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what to expect from consultations with wedding vendors …

So you’re going to get married! Congratulations! This is a special time in your life, planning your celebration and yes, dealing with some stress that goes along with it. It’s a big monetary investment!

When you begin your quest to plan your awesome day to share with family and friends, you’ll begin the process of interviewing your potential wedding vendors. Here are some tips that may help you along the way, as to what to expect.

tips on what to expect from your wedding vendor consultations

1. vendors will give you lots of free advice, about other vendors.

When you meet with your potential wedding venue, photographer, videographer, DJ etc. you may ask or they may give you advice on other wedding vendors they know that are good. Wedding venues like to refer (in general) vendors that they have worked with before and enjoy having at their venue. This does not necessarily mean that they won’t work with others, it’s based on their experiences. Every vendor has an opinion, which they are entitled to have. However, when a wedding planner gives you advice on a vendor, they will take into account your overall budget and your personality. This makes for a great match and ultimately a wedding dream team. Planners have a wider breadth of vendors to suggest to you for your wedding day. Consider it a more ariel perspective, as we work with all the vendors, in every aspect of the day. We know their strengths and weaknesses. For instance, a fabulous caterer that performs better for a small gathering would not be necessarily someone to recommend for a 450 guest wedding at a private residence.

2. don’t pump wedding planners for lots of free referrals.

While we don’t necessarily charge for vendor referrals (some planners do, and that’s fine). It is our business to know wedding vendors that may be a great fit for you (see above). By contracting a wedding planner, they will then start with building the proper wedding team. Asking a planner on floor plans, venues to recommend, where we get our products we order and more, puts us in a problematic situation. We need to prove to you that we know what we are knowledgeable and experienced, but we can’t give away all our secrets before you actually become our paying clients. Or, we won’t stay in business. We hope you understand.

3. do not expect them to lower their prices for you.

Everyone has a story. And while we appreciate that, we also have a story. For instance, making a living that will sustain our businesses and families. Negotiation is fine, it’s part of doing business. But we are not able to give away “free services” or “free products” to every client that we meet. Keep an open mind, and in any art of negotiation, it needs to be a win-win situation for both parties.

Final thoughts: please be sure you’re on the same page before you meet with a vendor. You cannot believe how incredibly awkward it is to smile, while a couple argues in front of you. We’re not judging, we ALL argue with our S.O.’s. But we don’t want to listen to it at our first meeting. Think about the child who says, “I cry when Mommy and Daddy fight”. Yeah. That’s us. Awkward.

And remember: every wedding vendor wants to help you. We want to make money, we want to stay in business, and we want to work like crazy to make sure YOUR day, is a celebration that everyone will remember.

Have any questions? Post them and we would love to answer!

featured photo credit: jesse and gena weddings

plan on! 


problems with your wedding vendors …

Your wedding is one of the most important days you’ll remember. And let’s face it, it is an expensive day.  Even with meticulous planning, situations may occur (okay, go wrong) and it is directly because of one of your wedding vendors.

If you read this blog, you know, we keep it real here.

When these things happen, it’s easy to get very upset. We get that. That’s is why it is so important to hire professional vendors. Businesses that have experience and the means to make sure that your day goes smoothly and wonderfully.

However, there are situations that can make things go terribly wrong.

when planning your special day, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Vendors are human. Which means they are not perfect (hate that word). There are unforseen health problems. Workers that don’t show up. Product that doesn’t get shipped. On a personal note, we had two weddings planned a couple of days after the death of my father (clients never knew), worked with a broken toe and a fever of 102 degrees. You cannot plan for these situations, but you must get the job done.
  2. Have realistic goals for your wedding. It will not be perfect, because there is no such thing. It can, however, be one of the best and most memorable days of your life.
  3. Get things in writing. A caterer may verbally agree to have 18 waitstaff to assist with serving your wedding guests. But if it is verbal and you have a concern, then you need to make sure you get it in writing. Always, get it in writing. I cannot tell you how many times I have worked with sales people at venues/catering that promise services but then they are no longer employed by the time the wedding is there. They promise this and that. But if it is verbal, you do not have a leg to stand on.
  4. Sometimes it’s out of our control. Inclement weather and acts of God is usually written into contracts. Rain plans with no tents, no additional electricity provided and so on. We do the best we can under the circumstances that are dealt to us. You should keep that in mind when hiring and planning your wedding.
  5. Vendors are not mind readers. If you are not happy during your wedding then communicate. Sometimes (not all the time) vendors are capable of fixing what is bothering you. But if we don’t know about it until Monday after your celebration, then there is not much anyone can change at that point.
feature photo credit: jordan barclay photography

plan on!


why we didn’t hire a wedding planner … but wish we would have

Sometimes there is little debate about hiring a wedding planner BEFORE the wedding. But after the wedding it’s a different story.

While this does appear to be self-serving, this was one of the most well-thought out articles that I have ever read! And I’ve read a lot on this subject. In fact, it made me stop to think, “Hey, we DO help with that”!

here are a few favorite excerpts:

Contrary to what I had thought, hiring a wedding planner doesn’t mean outsourcing your entire wedding; a wedding planner only handles what you want them to (support at the start to get you on the right track, on-the-day coordination only, or indeed the whole shebang) so won’t take over and choose your final bouquet design for you.

During our engagement, several recently married friends told me that in the final month before the wedding they had been so exhausted that they just wanted the day to be over. This ended up being true for me: in the final week I lost five pounds from stress, burst into tears a few times and my groom and I were snapping at each other. Bringing on board a professional planner to help and take some of the workload off our hands definitely would have made sense (and they probably could have given advice on managing family drama).

Despite thinking that researching vendors ourselves was the only way to ensure we could make the best supplier decisions, this didn’t work out so swimmingly. Out of 15 or so wedding day vendors, there were only three that we were actually totally happy with… and some others we were extremely unhappy with.

Things went wrong at the last minute. Tiny things, but they were unnecessary and brought a general feeling of stress on a day my groom and I had planned to be lovely and relaxing. Someone to handle those details for us would have been amazing.

And many more awesome and poignant points. Check out the full read here. Thank you Reflective Bride for the awesome read!

plan on!


one week before your wedding …

Listen up, my lovely clients. You’ve planned your wedding and now it is here! One week before your wedding, baby, ONE WEEK!

be sure to do these five things on the last week of your wedding

  1. Make lists. Get it all out of your head and dump it onto paper, phone reminders, whatever. And share it with your wedding planner. You will forget things if they aren’t written out.
  2. Chill out. Go get a massage. Go to the movies. Work out. Do something for yourself that has nothing to do with the wedding.
  3. Large storage bin. Put it your living room and start putting all your personal wedding stuff inside it as you come across the items. This will be brought to the church/reception on Friday. Easy to forget stuff if your wedding information is all over the place.
  4. Pamper yourself. Get that manicure. Take a nap when you’re exhausted. Don’t feel guilty. Take time off work!
  5. Accept help. For some this is the hardest. Whether it’s calling your wedding planner or asking family to do something for you, including running a quick errand. DO IT! Delegate!
featured photo credit: pfe iphone

plan on!


planning your wedding too early …

Is there such a thing? Being too organized?

Wedding planning is a process, it takes time. No reason to rush and no reason to get ahead of yourself. Sometimes we find that clients will change their minds too often or second guess their choices.

Or simply, even though it started out to be a really fun project, after 15 months of planning … you’re just, well, over it.

So pace yourself. Don’t get mad at yourself if you have missed deadlines. Sometimes it’s better to put forth concentrated effort and is often more productive.

featured photo credit: pfe iphone

plan on!

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