des moines, iowa and beyond

workflow & systems strategist

3 Lessons from a Bride

Sweet Beginnings

If you’ve been reading the blog for a while, you know that I have such a love and appreciation for the amazing teams of vendors and artists that bring your day to life. I also strive to guide my couples away from logistics and stress, so they can focus on their marriage and family. However, I would be remiss to not point out some things that I have learned for brides and other vendors, alike. I honestly would not be doing my job well if I didn’t also educate my couples.

Today’s advice has a bit more of a personal spin than usual, but they are important lessons. Like many people in the wedding industry, I have learned so much since I was a bride in 2012. Even though that’s not a lot of time in the big picture, the lessons are exponential the further I get into building HHE. So many people ask me what a planner can offer them, but before I delve into that (it’s another post), I thought I’d start with sharing what I’ve learned as a bride.



1. A venue planner is NOT an event planner!  A lot of brides say, “My Venue has a planner”- that’s what I thought too. Though they seemed helpful throughout, it really was only concerning the venue. This is not to sound ungrateful, that is all they should be concerned with. Venue planners are there to facilitate their staff and organize the day from their perspective. It is unfair to fault them for that. That being said – please don’t put all of your eggs in that basket.

I had no help with calling around to other vendors, design, set up (which my mom had to check as she rushed over after our ceremony) and it wasn’t even what I envisioned, because they didn’t follow my notes and no one was there to ensure it was all done right. This is where even a month of coordinator would have been a Godsend! I say month of, because that’s how long it takes to be well versed in what you have been working on. In those thirty days, your coordinator will know your wedding as well as, if not better than, you do. The biggest part of this lesson was that I depended too much on my venue planner and the rest fell to my sweet mother. I saw her for maybe 15-20 minutes my entire wedding day.

2. Doing your research can get you 90% or more of what you really want. I did research on my big budget pieces, but didn’t take the time up front to truly plan it all out. By that I mean, there were so many details I wanted and when it came down to it, I either didn’t have the budget or didn’t plan far enough in advance. A wedding planner could have been so helpful there for resource and brainstorm help. There are so many more rental options that I’m aware of now and just more vendors, in general, that were there at the time. I just didn’t know. If I had done more deep research, that could have been part of our reality. This is where our HHE Design Proposals and Event Books were born. We map out and research every design detail before anything is purchased and prioritize to bring things to life. I wish I’d had something like that back then.

3. Don’t Stress! Yeah, I know, that’s impossible, but hear me out. I spent so much time being worried about when things would get done and what people would think, giving my guests the best experience, spending money we didn’t have just to out do something I’d seen online. WHOA! This was where AJP and parents came in (almost daily). Even the simplest of weddings requires attention to things you’d not even thought of before, like what if someone has an allergy (to food or a building!), which china do you want- so many options for decor and registry, favors or no favors, cocktail hour or snack table, what to do about lunch, the best undergarments and so, so, so much more.  I was so wrapped up and stressed about all of that, that I allowed myself to miss enjoying the trips my Mom made to visit and the daily joy there was to be had.

There is really no end to the trivial things. But that’s just it, they are truly trivial. At the end of the day, the ONLY thing that matters is that you are married to your best friend and that your nearest and dearest are able to be there to celebrate with you. The rest of the details are just icing on the cake. (Insert plug for a planner here- they do all of this trivial stuff for you!)

In addition to all of that, there are also so many more avenues, just in the past few years, for brides. So much, that it can sometimes  be more overwhelming than not having many options. Wading through all of the wedding content, blogs, pins and such can be downright mind boggling. Focus on your love story and make your day yours. It’s all in the details that let your personalities and relationship shine, trust me. That’s what your guests want to see- not a Pinterest board.

What are some lessons you learned from either your wedding or a friend’s? Things you’ve noticed as a guest that you would or wouldn’t do at your wedding?

xoxo, Jenn

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