Tips From Wedding Professionals
Our vendors are some of the best in the business, so be sure to keep these tips handy as you plan your big day. One thing they all agree on? Start planning early!
"F&B minimum is the amount you are required to spend on Food & Beverage (before service charge and tax) and is based on the number of attendees and the amount of space requested. Rental fee is the amount you pay to rent the venue. Find out if the venue waives the rental fee when the F&B Minimum is reached."
"If you are planning an outdoor wedding, make sure the venue has an indoor option in case of inclement weather. Also find out if there will be an additional fee if you have to move inside."
"Make sure the venue is large enough to accommodate your guest list but also not too big for your guest list. Does the venue include things like tables, chairs, linens? Can you see the space set up for an event to get a feel for what it would look like for yours?"
"Knowing a rough estimate of your guest count and whether there needs to be room for a dance floor and catering will help make finding the right size tent a whole lot easier. A great rule of thumb is 18 sqft. per person at seated dinners with room for dancing."
"It's always a great idea to source your venue early. If your venue is around a hotel, make sure you ask for a courtesy block rate."
"Arrange your ground transportation (limos, buses, etc.) at least 3 months ahead and up to 6 months ahead if your event is during a high demand time such as the spring prom or fall wedding seasons. Make sure to inspect your units ahead of time so you know exactly what will be showing up on the day of your wedding."
"Create a wedding photography timeline with your photographer! It'll make you comfortable and confident in knowing how the photography portion of the day will flow."
"Communicate with your photographer and videographer and bring them onboard as part of your team. Ask if they know each other, have shot with each other before...or that they are willing to join you in planning the wedding shoot timeline, so you get the best from both professionals. A great way to get everyone playing nicely together is to hire them to do an engagement session together. You'll have fun, break the ice, and figure out how to work together to give you the amazing experience you want."
"Photographers have limited availability, so it is important to book the photographer you want to hire as soon as possible. It’s often the second priority on your list after booking a venue."
Planning & Design
"To save on reception designs, use your bridesmaid’s bouquets for centerpieces. If your ceremony and reception are in the same venue, use your ceremony stand pieces as centerpieces as well."
"When you are visiting and selecting a venue, it’s important to understand what is included in your package. Are linens included? Do they only provide white linens? Are the linens full length or lap length? Once you understand what is included, you can make decisions on style, color and the overall atmosphere and design you envision for your big day. Renting items you want or need typically saves you time, money and a lot of frustration."
"Your balloon designer should work with your planner and florist to incorporate blooms and greenery with balloons to create a cohesive look."
"Your guests will never know what you didn’t do, so don’t stress about it."
"If a full bar isn't in your budget, come up with one or two specialty cocktails to serve alongside your beer and wine. Your cocktail drinkers will still be delighted, and you will only have to purchase two types of liquor, saving you money and keeping the lines down."
"Do your research. Make sure your caterer is experienced, licensed, and insured."
"Please don’t rely on an entertainment company whose music inventory is in the cloud. A reputable service will own the music outright and it will be with them onsite on your big day!"
"Want your design elements to consistently flow throughout the wedding? If you provide your photo booth company with a digital copy of your invitation, they can use it to match fonts, elements, and colors on your photo booth printout!"
"Start preparing for your first dance 3-4 months before your wedding. You’ll have fun working on it together, and you’ll be relaxed and confident for the big moment."
"Find out what options are available from your bakery. Do they deliver and provide set up? Are there allergy friendly options? Can they provide flowers for the cake? Do they have additional options for dessert bars?"
"A year ahead is the ideal time to start looking for your gown. Gowns take upwards of 6 months to be made once ordered, and the alterations specialist will want to see you for your first fitting 2-3 months before your wedding."
"Keep in mind that styles change, and what looks cutting-edge today may look ridiculous in a few years. Remember the powder blue suits and ruffled shirts of the 70’s? A classic tuxedo never goes out of style."
Invitations & Stationary
"Start searching for your stationer as soon as you have the venue, date and time set. Usually 9 months to a year before the wedding. Order your invitations about six months out so they’re ready to mail 8 to 10 weeks before the wedding."
"Start planning your honeymoon early so you will have something to look forward to!
A travel agency that specializes in honeymoon travel can help you every step of the way."
"If you contact the preservation service ahead of time, they can arrange to get your flowers as soon as possible after the wedding and they will freeze dry beautifully."