Hello everyone! How was your Valentines Day? I hope you all had a great time. My facebook news feed was flooded with engagement announcements which inspired me to write this post. Nyahaha! Congratulations! Now, I know planning your dream wedding from scratch could be a little overwhelming. Been there. Done that! So let me share my thoughts on preparing your wedding like a pro!
(1) WEDDING DATE vs VENUE
You and your future spouse should decide on what is more important - your schedule or the venue. You could decide where to exchange your vows and could be very lucky if the same place is available on your preferred wedding date. My husband and I chose to seal the deal in a military camp just because we can use the venue for free - and we were working on a very tight budget. We wished to get married on September 8th but the church schedule on the said date was fully booked so we had to compromise and move it to the next available schedule. If you really have to get married on the 8th, then I guess you'd have to find a different church then. :P
Date and church/reception venue are crucial details for your wedding preps to take off! It will be very hard to hire suppliers if these details were unknown. Time is a significant element when planning. You not only get to book your ideal venue on your desired schedule, but you also have more opportunities to find the perfect service providers and cheap deals for your wedding supplies.
When booking you church, you also have to check the following:
• Who will initiate your wedding ceremony?
• Does your reservation include the red carpet and sound system? How about the choir?
• Schedule your pre-cana seminar (if applicable)
• Secure your marriage license
• Secure your marriage license
(2) GUESTS & CATERING SERVICES
A huge chunk of your wedding budget would probably go to foooood! Four things:
• expected number guests
• table set-up (tables, chairs, flowers, center pieces) and;
• seating arrangements
Listing down your invited guests could be a real headache. What I did is collate the list to an excel sheet and categorize according to relationships like bride/groom's immediate family, entourage and their plus one's, friends of the bride/groom and their plus one's, officemates, etc. This way, you or your event coordinator will also have an idea on how to arrange their seats. Make sure you allot 10-20 extra seats for surprise guests. :D
|Photo from something-pretty.net|
If your wedding reception venue has an exclusive catering service, make sure quotations include the venue and not just the food. Make sure you understand each other! You might just be paying the food but not the venue. Do not allow excess bill surprise you at the end of the day. Catering services nowadays are very expensive so you better check the provisions of the contract, word for word, before you sign the agreement! Venture on the possibility of booking the venue, caterer and floral arrangements with different suppliers if necessary. Awesome venue, but disgusting food and service? Don't go for it! The last thing you wanted to do is booking the wrong suppliers and kissing your money away for non-refundable reservation fees.
One thing I learned from weddings is that, if you want your wedding to be an awesome experience for your family and friends, make sure you serve good food and awesome AVP's (Audio Visual Presentation). :P
(3) PHOTO AND VIDEO COVERAGE
A simple photo coverage may range from Php 6,000 to 25,000. A complete pre-nup shoot, on the day photo & video, photo booth and on-site editing service could be as cheap as Php 35,000 and as expensive as Php 175,000.
Fact! I have struggles on saying "NO" to people. Especially to nice and smart people. Do not sign a contract on first meet-up. You may find their offers/services amazing but always bare in mind that the goal here is to find quality products and services that would suit your budget. So collect a list of potential suppliers, check the quality of their prints, google for reviews, before you say yes! I signed up with the first photography company I checked out and was not really happy about the outcome. Found out later that there was a cheaper service within our area who provides the same quality of prints. Sigh.
Wedding pictures are captured moments of the best day of your lives. Make sure you relay to your photographer the kind of mood or theme you wanted for your big day. If your hiring a photo booth service, check their layout and backdrop, too! You can only get married once! (Well, renewing your vow is another story though :P) This is something that you can share to your future little one's or look into if you need something to cheer you up. So it's not so bad to invest on photo services after all.
(4) WEDDING DRESS & ACCESSORIES
I regret buying my own wedding dress. The thought of spending 15,000 bucks for a dress you got to wear for one day only and consuming too much space on my closet later does not really make me happy. If you have a budget? Why not. I just thought I could have rented a nicer dress for less and spent the the rest of the money on something else.
When choosing your wedding dress supplier, confirm if package includes the following:
• veil - we are talking 2 veils here. The veil you wear and the veil used during the ceremony
• wedding cord - check if they can customize
• pillow (for the rings) - although I did not opt for a pillow, I customized a treasure box from divisoria!
I was under the impression that veils, cord and garter were included on my wedding dress package. Figured out the night before my wedding that there was no veil, cord and garter included. I was so stressed. Again, I said yes to the first wedding dress designer I met - no contract. Wrong move.
(5) ON-THE-DAY WEDDING COORDINATOR
Nothing is wrong if you wanted to personalize everything about your wedding - be it with your invitation cards, table numbers, wedding cords, candles, etc. But remember that you can only do so much on your wedding day. You do not really wanted to make frantic phone calls because nobody took care of your bouquet or the CD for your grand entrance. These are little details that could make huge impact on your 'D day! So please spare some money for a team of experienced on-the-day coordinators who know the details of your wedding like the back of their palms. No matter how many friends you have, you never trust a wedding to your guests. You don't want to stress out your guests by turning into a bridezilla on the day of your wedding because some things were not going as planned. You never trust a wedding to a person for free. Hire a coordinator, make sure you guys sign a contract, and you can thank me later!
And the list of must-haves and to-do things seem never ending. Like I said, it could be overwhelming and could drag your patience to extreme possibilities. At the end of the day it's not the wedding that really matters, it's the marriage. No matter how well you are in planning, or how much time and money you spent on you wedding day, something will always go wrong. It's okay! I've never seen a perfect wedding, only perfect couples. Breathe in, breathe out, buga!!!