Chances are most of you are 4-6 Months out from you wedding. I want to help you get a grip on what is to come and give you some pointers on how to navigate this period. The Month of January is generally spent assembling your vendors. February is spent at open houses. Then you are off to the races! Here is a guideline to help improve your psyche over the next few months, improving your experience and everyone around you making it enjoyable for all!
1. Given you are 4 months out, the month of February should be spent at open houses and gathering ideas. These open houses will help you to get in an environment with vendors who are relaxed and not under a ton of wedding day pressure. If your vendors aren’t participating in these events, it’s not the end of the world. If your vendor invites you, that means you should go. This next month is for you to gather OPTIONS meaning BRIDE:(I can set this table A,B,C,D,E,F,G ways)(I am going to narrow this to A,C,D,G). You have to cut out what you don’t like during this period and get out of that line of thinking, because you need to focus on and communicating what you DO like. This will create a more positive environment for all. I sometimes get ‘Do Not Play’ Song lists that are longer than my ‘Play Lists’. While this is fine and nothing I can’t over come, shouldn’t the mode be “I want to give this vendor a list of what to do, and NOT what not to do.”? All preliminary meetings on vendor’s capabilities should be wrapped up now. Pinterest is obviously an awesome concept builder and gatherer for you to visualize things:
NOTE: A random photograph on Pinterest is the product of about 3500+ pics from that day, that photographer, that light, that venue, that budget, etc….That is the ONE “magazine-shot” that person used to represent. Make sure when you are showing a Pinterest board, or even first mention a Pinterest board, to your photographer or design professional that you put a disclaimer on your conversation that you understand the above. DO NOT put that pressure on your Professionals because A.) They are artists and creators, do not have them meticulously imitate something else and B.) Your own expectations are out of whack as every photo cannot be cover worthy, it’s impossible. Besides, there is only one cover of a magazine for a reason, so you have something to open up and flip through.
2. Given you are two months out, you must pick and choose, then assemble these ideas into a written ‘script’. Nothing is ever really final, but start working to final. Have fun with it. I personally do most of my thinking in bed at night. My thoughts and to-dos get committed to long term memory a bit better this way. So if this is when you do your ‘Thinking” take your time and visualize how all of this goes together. If you need coaching, don’t ask your family and friends, they don’t have a clue. Ask your vendor THEN ask your friends and family. After all, they know you personally! If you spend more than an hour on something small, like what your party favor should be, you are not allocating your time wisely.
3. At ‘A”Month’ out, you should be 95% Finalized barring any subtle changes to the ‘Script’. This Script should be emailed and CCed to all vendors so they all have an avenue to connect and communicate with each other.
TIP: An itinerary should have contact information for each vendor on the first page, along with their estimated arrival time ‘day of’. This will help the vendors to look out for each other!
4. Two weeks out, plan on taking 20 minutes or so to let the vendor ‘read through’ the script over the phone with you so any small changes can be made. Remember the last week leading up to your wedding is chaos, family and friends coming to town and unforeseen things cropping up here and there. Your time two weeks out is spent getting ready for the main event! Do something that you enjoy that is relaxing, get a massage, send your groom a sweet note, send a pleasant ‘Thank You’ message to your vendors by email. This will help your stress level while helping to relax the people on your team.
5. The week leading up, another 20 minute or so phone call read though can be done early in the week to get everything completely nailed down. Be quick and efficient with your time and DO NOT be driving around town hysterically texting, if you have an issue crop up, go to your vendors with it first for their guidance if they are available, but relax and be safe. It is impossible to have a wedding without a bride, believe me I know from experience. This applies to your psyche as well. You are no good to this process as basket case or lunatic, so make sure all to-do lists are complete and you are packed for your honeymoon the week before. Your schedule should be wide open. If you have work as so many do, your boss or employees should know that week is going to be rough and their wedding gift to you is taking care of things around the office.
Keep smiling, put people at ease. With vendors, don’t over state where they mess up, over state where they make you happy and encourage them. With Family, let them know what they mean to you and be emotional in a happy way. This is a time to reflect on the past and look to the future with optimism. If you make this about everyone, they will respond by making it all about you!!!