To Choose a Wedding Planner or Not to Choose a Wedding Planner
Author: Tishawn Merritt
Article source: http://magicweddings.net/. Used with author's permission.
When I was the owner of a major wedding facility, I
was able to observe the results of more than 300
weddings. I've seen exceptional events that will last
forever in the memories of the participants. I've also
seen total disasters. The difference was always in
how the event was planned and managed.
It's like if you're building a house. Would you
select electricians, plumbers, and carpenters, and
then just turn them loose and hope for the best?
Never! This is the way to sure disaster.
Without overall guidance from you and/or the
contractor and a clear, written contract in place, the
house would be a monstrosity. Yet many people plan
their weddings in just this haphazard way.
One wedding at my facility featured a seven-
course meal costing well over $12,000, but there had
been no time-limit clause imposed on the caterer.
When it came time for dancing, only three courses of
the meal were completed. The lesson here is: If
it's not in writing and signed, it may very possibly not
happen as planned.
To start your planning process, you'll begin with the
overall concept of your wedding. You can get ideas
by talking with friends and remembering details of
weddings you've attended, then you can throw in
your own ideas. Consider supplementing all this
information with a wedding guide containing a variety
of creative concepts. You'll find many good guides
online and at your local bookstore.
Next, determine how much money you can
realistically spend on the wedding. A budget-related
wedding planning guide will come in handy. You'll
learn many things you definitely need to know,
including how to control your budget.
Finally, you'll want a planning guide that will show
you how to write and understand contracts and
proposals, so you can insure that your event
happens the way you expect it to happen.
The planning process
Planning a wedding can be a complex and time-
consuming process, and the end result can be
expensive. Fortunately, the whole process can be
broken down into smaller segments so that the
expense and performance elements of each can be
more easily controlled. Before you start planning,
spend some time visualizing what will be necessary to
create each element of your event, and start taking
notes. The following outline will help you.
1. Event ideas
* Come up with the overall wedding theme and any
* Determine the setting, length, and size of the
* Decide on the maximum number of guests and
who they will be.
* Decide on the type of food and service, music,
wait staff, parking, carriage ride, etc.
* Be very clear on your budget - it controls all
aspects of the elements listed above. Start thinking
about priorities, in case you can't afford everything.
For example, can you make do with a buffet if a
formal dinner is too expensive?
* List specific details for each element such as
music, food, service, and any special
* Know the type of facility you want: A hotel
ballroom? A special event center? A historic facility?
Each is unique, and pricing can vary considerably.
* Contact key vendors such as event sites, florists,
caterers, and DJs, and obtain ballpark prices and the
level of service you'll get for each price.
* Make your choices within your budget, and make
note of all related costs and services.
* Finally, when your vendors are in place, make
sure your exact specifications are stated in
enforceable contracts. Not doing this leads to
most event problems. Good written
communication is the key to success. Detailed
written contracts benefit both the client and the
vendor, eliminating all misunderstandings prior to the
signing of the contract and, most importantly, prior
to the wedding. Keep in mind that a typical vendor
may conduct many events per week, so if what you
want and how you want it isn't in writing, something
can easily be forgotten.
The topics we've covered here are only the "tip
of the iceberg," but they should give you a feel for
the process necessary to make your event special
and successful. Your results will always be directly
related to the amount of effort you put into the
process, the level of detail you focus on, and your
thoroughness in communicating well through written
contracts with your vendors.
Putting on a great wedding may seem like a
daunting task, but there are many tools available to
assist you in your planning. My own planning tool,
The Wedding Saving System, is the result of
my ownership of a major wedding facility and my
experience as a government contracting officer.
These two experiences strengthened my belief that a
major event will be successful only if a detailed plan
and budget is developed and then followed up with
excellent written communication (contracts) with all
vendors for the event.
The Wedding Saving System is all about
your exact written specifications with vendors, using
competitive bidding to control costs while obtaining
the quality you expect, and then putting it all into
enforceable written agreements. Don't forget that if
it's not in writing, there's a high probability
that it will not happen as you planned.
Your wedding should create memories that will last a
lifetime, so invest the time and effort to find the
books and guides that will supply the information,
strategies, and techniques I've written about here.
And one final observation: A self-planned wedding
will be a very rewarding experience for all attendees
when the joy and self-satisfaction of the happy
couple envelopes the entire event.
I wish you the very best and will be happy to
assist you in planning your special day! Tishawn Merritt
CEO of Tristarlimo.com
Taking you to the highest limit of service!
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