So first things first. The production triangle is not my idea and it is something used across many industries for production management. My husband was the first one to introduce me to the production triangle. In his day job as a machinist and engineer, his company uses it every day to get their projects done on time. And we’ve also used it to explain processes to clients in our other business when they don’t understand why some of the props we make take so long. But it was another wedding planner who brought it to my attention that it can also be applied to wedding planning; Rhonda from Precisely as Planned. I can’t seem to find the blog that started it all, but I did find this one by Jennifer at Alter Ego Weddings. Her blog is more eloquently written then mine, and frankly goes into a lot more detail then I will.
Now onto the topic at hand. The production triangle is just that; a triangle. Each side or corner represents a different aspect of your project. They generally are listed as Scope, Cost and Time. But you can find it recreated for many purposes. Each corner of the triangle directly effects the other corners. The idea behind it is that you choose two corners and that will show you how it will effect the last one. For example, in the triangle below you see the basic project management triangle. Here is how the corners effect one another:
You have a large SCOPE and a large COST you may have to extend your SCHEDULE.
You have a large COST and long SCHEDULE then your SCOPE can also be large.
Your have short SCHEDULE and large SCOPE then you will need to increase the COST.
The best and easiest way I have seen it explained was a sign at a mechanics shop that said:
GOOD service CHEAP won’t be FAST
GOOD service FAST won’t be CHEAP
FAST service CHEAP won’t be GOOD
So how does this apply to wedding planning? Let’s take a look at the wedding planning triangle.
In simplest terms it would work something like this:
A high GUEST COUNT and a small BUDGET means you will have to compromise on some of your PERSONAL STYLE options
A higher cost of PERSONAL STYLE and a small BUDGET means you will have to make you GUEST COUNT lower.
A large BUDGET and a small GUEST COUNT means you can indulge in your PERSONAL STYLE choices.
Now why is this so important to keep in mind when you are planning your wedding? A lot of brides that I talk to love a lot of images they see on Pinterest or in wedding blogs. I mean, who doesn’t? But what they don’t see if the cost of those items and what it takes to pull that off. So then they don’t understand why they can’t have their ceilings draped and an off season flower in their bouquets with their budget or in the short time they have to plan. They just saw and wanted. So this can kind of help put things in perspective for you when wedding planning. Knowing that your guest count and your budget will effect how much you can spend on flowers and decor and food. That the bigger your budget or the smaller your guest list, the more fun you can have.
Now of course this isn’t to say you can’t have a beautiful wedding without all the glorious decor you want, but by keeping the wedding planning triangle in your back pocket you can revisit it and remind yourself on what really would be the best decision to make for your wedding day. In the end it all comes down to what is important to you. Is it important to you to have every one of your family and friends with you to celebrate your day, but you’re not worried about having your entire wedding covered in flowers as far as you can see? Then you adjust that to make your wedding budget fit exactly what you want. At least this can help you understand how it all works together.
I can help walk you through your decisions and why you can do some things and not others. That’s what I’m here for. So if you’d like more information please send me a message and lets set up a consultation today!
So you’ve got your guest list finalized, your venue of choice is booked and your budget is set so you can plan the rest of your wedding day. Then it happens. You’re reviewing your contract with your DJ and see a clause about feeding him at the reception. You stop and say, “Oh my god, I didn’t even think about that”. This is just one prime example of a hidden expense that a lot of couples don’t think about when they start to plan their wedding.
I mean wedding planning is stressful enough, you don’t want to be hit with hidden expenses. Now of course the benefit of hiring a wedding planner like myself, is that I can prepare you for these in advance. But let’s say you haven’t hired me just yet. Here is a list of a few hidden expenses that can occur when planning a wedding.
Hair and Makeup Trials
Some artists include trials in their fees, some don’t. They generally are less then the cost of what’s needed on your wedding day, but sometimes can be the same. Make sure when you’re talking with your chosen artist you discuss trials and add those fees to your budget.
When you start your wedding planning you know you’re going to need invitations. You may know of wanting or needing programs for the ceremony. But you’re probably not aware of the other stationary that is typically found at weddings: escort cards, table numbers, table assignment signs, menu cards, general signage throughout the wedding for your guestbook table or bar, etc. There’s quite a few places where stationary is used, and if it’s not done by stationary it is done in some way, shape or form. So you need to be prepared for those small expenses that can add up.
Surprisingly a common thing I run into with my Wedding Management clients who are getting married anywhere that’s not a place of worship, is that they didn’t think about ceremony music. Getting your DJ to set up at two locations or finding a live musician to play for you costs money and is not something that is included in a basic DJ package.
Tips and Gratuities
The general rule of thumb is that tips are not expected, but is a wonderful way to thank your vendors for helping make your wedding day so special. Now there are some vendors where is is expected, and those ones usually have it written in their contracts. So make sure you’re looking over them closely. Not only to see what you are spending on what, but to also make sure that you don’t tip twice. (On a personal note, I never expect a tip. The way to show me you’re thankful is a nice thank you card with maybe a few bucks for a cup of coffee.) I do know that every vendor truly appreciates a positive review left on their social media accounts. That’s the best way for them to get more clients is from people like you spreading the word of their fabulous work.
Feeding Your Vendors
As I mentioned, feeding your vendors is very important. People like your photographer and your wedding planner have been with you all day. It’s nice to give them a good meal so they don’t pass out on you. Some caterers even offer something called “vendor meals”, it’s cheaper for you but still something substantial for your vendors. Sometimes your vendors will eat hidden away, sometimes couples will use their vendors to fill in holes at tables or have a special table in the back specifically for vendors. Check with your creative team to see what they prefer. Either way make sure they are taken care of that way they will be strong to finish out your night, even after you’re gone and they’re still cleaning up.
This is a topic that I can really expand on, so I know I’ll be writing more later. Check back for the rest of my tips on hidden expenses for your wedding day planning. In the meantime I will leave you with this tip: check and double check your contracts.
Read them thoroughly and all the fine print. See what you are spending your money on and what you should expect. This is just one of the things that I do for all my clients when they hire me to plan their wedding. It doesn’t matter if they hire me for Full Planning or for just Wedding Management. It really is an important step that you must do to ensure you have everything covered.