Alex & Heather
Otarawairere Beach, New Zealand
To first look, or not to first look? That is the question asked by dozens of my clients every year. One of the biggest changes that I’ve seen in the wedding industry over the past 10 years is the number of clients opting for a first look. While it’s purely a personal decision, here are 4 reasons why you should consider a first look, and 1 big reason why you may not want to:
A wedding planner might seem like just another wedding expense, but in reality, your wedding planner can make you day so much better and really cut the amount of stress you deal with in both the planning process and on your big day.
Our friend Meagan over at Stella Jane Events just put together an awesome list of 5 real reasons why you need a wedding planner! Check them out below:
A planner can be a sounding board for you. Wedding planning is not an easy task, especially for the bride. You have a lot of family and friends that want to be involved and let you know what they think and what you should do. I do think you should be polite and listen to what they have to say. But you can always tell them, “Well let me ask my planner what I should do.” I always tell my brides to call me if they need to vent about the planning process. Even when you have a planner doing most of the work you can still experience stress during your wedding. I like to think that I am there for my brides when they need to talk about things to a neutral party.
The wedding market is very competitive and so is the pricing. Weddings can get out of control when it comes to what you have to pay. I get asked a lot if I get a discount with certain vendors. I don’t but I do let my brides know that I sometimes can help get things that might have been overlooked. I have had a flower crisis where the glass centerpieces were blowing off the table since the wind had picked up that afternoon. Just goes to show that you never know what can happen at an outdoor wedding. Luckily having worked with the florist multiple times and having a good relationship with them I was able to have them bring me centerpiece vases that would work and we were able to change them out before anyone noticed.
Narrow in your vision and give you new ideas. Pinterest is a great tool for wedding ideas but it can also be overwhelming. You start to want to incorporate every idea you see. I am all about the details but I do think that you can start to have too many ideas and things can look jumbled. A planner can send you pins that fit your theme and budget. They can keep track of your original vision and let you know what details to focus on and that will be noticed by your guests.
Up and coming vendors. As a wedding planner I am always interested in new vendors, meeting them and getting their story. Without a planner you are limited to websites to find your vendors or by word of mouth. I am always trying to meet people that are good at what they do and are trying to make a name for themselves in the area.
Planners can help you plan more than the day. Weddings now have evolved into entire weekends and sometimes vacations for guests. As the hosting couple you want to let them know what there is to do when there are there. This is where a wedding website is very important. I love helping with the wedding website and adding the best spots in town to visit. I am always there for my brides with recommends for them. Even if it is from the simplest thing like my favorite nail salon to where to have the rehearsal dinner.
Your wedding dress is one of the most important elements of your entire wedding day. It’s the thing that everyone is dying to see you in and for most people, it’s the outfit that you’ll be photographed in more than any other in your entire life! So obviously you want it to be perfect.
But the dress shopping experience can be a bit overwhelming so our friends over at Bridals by Jodi have put together an awesome guide to get the most out of your dress shopping experience, enjoy the experience more and most importantly, find the perfect dress!
Yes, we will absolutely take a walk in appointment if we are available, but making an
appointment guarantees you a consultant and a fitting room. It also means we are ready to
receive you and give you the best possible experience! Several things go on behind the scenes in
the store and when you walk in you risk us being busy and not being able to give you the
attention you deserve.
Trying on wedding gowns is a VERY different experience than normal clothes shopping and you
do need a consultant to guide you through the process!
Know that is it is never too early to find your gown. 1 1⁄2 years to 8 months is the sweet spot for
dress shopping. The gowns take about 6 months to get in and then need 2-3 months for
alterations. We can work with a shorter timeline, but brides will be looking at additional rush
fees and having to purchase off the rack.
Too often we have brides who come in and have not discussed their wedding gown budget/ and
or do not have the person with them who is ultimately paying for the dress. This makes wedding dress
shopping difficult for several reasons. Knowing your budget will help you and your consultant
pull dresses that are appropriate. Nothing hurts more than falling in love with a $3,000 dress
only to find out you can only spend $1000. Once you have put on the more expensive wedding dress and
fallen in love, sadly there is often no going back.
Having the person responsible for paying for the gown with you is also important. Many brides
will come in alone or without this person to “just look.” We have found that you never know
when you are going to put on the one and have that magic moment! You may also miss out on
any special discounts the store is running that day by having to come back. Or worse, the dress
may only be there for a special event or could be sold off the rack. Trying to recreate the magic
at a later appointment is difficult for you and your consultant and by not shopping with
Mom/Grandma or whomever you miss out on savings!
Limit the group to 4 people max! Your aunt’s best friend does not need to be at your
appointment to help you find the most important dress you will ever wear! Only bring in the
people whose opinions matter to you the most! Too many people turns shopping into a
production and this is the only time we have brides call the next day with dress regret. The
group picked the wedding dress and the bride’s opinion was lost. It is also our feeling that the less people
that see your dress, the more fun and special it is on your wedding day!
Don’t feel guilty about excluding some of your maids from shopping day as well. You can always
book a bridesmaid appointment at a later date so your girls can see the gown. And then you sit
back with a glass of bubbly while they find their dress! Side note- Don’t pick bridesmaid dresses
hoping the girls will wear them again. They won’t. Pick a dress and color that you love- it is your
pictures and memories! You will one day return the favor for your girls and wear a dress and
color of their choice!
Do some research prior to wedding dress shopping to make sure you are going to a shop with styles and
prices that you are looking for! Also limit yourself to 2-3 gown shops. More than that can quickly
overwhelm you and take the fun out of shopping. Typically you narrow down your favorites to
one or two wedding dresses at each shop and then go from there. If you are shopping at 6 shops, you
then have to choose from 6 favorite dresses which leads to a very stressed out bride! If you go
to your first round of 2-3 shops and legitimately find nothing, absolutely keep shopping!
Normally, brides have found the “one” pretty quickly! (More often than not it is the first dress
they ever tried on!)
So many brides come in with a set idea of what they want, but purchase something completely
different! It is good to look at Pinterest and designers websites for general ideas but be willing
to put on anything! You never know which dress could be the one and refusing to try on certain
styles really limits what may look best.
Enjoy the experience and don’t stress. This is the fun part of wedding planning!
Hope you enjoyed this article! Check out Bridals By Jodi for all your wedding dress needs and of course, all photos were taken by Nicholas Gore Weddings. Let us know what you think in the comments below.