How to Save Time And Plan the Perfect Wedding

Haute Bride Mike Lloyd Photography


What if you could have a personalized team of wedding professionals, with years of experience, available to help you plan the perfect wedding?

Well… now you do.

To make life easier…

I’ve put together a team of knowledgeable, extremely talented, and pretty darn friendly professionals in the SF Bay Area to help make the decision making process as smooth and simple as possible, while not cutting corners or skimping on service.

We’ve each come up with the top 5 questions you should ask each wedding professional to make sure you’re a great fit for each other.

By knowing the right questions to ask, you can find the perfect team to make your wedding a dream come true, a lot faster. And by finding the best people in the shortest amount of time, you can relax and enjoy the experience.

This is supposed to be fun, remember!?

D'Railed Beauty Trolley

Velia or Monina
(408) 458-8358
San Jose

Hair and Makeup Styling

  1. Get at least 3 referrals from your recently married friends.
  2. Book a free consultation or phone appt with each referral. Bring pictures of what you want and what you DON’T want to look like on your wedding day.
  3. An EXPERIENCED stylist and makeup artist in the Bay Area will charge between $600 and $1000 for bridal hair and makeup including a trial run. Budget accordingly.
  4. Insta-SCAM! If you find a “makeup artist” on Instagram who charges $60 for bridal makeup, just say “NO!” We’ve heard stories that will haunt our dreams forever.
  5. Your stylist/makeup artist should possess these qualities:
    – good listener
    – experienced in wedding hair/makeup (check their portfolio)
    – patient
    – reliable
Sleepy Hedgehog Press
Cara Laine
(408) 371-7787

Couture Invitation and Stationery Boutique

  1. Ask to see samples of their work so you can see their design eye. If meeting in person, then you can also see the quality of their work and the quality of the supplies used.
  2. Ask if the designer is using a template to create the designs or if it is truly a custom tailored process.
  3. Ask questions to make sure the designer’s workload fits with your de- sired timeline.
  4. Ask if you get to see a proof before it goes to print. Make sure to also ask if there is a cost for the proofs, or how many proofs are included with the cost quoted for the invitations.
  5. Make sure and ask them about the design process so you can feel in- formed on how the process will work.
  6. Lastly, feedback is key! Giving feedback ensures that the design is a per- fect fit for both of you. When the client and the designer work together, that the best designs come forth.
Thomas Fogarty Winery

Trisha Takeda
(650) 851-6772

Wedding and Reception Venue

  1. What are the time restrictions at the venue? How early can we start and how late can we go?
  2. What are the sound ordinances in the area? Can we have a live band or DJ?
  3. Do you provide catering services? Do we have to use a caterer off of your preferred list?
  4. Is there a wedding coordinator onsite? How is a venue coordinator dif- ferent from a wedding coordinator?
  5. Are there designated areas for the wedding parties to get ready? Do you have accomodations on property for the party to stay over night?
  6. Are there shuttle services for guests? How many guests can we have?
Kimmie’s Floral Design

Union City

Floral Arrangements

  1. How many weddings have you done? How long have you been in business?
  2. Does the florist have a minimum order for pickup or delivery?
  3. Will there ever be a compromise of quality vs. quantity when designingarrangements?
  4. Can you provide seasonal flowers year round? And can flowers be imported if specific kinds are requested? What will the change in cost be?
  5. Do you provide samples of the arrangements? Is there a way to knowahead of time how all of our arrangements will look? Can we make changes?
Rhythm and Light Ceremonies
Lauren Snead
(207) 409-0844

Ceremony Officiant & Certified Coach

  1. How do you want to feel on your wedding day, specifically during your wedding ceremony? (taking this one step further, how did you feel when you met with your potential officiant? Did they evoke the types of feelings you want to have on your wedding day?)
  2. What are other couples saying about their experience working with your potential officiant? How closely does that align with the kind of experi- ence you want to have?
  3. What are the characteristics of your dream wedding ceremony? How important is it to you that your ceremony is personalized and tells your love story?
  4. Have you thought about going through any sort of reflective process before getting married? (ex: pre-marital coaching or counseling) How important is that to you?
  5. What else is important to you when you imagine your dream ceremony/ officiant?
Haute Bride
Visit our salon!
(408) 827-4775
Los Gatos

Design Studio & Bridal Boutique

  1. Plan ahead! It can take 6-8 months to order your gown from designers and to have them altered before your wedding. Let us know your wed- ding date so we can make sure you have everything in time.
  2. Keep an open mind! You’ll want to try on gowns to see what looks best with your figure, rather than what looks good on Pinterest. Once we find the right style, we’ll find the perfect gown for you!
  3. Trust your instincts! It’s important to find the dress you love for what it is, not what it could be… just like your fiancé! If the gown you pick isn’t perfect, we’ll find the one that is and pick the best accessories to match.
  4. Choose your crew with care! Bring along a select few who will be candid but considerate. Afterall, you’re the one wearing the gown and cherishing the photos forever. Invite the extended family and friends for fittings once you’ve chosen the gown.
  5. Consider the big picture! Boutique consultants will help you pick the perfect gown for the season, venue, and overall style of your wedding.
Icing on the Cake
Visit our bakery!
(408) 354-2464
Los Gatos

Bakery Services

  1. Are you looking for a sheet cake and a cutting cake OR 150 cupcakes and a 6” cake OR a 3 tiered cake. If you’re not sure, a great bakery can help you figure it out.
  2. Bring in design samples before signing a contract. Many cakes in magazines are not real cake. Also make sure your stand can support your cake, and cake can support your topper.
  3. What types of cakes and icings do they offer? Fondant, buttercream, square, rounds? Do they offer the type of cake you’d like, are they a good fit?
  4. Are they available on your wedding day?
  5. Do they deliver to my venue or do you need to pick it up? If they are delivering, please have venue details to them ahead of time. Have linens in place & florist ready. The cake should arrive last.
  6. Outdoor wedding? Let your bakery know. Choose the cake after you make major style decisions, be realistic about travel time, weather, etc.
Mike Lloyd Photography
Mike Lloyd
(408) 679-0159

Engagement Photography

  1. Do you like the photographer’s style? Every artist is different and creates their own unique style. It’s important to choose a style you connect with. It is equally important that your personalities mesh. You have to be on the same page to get the best photos. You only get once chance…
  2. Real professional photographers don’t shoot everything. Not all wedding photographers do engagements and not all engagement photographers photograph weddings.
  3. What is included in all of their packages? Is there a package that fits your needs? Is it in your budget? Do they offer payment plans? Do they have samples of their printed work and a thorough online gallery?
  4. How many hours of coverage are included? How many photographers will there be? Do they provide lighting equipment? Does your venue allow lighting equipment? Some churches don’t even allow photography.
  5. What is their turnaround time? I’ve heard horror stories of photographers taking more than a year to get your photos back to you.
Heart of Gold
(415) 935-0744
San Francisco

Professional DJs

  1. How will you make the wedding sound like us?
  2. What is your MC style?
  3. What do you do if the dance floor is empty?
  4. Are they available on your wedding day?
  5. How do you plan to mix in _____, _____, and _____? (Insert a few favorite artists from a few different genres or maybe a few cultural traditions and specific song requests)
  6. Do you have back up gear, a back up DJ, and liability insurance?
Jalsa Catering & Events
(408) 480-3825

Catering Services

  1. What is their specialty?
  2. What is in their realm of responsibilities? Will the caterer handle the table settings, bar service, clean up, provide tables/chairs/plates/napkins/silverware, etc, provide waitstaff…
  3. What is their level of service? Will the waitstaff ’s attire match the feel of the wedding? Casual vs. Formal.
  4. What is the complete list of charges? Are there any additional fees? (security deposit/sales tax/service charges)
  5. What is their turnaround time and tasting process? Do they need special accommodations on site for food prep?

What next?

Now that you have some insder’s knowledge on what to look for in your wedding professionals, you’ll have a much easier time finding the best fit for you and your fiancé on your big day.

Real professionals will help to make sure you are the best fit for each other, even if it means saying no.

Choosing your wedding professionals is like dating. You wait until you find the perfect match, and you don’t just settle for the first one who comes along.

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