Vendor responses – How long should I wait?

It’s been an incredibly long time since I contributed to the blog and for that I am very sorry. I’ve been spending my time working with a few new brides, as well as finally planning my wedding so I have a ton to talk about! I am nine months out from my wedding at this point so the planning process has really begun. Since I started contacting vendors for myself, I’ve been experiencing first hand what brides go through in their process of interviewing and hiring vendors. I’ve obviously played the phone/email tag game with vendors in the past while working events, but I had no idea how much emotion I could possibly invest when it came to hearing back from vendors while planning my wedding.

The most important vendors to look for and book at the beginning of the wedding planning process are the photographer, the ceremony and reception venue, the caterer (if it isn’t included with the venue), the florist, and a wedding coordinator (if you’re hiring one, AND YOU SHOULD!). Researching, interviewing, and booking vendors early is beneficial for multiple reasons, but what happens if the vendor stops responding? How long should you wait for a response before you say something nasty or eventually move on to a find another vendor? Continue reading

Alfred Angelo

I recently went to try on wedding dresses for the first time with my sister and I had an absolute blast! I want to share the details of my experience with you all because my first time at David’s Bridal with Jessi was not nearly as wonderful as this one.

First of all, I think my experience at the Alfred Angelo store was different in part because of the day of week we went. (Monday) When Jessi and I went to try on dresses we went on a Saturday, and that David’s Bridal was crowded from wall to wall! Not only were all of the consultants busy with brides, but the majority of the brides also had not just one person with them but an entire entourage! There was hardly any standing room and that was a pretty big David’s Bridal. I definitely suggest finding time to take the afternoon off during the week to go if you can. It was really nice to have the entire store to ourselves while shopping.

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White Compared to Ivory

Alicia and I went to the Alfred Angelo Bridal in Danvers, Mass because I have been dying to check out some Alfred Angelo dresses in person. Ever since I got engaged I have been obsessing about the dress! If you’ve been following my blog you probably already know this about me. I’ve mentioned before that I want to be a princess on my wedding day and that I had been eyeballing that Disney Fairy Tale Bridal Collection and that the original Cinderella dress was my favorite. But I’ve definitely changed my mind since I finally got the chance to go try some dresses on.

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Pointing out the detail on the train

First, I have to say that the consultant we worked with was just fabulous. She figured out pretty quickly from listening to my sister and I that I was just in town visiting and not really looking to buy anything just yet. Despite the fact that she had just learned she wasn’t getting a sale out of us, and that we were just there to try stuff on, she was still extremely helpful and friendly. I was preparing for the worst and expecting that she would be disappointed and no longer willing to even be friendly, but I was more than wrong. She took the time to listen to me describe what I was looking for, find a few good examples of what I described, help me in and out of each dress, and even pulled some tiaras, veils, and belts out to accessorize and give me a vision of what the finished product would look like.

I tried on about five or six different dresses, and at least three different styles. It was one of the last dresses that I tried on that really took my breath away. It had everything I described to Marcia (form-fitting, lots of sparkle, a little lace), but looked nothing like what I had originally envisioned wearing on my wedding day. That being said, I am obsessed with it.

I highly suggest getting a good idea of what you want in a dress before you go shopping. If you don’t know it may be harder to figure it out if you’re on the spot looking than it otherwise would be in the comfort of your own home while perusing the internet. Knowing what I wanted and being able to tell my consultant made her job that much easier. In fact, it didn’t take her very long after I told her what I wanted for her to find something I fell in love with.

I also recommend trying on accessories, even if you don’t think you want them. I went in to the store thinking I knew exactly what I wanted and thought I had firmly decided not to use a belt. But after trying on a few things, and discovering that the original dress style I wanted didn’t look great on me at all, I realized I needed to be open to the idea of trying different things.

Remember to bring a strapless bra and heels with you when you go to try on dresses. Having your own undergarments is helpful if you are someone who is anxious about stripping down in front of strangers. (Which you will definitely have to do because the consultants are the ones helping brides in and out of dresses.) And while you will usually have the opportunity to use bras or shoes that are being sold in the store, some smaller stores may not have shoes or undergarments to offer.

THE Dress

THE Dress

Overall, it was an extremely pleasant dress shopping experience and I firmly recommend this store to any women in and around the Danvers, Massachusetts area! The consultant who helped us, Marcia, even wrote down all the item numbers of the dress, veil, and belt I picked out while I was there, so I can easily find them  online or through another store location later on. Of course she is hoping I will come back and buy from her, but I can’t really make that decision right now. However, one thing that is definitely swaying my decision towards buying through Alfred Angelo specifically is that when you buy your Bridal gown through them, they offer a discount on your bridesmaid dresses as well as the mother of the bride and mother of the grooms dresses!

Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog is based on personal experiences and opinion. This post was not sponsored or paid for in any way by Alfred Angelo or David’s Bridal. 

Wedding consultant, coordinator, planner, what?!

There are many different names for professionals who plan weddings and many different responsibilities and obligations they take on. Whether the person you hire to plan your wedding refers to themselves as a planner, a coordinator, or a consultant one thing is for certain: They are helping you put together one of the most important days of your life. So what does this mean for you? It means you need to do a little planning to plan.

Before you start interviewing for the best candidate, make sure you know what you want them to do for you. Most wedding consultants will provide a few options of services to select from. You can hire a wedding planner who comes in and does everything for you; booking venues, coordinating with vendors throughout the year, and managing wedding day events. Or you can simply hire a “Day Of” Coordinator, who would come in later and do more last-minute details such as manage the rehearsal and coordinate with the bridal party and vendors on the day of the wedding. Either way, it will be much easier for you to find the help you need if you know what you are looking for. You should also make sure to have a really good idea of what kind of wedding you want to have. The more thoroughly you explain what you are looking for, the easier it will be for your planner to execute your vision.

But how do you know what you want? With many choices to choose from, how do you decide which is the best option for you? You should first consider what you are working with. Do you have an excellent Maid of Honor? Someone who is naturally organized and responsible? Or a relatively large and helpful family and a bunch of great bridesmaids? You may decide you don’t even want or need professional assistance.

Are you someone who is really excited about the concept of putting together your wedding because, hey this is the day you have been dreaming of since you were a little girl right?! But, at the same time someone who just can’t seem to keep organized and are completely daunted by the idea of calling multiple different contacts for multiple different things? If this sounds like you, consider hiring a wedding planner; someone who you trust to do all the work for you. Remember what I said before about explaining to them exactly what you want though. Allowing someone complete trust to plan your entire wedding can be pretty nerve-wracking, but if you know you have given them all the details they could possibly need and feel absolutely confident in that, then you should be able to relax and allow them to take care of your needs.

What if it’s not necessarily that you’re overwhelmed by planning the wedding, but that you have a crazy aunt, in-law, mother, or relative that you think you just might need the help of a professional to reign in? A good wedding coordinator can be both organized and charming enough to have everything in order AND keep frustrating relatives from driving you completely batty on your big day. If you think this might be what you need, you should consider hiring a “Day of” coordinator and make sure you let them know up front about those “specific” relatives.

Have you considered your budget? You should have by now. If you are at the point of interviewing for wedding planner, you probably have a pretty good idea of what your finances look like. If not, sit down and figure it out before you go any further. If you know how tight your budget is, staying within the constraints of it will be that much easier. This may be your most important detail and you might even consider hiring your planner based on their ability to help you stay within your budget. I have mentioned before that before you even start the process of planning your wedding you should make a list of your wants and needs for the wedding and rank them in order of importance. If your budget is your number one priority, you may want a wedding planner there for you helping you every step of the way, pointing out small costs which most people forget about but that end up adding up, and helping you find ways to save. And if you haven’t made that list of wedding day priorities a good wedding planner would be able to help you with that too.

Whatever you decide, make sure you are happy with your decision and remind yourself to relax. While it can be extremely hectic to put together a wedding, you should always try to remember that you are doing it because of love!