Larry James' CelebrateIntimateWeddings BLOG

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Wedding Planning Tips from a Newlywed

Filed under: Wedding Tips — Larry James @ 8:00 am
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Sonya Dunham, Guest Author

Nearly-wed couples can benefit greatly from newlywed wedding tips. After all, they have waded the waters of wedding planning and lived to tell about it.

computerbrideResearching tips to plan a wedding can be extremely overwhelming, and with so many wedding books and websites available, it is not surprising that many brides get stressed and confused before they have even made their first decision. Sifting through all the information can be costly and time consuming. With three simple suggestions, you will be on your way to planning your dream wedding and enjoying the process.

Researching is a great way to familiarize oneself with sage advice. So, by all means, do some research, but keep the invested time to a minimum. Searching too many websites can be confusing and overwhelming, and can be an unneeded drain on your time and sanity. The old adage “too many cooks spoil the broth” goes for wedding planning too.

Newly engaged brides stock up on wedding magazines, which can be a little pricey.

Certainly most couples will need to research and plan wedding attire, food, venue, etc., but there are a few facets of a wedding, regardless of a couple’s individual needs, that continues to be the main area of focus for a spectacular day:

Reading about etiquette is a great way to familiarize oneself with continually evolving advice and getting information about constructing a budget will help couples keep important aspects of the wedding in perspective.

The Knot, a one-stop wedding website, is a great source for etiquette and budgeting advice – of course any website that offers sound guidance is a good foundational tool for anyone planning a wedding – just remember to select a website and stay with it.

When looking for great wedding professionals, Wedding Wire proves to be one of the best resources. Wedding Wire offers free wedding websites, information and reviews on local wedding professionals, and many other services that can be utilized on websites like The Knot.

Researching tips to plan a wedding can be extremely overwhelming, and with so many wedding books and websites available, it is not surprising that many brides get stressed and confused before they have even made their first decision. Sifting through all the information can be costly and time consuming. With three simple suggestions, you will be on your way to planning your dream wedding and enjoying the process.

When it comes to entertainment, time lines, and tips on interviewing wedding professionals, nearly-wed couples should invest in “The Best Wedding Reception Ever!” by Peter Merry.

bridedancingEntertainment is the key to any successful wedding reception, regardless of style or size of the party, and Merry’s professional experience makes his book a priceless source for every couple planning their wedding. Merry has been helping couples create fun and entertaining wedding receptions for over 15 years. He’s an innovator, leading the wedding industry in a new and fresh direction.

“The Best Wedding Reception Ever!” is not just another “one size fits all” instruction booklet that ultimately disappoints readers. Couples who read Merry’s book will benefit from the 22 real couple profiles and the innovative ideas that are brought to the wedding planning forum. Additionally, Merry offers logical and priceless advice on how to construct a seamless time line, how to interview wedding professionals, and how to create an environment that screams “FUN.”

Having a few great sources at your disposal can make the planning process a pleasurable experience and can help you create the day of your dreams.

Interviewing wedding professionals is the key to unlocking your wedding dream day.

limoThe first thing a couple should know about selecting wedding professionals is that the most-referred wedding professional is not always the best fit for all weddings. Sometimes, the smaller companies can offer the best services for a couple. Therefore, zeroing in on a wedding professional’s mission statement, personality, and talents can help couples decipher whether someone is a good fit for their wedding team.

The complexity of a wedding can certainly dictate the number and type of wedding professionals a couple might need to hire, but complexity should not be the only consideration when deciding the size of one’s wedding team. A couple should also consider what kind of planning experience and wedding style they are desiring in order to assemble their support team.

Therefore, before a couple can assess whether any wedding professional is a good fit they must get to know their potential professional. Interviewing and getting references is key to successfully getting to know any potential wedding professional. Even if a wedding professional comes highly recommended, nearly-wed couples must interview and check references to ensure that there won’t be any surprises along the way. The old adage “It is better to be safe than sorry” definitely applies here.

Before visiting any wedding professional, a couple should know their budget, their total guest number, and have designated their wedding party. Having a clear vision of the day will help a nearly-wed couple obtain their dream wedding and help wedding professionals best serve them.

beautiful-gardenHere are few questions a couple should be prepared to ask all of their wedding professionals:

• Why did you choose to become a [insert type of professional. i.e. wedding planner, DJ, etc.]?
• How long have you been a [insert type of profession]?
• Are you certified in [insert the professional focus of the interviewee. i.e. wedding entertainment, event planning, catering, etc.]?
• Do you have an up-to-date business license [this is especially helpful in the areas of catering and adult beverages] and is that indicated in your contract?
• May I see a list of referrals and/or customer comments?
• Read, “Interviewing a Wedding Officiant? – Bring Lots of Questions!

Asking these questions will give a couple some insight into the commitment and experience of a wedding professional. Remember, although this is your wedding day, it is also business. Compiling a list of questions will not only better acquaint you with a wedding professional, but also protect you from deceptive individuals and safeguard you from fraud and illegitimate business practices.

Some couples are not able to create a vision for their day without the help of a wedding consultant and may seek to hire a planner to help, not only with the vision of the day, but also with contracting and hiring other wedding professionals, event venues, and food catering.

Whatever the level of involvement or range of professionals a couple has procured, having these three aspects [budget, guest total, and wedding party] decided will not only give the wedding planner a foundation on which to work, but also give all wedding professionals some solid boundaries.

The amount of responsibility a couple has in planning their wedding will depend on the couple. However, every couple must remember that there is a fine line between trusting a wedding professional to execute their vision and giving over complete control of their day. A nearly-wed couple must remain the final voice, as it is their day to remember and cherish forever. Thus, the day must be their vision and not the vision of any other person. So, make sure that your wedding planner (or any other wedding professional) is a complement to your voice and not a substitute for it.

Here are a few additional and more specific questions you can ask a wedding planner to help ensure that he or she is the best fit:

• What was the most challenging wedding you have planned and why?
• What are the most common problems you have encountered while planning and executing a wedding? How did you handle them?
• What are the duties you will handle as a wedding planner?
• In case of an emergency, what plan do you have in place to cover the wedding in your absence? Will someone else take over for you?

ringonfingerAlthough nearly-wed couples might not want to think about mishaps or missing wedding professionals, emergencies do happen. Therefore, a couple should know the contingency plans of prospective wedding professionals and ask to meet with any person(s) who might ultimately be responsible for executing their wedding day.

Whether a couple is hiring a DJ, Wedding Entertainment Director or live entertainment (such as a band), there are a few simple questions a couple can ask to further get to know their potential wedding entertainment:

• How many weddings do you perform in a year?
• How are your services different than others in your field?
• What services are included in the contract?
• How long can we contract your services and will there be any hidden or additional fees that aren’t covered in the contracted material?

Regardless of the type of wedding professional a couple is looking to hire, focusing on the essential wishes for the day should allow a couple to not only identify and prioritize a budget, but also highlight the specific questions needed for a thorough interview session. No question is a stupid question. Do not be afraid to ask as many questions as are pertinent to the job and situation in which you are hiring a professional. If a wedding professional is challenged or irritated by your thoughtful list, then that might be a sign that a potential professional is not for you. Often times, superb wedding professionals welcome all questions and even offer unsolicited advice or information.

The above questions offer a guideline, but it is important for a couple to create and tailor the questions specifically to their wedding day and to the wedding professional they are interviewing. Generic questions are good for logistic information, such as cost of services, but it is the questions that ask more about the professional and his or her services that will reveal the “heart” of the wedding professional and help the couple determine if the personality and work ethic of the professional is a good match.

In the end, do not substitute your intuition with someone elses reassurances. If something does not feel right in the interviewing process, then it probably is not right.

BONUS Article: No Thanks! A Family Friend Will Perform Our Wedding Ceremony
Top 10 Reasons to Hire a Wedding Planner

SonyaDunhamCopyright © 2012 – Sonya Dunham – Sonya studied English Literature and Writing at Park University and is a member of the English Honor Societies, Phi Theta Kappa and Sigma Tau Delta. She is a writer of mainstream and literary fiction, as well as non-fiction prose. Sonya lives with her husband and cat in seasonal Missouri, but often finds her heart alongside the Pacific Ocean in California. More about Sonya.

Larry James is a non-denominational minister and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 800-725-9223. You will find more than 470 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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6 Comments »

  1. Reblogged this on desiredassistanceweddings.

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    Comment by daweddings — Tuesday, April 17, 2012 @ 3:46 pm | Reply

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    Pingback by It's The Bride In Me – Wedding Planning Tips from a Newlywed « Larry James … — Tuesday, April 17, 2012 @ 12:02 pm | Reply

  4. […] aspects of the wedding in perspective. The Knot, a … … See the article here: Wedding Planning Tips from a Newlywed « Larry James … ← Wedding Planning on a Budget Bonus Wedding Planning on a Budget – $10 Off Rebate […]

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