Your fiancé just proposed to you and you guys are off to plan your wedding. And....... the question " Where to start?", just hit your head. Don't Panic, after reading the post you will have enough information to start planning your wedding.
The first step its to pick a venue for your wedding before searching for other venders like photographers, videographers, etc. That would be step 2 in your planning process, because the first question the vendors ( I, myself as a photographer) would ask you when and where its your wedding. Dates are very competitive especially in the Summer/Fall season. So be ready to have a few dates that work for you when going venue hunting.
The person who will be showing you the venue and all the details you will need to know for your wedding would be the sales manager, but you wouldn't see him/her during your wedding. Maitre d would be the person you will meet on the day of the wedding, who will be the headwaiter communicating between the kitchen and the reception including other vendors.
When you search for a venue, there a some homework that you should do to save you time. Here are some info you should make note of :
-Style and the theme of the venue , does it match the theme that you want.
-Does it offer indoor or outdoor reception / ceremony. Some of you would want a
outdoor wedding setting and some venue can make that happen.
-Guest count. Some venue have a minimum requirement of guests in order for you to book them. Usually starts at 50, 100, 120, 150, 200 guests count depending on the venue.
-Weekday, Weekend,Daytime, Nighttime rates. Yes, different time have different rates.
-Price per person. Usually in the $125 to $180 range, depending on your food menu.
-Lighting and sound. Most of the time we would think that it should be the DJ & Emcee who would be responsible for it, BUT! Some venue will only let you use their prefer vender and no outside vender. The rates are usually higher than seeking your own.
-Service charges and Tips. Sometimes you would see on your invoice have a service charge / tips included from 18% to 25% depending on your venue. Be sure to ask if you will need to pay extra tip on the day of, as some places will charge service charge as one and tips as another.
The next stop its second important from booking a venue its your photographer! After you successfully booked your venue and set date, you can seek your prefer photographer and see if they are available. Your photographer its not just someone who will be photographing your important day, but also someone who you will need to communicate with before, during, and after the wedding. For me as a wedding photographer, I would need to know the style and theme of the wedding. The story behind their love story, so a meet up or engagement photo session would be a start. That way, I can get to know the couple better and we would make a connection, so on the day of the wedding it would ease the tension. Some couple might not meet the photographer until the day of the wedding. Before the wedding day, a rundown of the day its needed and must send to the photographer a few days or weeks prior. If changes are needed, you still have time. I, sometimes would work on the rundown with the couples as they don't know what the realistic rundown be like. On the wedding day, your photographer would act as a coordinator as well. He/she would need to keep track of the time and they you whats next. So when you are seeking for your photographer, their rates include meeting up, planning, shooting on your wedding day, and post production. Don't be surprise when you get quote and think that he/she will be just shooting on the day of. They will be the one taking care of you before, during, and after your wedding.
Another vendor that is also as important as your photographer would be your videographer. It would be best if you can get a photographer and a videographer who have worked together before. Usually, when you seek either one, they would have a prefer videographer or photographer that can recommend you. You will need to communicate with them before the wedding too. They would want to know your love stories, so when they film your wedding they can film your story. Everyone reacts different to camera, and its best for the videographer and photographer knows how you act. So they can suggest ideas for you and make the wedding as relax and enjoyable as possible.
Your next vendor would be your makeup artist and hairstylist. You will be meeting your guests in person and be photograph as well. A good makeup artist and hairstylist would make you look good in camera and off camera. Kinda confuse? Let me explain. Cameras eat your makeup due to lighting from the sun and camera flash. Your makeup artist will balance the heaviness of the makeup that can look good in camera and off camera when you meet the guests. Some makeup artist would include a trial in their package, if its not included, be sure to purchase one from them. Be sure to bring your wedding dress when you go for the trial, so they know which style of makeup and hairstyle fits you.
Other vendors that you should be seeking as soon as you can are you florist, DJ and Emcee, decoration, and wedding cake vendors.
- Book your venue first
-Seek your photographer
-Seek your videographer , makeup artist, DJ & Emcee, Florist, Decoration
-Communicate with your photographer
-And most of all, Relax and Enjoy !
After booking your venue and vendors, its time to send out your RSVP to your guest. If you have any questions, and want to know my price list if you like my work www.kevinkoophotography.com, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.