Weddings – From the proposal to the ‘Lights Out’ time on the big day!

Like many of you I am very active on social media of all forms.

I always wonder when I read posts that various people post relating to the “stress levels” when it comes to wedding planning. I am sure many of you have read about numerous horror stories where couples have been scammed, let down, over promised levels of service etc.

To anyone in the planning stages I’d say, stop for a moment. Take a deep breath, relax and enjoy this very exciting time. Don’t over panic, don’t over think it. We are for many years now, living in an era where the ‘world’ is a very small place and ‘everyone knows each other’.

First of all do not let your emotions take over when it comes to wedding shopping or planning. Set yourself a budget, a realistic budget once you’ve done a bit of research and have an understanding of the market place.

Second very important thing to do is once you have created your priority list of things, services, suppliers, you need then start shopping around. Remember though more often than not you will always find someone who can do it cheaper, a far cry from someone who can do it better!
Your best friend will always be Google. Always do your research intensively and properly. Check out Google reviews, ask for evidence of previous work. Speak to venues, get their take as to whether they ever worked or heard of the supplier you are considering to hire.
Contact the relevant supplier or suppliers and request a chat, possibly a meeting at their studio, work place, house, wherever it is they operate from. Make sure you feel comfortable with this company, person, remember he will be playing an important in the most important day of your life! If at anytime you feel that such supplier is pushing you or not offering you the full freedom to take the necessary decisions or limiting you in any way do not feel embarrassed to walk away and most importantly do not part with any deposits of your very well and hard earned cash.

If you choose wisely and do your research correctly the planning stage should be a very enjoyable and exciting time for both of you and offer you the confidence that you are well taken care of and in good hands.

Remember this is YOUR day and it’s all about YOU, the couple, nothing else matters on that day and if your chosen supplier does not appreciate that and is not prepared to go that extra mile for you then he or she is simply not worth the privilege of being invited to share it with you!

Choosing the venue that is right for you.

No matter the size of your budget. No matter the size of your wedding party or how big or small is your guest list.

Indifferent to whether you are planning to have your wedding in a castle, luxury hotel or “posh” venue. The day belongs to you the couple. This means that you should be offered any choice limitations.

Absolutely nobody and no organisation or venue has ANY right to tell you that you cannot have this DJ, or that photographer or venue dresser etc. Assuming of course that any such supplier has all their legal documents, licences, permits etc in place of course.

A few venues, thankfully not many, still shamefully operate on a “residential supplier” basis. At times also have the audacity or I should more appropriately say cheek to charge couples a premium for them to appoint their own suppliers of choice. A good clue to this is when visiting a wedding show at such a venue and there is only one photographer, one DJ, one venue dresser etc present. Always make sure that you will not be restricted in your choice at all and to any degree. When it comes to DJs’ in particular this is a very typical example.

Certain venues would advise you that they have a “team of DJ’s” they work with. In actual terms what this really means is that they have a DJ agency or DJ appointed for their venue who in returns re-subcontracts your wedding entertainment to anyone or the first available DJ for a fraction of the earnings. This further means that the venue is most often than not taking a cut on the DJ’s substantially reduced fees. Hence why they would charge you a fee to make up for that lost cut on the service you decided to appoint someone of your preference for. A practice may I add that is totally unacceptable and arguably even illegal to do, none the less there are still a few venues that do it.

It is for this reason Derbyshire Wedding Events has NEVER subcontracted, never double booked any wedding or other type of work and why Derbyshire Wedding Events has NEVER offered services to an agency or subcontractor. I have always taken pride in offering a totally personalised service and package to all my previous couples and customers.

Being entrusted to play any part at a couples’ wedding is a privilege, no matter how big or small the part that the suppliers plays. Not delivering what the supplier has promised to or letting the couple down to any extent is a betrayal of trust and the industry in which that supplier operates.

Wedding Mistakes To Avoid

Not wanting to sound patronising at all, however after more than a decade working with hundreds’ of couples in the wedding industry I do feel I am well qualified and versed to offer some advise to help couples avoid doing some very common mistakes on their very special day.

So you have the date planned, booked the venue, shortlisted your preferred suppliers, now it’s just a matter of joining the dots and actually planning the date and securing your bookings.

First of all, if any supplier offers you a “deal which is too good to be true or too miss” then it probably is. As I mentioned in previous blogs always meet the supplier in person if possible before parting with any deposits. If you cannot actually meet in person, try and meet virtually. Thankfully technology is now very commonly available and easy to use.

Secondly look for reviews and proof of previous work. Make sure that if you are dealing with a supplier, especially when it comes to DJs that you explicitly ask the question:

Will it be you in person who will DJ on my wedding day / night or do you subcontract?

Do NOT accept anything other than a straight forward YES it will be me. Any other response is only a disguise to subcontracting your booking.

Have a clear mind what sort of music you would like and more importantly what you would not like played on the night. However keep an open mind and do not overdose your playlist to suite your own personal music tastes. Remember you will have guests of various ages and demographics and hence you will want everyone to have a good time and enjoy themselves. If your DJ is a true professional he should easily be able to read the crowd so leaving him to it might also be a good call, so long as you would have met him before and you feel you can trust him to do a good job, also based on his previous reviews.

Choosing The Right Photographer & Videographer. This is also imperatively important.

Clearly there are photographers out there that offer a far more expensive package then others. By all means this does not mean that the less expensive photographers are not worthy of shooting your wedding or not as talented. Give them a chance, check their work out, meet up with them have a chat, again look at previous work and ask for reviews.

A professional photographer would definitely guide you but not impose or “push” you around or worse of all “higher” his voice to get heard. This is your fun day, your most special day and again your photographer must be prepared to be flexible and appreciate how important it is for you. You are far more than “just another booking or a couple” to him or her and any remotely professional would clearly appreciate that and behave accordingly.

It is entirely up to you to tell the photographer what you would like and what you would not. The photographer would then take note of this and work around your style.

If a photographer is not happy with having another person independent from him or her video filming the wedding at the same time, you really ought to question his confidence and level of work. Any professionals would work together even if they’ve never met previously.

It is to be predicted that there will be a few guests who are likely to pull their phones out, possibly even their personal cameras to take a few shots of their own. Again a professional photographer should easily be able to overcome and work with such distractions which agreed are not the best thing to do but does not justify any photographer making a fuss about it.

Finally, many couples just think that having a videographer is a waste of money or they simply think that they could not afford one. This is a very big mistake may I add. You can easily find decent videographers or even photographers such as Derbyshire Wedding Events that offer great deals when booking the two together, so it’s always worth enquiring. I promise you that great quality will not cost you an arm and a leg.
Again, meet up before be clear on what you wish and you don’t. No videographer would be justified not to offer you exactly that. Admittedly it does truly frustrate me when I meet certain videographers and photographers who refuse to do certain things such as taking guests video messages on the day, simply as it’s “not in the couple’s chosen package” as they put it! This makes ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE AT ALL! The videographer is there for you and your guests alike to capture the fun, the day and document it for you. It will never cost the videographer anything more to do whatever you request from him withing the time he is at your wedding working for you. So flexibility and the willingness to go the extra mile is the most important you should consider when booking any of your preferred suppliers.

Finally, remember, your wedding day is the most important day in your lives. It is important that all parties working for you come together, do what they are paid to do, what they are professional at and do it to their best of capacity to offer the couple the perfect day.

However two of the most important suppliers on your wedding day are always your DJ and your photographer. Your DJ will literally make or break your day and your wedding will always be remembered for either of these. Your guests will always look back as you would and remember what a great day, what good fun it was, or God forbid remember how dull it was, how boring what a hopeless DJ they had.

Your photographer is most important to as he or she will offer you the opportunity to look back again and again and refresh your memories and re-live the day. If your photos are bad quality you are not going to be happy.

This is your day, shop around, enjoy the planning, and look forward to a very special day!