Posted on 3 Comments

14 valuable tips to do it right when you plan your own wedding

Planning your wedding is hard work! You may plan to be your own wedding planner for budget reasons or because you believe you are up to the task. In either case, let me warn you that it is not as easy as it seems. There are numerous decisions to make, deadlines to meet and several lists to create. Nonetheless, it is do-able.

One thing you should remember is to stay focused, calm and optimistic always, once you make the decision to plan your wedding. As long as you are organized and not tensed about the whole thing, you will be able to tackle the potential challenges without difficulty.

To help you along, we have some useful tips. Keep them in mind and you will be able to plan the wedding of your dreams without much ado!

1.Recognize your strengths and weaknesses

Wedding planning involves a lot of work. You will have to pick and negotiate with vendors, schedule appointments and create financial plans for each aspect. Although you may be great at some of these tasks, it is likely there are areas you have no clue about. Before you start planning, try to get a clear picture of what you can and can’t manage yourself. Be realistic as there is a lot of work and limited time. Analyze the tasks that you have very little knowledge about. You may have to find someone to share responsibilities for these tasks. So, it is better to plan for it in advance, than attempt it yourself and end up with poor results.

2.Begin with a budget

All that wedding planning is going to cost money. Also, it is easy to get carried away or let some numbers slide when you handle finances yourself. To avoid this, set up a budget right in the beginning. Create an estimate of how much you can afford to spend. Make sure it is the maximum amount that you will spend, and that you cannot exceed it at any cost. This realization will help you find solutions that are affordable, when you plan your wedding details. Once you have a total amount in mind, split it among the different aspects of your wedding.

3.Hear what your fiance has to say

You must know at least one bride who feels she is the only one involved in planning her wedding! The funny thing is if you ask the broom, chances are he will say it is because the bride refused to let him in the plans. It is easy to end up shouldering all the responsibilities, and there is no going back once you are deep into it. Don’t make this mistake. Instead, sit down with your fiance before you start anything. Discuss your ideas and take note of his suggestions. It is his wedding too, so encourage him to participate. The more open you accept his suggestions, the more inclined he will be to involve himself in the plans.

4.Create a system to get your wedding plans organized

Some of us prefer the book and paper route, while others are better off with technology. Choose what works for you. You need a system to jot down notes, write down expenditures, note down deadlines and save contacts. The simplest working solution is to set up a folder with a calculator, notebook and diary. Use the diary to mark your planning timeline and detail tasks. You can use the notebook to write all other information. Also note down calculations and all relevant details in it. Use this system frequently and make sure you save everything, and you won’t lose track of the progress you make.

Before you dive into wedding planning, separate the notebook into sections for each wedding planning aspect. This will allow you segregate relevant information about each aspect in the right place. We also recommend dedicating a folder on your desktop for this. Most communication that is shared online can be saved into this location for future reference.

5.Make a master-list and many sub-lists for each category

If you are good with lists, wedding planning will be a lot easier. Start with a master checklist, which you can find online. This will provide an overview of all the tasks you have to do for your wedding. However, each wedding is different, and you may have to edit your list to fit your ideas. Once you have your final master-list, create sub-lists of tasks for each aspect. Note it down and it is unlikely you will forget or overlook any  task. You can even create this list using an online tool. This will enable you to access it anywhere, and check or cross out tasks on-the-go.

6.Make the most of free wedding planning tools

There are several tools that make planning easier. From creating checklists for the wedding timeline and entering your expenses and budget, to sharing pictures with the rest of your team, these technical applications streamline the entire wedding planning process. This makes it easier to tackle. When you set up such an app on your mobile, it allows you to indulge in planning your wedding from anywhere. Some examples include the Knot wedding planner app, Capsule for photo sharing and the Knot lookbook app for wedding outfit planning. You could even update your plans with a simple weather and calendar app from Yahoo to avoid any last minute unexpected changes to plan. For more details on the apps and websites that can be your best friend while making wedding plans, take a look at this post on the Knot website. 

A quick word of advice: If you decide to use any of these apps, make sure you start ASAP! This will help you narrow down your choices to ones that are easy to use. Get used to the method right from the start and the entire process will be way easier.

7.Be prepared for challenges

If you have been involved in project planning at some level, pulling off a wedding will be easier. This is because there are numerous things to stay on top of, all at the same time. Things can and do go wrong! So, prepare yourself to tackle the situation with a cool head and also have a Plan B for every scenario. This will help you have an alternate solution at short notice, whenever required. The best way to handle all challenges is to be prepared for worst outcomes. Apart from making a comprehensive checklist for every single thing to do at your wedding, also consider likely glitches. Then have a solution in mind, in case things go downhill.

8.Take time to think before making decisions

When you are on your own, you will have to depend on reviews and word of mouth to choose vendors, make décor decisions and more. So, do not make any decision in haste. List out your options and properly research before you commit to a contract. Make sure you take time to analyze every aspect and are fully sure of every choice, before you confirm. Where necessary, obtain references and definitely contact them. The most reliable choices are usually recommendations from friends and family, who have done it before you. So, try this path first. From picking the wedding date to choosing the cake design and florist, make sure you won’t have to rethink your decision.

9.Segregate your research 

Organize everything neatly and in its right place to make things much easier. Whether you use organization tools like Pinterest or sort things into folders on your desktop, do it in a systematic way. Create multiple folders or boards for each type of information, rather than just amassing it all in one place. This will allow you locate exactly what you want in no time. You can also share information easily when it is organized well, and save a lot of time.

10.Think well before you ask your friends and family for help

Many of your friends and family may seem eager to help with your wedding plans. However, be cautious of who you entrust with what. You need people who will stay objective and follow your instructions to complete tasks. When it is family and friends, remember that you should also maintain your personal relationship with them. This can come in the way of expressing dissatisfaction when you aren’t happy with how they handle things. Also, unless you entrust the job to the right people, there are chances that they will make decisions without consulting you. This may not always be in your best interest.

11.Get things done ahead of time

Don’t set your deadlines too close. It is always safe to have some buffer time for everything, in case there are delays or hassles along the way. When you discuss timelines with vendors, ask them to deliver ahead of the actual time. This will ensure everything is in place on time. Follow a wedding planning checklist to get a clear idea of what is to be completed and when! Stick to it and you should be fine. If you will be doing things like the centerpieces or favors yourself, get them ready as early as is possible. The last thing you want is to spend your wedding eve completing these tasks, because you didn’t get around to it earlier.

12.Get your priorities straight

Wedding planning involves numerous decisions, that you can end up procrastinating and reaching nowhere. Try to stay focused by giving more importance to certain tasks over others. Have a clear idea of how you want your wedding to be, and don’t change it along the way. Set priorities for the tasks you should complete, and handle them in that order. Do the important ones with gusto. Leave the others for when you have time. Also, wisely limit the finer details to what is practical and can be achieved within the given time span.

13.Run your plan by someone who has already been there

Always get a second opinion if you are unsure. You should have someone who can recognize if you’ve missed anything. This is possible when this associate has been in your position before you. Throughout your wedding planning, consult with your fiance and preferably another bride or couple who have planned their own wedding. They can advise you on anything you may miss or overlook. Similarly, make sure you run your list by the person who will be in-charge of your duties on your wedding day, so you are both on the same page. Read ahead to find out more about who that person ought to be.

14.Find someone to take responsibility on your wedding day

Although you can fully involve yourself in wedding planning till the day of your wedding, you have other things to do on this day. You shouldn’t be the one who follows up with vendors or checks if everything is progressing on schedule. Instead, you should enjoy yourself as the bride. So, you simply must find someone to shoulder all the responsibilities on your wedding day. This could be a trustworthy friend or relative. Nonetheless, the person you choose should be reliable, punctual and have the capacity to take charge of everything wedding-related. It wouldn’t hurt if this person is a tad bossy, if necessary.  This trait will ensure that he/she won’t hesitate to get people on track when necessary. If there isn’t someone you know who can take over all this, consider hiring a professional for just the day.

Planning a wedding is a Herculean task, more so when you do most of it yourself. However, a wedding that is done well, is a blissful and satisfying experience. So, involve yourself in all the planning if you must! But don’t stress yourself out so much that you forget to enjoy it. For more wedding planning tips, fashion advice and all things wedding-related, keep visiting this space on Best for Bride.

Posted on 1 Comment

Top Wedding Planning Hacks for Busy Brides

Women who’ve been married before you will tell you that wedding planning is a full-time job in itself. If you are a busy bride with enough on your plate already, you will have enough responsibilities to handle daily. So,  it won’t be too easy to engage in wedding planning. Nonetheless, if the women before you have done it, so can you!

The idea is to have a systematic and organized approach to plan your wedding. Take a look at the tips we’ve compiled, and beat the stress. It will help you plan your wedding well despite your additional responsibilities.

Start in advance

calendar

Wedding planner Sharon Sacks on the Huffington Post, mentions how important it is to plan your wedding in advance, especially if you work full-time. It isn’t easy to balance work and a plan a wedding. Like she says, nobody should have to choose between a job and their wedding planning. The two can progress smoothly if you can work out a balanced plan.

The key to this is to start early. The more time you give yourself to handle different tasks, the more relaxed you will be. So, before you set the date of the wedding, make sure you have enough time left to plan it. Also, put aside few extra weeks to unwind or tackle any tasks that don’t go as per plan. 

Be organized to the last detail

From the minute you start your wedding plans, use an organized approach for everything you do. Create an online journal and enter your wedding planning timeline into it. Find the essential wedding planning timeline with all the relevant tasks in this article. Find the best wedding planning software apps to help you with your wedding here. There are plenty of project management software out that are immensely helpful. Trello is one of them. Choose the right one for your needs and start using it right away. Make sure to use and update the information you collect or create on a regular basis. Edit out unnecessary items to keep it under control. Set aside time for this daily, so you are up-to-date with all that is relevant and aren’t overwhelmed with information overload.

Work with only professional wedding services

female-865110_1280

Weddings are huge events, and not the place to experiment with novices. One of the biggest advantages of choosing professional wedding services is the efficiency they bring to a job. Most professional wedding service experts have been in the industry for long. They have the expertise and resources to handle their tasks with minimum supervision.

With previous experience, they know how much time it takes to complete a job. Thus, they can set your expectations correctly. The risk of things going wrong are fewer. More importantly, you have a minimum guarantee. You could save money by choosing a new vendor or entrusting a task to friends or family. However, the likelihood of hassles along the way is higher.

Spend some time on reviews

Unless you have personally experienced the service a wedding vendor provides or have a referral from an acquaintance, you should spend time on finding honest reviews of the service. Most vendors advertise themselves as the best of the lot. Some of them may even have certifications and testimonials on their websites. However, don’t simply rely on this information to book their services.

Check and read reviews, ask the vendor to refer you to  previous clients and objectively scrutinize the information available about them. The time you spend on this is worth the effort. It will make all the difference in averting stress at the last minute, when you should enjoy your special day.

Stop thinking about the wedding all-the-time

choice

I know this is easier said than done! Nevertheless, the key to efficiently planning your wedding is not obsessing over it all the time. When you worry about your wedding all the time, it prevents you from concentrating on your other responsibilities. This will affect your overall efficiency and productivity. As a consequence, wedding planning will become stressful and no longer be fun.

Do not dedicate all your free and leisure time to wedding planning, as this will be overdoing it. Set aside a specific time during the day to fully engage in wedding planning. As you get closer to the wedding, you can spend more time on wedding plans. Do this in an organized manner and you can cover all plans within the available time frame. It is also a good idea to fix a regular time when you and your partner will discuss wedding-related stuff. When he knows in advance, he can  focus on the tasks at hand during the appointed time.

Think seriously about hiring a wedding planner

If there is little time left, you may be better off hiring a wedding planner to ensure your wedding is a success. With a wedding planner at your service, you have a person who is entirely dedicated to your wedding. They will run around on your behalf and do the million little things that you may otherwise overlook. It will also alleviate your stress to a great extent, as you needn’t constantly worry about what you may have missed.

Wedding planners can conduct vendor interviews or may even have recommended vendors for different jobs. This will save you valuable time and effort. Being professionals in the field, they also have the ability of handling any last-minute issues that may crop up.

Plan everything in detail

calculator-385506_1280

Do every activity, from shopping for your wedding dress to visiting the venue or booking a florist should after due research. Dedicate the first few days to research all the available options. I suggest that you set up a binder to collect and compile all information. Alternately, have a folder on your desktop with separate folders for each factor. Collate information you obtain into different categories promptly, and it will help you avoid confusion in future.

This type of an organized arrangement will also prepare you well for the different tasks to handle. Also remember that breaking down each wedding planning task into smaller sub-tasks makes it more manageable and easier to execute.

Delegate responsibilities

Enlist the help of family, friends and anyone eager to help you out. If you have a full-time engagement, there are limitations to the amount of free time you have in a day. If you try to do everything about the wedding yourself, there is a greater chance of overlooking certain things. This can double the stress at a later stage.

It isn’t unusual for overwhelmed brides who do more than their fair share of work to miss work deadlines and receive poor quality work reviews as a result of all the wedding planning. Prevent such a situation by trusting part of your plans to efficient and trustworthy acquaintances. Delegate duties to your bridesmaids, your fiance and parents and watch things run smoothly.

Have reasonable deadlines

confused

Every wedding planning task should have a deadline. Work with the timeline I suggested earlier to understand which tasks you should do earlier, and which of them can wait till later. Avoid waiting till the last minute to do anything. The earlier you finish your responsibilities, the sooner you can relax and enjoy the days leading up to the wedding.

When setting deadlines, don’t forget to incorporate some buffer time just in case things don’t progress as planned. Be flexible with plans. Don’t forget to shuffle and re-organize your plans and get things done early if there are gaps in schedule. Your to-do list should constantly be updated and edited to accommodate any changes. Only then will you have everything covered well in time for the wedding.

Know the rules

You have to plan your wedding even if you work full-time. So, although it is tempting to squeeze in some planning into your work day, exercise caution. In fact, this survey on the Forbes website suggests that almost 89% of women plan their weddings on company time. Nevertheless, remember that every company has their own rules about how you use the company resources like computers and the internet for personal needs. This includes wedding planning. There may also be websites that aren’t allowed on work computers.

Before you start dedicating your free time at work to planning your wedding, it may be a good idea to check out what your company policies are. Even if your supervisor doesn’t mind, make sure you don’t overdo your wedding planning during work hours. If your online activity is being closely monitored and watched, it is best if you exercise caution.

But make the most of free time at work

Although you shouldn’t ideally plan your wedding during your work hours, there are some things you can fit into your breaks on work days or on the commute to and from work. Check out vendor reviews, go through and edit your to-do lists, and make calls to book appointments or check on updates during the few minutes you take off work. Vendor phone calls are in fact, one of the most important tasks you can do when you have few free minutes. It doesn’t take too long, and you can fit it into the earlier part of the day before you get involved in any important work. Plus, you will not be using the company’s computer for personal needs this way. So, your boss shouldn’t be able to complain.

Use your lunch hour and tea breaks to browse through wedding pics online or scan magazines for inspiration. Not only will this help you shortlist any interesting choices, it will not eat into your work time and negatively affect your productivity at work.

Set achievable goals

40s-wedding

One of the reasons many brides overwhelm themselves with wedding planning is that they set expectations that are difficult to meet. Instead of that, try to understand your limitations and plan your activities accordingly. If you spend ten hours at work, be reasonable about the amount of time you can spend on wedding plans after this workday. Set your goals accordingly and avoid disappointment. Take time off work if required, or dedicate the weekend to wedding planning.

Unwind and step away from the wedding once in a while

Don’t let the wedding planning stress affect you adversely. As impossible as it may sound, you need to completely break away from all the planning once in a while to tackle it efficiently. Take a break when you do absolutely nothing related to the wedding. You will find yourself energized and rejuvenated for the tasks that remain.

Plan your breaks according to your convenience, but fit it into your wedding planning timeline. Either enjoy some time to yourself or invite the company of your fiance or friends to help you forget about the wedding for a bit. Trust me, the distraction will be helpful and make you eager to continue from where you left it.

Best for Bride understands every need of a bride, and is the perfect destination where bridal dreams come true. Whether you will be a fairy tale princess or a stylish modern bride on your special day, you are sure to find the dress of your dreams in our vast designer collections. Come visit us at one of our four store locations in Canada, or shop online from our amazing bridal dress collection. With bridal accessories, party favors, invitations and even dresses for the rest of the bridal party, we make your job efficient and easy. Tune into the Best for Bride website today to take a look at what we have on offer.

Posted on 1 Comment

Common wedding budget mistakes most couples make

The wedding budget is the single entity that determines everything about your wedding. Everything from your beautiful wedding gown to the florist, caterers and even wedding favors depends on the funds you put aside for your wedding plans, and how you distribute it among different components.

When stepping into the new chapter of your life as a newly wed couple, you certainly do not want it to be with debt that you will struggle to settle. Unfortunately, many couples have a grand wedding and later struggle with their finances. Then there are also occasions when couples find themselves spending much more than they anticipated on their wedding. This is because of lack of proper planning. Plan the wedding budget sensibly, and you can avoid this situation.

Let us take a close look at the common wedding budget mistakes many couples make and how you can avoid them.

budget

1.Not fixing your priorities

Every couple wants a fantastic wedding. Nevertheless, you have to make at least few compromises, if you are on a budget. Nonetheless you can plan the best possible options for your budget by fixing your priorities. First, settle on a realistic wedding budget. For this, you may have to do some research on the average cost for each wedding planning aspect instead of just picking a number at random. Next, list the order of preference for each of them. This way, you can allocate more funds to those on the top of your list and be thrifty about the ones at the bottom.

2.Not figuring in the smaller, but essential items

A real bride reveals in this article, that one of the biggest mistakes she made at her wedding was overlooking the small items that were still essential to the overall wedding picture. She isn’t alone, as many brides who do most of the planning themselves forget to factor in certain items. It isn’t easy when they later have to find the funds to meet these expenses. Even the smallest dollar purchases will quickly add up. So, you shouldn’t overlook any factor when calculating your budget. Checklists are a big help in this situation. Make comprehensive checklists for every single item you can think of, for your wedding. Cross-check with ready to use checklists online and also have someone else take a look at them, just in case you may have missed something. Factoring in every likely expense will help you avoid going over-budget.

3.Not figuring in the extras for bigger purchases

tab-pics-bridal -accessories

For many items like your wedding gown, the price on the label isn’t the final figure you will pay for. There are extras for alterations, accessories, inner-wear and sometimes delivery charges. When you allocate a budget for such an item, make sure you account for these extras as well. Obtain a general idea of how much the extras will cost. Plan the actual budget for the main item after deducting these charges, and you will not end up spending more than you actually intended to.

4.Last minute shopping and bookings

The closer you book venues and vendors to the date of your wedding, the higher the cost you will incur. Start your planning early, and you will have plenty of time to scout around for the best deals. You will also have time to research and weigh options, and find the most budget-friendly ones. Booking early will also allow you to get the best vendors and deals for your wedding. Where wedding dresses are concerned, rush charges are significantly higher and you will again have to pay extra for alterations at short notice. Once you know your wedding day, don’t delay wedding dress shopping. Make sure you shop for your dress at least six months in advance. Similarly book your venue, band, caterers, photographers, florist and other vendors as soon as you finalize the wedding theme and decide on what you want.

5.Trying to save with DIY but ending up with more than you can handle

One thing many brides tend to overlook is the scale of the wedding. Although they may be capable of handling DIY details or have friends and relatives who are good bakers, florists or venue decorators, they may not have the resources or abilities to handle the task on large scale. When a DIY disaster occurs at the last possible moment, the only option is to get the available alternative, usually at a very high price. Avoid this costly mistake by being realistic about what you can actually handle. Also exercise caution when entrusting a wedding task to someone you know. Make sure that they are capable of handling it before handing it to them.

6.Not paying proper attention to vendor contracts

flower-634526_640

Never ever assume anything on a contract, but clarify every single doubt. Also, make sure that you dedicate enough time to reading every detail on your contracts, and avoid overlooking anything essential. Different vendors offer different services in their package. So, although one vendor may offer delivery and setting up of your cake, another may not for the same price. Similar extras are wine corkage charges, cake serving charges, taking down of décor and clearing tables. The same applies to your photographer and band too. It is always best to clarify all these little details before you sign the contract and book the vendor. Make sure you know how many hours or what all services are included in the package, so you don’t end up paying extra to get the service you want, at the last minute. Here is a list of the common hidden costs that you may want to consider seriously. 

7.Picking vendors and services without comparing rates

Unless you are absolutely particular that you must have a certain vendor for your wedding, you should check around for the best deals for your budget. Compare deals, packages and service quality to find the right deals that give you what you want. Although you shouldn’t compromise on quality for price, save the greater chunk of your budget for your priorities and adjust with what will fit the bill for the rest. If you come across a deal that seems too good to be true, make sure you consider the pros and cons before making your final decision. Don’t be too hasty to fix a deal. Negotiate the prices, look for discount options or referrals, and you can make your budget work further for your needs.

8.Giving into pressure

Many couples end up spending more than they should, just because people advice them that they need something that they really do not. This can be a budget-buster. So, rather than giving into pressure, do your research and know what you want and whether it is needed to realize your wedding vision. There are few “must-have’s” in a wedding, and these should be what are actually important to you. Unless the people who push you into inviting more guests, putting up a photo booth or splurging on expensive wedding favors are actually contributing to the cost for it, you do not have to oblige.

9.Buying more than you actually need

cakes

It is always safer to have a little extra than you actually accounted for, but don’t take it to the extreme. Although a few extra invitations and wedding favors may be a good idea, you do not need extra hundreds of them, just in case. Think of every aspect thoroughly, so you do not make a mistake when calculating numbers. For invitations, think of how many families will be attending, rather than the total number of people. You do not need separate invitations for members of the same family. So, think of such relevant details and you can save yourself quite some money on these unnecessary expenses.

10.Last-minute changes to plan

If there is one thing that every couple should do, it is have a clear idea of what they want before they set out to do it. Vendors may suggest changes, friends may encourage you to take things a little further, but only you know what you want and what you can afford. Avoid falling for temptation and making last-minute changes that will cost you dearly. You can be flexible and make small variations down the line, but don’t go for a major overhaul as the unexpected expenses in such cases will quickly add up and turn out to be disastrous.

11.A guest list that gets out of hand

Your wedding expenses are directly linked to the number of people who will attend. So, have a good grip on your guest list, and you shouldn’t go over-budget. One of your first wedding planning decisions should be the number of people you can afford to have. Not only should you factor in your wedding priorities when distributing your funds, you should also consider whether this type of wedding will be meaningful to you. Once you arrive at a decision, stick to it. You don’t have to be extra-generous to satisfy your friends or family, nor do you have to feel guilty about having the wedding you can afford. Some decisions are tough, but you have to put your foot down where it is necessary for your own good. This is one such situation.

12.Not exploring your options

cocktail-857393_640

There are many ideas that will take your budget further. It is unfortunate that very few couples explore such options. Simple ideas like serving three-fourth portions instead of full cake slices, or having a selection of local wines instead of an open bar will make a small difference in the overall impact of the wedding. However, it will help your savings even while you can achieve similar results. You can also look to your vendors for creative but thrifty solutions to your various needs. As professionals who have worked at many weddings before, they should have plenty of ideas. Wedding planners are usually experts who can come up with creative and budget-friendly solutions for several wedding planning aspects. Look around for budget-friendly options, at least for your lower priorities. Your guests are less likely to notice the difference, and you can have the wedding you desire for much lesser.

13.Always choosing the safe option

When you are on a tight budget, it may be better to think out of the box than go with the conventional (expensive!) choice. If you are ready to take the risk, it is likely that you will find several good deals in unexpected places. One instance is where your hair and makeup is concerned. You can always have your hair and makeup done by a professional artist. However, you can also consider booking your appointment with a beauty school and enjoy the same outcome. Similarly, you do not need an expensive vintage car to leave your reception in. Instead, deck up any car with some creative décor and it will be just as impressive. One of the best things of thinking creatively is that it allows you to have unique wedding elements that will make your wedding memorable.

14.Forgetting about tipping vendors

Many things about weddings still follow certain etiquette rules. Wedding tipping is one of them. Although it is now largely considered a personal decision, tipping is customary. Unless a vendor’s service charge includes gratuity, or the person performing the service is the owner himself, it is common practice to tip the people serving at your wedding. Similarly, delivery drivers are also normally tipped for their service. Here is a guide to wedding vendor tipping on the Real Simple website. This should give you a good idea of how much you should allocate for this factor. 

Avoid these common mistakes and your wedding should progress without too many hassles in the budget department. For budget wedding dresses, and great deals and offers to make the most of your wedding dress budget, visit this link to our clearance and sale section on Best for Bride—the one-stop shopping destination for today’s bride. 

Posted on 9 Comments

6 Questions your wedding planner will ask you

planner

Choosing the right wedding planner will make your entire wedding planning process a lot easier. A professional who understands your tastes and preferences, will know what to do to bring your wedding vision alive.

When you start your search for a wedding planner, you will soon realize that you have ample options to choose from. Since you do not have forever to interview all these candidates till you find the best, you should narrow down your list to those you think would be the best for the job. This would depend on your budget, tastes, the feedback and recommendations you receive for potential candidates.

An interview with the final chosen list of candidates is a must, so you get to know who will be the best for your big event. We have discussed about the various questions you should ask your potential candidates in this previous post here. These will allow you to understand each wedding planner’s working style and capability, and also recognize whether your personalities match.

Working with an event-planner is a partnership, and it is necessary for both parties to be comfortable with each other. So, just like you have questions for your planner, expect a good planner to have plenty of questions for you too. You should proceed with signing a contract only when both parties are agreeable to working with each other.

Here is a list of the questions that you can expect to be asked, when you meet your planner for the first time. Time is precious for both of you. So, we suggest you arm yourself with the answers to these likely questions in advance, so you can have a productive discussion.

1.When and where are you getting married?

venue

The date of the event should ideally be discussed during your first correspondence with the planner. There is no point in pursuing the discussion, if the planner is already fully booked on the day of your wedding, and you aren’t flexible with the date. However, if your planner has the resources to handle more than one wedding at the same time, or you are still to finalize your wedding date, this is a question you will have to answer. Remember that you should at least have a general idea of when your wedding will be held, as the cost will vary depending on the month and season in which your wedding is to be held.

The second part of the question is where you will be getting married. Although wedding planners don’t just operate locally, they usually stick within a specific boundary where they can execute their tasks to perfection. So, it is basically up to you to either find a planner who is versatile to work at any location, or go with the best person available at your chosen location. Although you needn’t know your venue just yet, knowing the destination of a wedding is necessary at this point.

2.What is your estimated budget and how many guests do you think you’ll be inviting?

budget

Money drives every detail at a wedding. Unless you know the maximum amount that you can afford, your planner cannot calculate the break-up for each aspect or go into specific details. The other factor is the number of guests you expect at your wedding. For a specific budget, the type of arrangements would be different based on the head count. So, you should have a general idea of how much you are willing to spend, so you planner can think of the options that will work. This will also help your planner determine whether he is able to work with that amount to give you the wedding that you want. If it isn’t, you may have to reconsider your options or go with another planner. Since different planners work with different budgets, and some even offer all-inclusive bulk packages for lower rates, you shouldn’t have trouble finding a wedding planner who meets your expectations, and is affordable.

Now, if you aren’t sure of what your total budget is, or have a good idea of the number of guests that will be attending, you can think in terms of the budget per person, for now. Geoff Beers, event planner tells us why this is important, on this Event planning article on About.com. The “per-person” budget allows your planner to understand how well you have thought your wedding out, and it also gives clarity on the maximum amount you will spend. An experienced wedding planner would know if it is practical to work for this amount. This will avoid overshooting the budget later, or making expensive mistakes that you cannot afford.

3.What must you have at your wedding?

car

Each couple is unique. While some couples are flexible with their wedding details, others are very specific about them. Your wedding planner will discuss your must-have elements, so she can come up with the blueprint of the plan. Your must-haves will also determine the overall budget, as incorporating certain items can be pretty expensive by itself.

You may intend to ask your wedding planner for ideas and suggestions, and she is the professional to help you too. However, you should know your priorities, as she can only work with what information you provide her. The two of you should spend some time discussing what is most important to you. This could be an elaborate menu, a dream venue, celebrity entertainment or a specific type of décor or theme. When you pick your main priorities, it allows your wedding planner to suggest areas where you can scale back, if your budget cannot cover this cost. Once you have sorted this out, she can plan the rest of the event around it.

4.What will you absolutely NOT have?

No

Depending on your budget, you may have to settle for substitutes or have to overlook certain wedding ideas that you have. However, if you have strong feelings against certain ideas, your wedding planner may ask you to let her know about this. She can then suggest alternate ideas that are acceptable to you. So, whether you cannot stand carnations, or refuse to serve anything that isn’t organic , your wedding planner will have to know this. This will not only affect the overall expenses, but will also help her determine whether she can cope with the challenges that this preference presents.

At times, it can be something as simple as your choice of wedding music, or a certain flower in the décor. However, what you must have and mustn’t have is different from what you would like to have or wouldn’t like to have. We suggest that you take a look at this previous post on picking your top wedding priorities, for a better idea on this topic.

5.How much do you expect to be involved in the wedding planning process?

Wedding planners have seen all types of clients—those who give them free rein to the extent where they are expected to make most of the decisions, and brides who would prefer to micro-manage and supervise every single detail. So, don’t be surprised if your wedding planner asks you about the extent of work you expect her to do, and what you will be doing yourself. This will also help her figure out the amount of time and extent of interaction expected from her. Wedding planners have to set aside time for each meeting, apart from planning various other details of your wedding. The amount of time she has to spend on your wedding will actually decide whether it is a full-time or part-time commitment for her. So, she may determine her final rate after getting a clear idea of how much time she will be spending on your wedding.

To answer this question, think of how involved you want to be in the wedding planning. Are you prepared to select from the options she thinks are good and will send you, or do you want to make the specific plans and have her search for the various things that will be used in its execution? Do you think you can trust her to make the call for smaller and insignificant details, or would you prefer to approve of every small detail yourself? How often do you think you can meet and discuss the progress? Think of all these factors and you will have the answer to this question.

5.How would you describe your wedding day?

wedding day

This is a question that you will definitely be asked. Although you may not know the specifics at this point of time, your wedding planner expects you to have a general idea of how your wedding day will be—whether it will be a formal or informal ceremony, held indoors or outdoors, during the day or night, what the general style or venue may be and your décor and dress preferences.

You may also be asked questions about your favorite colors, if there are themes that you are particularly fond of, and whether you have any particular ideas on what you would plan your wedding around. She may also ask questions related to the number of people in the wedding party, and your party décor ideas. If she has already done a wedding on similar lines, she may tell you how that was and what the highlights of the event were. She may even make suggestions for you to consider. When you discuss this question, use this opportunity to analyze whether the candidate you are interviewing shares your taste and understands your vision. Check out this article on the Planner’s lounge for more questions, you can expect to be asked in this regard.

6.Have you researched or finalized any vendors yet?

There are two reasons for this—firstly, this allows your wedding planner to plan the budget break-up, if you have already set your mind on a particular vendor for one task. Secondly, it allows her to make suitable suggestions or prepare to find a suitable vendor, if you haven’t thought of one already.

Your wedding planner will usually have a list of vendors to pick from, depending on your budget. Although she will prefer to work with those on her list, she should also be open to working with someone you have chosen, if that is what you prefer. A true professional will be able to find you an affordable vendor, and will not push their choices on you. However, she will need to know your specific expectations, so she can shortlist the ideal people for the job and you can make your pick from them.

Apart from these typical questions, your wedding planner may also have other questions depending on her working style, how well she understands your idea and also based on your needs. Nonetheless, this crucial first meeting is important to both of you, as this is when you decide whether you can strike a rapport with her or not. Expect this appointment to carry on for at least an hour. If your wedding is a very elaborate affair with more guests, or there are challenges like in the case of a destination wedding, your meeting may take longer than this. We suggest that you first do your research, and also communicate the essential details beforehand, so both of you can arrive well-prepared for the interview. If you have a long list of potential candidates, we suggest you start with the ones that you are most satisfied with on paper, so you have a better chance of finding the right person quickly.

Weddings are special events, and we have everything you need to make your big day extra-special, at Best for Bride. Find your dream wedding dress, shop for dresses for the rest of your bridal party, choose your party favors, wedding invitations, wedding dress accessories and more, when you shop with Best for Bride. With interesting sales and offers all the time, and collections updated on a regular basis, this is your one-stop bridal destination. Tour our website, and enjoy your shopping experience today.