Wedding planning tips & advice from a Banff wedding photography specialist to help savvy brides & grooms plan their perfect wedding.
Brides and grooms today are faced with a whole new way of doing things when it comes to planning a wedding. Never before has so much information been available to help you research and make decisions about the who, what, where, when and whys of your wedding day.
As a wedding industry specialist, I’m writing this article to share a few bits of my experience to help you navigate through all that info and discover what is most important to you.
1. When planning hold fast to your values/lifestyles
In the next decade, the millennial generation (those born between 1980-2000) will officially become the most educated and aware generation ever. Along with this lofty achievement, comes social responsibility. Sustainability and social consciousness are not just buzzwords, but the norm. Demand these things from your vendors, if they roll their eyes at your idealism, then move on.
2. Budget tip#1: spend on the things that will provide the best experience and memories
Here’s a fact: the majority of millennial couples are paying for it themselves. Chances are, this puts you on a tight budget, but allows you the freedom to make most of the decisions. Make a list of the three most important things to you and invest your money there. Is the wedding dress, music & photography top on your list? Then save on and/or eliminate the less important things –decorations, 3 tiered-cake, fancy venue (for example). Much of the angst in planning a wedding revolve around budget and expectations, reduce some of the stress by understanding what you really want from your wedding day.
3. Use social media friendly services
Let’s face, the millennials are the connected, social networking generation. Much easier to find and plan with vendors who have a solid web presence and are active on the social media platforms you like best– Instagram, Facebook snap chat, twitter, etc. Maximize your experience with social media with invitation cards, gift registries, itineraries, seating arrangements, and guest travel arrangements. As for the photography, go with the digital option–digital images re-sized for easy sharing and if necessary, editing. Film prints might be ‘keeping it old school’ and give the impression of being hip, but well, you’ve effectively kept it ‘old school’ to such a degree that very few will be able to see your pics or not be able to comment on them….what’s the fun in that?
4. Get involved with planning/implementing/staging
Don’t just ‘trust the experts’ to do everything for you. Be involved, ask a lot of questions; educate yourself about the process…this will empower you to craft a unique, personalized experience. If not, you run the risk of getting the canned version.
5. Involve both partners
In the past it was usually just the bride who made all the decisions, millennial couples should both be equal in decision making, not just because the groom might actually want to be a part of but because, really… this isn’t the 1950s, right?
6. Budget tip#2: get savvy
Instead of loading your registry with traditional wedding gifts, ask for support with the wedding/honeymoon. Would you rather have a set of flash flatware or the ability to hire that photographer who is just outside your budget? Certain guests may feel a sense of pride with having contributed to your wedding dress, or cake, or the open bar. Crowdfunding your wedding is another option (http://thecrowdedwedding.com/) . Who doesn’t like to support romance, love, and the dreams of a bride and groom.
7. Take the time to meet your vendors
An impressive webpage and 5 star vendor reviews are important, but don’t rely on them completely. Slick advertising and marketing campaigns are as easy to create as a push of the button, or with deep pockets….go old school on this one, call and/or meet directly the people who will be working for you on your wedding day. Verify they are who they say they are and that the ‘reviews’ actually match with the people and their service.
8. Invest in a professional photographer
I recently read about a bride and groom who, in an effort to save money, had all their friends take pictures of the event and upload them to a website. The hope was that this would not only provide images that would be less staged and more authentic but would save them a few thousand dollars. While unique and journalistic, the couple admitted that the quality and style had suffered greatly, making the grand romantic event of their lives look plain and typical. It’s great if your friends want to share their i-phone images, but be sure to invest in a professional for your wedding photography. You won’t regret it!
9. Go timeless
Trends and fads are risky; what seems cool and hip now may not withstand the test of time. Your 50 year old self is pleading with you to avoid the over-hyped, the trendy, or the gimmicky. Have a nice chuckle at these unfortunates, and hope you don’t make the list someday: http://www.weddingbells.ca/planning/the-30-worst-wedding-trends-of-all-time/