Wedding planning isn’t easy — that’s why wedding planners exist. Don’t sweat it though, we are getting you behind-the-scenes access to wedding planning expert, Amanda Schott of Trademark Weddings & Events to share her tips on managing the wedding timeline and more! Keep scrolling to get her sage wisdom on what your priority should be on the actual day!
Photo // Opal & Onyx Photography
What are the first vendors a couple should hire?
We may be biased, but we always recommend hiring a planner first. They can help you with every single step of your planning journey, and if you’re going to hire a planner at any point in the process, it’s definitely best to do so at the very beginning.
From there, you’ll want to book a venue so that you can lock in your date. Be careful not to pick a date and book catering, florals, etc., before you book your venue. If your dream venue isn’t available on the date you originally have in mind, you may be willing to compromise in order to get it.
Once you know the “when” and the “where,” you can fill in all of the other details!
How far in advance should a couple send out wedding invitations and save-the-dates?
This will vary slightly based on your guest list.
If you’re having a destination wedding, or if a large portion of your guests will have to travel a long-enough distance that they’ll be looking at taking time off from work and/or booking hotel rooms, then you will want to send things out slightly earlier to allow people to make plans.
We don’t personally think it’s ever too early to send out save-the-dates, because that’s really all you’re asking people to do: block off that date on their calendar for you!
In terms of invites, you don’t want to get too far ahead of yourself. Have details ready if family members call and ask in order to make travel plans, but if you send out invites more than four to five months in advance, you run the risk of them being forgotten.
We find the sweet spot to be right around three months, with the exception being holidays!
If three months out will have your invitations in the mail with Christmas and holiday cards, try to send them out first to avoid getting lost in the shuffle.
What final details do couples tend to forget in the planning process?
Little things like who will be in charge of bringing your gown, gifts and other personal items home after the wedding often gets overlooked and causes last minute stress.
It’s also very easy to make assumptions about what certain vendors will be providing. We often tell a story about a real couple who had booked a venue, caterer, bartenders, and even a staffing company, and yet, somehow, no one was contracted to bring ice! It’s such a simple little thing, and it’s easy to assume that someone will have it all covered, but that’s where we really bring value as planners; we comb through your contracts and read every word to make sure every box is ticked.
Who develops the wedding day timeline? The planner? The officiant?
We make your wedding day timeline. We often work most closely with the photographer, since they typically have the most time-sensitive items to consider, but we ask for input from all of your vendors in order to put together a comprehensive guide to your special day, ensuring nothing gets overlooked!
What’s the easiest way or best tips to ensure the family stays on track during the day’s events?
We’d rather stress that you and your family enjoy the day! By hiring a wedding planner, you take the pressure of making sure the trains run on time off of your shoulders.
If you choose not to use a planner, lean on your DJ to help keep things on track. They are the master of ceremonies. By the sheer fact that they have a microphone, they have the ability to control the room in ways that no one else can. We always stress the importance of a great DJ, because even when you have hired a planner, they are crucial to the flow of the event, and we work very closely with them to set the tone.
What’s one piece of advice you always give to your couples?
Take time to enjoy your engagement and wedding day. Wedding planning isn’t easy. If it were, we wouldn’t have jobs! However, we make sure we give our couples breaks throughout the planning process.
At first, it may feel like you should be working, but in reality, it’s scheduled intentionally to give you a chance to just enjoy each other without discussing appetizer options or napkin colors. Go on a date, daydream about your honeymoon, and we’ll keep you on track with everything else.
On your wedding day, trust that you have hired a team that will execute your vision to perfection. Take it all in – it will go by so quickly! Taste the food, dance with your friends and your new spouse, and try your best not to sweat the small stuff.
Thank you to Amanda Schott of Trademark Weddings & Events for all the wonderful wedding planning advice! Learn how her team can help you relax and enjoy your dream wedding by visiting her Brides of Austin vendor page.