Congratulations! You’re officially a bride-in-planning! You’re probably either super excited to start planning or overwhelmed with all the information and not sure where to start. Well, let us help you with that. Here are the top 10 things you and your fiancee should consider when setting your wedding date.
1. Your schedule.Make sure your own schedules allow ample time for pre-wedding and post-wedding activities. There’s the rehearsal dinner, possible traveling for the wedding, and the honeymoon. When looking at your work schedule, take “busy season” into consideration. For example, if you’re an accountant, you probably don’t want to get married between January and April. And if you’re a student, you’ll want to avoid getting married during midterms and finals.
2. Budget. When considering your wedding date, your budget will be a key factor as you decide the month, day and flowers. If you want peonies, consider May as they are in peak season then. And if you’re on a tight budget, consider choosing a month in the off-season and possibly having a Friday or Sunday wedding. Tip: November is less expensive than June and Sundays are less expensive than Saturdays.
RELATED: Top 5 Wedding Planning and Budget Checklists
3. Venue availability. Believe it or not, venues can book up as early as 12 to 18 months in advance. Make sure you check the availability as early as possible. If you’re considering a non-traditional wedding venues, you may have more flexibility.
4. Wedding vendors’ availability. If you know who you want as your wedding photographer, planner, band, etc., check their availability ASAP! Popular photographers book fast and far in advance. Especially if they’re destination wedding photographers, their calendars are probably filled with many trips so get in contact with them as soon as possible. On the flip side, if you can’t book your favorite vendor due to availability, remember there are tons of fabulous wedding vendors out there.
5. Seasons and style. Consider the style you want for your wedding and choose the season that best suits it. For example, if you want an outdoor garden wedding, you’ll obviously want a spring or summer date. But if you’re considering a winter wonderland wedding, remember to factor in the holidays. The pros: family and friends will already be home for the holidays. The cons: venue prices tend to be higher during holidays. Also, keep in mind that the sun sets earlier in the winter so if you want an outdoor wedding, plan your date or start time accordingly.
6. Significant dates. Special wedding dates like 11/12/13 and 12/13/14 are fun and easy to remember so they fill up super fast! Keep this in mind as you choose your date. Consider choosing a date that’s significant to you and your fiancee. For example, the anniversary of your first date–this can also be a cute story to share with your wedding guests.
7. Guests’ schedules. Make sure your VIP guests are available to attend. If your best friend’s wedding or cousin’s wedding is around the same time as yours, it’ll be harder on your guests as you’ll probably share a good chunk of the guest list.
8. Destination. Want a destination wedding? There are tons of factors to consider when choosing your date such as the peak seasons for the location and travel availability for your guests.
RELATED: The Fundamentals of Destination Weddings
9. Health. Whether you’re consider your own health or your family members, be flexible with the date and accommodate those who matter most to you. If you have a sick grandparent, you may want to push the date up a little earlier. Or if you have a pregnant sister, you probably don’t want to set the date around their expected due date.
10. Honeymoon. Consider your honeymoon destination’s peak seasons if you’re looking to jet set away immediately after your wedding. This will help you decide when to get married. Winter months are more crowded in the Carribeans so if you don’t want a honeymoon with all the world’s vacationers, you’ll want to keep these factors in mind when setting the date.
Many couples will tell you that hiring a wedding videographer was one of the best decisions they ever made. After all those months of planning, the wedding day goes by so fast you’ll want it all captured on video. But how do you decide which videographer is the perfect fit for your style and budget? Check out these top questions you should ask when interviewing your wedding videographer.
1. How long have you been a wedding videographer and how many weddings do you film per year?
Why you should ask: As you will watch your wedding video for years to come, you want to make sure your videographer captures every last detail. By choosing someone with more experience, you will have confidence knowing they will capture every detail and special moment.
2. How does your pricing work? What does your package include?
Why you should ask: Most videographers charge a flat rate that covers a certain amount of time. Others have preset package rates that also include other services such as a same-day video edit or a second shooter. Whatever the case, it’s important to run through the list of everything included and the price. If there are any specifics you wish to include such as a short trailer to share as a sneak peek or a hard drive containing raw footage, make sure you discuss this with your videographer and get it in writing beforehand.
3. Have you and my photographer worked together before? Do you know him or her?
Why you should ask: As your photographer and videographer will have to work closely throughout your wedding day to capture all of your precious moments, it’s great if they’ve worked together before as they will most likely work well again. However if they haven’t, ask them to meet at least once before the big day so they can discuss the format and plan out the shots together.
4. Have you filmed weddings at my ceremony/reception venue before?
Why you should ask: Experienced videographers know how to find the best lighting and angles to get the perfect shot in any location, but if they’ve filmed at your venue before, it’ll come even more naturally to them. Without additional planning, they will already know the best angles to capture every detail of your wedding like your beautiful first dance.
5. How would you describe your videography style? Documentary, cinematic or a mix of both?
Why you should ask: An experienced videographer should be able to clearly explain what kind of style they shoot and based on what you and your fiancee want, you can decide if they fit the style you’re looking for. Documentary (or journalistic) style videos capture the day more naturally, mimicking the actual timeline of events from your wedding day, and often you will hear snippets of the audio which adds a raw element to the video. Vintage-style videos may be filmed using 8mm tapes or can have filters added during post-production. Cinematic style videos are similar to a movie, including a trailer at the beginning and montages set to music, which require more editing and post-production work.
Keep in mind that the style will affect the way your videographer films your wedding. For example, in a cinematic video, you might see a shot of the bride’s veil blowing flawlessly through the breeze, but note it wasn’t just captured that way. The videographer had to position the bride and veil in order to get that shot. However, in a documentary style video, it’s the complete opposite. The videographer will just capture the events as they naturally occur.
Ask the videographer for samples of their work to see how they’ve filmed other weddings. If they describe their style differently than how you perceive it, this may be a problem.
6. Which parts of the wedding day do you film?
Why you should ask: Many couples complain that they didn’t see certain parts of their wedding day captured in their video so it’s important to discuss what you want with your videographer to avoid any disappointment or misunderstandings.
7. What input would you like from us? What would you prefer to have the final say on?
Why you should ask: Just as you may have a vision of how you want your wedding video, your videographer probably does too. Many videographers see each video as an artistic project that reflects their brand–they may be flexible with certain requests but may ask you to trust them on others. If you fully trust your videographer, leave it to them, but if there’s something you specifically want (e.g., a particular song), make sure you discuss it before signing the contract.
8. Will you be shooting any other weddings on the same weekend as mine? Will you be the videographer shooting my wedding?
Why you should ask: Ideally, you want your videographer for the entire wedding day so it’s important to ask if they have any other commitments. In any case, make sure they have enough time for yours. Also, larger studios often schedule multiple weddings per weekend so the person you are interviewing might not be the videographer who will actually be at yours. If that is the case, be sure to schedule a meeting with your assigned videographer to make sure your vision and styles align.
9. Will you bring a second shooter, a stationary camera or any other backup cameras for our wedding?
Why you should ask: It can be quite challenging for a one man team to capture every moment and detail of your wedding on camera. Oftentimes, a second shooter is included in a videography package so be sure to ask!
10. How do you handle music for our video?
Why you should ask: Music will set the tone for your video so be sure to share what kind of music you love/hate so your videographer can find music that matches your style. They should listen to your input but if you trust them, be open to their recommendation as they know what works best for editing. Also, be sure to ask if they will be using licensed music, especially if the video will be posted online.
11. When can I expect to receive the final video?
Why you should ask: Wedding videos require a lot of editing (especially cinematic styles) so it may take a while before you receive the final video. Ask them so you know when to expect it by.
12. What does your camera and equipment look like?
Why you should ask: Nowadays, videographers can capture your wedding without all the bulky equipment–their camera is probably the same size as your photographer’s! However, you should ask so that you know what to expect.
Also, ask them how they will be capturing the audio. Great audio is just as important as capturing a beautiful picture. Will they use hand-held microphones at the ceremony or clip-ons? Be sure to discuss this important aspect with them.