Award situations are only fun when you’re watching The Bachelor. However, now that you’re planning your wedding, you’ll definitely encounter a few opportunities for awkward conversations and situations. From vendor communication issues to bachelorette party disaster-prevention, the list is endless. Thankfully, we have Heather Alana, founder and principal planner at Epoch Co+ here to help you navigate those situations with as little stress as possible — and even avoid them all together! Keep scrolling to get Heather’s sage advice on topics from sketchy bachelorette party ideas to last-minute plus one requests.
Photo // Century Tree Co.
What do I do if I’m having trouble hearing back from my vendors?
Assuming this is referring to a vendor you have booked. First, make sure you are respecting their line of communication, which should be outlined in their contract.
While a 24-hour response time is ideal in the corporate world, and your wedding is most assuredly very important to the vendor, they likely have many other weddings that are equally as important to them. Depending on the vendor, some are working weddings Friday-Sunday and not responding to emails on weekends while others can be doing weddings on weekends and corporate events on weekdays, so giving your vendors grace in response times is necessary.
Also, make sure you are not sending each question in individual emails. It helps to gather your thoughts before each email sent. If you haven’t heard from the vendor in a week, take the approach of polite and persistent. A follow-up email stating you understand they are busy, but would love to chat or a response about XYZ would be greatly appreciated is a kind way of popping back to the top of their inbox.
You can also always follow-up with a phone call, and if needed, polite voicemail letting them know you’ve emailed them without a response, and hoping to get XYZ resolved/answered with X deadline, if time sensitive.
Once you get in touch with the vendor, kindly touch base on the response time — was it a one-time situational incident or is it their busy-season and something that will be happening more often?
Don’t be afraid to spell out your expectations, too.
If a three-week response time gives you anxiety, let the vendor know you’d really feel more comfortable with one week max response time moving forward.
While it’s wonderful to give your vendors grace during busy seasons, they should also be understanding of your experience as the client, too, with clear and concise understanding when it comes to communication and expectations.
How do I politely request children not to attend? Is that okay?
It is your wedding day! It is perfectly okay to have an “adult only” wedding day. The first step is the way you address your envelopes, this helps set the tone of who is invited. Having inner and outer envelopes takes that one step further. The response cards can also indicate how many seats are reserved in the guest’s honor, two seats reserved is a clear indication that Little Johnny is not included. Avoid putting “adult only” or “no kids” on the invitation. This is best done on the wedding website.
Pass the word to parents, family and friends that you have opted for an adult only reception. Avoid using excuses like budget, it’s best to just be clear and concise, “we want all adults, including parents, to enjoy a kid-free evening.” You don’t want that one guest offering to pay for their child to come if you use an excuse like budget, or taking the spot of Aunt Sally who RSVP’d no.
Be mindful if guests are traveling for your wedding, it may be more difficult to find a babysitter or to attend if children aren’t invited. It is helpful to provide links and contact information to local sitters on your wedding website, or pending budget and venue layout/space, providing an on-site babysitter where kids can enjoy a space all to themselves and parents can enjoy the evening kid-free.
Just understand, you will not please everyone in various aspects of the wedding planning process, and this decision will likely upset some invited guests, but it is perfectly okay to have an adult only wedding without providing lengthy explanations.
How do I handle that awkward “Can I bring a date?” question?
Any married couples or long-term couples should have their significant other included in the invitation. However, a wedding is not the place for you and your new hubby to be meeting someone for the first time.
If a guest is constantly hopping from one person to another, or not in a long-term relationship and planning to invite someone who may not be around in the picture in the next six months to a year, have a clear conversation with the guest, and do it with a phone call or in-person.
First, hear the guest out on who they want to invite and why before giving them a firm no, after they have explained who they plan to invite. If you still feel a solid no is in order, explain to them that this day is about you two and celebrating alongside those you know and love. And while you are excited to meet so-and-so, you want to keep those invited to the wedding limited to those you two already know, love and have a relationship with.
Tips for selecting friends to be in the bridal party?
Asking someone to be in the bridal party is a big honor and should not be taken lightly. This is also not an olive branch to mend a friendship or bridge a relationship, so pick people that are on good terms with you. After considering the size of your wedding and the appropriate number of attendants, come up with a list of solid expectations for your wedding party. Do you expect them to pay for certain things? To host various showers? Understand what you are going to ask of them before you ask them, and be honest with them once you ask them so they can be prepared for the expectations.
I heard someone once say, “Think: who you would want to be stuck in an elevator with for a long period of time? Who would help you stay calm, make you laugh and reduce the stress of the situation?” Those are the friends you want to ask, and it is so true! They are the ones who will be there for you when times are tough or stressful, to make you laugh, reduce stress, and then on the wedding day, help you stay calm as you all pile into the bridal suite for hours of getting ready before the ceremony and then have a blast with you once the reception party kicks off!
What should the bridal party expect to pay for?
This will vary depending on who you ask. We advise our brides to let the wedding party know they are expected to cover the cost of their dress. Our brides don’t have the matchy-matchy bridesmaids outfits, so this gives their wedding party more freedom to pick a dress they are more likely to love and wear again.
Typically, the bridal party also teams up to host a bridal shower and the bachelorette party. Pending the extent of the bachelorette party, location and length of the trip will depend on who pays for what.
If the bride is not requiring everyone to get hair and makeup done by her makeup/hair artist, then it is the responsibility of each attendant choosing to do their own hair and makeup if they want to add this service. If the bride is requiring everyone to do hair and makeup a specific way,and use her hair and makeup artist, typically the bride would cover this cost.
My friend is planning a bachelor/ette party I will hate – what do I do?
Say something! While the thought of a bachelor/ette party is to surprise you and celebrate you and your upcoming wedding, it is okay to chime in early with some direction on what you do want — note the word direction, don’t take over.
Be mindful of what you are asking though regarding budget, length of time away, location, etc — if your wedding party is planning a trip to San Antonio when you envisioned Mexico, be realistic on this change request. If you envisioned a yoga retreat, instead of a penis-decorated 6th street getaway, let them know!
A special thank you to Heather Alana of Epoch Co+ for her invaluable help with those pesky, awkward situations that can derail the fun of your wedding day. If you’d like Epoch Co+ to help make your day the stress-free, wonderful day you’ve dreamed of, visit their Brides of Houston vendor page to contact them today!
Other Local Vendors: LoLa Beauty, Century Tree Productions, Tersilla and Co Floral, Prospect House, The Dress Theory, Breanna Bruner, Verdes Mexican Parilla