I’d liken this presentational meeting with our bride (and sometimes the mothers of the bride) and groom to a shopping spree, of sorts, down elegant Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. It’s where we begin to talk about how the overall theme is interpreted for the event. It should be a feast for your eyes and a tactile experience – which allows the bride to immerse herself in this experience. Items usually tucked away in our display cases are now laid out on sample linens, to be picked up, sorted, discarded, coveted – now all a part of the decision making process.
Here’s some of what to expect at a planning meeting:
- First – do your homework! Pull photos of both your likes and dislikes from magazines, Pinterest, weddings blogs, etc. Create your “look book” – keeping in mind sometimes what you don’t like is more important than knowing what you do…
- Arrive with your questions in hand. Your planner will have already given you a checklist to review – this will help streamline some of your concerns and needs. Be forthright about any uncertainties related to selecting and styling your wedding. Be willing to talk about the nagging or difficult issues that could become stumbling blocks later in the planning process, even if they seem small at the moment. Once you actually identify them, fun begins.
- Take notes during the meeting – and bring your calendar! It will be imperative you and your planner stay on the same page throughout this process. You’ll want to be sure those antique Moroccan vases arrive on schedule.
- Be prepared to discuss your budget. The budget is a key element in the design process – providing direction and guidance for both you and your planner.
- Anticipate change. Your favorite flower may not be in season on your wedding day. Your “look book” color palate may clash with your venue. All of your co-workers respond YES to the RSVP. Changes start with the first planning meeting.
- Be ready to spend time at the meeting. Once needed conversations are had about creative aspects and the overall design, it’s time to delve into the matter at hand – shopping! This is literally a time to select as our team notes which items, textures, styles and shapes seem the most appealing to the bride. Don’t be surprised to spend 2 or more hours. In my case recently, 3 and a half hours later. It was worth it because what the bride said she felt matched with how she looked: crystal clear.
We encourage every bride to be herself – everyone has their own sense of style, let us help you develop yours! From our first conversation, we stress how the planning and design process is here to support the bride – and groom! Don’t let weddings “over-exposure” keep your personal style from coming through. Equally challenging will be all of the family and friend’s expectations for your special day. Your planner is here to help and may often be the first line of defense.
So you’ve finished your first planning meeting…what’s next? Expect to have some homework. And remember, until you’re married to your husband, you’re married to your planner!
About Marc Wilson:
Marc Wilson is the Guest Lifestyle Editor of World Bride Magazine, a 2013 Big Apple Award nominee and the Founder and Creative Director of Weddings by MWD Lifestyles. Marc’s company, MWD Lifestyles (formerly Marc Wilson Design), is a full scale wedding, event design, production and planning company with destination partnerships and capabilities and has grown to be the name in the decor and events, weddings and destination industry it is today. Marc’s fifteen years within the events industry has resulted in national and international recognition and, to date, MWD Lifestyles has worked with Rolex, Hugo Boss, Martha Stewart Weddings and MGM Metro Goldwyn Mayer. Marc’s work has been published in Grace Ormond Wedding Style, Design Bureau, New York Weddings, Manhattan, Essence, Weddings by Design, The Knot, Brides and Town&Country.