Must-ask questions for your potential wedding professional

Daniela-Caputo-Headshotby Daniela Caputo, Instructor at WPIC.ca, Montreal Event Planner

Demystifying the Wedding Professional’s Role

The following are must-ask questions for your potential Wedding Professional:

How many weddings do you do per year? How much experience do you have?

These are extremely important questions. Ideally, your wedding professional should have ample experience specifically with weddings. Not only will they be more skilled in their craft, this also makes them a valuable source of information and ensures that your wedding day goes smoothly.

How much do you cost?

Price is often relative, especially when you factor in experience, reputation and expert skill. Generally, the most talented professionals have a higher price tag because they are worth it.

How much is the deposit?

What specifically is included in that cost?

Because packages often vary, it’s likely that you won’t be able to compare one vendor exactly to the next without doing a little figuring. The lowest cost isn’t necessarily the best deal; some higher quotes include services that you have to pay extra for in other packages. Make sure you take this into account.

What happens if I cancel? What happens if you cancel?

Find out if your deposit is refundable under any conditions. Does the wedding professional have a backup plan if something happens to them?

Do you use a contract?

If the answer is No, RUN! A contract is designed to protect both you and the wedding professional. Don’t settle for a verbal agreement that won’t hold up in court.

Are there any additional fees?

Taxes, service charges and travel fees can add up quickly. Make sure you understand exactly what is included and if there are any other fees you’ll have to pay. This should be clearly defined in your contract.

Do you carry liability insurance?

The answer you’re looking for here is Yes. This protects you in case an unfortunate accident should occur on your wedding day. It’s also a sign that this is a reputable business; since most “fly by night” operations don’t invest in insurance. If chosen wisely, with the right wedding vendors you get expert help and advice…for free!

Demystifying the Wedding Professional’s Role

Daniela-Caputo-Headshotby Daniela Caputo, Instructor at WPIC.ca, Montreal Event Planner

Demystifying the Wedding Professional’s Role

What is it that we do, anyway?

Hiring the right Wedding (Planner) Professional is critical to planning your dream wedding (this alone can be quite stressful).

  • How does one find the right match?
  • How do you know whom to trust?
  • Where do you go for advice?

Well first of all, this is not an easy task and it’s totally normal for couples to feel  overwhelmed, frustrated or confused. It’s not like you plan a wedding every day, right?
This is all brand new to you, so be patient with yourself and pace yourself.

Here are a few tips to finding the right wedding professional for you;

  • Do Your Homework. You’ll get much more out of a meeting or conversation with a wedding professional if you do a little background homework first.
  • Spend some time on the internet or talking to friends who’ve recently been married.
  • Find out the average prices in your area and what services are available.
  • Get an idea of what you like and don’t like.
  • Wedding websites and chat rooms can be a great resource. This way when you meet with a wedding professional you’ll be able to ask better questions and have an idea of what to look out for.
  • Meet With Them. An in person meeting is the best way to interview a potential wedding planner. It lets you get the full experience of their personality, style and professionalism. If that’s not possible, have a phone conversation.
  • Ask Questions. There are no stupid questions! Make sure you get clear, specific answers to your questions. If you aren’t sure what something means, ask them to clarify. Keep asking questions until you completely understand. If the wedding planner has a problem with you asking questions, they probably aren’t the one for you. The best wedding professionals are patient, understanding and take the time to help you make the best choices for your wedding.
  • Listen. Don’t just hear the words they say, really listen. Watch the vendor’s body language. Are they confident and comfortable with their response? Do they look and sound nervous? Do you get a “funny feeling” about them? Take all the sights, sounds and feelings into account along with their responses; if your gut tells you something isn’t right, it probably isn’t.
  • Check References. Portfolios are hand-picked to show off the best work, but they may not represent the “average” wedding performance. Videos are edited for the optimum presentation. However, real referrals from satisfied clients are hard to fake;
  • Call up both client and professional references.
  • Ask questions and use those listening skills.
  • Even if they give a rave review, you’ll often be able to “read between the lines” if there were any issues or problems.
  • Ask around and search the internet for reviews.
  • Check the Better Business Bureau for any outstanding complaints against the business.
  • Weigh all of this information into your choices.

 

 

Are Wedding Appetizers Necessary?

wedding appetizers feature

wedding appetizers

Are Wedding Appetizers Necessary?

Courtesy of I Just Said Yes

So many couples are spending money on appetizers prior to dinner service.  I personally love this idea and think it brings a level of elegance to the event.

You can keep the cost down by having the wait staff butler pass these items.  You only need to order 2-3 pieces total per person.  Remember it’s just a  small sample and the dinner will be following shortly.  Most guests will only take one appetizer at a time.  The wait staff can stagger the service so as new guests arrive they can be waiting for them with trays of appetizers.  See if your reception venue has white gloves and if so ask for the wait staff to wear them during the cocktail hour. Very chic!

Some brides want to display a large array of appetizers during the cocktail hour.  Once we go through the cost, I explain that this is far more expensive to do.  Once you display appetizers, you need to order double the amount.  As soon as you place small plates on that table, it’s a “free for all” and guests tend to take more than they should.  You could run out quickly.   In addition, the appetizer table may look beautiful for the first few guests but then it becomes messy and unattractive by the time half the guests have invaded it.

What to serve?  There are so many ideas.  You can try to match your appetizers to your theme of the wedding.  You can also introduce some of your heritage by choosing one or two ethnic items.  Mix both cold and hot applications to give your guests a variety.  Another nice touch is to pass a “signature cocktail” along with the appetizers.  For a cool added feature, hire a jazz band to play during this time.

 

Wedding Hair Flower, Veil or Tiara. Which One is for You?

Wedding Hair Flower, Veil or Tiara. Which One is for You?

As long as I can remember, the wedding veil has been worn by many if not most brides.   The veil is designed to accentuate not hide your wedding dress design.   The beauty of a veil provides the finishing touch for your wedding outfit and can be worn with a tiara or headpiece.  Traditional veils called blusher style are used in the church and lifted from your face by either your father or groom.    If you don’t like this idea then you can pull the veil back  away from your face.   Many veils are now detachable and can easily be removed by Velcro so you don’t have to worry about it blowing in the wind for pictures.

wedding veil

What about hair flowers and no veil at all?   Big trend with more and more wedding hair flowers and bling clips without the veil.   Veils are still worn for many ceremonies in the church but for destination or outdoor ceremonies, many brides choose to forgo the veil especially if they have purchased a modern wedding dress.   The wedding flower is a big hit among brides.  You can get them in various colors and styles to accent your wedding dress and can even wear more than one!

The designs and styles of these hair flowers are endless.  I particular love the all white or cream ones with a touch of  beading.  You could also select a real flower piece for your hair that compliments your bouquet.  Make sure you choose a flower that will last throughout the day and evening.  Whether you decide to go real or faux make sure to do a trial run with your hairdresser.  You want to make sure the size of the flower is appropriate for you and compliments your dress.

wedding hair flower

What about the tiara?  This is so popular and started back with Grace Kelly wearing one making them so timeless and classic.  When you put one on you really will feel like a princess for the day.  If you shop online you will find some beautiful ones to choose from.  There is a variety of pearl, diamond, faux and colored stones.  Sometimes that accent piece may just say it all and be the perfect accessory for your wedding dress.  The tiara should sit high and firm on your head.  You can choose to wear  the tiara free style or incorporate it into your up-do.

 wedding tiara

Choosing a veil, tiara, flower, or mixture of two is your personal preference but you won’t be able to answer that question until you pick that perfect wedding dress.  It’s then you can decide which one is the best fit for you and compliment the dress.