Did you know that 43 businesses are involved in the average American Wedding. Forty Three businesses! These are the "post-booking businesses," so your florist, rental company, photographer, permit company, etc, etc. Can you imagine the amount of businesses you need to contact before you get to your final 43? To help narrow down your "pre-43 biz contacts" here are a few tips:
1. Make a budget - first and foremost, this is drastically important. Create a spreadsheet and allocate funds to each category. Even if you are unaware of what a photographer costs, guesstimate. You don't want to realize you spent 90% of your money before even booking your catering company. Google has a great tool for free -
2. Hire a wedding coordinator - many think they can do it all....but after reaching maybe half of your 'final 43' you will realize, planning a wedding for 50, 100, 200, or even 300 or so people is overwhelming. Wedding coordinators spend their days negotiating, advising, and taking care of the many unromantic details involved with creating an organized and lovely celebration. Wedding Coordinators also know the top 50 vendors in their area - so they can assist in vastly reducing the amount of companies you need to contact. Better yet, they can even do it for you!
3. Determine the style of your wedding - Would you like a backyard soiree or a formal ballroom celebration? Would you like your photographer to take mostly candid photos, or do you love the creative posed shots? Would you like elegant, tall centerpieces, or simple wildflowers in mason jars? Think about who you are as a couple and how you would like your event to reflect your personalities. Then, list off each category (photographer, florist, venue, food, etc) and make a few bullet points of the style you are aiming for. This will help tremendously when deciding between vendors and when reducing your list of companies to contact. It will also help your vendors determine how they can taylor their services to your ideal wedding.
4. Ask for help - don't be afraid to ask your coordinator for advice. We are professionals in guiding you to your happy day. Whether it be to review your budget and perhaps give a reality check on the likelihood of staying within it, or to review a few contracts, or even to advise on which accessory will compliment your theme.
5. Outsource - with a full time job, a social life, and the fear of turnig into bridezilla looming over your head, you have to face the facts and realize that you can't do it all. Consider your time and how much it is worth? Do you really want to spend hours trying to create a pretty invitation out of scrap paper, or would it be worth while to spend the money on a professional invitation company that has oodles of experience in designing and producing pretty invitations?