Did you catch J. Marie Custom Events on our Vendor of the Week post a few days ago? Well, she’s back with some great tips on navigating the often-overwhelming offers from friends and family to help with your wedding planning.
As soon as you announce your engagement, friends and family will be coming out of the woodworks offering their help and ideas. This is certainly not a bad thing. In fact, the help of friends and family may very well help you save a pretty penny and create some fun memories. However, while saving some money and including your loved ones is great, producing your dream wedding should remain a priority. Ensuring that the help offered is indeed the help you want/need can be tricky. Our friend Jordan of J. Marie events offers some immensely sound advice on walking the fine line of cutting corners and cutting value, especially when it comes to receiving help of people you love.
#1: Treat them as you would a vendor. For example: Your aunt has offered to make floral arrangements. Present her with a specific timeline, budget and overall expectations right away. You should not lower your expectations. As a coordinator I set the expectations immediately by having a candid conversation with the couple as well as reach out to the family member to gauge abilities to ensure all needs/duties will be met.
#2: Protect your relationship. There is this urge from those you love to be useful and it’s a wonderful thing. The last thing you want are strained relationships due to poor communication and misunderstandings. Be specific with their scope. It is vital that you understand the individual capabilities of those who are offering help. Find jobs for all that want to help based on your history and experiences with them when it comes to follow through. Accountability is a big one here. Being honest with yourself is too. Miracles may happen one day but you shouldn’t bet it against one of the biggest days of your life in hopes that one person may change their follow-through tendencies. Consider it tough love.
#3: A good deal isn’t always a good value. Professionals have items they use over and over again and can price accordingly. Rental companies ensure linens are pressed and come with perfect creases, DJ’s often offer lighting and have a wonderful ability to eloquently move a crowd through curve balls, florists don’t have to buy the 24 vases you want as center pieces. They can price based on scale of their annual business that leaves you paying for 1/8th of that vase rather than buying it and storing it for years. Evaluate your options and your value.
Having friends and family wanting to help is a great problem to have. Just remember that it is perfectly reasonable to welcome the help with realistic parameters. Just as it is perfectly reasonable to politely decline the help based on your overall wants, needs and budget. And if you don’t feel comfortable setting parameters or declining the help, a wedding coordinator is a great buffer.
Blog post by Real Weddings Magazine’s writer, Kelley Saia.
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