Y'all, wedding fair season is right around the corner. So, from an insider's point of view, there are a few things you'll need to bring to totally kill it (and some things to leave at home). Let's dive in:
So, first and foremost, I'll explain what a wedding fair is for those that are new and unfamiliar. Wedding fairs are conventions held for the purpose of bringing vendors together in one place, and allowing brides to stroll the aisles, chat with vendors, book some services, and get a feel for the road ahead of them. As someone doing this as well, who has also been a vendor, it isn't as easy as it should be. Let's say that you have 300 vendors, which is average for some of the big shows. Now, fill it with brides, sometimes up to 7,000 people in a 4 hour window. Each and every one of these vendors have something to sell and will tell you how their service is better than the rest. It's a big, fat, mess, so here is your short guide:
Have a game plan
Have something ready when you go in. Know what you have, know what vendors you are interested in. Know which vendors you want to avoid! If you don't have a good vibe from one, don't waste time with them. Have your entourage in the loop on the plan as well.
Make contact info easy
Definitely a must. Every vendor will be asking for your information, and you will want to give it to them, without wasting a bunch of time writing or typing it. If you can, go to the nearest store and get a bunch of printable address labels. Make it up ahead of time and print out 100 labels with an email address, phone number, or whatever information you would want them to know (wedding date, location, times, etc.). This makes it super easy so you can just stick it on whatever form they are using, and move on.
Don't give out your personal email if you haven't already. If you have, know that that email is trash for 2 years, and give it up. If you haven't, I would suggest creating a wedding email. This enables you to keep yourself organized, and if you need to, turn it off and pause the wedding stress for a minute. Also, once the wedding is over, you can stop the emails from vendors you didn't book asking if you'd like to.
Take one bag with you from the start: a large tote. Then, at the fair, they will likely have another one ready to go with the branding of top sponsors and the show. Designate the show bag as your "No" bag. Once a vendor gives you information, if you get a bad vibe from them, politely place it in the no bag, thank them, and walk away. Then, if you talk to a vendor you like, take their information, put it in the "Yes" bag. This way, once you get home, you can throw the "No" bag away, and look through the "Yes" bag. Otherwise, you get home, forget who was who, mix up faces, and then book the wrong DJ (anyone who wasn't House DJ).
Don't bring EVERYONE
Wedding fairs are a blast. They're a blast with friends, but don't bring all of them. We generally suggest one to two. Maybe make it a date between you and your fiance, or bring your mom, or your MOH. If you have a smaller bridal party, you can bring them, but don't come with more than 5. This makes things clustery, and you have a massive amount of opinions fighting for your attention. Don't add stress!
Lastly, have fun!
Wedding fair days are a blast for everyone. As a vendor, I think they are a ton of fun, and as a groom, they're a fun thing for Lauryn and I to go to. There are some things that we have learned through the years from people at fairs and through observation, that we found interesting or important, and we want to pass them on to you! So, have fun and don't stress!
Whoa.. so, I have a story for you:
So, as most of you know, Lauryn and I are engaged and working on the wedding planning process. Venues, Photographers, etc. We aren't planning anything huge, but we still need a place to do something.
Lauryn's secondary family lives in the Joplin, MO area, and her cousin is getting married this week, so we shot down there today (Thursday) to spend some time with family! On the way through though, we decided we would cruise by a new and popular wedding venue that is absolutely gorgeous. We were possibly considering it for our wedding, and even as vendors, we like to know about places as such!
So, Lauryn, Michelle (Lauryn's mom and the owner of Bride Path, an online wedding planning service), and I started down 44 and pulled off towards the venue. It was a little bit of a detour, but a leisurely country drive on a gloomy Thursday is no problem. About twenty minutes after we got off the exit, winded through the roads, and made a few wrong turns (Lauryn was driving...), we arrived at the beautifully ornate (and open) iron gate with the name of the venue designed into it. We were set back by the beauty of the venue as we pulled into the driveway, impressed with details such as the gate, the lake, the bluff, the way the one-way road that wound to the venue, the venue itself, and the brand-new black SUV parked out back. As we paused with wonder, we were lost in the sight of the lake and the architecture of the guest house and venue.
Suddenly, the lights of the SUV turned on, it backed up abruptly, and it suddenly went into drive.
You can see it: quickly in reverse, and then a sudden change of direction, the SUV slides backwards on gravel, and then moves forward with a cloud of dust, tires spinning.
So, at this point, we can't believe what we're seeing. Being in a one-lane, Lauryn throws it in reverse and backs up the 20 feet or so we were pulled in. The SUV flies (drifts) around the lake and bee-lines for us, dirt and rocks flying in the air, even going off the road at one point to shave time off of their record from the last time they ran someone off. At this point, Lauryn pulls into the road with abandon and puts it in drive. Fearfully, she guns it, and within SECONDS, the SUV is within 5 feet from us, going roughly 55-60MPH. As we increased speed, so did they, obviously chasing us off. We got about a mile away from the venue, they backed off, pulled into a driveway, and turned around.
No, this isn't a plot for Fast and Furious 9: Happily Never After. This is nothing more than a paranoid and unprofessional venue. As a vendor who serves around 100+ couples every year, I will be placing this venue on our blacklist. Also, we are in the unique position of being a medium-sized wedding vendor and being an engaged couple who is looking for a wedding venue we've never been to. I suppose this venue will continue to remain on that list for us.
Now, as the sun sets on this story, I'd like to say that the bluffs were beautiful. 😉
Guys! We're engaged (and have been for a minute..).
First, I apologize for my consistent absence from the blog.. We've been working like crazy, and I finally got a minute to stop in and say "What's up!" So, we're engaged, if you didn't know! Yes! Lauryn and I are finally going to get it done after 4 years of dating. It's been a long time coming, but we're finally going to make it happen.
"OMG, you guys are going to have a big wedding, right?"
Actually, not as likely. Let me talk through some things; bear with me:
So, I proposed on December 12th, 2018. 12-12-18 was a good number, easy to remember, and frankly, the only day I could have done it in December. So! I did it. Every year, Lauryn and I go through Christmas lights at several St. Louis staples: The St. Louis Zoo, the Anheuser Busch Brewery, and (this year), Missouri Botanical Garden. They're all magical experiences, and it's a special tradition for us.
Anyway, I had it all planned out. All of the lights opened at 5:30, and there is a very, very distinct window of roughly 15 minutes where there is still a tad bit of sunlight left from over the horizon. Well, not really sunlight, but maybe a glow. I had a friend of mine there to photograph for us, and set it up. He would be there at 5:15 to be the first one in and get setup, I had the ring in the pocket of my coat, and there was a particular spot that is special to us. It is a tunnel of lights, and every year, we take selfies in that spot, so the plan was to stop and take a selfie, no one would be around, I would take a picture, and then propose, right? WRONG!
There was absolutely nobody there when we got to the tunnel. My heart started racing, and I panicked. We get into place, and start to take our picture. At this point, Josiah, my photographer was in the background of the photo, and Lauryn was getting annoyed because this guy was in our photo. The selfie is actually comical with the story, I'll have to see if I can find it. Now, he gets out of the picture, and a group of 6 or so passes through. I KEEP TAKING SELFIES, saying I was "trying to find the right lighting". Finally, there is a spot where no one is, and a group of 20 or so is about to enter the tunnel and I just pull the trigger. As I get down on my knee and pull the ring box out of my pocket: the entire group about to enter the tunnel, I HEAR their shoes stop walking and hold their breath. Also, I am a professional orator right? I make speeches in front of crowds of 200-1,000 all the time, so making a small speech to my darling of 4 years wouldn't be an issue, right? So, I had this speech memorized:
"Lauryn, we've been together for 1,509 days. You've made me happier than I've ever been. Will you make me the happiest man alive and marry me?"
Now, here some form of what came out:
"So, we've been together for a long time **long pause**, will you marry me?"
Not exactly going to win any awards, am I?
So, to wrap that up, she said yes, and I couldn't have been happier. As we walk around the Zoo and MoBo, we are just so elated, and we start dreaming of the big wedding that everyone, including ourselves thinks we'll have.
A week or so later, rubber hits the road. We start calling places and looking at venues.
St. Louis wedding venues, listen up. ANSWER THE PHONE.
Y'all. I think we called probably 20 places, and maybe 4 answered or returned our calls. As a matter of fact, I messaged a particular one on Facebook (12/20/18), and they returned my message TODAY. (3/4/18). WTF!
Then, other vendors, and checking to see what dates were available. The same exact issue! Why won't anyone answer their phones? We can't be the only ones with this issue!
So then, we decided to cool our jets for a month or so and wait until after the New Year.
Anyway, I'll save the rest of the details and just jump to our conclusion:
We decided not to have a massive reception for a few reasons:
As wedding vendors, our availability for wedding dates suck. In 2018, we DJ'ed 74 weddings, and are projecting 120 in 2019. We don't want to wait for 2020, so we will pick one closer to the date.
Really, we're both very outgoing at our events, but as I've written elsewhere, we're all actors. We are incredible entertainers because of our ability to turn the personality on and off. Some events don't react well to a bombastic personality, whereas others may do better with someone who is outgoing and crazy. Personally for us though, we are horrible friends. Our weekends are all taken up, we are perfectly fine to go to dinner or do something quiet, but big crowds stress us out when we aren't in charge of it. It's backwards, but 🤷🏻♂️. So for us, we would rather have a quaint wedding and dinner reception with close friends and family than the big party with everyone.
3. It's Work For Us.
Straight up, the biggest reason why we don't particularly want a big reception. It's work for us. We've been doing weddings as our business for years at this point, so the *magic* is kinda dull for us. As a new bride and groom where everything is fresh, anything that happens is perfect and magical. For us, everything at a wedding happens from a process, and we know the process. It's like anything, really. If you want to like it, you don't want to see behind the curtains. It's exactly the same thing. I used to enjoy Jack in the Box.. Then I worked there as a first job. 🤢
So, really that's it! We've always said that people need to have the wedding THEY want. If you don't want a big wedding, don't have one! It is a special day between you and the love of your life, and it should be YOURS. We absolutely LOVE weddings and receptions, and we have an incredible job to be able to experience the magic through other peoples' weddings. But for our would-be wedding, it would be just kinda dull for us personally. Does that make sense?
Because we know how it works, our joy in the wedding process is watching our friends have the wedding of their dreams and helping them attain that. That is what we enjoy!
Now... I have absolutely no idea what will happen in the next year or so. We may decide to do the big thing. I would put my money on not, but life throws you some curveballs, and by "life", I mean fiancés.
I won't be offering dance lighting in our 2019 packages. Why? Well, I hate it. It's not about the setup, though it is an extra step. It's about the product that I can provide, and I truly believe that dance lighting is obnoxious, unnecessary. So, why:
Picture scrolling through your wedding photos, and you get to the last few photos. Generally, the last few photos you get from a photographer are "grace pictures"; only thrown in because they had them. They are never expected to be beautiful, but what if they could be? The problem I have seen with most of them is the lighting effects. Picture a photo of people having a blast in a party, but they are all blue, red, green, or colored, and they are covered in colored shapes. For a party, it's okay, but for a wedding, I don't believe in it. A wedding is pure and clean in nature and everything should cooperate with that. For a white wedding, moving shapes and bad colors should be eliminated. In my experience, I have even found that people would try to be outside of the lights when on the dance floor. So, I don't suggest dance lighting, but what would I do instead? Well:
We will be including wireless uplighting with all of our DJ packages for 2019, and will be pushing current clients towards that package. Uplighting is absolutely gorgeous, provides ambience, and ties the whole room together instead of segregating the dance floor from the tables. Uplighting provides some color to subconsciously floor your theme throughout the room, and can also save you a fair amount of money on your decor costs.
So, how do you feel about our opinion? What about our decision to move to included uplighting for 2019 packages?
Allow me to preface this post by saying that i absolutely love what I do. I love entertainment, I love my brides and grooms, I love every bit of it. Being said, I hate most DJs I have met. For some strange reason, the collective DJ's metaphoric head is massive. I suppose the hot air from their controller somehow manifested itself within their gaudy-headphone wearing head. Again, I absolutely love being a DJ, but I do not care for most DJs. Obviously, there are most certainly some amazing professionals who I LOVE to work with and would love to meet with on a more regular basis: Johnny Parker, Chris High, and Dre Thomas, to name a few.
Let me talk to the DJ for a moment. Why do you start DJing? Why did a lot of these guys (or gals) start Djing in the first place? Was it because of the love for events and spreading joy to others, or was it because you love having all eyes on you? If the latter, you're who I'm speaking of. You met your bride and groom, and after the first contact, you have no idea who they are. Your first concern was how great you are, not what their concerns or needs are. There is a huge glaring distinction here. When you, as the entertainer, are so involved in your own head that you have no clue what genre the bride and groom are into, a throwback song from their high-school years, or what area they're from, that's a problem.
I understand that it absolutely isn't my place to run your business, and I certainly won't attempt to do so, but I will say that you are doing yourself and your client a major disservice. When you can know your client intimately, you can know their likes and dislikes, you can have a connection with them layers deeper than any other vendor on their wedding night. Here's a story:
In early 2017, a good friend of mine, Kelsey became engaged to a wonderful dude, Mitch. We met with Kelsey and Mitch and immediately hit it off. As I do with every client who we have a personal interaction with, I added him on Facebook. After small interactions throughout the beginning of the year prior to their wedding date, we became better friends. A week or two before the wedding, Mitch posted the following: "This night is a perfect shade of dark blue." This meant nothing to anyone else, but it meant something to me. See, Mitch and I, unbeknownst to both of us, shared a mutual guilty pleasure of a group called Jack's Mannequin, a pop-punk group. I recognized the lyric and commented, finishing the song, title, and artist; a bond was formed. On his wedding date, we ran into another issue. The venue owner (unnamed) has a policy that stated that they take care of Grand Entrance and all announcements before dance announcements. I brought it to Mitch to let him know before we lined up. I was followed shortly into the room by the owner. Mitch caught wind of the announcements and told the owner that he hired me, and they would like for me to take care of announcements in the manner in which they planned. He had my back, I had his. Grand entry, dinner announcements, toasts all went great! In the middle of dinner, I pulled out a song: "Dark Blue" - Jack's Mannequin, the song we both enamored over on social media 2 weeks before. I watched Mitch as the recognizable into piano riff came on. I watched him drop his fork, quickly look to me, scream "Yes!" and throw his fist in the air as i pointed at him. It was a textbook example of DJ-Client relation. **love you, Mitch and Kelsey!**
Now, I understand that you can't have a close relationship with all of your clients, but you also shouldn't deny the opportunity on basis of "professionalism". When you don't feel the need, or feel that basic interaction with your clients before the event is not "worth your time", you've got it all backwards.
Bottom line: Couples, add your DJ! If he won't be friends with you, there's a red flag. DJs, add your couples! It pays to have great relationships with your clients!
Okay, I might be a little late on this post, and I havent posted for awhile. Business has been crazy busy, getting systems together, blahdablahdablah. For a short post, I wanted to share something that I have really been thinking recently:
Here's something you'll never hear a DJ say. "One of my favorite portions of a gig is dinner." To me, dinner is just a blast to watch and play. Everyone is conversing, the head table is having a blast, everyone is happy. Where I have a lot of fun during dinner is in the music selection. It is where I add some new stuff, pull some old songs out of the archive, and get some of the undanceable requests out of the way. Play some foot tappers, some margaritaville, some classic oldies that people forgot about. It's a way to get people into the mood, and I love every minute of it. At the end of every summer, we are blessed with a few great songs with a similar groove; not really dance, not really slow. These are foot-tappers. This year, we have been given a whole lot of them, primarily in country and alternative genres. Here are just a few that I have been getting into lately:
"Drinkin' Problem" - Midland
"Feel it Still" - Portugal, The Man
"High" - Sir Sly
"Craving You" - Thomas Rhett
"Heartache on the Dance Floor" - Jon Pardi
These are just a sample of the songs I recently added to the dinner playlist. What songs would you add to the list?
Your wedding is one of the biggest days of you life. Your DJ should treat it as such and should be prepared for whatever comes their way. They should be dressed properly, have the proper equipment, be prepared with their library, and they should be attentive to the circumstances of the day. To help you, we put together 10 questions from our experience for you to ask your DJ before you hire them:
1. What role do you take on the day of my wedding?
This is an important one, and one that gets skipped over. In my opinion, the DJ should act as your representative if one isn't available. Often, a DJ's response will be: "I will play music and keep the crowd dancing." While that would seem like that is the DJ's job, their job should be much more than that. A seasoned DJ will coordinate with the venue, photographer, videographer, officiant, etc. and will keep everyone in tune with each other. The DJ should contact the venue and make sure dinner is almost ready before he starts toasts, make sure the photographer and videographer are ready for cake cutting before he announces it, and make sure the officiant is ready to go. Traditionally, this may not have been the job of the entertainment, but the times have changed and the DJ should help you keep everything together.
2. Do you carry backup equipment?
The ol' spare tire. Your DJ should always have a backup plan. Whether laptop, harddrive, speaker, microphone, cable, etc., your DJ should have a Plan B and C in case something(s) goes wrong. This is your big day, and it shouldn't be ruined by not getting music for 2 hours because his harddrive failed and he doesn't have a backup. While this is a drasticly unlikely example, the quality of the performance should not be diminished either because of a failure.
(See: Mayday, Mayday)
3. What will you be wearing to my wedding?
Mini-story: Some personal friends of mine had hired a local DJ company for their wedding years back. When we met, they learned I was a DJ and told me of the disasterous performance, but one thing that stuck out to me was the dress: ripped skinny jeans, a trashy t-shirt, and some frayed canvas Toms. Even after the vulgar performance at a contemp. baptist wedding, they still remembered to tell me about the way he was dressed. Make sure your DJ will be dressed for the occasion. I say "for the occasion" because I do understand that different style weddings require different styles of dress. Your DJ should like like he's supposed to be there are comfortable there. I'm not saying that he should wear a three-piece suit to a barn wedding in rural Missouri (like this beautiful barn venue south of St. Louis), but he should be dressed with respect to the occasion.
4. How current is your library?
Music is interesting and current. Every week, a new song comes out that everyone loves and dances to in the car. Your DJ's playlist should reflective current trend. Sometimes, the song isn't even new! The resurgence of songs like 'Gold Digger' by Kanye West 'My Boo' by Ghost Town DJs (Running Man Challenge) are a few examples of songs that may have been overlooked when they first came ou or shortly thereafter, but absolutely must be given some attention now. If a DJ is charging a reasonable price, he should have a music pool that comes with it, or should have a monthly budget on library updates.
5. What is your emcee technique and style?
This is one that has as much to do with skill as personal taste. Not every DJ will fit everyone's taste. Some DJs would rather not speak anymore than he has to, and to energize the crowd with the music. Other DJs are very interactive, leading in dances, openly making vocal jokes with the crowd, and talking throughout the night. Some like a good mix of the two. You have to consider which one is right for you and make a decision based on your choice. Like I said, this is more personal taste than skill.
6. What time will you be at the venue to setup and prepare?
Definitely a great question and one that brides and grooms don't generally consider. The DJ has to arrive, setup, rehearse, and sound check—all before anything actually happens. DJ Veterans understand the concept because they've scoffed at arriving 2 hours early, but then once time, they needed it. There is nothing quite like being 15 minutes from start and something goes wrong that requires you to alter your setup. Showing up early just in case something goes wrong doesn't make your DJ amateur, it makes him prepared. In addition, your DJ should take the time to set microphone levels, position the speakers correctly, clean his setup, rehearse his scripts, and memorize the names of everyone. If your DJ refuses to show up an hour or two early, he isn't serious. This is a great time to take a breath, work on a congratulatory scheduled Facebook post, and rehearse; it isn't a burden.
7. How many weddings have you done?
While a DJ's worth is not exactly measured by the amount of weddings they have under their belt, weddings are a beast of their own nature and require a certain amount of experience to pull them off correctly. This is a reasonable and fair question to ask your DJ. Chances are, they'll be more than willing to brag about their experience to you. While you're at it, for question 7.5, you may consider asking them for their most memorable wedding story. If anything this is an icebreaker, because I'm positive they have some hilarious or nightmarish story to tell you if they've been in it for a while!
8. Can I and my guests request songs? If so, when?
An elementary concept, but a concept nevertheless. You would be surprised how many DJs only have a few hundred songs at each gig, and past that, you're out of luck. As a DJ myself, I've had it; any of us have! The maid of honor walks to the booth, asks for a recognizable, but rather obscure song from your high school days: "This was her favorite song in freshman year!" she exclaims! The DJ plays it and your guests go wild! What a blast! However, if your DJ didn't have the short order song request and doesn't have a way to retrieve it, that burst of energy never would've happened! Most DJs today have a way to get songs on-the-fly if needed, if they don't have it. Make sure your DJ has a way to get your favorite songs and throwbacks!
9. What is provided in your price?
Like buying a new car, the price is never the price. The sticker says 20k, think 25k. The same goes for a lot of DJ companies. Oh, you wanted a strobe light? That'll cost you. Make sure that your DJ company is upfront and fair on its price before you sign anything. DJ companies that offer packages are fine, but make sure that what you want is included in the package before you choose it. Take a minute, consider your DJ wishlist, and verify. And finally:
10. How do you get the crowd moving?
There isn't an exact science to this. Every DJ has their own technique and formula, but a DJ needs experience and needs to be able to read a crowd before he even plays music. By looking at the bride and groom, their friends, and their relationship to the crowd, a DJ can tell how to get the, moving. Whether starting with a high energy throwback, that new party song everyone loves, or a group dance, everyone has their own technique to start people on the dance floor. The tricky part, however, is keeping them up there. How does your DJ space icons and slow songs? How does he pace the older music for grandma and grandpa before they go home while keeping everyone interested? These are great questions to ask your DJ so that you can recognize how his technique is and can give him suggestions about your crowd before the party starts.
Your DJ is an integral part of your day. Before you sign a contract with them, make sure you have read reviews, asked your questions, and included these in your interview.
Regardless of whether House DJ is your DJ or not, does your DJ have a backup plan? If you don't know, ask! As we all know, technology is great—until it isn't. Laptops can crash, hard drives can fail, iPads can lag, speakers can blow, controllers can burn out, etc.
Your wedding is the biggest organized day of your life, and your entertainer should treat it as such. However, most just trust their equipment to work all the time, and when it doesn't? You get lackluster performance and possibly even a massive black hole in your wedding, miserably silent until backup arrives. Considering technology isn't perfect, most seasoned professionals have had it happen: a silent moment in time that feels like eternity (really only a few seconds). The difference between a seasoned professional and a fly-by-night DJ is how this is handled. The amateur panics, stares blankly into space at their controller, and says to themselves "I should've brought a backup." Then, at best, he used a Spotify, Amazon Prime, or iTunes streaming service with no real mixing. The seasoned professional, however, immediately switches to his iPad on a different channel (because they were forward-thinking enough to have backup ready) to keep the party going for the next song, isolates the problem within a few seconds, replaces the laptop and harddrive with replacements, and fades back over to continue the party for the rest of the night. What happens after the event is equally important. What is the definition of insanity? Well, according to Webster, I believe it is using the same failed equipment with the same circumstances and expecting a different outcome. Right? Anyway, he finds the problem, fixes it, and eliminates the possibility for it to happen in the future.
Equipment failures happen. It happens to outdated speakers, old mixers, software, laptops, technology. Different pros have different strategies to fool-proof. Whether it is buying new equipment constantly, bringing an entire backup, partial backup, or simplifying a system and removing outdated technology, they should have one.
What's my strategy? (Please mind the geek speak.) A mix of all of them. I customize my entire setup myself, so I know exactly what happens when it happens. I eliminate a master amp and use independent powered speakers. This way, even if one fails for some reason, I still have sound. I bring an 2 identical computer-harddrive setups. As a last resort, I bring an iPad with several playlists available JUST IN CASE (I have had to use this one time). I bring another whole set of cables, because wires. So, I have a backup for any scenario to have going within a minute or so.
With that all being said, does your entertainer have a backup? If you aren't sure, ask!
Brides, mothers, bridesmaids, maids and matrons of honor, stop—all of you. Yes, you. Stop. Stop the stress, stop the hurry, stop the rush, stop the panic.
As an industry professional—and one that works closely in several facets of the wedding industry—, I see it all the time. I see the bride, groom, and their families working tirelessly months (or even years) before the wedding to make sure everything is meticulously planned and that every form has every color and every song filled out. I see the bride stressing over the smallest details of the event that won't take place for another several months. As a wedding entertainer with planning forms of my own, I do appreciate the concern; don't get me wrong. However, as your friend, I need you to know this truth:
The stress you are causing yourself is unnecessary and extraneous. Your wedding should be among the happiest days of your life. We can't stand to watch you do this to yourself.
So, let go of it. Let go of the minor details that make you stress, sweat, scream, and cry. I understand that there is a level of stress that comes with planning any event, but stop stressing over the shades of blue, the songs, the guests. Sure, search Pinterest, fill your boards, follow Buzzfeed Weddings, go to your boutique or Hobby Lobby and design your centerpieces, do all of that! Do things that are fun because this should be fun! However, until a year out, everything but the date should be a thought and a baseline. I'm not at all saying you shouldn't book a venue, DJ, photographer, etc., but I am saying that you can do all that and then relax for a minute. Here's why:
For the same reasons you wouldn't hire a lawyer so you can handle the case yourself, hire a realtor so you can find your own house, or hire a mechanic so you can change your own oil, you hired a DJ, photographer, venue, or caterer so they can handle the details. The people who chose these as a profession did it because they have a passion for it. I chose to be a DJ because making people happy and assisting them in having a great night is a passion of mine. Very few people do these jobs because the money is good. The majority of us have a blast at it and do it every day. We live and breathe this stuff, so it'll be much easier for us to handle an aspect of your wedding than for someone who has never done it before. Of course, if you enjoy aspects of it, then let your pros know! We would absolutely love to incorporate you into aspects of the parts you enjoy.
Here is the bottom line:
Myself and my friends in various other sects of the wedding industry see it all the time—and it hurts us to watch you do this to yourself. Brides will stress out the months and weeks before the wedding over small details, stress out the day of the wedding, and then when 11PM comes and it is time for her to leave, she realizes that none of the stress mattered. She realizes how much fun she had, she remembers the tears of joy, the vows, the love of her life standing in front of her. Let us handle the pre-wedding stress. Let us handle the details, this should be the most blissful time of you life, so let it be.