Are you looking for insider wedding tips to help plan your big day from actual wedding professionals?
We have compiled a list of the Most Common Wedding Questions from our many years of experience, to share with YOU.
Our goal is to educate brides and grooms to alleviate stress and make them more confident in the decision-making process. After all, weddings aren’t cheap, so having useful information is key.
What Is The Average Cost Of A Wedding In The United States?
Surveys show that entertainment is what 80% of people remember. The average cost of a wedding can vary depending on the location. An average wedding budget in Pittsburgh and the surrounding areas can cost around $35k. This is based on the industry standards of wedding professionals across the country.
How Important Is It To Select A Date/Venue First?
There would be no room to celebrate this wonderful day if there is no ceremony! Once you decide on if you will have a traditional religious ceremony in a church or something non-traditional at your reception venue you can start looking into more details about various venues. How many guests will it accommodate, is there parking available, etc. Once you have a venue for the ceremony and venue you can focus on finding an officiant!
When Should I Start Planning My Wedding?
This week we focus on delegation. A common mistake newly engaged couples make is involving too many people in the decision-making process. Asking a family member or friend to make calls, to vendors, on your behalf is never a good idea. Oftentimes, the only information that is communicated back, is regarding price. There are many factors that should go into picking a vendor, price cannot be the sole reason. A family member or friend may be biased towards a particular vendor, without knowing much about the quality of their work.
Remember this is your wedding, so it should be your vision and ultimately your voice when making decisions. In order to do that, you need to set aside 5-10 minutes, per day, to speak with vendors yourself.
Professional Vendors Vs. Hobbyists, Why Does It Matter?
A professional entertainer is an expert in their field. They are certified or have a degree that exhibits their talents. They provide talent and proof of commitment by the time and money they have invested into becoming a professional of their craft. Professionals also have higher level of experience that they bring to the table. Experience is important because talent only goes so far. Experience equates to knowledge and knowledge is what counts when it comes to troubleshooting problems, understanding equipment, signal flow, etc.
A hobbyist does a job on the side for pleasure or as a hobby. Meaning that the job is not a top priority. A hobbyist is generally a one-man show. This can be a bad idea because what is their backup plan in the event of some unforeseen instance? What happens in the event of an accident, food poisoning or even a death in the family? You can’t simply invite your guests back next weekend so having a firm backup plan as well as backup equipment is crucial.
How Soon Should I Book A Professional Entertainer?
Try to start your wedding entertainment search as soon as you set your date. Many places book 2-3 years in advance so the sooner is definitely better! Believe it or not, there are more couples than you would ever imagine that book their entertainment before their venue. A good entertainer is like a chameleon, able to adapt to any venue, so do not think you need to nail down your venue before you book your band or DJ.
How Do You Allocate Funds?
The main parts such as Entertainment, Photography and Videography should not be skimped on because those can affect the outcome of your wedding the most! Allocating funds for these after you secure your Venue will guarantee that you get exactly what you are looking for. Doing this will also help put the rest of your budget into perspective. Once you narrow down your list of vendors, you may get stuck deciding between two options. One option might be exactly what you are looking for and the other option is less expensive. There are several things you can do to avoid choosing something for your wedding because it is the cheapest option.
Why Are Vendors, Such As DJ’s, So Expensive?
DJs do more than just stand behind a table and play music. Allocating only 10-15% of your total budget will be well worth it to make sure you can hire the DJ that will make your wedding a night everyone will remember! Budgeting this amount for entertainment guarantees a professional for the
the entire length of the evening.
What’s The "Premature Question?"
This week we focus on asking the premature question. The question that everyone wants to know but shouldn’t be asked first is, “how much?” There are several factors that you need to take in account when it comes to prices. Important factors include day of the week, the month of the year, and how long the wedding/reception will be. Letting the vendors and entertainment companies know what you have planned allows them to give you a more accurate price.
What Makes Up The Cost Of Services?
Several factors need to be considered when creating your wedding budget and deciding how much to put towards entertainment. Understand what you need and what you want; this will help you create (and stick to) your budget.
Creating a budget entails knowing what wedding services cost. A good rule of thumb is to budget 10-15% of your total budget towards your wedding entertainment. Research shows 80% of people say entertainment is what they remember most from a wedding. Food and alcohol are a close second.
Where Should I Go To Get Wedding Related Help If Needed?
Gone are the days of putting pen to paper. When you book your DJ with Wenning Entertainment you have access to an online planning site to help you stay organized. Our clients receive their own username and password to access the site. This is where you can list song selections, timeline details, and bridal party/parent names. You will have separate online planning forms to complete if you book a photographer/videographer. Here is where you will list your various shoot locations and shots not to be missed.
Not only will you have all of your information online for your DJ to see, but in the case of an emergency and someone needs to step in as a backup they will be able to know exactly the details you want for your wedding without needing to contact
you at the last minute.
Do Reviews Matter? If So, How Do I Determine What Are Good Quality?
When you receive vendor recommendations from a trusted source, take note. Sure, you can research on your own. But with each review that you read online, do you actually know the source of that review? Most likely not. However, when it comes to your venue, you are trusting them to handle all of you and your guest’s requests so why wouldn’t you trust their opinion on various wedding vendors.
How Do You Budget The Smart Way?
The most important factor about planning a wedding is what no one likes to talk about and that is budget. This money can come from a variety of different places such as the bride’s parents, family members or maybe you’re paying for it all yourselves. Either way, you need to sit down with your partner and map out every little detail as to where this money is being spent. Most of the money is going to go towards the venue, food and entertainment. A key thing to remember is, you can’t please everyone. This is your special day, so make it your wedding, your voice, and your vision.
Do I Need To Feed My Vendors?
Keep in mind vendors are working hard to ensure your wedding is perfect. Oftentimes, vendors can barely slip away to use the restroom, let alone sit down to eat. Feeding your vendors, ensures they have the energy needed, to provide you with their best services. Eating with their hands is not ideal, since their equipment can get messy, afterward. Talk to the vendor providing the catering, to determine what options are available, for vendor meals.
Should I Send A Thank You Note Or Write A Review Or Do Doth?
It’s always polite to write a review after a job well done. It is also great to write a review on several platforms such as Google, Facebook, Wedding Wire, The Knot, and several others. Placing a review on these websites will be seen by more people and have more engagement. Posting on their Facebook page is always good but it’s beneficial not only to the company getting a good review but to the people that are in the beginning stage of planning their wedding. Simply copy and paste it to all these websites making that review a quality reference. This will take no more than 10 minutes for you to do and your vendors will greatly appreciate your efforts.
What Goes Into Booking A Photographer?
There are several different steps that go into having a professional wedding photographer.
- You should be able to enjoy your special day without having your wedding photographers trying to get in touch with you. Assign someone you trust who knows specific details about what is going on during the day to be your go-to person. You will want to have a go-to person for both the bride and groom. This person should preferably be someone that can stay in contact via text and will stay relatively sober throughout the day.
- First look photos are a newer trend that is a great way to capture more emotional and intimate photos. Couples simply want to enjoy the powerful moment when they see each other for the first time. Some people still believe it is bad luck for the groom to see the bride before the ceremony. If you are a superstitious person or simply a traditionalist then the first look is not for you.
- If you are planning on taking photos at more than one location, be sure they are close to each other or you have a lot of time available before your reception. When you take into account distance and traffic you may end up eating into far more time than you thought you would. Instead, try choosing one location you adore the most and let your photographers maximize that one location.
- An engagement session is a more relaxed photoshoot. The couple gets photos taken to use for save the date cards, wedding website, or even display at the reception! Another great reason to do an engagement session is getting a preview of how things will actually go on your wedding day.
Who Should Come To The Rehearsal Dinner & Wedding?
Your rehearsal dinner doesn’t have to be a formal grand affair. Remember, that part comes on your actual wedding day! Instead, a great idea to save money for this event is to have something less formal. Maybe a backyard cookout if the weather permits or possibly your parent’s or a friend’s house can hold your guests and will host a catered dinner in your honor. You don’t have to have a huge dinner, just invite your bridal party, parents, and officiant. Not all of your guests have to be there so don’t splurge on this part of your wedding. Your rehearsal dinner is just that, practice for the real show the next day!
If you happen to have a list of people you are unsure if you should invite try making an A, B & C List. Your A-List should include your close friends and immediate family. Use the B & C List for co-workers, friends you may not have recently been in touch with, and those distant cousins and other family members you haven’t seen in years. Now, who makes the cut? If you have guests on your B & C Lists that you have not talked to within the past year it is acceptable not to feel obligated to invite them to celebrate this special day with you.
How To Be A Good Guest
Adhere to the designated dress code. Simple in concept, difficult in execution.
As a general rule of thumb, it is better to overdress versus underdress. Plus nobody wants to want to see you in jeans and polo at a black-tie affair. When in doubt, google appropriate wedding attire, aligned with the designated dress code. You don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars to look nice.