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6 Questions your wedding planner will ask you

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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?

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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?

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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?

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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?

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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?

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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.

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8 etiquette questions for the mother of the bride

Every mother has a vision of how her daughter should look as a bride, and it is no surprise that moms are usually a great help in helping the bride plan her wedding. All the way from being a part of her shopping entourage to supporting her with making vendor decisions and other important details, they are an indispensable presence.

However, it isn’t always smooth sailing. Unless you are a regular society bee, or have had another child get married in the recent past, it may be time to brush up on the etiquette rules you should follow for your daughter’s wedding.

So, this article is dedicated to all mothers of brides out there. Join us to find out all you need to know about your role in your daughter’s lifetime celebration.

Do I have to stick with the tradition of choosing my dress first and tell the mother of the groom what I’ll be wearing?

If you and your family are all about following traditions at your daughter’s wedding—Yes! The original practice was for the mother-of-the bride to first finish her dress shopping, and inform the mother-of-the-groom about what she would be wearing to the wedding. Then, the groom’s mother would choose a dress that would tie together with this choice, even if it wasn’t too similar. Now, times have changed, and not all people are fond of old traditions. You can always conform to the practice, if that is what you like.

Notify the groom’s mother of the outfit you have chosen for the wedding day. However, be realistic with your expectations. If she isn’t keen on following the practice, let her be. If you aren’t sure of whether your daughter’s future mother-in-law would appreciate you informing her, or whether it would seem to pushy instead, check with your daughter. She should be able to advice you on whether it is a good idea. Or, you can ask her to pass on the details to her future mother-in-law herself.

1.Do I have to ask my daughter for her thoughts on what I wear to her wedding?

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Yes! It is your daughter’s day, after all. Although it would be unreasonable of her to dictate your overall look, she may have suggestions on what you could choose to fit the overall wedding party look. Ask your daughter for recommendations on colors and dress styles, and make your pick so that it matches her expectations.

It would be a good idea to choose a color in the wedding palette or one that goes well with the bridesmaids dress colors, though not exactly the same. Either pick a different shade in the same color spectrum as the bridesmaids, or a neutral or complementary color that will work with it. Most couples have a general idea of how their wedding scenery should be, and if you can find an outfit that works well with the theme, you would be doing your bit to make them all the more happier.

2.Are there any styles that I should absolutely avoid?

This again depends on your personal preferences and that of the bride’s. You should be comfortable in what you wear and feel good too. When choosing sexy dresses that are too short, with long slits or ones that expose too much skin, you may first want to get the go-ahead from your daughter. If she is fine with your dress choice, there shouldn’t be a problem.

Instead, if she feels that you should make an elegant and modest choice, or that you may steal her thunder with the way you dress on the day, it is better you rethink your original idea. Remember that you can look glamorous and stylish, but in a way that doesn’t make anyone unhappy with your choice. We think this is the route you should take. The same applies for when your daughter asks you to dress in something that you aren’t comfortable in. Although you should try to meet her expectations when choosing a dress, you should finally wear one that makes you happy too.

3.Should I be offended if the couple won’t take any of my suggestions?

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We understand that you may not be entirely happy about the couple not taking your suggestions seriously, especially if you are footing the expenses for the wedding. However, you should remember that this is their special day, and it is a once-in-a-lifetime affair for them. So, prepare to handle it gracefully if your daughter decides not to go with your suggestions. Accept that you are making suggestions, not decisions! It may not be that she thinks they are bad ideas, it could just be that she has other ideas herself that she thinks are better suited for the situation.

So, before you provide any inputs, you may actually want to ask your daughter about what her own ideas and vision is. This way, you will be able to think of relevant and appropriate suggestions, that they are more likely to accept.

Now, for some humor, we think you should head over to this page on the Knot that lists some really crazy wedding planning comments from moms! You may also like to share it with your daughter, if she thinks your suggestions are weird! She may probably ease up a little, once she sees what other moms have been up to!

4.I am not sure the to-be-weds know about our limits to finance their wedding. Is it alright to discuss this with them directly?

If the couple expect you to pay for their wedding, it is only right that you inform them of the maximum amount you can afford to spend. Have a chat about the wedding finances with the couple, so they can plan expenses accordingly. Get this across right at the start and you can save them from being disappointed after booking everything at rates that you cannot afford.

Now, if the couple intend to pay for their wedding themselves, it is best that you do not interfere with their plans at all. If you will be contributing a specific amount to the wedding budget, you can share the amount with them beforehand, so they can plan it accordingly. Or, if your idea is to sponsor a certain wedding expense, like the wedding dress or entertainment, make sure that you tell them what your limit is. This will help you both be on the same page when the time arises.

5.I think my daughter is turning into a bridezilla. Should I do something about it?

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You know how the excitement and overwhelming planning stress can get to your daughter and turn your level-headed, pleasant girl into a monster! This does happen to many a bride, and such women put all those around her in misery. From straining her relationship with her partner, to making her bridesmaids miserable, this can cause a lot of damage. As her mother, it is essential that you support her whole-heartedly during this trying time.

Nevertheless, it is also your responsibility to put her in her place and tell her when she crosses the limit. Make suggestions to help relieve the stress, and tell her not to freak out over unnecessary details. Also gently remind her that her friends and relatives need to be treated nicely, and she cannot forego behaving well just because she is a soon-to-be bride. You are the best person to put this across to her. So, take this responsibility seriously and make things better for her and all the others involved.

6.Do I have to take the initiative and reach out to her in-laws?

It is not just customary, but sensible as well, to meet your daughter’s soon-to-be in-laws once she is engaged. Ideally, your daughter and her fiance should set this meeting up. So, wait for them to do this. If you get the idea that they will not be taking the initiative, you can take the first step forward. Talk to your daughter’s partner and find out how you can get in touch with them.

Either invite them over to your home, or plan to meet for tea or dinner at a good restaurant or cafe. If you are comfortable in playing host and inviting them to dinner, it would be a good idea to contact them directly and invite them over. Whether you meet at home or outside, make sure that the first meeting is very casual, and the purpose is to get to know them. Be supportive of your daughter’s relationship with their son, and make the most of this first move by fostering a friendly relationship with them.

7.I would love my daughter to wear my wedding gown, but I am worried it looks dated and may not be her taste. Do I offer it?

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Your wedding dress is associated with a lot of fond memories, and it would be a dream come true to see your daughter be wed in the same dress. However, as you have already realized, it may not be the right style or fit for your daughter. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t offer it to her. Just don’t force her into considering it. If you have a great vintage dress, and it is one that matches the theme of the wedding, you may even be doing your daughter a big favor.

Also, there are many talented wedding dress makers who can repurpose a wedding gown into a brand new wedding dress, while keeping the important elements of the original dress alive. This could be by taking the lace from the dress and adding it into a modern silhouette, or simply redesigning the gown to make it modern. If your daughter would like to consider this option, give her full freedom to do what she wants with your gown. You cannot expect her to wear the dress as it is, so don’t feel bad about the dress being taken apart after you agree to let her do what she chooses with it.

There are also options like taking the lace from the wedding dress and adding it to the bridal bouquet. Finally, just remember that whether the bride says yes or no to your dress, accept her decision gracefully and don’t complain about it later.

8.What say do I have in planning the guest list?

If you are sharing the wedding expenses, it is only reasonable to expect that you have a say in who is invited to the wedding. Nonetheless, talk to the couple and find out what type of ceremony they have in mind. Keep that in mind when deciding on who you should ask them to invite. If their idea is a small, intimate wedding, respect their choice and don’t expect to invite all those you want to.

Get a clear idea of how many people you can invite, and then decide upon who goes on the list. If the number is small, make sure that you list those who are most important. As with everything wedding-related, be reasonable with your expectations and nobody will feel hurt.

Weddings are a difficult time, and a bride is lucky if she has a supportive mother to help her meet the various wedding-related challenges. It is a one-time occasion, and she deserves all the support she can have to make it a memorable event in every way. Isn’t this what moms are always there for?

To take a closer look at any of the dresses featured here, and at more mother of the bride dresses available in our collection at Best for Bride. Browse through our extensive dress collections for top-class dress designers to find the dress that is just perfect for your little girl’s big day. We also have a huge inventory of wedding dresses, bridesmaids dresses and flower girl dresses. Come visit our one-stop bridal destination for anything and everything you need and make your wedding day a huge success in every way.

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10 practical tips for a picture-perfect wedding

Most couples who get married these days are very choosy about who handles the photo shoot at their wedding. No surprises here, as wedding memories live on through the photographs and videos of the day! This is indeed a one-time occasion, and getting all the details right is essential to framing those memories perfectly.

Wedding photo mishaps are common, especially when the person behind the camera is an amateur. However, there is no guarantee that there will be no unpleasant surprises even when it is a professional yielding the camera. A lot of it is luck; the rest is poor planning.

While it isn’t possible to rule out every single mistake, however hard you may try, you can at least do your part to make sure your wedding is documented well. Here are ten handy tips that will help you have that picture-perfect wedding album, that you simply cannot take your eyes of.

1.Seek inspiration, but don’t let it restrict your natural style

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Haven’t we all been smitten by perfect wedding pictures, with the bride looking like a dream and the groom like Prince Charming. Certain poses and certain angles seem just perfect, that you may quickly decide that you must also try it.

It is a great idea to find inspiration from other weddings, but don’t try to make your wedding a copy of all that you see elsewhere. One thing you may have noticed in all these fantastic wedding photos, is that the pictures usually look great because the models look natural in it. Additionally, the photographer has the talent to capture the love, happiness and chemistry between the couple.

So, the poses and location are secondary. It is the couple who make the pictures so beautiful. Don’t confine yourself to the same photography pattern as a couple whose wedding you loved. Take cues from why certain pictures look great. Don’t copy, instead use this as the inspiration to plan your own pictures.

2.Relax and don’t fake a certain look for the camera

You should know your best angles and the most photogenic profile. Discuss this part with your photographer ahead of the wedding. He may even be able to give you valuable tips to get it right, so you can plan your photo shoot accordingly. Nevertheless, don’t try to limit yourself to a specific pose or look throughout your wedding photos. It will definitely become boring, and a fake smile or a rigid pose will be obvious to all those who look at your picture. Enjoy the natural flow of things on your wedding day, relax when the camera is on you and smile from your heart. Remember that happiness just can’t go wrong, and your photographs will turn out superb.

3.Silly poses? Think of how you will feel about it in ten years time

It is a trend these days for couples to fill their photo albums with silly and non-sense poses and actions. Well, it may be fun, but how many of them do you actually want in your album. We often find that some of the best wedding photos are usually ruined by an unnecessary silly gesture.

You should really think of whether you will be excited about all these funny poses in your album, when you look at it ten years later. Just think of it this way—what would your reaction be, if you were to find your mom and dad in similar poses in their wedding album?

Your wedding day is all about having fun and enjoying yourself. However, it is also an occasion that you will look back on, many times in the future. So, let it be captured on film mostly as an interesting, grown-up affair. After all, you are celebrating an evolving and growing relationship with your partner, and this should be done with all due seriousness.

4.Prepare for a long day in front of the camera, and don’t let frustration seep in

Your photography session will usually start early in the morning, right from when you begin getting dressed. It will then go on for the entire day, mostly till the time you set off on your honeymoon, or go home for the night. Being under the spotlight for such a long time can be pretty exhausting. And when you are expected to stay happy and put your best smile forth, it can tire you out even more.

However, this is all for a purpose. So, remember that looking happy in your wedding photos will allow you to remember the occasion more fondly than otherwise. Prepare yourself for a long day, and don’t feel frustrated about how long you have to smile and pose and stand with crowds to capture hundreds of pictures. This is simply how this works, so make your peace with it.

The most important people in your life have all come together to celebrate your big day, and that doesn’t happen everyday. You will later realize that spending all those hours posing and clicking pictures with them, was definitely worth all the effort and time.

5.Follow the photographer’s directions for when you should look at the camera and when you shouldn’t

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Not all wedding photos will require to you to stare into the camera. When you must look at the camera, your photographer will ask you to. Unless you have been asked to, just do what you were doing naturally.

You will have to pose and smile in your group photos and portraits. At this time, don’t spoil the photo by looking away. The rest are usually candid shots, with everyone captured as they are. If you are unsure of how or where you should look, just ask to be certain. Or, you can always schedule an appointment with him, ahead of the wedding day and discuss how you want the pictures to be. This will allow him to plan his shots accordingly.

The aim is to have fun and trust your photographer to capture the actual essence of the day. Don’t make a big deal of how you should be standing or where you should be looking, when the photographer shines the flash on you. Just be yourself, and leave the rest to the professional handling the job.

6.Do plan your photo shoots well in advance

On your wedding day, you will have to take group photos, photos of the various events, those of just the two of you and candid pictures. While the events and candid shots will be up to the photographer’s discretion, the rest are usually planned shots. Since you will have to stand and pose and spend time to have these pictures taken, it is a good idea to plan and organize when these will be done. Plan this in advance, into your wedding day schedule, and it will be easier to arrange.

Also, it is a good idea to spread the photo shoots out throughout the day, rather than have it all in one go. This way, your guests will not be kept waiting and you will also look fresh in every lot of the posed shots. On that note, if you have your wedding indoors, plan your outdoor wedding day portraits when the lighting is most suited for it. So, if you wish to capture the sunset in your wedding album, make sure you free up your time for that activity alone, at the said time.

7.Don’t dictate how your photographer should work

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Photographers are creative artists, who know what they are doing. You can always offer suggestions and tell them what you want to see in your photographs. Leave the rest of the work to the professional. They have more experience than you do, and know how to make what you want happen.

You should get a glimpse of their ability and talent when you check their portfolio, prior to signing them up. If you are happy with what you see there, trust them to capture your wedding in the best possible way.

Set up an appointment well ahead of the wedding day, when you can discuss your expectations with the photographer. Share notes and welcome suggestions from them. Run them through the wedding day plan and tell them where they should be and at what time. If you have very specific preferences for certain shots, it may be a good idea to demonstrate what you mean by showing them pictures similar to what you have in mind. Once this is done, leave them to plan their moves and shoot your wedding as they think best.

8.Don’t feel conscious of the camera

Just because the camera will be capturing many of your moves, don’t let it dictate how you act and behave. Be your normal self. Brides and grooms who are camera-conscious make either of two mistakes. The first is they become overly shy and hide from the camera. On the other hand, some of them believe in making the most of the attention and show off to the most. Overly exaggerated actions, fake laughter and very obvious posing can spoil the entire fun.

Photographs should be about capturing you in your natural element. So, avoid both the above mistakes. Just ignore the camera and do what you would be doing, in it’s absence. This way, you will have your wedding captured as it was meant to be.

9.Have a plan for group shots

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In all the commotion of a wedding and the reception that follows it, it is easy to lose track of the people to be photographed. Since you will definitely want specific people in certain group photos, plan this early. Decide on the must-have group photos, and list those who are to be in it. Designate a bridesmaid or groomsman to bring all these people together during the photo session, so you do not have to run around searching for them at the time.

Ask all those who are to be included in specific groups to stay close, and your photos will be more easy to take. It is also a good idea to plan the shoot in a particular order. So, your family members and friends will know when they will be required to be present. If there are guests in a hurry, include their pictures earlier on. Similarly if there are children who are to be in the picture, it is a good idea to be flexible with taking their pictures. You can then capture them when they are in a good mood.

For pictures with your flower girls and ring bearer, have these taken earlier on, before the children have fun and wreck their original look for the day.

10.Inform your guests to stay out of your photographer’s way

Your guests will certainly want to take their own pictures and will be clicking away on their mobiles or tablets. Nevertheless, make it clear that you have a professional photographer calling the shots, and ask that nobody click the group pictures at the same time as he is. It is natural that people can become confused with where to look, when there are several cameras clicking at once. If people were aware of this, we wouldn’t see so many pictures with members of the group looking in different directions, in a wedding photo.

Do inform your guests that you will be sharing the pictures across, once they are ready. This will save them the trouble of focusing on taking pictures, instead of enjoying the wedding itself.

With a little organization and clear planning, it is easy and practical to have your wedding captured perfectly. Remember that if your wedding is a happy occasion, where you smile from the bottom of your hearts, there is no way the pictures will reflect anything else. Just like you enjoy and savor every moment of your wedding day, make sure you savor your photo sessions too. Entrust the task to a capable and talented photographer, and leave the rest of the work to him and his team.

At Best for Bride, we offer brides and grooms a range of wedding-related services. Our list also includes photographers who are specialized in different genres of wedding photography. Contact us today, to find out who you would love to work with for your wedding.