The entire engagement period is getting prepared. You have to pick and choose vendors to help your day be special. It’s a 50/50 chance those vendors or people you work with along the way are legit.
Most of my vendors are local, which has made many things go so much more smoother, or have saved me money. Then I’ve experienced things that haven’t been so great. It’s hit or miss.
It’s crazy how you go through this once, well, are supposed to, and should hit the nail on the head and get everything right. Well you don’t. You have all these things to do that you didn’t really know about until you got engaged. You’re setting yourself up for some kind of failure.
What I have found is going with local companies saves you a lot of hassle. For instance, I got my wedding dress at a consignment store. My mom wanted me to go there and I didn’t want to. It ended up being the first and only place I went to. I tried on about five dresses but I ended up choosing the second one I tried on. The first was actually a joke dress. Also, the dress I bought had never been worn anyway, despite being in a consignment shop. Even better, I got a dress that probably would have retailed for $1,000, plus my petticoat and alterations for $350. Plus, the person who made my alterations is coming to put me in the dress that day. No charge. Just because that’s what he does.
I got my flowers next door to my dress, and it was only $250 for bouquets, boutonnieres, etc. People probably spend $1,000 for what I’m paying. Plus the people have been super nice and down to earth. I feel like they care. I got a bridesmaids dress at a big box store and the service was terrible. Just outright terrible.
Then we got my fiancé’s tuxes at the same place we got my dress. Funny, her prices are $100 less than the big box stores. Also, we got them with five weeks to go. I asked her if that was too late. Her response? “Not at all! Really I just need a couple weeks, but I’ve even got them the Tuesday before a Friday event.” Try that at some of the nationwide places. You’re lucky at six to eight weeks.
Our photographer is a close friend of mine, so I know exactly what I’m getting and wouldn’t choose different.
So those are the things I feel really great about. There are other things I haven’t felt so great about. I guess you learn. Hopefully you won’t have a second-go-around and you just learn to help others. My advice? Look local.