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Questions to ask your wedding planner

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Wedding planners are an additional cost to your wedding budget, but when you choose the right person, your wedding will be a breeze. Most of your success depends on how capable the candidate is and also on how well you gel with your wedding planner.

A wedding planner may be professional and experienced, but you will not be satisfied if they do not get your ideas. After all, it is your wedding, and not theirs. So first off, remember this. Don’t hire anyone who

  • is bossy or busy
  • dismisses your ideas or is skeptical about implementing them
  • doesn’t agree to signing a contract and
  • just doesn’t understand you

Before hiring a wedding planner, you should conduct an interview with her. This may be face-to-face or over-the-phone. Here is what you should ask at this interview, and the answers will determine whether you have the right candidate for the job.

Are you available on my wedding day?

There is no point in pursuing the discussion if the planner has another wedding lined up on your wedding day. If your wedding date is not yet confirmed and you really like the person you are talking to, consider fixing your wedding on a day when she is available.

What services do you offer?

Does she work only with a recommended list of vendors, or is she open to interviewing and assisting you with other vendors? Can she design your wedding, plan the ideas and be in charge of everything from sending out invitations to decorating the venue, or will she only assist you while you find and book vendors? Will she handle any booking issues herself? How often will you communicate, and how many meetings can you expect?

If the scope of her services are limited, consider whether you can tackle what is left yourself. If so, this shouldn’t be a problem. Also ask about the team. How many staff members will be on-site on day and how many other weddings they will be working on simultaneously.

How many weddings have you planned already?

The last thing you want to do is to entrust the task to an inexperienced planner. Ask her how long she’s been in business, and obtain references. A good wedding planner will direct you to a number of satisfied clients.

Share your vision for the wedding with her and ask what she can contribute to make it better.

What if there is an emergency?

Ask her how the team tackles emergencies like bad weather or other wedding disasters. If you anticipate a likely problem, ask her how she would prepare. Another big challenge is adhering to budget, how can she ensure this? You should also ask for backup plans, should something unforeseen occur and she cannot personally handle your wedding.

And finally, the fees

Don’t feel shy to ask what her charges are, including all overheads and extras. This will confirm whether the charges are within your means. If your planner will handle vendor payments, ask how this will be done. Will you be paying your planner a lumpsum, or will you have to write out checks to each vendor as and when required?

Once you have all this information, you should have a fair idea of whether this wedding planner is right for your wedding. If not, keep looking.

For more wedding advice and tips, as well as your wedding shopping needs, visit us at Best for Bride.

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Wedding planning: 5 Mistakes you can avoid

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You are bound to make mistakes when you attempt something for the first time. Your wedding is no exception. With so many details to look into, it is easy to make a few errors along the way. The sad part is, some mistakes can cost you dearly.

Here is a roundup of the common mistakes many brides make, and what you can do to avoid them at your wedding.

Doing it all yourself

You certainly want your wedding to be perfect in every way, but is it worth burning yourself out by doing every task yourself? Many brides find themselves dreading their wedding day, as they are overwhelmed with the number of things they have to tackle.

Instead of worrying yourself to death, it is best that you realize some things can be done better if you delegate them. Save your energy for important tasks like choosing the wedding dress, vendors and planning the dates. The sub-tasks can be handled by capable friends or assistants. Curb the temptation to micromanage, and leave out details that aren’t extremely important. You will enjoy your planning your wedding this way.

Blowing your wedding dress budget

via Best for Bride

When brides budget for their wedding dress, they should set aside a particular amount for the dress itself and distribute the rest for accessories and alterations. Do not exceed the wedding dress amount, by looking only at those that fit your budget. If you go over-budget with your dress, you will have to compensate by cutting down on accessories like shoes or jewelry, as you cannot skimp on alterations if you want to look perfect.

Not figuring in additional costs

You have planned your wedding budget, and you intend to stick to it when ordering things and booking vendors. However, have you figured in the overhead costs as well? There are additional charges for cleaning up, taxes and tips. Make sure you incorporate these into the budget and that your bookings are all within the limit. This can prevent you from receiving a shocking bill in the end.

Being fixated on a specific idea

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This applies to your wedding dress, flower arrangements, wedding venue, décor, bridesmaids dress and all the other aspects of your wedding. If you are too particular about your choices, it is likely that you will be disappointed when things don’t work out exactly as intended. Keep yourself open to ideas and you may even be pleasantly surprised with what you find. When you go with your bridal consultant’s advice, you may discover a better wedding dress than you ever imagined; allow your florist to choose the flowers for your bouquet and you may receive a stunning but affordable one that complements your wedding theme.

Hiring family or friends who aren’t professionals

Unless your cousin is a professional photographer, or your aunt is used to baking wedding cakes, don’t hand the task over to them just because they asked for it. Whether you will be paying in full for their service or not, you will risk things going wrong on your wedding day by entrusting it to someone who isn’t capable of handling it on the required scale. Your wedding is not the occasion to take such risks, and you will be better off with a vendor who knows what they are doing, even if they charge more.

For more wedding related tips and advice, visit us at Best for Bride.

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Things to remember when booking your wedding photographer

wedding-628515_1280Your wedding day may pass too quickly, but photos of the event will help you remember every detail of the day for years to come. Hence, the relevance of a wedding photographer cannot be overlooked. In the hands of a professional, your wedding memories are safe, and captured as you wish to remember them.

There are various styles of photography available today, and not all styles may appeal to you equally. Find one that suits your taste, and ensure your wedding pictures will recreate the magic of your wedding day, every time you look at them.

Once you choose the style of wedding photography – traditional, photojournalistic, the mix of both or artistic, it is time to find the bridal photographer to handle the task. Here is a checklist of things that will help ensure that you find the right photographer and freeze your wedding memories perfectly.

First and foremost, plan your budget

As with all other vendors, different photographers have different rates. Before you start your search, you should know how much you can afford to spend. There are great photographers who can do your job beautifully, without your having to spend a fortune on it. Start early, and you will have time to find the right candidate for the job.

Obtain reviews of the service from previous clients

Don’t be taken in by smart advertising and pictures that are available on the photographer’s website. Check with clients who have actually used the photographer, and ask them for their opinions on the service provided. If you are satisfied with what you hear, book an appointment with the photographer.

Ask to see a range of pictures

Photographers will usually have a set portfolio, which they share with their clients. While this allows you to get a fair idea of the quality of work, you should also remember that these are usually the best ones they’ve taken. So, ask for more pictures than what is in their portfolio. Or, ask them if you could have a look at a previous client’s album. You can get a better idea of their style and ability by looking at more pictures.

Discuss, clarify and question

Ask what all pictures your package will include. Discuss the available options, take time to create your own list of must-have photos, which will include the list of group shots you want and share it with the photographer. Most good photographers will be ready to accommodate their client’s requests, but make sure you check this is, before signing your contract. Share the timetable of your wedding day, and tell your photographer where he should be at a specific time, so he doesn’t miss any of the special moments on your big day.

Get it in writing

Make sure that you include every single detail in your written contract. There should be clauses regarding how emergency situations will be handled, when and how the photographer’s fee will be paid, when you will receive your prints and the total price including all overhead costs. If you make any further changes to plan, add it to the contract and have your photographer countersign it. This will help you get the service you signed up for, without any hassles.

For more wedding tips and advice, and for all your wedding needs, visit us at Best For Bride.