Communication Techniques

Aisle Survive Wedding Planning Podcast - Episode 5: TAKE CONTROL OF WEDDING REHEARSALS

Take Control of your Wedding Rehearsals!

Get everyone lined up and ready to obey with tips from this episode of the Aisle Survive Wedding Planning podcast! The ‘script’ I developed when speaking to bridal parties helped prevent a ton of annoying situations from occurring, and I’ve got my tips right here. Establishing leadership of the big day starts at the rehearsal, and I tell you how.

Music by Michael Holowatch of The Replicas!

Wedding Rehearsal Meme.jpg

The Best Recipe for Handling Too Many (Wedding Planning) Cooks in the Kitchen

This frozen expression of plastered-on polite smile is the look I have when a client mentions something that is 98% likely to go horribly wrong, but I DON'T WANT TO PANIC THEM.

This frozen expression of plastered-on polite smile is the look I have when a client mentions something that is 98% likely to go horribly wrong, but I DON'T WANT TO PANIC THEM.

How many family members involved in wedding planning is...too many?  Listen, I've worked with 5 different family members and it's been fine; I've also had to deal with just 1 maid of honor who almost ruined everything. It's all HOW you do it, not WHO does it.   For example, I am happy to work with parents, but I don't sign contracts with them - just the couple.  That draws a line, as if to say, "You may be paying for it, but it's the bride and groom's wedding!"

Here are a few wedding planning - slash - family therapy (???) tips for success.

If there's already drama, don't Collaborate.

If you already have a history with family that want to be involved - and it's not GOOD history - back away.  Get a second job, elope, do whatever you can to pay for the wedding yourself and keep them from hosting.  When a family member hosts, they can sometimes unfairly leverage that to control the event to the -inth degree. There was one wedding in particular that I planned, where the parents of one of the couple hosted, and whenever I spoke with them it was as if the bride and groom weren't even involved.  The mom dictated the wedding colors, I had to remind them to invite the bride and groom to a table mockup - it was bizarre.  On top of that, I had multiple people deciding on different things in several different emails - not an orderly 'decide by committee' way.  If a family member wants to get involved and is hosting, make sure they know it's not THEIR wedding!

Sisters lovingly drape a tallit over their siblings during this wedding at Calamigos Malibu. Flowers by McCann Florist.  Photo by True Photography.

Sisters lovingly drape a tallit over their siblings during this wedding at Calamigos Malibu. Flowers by McCann Florist.  Photo by True Photography.

 

Divide and conquer.

"Sis, you work on the ceremony music and flowers.  Mom, negotiate the venue and oversee rentals.  We'll choose the officiant and DJ.  Communicate directly with the planner or vendor and don't loop in all of us on every single email." That's called delegating - and it works!  Back-channel chats about taste and style among all parties works for decision making, then the person in charge of that one element emails the vendor or planner directly with the final call. Done!

Tell your peeps:  It's not a contest.

It makes me groan when I meet a friend or relative who tries to out-plan the planner. They're not a wedding planner, but they've done some parties and are really creative, and they go on Pinterest all the time, and now they try to take over at a walk-through or design meeting with a bride and groom. A good wedding planner has no ego and loves input, but not when it's bossy and it's a non-pro trying to throw their weight around. I had one maid of honor take over at a flower mock up and try to tell me and the florist she could "get that mercury vase at Michaels." We were like, "Yes, and we can get it and a dozen others like them at wholesale cost through our suppliers."  I don't know why some people get threatened by wedding professionals - it's really weird, but it's like trying to take over negotiations on a house purchase from a Realtor. Why go through all the trouble? Let the pros do their job!

Pro Tips for Peace of Mind: Keep your Cool when things hit the fan

Photo by Shani Barel

Photo by Shani Barel

I have to say, when I started the business, I had no idea what I was getting into.  Time after time, vendors and clients mention how "calm" I am.  But there have been many moments, the first year or two of the business, where I felt overtaken by anger or frustration (let's remember event planning is considered one of the top 10 most stressful jobs).  So I've worked hard to separate my emotions from the job at hand. You can use these tips to stay calm when a family member provokes you, a vendor is driving you crazy, or you're just overall cranky from the stress of planning.

1.  Think, "is this really the worst thing to happen to me right now?" Remember how much of a 'first world problem' it is to be planning your wedding.

2. Isolate the actual problem. Is your dad totally taking over the decisions?  Or is it that you're tired from work and all he did was suggest a silly song for your father/daughter dance?  Focus on the exact problem, and treat just that issue.

3.  When handling an issue, stay calm and promise yourself you can vent later.  If you need to discuss a sensitive matter with someone, and you act belligerent while talking, it'll raise their hackles.  If you stay calm, they will start to back down.  Firmly, even with a smile, insist you need things done a certain way and you're sorry that it doesn't suit them, but you hear them and understand, and respect, their opinion.  After, call your best friend and vent, have a glass of wine. go for a jog.  Do what you can to stay as absolutely calm as you can and you will be grateful you did.