The Wedding Expert Overview - The Insiders Guide On How To Organise A Wicked Practical Fun and Stress-Free Wedding
Advice From The Expert-ables......
It might just be the two of you walking doon the aisle, but seriously rest assured the number of people bringing your mad vision of the celebration of union to life is huge. We've been chatting with our colleagues in the wedding industry for a while now. Taking time to discuss with other professionals from fellow photographers and planners, venues, caterers in an effort to get some good honest opinions and advice for our followers and couples on practical strategies for organising your big day.
Take The Recommendations With A Pinch Of Salt
A friend’s good word is a good indicator, but there isn't a magic vendor who with tetris master like precision forms and fits to every clients needs. Compatibility is key, compatability is prudent: Do you have the same commonalities and mindset as the advisor? If not , proceed very carefully. It's good to cherry pick your favourite vendors to suit your vision. It might be considered bad taste to scoop up all the vendors from a friends wedding but honestly don't make it all about checking off your list. Think of yourself first and make sure you're hiring the right people, bringing the right tool ( insert joke by Katie about me being a tool ) for the job.
Follow Your Heart
Dogs ( felines in our/my case) are well know for being mans best friend but in your case at least for however long your prep-period is - pen and paper are definitely now yours. Spend a couple of weeks separately recording inspirations for your wedding day in some wee notebooks. It's fascinating to sit down with a drink with your future significant other and see what ideas you are both bringing to the table. Katie and I both knew BBQ was the way forward for our rustic vintage farm wedding. Pinterest is a great place to centralise your inspirations into specific boards once you properly start collaborating on element of planning.
The Guest List
So you're finally getting down to brass tacks. The invite numbers. This is not to say be brutal, just be practical. If your relationship with this person or persons is something you have now and you want it to continue say another 30/40 years then boom add them onto the list! Otherwise, don't worry about it.
Talk To Those That Know Yo!
If you've done the impossible and thrown together your final candidates for each major service provider then you're doing well. Don't jump into any situation lightly. As my lawyer uncle says continuously - do the due dilligence! Do your homework! Ask to speak to a previous client. This may seem unreasonable and you may be one of those people who don't like conflict or to be an imposition. Nae bother - get your partner, best man, Mother of the bride to do it. Just do it. It's worthwhile and it's essential to be able to build a current picture of what your vendor is like at all stages of delivery.
First Impressions Count!
Think back - how did your professional or company react to your first meeting or enquiry? All of this is important. Quick replies are always nice but bare in mind if they don't get back to you within 5 minutes of your last email they might have their plateful. If someone is relaxed in their speech or formal in their emails which of these suits your temperament? Which of these puts you at ease? If the wedding and function band or the DJ tells you to come to a wedding to check them out, it ’s a hint that they may invite strangers to your day, so make very sure they understand that your day is for kin, clansmen and deplorable uni friends only!
Style Is One Thing, Range Is Another....
Always be on the lookout for as diverse a portfolio as you can find when you’re hiring any vendor or company. You want to see a body of work with a consistent level of quality -- not a one-trick pony who can only do, say, classic vintage. Your bag may definitely not be a Rocky Horror themed karaoke fishnet frolic! Although you're dead to me if it isn't. Seek out someone who pushes their craft and their service out-with their comfort zone and don't be afraid to ask your vendors about the scope for change once you've discussed ideas. What does your caterer do if you have unexpected extras turn up on the day? Can you suggest extra shots to your photographer on the day?
Can Supplier Lists Be Wrong? Is Familiar Tim-Curry-Fab?
In a good few instances, a vendor having a prior working relationship with a venue or site can be a big massive bonus. They should now be aware know about any shortcomings or ideosyncracies -- like if the space needs an AC or a genny or is it a struggle to get equipment in and out of -- and how do they work around factors like this. Is there a sound/volume limiter that your musical entertainment will have to contend with and is there a performance curfew that you or they are not aware of? If you’re having doubts, you can ask the venue manager or co-ordinator about their experience. Anyone who has worked in a customer service facing role will tell you that their impenetrable veneer of professional smiles can mask a wealth of stresses and strains. What is good to know is how well they play with others. I'm a photographer so there can be instances where I have never worked a venue before quite regularly in the year, but I prepare for this with a site visit and potentially the couples engagement shoot. This can be a hugely beneficial way to let all the worries of being photographed melt away in a heap of giggles whilst being able to scope out all the wonderful neuks of the venue with your couple and being able to further collaborate in the planning of awesome shots.
Hire People Who Are Straightforward, Helpful and Respect Your Budget
Whether you're forking out £100 or £100 million, hire a vendor that will perform on the day, when it counts. The best vendors will also be able to bring you great ideas on how to streamline your organisation for the day and even clever ways to pick out other vendors and a little industry knowledge can be a great inside track and confidence builder for overwhelmed couples. Look for the people who have your best interests at heart in short. You tend to find some of the nicest most wonderful and professional people in the industry are those that have been at it a while. Our wedding planner Roni Hyslop of All Wrapped Up Scotland was absolutely amazing. Her two decades of experience made her service just about the smoothest we've ever had the pleasure of being a part of. Never underestimate the value of a good planner future couples!
You want to collaborate with someone who will listen to your every disparate and caffeine crazed messenger rant and create with-you; the wedding that people will remember as quintessentially you. If you are a all about the bling don't go getting married in barn just because it seems like it's the only way to accommodate the numbers - see if your hotel, castle, community hall will let you knock up a decent sized marquee that you can decorate however you want without losing the natural light.
Don't be afraid to say no or even walk the hell away!
If something or someone is not meeting your expectations you need to express that otherwise the client/vendor relationship can turn toxic very quickly. Express the issue like and adult. I hate to make that sound so condescending but we are talking about weddings and these things can take on an emotional life of their own and you can feel out of control even divorced from the proceedings unless you take a breath once in a wee while and put your rational hat on. Speaking of breath we both got really into meditation during our wedding planning. Just 10 mins a day made us feel a lot more rational and in control and funnily enough we started having less arguments. We even said goodbye to a few vendors along the way but it was always after a good discussion with each other and having consulted other professionals to play devils advocate to make sure we weren't being hasty puddings!
As ever guys we hope this is helpful to you when organising your own amazing celebrations and we hope you'll be kind enough to leave us your thoughts and discussion points below so we can cover any ground you think we might have missed.