The battle for bridal bookings

Last updated 09:19 13/06/2012

It seems kind of ironic, ok maybe more shit-from-me, that I've been way too focused on writing about how to plan a wedding... and forgetting I actually had to plan it. book

It was OH-SO smooth sailing to begin with: venue, date, bridal party, boom boom boom. A little bit later, wedding dress. Boom.

"I am soooooo good at this wedding planning shizz!" I thought to myself. WRONG.

You see, I let some things slide. I let complacency in to sit on my lap by the fire and curl up in a little ball and have a wee nap. I thought 'Yeah, I can do this relaxed 'see what happens' vibe thing'. I AM wedding ZEN.

But time has flown by and now with less than six months to go to the wedding, I've found I'm still not even half way through the list of 'to do' that Cosmo Weddings magazine so kindly likes to remind me of. I constantly compare myself to other couples getting married around the same date: "They've booked what? They've sent out stuff to who? Aghh". 

Anyway I had a point to this. You see my complacency, OK it's actually just bridal laziness, means that now I've got around to little ol' things such as booking some vendors, and the ones I want are - HARK - booked already!
Nooo! Don't they know I am getting MARRIED on that DAY? HOW could they dare book another job! It's not like they're trying to run a BUSINESS or anything...

It's taught me a lesson. One that this little thinks-she's-so-organised-Virgo had to learn the hard way: it's never too early to make contact with vendors you want involved in your day.

While it used to give me heart palpitations in previous years when people asked me in June what I was 'doing for New Years' (I'll be sunning myself on a beach in Tahiti with my HUSBAND this year, woo!), I now realise that everything people older and wiser tell you about time going by really fast is absolutely true.

It's like you plan and you plan and you make rough plans and suddenly the day is there when you'd planned to have your plan and absolutely nothing is planned. make up

My latest example? Hair and make-up.

This was one of the things on my list that I was never that concerned about because I knew it was just a matter of making a decision, booking it, paying for it and we're done. No biggie.

But the more I got in to researching all the options (full salon morning package? Airbrush makeup? Bridesmaids do their own hair? Travel to a salon or get a mobile stylist? Hair up or hair down? Split between vendors or all in one? Get a local or pay someone to travel?), the more I delayed my decision which only meant one thing: I missed out.*

I had planned, for example, to use a local business that future husband's family use. To be fair, I just thought it would be a given that I'd use them. They'd be available; not too much else happening in this small country town on that date 'cept our wedding... surely.

Bow-bow. She's booked that day. I went to option 2. Also booked. Ech.

Now I'm about to make the call to number three. It's my lucky number so wish me luck!

How far ahead did you book things for your big day to ensure you got to use businesses you liked or supported? Did you miss out due to bridal blinders like me?

*Before anyone suggests I just 'do my own make up', no thanks. Not for me. I do it every other day of the week and it's a special day and I need extra heavy-duty beautifying, and I'm not too proud to say that. It's a long day, gimme the pro make-up!

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40 comments
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Spiral_Chambers   #1   09:33 am Jun 13 2012

Good luck with #3!

I'm getting funny looks when I tell people I have things sorted already. "But it isn't til ages away!" (Jan 2014) they retort! Obviously, they haven't planned a wedding, or one lately.

We have: FH's suit, BMs sorted, venue pretty much sorted and photographer. Future SIL will do cake.

I'd rather have piece of mind that I have things sorted early so I don't freak out later when they're already booked up. And yet still, I will get the *look*

US-NZ   #2   09:35 am Jun 13 2012

Easy solution: Buy a nice dress, get ready at a hotel, you and fella go to a Registry Office and get married. Take all that money you'd blow on a wedding and invest it in your LIFE and get on with it.

When else in your life would you spend THOUSANDS for a few hours at en event? Does anyone else see how ridiculous this whole wedding thing has become?

My hubby and I went to the registry office to get married. Just us. Was the most romantic thing. Didn't tell anyone till the next day. Beautiful! Still married, 17 years later. Beautiful.

eszter   #3   09:46 am Jun 13 2012

we booked all the major things about 1 year in advance..the obvious ones being venue, photographer and booked my usual hairsalon for our hair. I then sat on my bum for a few months not doing anything realised i better do something and booking them at around the 6 month mark was still all good. in saying that , having a wedding in the city theres probably less likelyhood that a vendor you want is not going to be available. Since yours is in the countryside, less choice for people will mean more bookings for the few vendors that are there.

The thing i left the latest was my wedding dress. I started looking about 9 months ahead and at the 3 month mark I still didnt have one. The bridal stores were telling me they couldnt even get me one custom made because it was too late haha.

Procrastinator bride   #4   10:09 am Jun 13 2012

Both my groom and I had a major case of bridal laziness, until quite close to the wedding. We were lazy (and naive)about double-checking with the venue, and got bumped out for another event. We were lazy about the invites, and ended up printing those at work in a rush to get them out the door with 3 months to go... and overseas guests. Not so awesome.

What we did get well in advance: the celebrant and the photographers. And the pattern to start making my dress (but the dress-making itself was only finished about 24h before the wedding). These all worked out splendidly.

Last-minute things that also worked out splendidly: cake (a month in advance I think, hubby took care of it), new venue (conference package at the Museum Hotel - cheaper and more flexible than original venue), ordering the flowers from Moore Wilson a week before the wedding, hair & makeup (www.bellerouge.co.nz, amazing work, still thanking my lucky star they were free with just a month's notice).

sarahf   #5   10:18 am Jun 13 2012

So glad we missed all that... we had our friends and family all put their skills in and help with planning. Make-up artist relative did hair/make-up, professional cake making family member made cake, caterer friend did food, professional photographer friend did photos, etc it turned out AMAZING! And we loved it because all friends and family were involved in making our day special

Lauren   #6   10:19 am Jun 13 2012

Yeah, definitely don't do your own. Most people don't have opportunities to get your make up done professionally so make the most of it!

Jellybean   #7   10:22 am Jun 13 2012

I was super organised as I hate to stress out about missing things and booked my photographer a year before wedding. The reception venue was booked about 11 months prior and the ceremony venue was booked 9 months prior.

Hair/makeup/flowers all booked about 4 months prior and cars booked about 6 months.

Basically if you know your picks are gonna be popular 'get in there' before the other brides do. I KNEW my reception venue would be popular as with my photographer and I was right.

Rainbow   #8   10:31 am Jun 13 2012

Celebrants are a nightmare too! Totally got carried away with venues and pretty dresses and table settings and forgot the wee bit about who is actually going to marry us (the whole point of the day!)! Wow they book fast! Wedding in January, got choice number 7, who turned out to be super lovely but still pretty stressful having 6 people say no!

k   #9   10:34 am Jun 13 2012

We booked most of the biggies prior to 6 months out from the Wedding. But everything else I pretty much left up til 1- 2 months out. Even the week before I was still organising stuff. It all fell together, no stress at all.

RedRulesAll   #10   10:52 am Jun 13 2012

Fingers crossed for number 3!

I'm not married but got hair and makeup done with my sister's bridesmaids a couple of years back. Heaps of fun but yep, had to be booked about 8 or 9 months in advance as was a summer wedding and dates bok up fast.

Photographers are another one. The great ones book up WAY early.


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