How to Plan for a Wedding Party


I tell you no secret when I say that organizing a wedding requires thorough planning and preparation.

We start this chapter with a general overview of what you should think carefully about, what needs to be arranged.  Many of the things I touch upon here are revealed in more detail further on in the book.

Your wedding, your vision

Weddings come in many shapes and sizes.  It’s vital that you discuss with your partner what you want—and what you don’t want—and make the party truly yours.  Would you like it loose and casual?  Or would you prefer it more conventional?  

You can opt for the classic wedding-by-the-book, where tradition takes pride of place.  With fairy gardens, expensive vintage limos, 7-course meals served by waiters in tuxedos, in a romantic castle, where all that’s missing is the dragon in the basement.

You can also go for a wedding party with a snack bar or a barbecue in the local parish hall, or in a marquee in the garden.  

Two extremes: with of course a world of possibilities in between. 

So how much attention do you give to the actual dance party? And how important is the accompanying grandeur—the expensive cars and fairy-tale castles?  Lots to think about.  And quickly, because this will decide almost everything to do with budget, options, and location.

Regardless of which tradition and ceremony you want to give the folks, the choice is up to you guys.

It may sound like cliché, but there’s a lot of truth in it.

“We don’t really want to do this, but it’s tradition so we have to . . . and our parents insist on it!”  That’s a line we hear too often. 

Let’s be clear: You don’t have to do anything!  It’s your party, and you decide from start to finish what will happen, when it’s going to happen, and how it’s going to happen. 

The only 2 people who have to agree on this are you and your partner. 

  • Don’t want the typical mixing on the dance floor? 
  • Don’t want the classic waving of napkins at your party?*  
  • Don’t want to get married in a church?  
  • Don’t want to sit at the table for hours, waiting for a 12-course meal? 

Then don’t do it.  Follow your heart and dare to be original.

Of course there are limits. Inviting all your guests to arrive naked for an evening party on Bredene Beach—just to be different—will probably meet with strong family disapproval.

Use your common sense, but dare to deviate from the straight and narrow.

Legal Marriage

Let’s have a quick run-through of the boring bits, then we can get on with the rest of the book.  Here you’ll find a brief definition of legal marriage, and how to access the necessary information about it.

To be sure, the legal requirements are important.  We’ll run through them quickly, but there’s probably nothing here that you didn’t already know.

Conditions and formalities

A few words of explanation about legal marriage.  Short and concise, because there’s nothing secretive in this chapter.

You marry in the presence of an officiant, and the ceremony is subject to conditions, costs, and obligations.  It’s a good idea to contact the Registry of Deaths, Births and Marriage of your town or city as early as possible and find out how to proceed.

Check the website for all procedures, costs, and formalities.

Notice of marriage or marriage declaration

The marriage license is a declaration of your intention marry.  You and your partner must go to the registry service of your city or municipality.  You’ll likely have to make an appointment first.

Even if you get married in a church, you have to arrange the license there and register with the clergyman.

The notification period is to check if all legal and church requirements for entering into marriage have been met.

Foreign birth certificates

Please note that if at least one of you was born in Belgium, there are additional obligations regarding certified translations of the original birth certificate.  This is still the case if you’ve acquired the Belgian nationality.  Ask at the city hall or town hall.

The church

Whether or not you choose to marry in a church is entirely up to you.  Again, don’t do anything simply because it’s tradition.  This book isn’t the place for a discussion about religion, so it’s up to you.  

If you marry in a church, you’ll have to make an appointment with the pastor to discuss your requirements and his honorarium.  

Don’t forget that the church also insists on a legal notification.

That’s all I have to say about it. Amen.

Budget

A wedding can be almost for free.  Ironically, in 2020 the average cost of a wedding was $19,000!  So people pay a small fortune for wedding ceremonies and wedding parties.  

Maintaining the budget… maybe the least fun part!

But before you start dreaming of castles and fairy-tale weddings, take a good look at your budget.   

Your budget will determine, among other things:

  • How many guests you can invite
  • How expensive the wedding location is
  • Which cars you can rent
  • How the ceremony will look
  • How expensive and elaborate the feast will be
  • Which DJ and entertainers you can hire
  • How much you can spend on extras to glitz up the party

First, you fix the budget. Only then can you start dreaming and deciding how your wedding’s going to look.

If you do it the other way around, you’re going end up frustrated, or at the very least disappointed, when it turns out that the helicopter that takes you to the ballroom is just a tad too expensive!

Sponsorship

Some wedding couples are lucky enough to be sponsored, usually by their moms and dads.  Of course this is nice, because you can afford a little more, but please realize that you’ll most likely have to add more water to the wine.  

Write it down!

It’s very important that you manage your budget in writing.  If you imagine that you can remember the full cost estimate and make the calculation in your head every time, you’re going to be disappointed.  

You don’t have to follow an evening course in bookkeeping, but make sure you write it down somehow: as a spreadsheet document on your computer, in a notebook or—if needs be—on a sheet of unused toilet paper.  Whatever you choose, just make sure you write it down accurately.

Check and note down in detail your estimated costs—such as the party room, the wedding dress, other clothes, the DJ—and how much your budget leaves you to spend.

How much of a budget do you need?

An average wedding in Belgium easily costs between €10,000 and €20,000, which isn’t cheap.

I reckon €5,000 is definitely the least it’ll cost you, unless you’re considering celebrating the wedding in your local beer joint.

Naturally, there’s no upper limit.  If you had the money and the imagination, you could even get married on the moon. . . .

Loan

Some people run up huge debts for a big and beautiful wedding, because borrowing is always an option.  

I don’t think it’s a good idea.  The day will soon be over.  Are you prepared to be still paying off those debts in the years to come?

Honeymoon

Are you going on a trip, right after the party?  If so, what’s the location and for how long will you be gone?  Important for your budget.

Taking off on your honeymoon right away is always very romantic, but can strongly affect your budget.  If you don’t get your sums right, the honey will turn sour real soon.  

10% Backup

You should set aside 10% of your budget for unexpected costs.  That way, the actual cost of hiring the Ferrari as your wedding car won’t come as too much of a shock.  

But let’s suppose the florist goes bust the week before your wedding and you have to range farther afield—maybe quite literally—to put together a new bridal bouquet.  Sounds like an unexpected cost, doesn’t it?  If your budget is completely blown, you’re in trouble.  

A bridal bouquet doesn’t cost the earth.  But doubtless you can think of other expenses that will make you a tad more nervous.  

Ten percent!  It will spare you some headaches and stress.

The dream on paper

It’s time to put your dreams down on paper.  How would you describe your ideal wedding?  What’s important to you?  Jot down your ideas for the ideal wedding. 

Sketch the outlines.  The following questionnaire will point the way.

According to your budget

By this time, you have a rough idea of how much you can spend.  It’s vital that the two of you keep this in mind.  It’s a bit crazy to dream of a party of 350 people in the Caribbean when you’re on a tight budget.

Style

Do you want a classic, traditional party?  Or a modern party with a walking dinner in a luxury marquee?  Will you go for a theme or a dress code for all your guests?  

Ballroom

Have you already decided on a location?  Any particular room in mind?  If not, surfing the internet is the way to go. 

Part 5 of this book looks at the room in detail.

Ceremony

Do you want to get married in a church?  Or would you prefer a ceremony in the garden of the ballroom.  How about both?

Transport

What’s your choice of conveyance?  Modern sports cars or limos? Classic old-timers or a horse-drawn carriage?  Everything is for hire.

Do you need a driver?  Can you rely on a family member or a friend who won’t drink himself pie-eyed?

Things to give some thought to . . .

Parting gifts

It’s tradition to thank your guests with a token of your esteem.  Something romantic, something funny, something edible—it’s up to you.  This is typically displayed on a table at the room’s exit, to be grabbed as the guests are leaving.

Again, tradition: parents and witnesses usually get a larger—read: more expensive—gift.  These gifts are presented during the speeches.

Master of Ceremonies

An MC—master of ceremonies—is not cheap, but can make a big contribution to your wedding day and celebrations.  Especially if you’re planning a massive party that needs a lot of preparation.  More about this person later on in the book.

Hotel suite

If you’re planning to have fun after the party—not at home but on the move—a good hotel room or suite is always nice.

Some party venues include this in the offer.  If not, you can book something in the area.

Insurance

It’s a good idea to take a look at some insurance quotes and go for them if necessary.  As always with insurance, hopefully you won’t need it.  But think for a moment about what might happen when everything is booked—and you have to cancel the party because of a family tragedy.

Or there’s material damage, or people get hurt in an accident at the party—and you are held responsible.  

Your insurance broker will be happy to explain the liabilities and coverage to you.  Don’t go broke paying for insurance premiums, but caution is definitely recommended.

Catering

Not all wedding venues provide meals.  If you only book the building, you’ll have to look for catering.  Do you have an idea about the kind of meals you wish to provide?

Alternatives are barbecue and food trucks.  But these need not necessarily be cheaper.  I’ve also seen enough weddings with a French fries shop in front of the door.  The choice is yours.

Honeymoon

You don’t have to book anything just yet, but you do have to look at the big picture.

Where do you wish to go, and for how long?  

Do you want to leave right after the wedding day?  I’ve seen newlyweds leave for the airport with bag and baggage as early as 4 o’clock in the morning after their wedding.  

Others prefer to take it easy, and leave a few days later.  It’s something to think about.

Do you need a vaccination or must you apply for a visa?  Be sure to take a look at the ins and outs of the whole trip.

DJ and Entertainers

If you’re having a dance party, you’ll need a DJ.  And not just any old DJ.  Half of this website is devoted to finding and booking your perfect DJ.  You’ll find much more about this in parts 2, 3, and 4.

Read are Article: Find your ULTIMATE DJ!

Boot the Perfect Wedding DJ
The ULTIMATE guide to book your Wedding DJ
Boot the Perfect Wedding DJ

If you want other entertainers or a band at your party, now’s the time to think about them.  Part 7 of this book contains lots of advice and tips about all of this.

Wedding planner

You’ve probably seen them on TV.  Wedding planners can take a lot of work off your shoulders.  You simply tell them what you want and they’ll do the scouting, handle the bookings, the follow-ups—and everything else.  All you have to do is pay the tab.

Great to have, but wedding planners don’t work for free.  If you’re on a slightly tighter budget, this would be the first expense I’d recommend that you do without.

Yes, it means more work for you during the preparations, but if you do everything right, the results will be the same: a radiant wedding day and a cool wedding party!

And we’ve got you covered: you have this book!

Offers

Compare

For every service you book, such as the reception room, the DJ or the photographer, it’s always worthwhile to request quotes from different providers.  The first on the list is seldom the best there is.

Of course, the price is only one element of the selection process.  That’s important, and we’re going to hammer that home throughout the book, and examine in great detail.  But no one’s suggesting you let yourself be taken for a ride.  The message?  Compare and negotiate.  

Compare and check your offers!

Keep in mind, too, that if you go for a total package—for example, the party venue also supplies the photographer, the flowers, and the DJ—it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’ll be cheaper.  You’ll probably come across such “bargains” on the internet, but often the opposite is true.  

Those websites also lack the personal touch, and you should never swallow what’s presented to you.  If you plan to go that way, be sure to find out who those people are, what they’re charging, and see if it meets your needs and style.  

Remember that you can always check out the market in person, and find better and/or cheaper alternatives.

Don’t do anything at the last minute.  

If you have to frantically look for a DJ at the last minute, you’ll likely be told that they’ve been booked weeks or months in advance.  

If you do find someone who’s still available, they either won’t meet your wishes and requirements, or they’ll drive up the price, knowing that that there’s a shortage of good DJs.  

Opportunistic?  You bet!  But at that moment you’ll have very little choice.  We’re taking the DJ as an example, but this applies equally to photographers, venues, rental cars. . . .  The message is: start your wedding plans early and leave nothing until the last moment.

The Big Day

Get ready for a truly busy day.  You’ll be jumping out of bed early, because you’ve a lot to prepare on that awesome morning.   

Officially you start the day at the city hall, for your marriage registration.  After that, you go to the church or the ballroom garden for the second ceremony and photo shoot, to have dinner with the family, and of course the party, starting with the reception in the early evening, and going on until the final, late-night dance moves.  

And of course there’s still work to be done for posterity . . . busy day!

You probably already knew: organizing a wedding is difficult and demands a lot of work and preparation.  So don’t make the mistake of setting the date too quickly.  A year of preparation is no exaggeration.  Choose the date too fast, and you’ll give yourselves so much extra stress.  Many of the people you need will already be booked, and those available won’t meet with your satisfaction.  

Also bear in mind that inviting people to a party taking place within 3 weeks will usually result in them telling you that they’ve other plans they can’t cancel at such short notice.  That’s the way of our hectic, Western world. . . .  

Remember: don’t do anything at the last minute, not even for a cheaper rate.

Don’t imagine for one moment that you’ll get a last-minute discount when you try for a last-minute quote.  That will often be used against you, and the price will rocket.  

Weekday vs. weekend

What day are you going for?  You could choose to have the party on, say, a Tuesday night in November.  That will definitely be cheaper.  

However, you can bet your bottom dollar that half the invitees won’t show up, because they have to work the next morning.  So it makes more sense to get married on a Saturday, or possibly a Friday, during the summer months. 

The months of May to the beginning of October promise fine summer weather, making everything a lot more attractive. 

Wedding pictures taken in the rain look depressing, and the reception desk likes to welcome everyone under a summer sun.  That said, it’s no harm at all to have a Plan B, in case the Belgian summer weather leaves you in the lurch.

Don’t plan your wedding for an important world day

Make sure that you don’t choose a date on which a major world event takes place.  

If you plan your wedding for the day of the World Cup finals, there’ll definitely be guests who’ll be no-shows.  

The guests who do show up will be chained in large numbers to their mobile phones—the men especially!  You’ll be keeping this stereotypical image alive. . . .  

Needless to say, you cannot know in advance which (unplanned) events will be taking place next year, but you should make a note of everything that is on the calendar.

Vacation periods

The vacation period—the last two weeks in July and the first week of August—is likewise a less suitable time, because lots of people are traveling then.  The busiest wedding period starts at the beginning of May and ends at the end of September.

The guests

A wedding without guests is a bit silly, to say the least.  You’ll have to put together an accurate list of family, friends, acquaintances, and colleagues you want to have at your party.  

Number of guests vs. your budget

How many people you invite is up to you.  And again, it’ll be largely dependent on your budget.  

It’s a fact that if you choose a traditional wedding feast with several courses, much of your budget will go on feeding and satisfying the guests.  So give that guest list careful thought.

Do you really want to invite that distant neighbor, the one you chat to maybe three times a year?  Or the distant uncle that you haven’t heard from in years—the one with the smelly breath?  You can best answer those questions yourselves. 

Right of veto for the sponsors

Of course things will be different if Mom and Dad partly sponsor the party.  Uncle Badbreath might definitely want to join the party.  In which case it becomes more difficult to scrap him from the list . . . but are we looking at a gift horse here?

Children

Also think about children.  And no, we’re not talking about those in the making at the end of the wedding day, but about the children of the guests.  Because in many cases they’ll also be present. 

We’re talking about children of pre-pubescent age, who—as sure as shootin’—will see the venue as their playground for tag, hide and seek, and games in which the ballroom curtains will figure prominently.  

Be aware that those children also need to be fed and, above all, entertained.  More about this later in part 7. 

You’ll have to decide whether or not you want guests to bring along their children, and you’ll have to be crystal clear about this.

How many people may you expect?

There’s no such thing as a birthday party where, by tradition, only half of the guests show up.  If you invite people to a glamorous wedding party, you can be pretty sure that they’ll all be happy to attend.  

With the possible exception of illness or someone traveling to a distant land, you can bet that close to 100% of those you invite will thank you in writing and appear on the day.

Think about this when putting together your list of invitees.  Don’t presume that you have to invite 150 people to be sure of 100 turning up.  If you think that, then you’re very much mistaken.

VIPs and the rest

There are those who consciously choose to invite only close friends and family to the festivities from start to finish.  Other friends and colleagues are invited to join the party at around 10:00 pm.  That way, you cut down on your outlay, and still have a nice number of guests dancing later in the evening.

Cool People vs. Not-so-Cool People: Two Receptions!

Unusual, but it happens occasionally.  You organize two receptions.  The first is for vague acquaintances and dull colleagues.  You know the sort: people you’d rather not invite, but you’re stuck with them.  

Of course this isn’t about “fun guys” and “guys who are less fun.” It’s about how close you are to the people in question.

Your boss and the fat one from the logistics department are probably the perfect examples.  These people may, after an hour of socializing and bitterbal snacks slowly take their leave, to make room for the real friends and family.  

Maybe a little bit offputting. Have you ever been invited to such a reception?  So you know what that feels like, to feel less than 100% welcome.  Maybe something to think about if you’re planning something similar.

Bigger is not necessarily better

We’ve seen parties with 50 people and parties with 350 people, and one doesn’t necessarily have to be better than the other.  

Think of the expression, “the more the merrier.”  As far as I’m concerned, it’s better, cozier and certainly more budget-friendly to invite a small group of family and close friends, as opposed to half the town you only know to wave hello to.  Again, the choice is yours.  

Either way, don’t fall into the trap of taking out a massive loan to invite ten extra people and keep up appearances.  When the party’s over, you’ll only regret it.  

You’ll regret it, and be nursing a financial hangover.

The invitation

The invitation is a piece of printed matter to announce that your wedding boat is soon to set sail, and the recipient is hereby invited on board.  No surprises there.   

Some folks do it the traditional way; others turn it into a work of art.   

You can find lots of companies online that can make this for you, in all shapes, scents, and colors.  Your photographer can also advise you.

Budget tip: If you know your way around a suitable computer program, you can choose to make everything yourself, or 

You’ll find a load of free templates with examples to get started. Websites like https://www.canva.com have everything you need to make your own invitation.  

Important info

What needs to be included in the invitation: 

  • Name and address of the venue to which the guest is invited
  • Date and time of the event!
  • Your contact details

Now you think: “Who the hell could be so foolish as to forget to include the date or the address?!”  You’d be amazed at the number of invitations I’ve been shown, where at least one vital detail was missing!

Enough to make you lose faith in your fellow human beings. So don’t be that guy and don’t forget those basic ingredients.

Where applicable, state clearly what the recipient is invited to—such as the ceremony, the city hall, the evening party.  If you don’t, it will only be confusing, and you’ll risk a misunderstanding. 

If there’s a dress code, include that as well.   

Ask explicitly for confirmation of their attendance.

Don’t be under any illusions: people are lazy and put everything on the back burner.  So don’t be alarmed if you haven’t heard from an invitee until two weeks before the wedding.  

On receiving the invitation, so many people think: “Hey, nice one! Let’s do it! I’ll be in touch,” and that’s it. . . .  I’m sorry to say it’ll be up to you to follow up your invitation and contact everyone, to confirm they’ll be coming.

Children

If you’ve made your mind up not to have children at your party, you must state this clearly on the invitation.

But please do it a little tactfully and avoid hurtful language. 

Try this: “We would rather not have children at our party. Thank you for your understanding.”  That’s clear to everyone.

Not everyone will like this, and possibly some people will cancel because of it.  Such is life.

Example of an invitation

When to deliver

It’s customary to officially invite guests six to eight weeks in advance.  Avoid inviting guests at the last minute. Do that, and you run the risk that many guests have full diaries and they’ll have to cancel.  Again: better too early than too late.

Budget tips for invitations

Create the invitations yourself on your computer.  Do an internet search for “wedding invitation templates.”  You’ll find hundreds of them. 

As I already mentioned, the website www.canva.com has a lot of templates you can customize and download.  A big collection, and free of charge.

You don’t even have to print out the invitations.  You can send them perfectly via email.

It has a little less cachet, but of course it’s a lot more budget-friendly.

Invitation 2.0: Website 

Not a must, but it’s fun to set up your own website or blog, on which you can post the necessary updates and announcements.  

Useful when there are unexpected changes and everyone needs to be informed.

After the party you might want to keep the site active for a while, to post all kinds of photos and wild stories, or would you rather invite everyone to join your Facebook page?  

If you’re planning to create a website, you can still do this in combination with traditional invitations.  

Make sure the website address is mentioned on the printed invitation.

Fees

Website hosting for 1 year, including the price of the domain name, will cost you around €100.  Then, of course, you still have to assemble the content of the website.

A good and cheap supplier of website space is https://combell.com  Here you can get a website from €6 per month.

There are certainly free alternatives.  The disadvantage is that:

  • You and your visitors will have to accept ads from third parties
  • The domain name will not be 100% yours. Instead of www.TrouwfeestTomEnSandra.be it will be www.trouwfeestTomenSandra.wordpress.com.

(Links are fictitious; those websites don’t actually exist.)

Good free website platforms are:

https://Wix.com

https://weebly.comhttps://Wordpress.com

A Google search will undoubtedly point you to a vast array of free blog/web hosting.

WordPress

If you want to create your own website, we recommend WordPress.  WordPress is free software that lets you quickly build a website with a blog, without knowing too much about the technical side.

Seek help

Not skilled on the computer?  There are quite a few companies that offer this service, or maybe you can ask the nephew with the thick glasses who’s studying to be a computer specialist.  

If you’ve no experience in making websites or blogs yourself, this might not be the best time to start.  After all, you have other things on your mind.

Not the most important thing!

If all of this talk about websites only makes you nervous, here’s some good advice: stick with the classic, printed invitations.  

Organizing a wedding is no easy task, so don’t take on anything that you don’t feel like doing.

Having your own wedding website or blog is fun, but it certainly isn’t necessary for a perfectly successful wedding party.

Delete your website

The day will come when you should delete the website.  Nobody’s going to pay attention to a wedding website that was new 4 years ago.

Also don’t forget that you cough up about €80 euros a year for it, which will probably disappear automatically from your credit card.

Keep the website online for another year after the date of the wedding, but after that it should disappear.  Make sure you’ve saved all the material such as texts, photos, and videos before you pull the plug.

The table arrangement

Let’s fast-forward on the timeline, to the point where you can see who’ll be present at the party.

The next stressful task rears its head.  Because now you have to solve the social puzzle of the table layout.  

In other words: which guests will sit at which table, and be calmly coerced into chatting to each other all evening.

Sketch the tables on a large sheet of paper and use small pieces of paper with guest names on them to work out the chair placement.

Be aware that round tables make it more difficult for groups to talk than square tables do.

It gets even more provocative when some family members are filing for divorce, or there’s bad blood.  Fortunately, it rarely happens, but you really don’t want two drunken uncles to engage in a fist fight that night.  Even without the cozy get-togethers, you always want to have a good atmosphere.

Wherever possible, don’t put an unmarried guest at a table with only couples, because he or she will soon feel like a fish out of water.

Bridal gown and wedding suit

I’m a DJ, not a fashion guru.  My views on bridal dresses don’t go much further than deciding whether or not I like what I see.

There are books, glossy magazines, and websites full of how to find the ideal dress.  Many specialty stores are ready to advise you.  You won’t learn much from me in this area, so I’m not going to risk it.

Just make sure you feel comfortable in the clothes you choose.  Don’t spend months looking for perfection.  If you still haven’t found it after all that time, then you’ll probably never find it.  

If you plan to dance a lot at your party, go for a dress that makes you feel good and is comfortable enough to move around in.

If the budget allows it, the bride often chooses a second outfit, one in which she can dance more easily.  After the first dance, she’ll disappear from the limelight for a minute or two, to return to the dance floor in a short number, ready to wow the partygoers.

Order your dress at least 6 months in advance, because good dressmakers usually have long waiting lists.

You’ll have to go back a few weeks later, so the store can take your final measurements—you’ll have followed an extended diet of soup and vegetables.

An extra pair of flat shoes for the bride is almost mandatory, to keep her on that dance floor into the small hours.  

An alternative, of course, is go barefoot, but then you have to be prepared to face a sticky dance floor.

Oh, yes: the groom also need a costume.  Two-piece or three-piece, tuxedo, top hat. . . .  I won’t say much, apart from this: please don’t dress like you’re taking part in a snooker tournament.

The gentleman’s necktie is multi-functional.  From 3 o’clock in the morning, after a fair bit of alcohol consumption, it can—besides the classic way—also be worn aslant across the forehead.  I’ve yet to see a tie that didn’t have this function.

Frills and flounces

You can decorate the room according to your own taste and needs.  

You will of course have more work if you transform the local church hall into a dream wedding venue than you would in a bespoke ballroom.  

We’re talking about balloons, fresh flowers, works of art, red carpets . . . you name it!

Don’t underestimate the work involved.  Naturally, we’ll be saying more about the room later on in the book.

Transport

You’ll need transportation on the day. . . .  The last thing you want to do is drive yourself around.  You can go in any direction with this . . . hire chauffeur-driven limousines, approach family and friends who have suitable cars if they’re willing to drive you, rent one or two old-timers, a horse and carriage. . . .  

I don’t think we need to make too much of a fuss about this.  Take a look at what you’d like to be driven in, and consider how it fits with your budget. 

Landing a helicopter in the garden of the banquet hall would be spectacular, but just a little bit more expensive—and let’s not forget that you’d need the approval and written permission of the relative authorities.

Don’t forget that you’ll need one or more drivers you can trust.  And make sure they don’t consume any alcohol that day.  

Will this be difficult?  Then choose a professional driver.  “Better safe than sorry!”

Contract

Make sure you have something on paper for all the arrangements you make with any party.  

Preferably in the form of a contract, complete with a signature.

Ensure that the agreed price is clearly stated on it, together with an exact description of what’s been agreed and the service or product that’s provided.  

If there’s something in the contract that has not been agreed, or which is open to interpretation, have it removed from the contract or modified.  

Don’t get lured into verbal agreements, even if you trust the party you’re working with.  It’s a guarantee of unpleasant surprises and misunderstandings, even if nothing bad was intended. 

Favors done for friends are often not properly noted, are handled sloppily and often slip through the net.  With all the distressing consequences!

Make sure you keep in touch with all your suppliers.  It can happen that a booking you made 10 months ago will be “forgotten.”  A timely reminder, and the occasional phone call, can’t hurt.

A cautionary tale:

I once witnessed a wedding that had become a 3-ring circus, because the booking of the venue took place almost nonchalantly.  

The manager of the venue was a distant relative of the wedding couple, but he was absent for a few months due to a serious illness.  

The person who temporarily took over the venue was unaware that the couple had booked it.  Of course, there was nothing on paper.  So he’d rented out the venue for a second time that day, to a club that was throwing a party. . . .

The Photographer

Even if you don’t like to have your photograph taken, you won’t be able to escape it.  Almost every wedding calls for a photographer.  

You might like to consider Uncle Jeff who “also likes to take some snaps,” and wants to do this for free for you.  That’s good to know when you’re on a tight budget, but don’t complain afterwards that the photos are rubbish.

So you’ll most likely have to find, book, and pay for a suitable photographer.  Again: well in advance, because photographers tend to be as heavily booked as DJs and party venues. . . .

As a bonus with this book, you get a complete section that deals with the wedding photographer.  See part 8.

The DJ and the music

A wedding without a DJ is like a bar without sand, or a desert without beer.  Indeed, it’s as idiotic as those deliberately twisted sayings.

So, you can’t put enough time and energy into the search for that guy.  Do you know a good DJ?  Did you hear a guy reaching for the clouds with stellar music at a party somewhere?  In that case, you won’t hesitate for long before you contact him. 

But it often happens that you don’t know a DJ.  In which case, a thorough, far-reaching search is called for. 

So BE SURE to check out this article so you book the right DJ for your party!

Boot the Perfect Wedding DJ
The ULTIMATE guide to book your Wedding DJ
Boot the Perfect Wedding DJ

Mike

I'm Mike, a wedding DJ for 16 years. I want to share with you as much advice as possible.

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