{Operation 118} Planning a wedding as a first time bride.

Wow! With 66% of the votes, it has been decided that my imaginary wedding will cost me a whopping

£21 000.

At this moment in time if feels as if I have soooo much ££ to play with (I’m sure when it all adds up it won’t be enough!) but thing is, it just feels a bit wrong. I don’t believe that one should spend that much on a one wedding day. I mean, no offense, but it’s just a bit silly isn’t it? To make this challenge a little more interesting, I will be including my imaginary honeymoon in the budgeting. It’s just not up for debate, however the destination of the honeymoon might be!

OK, so there’s a lot to do. Let’s jump right in the deep end and start running with today’s tasks.

Task 3. 
Envision your wedding style and wedding colours.
~ I’ve always loved classic, clean lines, elegance and simplicity.White is a definite must, because it just screams “clean and pure”. My favorite colour is Navy Blue (as you can tell with my branding) so I’m using a colour palette that complements these two faves of mine. White and Blue

The Where…?
I’ve decided that the wedding should take place somewhere in the countryside. I have NO idea where the venue will be yet, but this is what I’m thinking of so far…

An open field, sunshine (preferably), a marquee with lots and lots and lots of lights in different sizes, falling from the ceiling (sky), barrels of hay for during the day (see image below), game area for children, lots of signs with inspiring messages, blown up images, beautiful flowers, splashes of blue everywhere, balanced with natural, organic and rustic looking tones.
Below are a few images I found on Pinterest that could really enhance the look of the big day.

Well something like this anyway, but without the barn and those poles and the plastic chairs. (Image By: http://www.jnicholsphoto.com/ )

 
 

Task 4
Send out a just-engaged wedding card.
Ok, so, to avoid having a question marked wedding card, I’m not sending an e-card. However, here are a few websites where you can find something cute to send.
Bluemountain
JibJab
TheKnot
E-cards

Task 5
Interview wedding coordinators.
Because this mission is about getting into the mind of a bride-to be, I won’t be commissioning a wedding coordinator. For me, this (imaginary) wedding is about taking the bull by the horns and creating my own dream, and learning first hand which obstacles I’ve had to overcome.
If you are looking for a wedding coordinator though, these are a few things to keep in mind (This is by no means an exhaustive list but it gives an indication of things you need to know about)

-Do your homework and keep it local. You don’t want a coordinator who needs to travel far to meet with you. It’s not worth their time or yours.

-Look at their work, invite them out for lunch, get to know them. He or she has to be on the same page as you. Naturally. You either click or you don’t. Personality-wise. You don’t have to become best friends but when handing over all or partial control for your big day, there should be a fair amount of trust between you. So, take the time, connect, and really get to know the person (character) you are working with.

-Decide what the coordinator/planner is going to help you with. If there’s some areas of planning you’d like to stay in control of, mention it and establish who does what from the get go.

-Have a clear idea of what you want. If you are indecisive, have a meeting to brainstorm and share some ideas with your coordinator, be open minded, but once you’ve decided on what you want, leave it to the experts.

-Have boundaries. Trust the chosen person to do their job, and leave them to get on with it. Check in now and then for an update or establish different dates that you’d like to receive a phone call with a progress report.

-I know this is slightly time consuming, but where possible, write down (e-mail) any changes or additions or special requests so that you can always go back to the written word as reference and for clarity. Avoid the ever consuming time that’s wasted with assumptions and have an open, channel for communication.

-Negotiate openly. Not just on the price, but also on the added value. Often people just ask for a discount and feel like they have to haggle. Don’t ask for a discount. A discount is perceived by service providers as you being “tight” and slightly disrespectful, in which case, why are you wasting their and your time? If you don’t have a clearly defined idea of the lengths your coordinator will go to for you, to get you what you want, the un-billed hours and worry, don’t ask for a discount. Rather negotiate, offer ways you can help them too and try to work together as a team so that everybody feels like they’re winning. Know the budget you’re working with and find someone that fits that budget.

-Remember. YOU get what you PAY for and the cheap ALWAYS works out to be more expensive.

-If possible, keep a few hundred pounds to the side. Just in case you choose to add something at a later stage.

-Make a list of questions. Even if they might seem like “stupid” questions to you. Ask away! If your coordinator is a fit for you, they won’t mind clarifying and explaining what they do. In fact, they’ll love you for being interested. You’re not the coordinator, you’re the bride to be, so enjoy it,  take the opportunity to listen and gain some insight on different aspects of planning and the processes involved. You will learn so much and possibly even gain a few fresh ideas!

-When you meet with the coordinator, leave distractions at home. Your phone, your friend, your pets, your children…

-Ask about any major FAIL’s your coordinator has had to overcome in their entire time in the industry. How was the situation dealt with? (Don’t let their experiences scare you. Focus on the way they solve problems, rather than the problems themselves. If your coordinator has never had any issues, DON’T even consider to work with them. Nobody is perfect. There will ALWAYS be a few challenging situations to overcome, that’s how we all learn. ( This is a real eye opener. )

-Before you decide on the right person for you, sleep on it. Take a break and really think about your decision. You don’t want to make a quick decision and then find 3 months to your big day that your coordinator can’t communicate under pressure, or your personalities seriously clash. Again, do your research.

-Get back to the other coordinators who you didn’t choose and let them know. It’s a tough one, but they will love it if you contact them, thanking them for taking the time to meet with you. My dad always says, “never burn bridges or close doors behind you”- You never know when you’ll need to go back again.

– Make sure you always sign a contact, and enjoy the ride!

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