With spring around the corner allot of couples are planning their special day getting ready to start their new life together. Since I have been Photographing Weddings for 20 years now, I can give you some idea's or give you some of my experience that I learned being involved with one of the happiest days of a couples lives. So once you set your date whats next? Of course you need a dress and rings but here are a few others.
1) Pick your reception: You might ask why a reception before anything else. Well the answer is simple there are more couples getting married then there is reception venues. Most popular reception locations can only do one wedding on a Saturday unless there is a small event early in the morning. So because of this Country clubs, lodges, etc. book up quick and in some cases up to a year ahead of time. So start calling around and getting prices and checking on dates.
2) Pick where your getting married. Church, Park, at your house, etc. If at a church you should pick that next because of the same reason from the point above. However with a church unless you have a special church or your a member you can normally find a church to get married in without allot of issues.
3) Pick Your Photographer: Most wedding photographers that are good and have been doing it for a long time will book dates 6 to 8 months ahead. If your budget will allow it and I don't say this because I am a wedding photographer but the saying you get what you pay for it so true. For example when I started shooting weddings 20 years ago I had 1 camera, 1 flash, and 2 lenses. I didn't understand controlling light, some of my pictures would be over exposed, I didn't have enough equipment or the right equipment to cover every situation. With that said I was only charging $ 150.00 to $ 275.00 to shoot a wedding. Now for example I have 4 digital camera's, 11 different lenses, studio lights, soft boxes, umbrellas, the list goes on and on but it took me a while to be able to afford the best and to purchase 20K + worth of camera gear. This is true of all new photographers and us photographers that are not new anymore we all started out the same way with the same results although most won't say that but nobody can be an expert without experience it is just basic facts. So even if you don't book with me make sure who you do book with can do what you want and has the experience and equipment. Remember the photographer only has one chance to get it right there is not do overs on your special day.
4) Pick your entertainment: DJ - Band they book up as fast as a photographer and maybe faster since there is less of them then photographers. The best way to book a DJ is from word of mouth. When you pick 3 or 4 to visit with see if you like their personality, ask them how long they have been in business. Do they have backup equipment, will they be the one coming to the event or do they have others. If it won't be them then ask to meet who will be there. Ask about their equipment not that you need to know the brands or models but you don't want them showing up with a IPOD and a Bose Wave Radio.
5) Pick your cake: There are allot of great cake shops and normally they let you do a tasting. So pick 3 to that you have heard great things about and spend a Saturday eating cake which I can't think of anything better then that.
6) Pick your Honeymoon: If your going somewhere after the wedding make sure you have your plans booked. Passports up to date? Better go check now. Also if leaving the country I would recommend calling your family doctor and tell them where your going. Why? Because they could give you a prescription ahead of time in case you get for example food poison. I travel allot outside the country and can tell you being sick in Mexico, Jamaica, etc. is no fun. They don't have a urgent care around the corner so do a little research before you go and be prepared.
7) Make sure if your leaving after the reception to have someone in charge of gifts, cards, etc. Normally a parent but don't assume make sure that is covered before you head out.
8) Give both parents your flight numbers, dates, time of arrivals, hotel info, etc. You want to make sure everyone knows how to get a hold of you if something comes up. Nobody will or should call you just to ask how the weather is so don't worry about giving out the details.
These are just a few things that I find important on your special day please check back with me as I am always adding more information for couples getting married.
Flair Photography By William Clements