"First, you set a budget and then you book the venue."
This advice for brides from special events planner Gwendolyn Hood of Katy comes from her near quarter-century in the event planning business during which time she has helped brides insure that their special day is indeed special.
No bridezilla antics necessary.
Organization and pacing are other aspects of the planning process that Hood will cover in her Wedding Planning Workshop at The Bougainvillease event center on Feb. 7 and Feb. 21. Details can be found here.
In the meantime, Hood offers the following five golden rules of wedding planning.
1) Take your time and set a realistic budget
Hood advises that the bride set a budget before planning begins and include all parties that will be covering any part of the expense, including the groom. In this process, the bridge should be flexible. "Revisit, review and revise," Hood recommends.
2) Confirm your venue first
The location sets the tone and style of the entire event. Always visit the locations being considered, using your guest count as a guide to your needs. She also says, "Don't leave money on the table. Pretty much everything is negotiable."
3) Make sure that details count and are cohesive
Explore every detail in planning and coordinate all aspects as this "makes for a well-planned event from your Save the Date cards to the wedding cake and everything in between." Hood recommends coordinating vendor packages (photographer, caterer, cake, etc.) to reflect the style of the bride and groom.
4) Thou shall not over-extend yourself
That would be the surest route to bridezilla-dom. "Edit your projects within the parameters of your capabilities," Hood suggests. For those projects which the bride cannot manage single-handedly, Hood says, "Hire an experienced wedding planner who has knowledge and resources to assist with the additional tasks."
5) Carefully study the vendor contracts
Hood recommends that brides review all contracts more than once, making sure that all clauses — cancelation, attrition, etc. — are clear. Again, she advises, "Never leave money on the table." In Hood's world of wedding planning, most things are negotiable.