The Down Side of Micro-Managing Your Wedding

I’ve heard the term ‘micro-managing’ used for years, never knowing the exact definition of it until last summer when I encountered a young woman about to get married. This well intended young lady actually took on the task of overseeing every minute detail of her wedding to the point where she wanted the exact same number of green leaves in each bouquet. She examined every picture and product under a figurative microscope to a degree that probably sent every vendor to therapy after the event was over. This  management style, known as “micro-managing,” is defined by a petty  approach to managing every detail of one’s business. Imagine Donald Trump checking the copier every day to see how much toner is left… that’s micro-managing.

So, how do detail oriented couples get past the urge to micro-manage?

Start with a list. Prioritize everything that you, as a couple, find important and sign it. Use that list to avoid future arguments and make sure you both have your list at all times. This way you can say “Hey, that’s not on the list – so let’s not worry too much about it.”

Divert attention. Keeping yourself otherwise occupied will remind you that you are not defined by this event. Making it a priority and letting it consume all aspects of your life are two entirely different things.

Delegate. If someone offers to do something for you, let them do it. Pick up color samples, drop off a deposit check, place stamps on the invitation envelopes…. these are things that can be done by any responsible person. Responsible is the key word.

Hire professionals. Hiring reliable, trustworthy professionals to do the work will alleviate a lot of stress. A certified wedding planner will look after every detail so you don’t have to. They have established relationships within the industry, they can find deals, shortcuts and have experience with common mistakes. Using a wedding planner will cut your urge to micro-manage in half.

The one detail you can and should manage is to always check references. Never use a vendor that has no portfolio or client testimonials. Don’t settle for what they have listed on their website or in a brochure, you need to do some legwork; talk to clients, check with the BBB and other resources.

If you remember your priorities, trust each other and hire reliable vendors, there will be no need to spend every waking hour filling your appointment book with trivial, time-consuming, meaningless tasks.

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago


Wedding Expenses – Who Pays For What?

Many years ago it was completely understood that the bride’s family paid for the wedding. The groom’s family paid for the rehearsal dinner and the honeymoon and everything else was up to the parents of the bride. Of course times change. Today’s couples are not only slightly older but, have usually lived alone or out of their parents home for an extended period of time. Nowadays, aside from how much you are going to spend on your wedding, the next biggest concern regarding your budget is who pays for what.

Before you start making the guest list, have an open honest conversation with all parents at the same time. Ask how much they are able or willing to contribute and then you can move on to figuring out how much you are able or willing to spend, keeping in mind that the average U.S. wedding cost hovers around $30,000.  Having an honest conversation will determine everything from where you have the wedding to what you will wear and avoid any unpleasantness related to the cost of the wedding.

In most cases, everybody has already had the discussion about finances leading up to the moment when the engagement ring arrives and they know full well how much they are going to contribute. In rare cases, nobody has any clue about their responsibilities. In order to avoid stepping on anyone’s toes, here is a slightly modified traditional checklist of ‘who pays for what’ and remember these are NOT rules, just guidelines.

Bride & Family:

  • Invitations, announcements, programs, Thank You notes, place cards, guest book and accessories.
  • Church or synagogue, musicians, organist,
  • Bridal Gown, veil, shoes, accessories and trousseau.
  • Flower arrangements for Church, Reception, Bridesmaid Bouquets and Huppah ( for Jewish ceremonies)
  • All professional services, including food, drink, decorations, and music.
  • Engagement Party and all related expenses.
  • All Photography and video.
  • Groom’s ring.
  • Wedding transportation to and from ceremony and reception.

Groom & Family:

  • Marriage License and officiant fees.
  • Groom’s outfit
  • Bride’s bouquet and going-away corsage, boutonnieres for men, and corsages for mothers and grandmothers.
  • Complete honeymoon.
  • Rehearsal dinner.
  • Bride’s ring.

Of course this is merely a guideline and anyone who is willing to help is encouraged to do so. The absolute best scenarios are when everyone works together and shares the expenses equally.

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago