February 09, 2013
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Many of our brides and wedding vendor friends have shared wedding planning ideas with us over the years. It’s always fun for us to compare notes with them so we can pass along what we have learned to you! Here are some of the proven wedding planning secrets we agree with the most in 11 years of professional wedding photography in Pittsburgh.
1. Consider Hiring A Planner. You may think that planners are expensive. But quite often they will save you more than they will bill you. They are the ultimate wedding insiders. They leverage their connections and experience to get you deals you cannot get for yourself. If you have any doubt about planning your wedding on your own, at least go and meet with one of the top local planners like Trends to Traditions. You may be very glad you did.
2. Bridal Magazines Are Dangerous. When you read the advice in bridal magazines, keep in mind who the magazine is being published for. It’s not being published as a service to you, the bride. It’s a service to the advertisers. So everything they write is slanted to favor their specific advertisers and the wedding industry in general. That is who makes a profit for the magazine–not the people who buy it. So unfortunately, you have to read those magazines with caution. Take all that bridal magazine advice with a grain of salt. It may be good advice. Or it may be designed solely not to offend any of their advertisers.
3. Budget Twice What You Had Planned For Your Photography. We are photographers, so of course we would say that! But here it is from an impartial source (The book BRIDAL BARGAINS by Denise and Alan Fields): “Photography is typically high on everyone’s priority list and it is no wonder–the pictures are all you have left after the wedding. Trying to save money here is temping but we must say resist the urge.” That advice is from a 300 page book on how to save money on your wedding! Take it from the experts, saving money on wedding photography is risky. In wedding photography, you do indeed get what you pay for. Equally important, and here is where the RISK comes in, you don’t get what you don’t pay for.
4. Plan in Phases. Some wedding services are one-of-a-kind. As soon as you get engaged and settle on an approximate date for getting hitched, book the one-of-a-kind services immediately. This includes your church or ceremony venue, your reception venue, your photographer and possibly your band or DJ. These wedding vendors can only do one wedding on your date. If you want them to do YOUR wedding instead of someone else’s, call them first thing! What about the rest–florist, cake, limo, dress, video, tuxedo, etc.? They can all wait. All those vendors will do a minimum of 5-10 weddings on your date. The chances that you can still get the one you want on your wedding day are excellent no matter when you call them.
5. Spread Out The Planning. Most people in this area get engaged a year or more before they get married. Make sure something gets done every month after you have set a date. Book the one-of-a-kind services immediately and then relax a bit. The next month you can launch into invitations, engagement photography and save-the-date cards. Then take a break. Each month after that, pick one thing you WANT to do and one that you think will be less fun–and make sure to do them both. By the time your wedding is 4 months away, nothing but details will remain to be settled and you will feel completely in control. Perfect! (this “secret” is straight from one of the brides whose wedding we photographed!).
bridal party standing in front of a sunset