- Decide if the wedding will be held at home or at a catering hall.
- Book the vendors you want early (1-2 years in advance).
- If you're flexible with the date, you can find great deals.
- You must know your budget before planning.
So, for the average planner here is what you need to keep in mind:
1. If this is going to be a wedding in a full-service catering hall, the stellar halls are booked at least a year in advance. Many are booked more than a year. That means that deciding if your wedding will be a lovely at home event or at a catering hall.
2. If you are renting a "blank space" to bring in your own caterer, rentals, decorations, etc., the popular locals also book 1-2 years in advance.
3. I cannot speak for any other caterer, but certain months of the year fill quickly. If the client is flexible about the date, month and day of the week, booking even 6 months out is doable. HINT: There are great deals to be had renting facilities on Thursday or Sunday.
4. For backyard weddings in the high seasons, spring and fall, tents can be hard to come by. Even if your plans are not fully fleshed out, get the tent and porta potties reserved. As a full service caterer, we will assist with every detail including: rentals, alcohol, flowers, etc. It saves stress and the potential for something being left out when you coordinate through one person.
5. Budget, budget, budget...Most important thing. Did I mention the budget??? You MUST know your potential number of invitees and your "pocket book" before you start contacting anyone. It is unfair to you as well as the vendors to invest time and effort in creating a great menu, etc., only to find that the pricing is out of the clients' range. I try never to bid blind for that very reason. By virtue of that policy, no one is ever disappointed!
6. No matter how much help/wisdom the moms, sisters, friends, etc. have to offer, it is the bride and groom who must be in on every step. Why? Because as smart as all the aforementioned people are, I have found that in the end, and after all their time invested, they really did not have the correct vision of the couple, to no fault of their own. The words I hear are, "They now want "X". I know it is completely different from what we were discussing." While the wrong plans are being made, the right place/caterer and rentals may be gone...
On the JHD website wedding page there is an article that goes into greater detail as to what you must think through when planning for your wedding. Have questions? I have answers and am happy to share my expertise. Simply reach out!