1. Hire professionals for everything, do your research, and find a way to get who you REALLY want!
I reached out to a couple of the wedding communities I’m a part of on social media, and these quotes pretty much sum it up:
Hope Dalebroux – “I wish I would’ve started planning a lot sooner than I did so finding vendors didn’t feel like a crisis sometimes lol”
Amy DeJardin – “I wish I would’ve gone with my top pick of a photographer instead of trying to save money on that part of the wedding.”
Andrea Fields – “I regret a few things from my big day I wish I had a different dress. We also had a friend do photos, and that is my biggest regret cause I don’t have pictures that I love or any pictures I wanted.”
Patricia Dufek – “I wish I would have had a videographer and a planner. I REALLY REALLY wish I would have had someone to set up details/decorating/take down. It would have been so worth it, even though my family/friends offered help… looking back it was such an burden.”
Patricia’s comment brings us to the next thing a lot of couples wish they did differently:
2. Hire a videographer
Sandy Meyer sums it up perfectly – “Have a professional videographer, we had a family member do it for us and let’s just say it’s not what I expected.”
Today, wedding videographers are producing amazing work, and great videographers can make your wedding video look like a movie while creating a strong emotional connection. Here is an example from “Films Nouveau” a videographer we’ve had the pleasure of working & collaborating with:
3. Hire a day-of planner, or a full Wedding Planner
There’s nothing wrong with saying, “I’ve never done this before, I need help.” That’s why professional wedding planners exist! A lot of planners will even offer different levels of planning for you too. Services tend to range from day-of all the way to full planning. At the very least have a day-of planner to help with decor, coordination, and ensuring details are ready on the day of your celebration. Of course, for the ultimate stress relief – hire a full planner!
Here are a few quotes that sum this up (aside from Patricia’s earlier):
Abi Peterson – “Have a personal attendant to take care of all the ‘little things’ the day of. This way you don’t run back to the venue to make sure it’s the way you want it to look ?”
Amanda Brackett – “I wish I would’ve hired a wedding planner, little details got overlooked(by me) and I think having a planner would have made the whole experience less stressful.”
Jessica Wolosek – “I probably would’ve asked for more help. I really wanted to plan every part of the day, and the week before was quite stressful.”
4. Take a moment, in fact take several
Claire Urness – “With regards to the reception, it’s so go go go, I would recommend just taking time, stepping back and observing. Take it all in. It was advice that I received that I wish I listened to. With the hustle and bustle, having that moment will likely be en-grained in your brain forever.”
5. Make entertainment a top priority
In their survey 100% of brides would have spent more on their entertainment had they realized how much impact it had while they were planning. 78% wished they had made it a top priority during their planning and budgeting, and 72% wished they had spent more time researching before selecting their entertainment.
That’s a pretty high percentage of people who sound like they had some buyer’s remorse.
The fact that 100% said they would have spent more on it for a better outcome is likely a result of the suggestions that bridal sites and magazines recommend as the 5-10% allocation of the budget “for music”, indicating that in hindsight, 5-10% was not enough. Keep in mind that entertainment for an event isn’t “just music” – especially for a wedding. According to Peter Merry, author of the book, The Best Wedding Reception…Ever, entertainment should ALSO:
- Serve as the Master of Ceremonies
- Help you plan an agenda to ensure proper pacing in order to keep guests interested
- Act as the central hub of communication to keep guests, family members, other vendors, and YOU coordinated
- Work with you in advance of your wedding to personalize your celebration in order to create lasting memories for an unforgettable celebration.
It is often said that entertainment “makes or breaks” your reception. For something so pivotal to the outcome & success of your event, it should be one of, if not the very first thing(s) you research & book.
Get a book when you book! – our couples receive a free copy of Peter Merry’s book when they book their wedding with us.