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Before you meet with your Wedding Planner

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Did you know that there are some important things that you need to decide before you meet with your wedding planner for the first time? While it is common to think that your wedding planner will be able to help you with every aspect of your wedding, there are some basic things that need to be addressed before your first appointment. So, before you visit with your wedding planner for the first time, make sure that you have made the following decisions.

Budget

You should always have a budget planned before you meet with your wedding planner. Since weddings can be extremely expensive, your wedding planner won’t even know where to start if they don’t have a budget. You should also break down your budget rather than simply offering a final number to go with. This will help your wedding planner know where they can make some changes to help save you money or where you have a strong opinion about another area.

Guests

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One factor that will determine a major part of your budget is the number of guests that will be attending your wedding. While you don’t need to have a full guest list of guaranteed people who will be attending at this time, it will be necessary to know how many people you plan to invite. This will help your wedding planner discuss with you things like whether your budget is realistic.

Chosen Vendors

If you have already entered into an agreement with other vendors, it is important that you fill your wedding planner in on the details. This will help your wedding planner to determine areas that have already been taken care of as well as the areas that still require attention. This will also help your wedding planner learn more about how you would like your wedding to turn out as well. If you haven’t chosen any vendors yet, this is also fine. You simply need to let your wedding planner know what’s already been taken care of.

Your Wedding Plan

Every bride has a plan for her wedding and the person who has been chosen to help this wedding dream come true is the wedding planner. Don’t be afraid to bring pictures of your perfect wedding as well as samples of flowers and colors that you are considering as well.

Decision Makers

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While it is most often left up to the bride to make the decisions, sometimes the parents of the bride wish to be involved as well, especially if they are paying for or partially paying for the wedding. It is best to discuss with your parents up front regarding who is making the decisions so that neither of you are faced with a surprise.

Your wedding planner is a great asset to have and can help you plan your wedding from start to finish. But, you need to make sure that you are prepared for them by deciding these items before you meet with the wedding planner for the first time. In addition, make sure that you stop by Best for Bride in order to find all of your wedding day attire and décor needs.

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Are Wedding Programs Necessary?

Wedding programs provide a list of the parts of the ceremony and details such as the members of the bridal party. In a small, casual wedding, the wedding program may seem unnecessary. Perhaps, it is. It’s not right or wrong to have a wedding program. The choice is up to the bride and groom. Wedding programs can be helpful if the ceremony is long or the audience may not know all the members of the bridal party. Some couples include a thank you to the vendors. Are wedding programs necessary?

If the wedding is a large, formal wedding in which everyone in attendance doesn’t know the members of the bridal party, the wedding programs are an initial introduction. The guests may appreciate being able to follow along with a program for a lengthy ceremony. If there are several participants in the wedding ceremony such as a soloist, organist, or other individuals, including their names in the programs is proper wedding etiquette. You wouldn’t want any of the people who help make your wedding special to end up feeling slighted or ignored. Also, guests may want to know who the people are who are participating. It helps create ties that help everyone feel included.

A traditional program lists the components of the ceremony such as the music, vows, unity ceremony, etc. The program does not need to be detailed. Some people take a lighthearted approach to the program and list the events as: “We get married. Everyone parties.”

Wedding ceremony programs can be a beautiful touch to a wedding. Even if you don’t feel like a wedding program is absolutely necessary for your wedding, you may want to look at different types of wedding programs before deciding whether or not to have one. Etsy, the website specializing in handcrafted goods, sells some gorgeous handmade wedding programs. There is a wide variety of styles of wedding programs that can be purchased through Best for Bride.

If you know you want programs, you may want to ask about them when ordering your invitations. The programs do not need to be coordinated with your wedding invitations, but you may like that consistency. The program can be true to your theme. If you browse the wedding programs sold through Best for Bride, you can see that programs can be any style from rustic to classical. Brides and grooms who are having destination weddings or a wedding at a historical location may want to add some details about the location in the wedding programs.

Humorous programs are popular for couples who love to laugh and share the joy of the moment. The programs might include a comic about marriage or joke about the couple. One couple put the line: “So you’re about to sit through a wedding” on the front page of their wedding programs.

Some couples include nice little stories in the wedding programs such as how they met or how he proposed. A favorite program or dedications to deceased relatives might be included. If you are on a tight budget, you may want to consult with the printer to find out how much the printing costs per page before deciding how much to add to the program.

For more wedding tips to help create the perfect wedding, please visit the Best for Bride blog. We have some helpful advice for choosing a wedding gown, selecting invitations, and many other wedding planning decisions.

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How to Hire a Caterer for a Wedding Reception

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Couples recruit several professionals to help with their weddings. Each one plays a part in making the wedding as the couple wants it. The photographer, officiant, florist, and caterer have roles to fill to ensure the wedding becomes the special day the couple has been planning for months. Choosing a caterer is an important part of having the reception of your dreams. Here are some tips about how to hire a caterer for a wedding reception.

The couple may feel pressured to use a friend or family member as the caterer. If the couple is confronted with this situation, they may need to be assertive and politely say that they are using a different caterer. A caterer friend or family member who would be invited to the wedding may be appeased with the couple sharing that they would like the person to be able to relax and enjoy the wedding. The friend actually might enjoy the opportunity of seeing what a competing caterer is doing.

An engaged couple should start the process of looking for a caterer nine months to a year before the wedding date. Some couples rush into hiring the first caterer they meet. Consider holding off on the decision until after meeting several caterers who are available for the wedding date. If caterers are bringing samples to the meeting, ask if they charge for their samples.

It’s easy to get caught up in discussing details such as certain menu items. While the couple will want to share what ideas they have, the focus should be on the overall feel that the couple wants for the reception for the first meeting. The couple should discuss the caterers specialties and what type of cuisine the caterer would suggest for the style of wedding. Couples can talk about whether they want a formal dinner or buffet and receive suggestions from the caterers.

Caterers usually price the event per person. Before meeting with the caterers, know approximately how many guests you will have. You don’t have to know the exact number of guests at this early stage. However, you may find it helpful to know your budget and an estimate of the number of guests when discussing prices with potential caterers.

Know exactly what the caterer provides. Some caterers provide the tables, chairs, and dinnerware. Others only provide dinnerware. There are also caterers who only provide the food and serve the guests or set up a buffet. Caterers may have these items and services including in the price or for additional fees. Therefore, it’s important to ask what is included and what services cost extra.

When it comes to the wedding cake, some caterers will charge an extra fee to serve the cake. If you want the caterer to handle cutting and serving the wedding cake, be sure to discuss this with the caterers. A few caterers work with bakers to provide the cake as well.

Planning a wedding involves taking care of many details and making decisions. The Best for Bride blog contains helpful tips for stress-free wedding planning.