When planning a wedding there is a lot to consider. Wedding photography is one of the most important investments you’ll make for your wedding, but it’s not the only one. Lately there has been a trend by popular magazines and blogs to provide some bad advice on how to plan your wedding, the most notable being to “skip the pro wedding photographer” and “don’t feed vendors like the photographer and the DJ”. While these headlines have gotten a lot of media attention, they are sending brides in the wrong direction. So, I’ve compiled some no-nonsense tips that will help you in your wedding planning while keeping your big day disaster free.

wedding planning to avoid disaster ijphoto irene jones

  1. Hire a Wedding Coordinator. Now most couples think, “I don’t need a coordinator, I’m having a small event.” While this may be true, it’s helpful to have a knowledgeable source to rely on. Think of your coordinator like he/she is your personalized wedding wikipedia. Your coordinator can also scale their services to fit your needs. Do you just need someone to help keep things moving on time during the wedding day? Great! You can choose to hire your coordinator for just the day of the wedding. This is an affordable and stress relieving option that you will not regret! Or if you are trying to stay within a budget a coordinator can help there too. Good coordinators know the going rates for the services you need, and they have connections with the best industry professionals who can fit your budget. You’ll save time not having to research everyone yourself. Also, it’s much harder to spend your budget inappropriately with a wedding planner on your team! Sometimes these industry insiders can help you get a discount from their preferred vendors who are grateful for the help meeting a new potential client. (Don’t tell anyone but I offer at least $300 off to couples that book from my preferred coordinators, in addition to other discounts. Last year I had a client save $1000 just because she took advantage of a discount I was already offering and was referred by Inglewood Golf Club.) In fact, some venues include “Day of” coordination as part of their packages. This is a huge value and worth seriously considering when you are planning your wedding.  Some of my favorite Wedding Coordinators/ Planners are Rachael Eckert from Love Bug Weddings and Events, Celise Callahan from Celise Callahan Events and Design, and Katie Aweida from Wonderstruck Event Design and Planning.
  2. DIY isn’t always the best solution. Pinterest is filled with great ideas, many of which are posted by professionals. While their tutorials make everything look as simple as 1,2,3, we all know that behind every amazing tutorial there is at least 5 dozen Pinterest fails. Before you decide to do any wedding related crafts ask yourself the following questions: 1) Is it something I already have experience with? 2) Do I have time to master a new skill set? 3) What is the REAL difficultly level? 4) Can I actually save money doing it myself?  5) Have I researched the cost of hiring a professional vs. DIY? (Remember sometimes it is actually more expensive to do it yourself- vendors get wholesale discounts and pass those savings to you! ) 6) Do I have the time necessary to learn how to make this project and then complete it?  Making sure you understand the true scope of a project will save you time, money, and frustration.
  3. When in doubt, ask. Are you wondering about how long it takes to do photos on the wedding day? Ask your photographer! Are you interested in recycling your wedding flowers? Did you even know that was possible? Ask your florist! Don’t know what the proper wedding invitation etiquette is? Ask your coordinator! The professionals in the wedding industry are here to help you! Our goal is to make sure your wedding is a huge success. So nevermind the articles in Vogue, or silly tweets from the Knot. Trust in the people who are on the ground, serving in the front lines of the wedding world. We care about you, your wedding plans and won’t steer you in the wrong direction.

wedding planning to avoid disaster ijphoto irene jonesHappy wedding planning!