A wedding is a sum of its parts, and the parts that make the actual event of a wedding are the people hired to perform their various roles. There may be a debate that the venue itself, or the dress, or the rings, or the food are a major part of the “body” of the wedding, but I believe that they are actually consequences of the people.
A spectacularly beautiful venue can be thoroughly ruined by a terrible venue manager who has the people skills of an airline security agent. Similarly, a “world-famous” photographer who imposes their will so forcefully on a wedding that they turn it into a production can change the whole tone of a wedding. A drunk DJ or a disinterested videographer or an unreliable caterer, no matter how great their “end products” are, can alter the course of a wedding day.
Now, if you read my previous post you will know that these above mentioned “things” are not something that should be able to ruin a day, but they can definitely add pressure. And this is why we believe firmly that the selection of good vendors is central to being able to enjoy your wedding.
The wedding industry is an intimidating place for a bride. There are hundreds of options across a seemingly infinite price-range, and everyone has a different opinion of who you should use. Putting together a wedding event is not for wimps!
First piece of solid advice: PRIORITISE!
Your budget, unlike your options, is usually finite. Very few brides are given a blank chequebook, and the costs add up fast! Choosing what the most important elements are is a tricky but vital part of the success of your wedding.
Most people default to selecting a venue first, and that’s fine… as long as thats the most important part for you. Venues are a good source of advice for selecting suppliers, and the popular ones tend to be booked up well in advance, so its no wonder why people go here first. The only problem is that often people choose venues, not venue managers. Any vendor with experience will tell you in no uncertain terms that a good venue with a great manager is far more valuable than a spectacular venue with an absent or problematic manager. Remember, its the people that make your day great!
Certain experienced service providers such as DJ’s, photographers or videographers will give you pretty valuable advice on the venues and their actual running qualities. Chat to these people!
If photos are a major priority it may be worth chatting with photographers about which venues they enjoy. Some venues offer amazing and varied photographic opportunities. Nobody knows this better than your photographer or videographer. It is also extremely common for people to book their venue before their photographer only to be disappointed that all their favourite photographers are unavailable on their chosen date. If you are set on a particular provider, don’t assume they will be available. Rather line your dates up before paying that deposit!
Your choice of DJ is also a critical one in steering the course of your evening. Not all DJ’s are created equal. Many are really good at playing decent music and keeping the dance floor viable. Weddings, however, are more complex events than a club dance floor, and a DJ’s experience and ability to assist in the smooth and logical progression of your evening is not something to be undervalued. There are a few DJ’s who really go above and beyond in terms of professionalism, experience and service offering. Again, this choice will be dictated by your priorities.
Lastly (and there is a lot more to be said, but this is a blog, not a book), I want to make mention of the “Wedding Planner”. This is often viewed very strongly as a “nice-to-have” add-on. I believe wedding planners are very often an amazing decision! Event coordinating is a massive undertaking, and having someone with experience to take on the grind work of making a wedding happen takes a huge burden off the people who should be focused on enjoying the wedding.