There are LOTS of newly engaged couples this time of year and after all the excitement settles in you find yourself having to now plan the biggest party of your life. Where to start?! Hopefully this helps a bit.
1. Book your date at a venue. Research venues online and tour at least three. Look closely at their cleanliness, attention to detail, support/staffing and flexibility. They should be willing to accommodate you and work with you to make your day perfect. If they seem too restrictive - move on. Look in their bathrooms and hidden corners, ceilings, light fixtures and more to see how clean they really are. If those areas aren’t clean, the kitchen won’t be either. If one person is running everything, ask if their staff or owners support their efforts. The bluntness of such a question will gain a true response showing full support or an uncomfortable chuckle.
2. Build your team of vendors focusing first on entertainment and photography as these two book up fastest. This should be as soon as possible after securing the date at the venue. You don’t need to start each from scratch. Ask your venue for a referral list - but then ask how that list is created. If it’s a paid advertisement list, then its credibility is shot. Anyone can pay - doesn’t mean they’re good. It should be merit based in which a vendor has proven themselves to your venue. If you get referrals from friends (or strangers in FB groups) remember that everyone’s “Guy” is “The Best”. Always cross reference with reviews on WeddingWire or The Knot. Meet with any vendor before committing.
3. Don’t hire a “family friend” no matter how good the deal. Just because you’re friends doesn’t mean they’re the most qualified to work your wedding and they’d probably want to socialize. If they don’t do a good job, it could be very awkward. Hire a pro who is dedicated to you only who you can maintain a professional relationship with before and after.
4. Feel free to negotiate to get what you want. More popular dates will be tough to negotiate with but off season or odd dates you’ve got leverage - use it.
5. Less is more. You don’t need a DJ who brings an MC, two photographers, two videographers, a lighting guy, a photo booth guy, etc. Keep it simple and build your team adding only what you actually need. After-all, that first dance should be the two of you, not surrounded by four cameramen.
6. Lean on your team of professionals. Trust them to help with anything and everything. As you plan the logistics of your day the timing of things will be very important. Want that perfect sunset shot? We can't have you being introduced into the room right when the sky is exploding in color. In the end, your team of pros can help to make sure every little bit of your day is perfect. That's what you hire us for and we're honored to have that role.