beautiful summer wedding with lighting and beautiful dance floor

Your Fool-Proof Formula for Planning the Best Wedding Reception

If only planning a rocking wedding reception was as easy as basic math! Fortunately, it can be—if you use these tips for planning a wedding dance your guests’ll be talking about long after the honeymoon is over.

Spend your budget on things your guests care about.

Setting a wedding budget should be one of your first steps of planning a wedding reception—and an incredibly important one. Your wedding budget is your chance to allocate your dollars for items that play the biggest role in making the wedding reception incredible for you and your guests. These big-ticket items include: venue, food, and entertainment.

Research your vendors.

Once you’ve allocated your funds, it’s time to hire the professionals that can turn your vision into reality. While it may be tempting to just hire the first caterer or wedding DJ you find online, it’s incredibly prudent to research potential vendors before you hire them.

There are a few ways to research vendors: in-person (at a friend or family member’s wedding), online, or from recommendations. Obviously, the first method is the most reliable; if they did awesome at another event, you know they are high-quality. However, don’t forget to ask the couple that hired them about their experience with the vendor. You don’t want to hire someone that doesn’t return your calls or is difficult to deal with.

If you research venues online, always check third-party websites for reviews from other couples. There are a quite reputable sites for wedding vendors, such as Wedding Wire, the Knot, and Yelp.

The last way to get names of wedding vendors is to ask friends or family. If you ask friends or family for recommendations, be careful about “my brother…” or “my friend’s cousin has a DJ service.” While it might be appealing to hire a low-cost wedding DJ, the hire also comes with a risk. Unfortunately, many one-man DJ services offer a one-size-fits-all playlist with no chance for customization. They typically don’t have back-up DJ in case of an emergency or back-up equipment after a breakdown.

Interview, interview, interview.

Before signing on the dotted line, you should always interview each and every wedding vendor. Ask every wedding vendor about their availability, liability insurance (incredibly important), cancellation policy, costs (including the number of hours and services), additional fees (i.e. overtime fees, travel fees), plus a few other important questions. (Here are some specific questions for a wedding caterer and wedding DJ.) If you’re serious about hiring them, always ask about any deadlines so you can stay on schedule with your wedding planning.

Trust the pros.

You’ve hired your wedding vendors because you trust them. Now it’s time to enjoy the wedding planning process, take a few de-stressing breaks, and look forward to your special day!

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