I get quite invested in my couples big day, some say I shouldn't, but it breaks my heart when someone's wedding is marred by a supplier not doing the job they were hired for. I have been to so many weddings and along the way I have learnt a lot about planning this special occasion. It is all about assembling a team of professionals around you that will show up and work for you.
Here are a few tips to help you to gather the suppliers that will help you to have the celebration you want:
Where did you find them?
A great way to find the best suppliers is to ask people you know and trust. If someone has had a celebration recently and loved their supplier find out who it was. Knowing the service and quality you receive before contacting a supplier gives you a starting point. For example, l am part of an awesome group of local wedding businesses and because l know them all personally, when l refer them to my couples l know exactly the high level of service they will receive.
Have you met them?
Researching and googling a business is one thing, but meeting them in person is so important. Businesses can and do write whatever they like on their website. Meeting a supplier in person can put a face to a voice/email but also helps you decide if they are the right person to be helping you with your day.
Did they impress you?
If the supplier turned up late, are forgetful or they wont take the time to meet you, then chances are you don't want them working for you.
Do they do what you need done?
Everyone wants something different for their wedding so finding the supplier that can provide your preference is important. If you want glamorous wedding photos, you will need a different photographer than if you just want 100 photos on a usb. If you want a personalised ceremony, you will need a different celebrant than one that is happy to just insert your name into their script.
I’ve booked them, what now?
After you have booked your supplier, don't feel bad if you want to ask lots of questions and being clear that your needs will be met. Get everything in writing so that there is no confusion on what is included and agreed on. Find out the timings of the task they are completing. For example, if your guests will be arriving at 6pm, confirm that the DJ needs to be set up by this time and find out how long their set up takes.
Touching base with your supplier regularly is a great way to ensure everything is on track. This could be as simple as following their Facebook page. Nothing would be more stressful than in the weeks, days or hours before your wedding discovering they are no longer in business or can’t be contacted.
All this romance over the weekend led me to sit down and check out my wedding photos.
Do you know what l love about my wedding photos? They are of my husband, my friends, my family and me. There are no photos of the florist, though she did a great job. There are no photos of the venue manager; because he was a grumpy old bloke and there are none framed on my wall of my minister despite being a good friend; it was not his wedding.
Looking at the photos reminds me of the day and the special people who are still an important part of our lives.
I always tell couples who are getting married that l want to be as memorable as the table decorations at their wedding reception. As in, l should not be the ‘thing’ they or others remember about the ceremony. Instead they should remember that they laughed and cried, that the you laughed and cried and that it was a perfect reflection of you.
Because, you know what? I have had ‘my day’. I have my own wedding photos;
l don’t need to be the centre of yours!
People are surprised when l say l am a Civil Celebrant. Celebrants aren’t usually a Thirty Something women with small children. Which is great! I’m glad l don’t fit in ‘the box’ and that l am a different option for people to consider for their wedding day or special celebration.
Around the time l was getting married we seemed to go to heaps of weddings – l think it was a ‘buy a white car suddenly see white cars everywhere’ scenario. The one thing that always stood out was the Officiate. Over time, the details of the good Celebrants blended in with my general feelings about the ceremony. Whereas the not so good Celebrants seemed to be the only thing l could remember about the whole day. One mumbled, one had his back to us the whole time, one spoke REALLY LOUD, one talked to the guests (and the couple) like we were pre-schoolers – the list goes on.
Friends and family suggested that l should become a Celebrant (or quit whinging!).... and so l did. Even at the time l didn’t realise what an ideal use of my skills it would be. I love meeting new people, l get a buzz from public speaking and running my own business fits in perfectly with three kids to chase around at home.
After five years even l am surprised at how different every single ceremony is.
I am not an ‘insert name here’ sort of Celebrant. I enjoy sitting down with my couples and families to hear their story and ensure the ceremony matches their personality and reflects them. After all, it’s their day. For many people, it is the only time in their life that they stand in front of a crowd and declare their love. It needs to be their words, their feelings and their way. If that means seriousness, romance, humour or all three then so be it.
This attitude towards the ceremony always intrigues couples l meet, particularly in country areas. In the city there are thousands of Celebrants – which is wonderful because you can choose a Celebrant who suits you. In country areas the choice is not as wide which is why l am happy to travel and give people another option.
My aim is for every ceremony is to be as memorable as the table decorations at the reception. That is, unless l am mind blowingly awesome, l should not be ‘the thing’ people remember at a wedding. I want them to remember how they felt and whether they laughed and cried. I want the looks, the smiles, the tears and the words of the bride and groom to be what every guest recalls for years to come.
That is why l am Amber the Celebrant.
Please contact me if l can be an option for your special day.