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Jim's Blog

Ho! Ho! Ho! You're Engaged!

So the man of your dreams proposed to you on one of the most romantic days of the year and you've accepted ... congratulations!!

Now comes the sometimes fun, sometimes stressful, sometimes maddening portion of the engagement ... the decisions you need to make about your wedding day. Everybody you know, from your grandmother to your childhood friends are going to have advice for you on what you need to do to have the ultimate wedding day.

Can I give you a little advice first?

I mean ... I'm kind of unbiased here. You don't know me. I'm just some schlub on the internet right now trying to put my two cents in.

But I DO have qualifications. I’ve been helping brides make their day special for decades and I’ve received vital training from the top professionals in the national wedding industry.

And I really only want to give you one tip today. Just one. It’s simple and you can take it and run with it.

And that tip is “Get your priorities straight”.

Simply put … sit down with your fiancée and a pen and paper (or laptop or tablet if you’re a millennial) and make a list of the things that are most important to you both about your wedding day. List these priorities in order of preference. For instance, if the photographs taken of the day are more important than the level of food, photography should appear on the list over catering. Simple enough, right??

To get you started, here’s a sample list of the different items you could have on your list.











Honestly, the list can go on and on. These are items off the top of my head.

Now you make YOUR list. Once you’re happy with your list, you match it to your budget (this is where you start reminding your parents of how great a kid you were and need their help making your list come true).

Whatever are the top FIVE things on your list, those are the vendors where you should spare no expense getting the ones you want. The professionals who you feel confident share your vision for your day and have the experience to make your dreams come true.

A little self-service here … Let’s say entertainment is #4 on your list. You want entertainment that will keep your reception flowing, your dance floor shaking and your guests having a great time. Then you want a PROFESSIONAL DJ or band. Your aunt’s recommendations for your weird cousin who doesn’t get out much to be your DJ is not going to be able to do that. Sure, he can play his favorite songs from his high school years but that’s about it.

In other words, the top five vendors on your list are going to take about 30-35 percent of your budget to get. Not all vendors are created equal so our pricing can be wildly different from each other.


Those vendors with top-of-the-line equipment, decades of experience, a proven track record and a long list of satisfied customers are going to charge you more than your weird cousins will to cater your reception.

How do you find the top vendors in your area?

The first place you should look is the Southern Bridal Faire coming to the Montgomery Civic Center inside the Renaissance Hotel downtown on Sunday, January 29th from 1-5 p.m. There you will see all the TOP vendors from the wedding industry. Talk to everyone that you’re interested in talking to. For the ones that you like and are interested in talking to MORE, set up an appointment with them so that you can learn more about their services and they can learn more about your wishes for your day. If you click, sign that contract and put a down payment down immediately. The best vendors’ calendars fill up fast at the beginning of the year and you don’t want to lose a great vendor because you took your time getting back to them.

So here’s a quick recap for your plan of action:

  1. Make a list of your priorities

  2. Come to the Southern Bridal Faire to find the people that can make your day spectacular.

That wasn’t too hard, was it?

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