Your wedding is one day in a lifetime full of magical, romantic and beautiful experiences
Stress-free Wedding Planning - Top Ten Tips from a Catering Director
It has finally happened. After months of dreaming and pinning wedding photos on Pinterest and secret longing gazes as you walk by jewelry stores – he finally popped the question. You are engaged! It is finally time for your wedding dreams to turn into reality. But where do you even begin?
Wedding websites can be overwhelming. On one website there is a list of 500 things you must do before you say “I do.” On the next website the list doubles!
Let me help you. Let me tell you what is important and why. Not even as a sales director – friend to friend.
The first thing that is important to remember is you are marrying the love of your life. Weddings are amazing and beautiful and romantic and magical but they are not the sum total of your life with your future spouse. They are one day in a lifetime full of magical and romantic and beautiful days.
The second thing that is important to remember is this is one of the few times in your adult life when every single person you love is in one room. They are all gathered together to celebrate your love and to rejoice at your happiness. That is one of the main reasons weddings are magical. Remember to take time to enjoy the people who love you both during the planning process and on your big day.
So now that you have taken a deep breath and remembered what it important - where do you start planning? Here is my top ten list in order:
1. Establish a vision
Do you want a fairytale wedding? A modern wedding? A rustic wedding? A vintage wedding? Setting a vision will help you determine what season you would like to get married in, what kind of venue you look for, what kind of dress you buy, what kind of food you serve and what entertainment you have.
2. Set a realistic budget
3. Decide on the non-negotiable items and what is most important to you.
Most of us work within a limited budget. While Pinterest and wedding magazines are wonderful for inspiration – brides need to be realistic about what time and money they have to invest in making their dream day a reality. I always encourage brides to think about what is most important to them and budget higher for those areas. Are you a foodie at heart? Your menu is important. Did you spend your childhood putting slips on your head and wearing it as a veil and wearing your mother’s high heels and pretending to be a bride? You are going to want the dress of your dreams. Do you have visions of your friends dancing all night long? You need to focus on entertainment. Have you always dreamed of a classic country club wedding or getting married at a venue that holds special meaning in your heart? The location will be everything.
4. Pick a date
You may need to be a little flexible here. I always suggest people pick a month or a season first. If the actual date is the most important you may limit your choices on venue.
5. Pick a venue for the ceremony and reception.
Most venues book a year out so you will want to do this first. Preferably pick a venue with an in-house caterer. It will save so much time and work and you will be able to skip the next few steps and go straight to the fun part. When looking for a venue remember to look for little charges and ask what is included. Don’t forget to ask about linens, set up and tear down, tables and chairs, glassware and dishware, and staffing fees. Have a clear understanding of the booking process and the payment schedule. A good venue sales manager will make you feel at ease and be able to answer any questions you may have.
6. Pick a caterer if one does not come with your venue.
Most caterers book far in advance. Ask for menu selections and prices. Be clear on what is included and what is not. Ask about dishware and glassware. Most catering companies have staffing fees and service fees, but look for additional charges as well.
7. Purchase a dress and decide on what the bridal party will wear.
You will need time to order the dresses and for alterations
8. Book your Entertainment
Bands book far in advance. DJ companies are able to book with shorter notice. Make sure you explain your music preference and the vision for your day. Do not be afraid to give them a “please play” and “do not play” list. If you decide to have a friend DJ or just use a playlist put one person in charge of music. Make sure if you are providing your own music there is a backup.
9. Order invitations
10. Pick a menu
I admit this is our area of expertise. Remember when I asked what your vision was? This is a great time to implement it. Do you picture a swinging cocktail reception with passed
hors d’oeuvres? How about a farm wedding with family style comfort food? Do you want a black tie affair with an elegant five-course meal? A mix and mingle with chef performance stations? Ask your wedding coordinator for ideas that are fun and fresh.
I hope this helps! There are more tips and tricks to come in the future so please check back in!
Planning your dream wedding does not have to be overwhelming. It should fun and exciting. Our sales managers are also more than happy to walk you through this process and answer any questions you may have. Let us know what we can do for you.
Best of luck and warmest wishes for your upcoming wedding!
Lancer Catering Sales Director