Why did I plan my own wedding?
Because I had a clear vision of what I wanted and could not find a planner (or available planner) in the area that shared that similar style with me. Also, I always loved planning small events, so I really didn't want to miss this planning extravaganza by delegating it to someone else.
Do I regret planning my own wedding?
I actually don't. I feel that I couldn't have done it differently - missing the planning piece would kill me. But there were definitely a few things I would have done differently if I could go back in time.
What are the advantages of planning your own wedding?
Besides obviously cutting costs with an event planner, the advantage for me was to be in control of every single aspect of my wedding. Maybe "in control" is not the right wording (as there are always a few things that slip through the cracks when you don't have professional to guide you), but I can say I was 100% involved in all aspects of the event. Not everyone wants that, but because I love planning events, that was something I wanted for myself.
What are the disadvantages of planning your own wedding?
You definitely don't get to enjoy the event like a normal bride. I remember managing staff around during the event, which I wasn't supposed to (and wouldn't be able to didn't I know all the details of the event). It's also a big time commitment, especially during the months prior to the event.
Would I recommend brides plan their own wedding?
Unless they had previous experience with event planning - which I luckily had - I wouldn't recommend that brides plan their own wedding. An exception to the rule is for very small, intimate events and for brides who really want to keep it simple. In those cases, I believe it's feasible!
Any tips for brides who decide to go that route?
You won't be at the event venue the morning of your wedding (at least I hope so). To avoid unpleasant surprises and disappointments, I recommend the following:
1. Avoid verbal agreements at all costs: make sure you have written contracts with all your vendors and have them include a detailed list of what they will provide in terms of products and/or services. For example, the florist should include what flowers will be in what arrangements.
2. Get samples: No matter how clear you are regarding your wedding vision, there is no way to ensure vendors are on the same page as you unless they show you a sample. Pay for it if needed. For vendors that can't provide samples, like lighting professionals, pick something from their portfolio and ask to duplicate it. This way you ensure they know exactly what you are asking for, and that they know how to do it as it won't be their first time doing it. Add those photos to your contracts if possible.
3. Start early on the DIY: If you are planning to DIY, don't wait for the last minute. I was still cutting menus the night before my wedding. Don't be like me!
4. Take it easy: There will always be flaws. No matter who plans the wedding. Once you are there, forget about it! No one but you will notice. Enjoy the best day of your life!
5. Hire a videographer: Do it. Best wedding investment. It's the one thing that will help you live those emotions again. Getting a video multiplies the product of your wedding investment - watching it will sparkle amazing feelings and bring the best memories to your head. My videographer was Brandon Rice Films - I highly recommend him!