So we thought since we’re planning to dole out our sage advice and wisdom as well as share our experiences, resources etc, it’s fitting to give you a little background on how we got to this post. If you will allow me to do the “Re-Introductions”, my name is Kimberly Allen- the gypsy, and my business partner and sister is Jennifer Charles – the fashionista. We started our business in 2002 ( the fancy bio versions of us are on our About page, our Cookie Monster has left our daily lives to pursue her most important job – her growing family. We have since welcomed a “Cheerleader, Rock Star and WysiWig who we’ll introduce in another post.) Although we are always clear with the fact that we came to this business with solid production and design experience in the “real world”. We did develop our concept for Something Fabulous from our own personal experiences. And, from those experiences were some lessons learned:
I had to have “THE BEST”, but we didn’t really have a budget for it. As a result, my overall wedding experience was expensive and stressful. My photographer sold us an extra photographer. When we called the next day to cancel because it really didn’t fit into our budget, she wouldn’t cancel. That should have been a red flag, but we didn’t know any better. The real surprise was that the day of our wedding that extra photographer was her husband. And, an emergency at home had both of them leaving my reception early. When I look back on the day, I had the best, but I didn’t enjoy it like I thought I would. I LOVED my ceremony. And, the funny thing about that is it was the least expensive/complicated part of the entire experience. The lesson I learned – You can spend a million dollars on your wedding, but it won’t make it special or personal. It’s the thoughtfulness and relationships you have that make it special. Those relationships are your family, friends and the vendors with whom you surround yourself in creating your day. If I were to do it again, I would do it differently. I would get to know my vendors on a more personal level, and I would stay truer to what is important to Tommy and I vs. getting caught up in the wedding craze and what the image of “the perfect day” should be.
After some careful consideration, we decided to get married in England because of my husband’s large, close knit family. The challenge with this was that I had to let go and accept the assistance from my soon to be mother-in-law for the organizing of the day and the details. I was lucky because I LOVE my mother-in-law, and she has great style, but still I remember having to come to terms with my desire to control everything. I had to let go and trust that it would all come together. As it turned out, the day was incredible. We had a traditional English wedding with an American influence. I walked down the aisle at the end of our procession rather than at the beginning. A month or so after returning from our honeymoon, we hosted a “second wedding” for friends and family at home. Although I would have liked to have had an evening party, the timing and the costs associated with a second party didn’t make sense for us. Our English wedding was at the beginning of the dollar drop so we paid close to double in exchange rates. We ended up having an afternoon reception at the same place where my bridal shower took place. In retrospect, it worked perfectly and my favorite memories of both days were the friends that traveled to be with us. What would I change? At the time we weren’t in the business of weddings or flowers, and our DIY efforts ran into a few troubles. Perhaps it was a last minute case of bridezilla, but I would have spent the two days before the wedding enjoying the experience and the people around me rather than having myself and my family members and friends working on the last minute details.
- Establish a budget and make sure it makes sense for you and your groom.
- Communication is important between you and your groom as well as your parents and family members involved in your day.
- Get to know your vendors and make sure they are people you like and can trust. The qualities for the chair rental guy are different from those of the guy who is following you around with a video camera all day.
- Be sure to identify your priorities early and schedule them. Be realistic about what you can do yourself and with what you might need extra help.
- Enjoy the whole experience. It goes by so fast. Be sure you take time to take it all in.
SIMPLIFY – INSPIRE – DESIGN
You will learn as we pick up our blog and continue our Something Fabulous journey that these lessons remain true, but we have developed some new ideas on how to implement them. We are committed to our craft of simplifying, inspiring and designing life celebrations! We’d love to engage with you on these topics!
Where are you in your bridal experience? Share your best advise or lessons learned here…