10 rules to follow for good wedding planning
#1- First thing first! Make your guest list
This is the most important thing you have to do before anything else including booking the venue. Why? Because the number of guests that will be coming at your wedding will determine everything. From the size of the venue, food, center pieces, party favors and invitations, this number will be essential to your budget and all the decision concerning your wedding.
#2 - Budget your wedding
You can’t plan a wedding correctly if you have no idea of how much money you are planning on spending. Sit down with your fiance and start talking about number. Keep in mind that a southern California wedding average cost are about $37,000. They are many ways to save money if you take the time to research and compare. Talk to the vendors you are meeting in bridal shows, they know many tricks to help your budget.
# 3 - Book the right venue
There are many elements that play into booking a venue. The number of guest, your budget, the availability, the time frame, the overall look for photography, and the services that are included or not. Take your time and compare one another. Don’t settle because you can afford it, it needs to looks good on your wedding day for your photography. You might want to push away the date if you want avoid the ugly picnic backyard wedding and save more for the venue of your dream.
#4 – Hire your vendors on time
Most vendors required at least to be hired 6 months to a year in advance. Why? Because the good ones get booked first! If you have found the perfect DJ don’t wait the last minute because you are short on the deposit. He will certainly be booked by another bride. For the rule of thumb, wedding planner, DJ and photographer need to be hired right after you booked the venue.
#5 – Don’t hire “a Friend”!
Unless he or she is a professional from the wedding industry, don’t even think about it! Sure, you might same few dollars, but a disaster could cost you more that your bargain for. Your wedding memory is priceless so don’t take a chance to regret it. Photographers have an eye and expertise in lighting that no friend could come up with and wedding DJs know how to orchestra all the vendors together without missing a song and a moment. So, spend the extra money and save yourself from the biggest mistake you could do at your wedding.
#6 - Meet everybody in person before hiring
If you are an internet bride, you feel like you can just do everything online. Find the perfect dress, the shoes, the invitations. So, why not hiring everybody from your living room? Because they will be coming at your wedding in person and you don’t want someone with a very strange personality showing up at your wedding. The internet might help you find few valid contacts but there are a lot of scammers on the web. Meeting in person will allow you to see if their personality fit yours and if they understand your vision. You also get to see their work in front of you. Only one rule, don’t sign until your meet in person and check all business references.
#7 – Contract and liability insurance
While you are trying to figure out what wedding professional is going to be the lucky one to get hired, you have to be able to make a difference between the ones you want and the bad ones you don’t. Keep in mind that the contract is what is keeping you save under the law. Don’t hire anybody without a contract and same rule goes with liability insurance. Most venues will only allow vendors with insurance. If those 2 items can’t be provided, go to the next vendor.
#8 - Meet more than one vendor per category
You might be egger to be done with your do it list and you might rush a little bit too fast by doing so and you are missing on the perfect vendor. You have to meet few DJs, few photographers, and other wedding professional making decision. Signing a contract on the first consultation might just ruin your chance on saving and hiring a better vendor if you had met him on the second or third consultation. Know the competition and what the market has to offer.
#9 - Don’t DIY everything!
Planning a wedding is an art and requires a lot of time and attention to detail. This is why we will always recommend hiring a professional wedding planner. It’s obviously your first wedding and yes, mistake will be made. Unless your trust your wedding vendors. Now, if you still want to be more involve because you have some time on your hands, Rather than taking on too many projects, pick the one (or two) that you're really in love with and put your resources (like the invitation or the candy bar) into working on those. For the others, do a little research and try to find a ready-made version that makes you happy. With so many great prefab goodies out there, chances are you'll find one that fits your style -- and saves you a whole lot of time and money! But, keep in mind that it’s never too late to hire a wedding planner.
#10 - Communication
You just got back from a bridal show and your email is loaded with wedding vendor offers. Don’t panic, it’s their job, you just met them and they all want to be hired. They all need an answer even if it’s a brief no thank you, I have hired someone. Same with text and phone call. Keep in mind that vendor that communicate well and fast with you are the ones to keep, it’s a great sign of attention and professionalism.
For the vendors you already hired allow yourself to respond to any question they might have by checking your emails once a day and let your vendors know if you made any change. Communication is key for a perfect planning.