This blog was created to serve as an inspiration to all who read aspire, to love and to live a life of purpose.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

NwaVic's Wed2Plan Series: 5 Steps to Picking the Perfect Wedding Planner

I was a bridesmaid a few years ago at a beautiful wedding. Having escaped the endless banter from the guests at cocktail hour, the bridal party had retired to the bridal suite. We were chitchatting when the wedding planner walked in, took a seat on the floor in the middle of the room and started balling her eyes out. Horrified, it took us a second to understand what was really going on. Then suddenly as we realized this girl had broken down, we all rushed to her at the same time in panic. Apparently, a few "aunties" yelled at her, a few guests who were not on the guest list claimed to be and raised hell for it and the caterer was running late. The stress had come down like a hammer on her and she just couldn't take it any more. Needless to say, we were all horrified.

Deciding whether or not to hire a wedding planner for the big day is not the end of the story. If you decide to hire a wedding planner for your big day, choosing the RIGHT one will be one of the most imperative decisions you'll make.  You have to pick one that will be your personal wedding "Olivia Pope" that will cry in the closet if she needs to but put on a game face and handle any and everything that may crop up during the planning or on the day of. And like I promised last week, let me tell you all about it...

1.  Know what you are looking for: This is the first step. Like with anything important in life, in order to recognize what you need when you see it, you have to know what you are looking for. What kind of planner will best compliment your personality?One who is hands-on or one who is a little bit more relaxed? And as discussed in the last post, what level of wedding planning do you need? Do you want to get the full package (where they do everything for you), partial planning (where they advise you about vendors but don't do leg work) or just day-of coordination (where they come in 30 days prior)? To make this decision, you should consider your guest list (size and average character) and your own personality. For me, I knew I wanted someone who was Type A like me, someone bold and daring- I wanted a problem fixer. I also knew that because of my personality, I wanted a planner who'd trust me enough to let me handle the aspects I wanted to do solo. On the other hand, if you are a procrastinator and a "lasses-faire" person, just own it and look for someone who can handle every single detail for you.

2. Do your research: Once you decide what you want, ask around. Before you even waste your time scheduling meetings, get recommendations from friends and family who you have had weddings you admire. Your goal should be to create at least 3 solid options to meet with in-person. You can look online at their work but tales of first-hand experience from an unbiased ex-bride client will be the most useful. Remember certifications don't mean they know best. You want someone who has experience but what matters is not how long they have done it but how well. Know the class of weddings they do and types of guests and vendors they have handled. Let's be honest, if you have a controlling family or a crazy Aunt Sue, you need someone who will put your interests first in handling whatever they throw her way or yours. Ask venues and vendors what planner they recommend and ask why because not all preferred vendors are it. 

Most importantly, pay attention to the details of the recommendation. Make the effort to discern between gossip and legitimate constructive recommendations. When I was asking around about my planner, there were 2 people (who had never used her) who said they didn't like her. When I asked why, they said she's too tough and bossy.  What they didn't know was  that "tough" was what I was looking for. I was having a 400-person wedding with a guest that was 98% Nigerian with their big personalities. I knew I definitely needed someone tough who knew how to handle stress.

3. Determine professional compatibility: Let's fast forward to after you've called and scheduled meetings with your options.  At the meeting, the first thing to find out is just how qualified they are to handle your big day and if they can match in person the results of your research. You want to come in prepared to ask questions to break the silence and kick-start the rapport. It doesn't have to be in an interview-manner- make it conversational so they can relax.
  • What made you decide to go into wedding planning? 
  • What drives your passion for it? 
  • How do you handle stress? 
  • How will you rate your relationships with vendors in this area?
  • How long have you been doing this? And how many weddings have you planned in this area?
  • What packages do they offer and what exactly is included in each package? 
  • Do your packages include additional staff for the wedding day and if so, is there an additional cost?
  • Do your packages include decor design?
  • What is the largest guest list you've coordinated?
  • How many weddings do you typically plan a year? Describe the services you typically provide for these weddings.
  • Can I see a typical staging guide that you have created? Timeline? Floor plans?
  • Will you be present at our wedding rehearsal and wedding day?
***Then pose a potential stressful scenario and ask how they'll handle it.  For example, you can ask how they handle an obnoxious uninvited guests who are angry they are not on the jest list or drunken guests.

You should also discuss your budget because you want someone who understands your budgetary restrictions and who could within that, breathe life into your vision and theme. You need someone who is knowledgeable about the industry and truly understands what you are looking for and how to apply their knowledge to meet your needs.
    S/he should also be asking you questions during this meeting in an effort to try to get to know you. They also need to understand your personal preferences in order to design a wedding that reflects your personal tastes.

    Also, Don't go alone. Go with a friend/family you trust or your spouse. The second opinion will be beneficial because they may see something about the planner that you missed.

    4. Determine Personal Compatibility: After you have determined that they can handle what you are bringing, you need to find out if you two have chemistry.  I knew I needed someone who could match my personality in a way we would compliment each other and not get into each other's way.  Think about it as "friend-for-hire/ rent-a-friend". Until the big day, s/he will be your best friend. Ideally, if it works out great, you'll stay friends long after that. You will be dealing with this person during stressful situations so make sure its someone who knows how to handle stress and who connects with you well enough to know when to push and when to back off...You want someone you are comfortable spending time with and you'll trust to have your back because you know they will "execute" your day like its their own.  That way, you can relax and even when you think about any potential hitch, you can be secure in the fact that they got it.

    5. Give yourself time to Decide: After the meeting,  thank the planner for meeting you and that you'd call. Avoid committing before you finish meeting with all your options and discussing with someone you trust or your spouse. To assess, ask yourself, did I feel like the planner heard me? Did the planner understand my vision? Can she execute it? Will she be available for me when I need her? Was there good chemistry? Did our personalities mesh well?

    It's true what they say that you'll know your wedding planner when you meet them. So, in making your decision, listen to your heart and gut. Pick someone that gives you peace. Trust me, you'd need it later. 

    Stay Inspired,
    NwaVic||| |||Twitter & Instagram @nwavicesq

    Image Source: Google Images

    Thursday, July 16, 2015

    NwaVic's Wed2Plan Series: 7 Reasons Why You Need a Wedding Planner

    When you first get engaged, you're so excited, you're almost blinded to the work that lays ahead of you. Creating that perfect day requires a lot of "detailed" work. Sooner or later, as a bride-to-be, you'd  realize that in order to keep your head above the heaviness of checklists and unending decisions, you need someone who can be your "GPS". I am detail-oriented as a person...In fact, I think my obsession with details borders on obsessive-compulsive disorder. But even I knew 2 months into wedding planning that I needed someone I could trust to guide me through the planning journey. If you're recently engaged, you're probably struggling with this decision.

    This post will take a different route. Instead of straight out telling you why you need a planner, it will chronicle and individually address the most common reasons why you think you don't need one. I will also give you details about why hiring a wedding planner (I hired Chioma of Dure Events) was one of the best investments I made during wedding planning. So here we go...

    1. "It costs too much money": This is the most common reason/excuse I've heard. When I told my colleagues about my decision to hire a planner and the price range, they screamed, "Okay, that's ridiculous. Pay me half of that and I'll plan it for you." But they are amateurs and could only give me a wedding experience that was amateur in details. Professional wedding planners may cost quite a bit but the amount of money they save you in the end is much more than it will cost you to retain one. They have relationships, resources and buying power that the average person doesn't. They will not only help you pick vendors, they have can negotiate for you and review the contracts to make sure your expectations are effectively communicated and delivered. Some of them even have discounts with certain vendors. If you decide to go the cheap way, you will be limited to online resources and reviews which are not all-encompassing because some vendors have 5 star ratings online but cater to clients who have different expectations of excellence from you. A planner can bridge that cap.  Besides, you can hire a planner according to your budget and your needs. If you're trying to save money and you know you are detailed and organized enough, you can pay just for day-of coordination which contracts them beginning 30 days prior to the wedding to help tie up lose ends. If you are planning from out of town AND are detailed and organized enough, you can pay for partial planning which involves general guide, recommending vendors and reviewing contracts but with you doing the leg work. If you want the full experience and can afford it, then go for the full package where the planner takes on the entire planning.
    2. "I can do it on my own. I'm not handicap": Yesterday, I had a very insightful discussion with an attorney who had been in the practice for over 35 years. His most valuable advice to me was, "The first step to learning is to admit your ignorance." I couldn't agree more because I realized early on that that statement was not only true for my legal career but almost everything else in my life including my experience wedding planning.  As individuals, we all have our strengths. Your wedding is not the time to test your skills in planning or in organization. Once the day passes, you can't get it back. Unless you've been married a few times, you are an amateur. In order to choose vendors, you need to know what to ask and how to ask it. Why would your judgment be more accurate than that of a professional who specifically has the training and experience to handle it?

    True story, I tried to save $300 last year by filing it myself and lost about $6,000 in tax breaks I didn't know I qualified for, which was way more than I "saved". Needless to say, I learned the hard way.

    For me, I needed someone with insight to the Houston market especially since I was planning the wedding from Maryland and prior to my move to Houston. I needed someone who knew vendors, had influence on them and knew how they priced or functioned. I visited my vendors if not with Chioma but armed with her experience and "coaching" on what to say and what not to say. The best part was that my initial introduction with my vendors was smoother because I was a "Dure bride". Because she had established a relationship with them and maintained a solid reputation with them, it was almost as if they trusted me before they met me. Somehow, they knew that if Chioma  and I had chosen each other, I was good in their books.

    3. "I know people. I have people": Another common reason people give for not needing a wedding planner is because they know people who can play the role of the wedding planner. With 6 siblings, I could easily have used them (and their spouses) to get things done. But why would you want your closest family and friends working on your wedding day instead of having fun with you? Moreeee so, while I am a big advocate for delegating tasks to family and friends to help with the planning (as I'll discuss in another post), how many of them have the experience of a wedding planner AND  can ignore the chaos of their own personal lives to fully focus on your wedding? My siblings were very instrumental in my planning. However, I used them selectively. No one loves family more than me but dealing solely with loved ones during a high stress time is not something you want to do for your wedding day. But with a wedding planner, you are paying them to do that work and they KNOW how to get it done. One of my friends entrusted her aunt with planning and she forgot to notify the caterer when their guest count increased and pay the DJ. That day, the DJ didn't show and they ran out of food. A few years ago, I was a bridesmaid in a wedding where we had to not only cut and serve the cake, but clean the hall afterwards. The bride's mother's ashebi (friends) also served the food in their full regalia. Needless to say, no happy campers. You be the judge of that.

    You'd be surprised that sometimes family will give you the most stress during wedding planning because some of them think they have a better idea of how your wedding should be than you do. Family disagreements are common during planning and you'll need a neutral person to run interference. Even if there are no fights, a planner can help avoid it. The Thursday before my wedding, Chioma met with both families (parents and siblings included) and told them what to expect on the wedding day and the role she was playing to ensure it went smoothly. The meeting was vital in managing expectations and helped a lot because Chioma got acquainted with everyone well enough for them to trust that she knew what she was doing. The result was a low-stress enjoyable and fun wedding day for everyone. Come to think of it, family is more useful for the igba-nkwu (traditional wedding), but keep them as fall-back planners for the white wedding.

    One of the best things I can say about my wedding is that the bridesmaids and groomsmen can testify that they had fun because Chioma took on the hard work. They were there to support me and they were able to do that more efficiently because they were not worried about logistics. In summary, hire a wedding planner- save yourself and your family the stress.

    4. I have time: False. You don't have time. Plus wedding planning in itself is another full-time job. Unfortunately, the stark realization of the steep time demands of planning doesn't hit you in the beginning.  The details involved are overwhelming for anyone, talk less of anyone who has a full time job or involved in any other time-demanding aspect of life. If you want to maintain some sort of life outside wedding planning, you need a wedding planner.For a successful wedding, you need time, energy and focus endless research, details to remember, contracts to review and sign and payments to make. You need someone to have your back while you in essence make sure your affairs are not all in disarray because of the wedding For me, not only did I have a full time job, I was also planning a move from the east coast. In fact, it was the only place in the United States I had ever lived and uprooting and moving all of it was another full time job. I had to admit that I wasn't super woman. There was no way I could have done that while planning the wedding I had.

    Most importantly, couples need to stay connected during the wedding planing. The stress of taking it full-on can cause rift and having a wedding planner can relieve you so you have time to keep the focus on your future spouse and relationship. Because as we all know, the wedding will come and go but it is the invested relationship that will keep the marriage alive.

    5. I will have so much fun planning: Trust me. And I mean trust me, wedding planning is not all fun. Yes, food and cake tasting is fun and scouting venues to breathe life into your dream can be exciting. But there's a heap of it, especially the endless negotiating and decision-making, that is just plain old exhausting and frustrating. Every bride has at least one break down- ask an ex-bride. If they're hoenst, they'll tell you. If you have a wedding planner, it's like having someone to catch you before you fall. The wedding planning process is more or less a heap of decision after decision and not everyone is as fun as it looks in the magazines. At some point, both you and your fiance will get so worn out that your brain stops processing things fully. This was me about a month to the wedding- my patience was at 0 and my irritated thermometer was very sensitive. Having a wedding planner to run by things with helped me stay level-headed and avoid the common "bridal breakdown". With a planner, you can choose to do the fun stuff and give the stressful stuff to the person you're paying.

    6. If I plan well, everything will be perfect: No matter what you do or how many checklists or sleepless nights you have, things WILL go wrong at the last minute. Good planning just mitigates the damages. Know it. Accept it. Prepare for it. Part of preparing for it is having the right wedding planner. This is the only way you can avoid pulling your hair out. Tiny things will go amiss. When "ish" hits the fan, you need someone who has seen it before, who can stay calm in the midst of chaos and who can handle it even without letting you know. For us, the biggest mishap was with the linen and chair covers. On Wednesday before the wedding, Chioma called all the vendors to remind them about Saturday and to go over the details again to avoid any mistakes. When she called this particular company, they started to renege on what we had agreed and wanted to charge us about $4,000 more than we had originally agreed. I almost lost my mind. A lot of vendors do this very close to the wedding because they know they would catch you at a high-pressure time and they hope that by threatening your beautiful day, they could bully you into paying more. Sadly, most times, they succeed. My wedding planner Chioma swept in and tried to mediate the situation. When she realized how unreasonable they were, she found a hole in the contract (with the help of my venue coordinator) and got us out of it. Then, immediately called her contacts and got another linen company who gave us more and better stuff for the same price we would've paid the original flaky company. Considering my frame of mind then, I'm not sure what I would have done without Chioma.

    7. I already have a venue coordinator: Some venues, especially hotels, will assign a wedding planner to work with you. Sure but don't forget that their priority will always be the people who are paying them- the venue. And so, in everything they do, the interests of the venue is priority. They don't take care of any of the other details such as contracts, schedules and checklists. and they do NOT prioritize you and your experience. God blessed me with an awesome wedding coordinator at the Hilton, Lori, a rarity. However, it was more beneficial for me to have Chioma also on my side and they worked together beautifully.

    So, there you have it.
     IN addition to all the above considerations, if you are planning in a different state or country than you currently live, if you have a stressful job, if you have kids that need your attention, if you have intrusive or dramatic family members and if you are also planning a move, you should just stop wasting your time and mental energy deliberating on this issue. If you want a successful and smoothly-run wedding, you DEFINITELY and I mean, without question, need a wedding planner.
    Next week, I'll tell you how to pick the right one. :-)
    Stay Inspired,
    NwaVic||| |||Twitter & Instagram @nwavicesq

    Image Source: Google Images

    Monday, July 13, 2015

    Dear NwaVic, My Boyfriend Wants Me to Lose Weight

    Dear NwaVic,

    I am what you call a ghost reader. I follow your blog quite regularly but haven't subscribed. I'm very inspired by you. My friend once sent me the link to one of your posts and I've never stopped reading since then. Sometimes, I feel like you're talking directly to me. Now, I have a problem and I need your help. My boyfriend and I have been together for about 8 months now. Before him, I had a dry time and did not meet anyone serious for almost 3 years. Finally, here came C. We met through a mutual friend and talked on the phone and via email for about 2 months before we met in person and started dating. Things have been perfect. I can't even complain. I think he is the love of my life. Recently though, he started making comments that made me uncomfortable. First, let me tell you I am what some will call thick. I used to be slimmer a few years ago but gained about 35 pounds over the past few years. There's no big reason for the weight gain. Well, to be honest, I got tired of fighting to stay slim and going to the gym when I would go out and no one would even try to get my number.

    3 weeks ago, C and I were talking and he made a comment about one of my pictures from 2012 that was on Facebook. All he said was "Oh my God, see how hot you looked." But that made me think about what it really meant. I just said thank you and tried to forget it. After that, he started inviting me to the gym with him. He is very fit and goes at least 4 times weekly. When I said no a few times, he said "you know it will help more than hurt."

     The comment that broke the camel's back was 3 days ago when he was waiting for me to get ready so we could attend his friend's wedding. I was complaining about how it was taking me a long time to find a dress in my closet and how everything I tried on was too tight. At first, he said I will look beautiful in anything.  I finally found something but later that night, when we were about to go to bed, he said, "you know if you want those dresses to fit better, you have to do something about it." I got so upset and confronted him as to why he was calling me fat. He told me honestly that my eating and life habits bother him and that he wished I was more interested in getting slimmer and healthier. I was so offended that I started crying and left his house. I haven't talked to him since then. I want to break up with him but I am worried I won't find someone else for another few years. It's not like I'm getting any younger. I'll appreciate your thoughts. I feel like I am going crazy. Thanks in advance. Sincerely, O

    Dear O,

    Thank you for writing me at First of all, thank you for reading. It's my pleasure to inspire you. Please do subscribe to the blog :-)

    Now, let's talk about you. On first glance, my initial reaction was "How dare he? Run!!!" This is expected because as women, our weight is a topic that men know to avoid, at all costs. This is why the average man knows to "of course not, honey" when his lady asks, "Does my butt look big in these jeans?" But this is way past that. There's a message about you that can only be read between the lines. Your "struggle" is more about you than about him or his words. In order to find the answers you're looking for, regarding whether or not to break up with him, you need to find a bit more of yourself by self-reflecting.

    First, ask yourself, Am I happy with my weight? When you look in the mirror, are you content with your reflection? This question is important because from your letter, it seems as if you tie your zeal to stay slim with the attention it gets. The efforts you make to look good should be more than what others see and more about feeling good and building your self-confidence. Trust me, when you are confident, the confidence exudes double attraction. Haven't you ever met a person whose not so much physically "beautiful" or "handsome" but is attractive all the same? It's the confidence (not  arrogance) that makes them so. In that same way,  I know "thick" girls who are more  attractive than Victoria secret models.  So, I think this is deeper than what C said or didn't say. Granted, weight is a touchy issue but you have to give him kudos for his honesty. Now, the ball is in your court. Unless it was something in his tone, it doesn't appear as if he was degrading to you. Granted, to be with you, he has to accept and love you the way you are. Notwithstanding. to be with him or any man successfully, you have to either accept the image in the mirror or change it for YOU and not based on whether or not you are single.

    Summarily, if the answer to this question is yes, then tell him that... "C, I am happy & healthy the way I am. I expect any man who intends to be with me to accept me the way I accept myself. If you can't do that, then we can't work." Then, change whatever you do that gives him a contrary vibe. After all, he probably keeps bringing it up because he sees how insecure you are about it. But if the answer is no, then explain to him why you are offended and how sensitive the issue is for you. Also help him understand how you want him to discuss sensitive issues with you.  No successful relationship is "offense-proof" but it's all in the communication. You can also commit to going to the gym with him. It could be another way for you two to bond and have fun! If he won't listen or stop the comments,  after the talk , then dump him.

    Secondly, ask yourself, Do I genuinely care about C or is my affection for him solely based on the timing of his entrance to my life and/or my fear of never finding someone else? In your letter you said, "I think he is the love of my life." and then you said "I want to break up with him." If he is the love of your life, then help him understand you (after you understand yourself). If he is not what you want, your God-given plus one is out there. Like you said, you're not getting any younger. At the same time, you shouldn't settle. Every moment you waste with someone who you're not into is blockage for someone who might be. If your answer is yes, then talk it out with him. If he's that into you, he'd understand. If your answer is no, then break it off and don't look back.

    Ultimately, self reflection is what will get you peace. You can't be in a successful relationship if you don't know yourself well enough to know the motivation behind your insecurities, strengths, triggers and impulses. This way, you can celebrate the things that make fabulous and understand to make better the things that make you human.

    Stay Inspired!
    NwaVic||| |||Twitter & Instagram @nwavicesq

    Thursday, July 9, 2015

    NwaVic's Wed2Plan Series : 7 Tips on How to Create a Killer (yet) Fabulous Budget

    Ahhh! the almighty budget. The budget is the vehicle that carries the wedding. The organized bride not only uses it to get to the "dream destination" but as a shield against unnecessary spending. See nothing annoys me more than wasted money. Well, except wasted calories but that's a story for another day. 

    Before you get in depth with planning your wedding, make determining the budget the ultimate goal of "The discussion" as discussed in the previous post. This will determine a lot about your wedding - size, guest list, vendors, the venue, the extras and the sanity of your partnership. Without a budget, you'll basically go haywire and find yourself in deep waters mid-way into planning. For me, my budget saved me so many times. Up until the wedding day, I found myself constantly running to the budget for guidance. The tricky thing about wedding planning is that when you first start booking vendors, you're just paying deposits and so everything seems very easy and "affordable". It only hits you just how much you're actually spending, about three weeks before the wedding when all the payments are due at the same time. Without a budget, to record what you're willing to spend, what you committed to, what you have spent and what is outstanding, you WILL get lost. So, make a budget your reference point for every step of the wedding process. 

    In order to get a budget that will transfer your vision into reality without making you crazy, here's what to do:

    1.    Find or create a template

    This is the first step. You want to know what you are budgeting for. There are several templates online or apps available that could help you get started but if you need a good old sample, email me at and I'll send you one. Using the right template is important because it shows you all the multiple-faceted needs of planning a wedding. For a good wedding, the secret is in the details. A good budget sample will show you things you never knew you needed to worry about. Sure you won't forget the big ticket times like venue, food, drinks, photography and music but the last thing you want to do is create a budget, save for it only to find out a month to the wedding that you never considered that you may need to buy event insurance, pay ceremony musicians or that you forgot you'd need to pay for extra wait staff for a seated dinner. 

    2.   Do your research

    My wedding planner Chioma of Dure Events told me once, 
    "90% of people think they truly know how much weddings cost. Another 80% percent think they know based on what their friends told the they spent on thier weddings. The stark truth is that very few people know how much weddings actually cost. For one, very few former brides are 100% clad-proof honest how much thier weddings actually cost (for numerous reasons). More so, everyone's numbers and circumstances are different."
    So! Once, you have your sample budget sheet and customized it to your taste, the next thing you should do is find out the range of costs for every item. You can use onlinee resources like yelp, the Knot or other bridal magazines. You can also call around to vendors in the area or ask friends. However, the surest way to do your research is to ask a wedding planner. This is because a wedding planner has a deeper understanding of the market and more so, can translate your vision into numbers based on experience! They are in the best position to tell you average wedding prices in your area and what exactly your money can get you. They can also advice you where you can cut costs and where the cash will be needed. Trust me, I never knew how much I needed a wedding planner till I sat down with Chioma. (Next week, I'll tell you more about why a wedding planner is imperative and how to choose the right one).

    3.    Make a Relaxed Appointment with your boo

    This is the most tedious part of "The discussion". Choose a relaxed time when it's just you and your fiancé.... No distractions and no work. Maybe after a good meal or treat. This is important because this budget conversation gets deep and possibly heated.

    During this discussion, you need to resolve the following questions: 

    • What exactly can you afford? 
    • What is the absolute cap each of you can contribute to wedding without contribution from family and friends? 
    • Who is paying for what? 
    • Is there any anticipation for continuation from either side of the family? (Don't depend on this until you see it in your account, to save yourself from disappointment ). 
    • What goes into the budget? Chioma of Dure Events advised me that the budget should only include things that are being consumed and enjoyed by the guests. So for me, my dress and personal items were on my own separate budget because my mom was taking care of that. G was also taking care of his outfits separately. 

    4.    Prioritize!

    What is most important to you? When we started location seeking, I met a very nice woman at the very first location we considered. When I told her I was the bride and about the extravagant details of my dream wedding, she said, 
    "You can have a dream wedding without going into debt. Here's how: Determine what's most important to you and splurge on it. You can even be unreasonable with it. But once you make that choice, be ready to get creative and compromise on other things." 
    She was right. But realistically, it's impossible as a bride pick only one thing. So I'll advice you to pick three. For me, it was photography and decor. For G, it was venue. For that reason, those were the high priced items on our budget and it worked out perfectly!

    5.    Leave room for Ms. Miscellaneous

    I'll tell you this now- you can plan all you want but something will always come up last minute. I call her Ms. Miscellaneous. To avoid robbing a bank to accommodate her, be proactive and make space for her. The actual amount will also depend on the total amount of your budget. I advise to leave about 5% room of your total budget for Ms. Miscellaneous. If you can stay within your budget strictly, I tip my hats to you. Every bride I know has had last minute expenses. For us, it was having to increase the number of seats at the reception which include increasing food, drinks, cake and decor 6 days before the wedding. As you can imagine, this cost quite a bit of change. Thank God we showed Ms. Micelleanous some love before she came knocking.

    6.    Cut your coat according to your size

    No matter what you do, be honest with yourself. The budget you create has to be something you can commit to and come through on. While your wedding day will be one of the most memorable days of your life and being on BellaNaija or AislePerfect feels great, it will come and go. And when it does, you have to sure you will be at peace with every dime you spent. I'm not saying you shouldn't put one or two things on your credit card. But if you do,  have a plan to pay it. That debt won't disappear after your fabulous day. Ultimately, you have to be sure, you won't be sleeping under the bridge while your guests you tried so hard to impress are still enjoying in their fabulous houses. Make sure every decision you are making is about what you want your day to look like and not what anyone will say.  Besides, if you commit to vendors more than you can pay and are unable to pay them, no amount of begging will make them show up on your day. As they say,  Money Talks, People Walk. It's no different with wedding planning. 
    Know your size. Know your coat. Make sure they match. You get the drift.

    7.  Be Patient

    Understand that there are some details as women we foresee and men just don't get. 

    "What is the point of that?"
    "That's ridiculous!"

    "That vendor lady must be smoking ganja!"

    "I'm not paying that!"

    "I think you've lost your mind!"

    "It's just one day for crying out loud!" 

    Those are just a few reactions men usually have about some items on the budget. My sisters warned me because their husbands had some of these reactions during thier own wedding planning. And just like clockwork, G did that quite a number of times. Most men's brains work with numbers. All they see are dollar signs. As women, while I can't deny that we can tend to go crazy on vision, the beauty of that vision is clearer in our minds. A good number of times, we see what the men can't. :-)

    One of those things for me was the white dance floor with the personalized emblem/monogram. G's reaction was, "For that amount? That's definitely not necessary honey." When this happens to you, table the discussion. Don't nag on it. Let it go. I allowed myself time to convince him of why it would be worth it. Eventually. And I mean eventuallyyyyyyyy, he agreed and still can't thank me enough for convincing him to do it. It came out beautifully and he loved it. 

    When an item of discussion gets heated, table it for later. And if later, your partner doesn't budge on it, watch this space, I'll tell you what to do in another post (just for the ladies).

    So, there you go! Happy Budgeting!

    Stay Inspired,
    NwaVic||| |||Twitter & Instagram @nwavicesq