JDWeddingDay

WEDDING DATE:

Sep 06, 2008

JDWeddingDay
  • Last updated on April 26, 2009 at 7:01 am
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Before each vendor visit, I drafted up a short list of questions to take with me.  These are non-exclusive and somewhat repetitive across vendors, but hopefully provide a good starting point for your visits.

TIP: To the extent the information you find out is NOT in the contract and is important (e.g., what happens if the vendor cannot make it on your big day or how long until the photographer gets you your photos), request to ADD that information into the contract.  If the vendor is resistant, consider why that might be.

Consultant / Coordinator

It's a good idea to try to book your consultant/coordinator FIRST (sometimes even before you book your venue).  Why?  Because she likely will have great venue and vendor recommendations to give you, regardless of whether you end up booking her or not.  Also remember to take time during your interview to consider how you feel about your conversation.  Anxious?  Comfortable?  Confident?  Your coordinator is someone you want to be able to put full trust in and have confidence in on your big day.  That said, here are some questions you might consider asking:

  • How many weddings have your coordinated?
  • For how many years have you been coordinating?
  • Can you hold the date for my wedding while I decide?
  • Which package is your most popular and why?
  • What time do you start/stop coordinating?
  • Who is your assistant and what does she do?  How do you divide responsibility?
  • What is included in your emergency kit?
  • How much (if anything) do you charge for vendor referrals?  (To the extent you can, try to get some referrals from her during your first meeting)
  • What is more cost effective - vendor procurement through you (coordinator), or for me to do it myself?
  • What is your hourly rate if we go beyond the time specified in the package?
  • Will you inform me when we are running out of contracted hours before charging overtime?
  • Have you coordinated a wedding at my venue(s) before?  What are some of your ideas off the top of your head for styling my venue?
  • (For brides having a cultural wedding banquet) Have you coordinated a _____ wedding before?  Has this posed any challenges?  How have you dealt with them?
  • What is your back-up plan if you are sick/unable to make it on the day of my wedding?  Will you provide a replacement?  Who?
  • What form of payment do you accept?  What is the payment schedule?  Does the price include tax?
  • Do you have any questions for me?  (The more questions she has, the better - she is showing that she wants to get to know you and your wedding better)

TIP: Review your coordinator's brochure and description of packages; if any terms are unclear, ask her to define what they mean

Photographer

  • How many weddings have your shot?
  • For how many years have you been photographing?
  • Can you hold the date for my wedding while I decide?
  • Who do you recommend for _____ (fill in the blank with various vendors - a photographer will likely be very helpful in picking out your make-up artist and officiant)
  • How long is the engagement session (if included)?
  • How far in advance are these taken?
  • How long will portrait sessions (couple, family, wedding party) take on the day of the wedding?
  • Do you recommend taking portrait sessions before or after the ceremony?
  • Do you have an assistant?  Who is he/she?  What does he/she do?
  • How do you plan to capture parts of the wedding that happen in parallel (e.g., cocktail hour and couple portraits)?
  • Do you have a suggested shot list that you provide?
  • What is your back-up plan if you are sick/unable to make it on the day of my wedding?  Will you provide a replacement?  Who?  (This may provide a lead for other potential photographers to check out)
  • How long until I receive my photos after the engagement session and wedding?
  • Do you help put together the album?  How much is it?
  • Have you photographed a wedding at my venue(s) before?  If no, do you do a walk-through of the venue to get familiar with it?  If you have, do you have samples you can show me?
  • What form of payment do you accept?  What is the payment schedule?  Does the price include tax?
  • Who owns the copyright to your work?
  • If you plan to use our wedding images in your portfolio, can the photos you choose be run by me first?
  • Do you have any questions for me?  (The more questions she has, the better - she is showing that she wants to get to know you and your wedding better)

TIP: Make sure you ask to see photographs from an entire wedding.  Almost anyone can put together a portfolio of great pictures from a variety of weddings (one beautiful shot from each), but you'll want to see how she documents a wedding from start to finish.

Videographer

  • How many weddings have your shot?
  • For how many years have you been photographing?
  • Can you hold the date for my wedding while I decide?
  • Who do you recommend for _____ (fill in the blank with various vendors)
  • Which package is your most popular and why?
  • Do your hours include non-filming time (e.g., travel time)?
  • Can we see samples of 8 mm filming vs. HD film vs. standard film?
  • How long is each 8 mm roll?
  • What is your back-up plan if you are sick/unable to make it on the day of my wedding?  Will you provide a replacement?  Who?
  • Who are your assistants and what do they do?
  • Do editing hours including viewing?
  • Please describe the editing process.  Is an assistant involved?
  • How do you coordinate with the photographer so as not to interfere with each others' shots?
  • Are you familiar with my venue(s)?  If not, do you do a walk-through beforehand or attend the rehearsal?
  • What kind of a different does 100 vs. 140 hours make to editing?
  • Can we do a custom package that has fewer hours/DVDs/etc. to stay within budget?
  • What form of payment do you accept?  What is the payment schedule?  Does the price include tax?
  • What kind of mic or A/V equipment do you use?
  • How long is the final edited product?
  • Do we keep the master tapes?
  • How long after the wedding until we receive the video?
  • What is your back-up plan if you are sick/unable to make it on the day of my wedding?  Will you provide a replacement?  Who?
  • Who owns the copyright to your work?
  • If you plan to use our wedding images in your portfolio, can the photos you choose be run by me first?
  • Do you have any questions for me?  (The more questions she has, the better - she is showing that she wants to get to know you and your wedding better)

Florist/Floral Designer

Use your meeting with your florist to explore her creativity - have her brainstorm on the spot with you the ways she would suggest styling your venues.  Also explore whether she is willing and able to work within your budget.

  • How many weddings have your done?
  • How many weddings do you do per year?
  • For how many years have you been a full time/part time florist?
  • Can you hold the date for my wedding while I decide?
  • Who do you recommend for _____ (fill in the blank with various vendors)
  • Do you use an assistant?  If so, what does she/he do?  Do you oversee the day of?  Who is the one who actually works on the wedding?
  • What is your back-up plan if you are sick/unable to make it on the day of my wedding?  Will you provide a replacement?  Who?
  • Are you familiar with my venue(s)?  What are some of your ideas off the top of your head for decorating my venue?
  • Will you do a walk-through my my coordinator of my venues?
  • Will you do set-up and take-down of the flowers on at my venue(s)?
  • How long are your on-site?  (Arrival and departure time)
  • How many weddings do you do per day?
  • Do you assist with rentals?  (e.g., tapestry, linens and lighting)
  • What form of payment do you accept?  What is the payment schedule?  Does the price include tax?
  • What is the cost of delivery?
  • What is the average amount your clients spend on flowers?
  • Can you work within my budget?
  • What do you suggest to stay within budget?  (e.g., do you reuse flowers?  What are some less expensive flowers to use?)
  • Will you provide a trial centerpiece/bouquet?  When?  Is there a charge for this?  Are you willing to make changes to the trial run for the big day?

TIP: Bring in photos of floral inspiration for your florist interview, as well as a list of DO NOT USE flowers (e.g., no fragrant flowers because my FI has allergies, or no tiger lilies because I don't like them) or colors.  (Make sure this latter part is in the contract).  Be prepared to tell your florist your color palette and your theme (e.g., rustic, elegant, avant garde, minimalist etc.)

Invitations

Most important in your interview of your invitations vendor is to look at the portfolio to determine whether you like that person's body of work, as well as that person's suggestions for staying within budget (e.g., just one color invitations, but a colored belly-band to add a pop of color).  Also take this opportunity to brainstorm different ideas for your invitation if you are doing custom invitations.

  • What is your turn-around time for invitations?
  • (If applicable) Do you have experience with bilingual invitations?
  • How many different drafts will you create?  Is there a cap on revision?
  • Can we ensure that our design is not used again?
  • Can you custom make ink colors?

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More to come!

  • Last updated on March 11, 2009 at 5:55 am
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  • Finding "the" dress.  Not everyone has a moment of epiphany that drives them to tears of joy when they find "the" dress.  I certainly didn't.  Like some, you may recognize your wedding dress right off the bat, or, like many others, you may find it, like it, keep looking, and then realize that the dress you tried on 30 dresses ago is the one you've been comparing all others to, the one you felt best in, and the one that's been on your mind all this time.  I've never been a love-at-first-sight, fall-fast-and-fall hard type of girl about relationships (it took two years from the day we met for my husband and I to even become friends!), so it didn't come as a surprise that I was the same way about dress shopping.  Bottom line: everyone will have a different experience when it comes to finding her wedding dress, and that's okay!


  • The first fitting.  I am so glad someone told ME this before my first fitting: the dress is NOT going to look the way you remember it, and you may very well be underwhelmed.  Just remember that the dress hasn't been fitted yet, and it has likely been a long time since you first tried on and purchased the dress.  Pre-wedding bliss does funny things to the memory, so if you really want to remember what the dress looks like - take a picture!  Or, once you purchase the gown, request that the salon send you a picture.  So don't freak out!  You will feel much better after the alterations are all done and the dress really becomes yours - made to fit you

 

  • Engagement session(s)!!!  Many lucky ladies are inherently photogenic, but I am not one of them - particularly when it comes to taking photos with my hubby.  We're the couple in pictures where one person looks great while the other one looks like s/he has something in his/her eye haha.  How to practice for the big day?  Take lots of engagement pictures!  In addition to our official engagement session with our wedding day photog, we took did two additional FREE engagement sessions with photographers we found on craigslists, trying to build their portfolios, to get the practice.  These sessions were SO helpful - we got comfortable taking pictures with each other, with the traditional portrait poses, and even learned how to kiss photogenically...ha!  So for every couple who needs practice being photographed, there's a photog out there that needs practice photographing!  Take advantage of that!

 

  • Timing make-up trials.  Many ladies will schedule make-up trials (always a good thing!) to test drive their hair and make-up artists, as well as various looks.  After the session, you will probably look GREAT - don't waste the opportunity to piggy-back your make-up trial with another wedding-related opportunity.  Schedule your make-up trial, for example, on the day of your engagement or b-pic shoot, or on the day you are going to try on dresses or your first fitting, so that you can get a sense of your entire wedding day look.  At the very least, schedule a hot date with your FI that day :)
  • Last updated on February 1, 2009 at 12:50 pm
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::: Work in Progress :::

 

  • Stand up straight!  I am slouching in so many of my pictures - don't let that happen to you!!!

 

  • The bouquet is going to be BIG and HEAVY!  My coordinator gave me some very helpful advice - hold the bouquet so that your arms kind of rest on your hips.  That way, your arms don't get as tired, and the bouquet won't block the pretty top of your dress during pics!

 

  • Bring a snack to the ceremony!  At the last minute as we were leaving for the ceremony site, I grabbed a box of Triscuits - saved me and my bridesmaids from starvation during pre-ceremony and post-ceremony photos!

 

  • Wear the right sunscreen!  If you're having an outdoor wedding, sunscreen is a must - but which one?  My make-up artist Sherrie Long suggested Kiehl's Ultra Facial Moisturizer with SPF 15 because it doesn't have a certain compound (can't remember...zinc oxide?  titanium dioxide?) that reflects light when flash photography is used.  I actually liked the moisturizer so much that it's what I use every day - it's light, leaves my face feeling moisturized all day, and gives good everyday sun protection without the stinky-ness of most sunscreens.
  • Last updated on February 1, 2009 at 11:46 am
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For those of you who are working on slideshows to show at the reception, here's the one that we made using the Pro Show Producer program.  It was just about 9 minutes long, broken up into 4 sections: baby pictures, high school pictures (we went to the same high school), college/adult pictures, and engagement pictures.

http://teamsiudemian.com/slideshow/

Pardon the poor quality - we had to compress the slideshow so that we could upload it online :)

 

  • Last updated on February 1, 2009 at 11:43 am
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Speeches: We had speeches from our sisters, maid of honor, best man, and our mutual friend Howard.  All our friends say that I look exactly like my mom in these pictures where we're both laughing!

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The Slideshow: My hubby spent hours putting this beautiful slideshow together, with pictures of us as babies, growing up together, and engagement photos.  I helped with song selection :)  (If you look closely, that first picture says: "A Lew-Lee Production."

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Bouquet and Garter Tosses: Bouquet toss was done to "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend" from the Moulin Rouge soundtrack; the garter toss was cued by the theme song from "Indiana Jones" hehe.  To entice our single ladies and men to the floor, we offered the winner of the tosses a gift card to Victoria's Secret and a Wii, respectively...turned out to be totally unnecessary (surprisingly!), but I think people got a kick out of it!

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Getting Our Groove On!!!

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  • Last updated on February 1, 2009 at 10:13 am
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Bridal Party Photos: Me, my maid of honor Elizabeth, and my bridesmaid/little sister Jacquie - they're wearing espresso colored silk faille dresses from J. Crew, which I thought was very flattering on them!  Elizabeth has the "Ella" style dress, while Jacquie is wearing the "Whitney" style dress.  Their shoes are espresso colored Jojus2 shoes from Nine West.

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Groom's Party Photos: Demian, his best man Michael and groomsman Sidney (pictured in the top row).  We also had the ushers (Demian's friend Jay are Demian's two cousins, Cousin Victor from Canada and Cousin Ho Chit from Hong Kong).  I love these guys!!!

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The Family: I totally adore all the family pictures and portraits that we got on the wedding day - it's so rare that everyone is in the same place, at the same time, and dressed to the nines!  That's my nephew Jaden in the first picture - I love his little round head! :)  I really like the last picture of my father-in-law - he's got this bemused smile on his face that is so him!

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Post-Ceremony Wedding Party Photos: WOOHOOOOOO!

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