6 Things That Brides Forget: Reflections of a Passionate Wedding Planner
By Connie Amos-Parsons, Owner/CEO, At Your Service Events Planner
Association of Bridal Consultants Virginia State Manager
Accredited Wedding Planner and Certified Sandals Specialist
703-370-0402 – AYSEventsPlanner@aol.com
Locations Alexandria, VA and Central VA
Serving Northern VA, DC, MD, Central VA and Hampton Roads area
- #6 – Budgets – Some wedding experts say this should be number 1 and I tend to agree, so I want to keep this top of mind. How do you plan your wedding with all the many hundreds of details, vendors and venues to search for and have no idea what your budget is? I’m quoting a famous statement, “Begin with the end in mind” from The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Dr. Stephen R. Covey. How do you effectively plan a wedding without factoring in your budget? What do you have together as a couple, and/or with parents to spend on your wedding? With the average cost of a wedding in the US at $30,000 in 2013, and much higher in certain parts of the country in the $50-60,000 range, why would you leave such an important decision to chance? Decide what vendors are important to you early on to have your dream wedding, what type of venue you prefer and look at prices. Then you’ll have a realistic reference point to determine your budget.
- #5 – Hostesses, Ushers, Family and Friends – It’s very important to discuss and select what help you need for your wedding. Ideally, hiring a professional Wedding Planner is the best choice because they have access to resources, vendors and ideas that will save you money, time and stress. But if you decide not to hire one and ask family and friends to assist you on your special day, make sure you have a clear list of responsibilities they will do and discuss with them early. It’s best to ask and find out if that friend or family member will readily agree and have the time to take away from the festivities of the wedding to want to do them.
- #4 – Final Count Caterer, Cake Baker, Bar – Make sure you know by the due date on the contracts when the final head count for guests is due and email the vendor by that due date. With the cost of the reception being on average 50% of the total budget of a wedding, it will be costly to miss the date and pay for more guests than actually attend. A good rule of thumb is 80% of guests will show up at the wedding. However, it’s best to get RSVPs early and give your head count timely. The best way to reduce your budget is to reduce your guest list.
- #3 – Banquet License ABC – In Virginia, an application for a Banquet License must be submitted to Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) to serve at wedding receptions, retirement parties, company parties, etc. for private events where alcohol is provided at no charge to guests. This is also known as a “one-day” license. The fee is currently $55. Make sure that you apply for this license if you’re serving alcohol at your private event. Contact your regional ABC office for questions.
- #2 – Contracts – Often the most important but overlooked item couples forget. A contract protects you and defines the terms and cost of a vendor and venue. With so much on the line, the biggest ticket item that you may have with the exception of a car, house or college education, this is not the time to neglect getting a written contract. A contract can be upheld in a court of law in the unfortunate event you may need it. Err on the side of caution. Don’t let this be a source of stress for you.
- #1 – Wedding Insurance – We don’t want to think of this, and I don’t want to burst your bubble, but one of the most crucial items that couples forget, and it is affordable, is wedding liability insurance and wedding cancellation insurance. Most venues require wedding liability insurance. It protects brides, grooms and parents and provides host liquor liability coverage. In this litigious society, a host may be sued if a guest unfortunately has an accident.
- Wedding cancellation insurance protects your financial investment, provides peace of mind and safeguards your big day. There is normally a minimum coverage required by venues of $1 million and up, depending on the venue. One of the most well-known and recommended wedding insurance companies is WedSafe. Have a worry-free day and peace of mind for a very affordable cost, normally less than $200 for a $1 million general liability policy.
- What does wedding insurance cover? Adverse weather conditions that force the venue to close or most of the guests to not be able to attend, no-show vendors, sickness or injury, military or job and a venue that closes and you lose your deposit. Check all of the coverages with your insurance provider. I’ve had the experiences as a wedding planner with vendor no-shows and a venue that closed. Purchasing wedding insurance is well worth the investment!
July 19, 2015
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At Your Service Events Planner