Today on The Forever Bride Show we are talking about the mindset the modern bride needs to be in to plan an almost stress free wedding.
[Ashley] Hi everyone. I am Ashley Hawks. This is The Forever Bride Show. Welcome back. Thank you so much for listening. If you haven't already subscribed by the way you should definitely subscribe. We publish a new podcast every Friday. I am so excited today to have a really good friend of mine. I know I say that every time, but you guys you know I bring my friends in, so this is Meghan Buck the owner and the lead a planner of buck & rose wedding planning. Meghan, thank you so much for being here.
[Meghan] Ashley, I'm so excited. Thank you so much for having me here. This is so cool and so fun.
[Ashley] So before we dive into the ideal mindset and we're talking a little bit about priorities, tell me a little bit about you and how you got into the wedding industry. Where did the beautiful name, buck & rose, come from?
[Meghan] Yeah. Well I am a newlywed. So my husband Alex and I got married last June, June 1st, and this journey really was what started buck & rose. I completely fell in love with wedding planning. Little to my knowledge I guess I didn't really understand that a few months after our wedding that I would be in this place where I'd want to start my own business. But ultimately I've been an entrepreneur at heart ever since I was a little girl. Like I had my own dog walking business, I made bobby pins that I sold at a local gift shop. So it's also reinforcing, like yes I am an entrepreneur and this is what I want to do. So I started buck & rose because I'm super organized. I love planning. I love checklists. I am totally that type A person that keeps everything organized and whether it's life planning, wedding planning, anything, I have everything at my fingertips that I need to be successful and I think a lot of people need help with that, especially when it comes to wedding planning. So buck & rose... I fell in love with the wedding industry. It's such a unique and cool industry to be in and like why would you not want to be in the wedding industry is always what I tell people, it's so fun! You get to meet new couples. Each of them has their own vision for their wedding. And it's such an emotional day but it's also such an honor to be there and be a part of that day too. And ultimately that's how I started my own wedding planning business because I planned my wedding myself and I fell in love and here I am and so I'm early in the stages of my business, but definitely excited for the upcoming season and I have some really exciting couples that I'm working with and can't wait to see how it goes.
[Ashley] I love it. I love it. If you check out Megan's listing on Forever Bride you'll notice that her logo is very representative. I mean buck & rose. Buck is your new married last name.
[Meghan] Yes. Thank you to my husband, Alex Buck. He's jealous that I get to be on a podcast before he does so I'm pretty cool today. But yeah. So Buck is our last name and everyone thinks Rose is my middle name but it's not. I mean that would be a cool story to tell, but rose is really just the feminine side of it. So I wanted to cater not only to brides but also the groom. It's important to attract the couple. It's a couple planning their wedding not just a bride. So Buck being the masculine side Rose being the feminine and my bridal bouquet was basically all roses. Roses are my favorite flower. So it just popped into my head one day and it stuck and I had that beautiful logo drawn up and the rest is history.
[Ashley] Love it. Yeah the logo is beautiful. You guys will have to check it out. Okay. So before we dive into the mindset, because we all know wedding planning is stressful. Hence, we have a podcast and a website and these Facebook groups because Lord knows that we need each other and we need as much advice and support. So before we go into the mindset something you and I were talking about was figuring out priorities before you start diving into all the planning and then the to do list. That's a mile long. Tell me about priorities and your advice for brides when they're first starting out.
[Meghan] Yeah. So establishing your priorities. I mean it's easy for me to say, from an outsider looking in and as a professional, but you need to establish what's important to you as a couple. So for a lot of people it's going to be that they have an open bar or maybe they want to splurge on a band instead of a dj or maybe they want to hire that luxury photographer. So really thinking about the event as a whole and for you as a couple. What is it about that day that's going to make this day memorable for you and what is it that you want or need. That's not a negotiable, so thinking of it that way. The second priority that you want to establish is the experience that you're gonna provide your guests. And I have a story about this so I'll dig into that in a minute here. But it's an event. Yes, it's your wedding day. Yes, you should have absolutely everything that you want.
[Meghan] We also need to remember that this is an event that your loved ones are coming to. Your family, your friends, your college roommates, all areas of life are going to be in one room. And so how do you make sure that you're having an experience for them that they're going to be comfortable at and that they're going to feel like they're celebrating you and they're not looking at their watch wondering when the dance is going to start. So my story behind this, and I'll try to keep it short and sweet, but recently we went to a wedding and every bride/every couple they have their own way of doing things right and totally totally fine, that's their prerogative. But there was a huge gap of time between the ceremony and the reception. So like a lot of times that happens you can go to a local bar, get a drink, have some dinner before the reception starts or a light snack. And we really didn't have anything to do. Like it literally was a 10 minute drive from the ceremony to the reception. So we went and sat at a Starbucks for nearly two and a half hours because it said on the invitation, 5:30pm cocktail. So we're like ok we can get there a little early; use the restroom, whatever, make some time of it. We get there... 5:30pm rolls around, there's no appetizers. There's no drinks.
[Ashley] What time was the ceremony?
[Meghan] It was at 2:30pm. And it was short. So it was done before 3:00pm. So finally I went up to the bar and asked. I said, “I just want to make sure we have the right time” and they're like, “Well yeah, it's the right time, but actually the bar isn't open until 6:30.” So hundreds of guests are not only having to kill two and a half hours but we're sitting and waiting at a table for the bar to even open to get a drink. It's just one of those things where, not even just as a wedding planner but as a person going to this wedding, you clearly didn't think of the guests. And not that you need to do all bells and whistles for your guests, but get them a drink. Let them have access to some food. At least make their wait comfortable. Instead of us wondering if everything was okay and like what's going on. Maybe the photography went over, maybe they ran into traffic on the way back. So yeah it was just not a great experience. That always stuck in my mind of like how can we prevent this in the future. And as a planner, making sure that the timelines are very detailed and if there is a wait, have something for your guests to do.
[Ashley] Right. And I think it's sometimes so easy for for a bride to get caught up in in her own timeline, in her own schedule, and I'm sure she had great intentions of doing these beautiful pictures and maybe wanted to not see the groom before the ceremony. There's a lot of brides that really hold that tradition. And I'm sure her two and a half hours was lovely with snacks and a beautiful bus ride and all of her girlfriends. But those are such important things that you can't miss. This is a very big party, there's lots of moving parts, there's lots of different people involved,and again this is where a wedding planner comes in. What did you say earlier? A wedding planner helps you....
[Meghan] It's supposed to maximize your budget. A wedding - a GOOD - wedding planner should help maximize your budget no matter what it is. And also help you save money. And so in the age that we're in a lot of brides plan their weddings from start to finish on their own. I mean I did it. I also knew that I could do it. I think there's a fine line between like, “Okay should I hire a wedding planner?” Because I think a lot of people think, “Oh that's only if I really have the budget for a wedding planner.” No. A wedding planner will help you save money in the long run and help you save a lot of stress and headache and help you avoid a lot of things. So the first thing that I always recommend people, after their venue, you should be hiring your wedding planner.
[Ashley] You had also mentioned something that I thought was interesting about like a wedding planner will help you go through those contracts, they understand that fine print, and they have great relationships with these other vendors too. And another thing to help you save money, they might be able to say, “hey you know what, you actually don't need that, that, and that. I know the venue is trying to push this or I know the cater is trying to push this...” but giving you that different perspective of what's needed and what isn't.
[Meghan] Yeah, it's really important, because a lot of your mindset can become so clouded so easily, because Pinterest is coming at you, magazines are coming at you, and your friends that got married before you all they had a donut wall that was so cool I want that, and it's really important to just have that support system that a wedding planner also is to hone you in and say, “hey let's relook at your priorities that you established,” which is what we're talking about now, “and let's really make sure that we're staying true to those,” because I can guarantee you at some point you're not.
[Ashley] So staying true to your priorities and maybe that could even be a date night? Going out, bring a cute little notebook, and say, “Okay what are our top priorities to us as a couple? What are the top priorities to our family? What are the top priorities to our friends? How do we kind of bring those all together? Then once we have those set, then the planning begins.”
[Meghan] Yeah. And that's the third priority is balancing both. So you, as a couple, your wants and needs, the experience that you want your guests to have, and also what your family envisions for your day too, because you know it's their day too/ I mean it's your wedding day, but you know if you're a daughter and your parents are proud you, like it's their baby getting married you know it's really emotional for everyone. So you need to balance both of those.
[Ashley] I never realized how much! I grew up in a bridal shop and I spent tons of time dealing with the mother of the bride and I got married, but it wasn't until I had my daughter and she’s only five. But just the thought of her having a wedding and like leaving me and getting married and doing that, like it's so emotional for me.
[Meghan] I have goose bumps right now thinking about it and I don't even have kids yet.
[Ashley] I get it now I get why it's so stressful and so emotional, because you spend those years literally doing everything for them. She depends on me for everything. In the bridal shop we would see too, the mom would pick something like, “Oh you like this. This is your style.” And the bride is like, “Mom I don't like that style anymore,” and the mom is just like, “What?! You used to!”
[Meghan] Mom’s trying!!
[Ashley] Okay, the five mindsets. If you aren’t driving you should write these down. They sound so simple when you list them off but you really go in depth with them. How did you come up with these?
[Meghan] From working with brides and also thinking of my personal experience. So for me I was one of the first in my friend group. I was the first to get married. So we discovered and learned a lot as me and my bridesmaids are planning together and it's just one of those things where I sat down and I started to think about the mindset of the modern bride and what is important and how do we kind of mask all that in together and stay focused on the priorities. So these five things are going to help establish and maintain those priorities hopefully too. So the first one is, it sounds very simple, but just being mindful.
[Meghan] So I think a lot of times you need to be present in planning your life outside of your wedding. Do not let wedding planning consume your entire life and it will be very hard to let that happen, because every friend, every co-worker, everyone in your life is going to ask how the planning is going. And immediately you're going to start listing off all of the things that you've done or all the things that you need to do. And more than likely you're going to get overwhelmed. So wedding planning, it literally can be a full time job on top of whatever you're doing in your life already. [Meghan] So being mindful and not letting that planning take over your life is so important. And so the first thing that I run into with brides, one of the first things I should say, is we'll be asking questions in the meeting and I’ll say when's your date and either they have the venue booked and it's locked and loaded or they don't have the venue but they're like, “Well I have this date in mind and it's July 15th, 2019 and that's because it's a year after we got engaged,” and it's like, “Okay, well that's a really popular date. First of all. Second of all, if you don't have a venue you cannot commit to a date. So don't send out your save the dates or anything yet.” And so that ties back into being mindful. Just being smart about the decisions that you're going to make. You're going to make a lot of decisions when you're planning your wedding and if you're not organized and you're not in the right mindset to even make those decisions. It can all become very cloudy very quickly. So just being mindful. Don't let it consume your life. Make sure that you have a plan and work the plan.
[Ashley] By jumping the gun, or you know making those big decisions without having all your ducks in a row, you're actually creating more work for yourself in the long run.
[Meghan] Yep. And I always recommend: have a day a week. I mean can you stick it to every Sunday? Is that the day that you and your fiancee are together where you can sit down or go to a coffee shop together and spend an hour or two on planning? Not the entire day. Make it a day date, make it a fun thing, but make sure that you have a lot of time on the calendar to say, “Hey this is our planning time together,” because so often brides will veer off and they'll do their own thing and then the fiancee doesn't know about it, but this is what he planned, and more than likely they want to make us happy so they're gonna say, “Yep, that's fine.” But you've got to be in it together. Your fiancee is your partner. You should be planning your wedding together and making sure that you're holding each other accountable, because so often it will become your entire life until your wedding day.
[Ashley] That is such a good point. This isn't just planning a wedding, this is you guys learning how to make decisions together. This is not the first big thing that you guys are going to go through. Buying a house, having children, different career changes. There are a lot of things. This is practice. You guys are learning how to get on the same page. You are learning how to communicate, how to create compromises when needed.
[Meghan] Yeah it's good practice. So that's the first one. Just being mindful, don't let it consume. The second one that I want to talk about is: Emotional. So this one I think a lot can be said about. It's emotional as it is, but it's your wedding day. I'm thinking more about the wedding day. So like what could you do the moment you find something that goes wrong, because something will. Here's the thing, if you have a wedding planner, they're really really good about handling those things that come up and you more than likely will not even notice that anything happened. That's our job as a wedding planner, to be there to handle those things, like we don't know where the cake went. We don't know where the D.J. is. Let us handle that. We're the buffer, we're going to handle all those things logistically. The other thing is if you don't have either a wedding planner or a personal attendant or someone the day of to help you with that you could become bridezilla very easily. I was at a wedding and the DJ lost the playlist, like literally lost the entire playlist. Something went wrong with his computer. The couple spent a lot of time obviously picking their songs and it came down to dancing time and no one could find the playlist. So the maid of honor is the one going up there like, “What the heck. Where's the playlist?!” So good thing maid of honor went up there and not the bride because here's the thing your guests are going to remember you being a total bridezilla and I don't think anyone really wants to be a bridezilla.
[Ashley] That follows you forever. By the way I have friends that were like that and we all got married 10 plus years ago and still to this day I'll see her. We'll run into each other in the grocery store and I remember! I remember she was crazy crazy. You don't want to be remembered for that, you want to be remembered for the beautiful event and a gracious bride. Or maybe not. I don't know. What do you want to be remembered for?!
[Meghan] For me, I wanted to be remembered very graciously. And you know, as a great host. The other thing is at your wedding you also need to think that you're the host. Like it's your wedding. And so Maid of Honor did a great job handling it. They got everything figured out. But like boy that could have gone so wrong. Like bride going up there throwing a tantrum?! Just walk away for 10 minutes, go get a drink with your new groom. Let them handle it. because your guests are going to remember you being a bridezilla. They're not going to remember that Single Ladies didn't play at the top of your bouquet toss. You will remember that. Your guests will not.
[Meghan] So that's emotional. The third one is: family mindset. So what type of a family mindset can you embody when you're planning your special day. It's the bride's day. It's your day. But you also need to make sure that you're having a conversation with your family about their expectations of the event. And so how do you do that without stepping on toes and without hurting feelings? Because again, it's one of those things where you don't think about it until you're in it. So weddings have changed so drastically even in the past few years. To even think about like when my mom got married or when my grandma got married. I ran into this planning my wedding, traditional things come up and it's like, well... we don't really want to do that. That's not our thing. We don't really want to go that route. So thinking about the planning process early on and level setting with everyone. The first conversation that you really should have, beyond you as a couple, is with parents and grandparents and what they expect and what they want to see. And I have a personal example that comes to my mind for me.
[Meghan] When we were planning our wedding, Alex and I - and this literally just came up naturally, like it's not something that we planned in the beginning - wwe decided we just didn't want to have kids at our wedding and that can ruffle a lot of feathers. So Alex has a lot of friends with kids and toddlers and they're cute and they're adorable and we love them. I actually had a friend that just had had a baby. And so I thought about her bringing a newborn to the wedding and at our wedding it was not a wedding that is easy for people to leave. It was out in the country. And so if you're bringing your kids you're committing to that and you're committing to watching them the entire time. And so for us, it was us thinking about the guests and our friends with kids. What kind of experience do we want them to have? We wanted them to have a fun date night and make our wedding kid free. We're gonna have fun. Everyone's gonna dance. Everyone's gonna have good food and good drinks. And so that's where we clicked and it was like OK. Yeah, no kids either at the ceremony or the reception.
[Ashley] I love that. And being a mother now, I've been on both sides of that. I've been where I have brought the babies to the wedding and it's a very different experience. You know I'm still changing diapers and I'm still being this little like monkey wrangler. You know everybody wants to hold the baby and the baby cries and I'm always being aware of where I am and I hope the baby doesn't cry during the speeches and it's not just that cute little like sparkly cocktail purse you get the whole diaper bag with you and you've got the snacks. What if they don't have food for the kids? I'm not gonna be able to stay out that late. Kids go to bed at 8:00. I think that if you really want to do that and that is a priority to you, I almost like it, because it forces me to get the babysitter! Mommy and Daddy going out!
[Meghan] And that's the response that we got from everyone pretty much. Like, “Oh yeah. Like we're totally fine with a kid free wedding like we'll get a sitter. We're gonna make a night of it. It'll be great.” And so we made that decision. Alex's family is not from here, so ultimately it's harder for us to communicate and it was a busy time. We were both working full time jobs and planning our wedding and honestly it was an oversight on my part. So the one person that we forgot to talk to about this was Alex's parents. Alex's mom to be specific - and I love my mother in law, Diane if you're listening, love you so much! - But I have a good example here and I want to use it.
[Meghan] I think the biggest thing for me was like she's never been to a wedding without kids. So the kids have always been like the big focal point. You have a kids dance, you a kids table, and for me like I haven't really been to that many weddings where there have been kids so it's two totally different experiences. So initially I didn't think it would be a big deal. So I had to have a pretty honest conversation with her and ultimately it was fine in the end and on the wedding day she's like, “Oh my gosh. Now I know why you didn't want kids here because it was a very beautiful event,” and it was one of those things where it's like kids just didn't fit for our day.
[Ashley] I liked what you said earlier, it's managing expectations and having those healthy lines of communication. I think of all the things that can go wrong with wedding planning, whether it's with your friends, your family, your vendors, it all comes down to communication.
[Meghan] 99% of any problems that occur are because of communication. Rarely ever is it anything else like things don't just happen, it's because someone didn't communicate. So I learned a lesson there and I pride myself on being a really good communicator so that one I was kind of like... oh shoot what did I do, I kind of forgot to talk to one of the most important people, but it's just one of those things make sure you talk to your family early and once you establish those priorities or if you establish new ones while you're planning you're going back to say, hey actually this is what we think about now and these are our new priorities.
[Ashley] Okay so those of you who are taking my advice and doing cute little posts and sticking them on your mirrors you look at them every day. First one, mindful. Second, emotional. Third, family and managing expectations. I'm adding that little piece. Yeah it's so good little nuggets of wisdom. Catch these!
[Meghan] Then, I'll go on to the fourth. So this one's physical. Just having a routine to keep yourself physically mindful. This one I think comes up so much when we talk about brides and planning their wedding and the amount of physical activity they're going to go at for that moment in their dress. And I'm not talking about that. I’m more talking about like, “Do you have time for you?” Like are you taking the time in your week, in your day, to go to that yoga class? Are you going to spin? Are you getting to the gym? For me it's one of those things that I definitely lost sight of. And when I lose sight of the things that are important to me I become really irritated really quickly. I get really stressed and little things will bother me that normally don't. And I lose my cool. So you want to stay calm. You want to stay cool, you want to stay collected. And if you don't have time for you, whether that be, if it's not physical, are you going to get a pedicure? Are you treating yourself to a day at the hair salon? Are you getting that time? Wedding planning should not consume your life. So how are you taking care of yourself? And for me, my thing is yoga. I go to yoga three to four times a week. And I feel so much better when I do. And when I lose sight of that, in my opinion, I think people become less likely to be successful at whatever they're planning, whether it be a huge event, like a wedding, or just managing their life and their lifestyle.
[Ashley] A couple weeks ago we had health and wellness coach, Nicole Bates, on and we were talking not so much about like the physical exercise, but even the food that you're putting in your body during stressful times. You know if you're taking in tons of sugar, alcohol, caffeine, things like that, it can actually create unnecessary stress. Stress in a situation that normally you would have been able to handle just fine and talk through it. Now, because of that lack of nutrients your brain isn't functioning as quickly as it normally did or you're a little bit more emotional. So just not only getting to the gym or going on a walk on your lunch hour but feeding your body the food that it needs in order to be able to function mentally at the level you need to be.
[Meghan] Yeah it's so important. I think any bride or any person who has a busy lifestyle, it's easily the thing that they put on the backburner just because it's like, “Oh I don't have time for that today. I don't have time to go do that for myself today. I'll do it later and I'll do it tomorrow or I'll do it next week,” and then it's really hard to get back on track.
[Ashley] Oh yeah. Because you're busy, you're working your job and you're planning a wedding, which is another full time job, we can all agree. It's a lot easier to like grab that Diet Coke and a candy bar versus meal prepping and making a salad and cutting up veggies.
[Meghan] Then, the last one that I have is financial, which I think a lot of people think of that when planning their wedding. But I just want to talk a little bit about setting a realistic budget so you can have a fantastic wedding on a budget. I think that's like the most common misconception about your wedding is that you have to spend a lot of money to have a nice wedding. That's not the case.
[Meghan] Recently, I was talking to a bride who's getting married and I felt so bad because we were talking about how her planning is going and she's like it's going pretty well but I'm so overwhelmed with the amount of money that we're spending, this is not normal. And for most people it's not. You've never spent this much money in your life on one day! So to get all your vendors nailed down, to sign those contracts, you have to have money to put down and it's really stressful for a lot of people. But you don't have to spend a lot of money to have a nice wedding. So we were talking about little tips and tricks that she could do to maintain her budget. For her it was her dream venue, like she hadn't even booked her venue yet. And you can't really plan your wedding until you have your venue. I mean you can, sort of. You can do little things here and there, but that's like your number one thing. And I just felt so bad because she easily could have like a nice backyard wedding. I told her, go find someone, find a family member, find a relative, a friend with a gorgeous backyard and have an outdoor wedding. Like I would love if I could do that and save money on a venue and then splurge on the food, the DJ, the photographer, like all of the other things. So when you set your budget you have to talk to your family.Because more and more nowadays it's the couple that's paying for their wedding, which is really unique and really cool, because then they have more control over what is important to them and establishing those priorities. But more likely than not you're going to have family help too. Like the bride's family is going to help, the groom's family will help, and it's uncomfortable but you have to have the conversation of how much. You know we got to talk money honey! And it's a little uncomfortable. But once you have that nailed down you're going to feel so much better and you're going to be able to plan clearly and realistically.
[Ashley] That's so good. And it ties right back into your priorities. Before you start anything, get those priorities down. Get them on paper. What is important to you, what is important to your fiancee. what is to you know you guys as a couple, your family, and then everything else slowly starts falling into place with the communication. It all keeps coming back to communication. I'm talking all of it. Just making sure that the right people are in the loop.
[Meghan] You're making smart decisions. So yes, those are the five things that I think the modern bride really needs to plan their wedding successfully.
[Ashley] So looking back at your wedding, because you're still a newlywed, you just got back from your honeymoon. We should post a picture to your trip. Looked absolutely gorgeous! That would be a really great blog too, talking about your honeymoon and how it does and maybe some advice that you have. I'm sure that you've got now so much more insight into what to do and not to do on a honeymoon but tell me what is something after planning your own wedding that you're like, “Man I wish I would have known that before.”
[Meghan] Oh that's such a good question. I think for me, I really was so proud that our guests left that wedding and they were like oh my gosh that was the most fun we've had at a wedding in so many years. I think for me it might have been scaled back a little bit. Like I mean we spent a lot of money on things that we didn't need. And so now as a wedding planner, I was not a wedding planner when I had my own wedding, but you think about the things that you spend money on. And our ceremony and reception was very beautiful and it was very refined, but I still think that I could even go back and like I could maximize my own budget a little bit more now that I know what I know and thinking back on. Like all of the things that the guests told me that they had a blast with was the food. We did like Southern comfort food. It was really fun, easy to eat, like it wasn't a pleated beautiful dinner. It was like barbecue pork, mac and cheese, salad, and corn, and it was awesome. It was a summer wedding that was fun. It was like oh we're at a barbecue! And so then people are outside and they're at the bar and then they're inside dancing, but it's just one of those things where looking back, I probably could have done like really cool desserts instead we did doughnuts, but like could I have done like an ice cream bar or like something else had I forgone something else?
[Ashley] That's really great advice. Thank you. And we're going to have all these show notes up on our website and we'll have links for you to be able to learn more about Meghan and buck & rose. The reason you hire a planner, I love this, I wrote it down, is to maximize your budget. Because some people will ask me they're like well I can't afford a wedding planner but that's that's such a great response is actually you can!
[Meghan] You can. And a good one will help you have your dream wedding on whatever your budget is.
[Ashley] That's so good. So you can follow Meghan, buck & rose on Instagram (@buckandorseweddings) as well as Facebook (@buckandrose). Make sure that you are subscribing to The Forever Bride Show on iTunes or wherever you listen to your podcast to make sure that you guys stay updated. Our shows come out every Friday.Meghan, thank you so much for coming on today. You were a wonderful!
[Meghan] Thank you! This was so fun.
[Ashley] Thank you all for listening. I'm Ashley hawks and this is Forever Bride.