Guest Blogger for "Secrets Behind" series, featuring a Professional BRIDE!

You may have seen our blog featured on she featured our interview with Cakes by E. & If you missed it, you can catch up on that post HERE.

The story behind her blog, in her very own words, is as follows-
||Idea Behind the Blog||
Having grown up in Yakima, it has always been my {dream} to have my wedding there. However, living in Seattle and planning a wedding 2 ½ hours away, I discovered the options were somewhat harder to find. In May, I contacted Yakima Valley Bride and proposed the idea of creating a blog in conjunction with their magazine. I am heavily dependent on the internet and Yakima just doesn’t have the online communities that I’ve become accustomed to. Due to my habit of diving into projects and an appetite to challenge my c.r.e.a.t.i.v.i.t.y (this is my first blog!) this little idea was born. As a result, I invite area brides, near or far, to join me over the next year in discovering unique, stylish and fresh ideas for their Yakima wedding.

We were so impressed with her blog that we thought the best thing to do was have her featured as a guest "vendor" and get her inside thoughts on planning a wedding. Why not get some feedback from the most important person that we work with! What follows is the fun and very interesting interview with Kadee.
And now (drum roll please) another installment in the Secrets Behind series featuring- THE BRIDE

INTRO from Kadee: I don’t think “professional brides” really exist (after all, most only plan on walking down the aisle once), so some of my answers may not be what is best for other brides in other areas of the world. I’m simply giving my opinions based on the research I’ve done and how far I’ve gotten into my own wedding planning so far.

Q: What is the biggest misconception about planning a wedding/being a bride?
A: Well I guess my answer may seem obvious, but for me, the biggest misconception was how much there actually is to do. You don’t think about having to call your vendors and set up appointments, researching who would be the best for you and why, visiting multiple places (venue) and coming prepared with a list of questions. Plus, with the stress on you, it amplifies the feelings of everything you have to do and get done in order to make the wedding the one of your dreams. It is like “making a dream come true” so to speak, it’s putting ideas onto paper and into action. It’s way easier when it’s just all in your head. The logistics of everything are what makes it the hardest to plan because you want to take you + your groom into account PLUS all of your friends and family there.

Q: What are a few mistakes that brides may make when choosing their vendors?
A: Not asking enough questions; I’m a questioner, I think about details that (apparently) isn’t normal . . . I want to make sure they’re the perfect fit, so don’t just settle with the first vendor that talks a pretty talk. Make them prove they’re worth your money and let them know you’re not an easy sell. The more meticulous you are in your vendor interviews they more they are willing to live up to the hype they’re selling you and make them accountable. If you don’t expect much, they may not give as much. Word of mouth is the strongest PR tool that companies have – good or bad.  Plus, by asking all the questions, you are ensuring you get the best fit for the wedding you want.

Q: What are a few things brides should look at when selecting vendors?
A: See if they have any reviews. Sometimes they’ll include them in their informational packets and a lot of times you can find reviews online simply by Googling the company’s name. See what others had to say about their service and judge whether those opinions are valuable or not to you. Also, when meeting with them, make sure they “click” with your personality. There’s nothing worse than having a DJ who won’t take your guests requests even if you want him too or a photographer who will only take the pictures he wants. Make sure you trust that they’re willing to do what YOU want to do on the big day.
Also, ask your friends, friends of friends, your hairdresser, classmate . . . anyone who’s been around the wedding industry in your area for suggestions in order to generate some good leads. Someone who has no vested interest in the company you’re looking for will most often give you the most candid responses.

Q: With the economy down and many couples struggling, can you see any areas where the bride and groom can save and still have the wedding of their dreams?
A: If you don’t have a lot of guests traveling, a good way to go would be to have a wedding on a Friday or perhaps a Sunday. These are usually cheaper days when booking a venue which can be a huge chunk of your budget.
Another option, which I absolutely love, is going the DIY route. There are so many great tutorials, web sites and blogs that cater to the DIY bride; you just need to do a little research. I know it can be intimidating if you’re not the hands-on type, but try to solicit the help of some crafty friends or family members and chances are you’ll find someone who can lead you through it. A lot of these sites also have free templates for invitations, decorations or guest favors as well as numerous other inspirational ideas.
A few of my favorite DIY Blogs:

I’ve also done a series of Budget Resource posts on my blog in which I suggest where/how brides can save money during the wedding planning process. To the right of my posts, you will also find a list of budget resources that include other budget savvy blogs, coupon links and websites that allow you to earn money back from your online purchases . . . no matter where you live ;).

Q: What is one area where you think a bride and groom should splurge?
A: I’m all about finding the best deal, but there is one area I don’t think you can skimp on and that’s the food. Really, that’s probably going to be the highlight of your guests’ night and it’s your gift to them, a way of thanking them for being there. While you may not eat a whole lot that evening, they sure will and it’s one thing they always seem to remember. If the food is bad, they’ll remember it so you’ll want to make sure and leave them happy not hungry.

Q: What is the worst wedding story you’ve heard from a bride or a groom?
A: I haven’t heard anything too bad or too over-the-top. I know one bride who had an outdoor wedding and it ended up raining before she walked down the aisle . . . turns out she was still glowing during the ceremony and it made for the quite the “memory maker” moment. I’ve seen some pretty bad wedding moments on TV where limos didn’t show up, a bride fainted during the ceremony, or a guest caught on fire . . . however, these are all small incidents compared to the fact that you get to the spend the rest of your life with the person at the other end of the aisle. Things can “go wrong” i.e. not the way you planned exactly, but as long as you get to marry your honey, everything will turn out fine in the long run. Your guests will understand that things happen you can’t account for, you have to remember, it’s JUST a wedding ;).

Q: What is something you wish all your vendors knew, or a certain thing you wish all of your vendors would do to make working them easier?
A: Not putting prices on your websites – even estimates – I found this thoroughly irritating when researching my vendors. I know prices can vary but if I’m in unfamiliar territory and trying to research who would be best for my wedding, I want to narrow down my choices (and a lot of times, money dictates your choices for you). Having to call the vendor and ask questions just to get an idea of pricing is a waste of my time and theirs.  It’s especially bad when they want you to sit down with them BEFORE they even give you an idea. Big turn off.  At that point, I feel like it’s more about them than the customer.
Have your information listed for online contact. For the web-obsessed and the email-addicted out there {like me}, it’s really helpful to find my information online and have an email address available for quicker correspondence for those of us too busy to sit down and have a conversation over the phone or in person. I know, sometimes you just assume everyone has a website nowadays, but they don’t . . . it just makes it that much easier on prospective clients.
Lead the conversation. While I encourage brides to be prepared with questions they don’t always know what to ask and don’t always have specifics in mind. Knowing your capabilities and what you’re best at helps them narrow down what they may want. (i.e. most people don’t know what fruits are in season) I’ve sat down with a few companies, where I was looking for them to tell me what they think or what they suggest and not a whole lot came out . . . I’m looking for you to be the expert so lead me in the direction you think is best and we’ll go from there. Lay it out on the table for the brides and grooms and then customize . . . they don’t know your industry inside and out but they’re hoping you do.

Q: Any other suggestions for brides and grooms out there?
A: I tend to over analyze and over-worry which leads to over-stressing. Not a good combination. One thing I forgot {and still tend to} while in the early stages of my planning was that you hire the professionals because they are professionals. You don’t need to worry about the entire play list at the reception, that’s what the DJ is for (he can assess the crowd while you’re having fun mingling), you don’t need to figure out how to keep the hot food hot, you’re caterer will take care of it, etc. etc. Let their instinct and experience do the work for you and know where they come into play during the wedding . . . keeping this in mind will free up your focus for the things you really do need to worry about.

Most important point to make, we may never hear another bride say “It’s JUST a wedding” but she DID say that!
I think that was a great viewpoint to get in this series. She even has a few tips that I had not thought of before. While I'm not the go-to planner for DIY (I enjoy more wedding management, as opposed to wedding cutting and pasting) I think it is a great concept for the creative bride!
Kadee even touched on something that I am constantly unsure of, posting your pricing. You hate to scare off a bride with our pricing but I do think giving them an idea upfront is better than giving them nothing. As a planner you always want to be able to tell the bride the difference between a $300 planner and a $900 planner (and even a $8,000 planner) before they make their decision.

Looking forward to feedback on this new installment! Remember if you'd like to be featured, just send me an email and let me know.

Our next interview will be Secrets behind- Wedding Dresses