What do you love about the wedding industry & working with brides?
I love the gravity involved with weddings: they’re events, first and foremost, but they hold so much importance to people. It’s probably the most memorable party of a person’s life! With that in mind, wedding industry professionals take that very seriously. We understand it’s not just a dress, a bouquet is more than flowers, and why everything is such a big deal. It’s also amazing to be in the industry that celebrates love the most – literally every decision is made around a pivotal relationship between two people who love each other. As far as working with brides is concerned, I love helping bring their dreams to fruition, finding them the perfect vendors that fit their values and tastes, coming up with beautiful ideas and ways to incorporate their relationship into the day’s celebrations. I love how intimate the relationship between my clients and me can be: I see couples extensively for months (sometimes years!), help problem-solve and plan the most important party of their lives, and get to share in the experience of their wedding day. It’s such an honor and absolutely humbling to be chosen to walk with them through that period of their lives. It’s fulfilling and meaningful for me.
What is your advice for a couple on a strict budget?
The one thing I drill into my clients’ heads over and over, no matter their budget, is PRIORITIZE!!! Regardless of how much money you have to play with, you have to know exactly what you care about and want to invest in – even if you’re not shelling out a ton of money, you’re still limited by timelines and the boundaries of reality, so it is absolutely imperative that you and your fiancé prioritize what will be going into your wedding. I also strongly encourage my more limited budget clients to think outside of the traditional realms of what a wedding “should” be. You might want a huge blowout wedding with a full meal, 200 of your closest friends, and flowers for days, for example. If you can’t afford to feed everyone a four-course supper (food’s expensive, y’all!), why not have a brunch wedding? You can still have just as many people attend but fewer people are going to drink heavily in the morning (hello, mimosa or bloody mary bar!), and depending on what you serve, you can get away with serving less food (for less money). You can also provide less reception seating (and therefore fewer centerpieces, saving costs), you won’t need as much lighting, and you can limit the timeline from start to finish (saving on hourly expenses). Morning weddings are just as charming as evening affairs. PLUS, you get to spend a whole day with your new spouse… you can get dinner afterwards for the two of you, maybe massages, actually get to ENJOY your wedding night hotel suite… think of the opportunities!
Another surefire way to lower your wedding costs is to cut down that guest list. Do you REALLY need 300 people at your wedding? Would you seriously buy every person on your list dinner if you went out to eat with him or her? That’s essentially what you’re doing. Are you still going to be close friends with them six months after the wedding? Remember your time is limited on your wedding day. You only get to talk to people for a few minutes over the course of the whole day. If you invite substantially fewer guests, you get to spend more quality time with each of them. Food for thought!
You are happily married. Can you share one piece of marriage advice for our brides-to-be?
The most important thing is to love your spouse more than yourself. Our natural human tendency is to be selfish (I’m particularly guilty of this most of the time), but I guarantee your marriage will be a thousand times happier and more fulfilling when you bless your spouse by loving them first. Also, always be gracious. Both of you will make mistakes frequently (welcome to reality!), but have grace with one another. Be quick to forgive, slow to anger. Drew and I strive to have our relationship reflect that of Jesus and the Church – we may be far from perfect, but when your goals and hearts are in the right place, even if you fall short, it’s so much better than being unintentional.