Our favorite bride-to-be, Kristen from Maid of Henry, is back with some of her best advice for all of you brides and grooms to-be! "When asked what my most valuable resource has been so far in my wedding planning, my answer is simple: people!" Read all about how this Blogger Bride got started planning her big day, and how she chose vendors that would bring her dream to life!
“If you can dream it, you can do it.” - Walt Disney
When asked what my most valuable resource has been so far in my wedding planning, my answer is simple: people! I’m fortunate to have been a part of so many of my loved ones’ wedding journeys where I was able to learn about and experience many different wedding vendors. It is important to find vendors that you can trust will take the time to get to know you and your fiancé so they can bring your wedding dreams to life!
Very soon after Kevin and I got engaged, we began our venue-venture. When it comes to choosing your perfect venue, I encourage you to make a list of any “nonnegotiables” you may have. Mine were: ballroom windows and outdoor cocktail hour space. I also knew that a venue set on the water was something I would love to have but didn’t necessarily need. We used these elements as a guide in our search. We did a lot of our research online! I created and used a very detailed template to record each venue’s important information such as capacity and distance. We decided on a venue that Kevin’s mom mentioned in conversation after hearing what we were looking for. After we walked into the ballroom with floor-length windows which looked out on the outdoor patio and serene lake, we saw our initials on the fireplace from a wedding the night before. A that moment, we knew it was fate and signed the papers!
Immediately after finding a compatible date between our venue and church, I reached out to the photographer we wanted (the beautiful and amazing Nicole DeTone) to make sure she was available that day! I’m lucky that she’s my best friend’s sister in law because I knew I wanted to use her long before Kevin and I were engaged. Before you book your photographer, decide how you want your wedding day to be captured in photos. Some photographers have an artsy way of capturing moments where they incorporate special angles and creative lighting. Other photographers have a more simplistic and traditional style. I’ve always loved a clean, soft, elegant look and that’s exactly what Nicole’s photos reflect. In addition to timeless photos, we also wanted the energy and spirit of our wedding day captured. I contacted a few of my bride-friends and began researching their recommendations. After watching many, many sample wedding videos, we felt a spark with one particular company that specialized in created movie-like videos that were loaded with love and had high energy. We set up a phone-date to run through some questions we had and when we saw how overly accommodating and personal they were, we booked them!
As far as entertainment, bands and DJs both have their perks! It is totally dependent on your personal preference and budget. A great DJ can usually play any song you’d like to hear, and it will sound exactly how you know and love it. Bands are dynamic and can absolutely set the tone for your reception! Whichever you choose, you absolutely must listen to them live beforehand (if possible, as a wedding guest!). As Kevin and I thought back on the entertainment at some of our favorite weddings, a special one came to mind. We remember being on the dance floor the entire time which is the surest sign of great entertainment. After asking the bride and groom about their experience with this band, they told us exactly what we wanted to hear. The band was reasonably priced and extremely accommodating! Kevin and my nonnegotiables for a band were that they had to have both a female and male singer and we also wanted a band that took minimal breaks throughout the night. This band had both of our wishes and after listening to them again at a live showcase, our decision was made!
I’m sure you’re seeing a pattern! All of the vendors Kevin and I chose fit our personal style and were people we felt comfortable with. We based our decisions on experience, credible referrals, and reviews. We trust that the vendors we chose will contribute to making our day wonderful and I hope this serves as a helpful guide in finding your dream-vendors too!
All Photography by Nicole DeTone