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Here are 10 to do’s from Erin Calvimontes Professional Bridal Consultant to help them have a stress free wedding!
1- Make a solid guest list! Collect names, addresses, and phone numbers from both families and yourselves. This will help you determine the size venue you need and your guest list will determine much of your budget. 100 guests Vs 200 guests. Everything just DOUBLED!
2- Always Hire Professionals! Don’t use your roommate, who is a want-to-be DJ with tons of tunes on his computer, or your best friend’s mother loves to bake and offered to make your wedding cake, or worse yet, your neighbor who just got a great camera for his birthday want to shoot your wedding for free. Anyone of these can end up ruining much if not all your wedding.
This is one of the most important day of your life, hire professional service providers. Professionals know their craft and can make your wedding a wonderful experience for all.
3- Always have a plan B! If your dream is to have an outdoor wedding, the best thing you can do for yourself is have a plan B! It could be a tent or an indoor space, just in case of inclement weather. Nobody is happy if the bride is soaking wet!
4- Make a “must take picture” list for your photographer of family groupings for after the ceremony and designate someone to direct the family members. This will help photo time move quickly and you don’t forget someone important.
5- Make a Pinterest account! Having all your ideas and looks you want for your wedding in one place will help you communicate those ideas with your planner, florist, linen company etc.
6- Make a realistic budget. Make a list of service providers you want, do your research on what the average real cost of each is and try to work within it. A budget of $10,000 with 300 guests averages out to about $33 per person. Not even enough for a meal let alone your floral, photographer, DJ, etc…… KEEP it REAL!
7- Delegate! Let others help you. Moms, sisters, bridesmaids etc. They all want to help. Give them tasks that fit their strengths. This will prevent you from becoming a Bridezilla!
8- Keep a spread sheet of guests! This will help you keep track of many things; are they attending, what meal choices, and when it comes to your seating chart, you have everyone on one page!
9- Take it ALL IN! Your wedding day will go by so fast. During the day of your wedding you must, stop, step back, breath, and take it all in! Your family and friends are all there to celebrate your special day. It is important that you celebrate as well!
10- Hire a Professional Planner! Planning a wedding can be a wonder experience but, it can also be very stressful. A professional planner can save you time searching for qualified service providers. Save you money and costly mistakes with your budget, and lesson the stress of planning.
Congratulations and enjoy the journey!
Doing a bit of homework and keeping these tips in mind will help you make a well-educated decision; the kind that allows you to walk into your reception feeling comfortable and confident.
Thinking That All DJs Are The Same
Every DJ has their own style, skill level, methods, and vary a lot in their equipment quality and music library.
An amateur DJ lacks the experience and knowledge required to execute a flawless reception. The last thing a bride wants to do on her wedding is remind the DJ it is time to cut the cake or dance with her father and get the reply, “Oh…. Yeah… Right…”
A professional entertainer knows how to get your guests on the dance floor. Asking a DJ how they get people dancing will often get you an odd answer.
Also, if a DJ only has one genre of music, they sincerely lack in versatility. Your favorite DJ that spins Modern Rock music all night may be perfect for the bar, but more than likely your grandmother doesn’t want hear Maroon 5 all night at your reception.
Hiring The Cheapest DJ You Can Find
The phrase “you get what you pay for” holds a lot of water in the case of hiring a DJ, especially for a wedding.
There are DJs which can cost as little as $300 or as much as $5,000, for a five hour wedding. Is the DJ that is only charging $300 no good at all? Who knows, they might do a decent job, but there is one thing that is certain: Either the DJ doesn’t have a lot of experience or they are the worst businessperson ever.
Any DJ that has performed for numerous weddings (at least 100 or more) knows that there is far too much involved in presenting wedding entertainment to only charge peanuts. The average wedding usually has around 25-30 hours invested from start to finish.
Because the entertainment for your reception is what you, your family, and your friends will likely remember the most, isn’t it worth more than the cost of invitations? Your entertainment is an investment that you your guests will enjoy from start to finish, not just the first half of the night. If half of your guests leave after dinner because loud music was playing during the main course, the venue isn’t going to give you a refund.
Not Having A Written Contract
I am genuinely stunned that any business is able to stay alive without any form of contract, committing them to your event.
I have spoken with NUMEROUS brides, one week before their wedding day, telling me their DJ has booked a prom (higher $$$) and would not being coming to the reception. This goes hand-in hand with my final tip…
Not Making Sure The DJ You Want is “Guaranteed” To Be Your DJ
This is probably the biggest complaint from brides all over the country about DJs. You went to a DJ company that has more than one DJ, you requested a specific DJ, and another DJ shows up in his/her place. Any time you deal with a big DJ company, make sure you get in writing that the DJ you want is the one that will show up.
There is one company, in this area, that tells brides “We don’t schedule the DJ until the week before the wedding” and “We let you pick three DJs AFTER you sign the contract. If they’re available, they might do your wedding, they might not, no guarantees.”.
Does that sound like a company that has your best interests in mind or one that is trying to run a company with limited accountability?
Imagine you’re going to buy your first “dream car”. How would you feel if the dealer said, “Pick three you like, sign this contract, pay your money, and maybe you’ll get one, maybe not…”?
Hopefully, these tips can assist you in making a good decision when it comes to your entertainment. No one likes to walk into their wedding reception filled with anxiety, not knowing what or whom to expect. Spend some time on your choice, making the final call with your fiance, and don’t let anyone bully you into making a snap judgement based on sales tricks and high-pressure tactics.
Past client referrals – Get emails of some of their past clients and talk to them personally. This will help out with the questions and concerns you will have. If a company will not let you chat with past brides I recommend that you move on. Why? It’s my belief that they are not comfortable enough in their service. . . and don’t want to give up that “middle man” to stop anything bad from getting back to you.
Music Selection – If you don’t like the style of music they play, tell them. It is your day, the music should be what you want, not what they want to play. From the cocktail / dinner music to the dancing at the end of the night. Make sure you enjoy all the music that is played.
Speaking on the Mic – How often do they talk on the mic. Are they going to be a “Radio Personality” at your wedding? Are they going to announce every song that is played. I hope not . . . . .
Jeremy Ganss – Elegant Weddings
I knew Aileen and Jeff’s wedding day was going to be so much fun when I saw the bridesmaids getting ready sporting “Team Stanish” tee shirts!
Aileen and Jeff had a beautiful outdoor ceremony at the Greendance Winery. All of the ladies in the wedding party, including the bride wore country style boots. The trellis was handmade by the bride groom specifically for the ceremony.
The Five Pines Barn had perfect lighting for the reception. The rustic ambiance perfectly suited Aileen and Jeff’s romantic vision for their day. Blue Daisy floral Design created stunning bouquets that complimented the dark purple and burnt orange fall wedding colors.
There are more Sneak Peeks from Aileen and Jeff’s Wedding on our Facebook Page. Please Like our page and tag yourselves!
Comments are welcome! Tell us what you think.
Golden Image Photography is amazing! Ben did a fabulous job from start to finish, including our engagement photo session. He was so much fun to work with and keeps everyone smiling all day long. The images Ben was able to capture on our wedding day are priceless. We will certainly have a fantastic collection of photos to document our special day. It is extremely evident that he loves his job and we love him for that. It was totally worth the investment for the quality product that results!
~Adrienne and Justin Pittsburgh, PA
I used Ben & Golden Image Photography for my wedding, and it couldn’t have gone better. I don’t usually photograph well because I’m not comfortable in front of a camera, but Ben put me so at ease; we have lots of gorgeous pictures. Ben was such a professional & a joy to work with. He got many, many, MANY great pictures of the day, but he wasn’t at all obtrusive or intrusive. Everything went very smoothly, I couldn’t have asked for a better photographer. If you need a photographer: hire him!
~Jessica and Ryan Pittsburgh, PA
I just want to say thank you to our AWESOME photographer Ben at Golden Image Photography for doing such a wonderful job. It was a pleasure working with him. Because of you and your wonderful work Rick and I will remember our wedding and reception exactly as it happened!
~Lisa and Rick H. Pittsburgh, PA