Brides, like most people, really value getting to hear insight from both professionals in the wedding/bridal industry and other brides who are also currently planning or have already been through the process and are now enjoying the next chapter of their lives.
Talking to a professional or expert in any industry is probably one of the best things you can do to learn information, as these are the people whose lives are dedicated to the industry, having established a career in the field. The wedding/bridal professionals more than likely have encountered any scenario you can imagine because they do work with such a vast variety of different clients and other vendors. They have the opportunity and the resources to both identify and problem solve.
While there is no question about how beneficial it is to gain insight from wedding professionals, it can also be incredibly valuable to seek out brides who are "veterans" and have already gone through a part of the planning and have their own experiences to share of how that process has been/was. Sometimes the added perspective of having gone through/currently going through the same thing really can help brides feel more confident in their own wedding planning process.
Because we know how much there is to gain from speaking with both wedding professionals and current or previously engaged brides, we are bringing you a short Q/A with a bride who is BOTH currently engaged AND a wedding industry professional! Having both the insight from working as a bridal consultant in the wedding industry for three years now and a background in fashion design paired with the experience of being engaged herself, Hannah Ferguson is full of information that can make that big day and wedding planning that much more simple.
Q: WHAT SHOULD BRIDES KEEP IN MIND WHEN WEDDING PLANNING?
A: Oh I would say that remembering that you are also going to be a guest at your wedding, so you should enjoy it as much as the people you plan to include, which means trying to enjoy the wedding planning process and the memories you are creating even during that part too! Consider the mindset shift of not getting too caught up in the "to-do" list; it is important, but keeping in mind that this is an event for people to come together to celebrate you and your love so it doesn't have to be a production, it should be an authentic experience that is enjoyed!
Q: DO BRIDES REALLY NEED TO SHOP EARLY FOR WEDDING GOWNS/VENUES? WHY?
A: Most definitely, from my personal experience working in the bridal industry I have firsthand knowledge of how finding the venue and dress are some of the most important parts of wedding planning. In order to not be limited as it is a time-consuming task when you are going to have to be comparing the pricing and space of individual venues, shopping early is the right way to go. With dress shopping, I had the benefit of falling in love with a gown at the boutique I work for and being able to take it home off-the-rack so I didn't have to do much search or worry about ordering; but this is NOT the usual case. MOST brides will need 6-8 months for their dress to come in if they are ordering brand new with standard shipping, it is another decision that you really don't want to feel limited on!
Q: DO I NEED TO SHOP FOR BRIDESMAIDS AND FLOWERGIRL EARLY TOO?
A: Not necessarily, but if you were to be ordering, all different stores have different policies and shipping times so it is best practice to contact the different places and see what they would recommend in terms of when to shop. For me personally I opted to create vision boards for my bridesmaids and with being a more creative personality type I wanted them to choose gowns that they felt good in and that they would even potentially wear again. I sent those to them and let them buy different dresses, different styles and fabrics and gave them enough time to be able to do so. Whatever you do, make sure it is true to your personality type and always consider reaching out to research specific shipping policies.
Q: ARE THERE WAYS TO MAKE WEDDING PLANNING LESS STRESSFUL?
A: Oh yes! I would say one of the biggest ways that you can do this is by being willing to lean on your people for support and being willing to delegate some of the to-do list to them to assist you with! Think of the resources in your life, your friend circle or family circle, and come up with even simple ways they can help like looking for recommendations for vendors or helping set something up. This will help your process be more efficent, and it also allows you to enjoy creating memories with your people by allowing them to be part of the wedding planning process with you. Checklists are another way you can help streamline the process a bit further and make it less stressful. Though we don't want to get TOO caught up in that to-do list, it is a great tool to help guide you. I used the wedding planning checklist from The Knot and it was incredibly beneficial!
Q: IS IT GOOD TO SHOP AROUND A LOT BEFORE PURCHASING A WEDDING DRESS?
A: As a bridal ocnsultant who has watched many brides go through the wedding dress shopping experience I think it is more helpful to try to not shop too much, to limit it and keep it as simple as possible. Social media is a phenomenal resource to be able to gather pictures and even specific details you are interested in and you are also able to browse the boutique's you are interested in BEFORE actually going in and trying on. It can be a very overwhelming experience very quickly when trying to go to so many different stores and try on so many gowns, and you don't want that! You want to ENJOY as much as possible while still being efficient. I wouldn't recommend more than 2 maybe 3, and you COULD find it at shop number 1!
Q: TIPS ON MAKING WEDDING PLANNING ENJOYABLE?
A: After looking at all of your steps in your check-list that you have delegated to your circle to help lessen the stress, try to make the time to make a whole expereince of meeting with them and working towards that task. For example if you ask your sister to help research florals, you can set up a date to meet at a coffee shop and get goodies together while you pow-wow about what you have come up with. It is a way to make it so that you are not just sitting behind a screen overwhelming yourself with the tasks by yourself. Even your fiance, plan dates with them so that you are doing a fun and memorable activity while you are also finalizing details. It is important also to make sure you prioriotze taking breaks from wedding planning, rest is essential. Don't always be focused on checking off the next thing on your list, especially if you can afford the extra time! Really soak in those moments with your important people before starting this next chapter of your life.
Whether consulting with a wedding industry professional to gain insight or doing research watching videos and reading posts from other soon-to-be-wed or former brides, don't be discouraged by needing some additional guidance! Planning a wedding can be a very overwhelming expereince because it is something that is financial, emotional, spiritual! It's important to prioritize rest throughout the process and find ways to help make it less stressful for you personally.