You Booked Your Wedding Vendors—What's Next?
You found your perfect venue and have selected most of your vendors based upon your site's preferred list, recommendations from family and friends, and online research. That means you're all set with planning your wedding, right? Not by a long shot. Even though it's a big accomplishment to have picked your caterer, photographer, and DJ or band, there's still quite a lot of work to be done-now it's time to figure out the details.
This is where hiring a planner for partial planning or "month of" planning can be super helpful. They can assist you with every last decision or detail, from the appetizers to the parent dances. Here are some of the most important things to take care of next.
Meet with your caterer and/or schedule your tasting to select the menu for your wedding. If you're asking guests to select an entree ahead of time, make sure to schedule your tasting prior to having invitations printed.
Start thinking early about the songs you want for your first dance and parent dances. If you choose a song your band does not already know, they'll need time to learn it before your wedding. Also if you are using different spaces for your ceremony, cocktail hour and dinner, talk to your venue contact or entertainment company about whether or not you'll need more than one sound system set up. It's better to learn about this early on so you can budget for it.
While you may have booked a florist, you'll still need to meet to review the types of flowers you're considering, the style of your arrangements and bouquets, and what kinds of containers and candles to use. You'll also want to discuss with your florist and planner the linens, chairs and place settings to make sure that everything works together.
Seating and Floor Plans
Make sure to set aside time for doing the seating chart the month of your wedding-you'll work on this as the RSVPs start arriving. In addition to selecting who sits at what table, you'll also want to assign the table to the floor plan, for example, positioning your friends near the dance floor and older relatives away from the speakers. Make sure to leave enough time to have escort cards and place cards printed or calligraphed once your seating is settled.
Put together a list of the "people combinations" you want for formal photos, which will help your photographer and planner (or the reliable friend) when calling out the names and tracking guests down at the wedding. This is especially important when there are divorces/separations and you want to avoid any awkward moments. Plan to discuss the specifics, like, whether or not you want a first look and if it's best to take all formal photos before the ceremony or after, with your photographer.
Many venues require vendor lists and insurance certificates, and timelines. Ask early on what exactly your venue requires to avoid a last-minute paperwork scramble.
About a month of so before your wedding you'll want to sit down with your catering manager and/or planner to discuss the flow of your wedding day-when to do the toasts, first dance, cake cutting, and other special moments. Do you want dancing in between courses or do you want to wait until after dinner? These are all questions a pro will ask to create a customized itinerary for your wedding day.
Start thinking early about details you can include in your special day-a display of old wedding photos of the couple's parents and grandparents, a family heirloom to wear during the ceremony-so you have time to gather everything. It's the small touches that guests remember and that make a wedding a custom celebration.
Make sure to write a list of everything you need for your ceremony and reception so that you're not stressing at the last minute to have a ketubah designed