Friday, January 6, 2012

Wedding Planning Help Needed!!

I am having serious "writer's block" when it comes to planning our wedding!  I know that so many of you lovely ladies are newlyweds and I need to wrack your brain, if that's okay!!  I have a couple questions that would be great if you could offer some tips for this frazzled bride-to-be...

{one}

Where in the world do you find a dj?  The location that we are having the wedding and reception in doesn't have a preferred vender list and I am hitting a brick wall when it comes to finding good providers...is there a super-secret vender website??

{two}

Food...did y'all do a sit-down meal or a buffet?  Light hor d'oeuvres or an actual meal?  The wedding is going to take place at 4:30ish, so I feel like people may want something a little bit heavier to tide them over, but I have no clue!

{three}

Photographer...do I hire one for all day or just the wedding/reception?  Did y'all do an engagement shoot, bridal portraits, and wedding photography??

{four}

Cake and flowers...how far in advance did y'all do consultations for these?  Since I am planning this wedding a state away and work full-time, my time back in North Carolina is limited and I need to get as much stuff done as I can in one trip!!

{five}

Alcohol...did y'all have an open bar or cash bar?  Did y'all set a limit to the amount of alcohol you would provide??

Okay, I think that's it {for now}!  Thank you ladies so, so, so much!  All of your weddings have been absolutely beautiful and amazing, and I hope that mine will be just as great!

Photobucket

6 comments :

Ryan Adair said...

Having a lot of photographer friends (and dabbling myself) Most Photographers will include an engagement photo session with your contract, simply because they want to "get to know you" better before the big day; get feel for your style.

A lot of photographers are willing to give you edited digital copies of your photos, while others require that you get prints through them. You'll probably have the photographer while you get ready and for the ceremony reception; this will vary photographer to photographer. I would look for someone who gives you the total package (engagement, ceremony/reception, editing, and a reasonable copy agreement) for around $2500. A good photographer isn't going to be cheap, but there are good ones out there who are willing to give you the biggest bang for your buck. (Pricing may vary based on your area, but I think 1500-2500 is pretty standard for) It would be a plus if the photographer as an apprentice or assistant as well, esp. if you are having a wedding with 100+ people.

I would also go through an independent photographer with a great portfolio over a studio; independents are usually more flexible with packages and really need the business so they might compromise too. :)

Katie said...

Definitely check out any wedding conventions or bridal shows near you. I forget what they are called now, it's been a while, but you can find dates in any wedding magazine -especially ones tailored toward your location. That's where we found our DJ. With ANY vendor - make sure you check out reviews other than what is posted on their brochure or website (yelp is good, any wedding websites probably have them too). Our ceremony was at 4:30 also. For the reception we did hors d'oeuvres and a full sit down meal. Try to find a venue that has a great package at a decent price. The appetizers, full 4 course dinner, cake and dessert bar and open bar were all included in ours among other things. People REALLY appreciated the appetizers, let me tell you! If you can afford it, I absolutely recommend doing the photographer all day. MOST of our best photos are from before the ceremony, and between the ceremony and reception. TOTALLY worth it. We did the cake and flowers about a month before the wedding.
We did an open bar. We don't have a ton of big drinkers in our family, but one of the biggest complaints I ever hear about weddings are about the bar, the food and the music - so we definitely had to have open bar. I'm happy to answer any questions you may have! It's an overwhelming experience - feel free to email me any time!

Betty said...

We didn't have a bar at all! That was a little scandalous for both of our families but it was a well thought out decision. 1) Our families aren't too good about controlling themselves, I didn't want anyone sloshed at our wedding. 2) We couldn't afford to pay for the alcohol and I didn't want to have a cash bar. I would never invite someone over to my house and make them pay for dinner. I wasn't inviting everyone to my wedding and making them pay for something. 3) When I was at my aunt and uncle's wedding, my shoes and dress were ruined by alcohol being spilled, I didn't want someone doing that at my wedding.

Shelli said...

Talk to Melissa and ask her advice at Real life Photography{she is super sweet} and the flowers hands down "The Herron House" in Thomasville. He is awesome and he is featured in Magazines and goes all around the world. He did my wedding and everything else I've ever needed! I would def have alcohol because if not people will not stay at the reception and everyone will leave early! Just my advice!

Krystal said...

Have you discovered Wedding Wire yet? It's great to find DJs and other vendors with reviews from real brides! I'm sure your preferred vendor list is okay to work with, but it's good to try other options too. Might find something cheaper and better!

We got married at 5 and didn't eat til 8. I didn't have anything for a cocktail hour because we were doing a huge BBQ buffet. USually people have cheese, crackers, shrimp, etc. in between the wedding and the reception. If you don't, it's a not a big deal.


You need a photographer for quite a while. Think about what pictures you want -- getting ready, a first look (if you do one), etc. I had photographers for 8 hours. They left the reception early because I really wanted pictures beforehand more than leaving [we didn't do a big exit anyway.]

Cake and flowers are more simple than the big stuff, but the sooner you at least have ideas of what you want... you can make phone calls for prices.

We did an open bar--kind of. We had kegs and wine bottles. When it was out, we were out. We didn't really run out though! I've had that people look down upon cash bars -- esp since most people won't have cash on them! I think providing alcohol for a set amount of time is fine though! However, open bars aren't too much more. At least down here in FL it's just adding to the catering bill... so it seems affordable.

Good luck!!

Amanda said...

Planning my wedding now! I found theknot.com and weddingwire.com to be very helpful! We got lucky that our venue included most everything. Except flowers and liquor. On theknot...I found my makeup and hair artist. They have a ton of vendors to choose from for everything! We are having an open bar but we are buying all the liquor/beer. The liquor store is delivery to the venue! Hope this info helps!!

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