Calgary

Tips and tricks to keep your wedding on track from a planning pro

When Hallie Broadribb was planning her wedding almost six years ago she factored weather into the plans. Here's some other things to think about when tying the knot.

'Bridezilla is somebody that is stressed out, somebody that is overwhelmed, that really, really needs help'

Some last minute changes were needed the day Hallie Broadribb married Dan Robertson near Peace River, Alta., in July 2011 due to weather, but some solid planning allowed the wedding to continue without a hitch. (David Bell/CBC)

When Hallie Broadribb was planning her wedding almost six years ago, she factored weather into the plans.

"We held out hope until the early morning of our wedding day for the rain to stop. It did not," Broadribb told CBC News from her Valleyview, Alta., home on Saturday.

Hallie Broadribb says she had a village of amazing women behind her on her wedding day, July 23, 2011. (David Bell/CBC)

"Our plan had to change, but it mattered not at all. I have a village of amazing women that have always taken care of me. I guess the plan had always been to go with the weather, so in a way the day did go according to plan."

And planning is one of the keys to having your wedding go off without a hitch, a Calgary wedding planner says.

"A lot of brides want to do it all themselves of course," Lynn Fletcher told The Homestretch this week.

"It is admirable of them to think they can do so, but they really do need to assemble a great, great team of professionals as well as friends and family. Lots of mommies and aunties want to help out there, so delegation is the key."

Calgary wedding planner Lynn Fletcher says taking on too much is a common mistake made by new brides. (Submitted by Lynn Fletcher)

Fletcher says the biggest mistake she often sees, is underestimating the amount of work involved.

"Incubate some stuff, do some research. Talk to lots of options when you are shopping for a wedding planner or a decorator or a florist. Interview a few. Make sure that you do your industry research so that you are well informed and you can make the best decisions for you and your fiancé," she explained.

The planner says it's a lack of planning that can lead to ugly meltdowns.

Bridezilla can be avoided

"The Bridezilla is somebody that is stressed out," Fletcher said.

"Somebody that is overwhelmed, that really, really needs help. We get a few of those in initial consultations and meetings. But once they know that you have their back, they can trust you and they have a great team of wedding professionals behind them, they settle down pretty quick and ending up having a good time."

She says the average wedding costs about $28,000 but it's possible to do it for a lot less. Or a lot more.

"You can go way low at about $5,000 or $10,000 but you can go way up into the six figures," she said.

"Oh my gosh, there is no limit. Menus carved in chocolate, we could do a 16-foot ice bar with your name on it and of course live entertainment is always a big hit. It's worth it."

There are roughly 4,500 weddings in Calgary each year. The average cost is $28,000 but it can be a lot less, or a lot more. (David Bell/CBC)

Leaving things too late is a common mistake, she adds.

"The good places are gone right quick 15 months out many times. If you are too late, get a planner, they can fast track it and get you up to speed."

Fletcher had a similar situation to Broadribb's weather-related wedding challenge and the bride was beside herself.

"Her dad had recently passed away. She said, 'Who am I going to walk down the aisle with?' She got nervous, really nervous because her vision was shattered of this beautiful outdoor wedding," Fletcher recalls.

"I said, 'You know what, you are going to walk down the aisle by yourself and you are going to leave room for him.' She told me that was her best moment of her whole wedding day, was having to change with the rain plan. So sometimes those mishaps and curveballs end up being the biggest blessing of your day. And just roll with it, be open, be ready to receive that blessing."

Broadribb agrees on that point.

"Make sure to prioritize what is truly important to you and decide what will make or break your day and then let the chips fall where they may," Broadribb said.

Hallie Broadribb says if something doesn't go as planned, just let it go and focus on the enjoyment of it all. (David Bell/CBC)

"In the end you are really the only one that will notice all of the minute details, so if something doesn't go according to plan, just let it go. Also, have somebody that you trust to make decisions for you. You can just focus on the enjoyment of it all."

"It's the biggest party you will probably ever throw, and you'll want to look back on it with fondness and joy."

And Fletcher will focus on finding that fondness and joy from a planning perspective, when she speaks at the Calgary Wedding Fair on Sunday.


With files from The Homestretch

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