(Watercolor by Sophie & Lili)
Hello everyone! Ian (the husband) here for the first of what might be several cameo appearances on Beauty & Blooms. That probably depends on how this attempt goes – so please comment and share!
This Sunday marks my one-year wedding anniversary with Sarah so she asked me to give a man’s perspective on wedding planning. I don’t have the space to cover everything so I will tackle a few take-away points from my experience.
Contracts and Payments
This first point is somewhat boring, but definitely practical. Planning our wedding was my first experience with vendor contracts, particularly from independent contractors. Looking back I wish I had negotiated more. The standard vendor contract for a florist or bakery hands you is not set in stone. No one will be offended if you ask for a change to the terms; if they are that should be an immediate red flag.
If you negotiate anything, I would suggest discussing the payment terms. A deposit upon booking is pretty standard and will likely not go away. However, oftentimes vendors will ask to be paid in full a few days before the event. Avoid this if you can! Withholding a portion of the contract until after the event can help keep vendors honest. Have the portion be small enough so the vendor is not too worried but large enough that it is somewhat relevant (10-20% should be sufficient).
For example, we waited four months to receive our wedding photos. Yes we checked in regularly but no amount of email shaming has the same impact as the almighty dollar. I promise you our photos would have arrived much more promptly if some payment was withheld until delivery.
This point is directly addressed to you guys out there. The bride will almost always be more engaged. She will likely have the biggest opinion and the last word. It’s not a bad thing. She has been dreaming about this day long before she knew who was waiting for her at the end of the aisle. Meanwhile, you were watching ESPN and playing XBOX. That said, don’t just sit out the planning phase. Take on some of the effort. Voice your interest in a portion of the days events. At the very least, know what is going on. You shouldn’t feel like a guest at your own wedding.
Act Married Even Before You Are
Planning a wedding is honestly one of the most stressful things I have done in my life and I wasn’t even shouldering most of the weight. There will be tears. There will be hysterical laughter. You will argue. You will talk about eloping. Don’t give up!
Consider these trials as the warm-up before the main event – marriage. Recognize when your partner is struggling. Support and comfort the other. Let your partner help when you are down. Feed off each other. That is what marriage is all about – at least for me. You are not in it alone anymore. I don’t think I would have survived the planning if I was.
I hope this was helpful for any of you newly engaged couples out there! If you have any advice of your own please share it in the comments!