Not Engaged Yet


FI and I are going to look at our first venue tomorrow.  I'm still kind of in shock that we are engaged and have to actually plan a wedding. 

So questions:  How many venues did you look at before you made your decision?  What about other vendors, like how many photographers did you meet with?  Was it just one and done, or did you meet with several before deciding?

Also, does swhite come around here any more?  We live in the same city and I would like to ask her who her photographer is.  So if you are facebook friends with her, maybe you could direct her to this post?  Thanks!
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Re: Venues/vendors

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    Yes, it is a shock to find out there's actual work involved in planning a wedding, right? I swear for the first 7 hours after we got engaged, the wedding didn't cross my mind once! Then someone gave me a bridal magazine, and I was off to the races :)

    We only looked at two venues. DH was pretty set on a venue already (talk about reverse BSC), so we were probably on the low end. We met with one DJ (actually, it was just me, DH trusted my judgement). We ended up meeting with two photographers, because I got cold feet with the first ones. I felt like I got a good feel for most of the vendors jus tthrough email communications. So then we'd narrow it down to 2 or 3, meet with one, and if we liked them, picked them. I think meeting with more than three of any vendor will end up driving you nuts.

    I'll message swhite and let her know you're liked to touch base with her!
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    Hi Heather!
    congrats to you and your FI!

    We visited 5 venues. Narrowed our want list to the first and last places we visited, and went with the last place. We learned so much about what they all had to offer, weighed the pros and cons to eliminate the no ways. I used the same list of questions each time we visited and compared notes.

    We went with the recommended vendors from our venue most of the time. I tried to focus on three or less. For example, we met with 2 DJs but I reached out to 3 via email. We reached out to like 4 officiants and met with one.

    I imagine there are a LOT of ways to approach these, that was just how we did it.

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    CASK85CASK85 member
    5 Love Its First Anniversary Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    edited July 2012
    We visted 3 venues. The one we picked we knew was the one the minute we saw it. 
    We interviewed 3 photographers (I emailed a lot more than that). Also the one we picked I knew she was perfect from the get go (DH was a little more reserved on loving stuff instantly). 
    We tasted cake at 2 bakeries. The place with the tastier cake was also cheaper, so that was an easy decision. 

    The rest of the traditional vendor stuff (DJ, flowers, DOC, stationary? etc) we did ourselves. We're cheap like that :) Our officiant was a friend who just got ordained online for us - she's doing another ceremony this summer though!
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    Did I miss that you got engaged? Congrats!!

    We visited... 5 venues? 8? Too many. We had it narrowed down to three in the end and after some barganing and reviewing contracts with friends who are in the business, we chose our reception venue. It took about 6 weeks. 

    When it came to photographers, that was the thing I cared about the most. I set up interviews with 5 and went to almost all of them by myself. When we met our photog though, FI and I both walked away knowing she was the one. I think she was #3 that we interviewed? 

    I don't know if we have any other vendors yet... Our chapel was a given, so that wasn't something to worry about. I haven't looked at flowers yet, nor stationary. I only got STDs because Target gives you a $20 gift card to shutterfly when you register and it was about to expire. I bought my dress from David's Bridal after going to four different salons. Our officiant is our pastor. I have a small list of 3 cake bakeries I want to try out. FI's in charge of the DJ, so I'm staying out of that one. 

    My advice would be narrow your list of vendors per item to 3, no more than 4, by price. Then meet with your favorites first. One thing I learned, don't feel bad about cancelling appointments if you've found the person you want to go with. And trust your gut instinct. I'm so glad I did. 

    "You're our early 20's BSC scarecrow. They cower at your maturity." - lennonkdc Anniversary
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    Tiger: thanks for messaging swhite for me!

    cschiano:  I'm hoping to DIY a bunch of stuff too, so I might have more questions for you later!  Did you have a planning bio?
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    Even though I've been engaged for 4 months now I've only gotten a little bit done. I booked the 2nd venue we looked at in person, but did a lot of online research. The place I thought I'd love wasn't my cup of tea (it was actually a really crummy set-up for a wedding) and the place I thought I would hate, I actually fell in love with and canceled my other venue tours I'd had lined up.

    I'm currently researching DJs, uplighting, flowers, caterers and photogs (we've decided to hire a professional photog for at least the wedding). I've called up several and got some quotes and that really helped me narrow down the ones I liked and the ones I don't like. Like Audre suggested, I'm making a list of about 3 vendors each and will meet with them. I'm going with our favorite pick in each category first, so hopefully we'll like what we see and will book them. Next week I'll be meeting with our #1 Florist and Caterer picks. Hopefully all goes well!
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    Hey heather! I forgot we are in the same area!  Our photographer is The Camera Chick. (click)
    The main photographer is Sandy and her partner is Tim. She's actually got a lot more photos on her facebook, but it's her personal facebook page that she posts a lot of them on. They are super nice. If you have any questions, PM me. Or if you want, PM me if you want to find me on FB, because I don't check here often anymore!
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    We visited a gazillion venues.

    ...Ok, it was more like 10.  But it felt like a gazillion.  We actually fell head over heels in love with the first place we visited, but my mom caused a little storm of drama about it and we had to give it up.  I think that was why it was so hard to find one after that.  We kept comparing every place to the first one.  When we finally found our venue, though, we knew that was it.  We booked it that day.

    For my DJ, I talked to two different companies (over the phone - I was a distance planner) and felt pretty comfortable with both of them, so I booked the cheaper of the two.  I was mostly happy with them on the day.

    Finding a photographer was hard.  The only ones with pictures I liked were way expensive.  I didn't find one with the right combination of appeal and value until it was like 4 months from my wedding date, so I knew I had to book right away.  I never met her in person or talked to her on the phone.  We just exchanged a bunch of emails and then I sent her a check.  I ended up being really happy with her.

    I also booked our cake without doing a tasting.  I made the decision based on positive reviews and a couple conversations with the baker.  That worked out well, too.
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    We looked at 3 venues.  We knew we were going to book the third (and expand our budget) after we visited the first two.

    We interviewed two DJs in person and one photographer.  We emailed more than that, and FI phone interviewed a few more on the phone (I was in class, so it was all on him).  
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    CASK85CASK85 member
    5 Love Its First Anniversary Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    In Response to <a href="">Re: Venues/vendors</a>:
    [QUOTE]Tiger: thanks for messaging swhite for me! cschiano:  I'm hoping to DIY a b unch of stuff too, so I might have more questions for you later!  Did you have a planning bio?
    Posted by lovelyheather[/QUOTE]
    I sort of had a planning bio, but I didn't keep it up to date. I'd be happy to answer any questions you have though. I can PM you my email address if you'd rather communicate that way. 
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