Planning your wedding… with a little help from the pros

21 Jul

Summer, and you know it’s wedding season when you spot hats floating out of cabs on a Saturday morning. Don’t you get excited at the sight of peonies and roses getting loaded on vans? I must admit I do, but I am a wedding planner, so I should!
Let me introduce myself to you. My name is Barbara, I am a wedding planner (based in Modena, Italy, should you fancy an Italian wedding), and I am guest-blogging here for the day. Laura asked me to contribute some thoughts on wedding planning from a bride’s point of view, and I gladly agreed.
You see, I have been a bride in my own time and had to plan a long distance wedding while my first born was a few months old, so I know a thing or two about getting caught up in things, feeling the pressure and… well, losing the plot.
That is why, when I set up this business, I also started running self-wedding planning seminars. Twice a year I welcome up to ten couples into my studio (or a rented venue, depending on the crowd) and teach them the basics. How to define their vision, how to set and manage a budget, choosing their priorities, interviewing vendors, planning around obstables, making the most of their resources, are some of the topics covered within two nights.
Sounds like something that defeats the purpose of my business? Quite the contrary. I do this job because I think anybody should get a wedding which is a reflection of their taste, personality and personal history. And if they have the skills to make it happen but lack knowledge of the industry, I think I can help them better by running these seminars rather than by selling them a planning service they do not want.
The core of the seminars are easy tips to make planning stress-free. I would like to share some with you, hoping they can save you a lot of sleepless nights!
If you just got engaged:

1. Do not start out by looking for inspiration. Reading tons of blogs and browsing piles of magazines will flood you with ideas but can also be confusing if you have never thought about your own style and taste beforehand. Take a step back and sit down with your fiancé and a glass of wine (or beer). Spend some time talking to each other about what you enjoy in life, what you have in common, what makes you happy, and write it down. You can list places, movies, songs, books, colours, anything. That scrap of paper will be your vision. Now go find inspirations that matches it.


2. Not everything is important. You might have an endless budget (lucky you!), accomodating relatives and a world of possibilities, but you are not Wonder Woman. You have limited energy and time, so learn to use them wisely. A good starting point is choosing what is important to you and devoting most resources to fulfilling that wish. It might be finding the perfect location, or wearing a Vera Wang gown. Once you have set your priorities, stick to them and avoid fussing about everything else.


3. Not everything will go as you planned and you wish. It is a fact. Take a moment to let this realization sink in. Ok, now start planning accordingly. You will need to be flexible about details, you will have to arrange for options (plan B is a must-plan) and you will repeat to yourself “this is only a wedding, NOT our marriage.”


 4. Some themes can be tacky but colour coordination will always make a wedding look put together. You can have cheap supplies, mediocre food, a not-so-glam venue, but if you will stick to one shade of colour for all details the result will be as stylish as most expensive gigs.


 5. DIY is not for everybody. It is one thing to Design It Yourself (as Darcy Miller suggests in the latest issue of Martha Stewart Weddings) and another to actually make it without any prior experience or proven skills. If you don’t have the time, patience, ability to craft things on your own, nor friends who can help you out, steer clear of any DIY decor. It will ultimately be more expensive to fix mistakes and last minute mishaps then hiring a pro would have cost you.

This is it. I hope you will find this small guest post useful. Laura has a lovely blog here and it was a pleasure being a small part of it!

Barbara Pederzini is fatamadrina (literally ‘fairygodmother’ in Italian) a wedding planner based in Italy. She is on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest and she has a small blog (mostly written in Italian) where she shares advices and inspiration ideas for weddings and parties. She also has a website that you can visit here.

Thank you Barbara, it’s a pleasure to have you! 🙂

Laura x


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