Today in Two Spoons land we're kicking off a very exciting interview series featuring local RVA vendors who work in the wedding biz but don't have their heads stuffed full of tulle. YAY! First up, the amazing Christine Haines, planner/owner at Woodgrain and Lace and owner of the ultra-chic, completely fabulous brand new bridal shop, Urban Set Bride. Christine is a total dynamo and I knew from the first time I saw her work that I'd adore her. Today I asked Christine about the top three mistakes she sees couples making as they plan and now her tips are coming to you FREE as three delicious morsels of advice that you won't find anywhere else. You're welcome.
TIP #1: Don’t spend money on details that no one will remember. Think about the last three weddings you went to and write down what you remember from those. Now think about the three things you want your guests to remember about your wedding and put your money towards that.
"I see so many couples stress out about recreating their Pinterest wedding, and most of those details will go unnoticed. Keep it simple, personal, and fun. At the end of the day, it’s a party."
TIP #2: Know your limits and understand where your frustrations might pop up, so that you can plan on how to avoid them. Everyone is going to want to help, but that doesn’t mean they know what you want or how to do it. The best part about hiring a planner is you have someone to stay organized, and stay firm with your family members. You won’t have to be bossy and meltdown because your Aunt Mildred won’t stop asking you questions when she is just “trying to help.”
"I have a client who has a huge family and everyone wants to help. I created a detailed timeline, and assigned every family member with a task. Everyone has my cell phone number and they know exactly where they need to be, how they can help, and have firm instructions to relax and have fun after their task is complete. The couple isn’t bombarded with questions and the whole family feels like they contributed to the day."
TIP #3: Be very aware of your time and personality when choosing a venue. With the plethora of “wedding porn” out there, the pressure to have an amazing offbeat venue with DIY amazingness scattered throughout. There is no shame in choosing a popular venue that doesn’t require much from you. The biggest wedding expense (aside from food and booze) is tables, chairs, linens, and décor. This stuff can really add up, so save yourself the trouble if you know you are going to be overwhelmed by the choices and the expense. Restrict yourself to a few DIY projects and stop looking at Pinterest at least thirty days before your wedding.
"I support a 'less is more' attitude to event décor and planning. I help create celebrations that represent the couple, not this creepy princess mindset that tradition tends to project."
BONUS TIPS (ones you may have heard before but are still worth sharing):
- Hire a planner! Christine's goal as a planner is to exceed her fee in savings back to the client. Hiring someone who does this 14 plus times a year will save you money and headache in the long haul. Planners have vendor friends (see: this current article you're reading right now) that will cut them a deal, can review vendor contracts to ensure there isn’t a clause that will sneak up on you later, and will ask the questions you wouldn’t think to ask.
- Take the advice of others lightly. Weddings, just like pregnancy, have become an outlet for everyone and their mother (literally) to offer their two cents whether you like it or not. Graciously thank but stay true to yourself.