Category Archives: Facebook

Hiring the Best Wedding Vendors

By | 5 Biggest Wedding Planning Myths, Budget Los Angeles Wedding, Budget Weddings, Event Planner, Facebook, Los Angeles Wedding Planner, Wedding Planning Checklist, Wedding Vendor Negotiation | No Comments

By Dee Gaubert | Owner, No Worries

Every year as the holidays roll around, the wedding industry clamors about “engagement season”- and yeah, this is the time, from December through January, where we get super busy taking incoming inquiries and generally book up to 60% of our dates for the coming year.  It’s appropos then to share some insight about booking wedding vendors.

Remember, there is no real barrier to entry for most wedding vendors.

A DJ has to have specific technical skills, sure, but has he or she practiced mc’g in front of large crowds?  A florist doesn’t necessarily need to be formally trained to start his or her own business. And wedding planners and coordinators need really NO technical training, nor does there seem to be any formal qualifications and standards set by a leading organization to follow. (Corporate planners can get their certified meeting planner designation, which is respected as definitive by the industry, but in the wedding world there are a variety of certification programs by competing organizations for weddings and none of them are considered “the” one to get.)

So when you interview a prospective vendor, it’s good to see how they are viewed in the industry. Do numerous venues sing their praises?  Is their Yelp page full of 100s of reviews? (Remember, Yelp isn’t the end-all be-all of legitimacy, but it is a good indicator that a business has been around for a bit.)  They don’t need to have graduated from “DJ School,” but they should have a solid level of experience and savvy in what they do.

Tray passed appetizers wedding vendors Los Angeles Wedding Jenna Janelle Rose Wedding photography cost of wedding catering

Your wedding: Not the time to go cheap on food. Tray passed appetizers here are by Huntington Catering Company, Photo by Jenna Rose (JennaJanelleRose.Com)

Benchmark prices carefully.

I know weddings aren’t cheap these days, and it’s a struggle couples go through. But if you go cheap on a vendor, you’ll pay a price.  I’ve had weddings where, to the person, the vendors that were charging below-market price were the ones with which we had significant issues – including a florist that was sloppy and left damage at a venue that would have cost the client hundreds to thousands in their security deposit. (The florist came back later and managed to fix the damage.)

First, put together a solid, cohesive budget.  Then, carefully compare prices from competitors in a variety of categories.  If there is a vendor that is significantly less expensive, there are a few reasons why:  1.  They may have another job, which isn’t a deal breaker, but it’s important to make sure they will uphold reasonable work ethic and response times, which is easy to check by calling a few references; 2.  They may be just starting out – so it’s important to see what prior experience they have, since anyone can pretty much get a business license for performing work in the wedding industry; and/or 3. They do a very high volume of work for very low prices.  I speak from experience when I say this means you will get a longer response time and less of a personal touch from these vendors, nearly every single time. For a wedding cake, maybe (maybe) this is no problem. For a photographer or DJ, you will want a more intensive flow of communication.

Norris photo los angeles church wedding vendor

A church wedding ceremony can be cost effective, support the community, and provide a gorgeous setting for your wedding. Photo by Don Norris (Norrisphoto.com)

 

A good wedding vendor sets boundaries.

My life changed a few years ago, when I added office hours to my contract.  A good vendor has good boundaries, and ultimately they help the client.  It’s important to know when wedding vendors are usually available (this blog post is helpful as to what is typical in the industry), and to understand that if a vendor can compartmentalize when and how they work for you, they can manage your event better because they are focused on pre-set, efficient work hours and deadlines and can be super productive in the times they devote to your project.

Does that mean I haven’t squealed with delight and texted right back to a client who shot me a photo of her dream dress at 7pm on a Monday night?  Or that I haven’t suggested a Skype at 8pm with an out-of-state client that works 60 hour weeks, or a weekend walkthrough of a venue? Of course, I am flexible and meet clients halfway whenever possible with my time. But be aware, and respectful, of wedding vendors, and ask ahead about when they usually take appointments and correspond with clients.

For more solid, realistic advice, my guide the Five Biggest Wedding Planning Myths will steer you well; and hang around our Facebook page to learn when we’ve posted a new article on the blog.  Happy Planning!

Social Media and Cell Phone Rules for Weddings

By | Cell Phones at Weddings, Continuum Weddings, Continuum Weddings Photography, Facebook, Los Angeles Wedding Coordinator, Los Angeles Wedding Planner, Shani Barel Photography, Social Media at Weddings, Uncategorized | No Comments

With social media and technology, things are constantly evolving – first we had Friendster, then Facebook, now Snapchat – it’s hard to keep up! But there are a few hard and fast rules for social media and cell phones at weddings, it just takes some careful communication to be sure your guests are aware.

The only time it's appropriate to check your Facebook feed:  When you change your status at the altar from Single to Married!  Photo by Continuumweddings.com

The only time it’s appropriate to check your Facebook feed: When you change your status at the altar from Single to Married! Photo by Continuumweddings.com

1.  Have your officiant tell guests to put their phones down.  It’s like a scene from TMZ: You’re walking down the aisle, and all you can see are cell phones snapping away!  If you don’t want this, be sure to have your officiant take his or her place, and then make a brief announcement, before the rest of the processional.

Or, have a young bridal party member lovingly and charmingly remind guests to turn off their cell phones!  Photo by Shani Barel.

Or, have a young bridal party member lovingly and charmingly remind guests to turn off their cell phones! Photo by Shani Barel.

 

2.  Then, whip out the hashtag signs…or not.  If you do want up to the moment memories saved on ‘the cloud,’ create and research a hashtag before the wedding and print out small signs to put on the bar, cocktail tables, and near the photobooth.  That gives permission to then snap away and post on Instagram and Facebook.  Or, if you want social media silence the entire night, be sure to have your officiant mention that as well at the ceremony.

Appropriate: A quick cell phone shot amongst close family and friends before the ceremony. Photo by Shani Barel.

Appropriate: A quick cell phone shot amongst close family and friends before the ceremony. Photo by Shani Barel.

 

3.  Have a party online.  Our favorite apps are Wedding Party and Bonfyre, for private, invite-only news feeds of photos and comments of the party, during the party.  If you have a laptop connected to a projector, you can even show a live feed at the reception.  Definitely a way to blend social media into a live event without sacrificing the meaningful person-to-person interaction of a wedding.

With these tips, you can better offer an intimate environment for your wedding ceremony and yet provide an online experience for guests as well. Happy planning (and snapping, posting, sharing…)!