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Wedding Wednesday: Plotting and Planning and Prepping.

June 9, 2010

When we last left our hero and heroine, they had just booked their ceremony and reception venue for July 9, 2011 (that’s in exactly 13 months… if you’re counting).

Everyone says that biggest thing you have to decide is WHERE and WHEN you are getting married. This is true. There isn’t a heck of a whole lot you can do before you have those two items in place. Trying to find both of those within our budget here in New York City proved nearly impossible, or at least not without severe concessions that we were reluctant to make, so we boldly made the choice to get married three thousand miles away. No one ever said I liked to make my life easy.

Now that we’re getting married in Oregon and we have a venue, it is now time to find our vendors. There are a few key vendors that we have to get locked down. Namely, we have to find a florist, baker, photographer, videographer, and DJ. Since cake and floral designs are done a bit closer to the actual event and typically don’t book up as quickly as other vendors, our immediate concerns are finding our photographer, videographer and DJ.

Photography is our top priority. At least for me it is. I am a lover of good photography, am an amateur photographer, and after working for Nikon’s PR agency for two years, I like to think I know a thing or two about cameras as well. I have never had the best memory, so photographs have really helped to fill in the blanks for me and also help jog my memory when details start to blur. Finding a good photographer is hard for two reasons: First, I think most photographers are really good and everyone has their own unique style that I keep thinking “Oh, I like that… I like that too… Yeah, that one’s nice too” so it’s difficult to be productive. Second, photography is expensive! Finding the right mix of budget and style is not the easiest.

Videography was not something I was planning on spending a dime on. I don’t know anyone who has watched their videos and I don’t know if we will ever watch ours either. We did watch some wedding videos at my cousin’s wedding because my family and I weren’t able to make it to her wedding in California. A few weeks ago, I was talking to a friend of mine about how I wasn’t planning on having a videographer, and she said that was one thing they wished they spent money on. She said that the day is such a blur that you don’t really remember things clearly and she said that she wished she had some of the toasts on camera so that she could watch them again and have it really sink in. Like I said, I have a pretty lousy memory and knowing me, I won’t remember a damn thing that was said. So a videographer was added back into the equation.

DJs are also a main attraction at a wedding. Not only do they serve as the entertainment, but they also help to keep the wedding flowing in the right direction. DJs make me nervous though, and I suppose that comes from watching The Wedding Singer far too many times. Not that I wouldn’t mind having Adam Sandler sing at my wedding. I have just heard so many horror stories that I’m already nervous and we haven’t even met with anyone yet.

But I already have at least one person helping me out through all of this. We hired a wedding planner! Actually, we hired a Month Of Coordinator, which is kind of like a Day Of Coordinator except they really help ramp up the wedding logistics at the end. Our wedding planner is Mandi from Champagne NW and she’s on Twitter! So clearly, I already love her. And she has a quote from Ever After in her email signature, which is only one of my favorite movies of all time! A girl after my own heart. Mandi is helping me sort through various vendors we can meet with, but since she’s only my Month Of Coordinator, she won’t be going on any of the meetings with me and Erik. But it’s nice to have someone experienced look over who we think is good and vet our choices. Wouldn’t want anyone crazy showing up!

Our trip to Oregon for our vendor meetings is directly after Roche, so I won’t be attending Friends for Life. I get a four day weekend over Fourth of July so it made more sense to use those days off to meet with vendors. But I am still so excited to see everyone in Florida!

  1. June 9, 2010 10:40 AM

    Video is important for reasons you might not think of at first: the crazy things the little ones might do/say that you’ll laugh about for years (my cousin’s little boy flopping on the dance floor like a fish); the lasting images of older relatives you’ll be glad to have when they pass on; and the ceremony immortalized forever for you two. It will be a blur that day, you’ll be glad you have it on video!

    Best wishes with the planning!

  2. Corri permalink
    June 9, 2010 12:58 PM

    It sounds like you are doing marvelously! It is SO hard to balance the budget vs. expensive dream wedding thing. There are times when I wish that I would’ve done a little more, especially with photography and a more professional video. OTOH, I’m still paying for some of what we did do (wrapped up in our huge student loans), which isn’t a good feeling.

    Good luck!

  3. June 9, 2010 1:42 PM

    So, my sister got married in the Portland area, at the home of her parents in law, actually. Luckily, her father in law is also a photographer and he did such a wonderful job on the photos. He captured the tender moments, the happy moments, the funny moments, etc. He has taken so many fantastic photos that I’ve seen and he’s a super nice guy. You should check them out. He is based out of Hubbard, so anything in the Willamette Valley is probably fine.

  4. June 9, 2010 3:06 PM

    agree on photographer vs/ videographer. i have a short movie that a friend made at the wedding that I love, but really the photos are the most important. there are a lot of good people out there, and a lot depends on your own style, but we used and were thrilled. He works all over. if you’re looking for recommendations…

  5. Kayce permalink
    June 9, 2010 3:29 PM

    So I sent you a message on facebook but I got an error so I’m not sure you’ll get it. I know a photographer, Evrim Icoz, who is really spectacular. He has taken some amazing dance photos (which is VERY hard to do because movement happens so quickly) at Portland lindy and blues events. My profile picture is one of them – ha! He may not be your style and he may be spendy – I know he travels to very exotic weddings.

    Anyway, Evrim is a friend of mine on facebook or you can find him at:

    I totally recommend him!

  6. June 9, 2010 3:33 PM

    How cool that you worked for Nikon!!!

    Definitely take lots of photos and videos – so you can share with all of us afterwards!! I have heard from numerous people that the photographer is SO IMPORTANT but yet it’s something I still see a lot of people scrimp on! When I get married I will definitely be looking for a great photographer to capture the day!

  7. June 9, 2010 5:37 PM

    Every time I go to a wedding, I’m convinced I want to get married again, just for the fun of the event. Then I read a post like this, and I’m glad to be on this side of the ceremony.

    Good call on the coordinator; that was the best thing we spent our money on.

  8. June 9, 2010 9:39 PM

    First of all….EVER AFTER is one of my favorite all time movies- I didn’t know that other people had even seen that movie! I may have to watch it this week- I own it!

    Second- I agree with getting a videographer. It’s the one things I completely wish we had done but didn’t. The day went so fast and I barely remember many of the things I wished I had. We have an amateur video but my father has yet to put it on a DVD for me.

    Yes yes yes…the DJ is important! Interview them or ask them if you can observe them at an event they are entertaining at.

    Best of luck on the planning….it’s all worth it in the end 🙂

  9. casey permalink
    June 10, 2010 1:50 PM

    we watch our wedding video. Well, I should say I watch it a lot. 🙂 I love it. We didn’t pay anyone, just had a friend walk around with a camera recording. He got the whole ceremony and talked to people and got the dances and some hilarious moments of friends/family chatting. We did a day of coordinator, and I was glad we did! 🙂 Enjoy your planning!

  10. Gayle permalink
    June 10, 2010 10:04 PM

    Yay videographer!!! Awesome!!

  11. tmana permalink
    June 17, 2010 12:56 AM

    FWIW, DJ’s are the modern/budget response to live bands. Note that wedding bands are nothing like the bands most people go to see in concert. Wedding bands are anywhere from passable to good at playing a number of standards that are expected to be played at {weddings, bar/bat-mitzvahs, silver/gold wedding anniversaries, etc.} — pieces like “Sunrise, Sunset” for the father/bride & mother/groom dance, schmaltzy waltzes for the celebratory couple’s first dance together, and lots of one-steps and waltzes for the elderly aunts and uncles to dance to. At ethnic affairs, there may be other standards the band would be expected to play. They also play mood music during the formal wedding meal.

    Keep in mind the sort of music you and Erik want to dance to, as well as the sort of music your guests will expect to hear and/or dance to, and make sure the DJ has those genres of music in his collection.

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