1. What's the first thing couples should do when starting the wedding planning process?
As with any milestone, weddings bring a lot of emotions to the forefront. Some people are more comfortable talking about family dynamics and money than others, and that’s ok. That’s why it’s important to ground yourself in the love you feel for each other and take a few weeks to just celebrate being engaged before you rush into planning.
Next, start compiling a guest list and identify what kind of feeling/ experience that you want for you and your guests on your wedding day. This will help you prioritize what you put your budget towards.
I a clearly biased, but hire a passionate wedding planner. Planners can help save you time and money. At Simcha’s Events, we develop a true relationship during the planning process, and as the event day nears, all we can think about is making sure the big pieces and small details all come together. Our measurement of success is seeing our families engulfed in the celebration.
2. What are your top tips for staying on your wedding budget?
Know the ranges in cost of vendor services before you determine what your budget is. For example, what is the range of costs for bands vs. DJs? What are the food and beverage minimums at different tiers of venues? This is why it’s valuable to have a wedding planner involved early in the process – we can guide you through the questions and answers.
At Simcha’s Events, we provide counsel about the various price points for vendors. Rather than start with a definitive total budget, we recommend first understanding what the average wedding expenses are for your area, and using that information to help create a budget that is right for you. Otherwise, you risk implementing an overall budget that isn’t based on any real information.
3. What's one aspect of wedding planning most couples overlook?
Don’t forget to budget for extra tips and to take care of the vendors who are taking care of you. Tips exist to show appreciation to someone who has provided good service. We advise our clients that it is important to tip your banquet manager and captains, the catering manager, bartenders and valet at the venue. It’s also a nice gesture to tip your hair and makeup, transportation and other team members who have gone the extra mile for you.
It may seem counter-intuitive, but we suggest providing tips to the banquet team before the event, as it energizes the team members to work even harder for you that evening.
4. What's the secret to staying sane and stress-free while wedding planning (if there is one!)?
A successful relationship is built on trust, support … and, well, compromise. So the planning process will give you some great practice for things to come. It’s important to be open and honest, and to really hear each family’s perspective, especially if there are various people contributing to the wedding.
When it comes to the wedding day- forget about all the planning and details that have transpired in the prior months. Breathe in the experience and enjoy every moment!