You’ve been thinking about your wedding for what feels like forever. You know that it will be the most important day of your life, and you want everything to go perfectly. But how much do you really know about planning a wedding? With so many decisions to make, where should you start? Are there any tips or tricks that can help make this process easier?
We sat down for an interview with Imtazur Rahman – Wedding Planner who offers advice from his experience in planning weddings for over 10 years.
Imtazur Rahman, who is a Wedding Planner with over ten years of experience in the field, offers advice on some important decisions. According to Imtazur “It’s all about what you want.” He advises that couples write their own vows and really think about every detail because it will be more meaningful than anything they might purchase or get from someone else. It’s also imperative for both families to respect each other’s traditions so the wedding reflects everyone’s beliefs. A candidate wedding venue can have an impact on how much people spend when planning a reception; if guests are traveling far distances then there should be adequate meal options at your wedding location otherwise consider hosting a lunch event beforehand as something less expensive yet still memorable enough.
What do you consider to be the most important thing when planning a wedding for someone?
The most important thing when planning a wedding for someone is to make it their own. The couple should think about everything from the location, food and drink options as well as every detail of their service so that they can create something special and meaningful with meaning only to them. Even down to having parents walk with each other or hand off an object during the ceremony! It’s also imperative that families respect each other’s traditions in order to work together on all aspects of the event: dinner menus, decorations, attire etc., so you don’t feel like your family wasn’t represented because you didn’t want them there anymore than necessary. Remember not everyone plans weddings out loud but if you’re anything like me then I’m happy enough.
How did you decide to become a wedding planner?
I had a long career in the fashion industry and I always knew that when I retired from my position as Creative Director for one of Canada’s leading wedding dress makers, that it was time to take on something new. My first love is weddings! There are so many details involved with planning any event but at weddings there can be even more pressure because everything has to work out perfectly. I really enjoy working closely with couples who might not have all the answers right away or feeling like they’re over their heads. It takes patience and compassion too!
Seeing two people you know together suddenly say “yes” makes your heart sing knowing how happy this moment will make them both feel forever after. Wedding planning is such an honour and privilege!
What do you enjoy the most about your job as a wedding planner?
I really enjoy working closely with couples who might not have all the answers right away or feeling like they’re over their heads. It takes patience and compassion too!
What have been some of the most memorable weddings that you’ve planned for clients?
A wedding planner’s work never stops so it can be a challenge to think about just one, but I’ll share one from my own experience as well as another client’s story: One time we were contacted by a couple whose daughter was getting married in less than three weeks’ time – she had been planning for a year, but the death of her father had changed all that. We rearranged everything to make it as beautiful and meaningful as possible, even with such short notice!
Another client’s wedding was in North Carolina – she lived in Boston and he came from London so they were both flying over. It took some doing on our end because their story didn’t seem like it would be any different than anyone else who might get married across an ocean, but when we finally met them we realized how important those details really are: His mum gave him his pocket square and I was able to find one at home that matched not only color-wise but style too. That just felt special to me.
Do you have any funny stories?
Yes, and I am so glad you asked. One of the funniest stories is when a bride wanted us to ask her guests for money instead of gifting them something at their wedding. It was just too bizarre for me – we had never seen anything like that before!
I also remember one time when somebody told my colleague “There’s no way these flowers are going to last more than three hours.” He agreed with them and then they got up on stage and said “These flowers will bloom forever!” You could have heard a pin drop in there 🙂
Did you ever plan a wedding that didn’t go through?
I have, actually. It’s not the worst thing to happen in this industry – it happens all of the time! I think what makes me so sad is that there was a miscommunication between my client and her fiancé- even though we did our job with everything else on their wedding day. They had an extravagant wedding planned and only one guest showed up because they thought they were going to be getting married at another location.
When he came back from his trip overseas, she dropped off all of these gifts for him…they got divorced shortly after too 🙁
What are some tips you would give someone planning a wedding?
Just take care of yourself first during your process and make sure you don’t lose sight of who you are.
Don’t compare yourself to others and try not to let social media dictate your happiness with what you have or don’t have for a wedding day!
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
“The key is in self-acceptance.” It was given by my therapist, who helped me through many tough times while I was dealing with an eating disorder.
I’m so grateful every day for her guidance because it made all the difference in how I viewed myself – which allowed me to see life on a more positive side 🙂
What do your friends think about you being a wedding planner?
My friends think it’s awesome! I always laugh and tell them, “I’m the only guy in this business!” Haha.
What are your thoughts on wedding trends?
Trends can be tricky because they’re constantly changing so fast that one minute you love something but then when a new trend comes out the next day – you completely despise it. That being said, there are some things that will never go away like matching bride and groom outfits 🙂
Should customers expect to pay more for flowers or other decorating items if they pick a certain color theme?
No! The price of all items is priced according to how much time goes into making each piece. So picking any color won’t make an item cost more than another.
What is your favorite wedding venue?
I think it’s really important to find a place that has meaning for the couple and their families. For instance, if you’re getting married in New York City – why not get married at Tavern on the Green or somewhere close to home like Central Park! I can’t tell you how many couples come to me saying they want an outdoor ceremony but only when we start looking do they realize there are no parks nearby so all of those ideas go down the drain 🙁
Can you tell us about some of your best memories from past weddings?
One thing that stands out right away was one bride who planned her ENTIRE wedding with just my recommendations (minus flowers) because she wanted everything tailored perfectly to her (I didn’t charge anything extra for that). I remember she was so happy and excited on the wedding day, it brought tears to my eyes.
Another favorite memory is when a bride said “thank you” after the ceremony because we had helped make sure their special day went smoothly and they were able to get everything done in time! That’s why weddings are so great – no matter what happens, at least there will be something worthwhile from them.
What advice would you give other couples who are planning their big day?
First of all: plan early!!! It can take anywhere from three months up to nine months just for venue location searching/reservation confirmations alone! And secondly…don’t sweat the small stuff. Yes, it’s all about details in a wedding but there’s no need to get caught up on every little detail and make yourself crazy!
Is it easy for you to say “no” when clients want things that are outside of your job description?
I don’t know if I can give an honest answer to this question because some people do think everything is my responsibility at weddings (even though I’m just the planner!). But overall, yes – telling someone something they want isn’t possible sometimes is hard for me personally. It really depends on what they’re asking or how serious their request is; whether or not it would be unreasonable for them to have seen beforehand. For example: if someone asks me to make the flowers for their wedding, I would say no because that’s not my job.
But if they ask me whether or not it’s possible for them to come in and have a look at how we do our bouquets so that they can see what flower arrangements are possible – then of course! That wouldn’t be an unreasonable request on their part seeing as we’re experts.