Planning your dream wedding can be both exciting and overwhelming. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with the details and lose sight of the bigger picture. To help you stay focused on what’s important, let’s look at some of the best planning tips from top wedding pros!
Set Your Budget Early On
The budget is one of the most essential elements of wedding planning. Before you start booking vendors, decide how much money you want to spend on each aspect of your wedding—from venue cost to flowers to catering fees. Once you have a clear idea of your budget, it will be easier for you to make decisions about vendors that fit within that framework. Having a budget in place will also help you stick to it and avoid overspending.
“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 Brendan 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.
Make a Schedule & Stick To It
Creating a timeline for all aspects of your wedding planning process is important for staying organized—and sane! Make sure that all vendors are aware of this timeline so they know when their services should be completed by and when payments should be made. This will help keep everyone on track and make sure things don’t fall through the cracks during the planning process.
“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.”
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
It can be tempting to focus on every little detail of your big day, but remember—the most important thing is that you enjoy yourself! Don’t stress out over things like centerpieces or napkin colors if they aren’t adding anything meaningful or special to your celebration. Focus on what matters most to you and let go of anything else that doesn’t truly contribute something unique or special to your big day.
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 daunting at first, but it doesn’t have to be! By following these tips from top wedding pros, you can rest assured knowing that your dream wedding will be everything you hoped for—and more! Set a budget early on, create a timeline, and don’t sweat the small stuff –– just enjoy yourself and make memories that will last a lifetime! Good luck with all your plans!
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.