The first thing you will need to do is talk to the bride and groom about their vision for their wedding day. Getting to know who they are by asking them some questions about how they met, when they got engaged, what their idea of the perfect wedding is can be helpful. Getting to know their tastes will also help – ask them if they have been to any weddings they particularly liked or disliked in the past, and what it was about them that appealed (or didn’t). Listen closely – really listening well is the key to planning their ideal wedding day.
Traditional or non-traditional?
At the initial consultation, you should determine the style of wedding they prefer – traditional or non-traditional. Traditional weddings are held in a place of worship, such as a church or synagogue, with a priest, minister or rabbi conducting the ceremony. There are usually several bridesmaids and groomsmen, formal wedding attire and traditional music. Non-traditional weddings might be in a park, or on the beach – wherever the couple’s imaginations take them. The officiant would be a celebrant, rather than a priest. The couple might have unique vows written themselves, and the music might be performed by a talented friend.
How many guests will attend?
Ask your clients to determine how many people they wish to have in attendance for both the ceremony and the reception. Don’t forget to inform them that the more guests they invite, the more expensive the wedding will be, and they should consider this when they are preparing their guest list. They should start by making two separate lists: one for ‘definite invites’, one for ‘possible invites’. Invitations can then go out early to the first group, and later to the second, if guests on the first list are unable to attend.
Setting a date and time
Discuss when the couple would like to get married – have they got their hearts set on a particular date or time? If they have a venue they are keen on, consider alternative dates/times with them, in case the venue is booked. Point out to them that they should consider the time of year they wish to get married – in terms of daylight hours, temperature and weather conditions, which are all important in planning the ‘ideal’ wedding. They should also think about the honeymoon destination, at particular times of the year. You don’t want to end up in monsoon season when you’re on a honeymoon!
Determine exactly what services the bride and groom want you to handle and discuss your fees (and contract) with them.
Get it in writing
After you have discussed the major points with the bride and groom, you can confirm all the details by asking them to complete a wedding planning registration form.
Please find sample forms that you can download in the lesson materials.
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