There is no such thing as too early, some brides and grooms plan their wedding 1.5 years in advance – often this is the requirement to get all the desired service providers.
Start at all corners at the same time. Many brides and grooms make the mistake of setting a wedding date up front and then despair that you can’t get an overall concept down to that date. That is a mistake!
If you set a date for example 06/14/2024 and now try to get a location, decor, band, show act, videographer, photographer and caterer on that date. What is the likelihood that ALL of your desired service providers will have time on that date? And then also on a beautiful date like 06/24/14. Believe me, not only you have the glorious idea to get married on a beautiful date 😉
You might get 3 out of the top 7 desired candidates, the remaining 4 are compromise solutions.
The question now is, do you want to compromise on the big day, the most important day of your life, the day that only comes once?
I think no. Therefore, do it right. Ask ALL available dates for the upcoming season from all service providers: call several locations. Maybe there are 2 – 3 different ones that come into question. Ask for all free dates for your desired year at the desired service providers: location, decorator, band / DJ / moderation, videographer, photographer, caterer, etc.
Write down every free date of the desired location and the desired service providers.
The date that has the most overlap is your wedding date!
Rather, pick a date at the beginning of the season (March – June) or the end of the season (September – November).
Nothing is as much of a mood killer as blistering heat.
I always say – better rain than heat. If it rains outside, the guests can still have fun inside, but if the temperature in the ballroom rises to 28 – 30 C, no one can enjoy themselves inside – the entire wedding shifts outside and the band plays for only a few souls.
You can of course get married in the peak season. Just make sure, be sure to look for a venue with built-in air conditioning. If there isn’t one and you find out during the pre-wedding week that it gets very hot, consider renting a portable air conditioner.
Some locations close during the vacation season or renovate during the vacations, thus some dates are off limits for certain locations.
I repeat myself, however this paragraph is very important: Check ALL available dates for the upcoming season with the locations and service providers. Call multiple locations. Maybe there are 2 – 3 different ones that come into question.
Write down every available date of the desired location and the desired service providers. The date that has the most overlap is your wedding date!
Take a look at locations where none of your acquaintances has married before.
Don’t be stuck on one single solution, look to the right or to the left! Look also at the caterer-bound locations. The caterers are often very, very good and not always expensive! Sometimes you can pay a fee for the high-proof drinks and can thus come to a reasonable total amount even in a caterer-bound location. Agree from the outset on a bottle-by-bottle and not a glass-by-glass settlement at caterer-bound locations. Have you found your dream location, e.g. a castle, but it has no kitchen? No problem. There are caterers who can deliver everything, these often do not even need a kitchen, but only a small room in which they can arrange everything.
If the location is too small for your number of people, reduce the number of guests to a number that you can still agree with your conscience.
You may not need to have your parents’ work colleagues or grandma’s neighbors at your party. You don’t have to invite grandcousins you’ve never met in your life.
Limit yourself to the most important ones! Who will put a smile on your face? Who do you want to spend the most important and personal day of your life with? That one goes on the list !
If your location allows any number of people, sure, invite more guests 😉
There is no right and no wrong on this day.
Believe me, each of your guests will dance on many weddings. But you will dance only once on your own wedding.
Do it right for yourself and not for the others.
So now back to the location itself. Be early!
Be nice to the secretary or the person in charge. They are the ones who will decide if you get “on the list”. Be polite and courteous. If you love the location and you want it from your heart, tell the person on the other end of the line how much you want it.
Be human, because that is what will get you “on the list”.
Ask for ALL available dates for the entire season. Tell the person in charge the truth, that you will be looking for dates according to the location’s available dates.
If the staff member can’t give you a date because everything is booked, politely ask if they have a tip for a location. You can’t imagine the gems I have found after asking such a question!
Ask for all available dates at several locations. This increases the probability that you will get your desired candidates together. Sometimes you can book the location firmly only towards the end of the previous year of the wedding, because the appointments for the clubs and the administration are assigned so late. Do not despair. Start early anyway. Create a Plan B in case you get a cancellation after your desired hall has been scheduled. Reserve an alternative hall or location.
If you are sure, sign a contract as soon as possible and secure the location. But only after you have booked everything else. Contracts are binding in Germany. Read the fine print.
For the choice of all service providers: look for team players, for whom quality, reliability and experience are not foreign words!
Because at a wedding there are not umpteen different separate teams, a team decoration, a team entertainment, a team catering.
Ideally, there is one team (which does not necessarily have to know each other) and this team is called Team Wedding of Julia & Romeo and this team should work together on the project wedding of Julia & Romeo.
Because only together you can master the project and fulfill a dream for the bride and groom.
Be careful with service providers who offer their work for much less than their competitors. Don’t be naïve if someone says they offer the same service as service provider XY but for less money – something may be wrong here. Many bridal couples have reported to me after the wedding that the cheap service provider did not fulfill what he promised.
It also happened that the service provider had only collected the deposit and then never got back in touch, absconded with the customers’ money or simply filed for bankruptcy. Believe me, a week before the wedding you will hardly find someone to replace the lost service provider, not to mention the deposit lost forever.
Make contracts with all of them – only in this way you will have a security
A good decorator can make a jewel out of almost any location. Of course, it costs more to completely cover a hall than to simply decorate it.
The result is much more satisfying for the customer when decorated. You basically can’t decorate a gymnasium floor. You can cover up basketball hoops, wall bars, goals, etc., it’s just with the floor that it can only be done at enormous cost. Look for a location that should be decorated, not completely covered.
Look for a location with a uniform floor without patterns:
If you have several locations to choose from, opt for the least colorful one, thus you have the opportunity to incorporate any color into your decor.
Look for the chairs and tables. Take pictures of these. Again, don’t get stuck on any color from the start, maybe the color you want won’t match the location you choose.
Choose the decorator not by price, but by performance.
A good decorator, will respond to your wishes, will create a coherent concept for your decoration, will use high-quality materials and above all, a good decorator is also a good project manager who will relieve you the day before your wedding.
Compare like with like.
Listen to live recordings of the band and not studio recordings.
Only in live recordings can you hear the difference in voices. Cell phone recordings are the best for comparison. 🙂
Can the band play current repertoire or only evergreens? Current repertoire is important. Of course, songs like the Korean Gangnam Style come from CD, but can the band play current hits? People often want to dance to the music that is played on the radio.
If a presenter is needed, get in touch with him. Is he sympathetic to you? Does he respond to your wishes or does he always do the same program everywhere?
If you have an international wedding, check the language skills of the presenter
Don’t choose a videographer based on how many hours the video takes.
A good video is short and crisp, peppered with the most important moments. It’s easier to edit a long video than a short one.
Don’t opt for the videographer who takes less time to create the video. Again, the adage “what’s long will finally be good”, has its absolute raison d’être.
Here also applies: What is cheap, gives a cheap result.
Does the videographer have the possibility to work with a crew? What equipment does he work with? Take a look at his work on www.vimeo.com, youtube or on his website. Did you get goose bumps? Did he enchant you? Compare him with the competition, that’s the only way to see the difference.
Consider for yourself in advance what would be important to you in the recordings and discuss this with your desired service provider – does he respond to your wishes? Do you feel his enthusiasm for what he does?
If so, this is your man / woman
Look at the pictures – the photographer’s pictures must enchant you, you must fall in love with them. How is the quality of the pictures? Again, compare the competitors with each other. There are often worlds between the different photographers.
Talk to the photographer. Do you get along, do you like each other? Is he a “stresser” who could drive you to despair on the most beautiful day of your life?
You have to open up during the photo shoot, you can only do that if you like the person. This is your day – you should have fun with everything you plan to do. A good photographer will bring a fun factor into the photo session even for the people who don’t like to be photographed.
You have to decide, do you want a reportage or a portrait shoot, both are hardly feasible on the same day.
Let’s look at the schedule.
As a rule, the groom sees the bride only at the wedding ceremony, which is traditional and romantic. The church starts at 12 noon at the earliest and ends around 1 pm. Ideally, you have from 13:00 – 15:00 time for the photo shoot. This is sufficient for a reportage shoot, but very tight for a portrait and glamour shoot. Therefore, it is best to prepare for an extra shooting on another day. Yes, you have to do your hair again and you still need a bridal bouquet, but glamour shoots for Vogue sometimes take several days and you want glamour in 2 hours? This is hardly feasible. You are not a model, you need time to warm up with the camera, the light is not always optimal, the weather is unpredictable!
Enjoy your wedding day with beautiful reportage photos and do the portrait shooting on an extra day. And on the bright side, you can put on your clothes one more time and be the bride and groom one last time. If the dress is not quite right anymore, no problem, a good photographer will take great pictures even in a skimpy shoot and can work wonders with Photoshop!
A good chef can cook anything. Of course, every chef has his specialties, but basically he can make you a boeuff bourgignon for your wedding if that is your favorite dish.
Talk to the caterer if you have a particular culture at your wedding (for example, if pork should be avoided or if certain dishes should be traditional), He can certainly accommodate your wishes.
There are chefs who prepare everything fresh on the spot, there are chefs who prefer to cook in their usual environment. Decide for yourself for one or the other solution. None is better or worse than the other.
The human factor applies here as well. There are caterers who are great masters of their craft, but who are not team players. An on-site chef for events must be stress resistant, because everything rarely goes according to plan at an event, time delays are common, and the kitchen equipment available is not always a chef’s dream.
Can the chef handle stress? Does it make sense for the bride and groom to get a good meal if you are nervous about it during the wedding because the caterer is nervous?
Pick the caterer based on the quality of the food and the quality of the meals produced, not the number of different dishes.
Less choice is sometimes more. Of course, the quantity must be calculated so that there is enough of everything and even something left over. After all, the guests should not go home hungry.
The same applies here – the cheapest is not always the best!