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How To Choose And Work With Wedding Vendors, Professionals And Service Providers

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.
    For example:

    VERY IMPORTANT- URGENT

  • Date
  • Budget
  • 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.
  • Attire
  • Menu and Beverages
  • Florist
  • Cake
  • Photographer – videographer
  • Invitations
  • Musicians
  • Wedding day help – before, during and after the wedding.

    LEAST IMPORTANT – MOST FLEXIBILE TO, CHANGES AND COMPROMISES.

  • Wedding day schedule
  • Readings at ceremony
  • Music selection
  • 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
  • Wedding favors
  • Centerpieces
  • 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
  • Disc Jockey
  • Destination weddings
  • Do it yourself, make your own – materials and supplies outlets
  • Florists, Floral Designers, Decorators
  • Honeymoon
  • 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
  • Musicians
  • 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 Accessories
  • Wedding and guest Accommodations
  • Wedding Attire – Gowns, Tuxedos
  • Wedding Cakes
  • Wedding Flowers
  • 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 Planners
  • Wedding rehearsal and reception venue and catering
  • Wedding Rings
  • 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.

    Have fun!

    To read more articles by Nily Glaser click here
    To read more articles by Nily Glaser CLICK HERE

    Copyrights © Nily Glaser 2007
    For your FREE “Planning your wedding” checklist, CLICK HERE

  • A to Z Guide to Wedding Planning!

    • A is for Atmosphere

    Setting the scene for the perfect wedding can be a daunting task and with wedding trends changing rapidly over time, it can mean decision making is hard. Often the best place to start is by thinking about the formality of the event and how you would like your guests to feel on your wedding day! Whether you choose a relaxed garden wedding with subtle coloring and natural tones or a themed wedding at a wild venue with bold wedding colors and outlandish wedding decorations, whichever way you go it is the wedding atmosphere that you create that will generate the most memories!

    • B is for Bachelorette Party & Bridal Shower

    Second to choosing your bridesmaids, this is often the next stage in the planning of your pre-wedding activities! This is the event, other than the wedding itself, that the girls look forward to most! Renowned as the tamer of the two, a bridal shower is a gift-giving party held for a bride-to-be in anticipation of her wedding, it is a time for the females in your life to get to know each other and to share advice before your big day.

    The Bachelorette Party also known as a hens night, hens party or hens do on the other hand is deemed “an evening of debauchery,” a girls night out in honor of the bride-to-be in the style that is common to that social circle. This is when the bridesmaids take control, organising silly outfits for the bride, dares and games along with gifts for the girls including name tags, fun drinking straws along with personalised bachelorette koozies for a unique gift idea!

    • C is for Ceremony

    Ultimately your ceremony, the moment where two people are united in marriage, is the reason you are planning this special day. The way that you choose to perform your ceremony and the wedding reception that follows are often linked in formality and theme and the options are endless.

    For the ceremony you will have to give some thought to the location, a church or temple, beach, garden or formal venue often this is driven by the choice for a civil or religious ceremony. Most ceremonies have a similar structure, with your vows, readings and music making a personal service.

    • D is for Destination Wedding

    More and more couples are escaping the traditional big celebration wedding in favor of a smaller more intimate ceremony in an exotic location. Whether your destination wedding is overseas or interstate it can still take a lot of organization, not only for the couple and the wedding day itself but in making it fabulous for the guests that have gone that extra mile to share in your special day!

    • E is for Engagement

    Congratulations on your Engagement, let the fun begin. Start with your engagement announcements, maybe a notice in the newspaper to inform the community or an item that you can send in the mail to let your friends and family know the good news! If you are moving fast you could even add your wedding save the date to your engagement announcement to help with your planning budget.

    Some couples will choose to have an engagement party, an opportunity to celebrate with family and friends and for future guests to get to know each other before the big day. Engagement party favors are often handed out to the guests as a thank you for attending, such as candy treats or custom beer koozies to take home as a memento.

    • F is for Favors

    Wedding favors also known as bonbonniere are small gifts given as a gesture of thanks to guests from the bride and groom. Wedding favor ideas have become a major part of wedding planning, with modern gift trends including: CDs with the favorite music of the bride and groom, candy jars, picture frames and wedding koozies. Gifts may also be personalized with the couple’s names, initials or wedding date and even an individual guest name to create a gift and place card.

    If you choose wedding Koozies as your wedding favors then it is a great idea to start browsing the designs a few weeks before you need them to be delivered. There is an extensive range of designs available to help you create the perfect match to your wedding color scheme, theme and more. Please read a previous article to help with your design; Personalized Wedding Favors on a Budget – Inspiration for Wedding Koozies to Wow Your Guests!

    • G is for Gift

    A wedding present is a gift taken by a guest to congratulate the couple on their marriage. There is usually some etiquette when it comes to gift giving, some couples may choose to take the hard work out of this for their guests and have a gift registry with a wish list to choose from. Others may have a wishing well, this is where guests can anonymously drop cards and monetary gifts into a box known as a wishing well to help the couple on their way to starting a new life together.

    • H is for Honeymoon

    A honeymoon is the traditional holiday taken by newlyweds to celebrate their marriage in seclusion. Jetting off to somewhere exotic and romantic is not uncommon although the holiday should be something of choice that suits the couple’s outlook and interests. For couples on a budget a destination wedding can be a great way to spread the cost making the addition of a few days for a honeymoon easy.

    • I is for Invitations

    Wedding invitations are a great way to set the scene for your guests. As a follow on from your wedding announcement or save the dates, your wedding invitations can be fun or formal but should be informative and hold an RSVP date so that you can keep to a deadline in your wedding planning.

    In modern times the way an invitation arrives is becoming more and more imaginative, you might choose a link to an online wedding website where guests can respond electronically or include a link to a video message. Items sent in the mail can also be creative and unique such as origami style folded gifts, printing a message on a balloon that can only be read once blown up or sending custom wedding koozies for your guests to enjoy at home and on bring on the day!

    • J is for Jewellery

    Wedding jewellery can be simple and sophisticated or bold and colorful. This is a very personal choice that that bride will make when choosing her wedding dress and bridal party attire.

    Sometimes traditional jewellery will be passed down the generations within a family, bridal accessories can include earrings, bracelets, tiaras and hair combs to name a few.

    • K is for Kiss

    “You may now kiss the bride”… the words that the groom has been waiting for all day! Many couples will have a discussion prior to the wedding about the kiss, some even finding this the moment that makes them most nervous! Questions like, how long should it be? Should it be a full-on smooch? Or just a peck? What is the etiquette in wedding kisses? The answer to which is that there is not really an etiquette, just show each other how happy you are to be making this promise to each other and show this off to your guests, just bear in mind that you might be in front of your parents, grandparents and young children.

    • L is for Love

    LOVE. An intense feeling of deep affection and the reason you have been ploughing all of your time into planning the ultimate wedding celebration. Say no more.

    • M is for is for Music

    One big question for your wedding reception, DJ or Band? Often the answer to which is dependent on budget, formality of your event and location. There is also the decision of which music you should be walking down the aisle to, creating an amazing playlist that will get your guests on their feet and of course the first dance! Here are our choices for a first dance song;

    Top 5 First Dance Wedding Songs

    1. Make You Feel My Love – Adele
    2. You Are The Best Thing – Ray LaMontagne
    3. Kiss Me – Ed Sheeran
    4. The Way You Look Tonight РMichael Bublé
    5. Better Together – Jack Johnson

    • N is for New

    If you are following tradition in the sense of the rhyme “something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue” then this is your something NEW! You can include your wedding dress as your something new if it is made to order, or perhaps one of your bridal accessories or a fancy new pair of shoes. Let’s face it when it comes to your wedding there will be a whole heap of items that you can consider using to tick this box!

    • O is for Outdoor Wedding Venue

    Weddings are often planned for the perfect weather, the most popular seasons for a wedding are spring and summer so that you can have great light for your wedding photographs and that you have the best chance of enjoying sunny spells outdoors with your guests over welcome drinks.

    Your outdoor wedding venue might be in a national park, flower garden, winery or a beautiful beach, whichever you choose for your outdoor wedding be sure to have a wet weather plan on hand, just in case!

    • P is for Photographer

    Wedding photography for a lot of couples is a big box to tick. It is lovely to be able to capture your big day and all of that hard work into images that you can cherish for years to come. Choosing a photographer can be a daunting task, be sure to ask around for recommendations, view portfolios of previous work and get to know your photographer so that they learn to capture what is important to you. Looking at your photographs together as a family is a beautiful way to connect after the event, each image will tell its own story and each story will be a memory captured for life!

    • Q is for Quiz

    The Mr & Mrs Quiz, the ultimate quiz that any bachelorette should have to complete on their ‘last night of freedom’..! It is a fun way for the maid of honor to connect with and get to know the groom before the event. She will prepare a series of questions that the groom will answer, things can of course get a little cheeky depending on the formality of the bridal shower or bachelorette party, the bride will then need to see how many answers she can match to the groom’s responses, often followed by a forfeit for every wrong answer.

    • R is for Reception

    Wedding reception, this is the fun part, after you have nervously said your vows in front of your family and friends you can relax with food, drinks and dancing at your wedding reception. Wedding reception ideas include a formal sit-down meal, cocktail reception or a casual beach BBQ. You can usually leave this up to your wedding planner or venue to organise, that way you can enjoy the celebration and spending time with your guests.

    • S is for Save the Dates & Stationery

    Your wedding announcement and first item of wedding stationery is your Save the Date! An ideal gift used for long engagements this is designed to be sent out to your guests well in advance of the formal invitation, once you have your date set you can mail these out so that your guests can save the date in their diary. Some popular methods of sending a save the date include; postcards, calendars, tickets, magnets, custom beer koozies and more.

    • T is for Table Plan

    T is also for troublesome, often considered one of the most controversial parts of the wedding planning process, the dreaded table plan! Great aunt Joan cannot be near second cousin John and really you’d like to sit with your pals rather than follow the traditional top table style with your parents… at the end of the day this is your wedding and as a couple you should be able to choose a seating plan to suit your wedding formality and your guests.

    • U is for Ushers

    An usher, also known as a groomsman is normally a friend of the groom that has been recruited to direct guests at the ceremony, and generally be available to the bride and groom for assistance throughout the whole wedding event. The ushers would generally be dressed in the same wedding attire as the groom and best man and would feature in the formal wedding photographs alongside the bridesmaids.

    • V is for Vows

    The exchange of wedding vows is an important part of your wedding ceremony. It can be a very romantic moment and often the perfect place to express your feelings for each other. Vows can be modern or traditional, led by a minister or celebrant, written for you or by you and can be tailored to your individual personalities.

    • W is for Wedding Dress

    Almost every girls wedding dream begins with the dress! There are so many gorgeous styles available and all designed to suit different shapes and sizes… you can find the perfect wedding dress style amongst these… Ball gown, mermaid, A-line, Sheath. Strapless, V-neck, halter-neck, one-shoulder, illusion and more!

    Once you have found the perfect style, you can start to create a unique look through the color and density of the material, heavier fabrics such as brocade and jacquard or lighter materials like silk and chiffon, traditionally a wedding dress would be predominantly white or ivory in color, but these days anything goes!

    • X is for X -rated (entertainment at bachelor party)

    Although it is not necessarily the way every groom will spend their last night of ‘freedom’, the bachelor party, as portrayed in the movie The Hangover, certainly has a reputation for being a night or indeed a weekend of debauchery! Some will go all out with a weekend in Vegas, but generally the party vibe will include trendy bars, nightclubs and, most importantly, strip clubs!

    Much like the bachelorette party, this is where the best man and other members of the bridal party will shine with ideas, organising embarrassing outfits for the groom, along with drinking games and dares! Gifts for the guys might include matching t-shirts, shot glasses, beer horns or custom beer koozies personalised for each of the guys!

    • Y is for Years

    The number of years spent together, number of years engaged and then number of years married. Once your wedding day becomes a wonderful memory you have the many years of wedding anniversaries to look forward to and to celebrate. Each anniversary that passes will have a symbolic gift that is presented, there is both a traditional and modern gift here is the traditional list;

    • 1st Paper
    • 2nd Cotton
    • 3rd Leather
    • 4th Fruit/Flowers
    • 5th Wood
    • 10th Tin/Aluminium
    • 15th Crystal
    • 20th China
    • 25th Silver
    • 30th Pearl
    • 35th Coral
    • 40th Ruby
    • 45th Sapphire
    • 50th Gold
    • 60th Diamond

    • Z is for Zero Regrets

    In a perfect world, every bride and groom would have the perfect wedding with absolutely no mishaps. However, this is not the perfect world and every turn makes for a new story! Our only advice is to enjoy every minute of your special day, spend as much time with each guest as you possibly, and have zero regrets!