Interview with a past bride and groom: “Choose to work with top vendors”

Given the fact that you are working in the event planning field and have so many tools at hand, was there anything you didn’t know about weddings before and found out only after your wedding took place? 

In the last 15 years we have organized over 1000 weddings in our own event halls, to which, if I add the weddings that I have advised nationally and internationally, we will easily jump to more than 2000. Honestly, as a wedding provider it is much easier to organize the weddings of others than your own, because you get involved emotionally-professionally and not emotionally-personally. No matter how much experience you have, when you organize your wedding, things will change completely – And to answer shortly your question: Yes! You find out new things, because this time you are not only a director, you are also an actor. 

By organizing our own wedding, I discovered some new things, and I confirmed others, so I will make you a random top 10 and come with some recommendations:

1. You can lose 10 kg in less than a month. Although it may seem unbelievable, my advice is to have the tailor close, because the suit and the wedding dress need adjustments, otherwise they might fall off you at the wedding. P.S. a pair of suspenders for men will do wonders!

2. You have a chance to “divorce” until the wedding, because the stress is at alarming levels and there are frequent quarrels with your partner regarding everything, including the day of the event. I recommend arm yourself with a lot of patience, understanding, hugs and love. 

3. You can survive sleeping an average of 4-5 hours a night. But, in order not to miss the wedding, I recommend a lot of hydration and supplements. Oh, and one more thing, hire a make-up artist and a good photographer if you want to look good on your wedding photos, considering that the fatigue you accumulate shows on your face. 

4. Plan everything in advance, leave nothing for the last minute. Although, it’s easy to say, this is the hardest thing to do, because you actually forget that your wedding is not the only one in the country, and the good vendors are booked quickly, the accommodation rooms as well, the wedding dress takes time until it’s ready, wedding rings – the same and so on. 

5. Take into account the professionals’ advice and not of your neighbors’. We have applied everything we have been preaching to the bride and groom for years and once again we have confirmed that professionalism beats amateurism. Nevermore, a person who has been invited to ten events, can advise you better than one who has organized hundreds. 

7. Guests are your most important asset at the wedding. Invite quality people and your event will be of quality. 

8. Whatever choice you make, make it a goal for your guests, not just for yourself. The day after the wedding, a friend who is also a vendor told me: “You know what I liked most about your wedding, the fact that even though you spent a lot of money, nothing was opulent, only good taste prevailed”. The difference between opulence and good taste is the reason why you organize your event: to prove how good you are or to create a truly unforgettable experience for the guests… it is your choice!

9. Not everyone you invite comes to your wedding, even if you have been to their wedding, even if they have moral or financial debts to you, even if they are very good friends. Accept this as something natural, don’t get angry, don’t change yourself as a human being. In the end, you don’t accept going to someone’s event because you want to prove it to them, but because that’s how you are, an educated person with beautiful principles. Rely on 80% of the total invitations sent and focus on the people who came there, not the ones who couldn’t come. 

10. Although I left it for last, the most important thing I discovered at the wedding was the fact that I realized with my wife that we can do amazing things together and that we have a lot of people who love us and stand by us. After our son, our wedding was the most important project we created together, because it involved all our loved ones. Start the road on the right foot, so I wholeheartedly recommend treating the wedding as the most important event of your life. Nowadays there are enough materials to help you, you just have to want to educate yourself in this matter. 

10.1 And as an addition … I think the most beautiful thing after the wedding was what I became and how my relationship with my wife got even stronger. At the end of the wedding, after everyone had left, my wife and I, alone on a sofa on the terrace, watched the sunrise, and a feeling of gratitude, mutual admiration and fulfillment graced our souls. It is worthwhile to get involved in organizing an extraordinary wedding, just to live these feelings. 

In conclusion … no matter how much experience you have under your belt, organizing your own wedding makes you discover new things, but especially to feel emotions that you have never felt before. 

How long did you plan your wedding and how did it remain in your memory?

We are a “pandemic” bride and groom, that’s what I call those who were supposed to organize their wedding in 2020, but they had to postpone it for a year because of the pandemic. Just 4 weeks before the wedding I found out that we are allowed to organize our wedding, so apart from the basic vendors (location, photo-video, bartender, photo booth, sweets shop, dancers) who were hired in advance, everything else we prepared in just 4 weeks: decoration, menu, floral arrangements, wedding dress, groom’s suit, wedding rings, location for the bride and groom, program, invitations, the bride and groom’s dance alongside the song, etc. I could talk about each a lot, but we’ll need some time, maybe if those who read us are interested we will make a detailed video. 

How did you expect the wedding to unfold compared to how it unfolded in reality? 

Honestly, no matter how well you prepare, you still have emotions until proven otherwise. Deep down I wanted our event to be an experience for every guest, especially since the expectations were 10x higher than at any other wedding, we being the biggest event planners in our area, everyone was curious about how our wedding would unfold. Conclusion: the wedding was far beyond our expectations. You can see it by yourself here https://bit.ly/nuntamacsidana 

Is there anything else that went completely wrong?

Yeah, we didn’t listen to our photographers when they told us “Come on, NOW!!!” and I missed the sunset photo session, but we made up for it during the wedding 🙂 

Which one do you think is the most beautiful/ unique/ emotional or unusual memory of that day? 

Wow …it’s a hard question because there were many such moments. But the one that stuck in my mind was the first time I saw my wife dressed as a bride. The photographers suggested to do a “first look” session and the word that comes to my mind to describe the moment is “sublime”. Then I felt an emotional charge that you rarely have the opportunity to live during your life. On this occasion, I would like to thank GrabaZeii for immortalizing the moment. 

What were the sources of inspiration when you chose the theme of the wedding, the color or the other services? 

DANA: Until our wedding we had time to dream about everything possible in this world, only when the time arrived, we had to focus on something that has a connection strictly with us, our family and even the friends who will be alongside us.

Within the “Atelierul cu flori si cadouri” the company I run and through which I embellish over 100 events annually, I always had great challenges to which I responded brilliantly, this time the biggest challenge was the challenge of our wedding. 

Honestly, it didn’t take me long to think, it was like a divine sign. :)) Usually what I dream off at night, I implement it on the next day.

Even my husband, Mac, I wanted to surprise him and told him to weigh everything on me. 

I only knew that I needed a floral design to include the big family that will be with us. 

A little from the Russian design, a bit of Lebanese beauty, a bit of Romanian boldness and the “Tree of Life” came out at the Palatul Mirilor (*Palace of the Bride and Groom) in Tecuci, in fact, this theme has at its core our family, friends and loved ones who have taken root in our hearts and on the wedding day they proved to be the strongest Tree of Life in the world.

I chose bright colors, cyclamen, pink, orange, and yellow, everything was vibrant. Then the flowers. I tried to choose the most unusual and rare flowers, such as: coral peonies, hydrangeas in strange colors that I placed in the form of a living tree, with a trunk and branches full of flowers. 

I placed a note of elegance with candles on each table and illuminated each floral design. The atmosphere was romantic and full of fairytale, just the way we wanted and dreamt of. 

Even the design of the hall, the invitations had the same theme, which by the way, we also designed. The perfect invitation was obviously of the most superlative quality, because it was made by my husband, because obviously he is the one who knows all the secrets in making the best wedding invitations.

All this time, as my husband said, the tension had spoken and I did not stop believing and allowing myself to admit that our wedding or wedding details would be something trivial, I had demands from this event and I knew that our guests have high expectations. 

Our team, Mac and Dana, worked under pressure, with moments of exhaustion, nerves stretched to the limit, a situation that did nothing but make us stronger and more united, with much greater trust in each other and with gratitude to God that we knew each other.

In the end, the reaction of the loved ones was above all the expectations and in fact this was proof that we felt what they were expecting.

And for everything to be more than perfect, after our wedding, a few weeks ago, we were surprised to find out that 2021 had the international theme of the year as the “tree”. What could be more beautiful than being step in step with trends and being appreciated.

Divine!

On what criteria did you choose all the service vendors and how much time and energy did you give to this stage of planning? 

The main criteria for choosing our vendors was: the guest. Knowing very well those we invited at our wedding, I intuited what they would like to see, to hear, to taste, to smell, to feel. No matter how much money you invest in an event, if no one participates, it is equal to zero. Out of this we can easily conclude that the guests are more important than money and that choices must be made in such a way as to even the balance between what you want and the necessity to be a good host. Being in the field, I knew very clearly which are the providers I want with me on board, because together we have to be a team, but in general I recommend the bride and groom to invest not necessarily time, but energy (in learning) in choosing the vendors. To learn what questions to ask, how to differentiate them, how to discover good quality services, how to figure out which ones are serious and especially which ones are right for their wedding. 

Is there an investment that was not worth it?

At my bridal classes there is a section called S.A.V.E. which is the acronym for Services that Add Value to your Event or services that save your wedding from monotony. At these courses I teach the bride and groom how to choose the right categories of services for their event, services that should give them value or as you say: that are worth the investment. So, at our wedding, there was absolutely no service that was not worth the money, on the contrary, everyone deserved it. 

How much did each of you get involved in the wedding planning?

Will it sound weird if I say 110%? Because the wedding involves all the important people in your life – family, friends, acquaintances, obligations – your brain understands that you have to dedicate yourself at least 100% if you want your wedding to be the best, or at least to go as planned. Being in the field of weddings, we had no choice because our inner professionals came to surface. For the brides and grooms who read this article, we must tell that the greatest joy for us, people who are also wedding vendors, is when the bride and groom give us the free hand and budget to offer them a wedding they hadn’t even imagined yet. And at our wedding we had the freedom to do everything the way we wanted by involving 110%. And let me tell you: it was worth it. 

If you were to get married again, would you do something different? 

Yes, we would do the sunset photo session :), and regarding the planning we would start it earlier.

How did you choose the photographer? What mattered the most in the decision making process?

Do you know that I have a whole course on how to choose photo services? It was a little easier for us because we knew what you were doing and your way to be. But for brides and grooms our advices would sound like this: 

1. Follow the photographer’s portfolio and see if you like the style. What I love about you is that your style is extremely natural and clean. The first question you asked me was what I wanted from our wedding photos, and when I told you I wanted to see the emotion, you said perfect … and so it was. 

2. See how you resonate with the photographer, because your relationship will be quite intimate. If you do not feel comfortable around the photographer, change him quickly. We perceive you as family members, we laugh together, we joke, we tell personal things and we like that a lot, because there is a mutual trust. 

3. Check the photographer’s equipment. Even if you don’t know how, with a google search you can immediately find out if they have the latest equipment or just an amateur camera. You don’t have to understand the functions of the camera, but the fact that the photographers have latest generation instruments tells you about them that they love their job and want to evolve by always investing in their work. Basically, the equipment is hand in hand with the professionalism degree of the photographer. 

4. Check if the photographer can shoot in the dark 🙂 Sounds weird, but we wanted the wedding to take place only in architectural and stage lights, and we wanted a photographer who could photograph in the dark but not use the flash and spoil the colors. I wasn’t worried about the Grabazei photographers because they knew from the start what to do. 

5. Make sure the photographer has enough staff for your number of people. The bigger the wedding is, the more people you want to take photos of, respectively one or more assistants. And you are a great and fine team. 

The list goes on and on, but these are the most important things I think you should consider when choosing a photographer. 

What do you think you would have missed the most if working with us had not been possible?

Sincerely. Pantiiiiiiiiies !!! You know what I mean 😉 ! The fun we had together, beyond the super photos.

What advice would you give to those who are planning a wedding?

Be wise before the wedding, not after! Learn to organize your wedding, learn to choose your providers, learn how to treat your guests and you will live unforgettable moments! Last but not least, be thankful that you have found your other half and that you are surrounded by a lot of people who love you and want to be close to you on such a special day – your wedding!

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