5 Pieces of Advice Engaged Couples Too Often Ignore

Photo Courtesy of EgoMedia Photography

Good advice is hard to come by. By the time we've made it through school and moved out on our own, we start to realize that. We begin to understand that our teachers and parents weren't just nagging us—they were doing their best to impart the knowledge they’ve acquired through years of experience.

Believe it or not, your wedding planner is doing the same thing. They have seen amazing weddings, they have seen the mountain top, and yes, they have seen the types of things that make brides and grooms shudder to even think of. So why not listen to their good advice?

Here are the top five pieces of advice things brides and grooms often ignore and ultimately end up regretting:

1. Don't Call Vendors On Your Own
Well, at least call your planner first. So many times I have clients that are so excited about their wedding that they want to start on the details immediately. That’s great, but too often they start calling vendors and making appointments and getting quotes. That sounds like work! Let your planner do all of this for you. Aside from the fact that you hired someone to do this, there are many other advantages to having your planner coordinate the details including possible financial savings.

2. Make a Budget and Stick to It 
A lot of people have a hard time with a realistic budget. There are two basic camps: The over-spenders and the scrimp and savers. The over-spenders tend to overspend on critical components of their wedding day, but have a hard time covering other necessary costs. An example of this is overspending on a venue you can't afford but then having to skimp on food. 

I once had a bride that bought a $10,000 wedding dress, but served cold cut sandwiches at the reception. Many of the guests remarked they were heading to Dominos to grab some pizza after the party! The scrimp and savers have a generous budget, but insist on saving early and then end up spending on frivolous items that have a low net effect on the overall event. A good example of a scrimp and saver is someone who spends for an inexpensive photographer early on, but then ends up adding an extra appetizer. Will anyone really notice or remember the extra app? Your wedding pictures last a lifetime.

3. Don't Work On Your Wedding Day 
Make sure you have reviewed your day-of schedule with your planner. Oftentimes I find out that the bride, groom or other family member has devised a plan that requires themselves or a guest to make something happen. "Dad is going to drop this off," or "I need to make sure all of these boxes are delivered to the bridal party." You have hired a professional; let them do the work. The old adage, "Plan Your Work and Work Your Plan" is alive and well. Plan to not work on your wedding day and reap the rewards of hiring a professional.

4. Only Hire Recommended Professionals 
This one is pretty clear, but in the world of the internet and social media things get confusing fast. Definitely leverage sites like the Knot, but remember that people make their most informed decisions by getting recommendations from people they know. Ask your planner about a vendor—they can get the scoop on them. Most professional planners already know the reputable vendors in their area, if they're worth what you're paying them. And even if they aren’t familiar with a particular vendor, they can find out whether it’s someone who does quality work. Also, go back to #1: slow down and let your planner help you book those professionals and track your contracts for you.

5. Don't DIY 
Let your planner recommend a solution. Unless you have a ton of time on your hands, look for creative ways to outsource your work. Gift bags, ceremony programs, party favors, ribbons? Many wedding planners have networks of people who can assemble your gift bags and have them delivered while you enjoy your rehearsal dinner with your loved ones. At Wedding Savvy we can provide those services for a modest fee and our clients are always happy they asked.

Raquel Shutt is the Owner of Wedding Savvy Inc and the Producer of the Wedding Savvy Summit, a educational conference for Brides, Grooms and their Families seeking to educate them on how to plan a great wedding day.

Raquel Shutt

Raquel Shutt is the owner of Wedding Savvy Inc., a premier full-service wedding planning company located in Annapolis. For more than 10 years, Wedding Savvy has been featured in many regional publications such as The Knot Magazine, The Washingtonian, and The Capital, as well as featured on We TV’s “Platinum Weddings.” Her firm has been recognized as one of the best by Weddingwire.com and Capital Gazette. Recently, Raquel was named one of Annapolis’ Finest 40 under 40 by Cystic Fibrosis as well as “People to Watch” by The Capital in 2009.