A guide to getting what you want at your wedding

I know you are busy with the holidays. But did you know that as soon as Christmas and New Year’s are done, wedding vendors are going to get flooded with calls? According to surveys, 66% of all wedding couples get engaged during the time between December 23 and New Year’s Day. With an estimated 2.3 million couples getting married every year, that boils down to 1,518,000 couples getting engaged very soon. Here in Northern Nevada, according to the County Clerks that issue wedding licenses, in 2018 there were 6,750 wedding licenses sold in Washoe County and Douglas County issued 4,079 in 2017 (figures not available for 2018). In El Dorado County, which is where most Lake Tahoe weddings happen, they issued 3,076 wedding licenses. That’s almost 14,000 weddings just in this area alone. This area meaning South Lake Tahoe both the California and Nevada sides, Reno, Carson City and the Carson Valley.  That means you and 13,999 other couples will be searching for vendors in this area in early 2019. Simply put, after the first of the year, our phone will be ringing off the hook and our email box flooded with brides wanting information. The earlier you call and secure your reservations, the more choices you will have. Call us now to check out our services and packages! 530-906-9336 We service the entire Lake Tahoe, Carson Valley and Reno areas.

Another aspect to consider is that you have many more choices now that you did before.  Back in the heydey of weddings in this area, those wedding numbers were triple what they are now.  And there were fewer vendors to service all those weddings.  Now, you have at least three times as many  photographers, wedding officiants, hair dressers and makeup artists, florists and bakers to choose from. Those kinds of numbers mean you have lots of choices, but they also mean things might get a bit confusing for you.

Let me try and simplify things a bit.  When you contact these folks you are likely to get prices all over the map. For example, I've seen wedding officiant prices range from $50 to $500.  There are many things to consider besides price, and I've always said that while honoring budgets is a good thing, sometimes those budgets were not realistically set.  I think price should be the third thing to consider when hiring a wedding professional.

What is first?  It's this thing called "a good fit."  That is a sort of nebulous, hard to define thing that really isn't based in any facts or numbers.  You need to feel comfortable at your wedding.  If you have chosen a vendor that you do not feel comfortable with, that has the potential to dampen all those warm fuzzy feelings on your big day.  Worst case scenario is a vendor who ruins your day because you are getting along with them.  How can you tell if the person you are considering is a good fit?  Talk with them on the phone.  Email doesn't work for this.  You need to hear their voice.  When you speak, are they more concerned about your wedding and what you want, or do they seem to want to only tell you what they will and will not do?  When you speak, do you feel comfortable with them?  Do you feel as if you can ask questions of them that you had not originally considered? Do you feel as if all your questions have been directly answered?  Remember that how a person does one thing is how they do everything.  So if they are responsive in a positive way over the phone, they are likely to also be so at your wedding.

Second is do they have the capacity to do what you want done?  This takes a combination pack of skill, training and experience.  Yes, it is possible to do a wedding with little experience if we have the proper training and the skills that result from that training.  We all had to begin somewhere.  But consider that experience comes in handy when something unexpected happens at a wedding.  I've seen groomsmen faint, mothers get drunk, brides' garter fall down their legs during the aisle walk, cakes melt and topple over, grandparent faint.  All manner of things can  happen at a wedding and an experienced professional will be able to handle those unexpected things with dignity, and prevent them from ruining the wedding.  In addition, your wedding professional is, or should be, a pro.  This means able to do the job you paid them to do no matter what happens.  You will be able to get a good idea of what they are capable of by checking out their web site, stalking (yes, I said stalking!) them on Facebook, and talking to them on the phone.

The third item of priority in choosing a wedding professional is price, and this is where the huge difference in pricing comes in.  The more experience and training a pro has, the  higher the price.  You truly get what you pay for in this business.  If you are consistently getting quotes that are more than you budgeted for, consider revising your budget.

Do your research and you will be guaranteed a great wedding with great service from your vendors.  A good rule of thumb is to find three of each vendor:  three officiants, three photographers, etc.  CALL each of them.  Talk with them.  Take notes.  Talk everything over with your partners in planning:  your fiance, maybe your parents, maybe your best man or maid of honor.  Check out their web sites and any other materials they provided.  Then make your decision and be prepared to back that decision up with a deposit to secure the reservation.

I hope I can be one of the officiants you will consider for your wedding. Call me today:  530-906-9336.


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