Tips for Choosing Your Wedding Vendors

 Tips for Choosing Wedding Vendors | Photo by Castaldo Studios |

The vendors that you choose are a very important part of your dream wedding. We thought we would share a few tips to keep in mind when selecting your vendors.

Understand Your Budget
Set your budget and the number of guests first so that you don’t fall in love with a venue or vendors that are out of your price range. Even if you do end up spending a little more than you had anticipated; it’s better to lay out your expectations with you and your fiancé, in private. As you comparison shop, you’ll get a much clearer picture of how much this is all going to cost you.  Whether your budget is $10,000 or $10 million, find a vendor that will creatively rise to the occasion. The best will be able to suggest creative swaps that can keep you within your budget

Once you’ve edited the list of potential vendors, ask them to see reviews or testimonials from the last year. You can even ask them if you can contact a few of the couples they’ve worked with recently. Since many vendors work closely together in the area, you could also ask other vendors, your catering manager or wedding planner if they’ve worked with this particular person before and if they would recommend them.

Tips for Choosing Wedding Vendors | Photo by Castaldo Studios |

Glynn Ferguson, Sensational Ceremonies, officiates Cassie & Ryan’s wedding.

The Right Fit
Be aware of how potential vendors deal with your initial contact: How do they react, how quickly do they respond, and how do they conduct themselves? Follow your gut. It’s usually right and should be a good guide to follow. First impressions mean a lot, and so does interacting with your vendor. If you don’t feel comfortable with them now, why would you on your wedding day?
Remember, you’ll be interacting with them on what will likely be the most emotional day of your life, so you want someone who will be able to put you at ease, not stress you out. Not every vendor is the right fit for you and not every wedding couple is a good fit for the vendor. It’s ok when this happens. No hard feelings, just move on.

Familiarity with Your Venue
In some cases, a vendor having an existing relationship with a venue can be a big plus. They’ll already know about any shortcomings — like if the space needs a generator or is challenging to load into — and how to work around them. Alternatively, if you’re having doubts about your vendor, you can ask the venue manager about her experience with them. Questions about how they treat people behind the scenes and if they handle stress well can tell you a lot.
Being familiar with the venue is especially important when selecting a photographer; they already know the best places to take photos, how to get around the property quickly and the best alternate locations if you encounter inclement weather. They will also be able to show you photos from past weddings at your actual location.

Tips for Choosing Wedding Vendors | Photo by Revelo Studios |

PD Videography captures Allison & Aaron’s big day.

Understanding Your Uniqueness
You want to collaborate with someone who will listen and create an event that isn’t just beautiful but reflects you two as a couple. Your wedding theme, décor and special touches should reflect your unique personalities. The right vendor will create moments where your guests think, “This is SO you!”

All Packages are NOT Created Equal
Just remember that each vendor prices their packages differently, they include vastly different services in their packages and add value because of their specific experience. It would be like trying to compare apples to oranges, it’s not a fair comparison. As a consumer, you are looking to find the service that best matches your needs. Remember to objectively consider each vendors services for the cost. A florist that is cheaper may not always be better. Consider your budget, but also consider the vendors experience and quality of service when making your decisions.

Tips for Choosing Wedding Vendors | Photo by Revelo Studios |

The Photobooth from Revelo Studios creates fun moments at Allison & Aaron’s wedding.

Be Informative
When you are chatting with a potential vendor, communicate what you need and who you are. The more information the vendor has, the better they can figure out how to best help you. When vendors ask you questions, it’s usually for a reason other than being nosey. Honesty is the best policy here.

Get Everything in Writing
In order to truly understand what’s included in a quoted price; the vendor should itemize everything for you. For example, if you know that you want pink roses and white hydrangea in your centerpieces, then all of that should be listed. Although this might sound too much, this information will safeguard you in the event of a dispute or in case the items you requested aren’t available during that time because of unforeseen issues.
When reviewing the contract, look out for any hidden costs (wording such as “additional costs may be incurred” and “plus setup and delivery”). Ask for clarification if anything is unclear. For some vendors, you’ll also need to know their policy on fees in case the ceremony or reception runs over the original ending time.

Tips for Choosing Wedding Vendors | Photo by Kristen Weaver Photograhy |

Leonard Brothers Band keeps the beats going at Anna & Houston’s wedding

Know When It’s Time to Walk Away
When you’re not happy with a vendor, wait until you can articulate your concerns in a non-emotional way. Express the problem, and then ask for a solution. Depending on how they react, it may make sense to part ways. If you have a contract, you’ll likely have to pay a fee, but it may be worth it to move on to someone who’s a better fit.

Remember that We Are Here for You!
If you keep these things in mind when looking to hire your wedding vendors, we think you’ll be able to assemble the perfect team to carry out the wedding of your dreams. At the end of the day, we are in the wedding business because we LOVE it. We want your wedding to be better than you every expected it to be! On the big day, relax and remember to leave the rest up to us!

Tips for Choosing Wedding Vendors | Photo by Kristen Weaver Photograhy |


Tips for Successfully Attending a Bridal Show

Tips for Successfully Attending a Bridal Show | Photo by Tab McCausland Photography |

Congratulations, you’re engaged! Now starts the never ending Google search for a beautiful venue, the perfect dress and, of course, the most delicious cake (along with a thousand other things).

Step away from the computer and step into the soonest bridal show you can find. That is where everything you’ve been looking at online comes to life. An empty room is transformed with the sights (couture dresses), sounds (that DJ you’ve read so much about), and smells (the cake on your tablet you’ve been drooling over) of all that is wedding.

To help you prepare, we are sharing our reasons why you should attend a wedding show. Plus few tips to navigate through the show with the least amount of stress and the most success.

Top 4 Reasons Why You Should Attend a Wedding Show!

Vendors put their Best Foot Forward:
This is the time for you to preview the best of the best when it comes to what we as vendors have to offer. Whether it is a photography studio showcasing their best photos or a bakery letting you sample their most decadent cake, all vendors step up their game for a show. Plus, many wedding vendors offer specials to brides that attend the show and book with them (we definitely do, so stop by and ask us about it!)

As a Bride, You are Treated Like Royalty:
Every girl loves to be pampered and made to feel special. As a bride, that is exactly what you can expect at a bridal show. We absolutely love meeting brides, hearing your wedding vision, and mostly, sharing in your excitement!

All the Experts at Your Fingertips
A bridal show is a fancy way of saying: “All the experts are in this room!” Do you have questions about ceremony traditions? Maybe you have a great idea for your centerpieces but aren’t sure how to make them happen. The best people in the wedding industry are there to help and we love answering your questions.

Freebies and Giveaways
It is worth it to attend a show just for the opportunity to win a great prize. Most booths have some sort of giveaway- we have a drawing for dinner at our amazing rooftop restaurant Eleven! Plus, there is usually a grand prize, like an all-expenses paid honeymoon (and, seriously, who doesn’t want that)!

Tips for Successfully Attending a Bridal Show | Photo by Tab McCausland Photography |

So, we have convinced you to give your WIFI a rest and to attend a bridal show, but now what? It’s time to prepare to attend.

6 Tips for a Fun & Successful Wedding Show Experience

  1. Pre-Register
    • This will usually save you money and will definitely save you time at the door
  2. Before the Show
    • Create a wedding specific email address. That way, all of your wedding correspondence is in one place and not cluttering your personal email.
    • Make address labels or business cards. You will be giving your contact information out, a lot. This will help you avoid those painful hand cramps.
    • Make a vendor checklist. Include what you need to accomplish at the show, this will help you stay focused. Have you chosen a venue yet? If not, make that priority number one.
  3. Make Sure to …
    • Bring a notebook and pen. Jot any notes down as you talk to different people.
    • Wear comfy shoes. You will be doing a lot of walking. And just ignore the fact that all of us vendors are in heels- we just want to look good for you!
  4. Bring Reinforcements
    • Whether it is your groom, best friend, or your mom- you’ll want to bring 1 or 2 people to bounce ideas off of, help you make a decision, or just assist you with holding everything you receive.
  5. Stay Focused
    • Stick to the list you made and seek out the vendor information you know you need. This will help you from getting overwhelmed.
  6. After the Show, Grab a Bite to Eat & Review Your Notes
    • Sit down, rest your feet, and thank your best friend for spending Sunday talking to 8 different DJ’s. Also use this time to go over all the information you collected while it is fresh in your mind.

Tips for Successfully Attending a Bridal Show | Photo by Tab McCausland Photography |

While getting the information you need is your number one priority for a bridal show, it is another event for you to attend that will add to your excitement about marrying the love of your life- and what is more fun than that?

Visit us at the upcoming Wedding Shows!

Sunday, April 17, 2016
Omni Orlando Resort at Championsgate
Get Tickets

Sunday, May 15, 2016
12:00pm – 4:00pm
Hyatt Regency Orlando
Save 20% on Tickets with Code ‘REUNION’

Photos courtesy of Perfect Wedding Guide and Tab McCausland Photography

Tips for Selecting Your Perfect Wedding Venue

Tips for Selecting Your Perfect Wedding Venue |

After you get engaged the first step is usually selecting your wedding venue. Early in your search you realize just how many venues you have to choose from, but don’t be overwhelmed. Today we are going to help you breakdown the selection process.

Wedding Venue Criteria

First, you and your fiance will want to determine your wedding venue list of criteria.

  • Geographic Location – Where do you want to get married?
  • Wedding Date – Is there a specific date or time of year you want to get married?
  • Wedding Style – What is the look and feel of your wedding?
  • Guest Count – How many people will you have at your wedding?
  • Budget – How much money do I have for this event?

Once you have the answers to these questions, this will be the first round of narrowing down potential wedding venues.

Need help narrowing down venue options by geographic location? The Knot, is a great tool to see which venues are in a specific area.


Tips for Selecting Your Perfect Wedding Venue | Photo by Revelo Studios |

Photo by Revelo Studios

Contacting Venues for Information and Availability

The second step is to contact venues for information and to check availability. You can either call the location directly or complete a Request Information form on their websites. As much information that you can provide to the venue will help them give you a more customized response.

In this initial inquiry of an venue it is important to ask the following questions:

  • Is my wedding date available?

If you have a specific date you want to get married, you want to confirm it’s available before you spend time touring a venue.  If you narrowed it down to a couple dates or within a months time frame, you will still want to ask. This will be another factor in narrowing down your perfect venue.

  • Do you have space to accommodate the number of guests I would like to have at the wedding?
  • When can we arrange at tour of the venue?

Tips for Selecting Your Perfect Wedding Venue |

Questions to Ask when Touring Wedding Venues

When touring venues, don’t forget to bring something to write down notes, especially if you are visiting more than one venue in a day.  There is a lot to see and take in. Also, don’t be afraid to take pictures, this is a great tool to help you remember the look and feel of a space versus another.

Here are some of the top questions you should ask when touring venues:

  • Are there other weddings at your venue on the same day?

Sometimes when there are several brides around one venue, you can lose that feeling of being special on your most important day.

  • How much are your wedding ceremony and/or reception packages? What do they include? (Tables, chairs, linens, plates, silverware, glassware, menu tasting, champagne toast, cake, etc.)

Every package is different, make sure to get a clear picture of what is included and what will be extra.

  • Must I use specific vendors? Do you have a list of recommended vendors?

Some venues require you to work with specific vendors, be sure to know this upfront. Especially if you have vendors in mind that you want to work with. Most venues also provide a list of recommended vendors. You are not required to work with these vendors but these vendors have a strong partnership with the venue. The relationship can help with communication and timing on the big day.

  • How long do I have the venue?

You want to make sure you have more than enough time for set-up, wrapping up but also to take in every moment – these memories will last forever!

  •  If the venue is outdoors, do you guarantee a weather backup?

In the event of unfortunate Florida weather, it is crucial to have alternative space.

  • Is there a specific time the music and reception must end?

Be aware of required end times from the venue, especially of outdoor receptions. (Outdoor events may be required by County Ordinances to end loud noise/music at a specific time) This will be important information for when booking your Band or DJ.

  •  What overnight accommodations are available to my guests? Do you offer a discount?

If you have guests traveling for your wedding, it is nice to offer “home away from home” fully-equipped suite accommodations for them to enjoy while they are in town.

  • How much is the deposit? When is it due? Is it refundable? Is there a payment plan for the rest of the balance?

Be prepared for when payments are due. The last thing you want is a unexpected surprise that a payment is due and you are not prepared. It is also important to ask about what portions are refundable if you need to postpone or cancel for any unforeseen circumstances. It’s not pleasant to think about but important to know.

  •  Don’t forget to add any other questions customized to your wedding! Can I rent a horse and carriage?

If you love the venue, ask the Catering Sales Manager to put together a custom proposal for you with their policies, pricing (with service charge and tax so you can get the best idea of the total cost), and the wedding package of your choice.


This is not a complete list of important questions to ask, but they are definitely questions that come up with many of our brides!

Wedding Day Emergency Kit: Top 10 Items

Wedding Day Emergency Kit Top 10 Items | | #WeddingTips #OrlandoWedding

You never want to expect there to be an emergency on your wedding day, but you can always be prepared. This is our list for the 10 items to pack in your wedding day emergency kit.

  1. Tissue – for the tears of joy or to clean a make-up smear.
  2. Safety Pins – for the unexpected fabric tear or to hide bra straps
  3. Eye Drops – no one wants irritated or red eyes for their wedding pictures
  4. Throat Lozenges – to help with a dry throat or a coughing wedding party member
  5. Mending Kit – if a hem or seem comes undone, you can fix it fast
  6. Snack – Sometimes you get so busy getting ready you forget to eat, have healthy snacks on hand so you don’t have anyone passing out at the ceremony
  7. Bandages – for those unexpected cuts or scraps
  8. Bobby Pins – keep your and your wedding parties hair in place
  9. Baby Wipes – great for cleaning lipstick off silky fabric
  10. Aspirinno one wants a headache on their wedding day