If I Could Turn Back Time
Yes, I started this blog with Cher lyrics, but no it is not about Cher. Almost every consultation I have with a possible client ends with this question..."What are the things that couples regret after their wedding?" I thought it might be helpful to share with you the top 6 things that couples regret doing and not doing after their wedding. This list is a compilation of personal experience with JW clients as well as conversation with other brides and a bit of research.
1. Not putting more money towards photography
I have learned that not every vendor is a "you get what you pay for" situation, but photography almost always is. A good photographer will charge more for their service because they have better equipment, more experience in the industry, and might take on less weddings to provide a more high quality experience for those they do book. This does not mean to get the best photos you have to pay for the most elite photographer in the industry. I work with hundreds of extremely talented people in a reasonable price range. Just do not skimp on the photo budget. You only have one chance to capture the magic of the day! Which leads me to the second half of this...always make sure your photographer includes a second shooter. Sometimes a second shooter will be included in the package and sometimes it will be an additional cost, but it is worth it. A second shooter is your insurance policy. A second shooter also gives you more photo options. Your primary photographer will focus on photos of the event, people, and candids while the second shooter can capture all of those beautiful details you worked so hard on. I also love when the photographers get a shot of the bride and groom's first look from both angles, so you can see in real time the first emotion when they see their loved one. It's a personal favorite :)
2. Not hiring a videographer
This is the biggest regret of almost every couple. It might seem like an added expense that is not necessary, but think about all of those little things that happen on the day of that you want to remember: grandma makes a funny joke in her speech, the best man surprises the bride and groom with a choreographed dance, the groom accidentally says "waffley wedded wife" during his vows, etc. These are not moments that can be captured in photos. The only way to recall those memories while you are celebrating your twenty-five year anniversary is through video. There is also something so visceral about seeing a video. It really takes you back to that exact moment in your memory. To keep things affordable many videographers have smaller packages like a highlight reel where they edit the day down to a few minute summary. It is definitely worth looking into!
3. Not hiring a wedding planner
For many people the idea of a wedding planner is "just for those who can afford something like that". Let me tell you that is not the case. A wedding planner can actually save you money because they know the industry, vendors, what a reasonable price range is for certain services, as well as what things are worth spending money on and what is not. Since this is your big day there are a lot of emotions involved and it can get overwhelming when you're trying to make even the smallest decisions. A wedding planner is an objective party who can help you part that emotional cloud and see things clearly. We work for you and we want to create the day of your dreams. You come to us with a vision and we make it a reality while taking the little things off of your plate like vendor communication, reminding you when payments are due, scheduling meetings, etc. This is so you can enjoy the planning process! When it comes to the big day you know you are in good hands because your planner has been with you every step of the way, knows what you want, and you have built trust and a relationship. JW also offers partial planning packages you can customize by choosing which items you would like a planner's assistance with. Maybe you love the design side of things, but budget tracking doesn't sound like fun. Let us take that off your plate. Contact us for more info.
4. Not sending out save the dates in a timely fashion
You just got engaged and it is really exciting! You chose your date, booked your venue, and the planning begins! Most people forget about the importance of save the dates. Once your date is booked and you have an idea of your guest list you should look into save the date options. Most couples get married between April and October, depending on where you live and the weather. That is also a common time for vacations, graduation parties, family reunions, and other events to be scheduled. Ideally you want your save the dates to be mailed out 6-8 months before the wedding to allow people to block that day off on their calendar. Save the dates are also very informal. There is no need to address them specifically, or let someone know if they can bring a plus one. There is no need to mention a location or time. It's purely for the person to know that they will be invited and that details are to come in the form of an invitation. Note that invitations should go out between six to eight weeks before the wedding, but if it's a destination wedding you will want to allow more time for booking travel.
5. Going full DIY for decor
We all have a Pinterest dream wedding, but those little crafts and projects can add up when it comes to our time and money. Don't feel bad when you realize you can't do it all by yourself. No one can! Pick and choose the personal touches you want to add to your wedding like homemade favors, customized signs, maybe a few ceremony decorations. After that ask your planner for help finding vendors to rent from, talk to other brides that might be selling some of their decor, or purchase from a bridal consignment shop. I always recommend that a bride doesn't purchase anything unless it can be reused as decor in her home or she knows she can sell it. It might seem cheaper to purchase 500 clear candle votives on Amazon rather than rent them, but remember you have to then take them home, sell them, or store them. Vendors are there to make your life easier, so let them.
6. Not having a moment with their new spouse
Let's end on a sweet note...This is something I learned very early on in wedding planning. The day goes by so fast and after you're pronounced man & wife you're rushed off to the next thing whether it is a receiving line, pictures, or the cocktail hour. I recommend to all of my clients to include 10 mins in their timeline immediately after the ceremony to just be together and revel in the fact that you just married the love of your life! The rest of the evening you will be pulled away from each other to greet people or take selfies, so really take the time to just be with your spouse. Book a getaway car for just the two of you and not your wedding party, go on a quick walk without any photographers, etc. Just make sure you build it into your timeline.
I always like to mention that your wedding is about you as a couple. So take what you want from the list and leave the rest! Your wedding should be unique to you and you should enjoy the planning process. Until next time...
Happy Planning! - XOXO Tamara
All Photography credit in this blog goes to Studio 220 Photography