ramp up to the day: “no matter what happens, you’ll still be married.”
More crowd-sourced advice coming soon…