My wedding day was everything but stress-free. Many of the things that happened throughout the day were out of my control. But, looking back at it now I realize I made my own bed and had to lay in it too. Here were the four biggest organizational mistakes I made.
1. Trusting a wedding planner
I was an international bride, organizing a destination wedding in Israel with half of my guests coming from America during COVID - of course, I hired a planner.
And they were the biggest disappointment and most unpleasant memory I carry to this day. Unfortunately.
What did I rely on my wedding planner to do?
To make sure the venue is being honest with me.
To make sure the day goes by smoothly.
To make sure all of the service providers know when to show up and where.
To make sure little things I wouldn't think of are covered.
I have never gotten married before, and I never plan on getting married again (knock-on-wood) but my planner had married hundreds of couples in their career, and the expectation is that they know how to plan for all the things I didn't even think about. Not only that they didn't help in managing all of the small un-expectancies, but we also felt that they were really trying to protect the venue more than to protect us for the sake of their relationship. Bottom line: get a wedding planner that has several recommendations from brides around you (not those that are distant to you). Set expectations, and don't trust them blindly.
2. Inviting everyone to get ready with me
I hope my friends, sisters, mom, and in-laws are not reading this and thinking to themselves, "what a bridezilla". But I do think that inviting everyone to get ready with me was a mistake. I invited everyone. EVERYONE to get ready with me. Why? Because I was so grateful that my best friends and in-laws from the US came to Israel for my wedding, and because "on paper" it sounded like a fun "romantic comedy" scene-like event.
What happened when I invited everyone to get ready with me?
The hair/makeup professionals I hired were not just focused on me, they needed to plan for also completing the other ladies. I felt like my hair/makeup was not perfect.
I needed to find a large taxi for everyone to come, and get food catered to my house.
I had 10 ladies getting ready with their hair and makeup altogether and they were busy (as they should). So they were not really focused on me.
I stressed out my mom even more because she felt like she needed to be everyone's waitress and solve everyone's problems. Because we were both so stressed, we got into a stupid argument and we both ended up crying. I wish that didn't happen.
More people = more things to worry about and more chances for things to go wrong.
While I do think that it was nice to have, and I did enjoy it to a certain extent. I am not sure everyone feels the same.
Bottom line: if I could go back in time I wouldn't have had anyone. Not even my mom (It was her big day too).
3. Forgetting that the wedding industry is, in fact, a business.
Your wedding venue is a business. And as I learned in business school - the goal of each and every business that exists in the world is to make money. I would have liked to think that my wedding venue was a magical, fairytale-level place that only cares about me, my partner, and our families. I would have liked to think that all they care about was for us to have the most wonderful day.
I was wrong.
Yes, they are in the business of happiness, but they are in it because it is profitable and lucrative.
Don't get me wrong, I support this business to exist, operate, and maintain its profitability. But at what cost?
What should I have done differently?
I should not have let them make me feel like I can't demand what I want comfortably, as a client, because they are in charge of my big day. To me, they are a place I'll cherish forever. But to them, I am just another bride.
I should have approached the contract with the venue like a businesswoman too. Which is hard to do as an excited & engaged woman. I should have negotiated the price, the food, the extra benefits, the cost of parking, the overhead expenses, and the hours of operations.
I should have looked for loopholes in the contract. Look, is everything stated correctly?
Where can they cut corners? State when the waiters/bartenders can leave.
State when/if parts of the venue should close early.
State additional crew members to help the elderly.
State when each course of the meal should be taken out.
I should have read the payment plan 10 times and one more time closer to the date of the event. I should have made sure I knew what part of the payment plan should be paid, and when. The weeks leading up to the wedding were stressful and it is so easy to forget or not follow through. My adviser: don't give them any reason to say you did not fulfill your side of the contract exactly like it's written.
Bottom line, just like any other day. When you pay for a service, you are a client. The relationship is strictly business. They are not your friends.
4. Not practicing false lashes before the wedding
I never wore false lashes before. What made me think I can pull it off comfortably on my wedding day?
If you do wear false lashes, try to remember the very first time you had them on, was it comfortable?
Needless to say, it did not go smoothly. The lashes were so itchy and they kept falling off.
I got my makeup done at the "air-spray" method which was SUPER Durable and did not move throughout the day - even as I sweat through the dancefloor. And, with the lashes, I guess I needed some more practice.