Many brides and grooms contact us, requesting information about planning their weddings. The typical inquiry is as follows. ” We just got engaged. What do we do now? Where do we begin?”
Well, weddings are very personal and each has its own unique character.
It is very difficult to list every possible scenario but the basics are the style of wedding, the size, the budget involved , the location and of course the bride and groom choices and their personalities.
WEDDING STYLE can range form a classic, elegant and glitzy black tie affair to a picnic in a park.
WEDDING SIZE depends on the number of guests.
WEDDING BUDGET can range from a few hundred to thousands of dollars.
WEDDING LOCATION local or a destination wedding.
BRIDE and GROOM choose the setting, the colors, the music, the wedding theme etc… that reflect their personalities and interests.
Some couples hire a wedding planner, some rely on the experience of friends and family, but most want to experience the excitement of planning their wedding by themselves.
The wedding day is only part of the term wedding as a whole. Wedding as it will be referred to in this article includes the preparations for, and the activities following the big day including the honeymoon.
So, you got engaged and are looking forward with anticipation, to your dream wedding but do not know where to start and what to do. You are not alone! This article is dedicated to the many engaged couples facing this dilemma and those who want to be focused.
It is very important that both of you, bride and groom, start planning your wedding as soon after the engagement as possible. This allows you to:
take your time, brain storm and leisurely discuss your needs and desires,
prevent and correct any errors,
deal with delays,
handle any possible mishaps,
have fun and enjoy planning your wedding rather than stress over it.
You need to choose your priorities first and write down everything that is:
very important – urgent,
less important – allows for flexibility
least important – most adaptable for changes and compromises.
VERY IMPORTANT- URGENT
Securing your wedding attendants
Location of ceremony – location of reception
Size of guest list
Offificiant – Clergy
A specific wedding vendor or service provider
Time of year time of day
Having prioritized, put together your wedding information and a list of questions and requests, to present to the vendor or service provider.LESS URGENT BUT NEEDS TOME TO ORGANIZE. YET CAN BE FLEXIBLE.
Menu and Beverages
Photographer – videographer
Wedding day help – before, during and after the wedding.
LEAST IMPORTANT – MOST FLEXIBILE TO, CHANGES AND COMPROMISES.
Wedding day schedule
Readings at ceremony
Final flower selection
Gifts for family and wedding attendants
A wedding gift from the bride to the groom
A wedding gift from the groom to the bride
Reception seating arrangements
HOW TO FIND THE APPROPRIATE WEDDING VENDORS, PROFESSIONALS AND SERVICE PROVIDERS.
Before setting any appointments it is a good idea to:
ask your friend, acquaintances and family for recommendations,
Check the internet, read as many articles as you have questions and book mark or enter the web sites you feel will be helpful.
Attend bridal shows
Visit bridal shops and ask for referrals,
Check the yellow pages
Go over your written notes and organize them by priority and ease of use.
Armed with a list of vendors and service providers, it is time for you to pick up the phone and set appointments.
Schedule your appointments by PRIORITY. So, if a specific person or company’s participation at the wedding is required, you should contact them FIRST to find out when they have an opening.
If the date is a priority you need to focus on securing an officiant, and a location for the ceremony and the reception, and so on.
Money saving tip 1
Do not limit your search to wedding specific service providers. It is not un-common for them to charge higher fees only because it is a wedding. In fact, when you set up your appointment to interview a vendor, DO NOT mention the word WEDDING. Ask about the vendor’s availability on such and such a date, for an EVENT, A GET-TOGETHER, A PARTY or any other term you can think of.
Mention WEDDING, and your price will most probably be higher.
Money saving tip 2
If you have a set budget, DO NOT reveal it to the vendors until you know what they offer for what fee. Use it as a negotiating point if necessary.
We know of couples who mentioned their budget up front. Knowing their budget, vendors took advantage of it by tailoring their offering to meet it.
However, further research showed that these couple would have been satisfied with less services that would have met their needs yet cost a lot less.
Contacting, interviewing and Working with the vendors
Interview consultants, caterers, florists, DJs and-or musicians, photographers, ceremony and reception sites and videographers, who also provide services to other types of parties, business events, conventions etc… They may be open to negotiations. You may be able to secure their services at a reduced rates or receive a free gift.
Actually, while on the phone to set an interview appointment, request a price quote for a party. Give the service providers the basic information including number of guests, date, and hours requested and ask for a quote. When you arrive at the interview, with the price quote in hand you may let them know that the party is a wedding.
Do not, however, commit until you have accumulated at least a few bids and found the person(s) you interviewed accommodating and easy to work with.
Interview various vendors of each category to find out what they offer, what they charge and what complementary extras they are add to the package.
Use this information as a negotiating leverage to either secure extrar have some charges waived.
Remember – There is no harm in asking.
If you do not ask – you do not get!
If the vendor wants your business, and believes that if theyt do not meet your your offer you will go elsewhere, they WILL offer some creative solutions to secure it.
Oh, yes! one more thing you need to do before booking any of your vendors. Check them out at the Better Business Bureau to make sure no complaints have been filed against them.
Once you made your choice, do not look for other alternatives or you’ll drive yourselves crazy. Instead go on to the next detail that requires your attention.
Be prepared! Go to each interview ready with your questions and information neatly written.
Bring a pen and paper and take notes at meetings with the different wedding professionals, service providers and wedding vendors.
These notes serve as a fun keepsake too. You may want to add them later to your wedding journal or scrap book.
You have special needs. So check the Internet for wedding web sites that offer unique and personalized wedding gifts and accessories.
Visit a discount wedding shopping mall and save. Use the money you save on other aspects of your wedding.
I’ll list the wedding professionals, service providers and vendors that are part of the BASIC WEDDING. You may not need every service, or you may need more than listed.
So, without further ado, Here is the list in alphabetical order.
Accommodations – Bride and Groom, Family, Wedding Guests
Addressing and calligraphy
Banquet facility – restaurant, event hall or wedding reception venue
Beauty – make-up, nails and hair
Catering- pre-wedding parties, rehearsal meal, reception, other
Do it yourself, make your own – materials and supplies outlets
Florists, Floral Designers, Decorators
Honeymoon -travel, guided tours, sports, recreation, other
Invitations and wedding stationery. Pre-printed or print your own.
Jwelry – engagement ring, wedding bands, wedding jewelry, gifts from bride and groom
Officiant – clergy
Printers – save the day, invitations, reply cards, programs, place cards, menus, thank you notes, other
Religious site – Church, Synagogue, Temple, Mosque, other
Transportation – limo, horse and carriage, taxi, car rental for guests, other
Travel agent- destination wedding, honeymoon, guest travel, other
Wedding and guest Accommodations
Wedding Attire – Gowns, Tuxedos
wedding gift for – best man, maid of honor, bridesmaids, ushers, kids, other
wedding gifts for – family, wedding party, other
wedding music – DJ, soloist, band or a small orchestra
Wedding Photographers – videographers
Wedding rehearsal and reception venue and catering
Other important considerations
With the basic information on hand, click on the above links to the wedding vendors, professionals and service providers you need for your dream wedding.
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Copyrights © Nily Glaser 2007
For your FREE “Planning your wedding” checklist, CLICK HERE
Nily Glaser who is an educator and a published author, is the CEO of A-wedding Day at: http://www.a-weddingday.com She writes important articles, and has presented workshops for wedding professionals all over the USA.
Nily Glaser pays special attention to enlighten educators, families and wedding professionals. Her web site is a very popular Wedding Resource and Information Center, and a discount shopping mall for wedding gifts, supplies, bridal accessories, favors and print your own invitations, including the exclusive line of Wedding Accessories By Nily. A-wedding day specializes in theme and blending family weddings and in do it yourself projects.
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