4 Tips To a Better Wedding Reception
As a DJ and event coordinator, I love this time of year. It’s when I get to start meeting more with my clients to help plan their big day, and to work out all of those fun little details that makes their reception stand out. Whatever your role in a wedding, whether it be a photographer, a florist, a DJ, or the bride and groom, we all share a common goal. We want your wedding reception to be the best it can be.
As you start planning your wedding day, you are no doubt excited about what lies ahead. But the task of putting it all together can seem daunting. I mean, how many times do you really do this, right? So what can you do to ensure that you are finding the right vendors for your wedding reception? After all, you want your fairy tale wedding. You haven’t dreamed and hoped, scrimped and saved, and picked out the perfect wedding dress for nothing! As a wedding professional, I not only empathize with your plight, I’m passionate about helping you to avoid the mistakes so many couples have made in the past, and in sending you on the right path towards a great wedding reception. Below you’ll find 4 tips that I share with all of my couples. Enjoy!
1. Decide what’s important to you at your reception, and budget accordingly. Having a friend take pictures so you could spend the money elsewhere might sound like a great idea at the time. But be careful. You only get to do this once and your wedding should not be an experiment. So hiring a quality photographer should be on the top of your list. The same can be said for your DJ. Surveys show that your guests probably won’t remember the table arrangement or even the food. But they will remember the entertainment. Remember; it’s not about spending more. It’s about where you are investing that counts.
2. Word of mouth is priceless. Before going online, or flipping through a magazine, ask your married friends what experiences they had with the vendors at their wedding. Don’t rely solely on a flashy website or a paid advertisement. It might tell you that they care enough to invest in their business, but it won’t describe their service in the same way that a previous customer can. Your friends and colleagues will be brutally honest.
3. Get a recommendation from a vendor you trust. So you’re off to a good start, and you've already found a great photographer. Don’t be afraid to ask them who they like to work with. Wedding professionals have the advantage of working with literally hundreds of other different vendors, and they can help you take a lot of the guess work out of your search. Generally you’ll find that they’ll give solid recommendations because they’ll want to work with other quality vendors to help make your event the best it can be.
4. Get personal. When possible, don’t book a vendor sight unseen. All of the above suggestions won’t help you if you don’t "click" with your vendor. It’s important to take the time to sit down face-to-face and ask real questions to see if they will be a good fit for you and if they will successfully help you to achieve your vision for your wedding day. Using a DJ as an example, ask them what their involvement is in helping to create a seamless reception. Do they provide coordination services or are they simply a music service? How much input will you have in selecting music and order of events? Are there any hidden charges to their services? Getting some face time in with a potential vendor will help you get you the answers you want and give you the confidence you need in choosing the right professional for your reception.
This is equally as important during the planning process. Request to meet in person whenever possible and make the most out of your wedding professionals experience to help make your wedding day unforgettable.
Using these four tips will go a long way in helping you to make good decisions for your wedding day. But beyond having a strategy in place, I think it’s equally important to just take a deep breath and remember that it’s supposed to be fun! Don’t stress over the details, enjoy yourself, and think about starting a journal to track your progress and help keep you organized. You’ll be building lasting memories, so make the most of the adventure.