So you are engaged. NOW WHAT? Where do you start? How do you get the most for your money? How much money are going to spend? Are you going to have enough money? The questions go on and on. Well on April 10th at 6:30 pm join us for “How to have a Dream Wedding instead of a Nightmare” Workshop at “The Wedding Gallery.”
Everyone is invited for this 1 hour of planning advice. Enjoy a glass of wine and appetizers while we help you start to put things into perspective.
Items we will discuss:
- How do I set a Buget? Budget Analysis-What does an average wedding cost?
- How to allocate your funds-In other words; How much can I expect to spend on vendors for my wedding? What will a photographer cost? What if I want a photobooth, what is that going to cost? How much can I expect to pay for an open Bar? What are my options for alcohol? …..
- How do I interview a vendor? What questions do I ask?
- How do I negogiate a contract?
- How do I make up an itinerary for the day? What is a BEO?
- Question and Answer session
So let’s talk about these things for a minute or so.
- How do I set a Budget? Budget Analysis-What does an average wedding cost?
The #1 thing to do is realize what you can afford to spend. Without a reality check at the beginning it will cause your costs to skyrocket out of control. I know you have watched “My Fairy Wedding” and “Say Yes to the Dress” and you have bought every Bridal Magazine you can get your hands on an you know exactly what you want…now what can you afford? That is the ticket!
Sit down with whatever parties are contributing to the wedding and have a frank serious conversation about money. Money is the one thing that always causes arguments so be upfront with it right from the start. Do not assume that your in-laws are going to pay for the rehearsal, ask them. Don’t assume your parents will pay for the whole thing.. ask them!
Here is a link to an excel spreadsheet that will help you keep track of your expenses…USE IT!
This site will keep track of your spending!
2. How to allocate your funds-In other words; How much can I expect to spend on vendors for my wedding? What will a photographer cost? What if I want a photobooth, what is that going to cost? How much can I expect to pay for an open Bar? What are my options for alcohol? …..
Here is a link to help you know where to put your money.
This is not an exact but it will help you divide up the expenses. You will have to prioritize what is important to you and anyone else that is contributing to the cost. (I hate to break it to you but this is not just all about you. It is also about your family. So keep that in mind when making decisions.) You can rob Peter to Pay Paul, in other words decide what is really important to you. If you want a fantastic meal and open bar, you may have to compromise on the decor. If you just have to have that $5000 dress you might not be able to get those Chivari chairs… and so on. You get the picture.
3. How do I interview a vendor? What questions do I ask?
The choosing of vendors will occupy a great deal of time, so how do you choose the right one. We will discuss questions you need to ask and provide everyone with a list of those questions In fact all the attendants will receive a free information packet to get you started in the right direction.
Although you will have a particular set of questions you will ask the vendor, here are some basic things to keep in mind. We have found that it is useful to ask an open ended question first. The purpose of the open ended question is two-fold. 1) Some of their discussion may answer the questions you already have, and 2) You can get a good sense of their personality and communication skills. For example you can ask:
- Why don’t you tell me a little bit about yourself, your business, and how you work?
- What is your philosophy on photography (or catering, officiating, etc.)?
Their Personality does matter. You’re going to be in contact with this person for the length of the planning process, it is essential to make sure you have a vendor that meshes with your personality.
Know What You’re Looking For or at least be open about why you don’t know what you’re looking for. Identify your criteria for the type of vendor you’re interviewing. Outlining your criteria shows that you know what you want and that you’re not some flaky bride they’ll have to deal with. If you’re not sure what you want, tell the vendor you are not sure they may be able to help guide you in the right direction. But do not be a push over, listen then look over what is presented and make comparisons before you make a major decision.
4. How do I negotiate a contract? Yes contracts can be negotiated but you must first read it..yes read it. I don’t care that it is ten pages long, READ IT! If there is something you don’t understand ask. If you want something added tell them you want it added. If there is something you do not agree with do not sign it. ask if it can be altered. I cannot tell you how many times girls come to us with issues all because THEY did not read the contract carefully.
5. How do I make up an itinerary for the day? Work Backwards! What is a BEO? It is a Banquet Event Order prepared by your reception venue. You will use this to help with your itinerary. We will give you sample itineraries to help you make up an outline for the day.
6. We will then let you ask as many questions as you need to.
Join us April 10th at 6:30 pm at “The Wedding Gallery” for a workshop for You! “How to Plan a Dream Wedding instead of a Nightmare.” We look forward to seeing you.
Want to use this information, you are more than welcome as long as you credit the author
written by Margaret Moore Senior Planner of Simple Elegance Evets and Wedding Designs.