Wedding planning (usually) these days can take anywhere from a few months to a few years. This is a significant chunk of time to spend debating about budgets, bridesmaids dresses, food choices, and invitation fonts with your family and in laws. Sometimes it can come easily and is a naturally fun process for some families! However, more often, it is fraught with tension and emotion (who knew your dad cared so much about the salad course selection….!?). We’re here to help with a few tips for keeping your cool and minimizing drama throughout the process. These are our Four P’s to stay Drama Free!

Alexandra Lee Photography

1. Prioritize Much like with your budget, we recommend prioritizing your selections when it comes to choosing vendors/options. If the menu is really important to you and your fiancé, but your mom really wants a different invitation style than you would prefer, consider compromising on the invitations and letting her “win” that choice, so that you can stand your ground when it comes to the menu selections.

2. Perspective Remember- some of these things may feel like life altering decisions in the moment but at the end of the day, they’re just details! Try to keep it in perspective when making selections and you feel things getting heated. “It’s just flowers. It’s just flowers. It’s just flowers.” Focus your aim on marrying your partner and then everything else becomes icing on the cake- suddenly the heat from those arguments dissipates.

Alexandra Lee Photography

3. Patience Try to maintain patience with all of those involved in the process. Maybe they are stressed (or don’t realize how stressed you are!). Maybe they don’t understand why you would prefer things to be a certain way during the ceremony, and you’ll need to explain it to them… again. If you’re excited to get planning underway it can be hard to maintain patience but if you can take a deep breath and take your time, that can often save a lot of drama. If you have patience and talk it through or maybe explore other options, even just showing the other party that you are putting effort in can sometimes make the difference between peace and .. er… not so peaceful discussions.

4. PLANNER. The most important P of all in our humble opinion! A wedding planner can be a perfect “fall guy”. The wedding planner is a fantastic buffer and neutral third party to help settle disagreements or offer practical advice on selections. If you hire a wedding planner you all trust, you know you have someone on your team who is rooting for you and will guide you (and your family!) through all of the hurdles ahead. Everyone is able to take a deep breath once you have a planner at the helm and that minimizes the drama before it even begins.

Alexandra Lee Photography

Alexandra Martin - NSWE Events

Photos courtesy of Alexandra Lee Photography

Rempel Photography

The wedding and events industry is thrilled that events are back and people are celebrating life’s greatest moments together once again. As excited as we are to be executing fantastic events, we are also facing the most challenging time for the industry. The compression of 2020 and early 2021 postponements has created more events than the industry has ever seen and we are doing the best we can to keep up with the demand. NPR reported that 2.5 million weddings will occur in 2022, which is more than what we have ever seen in one year, since 1984!

It's Wedding Season... In A Pandemic : 1A : NPR

While being overwhelmed with the volume of events, we are also facing staffing and product shortages, which makes it extremely difficult to produce your events at the level we are accustomed to. We know that our clients are sympathetic to this struggle and want to be helpful. Therefore, I wanted to share some insight on how you can be a great client and help the events industry get back on their feet and execute your events with spectacular results.

Conscious Communication

When communicating with your vendors, be cognizant of the fact that they have more business than they typically can handle with the staffing provided to them. It is unlikely that they will be able to maintain pre-pandemic response times. In order to ensure you get the best (and fastest) responses from your vendors, try to be conscious about your communication style and frequency. Consciously compile all of your questions into one email, rather than sending four or five emails with different questions. This will make it easier and more efficient for your vendor to answer your questions and for you to receive a more comprehensive response.

Voss + Virtue Photography

Flexibility and Grace

As we all know, supply chains and employee shortages have impacted business around the world. This impacts your event plans just as it impacts other aspects of everyday life. This is just as frustrating for your vendors as it is for you! Please try to approach the situation with an open mind and lean on your vendors for their expertise. You hired them because you trust their knowledge and their experience.

Maybe the linen you preferred isn’t available, but they have an interesting alternative. Possibly, pomegranate seeds have skyrocketed in cost, but the caterer can suggest something that is just as appealing. Remember that only you know about these exchanges out and being graceful during this time period will get more quality product and service from your vendors than being ridged and inflexible.

Olivia Leigh Photographie

Researched Decisions

When approaching your vendors, be aware that many are booking up farther in advance than ever before and they may have limited time to meet with you. Therefore, it is important to do as much research in advance, so that you are empowered and ready to make decisions when you are able to sit down and meet. For example, when booking a florist, consider doing research ahead of time and be prepared with a color scheme, images and a budget. This will expedite the planning process and help you quickly identify who is the right fit. This way you will not miss out on a great vendor and will achieve your event décor goals. The more prepared you are before contracting a vendor, the better the relationship will be throughout the event planning process.

Gillian Claire Photography

When you first get engaged, chances are the people you love around you that you share the happy news with can’t help but ask, “So… when and where is the wedding?!”. Your first instinct may be to think, “I got engaged five minutes ago, give me a break!” However, once your feet touch back down on the ground, "when and where" are the first big questions to tackle. When chatting about options with your fiancé and your families, it may be worth considering if you are a good candidate for a destination wedding. Many couples may instinctively gravitate towards hosting their wedding in their home town, but there are a variety of circumstances that could make a destination wedding more appealing in the end.

1. Been There, Done That, Got the Koozie.

Does it feel like all of your upcoming weddings are in the same location? Sometimes, in a close group of friends or in a smaller city/town, people gravitate towards the same wedding venues and vendors over and over. It’s one thing to use the same photographer as your friend, but do you really want the same entire meal by the same caterers at the same venue with the same band? Even if you like the options, it can start to feel incredibly repetitive for you and your guests. If your cousin and your bridesmaid and your sister in law all used the same wedding reception venue, it may be time to consider a destination wedding! This will create a fresh and exciting experience for you and your guests that feels much more uniquely yours.

2. Off Season Dates

When you sit down with your family and your fiance’s family and compare calendars, sometimes there are factors that can make choosing a date complicated. Work schedules, other social obligations, etc. can all get in the way, leaving you with a date in an off season that you might not be as excited about. Sometimes the best dates for you aren’t prime dates for your home area, but they could be ideal dates in another destination. For example, while Chicago in February isn’t necessarily appealing to many people, Florida or the Bahamas certainly might be!There also might be less competition for wedding attendance from your guests if your wedding is in the off season for your local area- everyone will want to get out of Chicago for a sunny beach wedding in February, but if your guests are already invited to three weddings in June they may be less likely to be able to make it to yours.

3. Take the Planning Pressure Off

If your wedding is hosted in a vacation destination, you may feel less obligated to entertain your guests all weekend. If your guests are all visiting Charleston SC, there are so many fabulous things to do and see (and eat!) that they will want to have some free time to explore and enjoy the area on their own. This takes the pressure off of you for hosting them the entire weekend and coming up with fun things for them to do. You can focus on planning your dream wedding, and feel confident that your guests will still have a great weekend as it’s more of a vacation for them with a wedding built in!

4. Travel Trade Off

After putting together your rough guest list, take a look at where most of your guests live. Are they mostly in one localized area? Or are the majority of them spread out across the country or even world? If you answered with the latter, then a destination wedding might be a great option for your wedding. If everyone is going to have to travel anyways for the wedding, why not have them go somewhere fun and exciting? If they have to come in from out of town and hop on a plane anyways, your guests are likely to be much more excited about visiting a new destination like Napa Valley or Jackson Hole.

Tamara Gruner Photography

5. The Perfect Excuse

We all know that putting together and trimming the guest list isn’t an easy task. If you are hoping for a guest list on the smaller side, it can be difficult to decide how to justify removing people that you feel obligated to (but don’t want to!) invite. Enter: the perfect excuse. If you are having a destination wedding, it is an easy way to justify not inviting a number of guests without hurting their feelings as much. “We are just having a small destination wedding” seems to be a universally accepted reasoning for not including others who may have assumed that they would be invited otherwise. If you are hosting the wedding in your hometown and the aforementioned guest lives around the corner from the venue you have selected, things can become a little bit more awkward. Having a destination wedding can remove the pressure of many of the obligatory invites and you can have the more intimate wedding you’ve been dreaming of.

6. Neutral Territory

If a couple is planning the wedding all in the bride’s hometown, the rehearsal dinner at the bride’s favorite restaurant from back home, the church she grew up going to, etc., the wedding can sometimes start to feel a bit one sided. Embracing a destination wedding can make it feel more focused on the couple as a whole and their future instead of focusing on just one party and their past. While a hometown wedding works for many, sometimes having a neutral spot for the wedding can ease some tricky family dynamics and ensure no one is feeling left out.

Hometown weddings can be fun and sentimental, but may not be the best fit for every circumstance. If you find yourself facing any of the above dilemmas, a destination wedding may be a great option for you and your family. NSWE handles both local weddings and destination weddings with the same detailed, thorough, and creative approach. We love making each wedding unique to the couple and their needs and would love to chat with you about your destination wedding options!

Julia Franzosa Photography