Let’s start with the basics. No matter what type of service you are booking for your wedding, whether it is a photographer, cinematographer, event stylist, hair and make-up artist or DJ, having a formal contract, in writing is an absolute must. Without a contract you have no guarantee or agreement of the services provided, along with the big question of whether the vendor will hold the date of your wedding. Without a contract, and some sort of initial payment, you can highly assume that the vendor may not provide services on the day of your wedding.
Here are a few key components of a legitimate contract:
1. The Basics:
- Name of the Bride and Groom
- Contact information of the Bride and Groom
- Date of service(s)/wedding
- Contact information of the vendor
- Location of venue(s)- some contracts allow this to be confirmed at a later date
- Start and end times – some contracts allow this to be confirmed at a later date
- Deposits and final payment amounts
- Signature of all involved parties
When you create a contract with a vendor, it is essential to clearly indicate the service you are contracting for and the details associated with that service. It could be a few bullet points or complete sentences, but it should confirm in writing the services agreed upon. This will assist in avoiding confusion when confirming details of what is expected a few weeks prior to the wedding. For example, if you are signing a AV/Lighting contract, it should list exactly what type of lighting you are receiving ie. pin-lighting, spot lighting, intelligent lighting etc. Review the contract before signing it to ensure all details are outlined correctly and as per your wishes.
Every contract should include a clause that outlines the cancellation and refund policy. Make sure to read through the cancellation and refund policy very carefully as some tend to be very complex. Understand the amounts you’ll be refunded and the cut-off dates for cancellations. Sometimes unforeseeable situations occur that can cause the wedding to be cancelled or delayed. It’s crucial to know what the cancellation and refund policy entails.
If a vendor refuses to provide a contract or is missing essential information, ask to have it included. Always think twice if a contract does not include key details.
Protect yourself and your wedding by always signing a contract with each vendor.
Creating a seating plan for your wedding can be one of the more tedious tasks closer to the big day. There are many different types of seating options to choose from. Below are options that are frequently used at weddings.
Open Seating – Pick any seat!
This seating option works great for small, intimate weddings. Having open seating is a great option if your guests are comfortable with one another and are familiar. It’s great to be seated next to someone whose company you enjoy! However, this seating option may not be the most suitable for a large wedding. Guests find it a hassle to look for a seat themselves, and it becomes difficult to manage which tables have seats left.
A seating chart is one of the most commonly preferred styles of a seating plan. Easy to use and read, display all the names of your guests by first or last name, along with the table number beside it. For larger groups consider having one chart for the groom and one chart for the bride. You can also personalize and get creative with the design of your seating chart.
Escort cards are an aesthetically appealing option. An escort card displays the name of the guest, followed by the assigned table number on individual cards. You can have them in small envelopes or two fold tents. Place them in alphabetical order on your receiving table to add character to the entrance. Using escort cards also gives you the advantage to make any last minute changes without a big hassle.
Seating Chart + Place Cards
Make it even easier to seat your guests by using a seating chart and place cards. Place cards are placed on each table setting with the name of the guest to make is easy for guests to know exactly where they are sitting at the table. This is a great way to add some creativity to your guest tables.
Before creating your seating plan, always ensure to have a floor plan from the venue. This can also effect the type of seating option you choose to have. Try to be as accommodating as possible, and make it a memorable experience for your guests. Now, if everyone please take their seats, we are about to begin!
The moment you’ve all been waiting for; the Bride and Groom speech! Writing your speech can be nerve-racking and intimidating. With a ton of emotion involved it is often difficult to know where to begin. Here are a few pointers to get you started:
- Plan ahead – Do not wait until the last minute. Avoid writing your speech the night before your wedding. You’ll feel panicked and rushed, and you may forget key points that you want to address. The night before the wedding is overwhelming, especially with the crazy amounts of emotions. With chaos in the wedding house and guests all around, finding a quiet time to sit down and begin writing likely won’t happen. Give yourself enough time to really think about what you want to say, and how you want to say it.
- Have a little fun – We know your speech will address all the emotions you’ve been feeling throughout the wedding planning process, but it’s also okay to keep it light and fun. Add in a little joke or two to take the weight off the seriousness of the speech and keep your guests engaged. Friendly language can also make a big impact. Keep it simple, fun and emotional.
- The Key Players – Don’t forget to mention the key players in planning your wedding. Whether it be your family, friends or wedding planner a little thank you goes a long way. Take the time to make those around you feel special and touched by your words. Tell them how much you appreciate their unconditional love and support.
- Practice! – This goes hand in hand with planning ahead. Go through your speech at least one, if not twice. Does it flow? Did you forget to mention a special someone? When you practice your speech out loud you’ll get a sense of how it will sound to the audience, and if your emotions are coming across as you hope.
Now that you’ve nailed down the key points, grab a pen and paper and start writing!
If you’ve come this far then you’ve already done half the work. Every bride goes through the thought process of why you should hire a wedding planner. Here are 3 reasons why you should consider hiring a wedding planner:
WEDDING PLANNING IS STRESSFUL: Wedding Planning requires you to learn a whole new set of skills; negotiation, organizational skills, problem-solving skills etc. It sounds stressful already right? This is why hiring a wedding planner makes wedding planning that much easier. From the small details, to communicating with vendors, to booking and attending your appointments, wedding planners take the workload off of you so you can enjoy being engaged.
WEDDING PLANNING TAKES TIME: In this busy and hustle-bustle world we live in taking on more responsibilities in our daily lives can be overwhelming. Finding and contacting the right vendors, and knowing who to trust is a time consuming and stressful task. Having a wedding planner by your side can solve this problem. With industry and vendor knowledge, a wedding planner can direct you to the right vendors who will fit your style and needs. The wedding professionals have the time and resources to plan your wedding from start to finish, leaving no cracks in between.
WHERE TO SPEND THE MONEY? Big or small budget, do you know where to spend the money? Allocating your budget is one of the hardest aspects of planning a wedding. Having an organized budget will help you focus on parts of your wedding that are most important to you. Wedding planners are your personal financial advisors. As a wedding planner, we are educated in knowing what percentage of your budget will be spent on a specific vendor or category. We help you budget your money wisely and most importantly, help you keep on track.