Posted on 3 Comments

7 things you should know before you start planning your wedding

planning

When you are just engaged and about to embark on the interesting, but challenging task of wedding planning, it’s funny how everyone seems to share wedding planning advice. Well, it is the first time you will be planning something of this magnitude, and so you deserve some well-intended help. You may obtain some very useful information, and then again there is the occasional chance of hearing something totally unexpected or even bizarre. Nevertheless, there are always some things that most brides wish they’d known while they were planning their wedding, but had to tackle as an unexpected and usually challenge.

While it is impossible to foresee everything that will happen on your big day, it helps to prepare for whatever is possible. Plan for everything, collate all the information you can possibly obtain, and execute it with gusto—you can then enjoy every expected and unexpected challenge that wedding planning throws at you.

Here is a list of ten things that every soon-to-be bride should know, before she starts wedding planning. Check it out.

1.Checklists are your friend

Wedding planning is a complex task, and you are probably doing it for the first time ever. There are hundreds of details to plan, tasks to handle and arrangements to make. It is only human to make errors and miss out on certain things , when planning everything.

The easiest way to stay on track is to turn to checklists for help. Divide up every wedding aspect into an individual project and create checklists of tasks to be completed for each of them. This will help you organize your time better, sort out tasks based on their priority and most importantly, make sure that you do not miss anything when planning your wedding.

You can always take the trusted pen-and-paper route for planning your checklists, or if you are a tech-savvy bride, use a tool that will help you manage it efficiently. Evernote is a handy option to keep track and manage your lists with precision on your digital devices.

Now, for the checklists that you will require, you can find a comprehensive checklist on Real Simple. This is divided based on the time by which you should accomplish each task. You may also like to take a look at this interactive checklist on Brides.com. This can be customized to meet your individual needs.

2.When choosing vendors, only go with those you are most comfortable with

handshake

If there is one task that you have to research well, it is choosing your vendors. From your photographer to florist, you will have several options. The important thing is to remember that none of them will be the same. In fact they’ll each be as distinct as you can possibly expect. Every vendor is different in the way they approach their work, in how they interact with customers and how experienced they are in handling specific tasks.

You will be interacting with your vendors a LOT! So, don’t make the mistake of settling for someone who you aren’t comfortable with, right from the start. The personality of the person you have to work with will affect the way you feel about that aspect of your wedding. So, dig a little deeper than just trying to get the cheapest deal. Don’t just go with what others have to say about the vendor you have shortlisted. Don’t hesitate to ask for portfolios, samples or explanations, as is necessary in each case. It is also wise if you do not make assumptions, but clarify your doubts outright, so you can be certain that you and your vendor are on the same page. If you feel that the vendor you speak to doesn’t understand your vision, or cuts you off saying that what you want is impractical, don’t let it be and comply with what they have in mind instead. Keep looking. After all, it is your wedding and there will be someone who can get you what you want, or at least the closest to what you have in mind.

Don’t forego this part even if you are working with a friend or family as your wedding vendor. However close they may be to you, you do not want anything ruining your wedding. So, make sure that you are one hundred per cent comfortable with the decision you make, and you will not regret it later.

3.Disagreements are a given evil

You will be touching several details during your wedding planning, and it is only natural to hit a roadblock once in a while. You may disagree with your parents, partner, vendor or even bridesmaids on some factor or the other. Everyone will have expectations and opinions. Your maid-of-honor may condemn the color you choose for the bridesmaids dresses or your friends may try to convince you that a DJ is a better choice than a live band. If your parents or to-be in-laws are paying for part of your wedding, it is only natural that they will expect to have a say in it. You may also have friends or relatives who may pressurize you into handing over a wedding task to them, when you prefer hiring a professional for the same. There is no easy way out, and you should realize where to draw the line. Accept that there will be disagreements along the way, and you may have to reject suggestions that you simply cannot take.

It is impossible to please everyone, or you wouldn’t have the wedding YOU want! Be prepared to say No when necessary, and it will be a lot easier to handle. As a bride, one of the most difficult tasks is to recognize when it is more important to go with your choice and when it is another opinion that would be a better choice in that situation. Our article on “How to Handle it when others try to take over your wedding” should give you some advice on how to tackle tricky situations in the best possible way. Don’t worry about what others may think of your wedding decisions. Finally, you will regret it if everyone had their way, but you didn’t get to do anything you wanted to.

4.Plan to spend on the most important things

There is no rule book that specifies how should get married. Like we said earlier, you will hear suggestions and receive advice. Nevertheless, it is your wedding, and you should get to pick what is important, so this day is special for you. Split your budget accordingly, and splurge on the things that are most important to you. Don’t worry about the rest.

Think of what you will find most memorable about your wedding day. If it is where it will be held, set aside the greater part of your budget for the venue and décor. If it is how you look, it should be your wedding outfits and accessories. If both of you favor food, make sure the wedding menu is given due importance. If you have a penchant for the finer details, it could be the smaller things like your tableware, party favors and statement pieces that you should focus on. Some couples prefer to spend a major part of their budget on the photographer. If fashion photography or elaborate scenic settings are what you want, so be it.

5.Your wedding planning is hard work, irrespective of the style you choose

Whether you plan to host a casual or a formal wedding, it will be hard work either way. Remember that even though you needn’t choose the classic centerpiece flower design if you are having a casual affair, you will still have to decide what you want instead. Every decision has to be yours, and every single aspect arranged under your supervision. This simply means that you will need time, organization skills and effort to plan everything. We think wedding planning is a difficult task, as almost every married woman will agree. When you handle every aspect of it yourself, it becomes even more tedious. A wedding planner can relieve your stress to a considerable extent, and so every bride should at least consider a day-of planner to get some breathing space.

Wedding planners can direct you to the right vendors who can meet your requirements, and they can also follow-up and ensure everything moves as per plan. This in itself, is a huge stress-buster. Nevertheless, there is always a point in time when a bride suddenly feels overwhelmed and tends to buckle under wedding planning stress. The best way out is to realize the extent of effort that goes in and be prepared for it. Time is a valuable entity, so make sure you have plenty of time and divide your tasks so you have sufficient bandwidth to complete it all on time. Also, don’t forget to catch much wanted breaks, when you spend time away from everything that is wedding related.

6.Everyone has their own interpretation of terms

confused

Almost every term in wedding lingo is highly subjective. When you say romantic, you may have a color palette with peach, gold and gray in mind. You may envision your wedding to be at a casual, romantic outdoor setting such as a resort or garden. At the same time, the same term may give your mother an entirely different idea. She may consider your getting married to your prince charming in fairy tale style romantic. She may expect it to be held in an elaborate ballroom setting, with a four course plated meal to complete it in classic style. The same goes for your dress selection, choice of wedding cake, entertainment and almost every other aspect of your wedding.

In the world of weddings, a word that is thrown around a lot is “classic.” Take a look at this page on the Knot, with some Real classic wedding examples.  You will soon see how one couple’s idea of classic, is entirely different from another. So, the term classic can mean anything by itself.

So, make sure that you elaborate on what you mean, wherever necessary. Specify what you mean, especially to your vendors, instead of using vague terms or those that are prone to varying interpretations. If you have pictures to convey your ideas, that is the best option of all. When the concerned person can see what you mean, there is no scope for confusion. You can thus be certain that you will get exactly what you envisioned.

7.You will have to spend a lot of time reading terms and conditions

Once you shortlist your vendors, it is necessary to sign contracts with all of them, so the terms and conditions of service are documented. This will ensure that both of you know what is expected, and it is done properly. Unfortunately, many couples simply sign the vendor contracts that are drawn up by the vendors themselves, without really going through it in detail. This can cause many unexpected hassles on the day of the wedding.

For example, you may not have noticed the part where your photographer’s contract mentions that you will have to pay extra for every extra hour he spends at your wedding, or that he will be available only for so many hours. Imagine running up a bill that goes beyond what you anticipated, or worse, not having a photographer for the crucial exit moment of your wedding!

Make sure that you read every single sentence on your vendor contract, and have it modified to meet your needs, so you actually get what you expected to. If you are unclear about any of the terms, make sure to ask and clarify before approving it. You can always negotiate and discuss the terms and modify the contract, before you sign it. This will save misunderstanding later, and also allow you to make alternate arrangements when required.

At Best for Bride, we can help you realize your vision of the perfect wedding and help you plan every single detail to perfection. Visit our store online and check out the various wedding services we offer. Trust us to make your wedding dreams come true

Posted on 6 Comments

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 photography – traditional, photojournalistic, the mix of both or artistic, it is time to find the 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.

Posted on 3 Comments

5 Things to remember when signing Vendor contracts for your wedding

You will have to work with a number of people for your wedding– your photographer, venue agent, caterers, florist, dress makers, band or DJ etc. It is necessary that you back up your arrangement with all these vendors with a solid contract that outlines the details of their services.

The benefits of having a written contract are many, the most important being that

  • a contract controls your expectations on what you get
  • it allows you to take legal action, should the products or services not be delivered as per description

Remember the following 5 points when signing your vendor contracts, and you can avoid any unpleasant surprises.

Write it all down

The easiest way to avoid or solve any dispute, is to have every relevant thing written and signed. Never settle for a verbal understanding; have it written into your contract and you can enforce it. If there are changes to plan after you have signed the initial contract, make sure these are also incorporated into the contract, so there is no confusion later.

Spare no detail

Rather than just signing a contract that outlines the arrangement, make sure that you put all the specific details in writing. This will clearly let both parties know what exactly was agreed upon, and you will not have to entertain any mix-ups.

For example, if you want your band to be formed of the specific musicians you heard on the tape, make sure it is included in the contract. If your floral centerpieces are to be designed in a specific manner, write that down in your contract. Should there be an issue at a later point, an outsider who looks at your contract should clearly understand why you weren’t satisfied.

Take time to read and understand every word

Make sure that you clearly understand your vendor contract. So, read it thoroughly. Go through the clauses on emergency situations, cancellations and additional fees, in detail. If you do not understand anything, ASK!

Don’t assume that a vendor’s contract is standard—if their terms are not acceptable, you can always negotiate. If they refuse to make changes, or add the precise terms of your agreement to the form, you may have to reconsider whether you want to work with that vendor.

Specify the payment schedule and details

Make sure the contract contains details on when the amount will be settled and by whom If the amount will be paid in parts, make sure this is specified in the contract and you are aware of it. If your parents or your in-laws are bearing the expenses, make sure the contract is drawn up in their name and they sign it.

Get a contract copy and obtain receipts for everything

For your contract to be valid, you need to have a copy with you. Make sure you save a copy of every contract you sign, and that your vendor counter-signs every additional change you make. Also, obtain receipts for any deposit you make on the final amount, or any payment you complete.

Contracts may seem like a huge headache, but they are a necessary evil. To keep your wedding going just as you planned, a simple contract is certainly better than none at all.

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