Not too long ago, I came across this question, “In what ways are brides and grooms naïve during the wedding planning process?”
First of, we need to understand why many couples are “naïve.”
It has absolutely nothing to do with their intelligence, or ability to comprehend. Instead it’s more like the saying, “You don’t know what you don’t know.”
Think of it this way – it’s highly unlikely that you’ve ever planned an event on this scale before. A wedding is two events (ceremony AND reception) with special attire, special décor, dinner, entertainment . . . So. Many. Details.
Sooooo, if you haven’t done something before, how can you know and understand (or be expected to know and understand) all the ins and outs? (BTW – This reasoning can apply to anybody, not just those planning a wedding).
Ok, so in what ways can brides and grooms not fully understand the ins and outs?
Underestimate the Time Involved
One way that they are “naïve” is that they usually aren’t thinking beyond the 6 – 7 hours of the event itself.
Among other things, there are preparations that need to take place prior to the wedding day on the part of the caterer (food purchasing and prep for their wedding menu), and the wedding coordinator (including timeline creation and vendor confirmations). Also, after the fact – the work for the photographer and videographer isn’t done at the end of the reception (they have hours of editing, creating photo layouts, etc.)
Or the couple has misjudged the timing of the day.
Have you ever heard that 1 hour of “wedding time” is equivalent to 1 ½ hours of “real time” (meaning things will take 1 ½ times longer than anticipated on your wedding day)? Believe it. Things will take longer – from getting ready, to eating dinner, and doing a receiving line.
Wanting to do a receiving line for your 150 guests, then finish after-ceremony photos, (including both sides of the family), then a quick stop at that cute garden for a quick pic of just the two of you, AND get to the reception within an hour? Not gonna happen.
Another area of underestimating time is with DIY projects.
We’ve all seen those funny “nailed it” pictures on Facebook. You know the ones with the original picture of how it’s supposed to look next to the photo of the crazy mess of how it turned out. The “crazy mess” is the result of the project needing more time to properly execute, and/or the person not truly knowing how to properly execute the project.
Which leads us to:
Have Limited Knowledge
Back to “You don’t know what you don’t know.” We base our plans on what we know, or at least what we think we know. Unless it’s an area of expertise, there will be gaps in this knowledge.
A perfect example is with flowers. Unless you are a florist or have worked extensively with flowers, your flower knowledge is probably limited. Don’t feel bad. Even after being in the wedding business for over 20 years, my flower knowledge is still limited, (although I have learned a lot through the years).
Anyway, like most people, you probably know the names of flowers such as roses, lilies, and daisies, but not much beyond those few popular flowers, or a particular flower that you’ve really loved for years. Because of this, most people are unfamiliar with what flowers are in season, and what flowers are hearty enough to stay fresh throughout the entire event, and not be wilted halfway through the reception.
Incorrectly Use Tools
Also, many get too caught up in what they see on tv and online, particularly with Pinterest and styled shoots. Don’t shoot me for saying that. I actually love seeing stylized shoots, and am a Pinterest junkie.
But for those of you who are planning your wedding, you need to understand and use tools such as Pinterest as ways to get ideas and inspiration. Then weed through those ideas and bits of inspiration to hone, craft, and build upon to create a wedding that really represents you and your fiancé.
Unfortunately, rather than using these as tools for inspiration and starting points for their own ideas, many couples try to recreate what they see exactly as it appears in the photos.
There are two problems with this desire and attempt to recreate. 1) There’s no personalization. It completely takes “you” out of the equation because you weren’t there (or even thought about) when it was created; and 2) The expense. Most couples don’t realize the time and expense it took to produce that one look (particularly for a stylized shoot). The specialty items (linens, vases, plates, glassware) and custom-made items can get expensive when trying to recreate the desired table-look for 15 – 20 tables.
How to Avoid the Naïveté?
1) As vendors, we need to continually share our knowledge and wisdom, if you will, with couples so they become educated, and have the opportunity to learn and understand what they need to know for their own event.
2) As brides and grooms, couples need to delve deeper than what’s on the surface, ask questions, and trust what their vendors are telling them, so they can be educated consumers.
Do they have to learn all there is to know about weddings? Of course not. (Guess what? That’s an impossible feat, even for the professionals). But a little bit of knowledge goes a long way.
Hearts, Joy, Love!
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For planning help and unique ideas for your wedding contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!
Photo credit (confused bride): ljupco / 123RF Stock Photo