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Building your dream wedding

Dance to Success
Dance to Success
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Bridal Shows first phase of planning your dream wedding

Planning your dream wedding is the same concept as building your dream home. First, it is important to educate yourself in all aspects of cost associated with planning a wedding. Prior to drafting a, "blue print", prepare your expectations, personal budget, and weigh in.

To avoid stress follow associated construction guidelines to insure that you are starting to plan your wedding on a solid foundation and building up to insure a sturdy structure. It is very easy to allow the excitement to sweep you away and rush you right into a wrecking ball of frustration and fatigue. To avoid this, excercise control of your emotions and adhere to your blue print.

Now that you have considered your personal budget, go into this with a, "permit", to sometimes feel disappointed if your budget does not support your expectation and desires. If you set your mind up front into the mode that you are, "the architect and not the contractor", you will appear to any wedding professional as someone desirable to work with and often they will make special accommodations to see that your dreams come true. Respecting the fact that professional wedding specialist service consistently, and that you are venturing into this seeking their professional advice, will protect you from transforming from beautiful bride to, "bridezilla". If you have never experienced the cost of a wedding, you may at first glance find yourself "sticker-shocked". However, understanding that professional wedding service is time consuming, labor intensive, and very emotional will help you to appreciate that you do get what you pay for. Nothing is beyond impossible, it is the creative and positive attitude that makes your wedding dreams come true or not. Once you have ironed out your expectations in parallel to your budget, you are ready to start purchasing the additions that will create your dream wedding.

Just like building a home, you would not consider erecting a frame without a foundation would you? Consider location as your foundation and the frame as the caterer, both the largest portion of your wedding investment. Consider your invitations, cake, pictures and other additions the extensions of the wedding in comparison to placing windows, painting, and landscaping into a home not yet built. So first, you need a location prior to venturing out and hiring all other specialist to service your wedding. Most wedding specialist will need a location to determine time, travel, and conditions for pricing. So place these extended area's on the back-burner and move through the planning process foundation up.

Once you have your foundation (location), it is time build the frame to support your additions. The largest impression of any wedding is the food. Guest do not remember the small extensions of the wedding, however they always remember the ambiance and service they received. Caterers are your framework of any successful event. Caterers usually contract a year prior to wedding dates, and the most reputable caterers will only commit to a specific number of weddings per day. Reputable caterers should offer a cost per person inclusive of tax and gratuity. Tax and gratuity are a substantial cost in addition to any food and beverage cost. Often brides call caterers for menu's and predetermine the cost independently only to find themselves taken back when they are presented with the actual cost. That is because tax and gratuity play a major roll in pricing and needs to be left up to the professionals to configure and present to you. Make an appropriate appointment to meet with caterers to discuss your thoughts and budget requirements.  After all, this is the largest investment of your wedding and this area deserves much communication and careful planning. The average cost for having a reception catered in Virginia is, $35.00 to $50.00 per person inclusive of tax and gratuities.  Of coarse, if you are considering a prepaid bar for your guest, this is a cost driver, so place emphasis first on the necessities so that you do not exhaust your budget. To single out a great caterer, look for what is inclusive of their price. Experienced caterers should include all equipment and materials to service your event. If a caterer presents to you cost for food and beverage and separate cost for rentals, this is called a, "red flag". In addition, reputable and experienced caterers employ their own in-house staff and do not rely on temp-services to service your special day. You do not want to hire a caterer whom employs one-hundred percent temporary staff because it extinguishes the caterers personal touch and specific service expectations.  Have a list of questions ready, and be prepared to take notes. Ask for references to contact if the caterer appears to be a small business and by all means, protect yourself with a signed contractual agreement between you and the caterer. Once you have conquered the hiring of your caterer, the most important investment of your project, its on to purchasing the materials necessary to personalize your wedding.

So you are now ready to add the finishing touches of your special day, the extensions of your wedding plans that will say everything about you and your love. Limit yourself to interviewing one wedding specialist per category at a time. When shopping florist, photographers, bakeries, and all extensions of your wedding plans, follow the same general rules as for selecting your caterer. If you follow these professional pointers you will undoubtedly enjoy your shopping and planning experiences. Most importantly, you will have the energy on your big day to take a step back, appreciate your investment, and have that smile needed for your wedding photographs.


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