Planning a wedding is no small feat. Between finding the perfect venue, hiring the right vendors, and making sure that every detail is just right, it’s no wonder why so many people find themselves overwhelmed when planning their nuptials. But don’t worry—we’ve got your back! Here are our top tips for planning the wedding of your dreams.
The earlier you start planning your wedding, the better! You want to make sure that you have enough time to research vendors and venues, book appointments and meetings, and make decisions on all aspects of your big day. Plus, if you leave it too late, you run the risk of not being able to find all the vendors or venues that you had in mind due to availability issues. starting early gives you a much better chance at getting everything that you want from your special day.
Conch Concierge Weddings
“Take the stress out of destination wedding planning and hire a planner who knows the top locations and has strong relationships with talented event professionals,” says Michael Vernon owner of Conch Concierge Weddings, a company specializing in Key West wedding packages.
Big Daddy Walker Productions
“Be sure to add a couple of bridal shows or venue open houses to your planning mix,” says Allen Walker, owner of Cincinnati DJs Big Daddy Walker Productions. “You’ll find lots of fresh ideas and it’s a good way to get to know your potential vendors.”
My Event Pros
Alan Chavez, a Los Angeles wedding DJ and owner of My Event Pros, is a firm believer in entertainment teams. “The DJ experience kicks in only when the dance floor is open. A talented MC will keep your event on schedule, keep your vendors on track and engage your guests while they are seated.”
“Don’t forget your ceremony,” reminds Benden Lafferty, one of the top wedding DJs in Rhode Island and owner of B-Sharp Entertainment. “Not only your musical selections but mics and a sound system as well. You worked hard on those vows – make sure everyone hears them.” Live ceremony music can also enhance the guest experience.
Set Up A Budget
One of the most important things to do before planning any aspect of your wedding is setting up a budget. This will help you determine how much money can be allocated towards each aspect of the wedding (e.g., catering, photography, etc.). It also helps ensure that all costs are accounted for and provides a framework for keeping track of expenses as they arise. Additionally, having a budget in place allows you to accurately communicate with potential vendors about what services they can provide within your budget constraints—helping avoid costly surprises down the line!
“DJ’s are an invaluable resource when it comes to putting together a reception timeline. They understand there’s a flow to a reception and know how to adjust a timeline when necessary – we do it all the time,” says Rob Schneider, owner of Volume Entertainment and a wedding DJ in Connecticut.
“Take advantage of multiple consultations and planning sessions with your vendors,” advises Jim Slaiman, a wedding DJ in Buffalo NY and owner of Premier Sound. “Whether it’s face to face, Zoom, or a phone call, these opportunities are the place to iron out details and do some creative brainstorming that will make your wedding uniquely yours.”
“Consider live streaming your wedding,” suggests William Sanchez, owner of Hercules Entertainment, specializing in DJs in Northern Virginia, including bilingual. “It’s a great way for those who can’t make the wedding to still enjoy being part of your day.”
Exquisite Sounds Entertainment
“Don’t micromanage your playlist,” says Toryn Lankford, a DJ in Atlanta and owner of Exquisite Sounds Entertainment. “You’ve hired a professional to create an amazing party atmosphere. We’ll make sure we get your favorites seamlessly blended into the mix and avoid songs you do not want.”
With so many moving parts involved in planning a wedding, organization is key! Create a spreadsheet with all relevant information pertaining to each vendor (e.g., contact info, payment methods) as well as details regarding other aspects such as seating arrangements or decorations so everything is readily accessible when needed. Additionally, writing out task lists with due dates can help keep everything on track throughout the planning process and help ensure nothing gets overlooked or forgotten along the way!
The Mackey House
“Get your partner onboard with planning and delegate certain tasks,” says Trey Mackey, owner of The Mackey House, an elite wedding venue in Savannah, GA. “It’s only fitting that you take this journey together. And you’ll get a lot more done – and quicker – if you have your other half help you.”
The Estate at Florentine Gardens
Says Ciro Diadone from The Estate at Florentine Gardens, a top wedding venue in north New Jersey, “Venues are great resources for finding other wedding professionals. They witness the talent of vendors on a regular basis. Build your vendor team with experienced pros who work well together.”
Coastal DJ & Video
“Entertainment companies offer more than just DJ’s,” explains George Wainwright, owner of Coastal DJ & Video and a wedding DJ in Wilmington, NC. “Ask about packaging entertainment with other services like lighting, photo booths, and videography that really enhance the event.”
As wedding decorators in Chicago, Aly Heintz Raddatz and his team at Elevated Events, affirm “Lighting is one of the most transformative decorating elements and always adds a “wow” factor to any reception. It creates amazing ambiance for your reception.”
Planning a wedding can seem like an overwhelming task but with some careful thought and consideration it doesn’t have to be! By following these tips—start early, set up a budget and get organized—you’ll be well on your way to creating memories that will last a lifetime on your special day! So go forth and plan that dream wedding—we know it’s going to be amazing!
Brian Lawrence is a wedding business marketing expert who has helped thousands of clients like Alan Berg and Joe Bunn with consulting, marketing and web design. We’ve partnered with Brian Lawrence to bring this great advice from some of his amazing clients.