Ronald Ponkey photography, LLC
The Question: Have you done many weddings?
Why You Want to Know: This is really code for: Do you know what you're doing? Experience is usually a good indicator of expertise, and that's important since it will mean she'll be able to guide you through the process easily—even if you throw in some curveballs, like asking her how to create less expensive alternatives or which flowers are in season or grow in the region.
The Question: Can I see photographs or live examples of your work?
Why You Want to Know: Be wary if the answer is no. Pictures of past bouquets and centerpieces will give you a sense of whether you and the florist have the same taste. Seeing photos of her work will let you know exactly what she's capable of and how it compares with your inspiration bouquets. The trick here, though, is having her tell you if the photo was something she considers her style or if it was the couple's vision. Neither answer is bad—if you love the look, you know she's capable of making it again; if you hate it, ask to see something she thinks is reflective of her own style.
The Question: Have you done weddings at our ceremony or reception site before?
Why You Want to Know: If she has, she'll be knowledgeable about what sizes, shapes and colors work in the venue. It's also a great way to see how other couples transformed the space. If she hasn't, ask if she'd be willing to do a site visit to scope it out and note any limitations. This isn't as essential as general experience and style, but it's super-helpful and could save you time and money.
The Question: How many weddings are you handling on the same day or weekend as mine? Will you simply be dropping off flowers, or will you be helping set up too?
Why You Want to Know: If your florist is handling multiple clients, you'll want to ensure she has enough staff and time to go around. Make sure to discuss your vision with the person who will actually be working on your wedding flowers. You'll pay more for a full-service florist who makes sure everything is in order the day of, but it's often worth the peace of mind.
The Question: How do you like to work with clients?
Why You Want to Know:Maybe you can picture your bridal bouquet, right down to the number of stems. Or maybe you have no idea and would like some serious hand-holding. Find your floral match. Some florists love input from their clients, while others work better with more freedom to handpick the freshest stems or stretch the palette a little. Hire someone whose creative process matches your needs. It will make this planning step better for everyone involved.
The Question: Are you willing to work within my budget?
Why You Want to Know: This seems obvious, but it's not just about making sure the florist will take the job. If your budget is low, talk openly and honestly about how much you can spend at your initial meeting. Sometimes hearing “no" is a good thing, because then you can figure out how to compromise early on. Maybe it's impossible for anyone to accomplish what you want within that price range (read: you want a lush flower wall on a shoestring budget). Most florists can work with you no matter how much you have to spend, but it's important to start the conversation early—and to be open to new ideas and alternatives.
The Question: Will you be responsible for working with my venue to find out about any restrictions they may have in terms of décor and installation?
Why You Want to Know: You don't want to be the middleman—florists have a better idea what's needed to carry out your vision, be it indoor topiaries or a 10-foot-tall floral chuppah. Ideally, your florist will communicate with your venue directly to be sure your plans don't interfere with their policies. You also want to make sure she's comfortable handling setup and breakdown without having to involve you, since you'll be pretty busy on your wedding day.
The Question: What other services do you offer?
Why You Want to Know: Most florists are actually more like event designers. You may be able to get extras, like fabric draping, lanterns, chairs, candelabras and lounge furniture, from them. Why is this a good thing? Dealing with one wedding pro rather than four or five can simplify the process and alleviate stress (sometimes you can save on delivery charges too!). If she doesn't offer these services and you're interested in them, see if she regularly partners with a rental company. Oftentimes florists have a friend in the industry, and you can be assured the two work well together.
The Question: Who will handle setup and delivery? What about breakdown? How long will you need for both, and what are the fees?
Why You Want to Know: These are the sneaky line items on a proposal that can add up. A florist usually assesses your budget for flowers and labor only, so ask about these “extras" that you can't really avoid. Also, make sure arrangements for pickup have been made for any rented items, like vases and arches.
The Question: What happens to the flowers after the wedding?
Why You Want to Know: When you hire a florist, you're typically quoted a price that includes not only the flowers but also the vases or other containers you'll be renting to display the stems. This means that while those pretty blooms are yours to keep, the urns or candelabras go home with the florist. If you're interested in repurposing the arrangements for a day-after brunch, you'll want to discuss the details with your florist. She can often work the additional cost of vases into your initial proposal.
Since the advent of Pinterest, event planning has been turned on its ear. Now people have all kinds of inspiration at their fingertips. Sometimes, though, so much information can be overwhelming, especially if you’re not an experienced planner.
Today we’re going to pare down all of that information for you and highlight our top tips on how to plan the perfect bridal shower. Let’s get started!
1. Talk to the bride. This is essential! You want to collect a list of people she’d like invited (all of whom should be on the wedding guest list), whether or not she’d like a co-ed shower, if there are any restrictions you need to be respectful of (such as no alcohol or dietary needs), and if she has her heart set on a particular theme.
2. Talk to other wedding party members. It can be helpful and fun to plan the shower with other members of the wedding party. Ask them if they’d like to be involved in the planning and how much they can afford to spend. Be sure to balance responsibilities and give credit carefully among everyone contributing to the shower.
3. Set a date and let people know. You want to shoot for having the shower one to two months before the wedding. Be sure to work around the bride’s schedule. Send out Save the Dates four to six months ahead of time, especially to out-of-town guests. Invitations should go out about two months before the shower. Include the best way for people to RSVP. You may want to follow up with phone calls as a courtesy.
4. Find the venue. Assuming you aren’t hosting the shower at your home, you need to search for a venue that suits your budget and the shower theme. If you’re having trouble narrowing your options, consider the wedding venue and choose something with a similar vibe.
5. Make food and décor decisions. Based on the venue and budget, brainstorm with any other planners to firm up a menu and decide on décor. Determine if you have to hire an outside caterer, order special linens, and bring in your own centerpieces.
6. Plan the entertainment. Are your guests going to play shower games? Are you hiring live music? Hosting a wine tasting? Think about what entertainment options suit the wedding’s theme and make those arrangements. Also purchase shower favors if you’re giving them out to guests.
7. Buy your shower gift. Even though you’re hosting the shower, it’s still proper etiquette to get the bride a gift.
8. Confirm everything. The week before the shower, reach out to all involved vendors to confirm the event details. This will give you a little time to head off any problems before they can happen.
It doesn’t have to be difficult to plan the perfect bridal shower. Just follow these steps and you’re sure to plan an event your bride will never forget!
The person who presides over your wedding ceremony holds a particularly important place in your big day. If you’re not getting married by a long-time clergyman in your family’s place of worship you’ll need to hire an officiant you likely won’t know. Here are some key things to consider when making the decision about which officiant to hire:
1. Your level of comfort with them. This is probably the most important thing to consider. You want to make sure the potential officiant’s personality fits well with yours and that you feel he or she is taking your wishes into account.
2. How flexible they are. Some officiants have a standard ceremony and they don’t want to deviate from it. If you like their standard ceremony, that’s not a problem. If you want something more customized, you’ll want an officiant who’s more flexible.
3. The number of weddings they’re officiating on your wedding day. Officiants often preside over more than one wedding a day. If your officiant is one of them, find out how close to your ceremony time any other ceremonies might be performed so you’re aware of possible time constraints.
4. Their fees and what those include. You’ll want to make sure you can afford the officiant of your choice. Find out what their fees include, such as pre-marital counseling and conducting the rehearsal.
5. What other couples have to say about them. The best way to find an officiant (like any vendor) is by word of mouth. Review testimonials and go into any interviews prepared.
6. Whether or not you’re inviting them to the reception or rehearsal dinner. It’s a nice gesture to invite your officiant to either the rehearsal dinner or the reception. If you do, you’ll need to account for an extra place setting (or two, if the officiant is allowed to bring a guest).
If you have any other thoughts or tips on this subject, we welcome your comments!
No matter what type of calming pre-wedding rituals a bride does before her wedding, the day itself is often a flurry of excitement and nerves. However, a perfect wedding day doesn't just materialize if you don't take the time to slow down and appreciate it. Here are six things every bride forgets to do on her wedding day.
Unless you want to be remembered by your friends and fiancé as a frantic bride, it's absolutely essential to take a breather at select moments during the day.
2. Appreciate the Moment
It can be easy to get lost in the minutiae during your wedding day, but remember to enjoy and appreciate your walk down the aisle, wedding vows, first dance, and cake cutting. These are moments you will wish to remember, and if you miss them due to an argument with your caterer or disappointment at a relative's absence, you'll miss the chance to relish the details of your wedding that make it truly special.
3. Take a Snack Break
Chatting with friends and family may be one of the highlights of any wedding, but it is impossible to hold a conversation when your only meal of the day was a spoonful of yogurt at breakfast. Place your groom and maid of honor on snack duty so you remember to eat periodically throughout the day.
See More: 50 Mistakes Every Bride Makes
4. Remember What the Day Is About
In the midst of dancing, dining, and drinking, it can be incredibly simple to forget that your wedding day is about your marriage and partnership with your husband.
5. Spend Time with Your Parents
As momentous a day as a wedding is for a newlywed couple, the event is equally pivotal for the bride and groom's parents. Take a moment to acknowledge their support and love.
6. Take Some Time for Yourself
A bride is surrounded by her bridesmaids, family, new husband, and guests during her nuptials, but a moment alone is an important facet of any wedding. If you feel as though you need the time to mentally prepare for your vows or take a peek at your wedding venue solo before your ceremony commences, do so; after all, your wedding marks the first time in your life when you'll be subsequently part of a pair.
If there is one wedding vendor you’d really like to connect with on a personal level, it should be your officiant. This is the person who will legally join you and your future spouse together. They’ll coach you through reciting the special vows that will help you express your love and commitment, and they’ll possibly even impart important wedding advice that you’ll keep with you forever.
That said, I thought it would be helpful to provide a list of five questions you should ask a potential wedding officiant to be sure you’re hiring the best person to work with you. Here we go:
1. What are your credentials? You’ll want to work with an experienced officiant who can provide testimonials from other happy couples. They’ll need to be familiar with the marriage laws and requirements where you’re getting married, and (if premarital counseling is required or suggested) you’ll want to confirm they’re qualified to provide it.
2. Can we customize our ceremony? If your officiant works directly with a venue that does numerous weddings every day, they may stick to a set “script” for every wedding and may not allow customizations. If you want to write your own vows or include particular readings, make sure the potential officiant allows it.
3. Do you attend/run the rehearsal? Some officiants include a rehearsal and others
4. Have you ever made a mistake during a ceremony? This is a tricky question, as most people will be tempted to say no. But we’re all human and make mistakes, right? The key thing to look for here is if they can admit they’ve made mistakes and how they responded when they did.
5. Why are you a ceremony officiant? This is perhaps the most important question you can ask a potential officiant. Why do they do what they do? Does their answer mesh well with the reasons you’re getting married? You can get a great sense of their personality based on their response.
There are other questions you can ask to gauge the officiant’s character, such as what they considered the most romantic thing they’ve ever seen at a wedding, but the above questions should give you the answers you need to determine if the person you’re interviewing is the right fit. If you have other questions to add to the list, let us know in the comments!