Ok, so you're engaged. Now what? Well, pinterest is often every newly engaged couple's first start. Lets go surfing for ideas! What are our colors? Vintage? Modern? Cowboy themed? What are we doing? Slow down. Those are not the most important pieces. Lets start with budget. Do you have enough in your wedding budget to hire a planner? Can you afford to fly to Maui and bring all your family and friends? Logistics are a really good place to start. Here is a good idea of what couples are spending on weddings. Once you have one vendor you love, ask them for their recommendations! They know other people in their field that can help!
If you can hire a planner, start there. By there, I mean REVIEWS. Don't focus too much on one review... read a BUNCH of them to get a really good snapshot of the vendor! Every vendor should have a list of reviews, that all sound different, like their many clients wrote them... and use those as a barometer of whether or not they're what you're looking for. Start with planners, and move on from there. Ask your planner, who should know your personality well by the end of your get-to-know meeting... for all of their recommendations. They have a list of a million vendors that they work with, and they'll tailor them to you. Our wedding planning options...
Planners vary widely in pricing, and your budget, once again comes into play. A planner often saves you a good chunk of what you spend on them, as long as you listen to what they tell you. They keep you from making mistakes. They range from 10-20% of your wedding budget, on average. An option for someone with less funding is to have a day-of-coordinator, or wedding coordinator. That person helps you through the final 4-6 weeks before the wedding, calming things down, smoothing things out. See this link for more info on what a coordinator does...
You choose a planner based on a mix of their reputation and how well you get along. If your fiancee hates the planner you meet with, don't hire them. You're just asking for trouble, for both you and the planner! Nobody wants to spend a year working with someone if there is tension. You don't have to be besties, but you DO have to get along. Have a similar lifestyle. Are you an A type? find an A type planner. Your life will be easier.
See the "read more" below on photographers, caterers, florists, and wedding venues!
Your photographer also has to be someone you get along with. Are you silly? Do you love lovely, romantic images? Do you like highly edited, effect-driven photography? Super modern lines? This vendor is, of course, review driven as well, but the look of their work is absolutely important, as is their personality.
After you've narrowed your theme, colors, and the rest, pick a venue. Allow your planner to help with this as well. Don't visit 25 venues, and try to narrow them down. Get a list of 5 or so in your budget, and see them. Make sure they work with your look and feel that you're after for the event. Balance what they offer to the cost, as well as proximity of guest accommodation, and their accepted caterers.
Caterers are one vendor that you typically have to use the venue's list for. The caterer choice is based on three things: reviews, the tasting, and the budget. The reviews tell you if the tasting is accurate, the tasting tells you how yummy they are, and the budget tells you if you can afford them or not. I recommend tasting 3 caterers' food.
Your florist is extremely style based. They have to 'get' you. As a florist, I have had several clients that I turned away because I knew I wasn't the best fit for them. I recommended them to my colleagues, who loved them and loved working with them. This professional is one that can make your day with the beauty of their art... or break it with crappy service. Reviews and personality are your driving forces here... then budget. Come into this meeting, as well as all your others, with a good idea of what you want to spend. That way they can tailor your choices to your needs!
If you have more questions on Denver wedding photographers, Colorado event venues, or other wedding vendor choices, or need help with planning and coordination, we're happy to help. Please check out this page on our site for more information about our wedding planning options in Colorado.
About the Author...
Lilli Black is the owner of Bella Calla, a full-service high-end florist in Denver Colorado. She has been in the design industry for 15 years, and was raised around plants, flowers, and art. Bella Calla has allowed her love of all things growing, and her love of all things lovely to come together. 303.995.2867