Wednesday, February 20, 2013

10 Questions to Ask Your Wedding Photographer

Sharing your wedding day with the people you love is what makes the day that much more special! This connection with your guests shouldn't stop with your friends and family, but should cross over to your vendors as well.

It is so important to hirer professionals for your wedding and their experience in the business is what will ensure that your day is everything you dreamed of and more. However, it is even more important that you find a real connect with these vendors as well. In addition to spending this momentous day with your loved ones, you will also be sharing a lot of it with your vendors; specifically your coordinator and photographer. When hiring these professionals think about not only what your are looking for from a professional service standpoint, but also form a personality standpoint. At the end of the day, your personal connection with your vendors is what will make your wedding day experience that much more enjoyable!

Here a few questions to ask yourself when you are meeting with photographers and coordinators for the first time...

  1. Are they experienced in the business? 
  2. Do they understand my vision?
  3. Do they offer services I am looking for?
  4. What parts of the day will they be involved in?
  5. Does their style or rang of styles compliment my vision? 
  6. Do they listen to what I say? Do they listen to my ideas and offer suggestions or are they pushing their own ideas?
  7. Do I feel that can express what I would like for my wedding day to them?
  8. Do I feel comfortable around them?
  9. Would I refer them to friends and family?
  10. Most importantly, could I see myself being friends with this person?

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Wedding Planner, Wedding Designer, Event Coordinator, Venue Coordinator - What is the Difference?

With today's information overload, sometimes the lingo of the wedding world can seem a little confusing and overwhelming. Planner, coordinator, designer - it's all the same right? Actually no...there are many differences between the types of wedding assistance you can receive. Below is a basic breakdown of how we classify each of the different types of wedding planning professionals...

Wedding Planner:
From vendor referrals to timeline management, a wedding planner is the perfect tool in assisting you from "Will You Marry Me?" to "I Do!"  A wedding planner is an experienced event professional who can confidently guide you through the entire wedding planning process. Their expertise is your navigator through the complex world of all things wedding! Although planners have a variety of service offerings, typically their services include: budget management, vendor referrals, venue selection, to-do check lists & confirmations, vendor meeting attendance, design assistance, creation of a detailed day-of timeline as well as wedding day coordination & management. Since a planner is seen as someone who can "do-it-all", a common misconception is that they will "take-over"  your wedding and control your creative freedom....quite the opposite! A planner is there to foster your creativity, inspire you with new idea's, share wisdom's from their experience and most importantly ensure all of your vendors understand and compliment your vision!

 Wedding Coordinator: (a.k.a. Event Coordinator, Day-of Coordinator, Independent Coordinator)
Although many use the words coordinator & planner interchangeably, for most, their roles are quite different. A planner is typically involved in the planning process early on, where as a coordinator comes into the picture further down the road. Often they start assisting a month or two before the big day. Their services typically included: gathering key information about your wedding, finalizing details, contacting and confirming your vendors contract obligations, establishing a wedding day timeline and most importantly facilitating & ensuring a smooth and stress free wedding day! All in all, a coordinators key role is to tie-up loose ends, bring all of your plans/details together and manage the day-of your event. So as you can see, a wedding planner is typically also a wedding coordinator, however, a wedding coordinator is not always a wedding planner.

Venue Coordinator: (a.k.a. On-site Coordinator, Facility Manager, Banquet Manager)
A venue coordinator is typically an appointed contact by the venue to assist and answer any questions you may have about the venue itself or its affiliates. Their services often include: providing a vendor referral list of vendors they have worked with in the past, creating a timeline for the wedding day in regards to the venues roles & responsibilities, assisting with the catering timeline  (if caterer is correlated with the venue) and assisting with the rehearsal & ceremony process (if ceremony is held at the same venue). Although venue coordinators are a great resource to have, there are a few misconceptions when it comes to the actual roles of venue coordinators. Many anticipate that a venue coordinator is more like a wedding planner or independent coordinator, where-in they will assist you in all planning aspects. Although some do assist with all aspects, most venues have a somewhat strict guideline of what they can assist you with. Some of their limitations include: they usually only have set list of vendors they can recommend, they can only assist with details that pertain the the venue itself, they can not assist you with your ceremony if it is held at a different venue, typically they will have one person assisting you with the planning and another person  there the day-of the event and typically they are not present for the duration of the event. However, they are an expert about their venue and are a great resource to have. Having both a independent planner/coordinator with a venue coordinator is great way to ensure nothing is forgotten or left out!

Wedding Designer:
A wedding designer is your creativity muse. Their role is to ultimately design the look and feel of your wedding. From color swatches to theme creation, their job is to draw out your vision and make it a reality. Their responsibility is mainly focused on the design element of your wedding rather than the planning or coordinating aspects. However, many planners and coordination also incorporate design elements in their packages.

At the end of the day a planner or coordinator is there to make your wedding dreams come true!  Why spend 12 months planning and creating your dream wedding only to have the day-of left to chance?