This article is for the newly engaged couple who want to throw a stellar event, but don't know where to start. To help you, I've asked several of the industry's best professionals what they wish clients knew before the 1st consultation. So without further delay below are the 3 top factors of having a fantastic wedding.
The budget is one of the most important elements to a wedding. Having an open honest conversation about how much you are able to spend, where the money is coming from, and its allocation is key to making an event happen. Without a real time knowledge of what the facts are about the money, your event can turn into a real disaster. So ask yourself the below 3 questions when deciding your budgeting.
Is your budget realistic?
Events with Amore, Mauldin, SC.
"There are so many costs associated with planning a wedding and it’s a necessity to start with a realistic budget. This will show you how much money can be allotted in each category. Some couples don’t realize how quickly expenses add up and have an unrealistic budget set only to realize that it is soon far surpassed."
Who is paying?
Juanita Estell Gaynore ,
EABJ Consulting and Event Management, Decatur, GA
"As a planner I wish potential clients knew their budget and who is actually paying for the wedding. That helps us to identify 1. If they can truly afford a planner and 2. Will we have to fight with Mom because she’s paying and she’s trying to make this the wedding of HER dreams not yours."
What's most important to you?
Buzz Worthy Events, Washington DC
"As a planner/designer I'd love for the couple to come in knowing how they want to spend their budget. What's the most important aspect ? Decor, Floral, Cake etc. To me everything is planned around the answer to that question."
Now that you know how much money you'll spend and who is paying, you need to decide which services you need. Many will hire a professional to coordinate the entire event from planning and execution to payment of vendors and more. Others may just need a "Day Of" planner to help pull it all together. Below are some important considerations when hiring a pro.
What do you want?
Before you make your first appointment, it helps to know what you want from your event planner. Do you need them to plan, coordinator, and execute the entire affair? Are you going to coordinator and plan the event and the planner helps on the "day of"?
"There are different aspects of your wedding that a planner can be hired to do to meet your needs.
- Day of Coordination is for the couple who have already contracted their vendors. Your planner will work with all the other vendors, create a timeline and keep it followed, see that all your setup items have been placed, in addition to making sure that there is a smooth flow on the Wedding Day.
- Full planning encompasses everything from start to finish and ensures that everything you envisioned comes to fruition. Your planner is involved in every step and will help you with ideas, booking vendors, keeping within your budget, along with all of the Day of Coordination tasks." - Maria Amore of Events with Amore, Mauldin, SC
Are you being realistic about what's being offered?
Be open to what is necessary to make your dream come true. Having a realistic understanding of what is being offered can save you lots of time and aggravation.
Dara Fennell Baker
Bespoke and Beloved Events, Greensburg, PA
"I wish couples knew there was no such thing as a "Day of" coordinator. No one worth paying for is going to tell you that they can just show up the day of your wedding and make everything go smoothly. If you hire a coordinator, you still need to meet with them before the wedding to go over details."
I assisted a planner a couple of weeks ago with a wedding. The event was so adorable. Each detail, from colors, center pieces, photo lab, and more tied the event together, making it a complete experience for all who attended. There wasn't an out of place element to be found.
Complete the experience.
Rolande S. Sumner
Butter Angels Handcrafted Skin Care, Powdersville, SC
In my article "Wedding Favors: How To Leave Your Guests Feeling Loved, Abundant and Overjoyed", I point out ways to make your gifts a pleasant part of the hearts and minds of your guests. Bottom line, your guest's experience doesn't end with the cake or the last dance. Your guest carry the remnants of their wonderful night out the door with them in the form of favors. Gift your guest with favors that leave them thinking of the wonderful time they had for weeks and months to come.
Handcrafted and customized items are worth the cost.
Mass produced and cheap will get you ordinary, unremembered and disposable trinkets. If you want your luxury event to be a day to remember, you need to go with handcrafted and custom items. Your invitations, favors, and more must be tailored to your event, style and theme as much as possible. Being exceptional is how your dream day lives for months and years after the big day.
Letterally Speaking, Williston, VT
"Couples should have an idea of what is involved with the service they are consulting, and have an idea of what realistic costs are. As a calligrapher who deals with custom work, you cannot expect my work to be on the same price point as a cheaply manufactured, mass-produced item (which definitely isn't custom!). You also should be ready to tell me what your preferences are and a basic idea of your style. "
Think of your photos.
When you are old and gray, your photos are the only items left to remind you of your special day. Every finished detail is photographed and stored away. Don't skimp on the details, the result will last lifetime.
Poppies & Paisley, Milwaukie, OR
"I am a florist, I wish couples knew that their floral arrangements are some of the most photographed items besides their smiling faces. They can take a so so venue and turn it into a dream with the right designs."
Event professionals are there to collaborate and tie all of the elements of your dream day together to make it reality. Knowing your budget, the services you want and the details that are most important to you go a long way in assisting your event professionals in creating your desired event.