COMMUNICATION!! I’m sorry for shouting. The most important part of planning any event is clear, efficient, honest, definitive communication.
- Clear communication sounds generic enough, but you would be amazed at the conflicting information I receive as a DJ in all aspects of planning. 60% of our contracts start out with one time (6-10) only to have an actual event start time (5:30-11:00). Luckily, our team arrives a minimum of three hours early to compensate for this. Also, I can’t count the times I will spend months planning a formality within an event for a client that is cascading and begins a series of formalities. I will remind the client of the importance that we get these formalities done at a crucial part of the event so we can extend the life of the event by keeping the guests engaged. When this time comes, I will ask the client if they are ready (I only make suggestions and NEVER tell the client what they should do), they will give me the go ahead and just before I begin this vitally important formality, I will look up and the client is walking out of the back of the room.
- Efficient conversation is necessary pre event for everyone’s sanity. Ask your vendors how they prefer to communicate with you, understanding that you can adapt this communication to your needs as well. In all cases, a wedding vendor is obligated to that bride that day 100%. If that vendor is thinking into the future at all, he/she is distracted and is more likely to miss a detail. Day-of communication, a bride’s communication with her vendors should be SHORT and SWEET, for her time must be spent with friends, family, and her new family. Ask any vendor and they will tell you that minutes on wedding day go by five times faster than minutes on regular day. I know it sounds weird, but it is some weird wedding space time continuum thing. Your time as a bride is stretched, and your discussions and decisions should be made quickly and decisively. Bride: “I would like to go ahead and throw my bouquet after the next song, can you let the photographers know and find my throw away bouquet, please?” Jim O: “Yes Ma’am!” That exchange takes 15 seconds.
- Honesty is the most difficult aspect of WEDDING communication to regulate as a vendor. Because it is The Bride’s Special Day, her interactions should all be full of smiles and perfection. As a bride, I encourage you to completely understand and expect this behavior 100% from your wedding guests, and 95% from your vendors. I encourage any Bride or person planning any special event to give your vendors space, by telling them early in your planning process, that they have an obligation to voice any concerns they may have, privately, about any aspect of your event that they are responsible for. For example, you have invited 150 of your closest friends and family to your outdoor wedding. You have rented a tent and have everyone from Flower Girl to Grandma in this tent. Your DJ 😉 alerts you that a large storm is moving in, identifying it’s severity with RADAR. You have two paths here. Ignore it because it’s your wedding day and what could go wrong, plus it just makes you nervous talking about something like that. WRONG! You look to this hero DJ and say let’s move my very important family and friends SAFELY indoors and let the dangerous/inconvenient weather pass. By empowering your DJ to alert you of danger and dealing with it, you have avoided a REAL disaster, which is someone getting hurt at your event. If you hide behind “It’s my Special Day’ don’t come to me with your concerns; you have made the mistake that will KILL your event and subsequent good memories.
- Definitive decision making. That last one month leading up to your wedding, make all decisions quickly finally. The months before this time, spend your time being open to all ideas, collecting and evaluating them all. Make sure that along the way you ask your wedding professional their thoughts on certain concepts. I conditionally encourage you to use Pinterest for certain ideas, definitely decor based elements of your wedding, reception, or special event. One condition of this is, you must understand that certain professional pins and pics are 1 in a 10000 professional photograph in some cases. For example, I have a pin board that is nothing but Preston Bailey designs. Of course you should be there when someone comes to me with a Preston Bailey design. I tell them I would be delighted to copy his work, it will cost 5 million dollars and need two weeks dedicated from your venue to execute the design. We then begin looking for more budget friendly ideas.
- TIPS– However you generate your “Event Day-Of” itinerary, make sure that you circulate it with a simple CC in an email to all of your vendors. This way all vendors are on the same page!
- TIPS-Plan the work, work the plan!