There are generally a few periods of the year where wedding planning is more active than the rest of the year. At least here in Montreal, one of those busy times is now, the early winter months. The holidays are statistically a busy time for new engagements, and then of course there is Valentines day too. And finally in Montreal many of the wedding and bridal shows happen in the first few months of the year. All this makes for a lot of newly engaged couples starting their wedding planning journey as they plan their dream day!
I have written a few blog posts about wedding planning, tips on finding your vendors, questions to ask and even room layout. This blog post will be a sort of summary and reminder of those posts and tips.
Who to Find First?
This is one of the things a lot of couples under-estimate in a big way, booking their key vendors early! Please go back and read my post “When to book a DJ or Band” for my recommendations on when to hire important vendors such as your hall, church or minister, DJ, photographer and videographer for your Montreal wedding.
Many venues in Montreal are booked well over 12 to 16 months in advance. Next up is the entertainment, and yes you need to look for that well in advance! I feel awful when I get phone calls in February for a wedding in June or July, my first question is “This is for next year, right?”, and they answer calmly with a “No, this summer.” Many times we are already fully booked, and often the other DJs we recommend are too!
When planning a wedding in Montreal in the peak summer months, and those months have stretched out to include September and even October over the past few years, you need to plan on hiring your entertainment at least 8 months out, 12 months is really recommended. The same applies to photographers and videographers, they too will get booked for the prime dates in the year anywhere from 8 to 12 months in advance.
While you are searching for all these wedding vendors, try to focus your search on one type of vendor at time, it will make your comparisons easier.
What to Ask?
I posted a small list of questions we often receive about our entertainment services in a blog post “Montreal Wedding DJ FAQ’s“. Feel free to use some or all of these questions when looking for your DJ or band. Here are some general questions you can ask any vendor you are considering too:
- Can we see examples of your work?
- Do you have insurance and are your fully licensed (depending on what they do)
- Do we sign a written contract with you?
- Are you the actual person we work with, or is it one of your employees?
Some General Reception Tips
Once you’ve booked your key vendors you can start to relax a little. A good venue and a good DJ should be helping you with the next step, planning your reception. I outlined a few tips in the post “Some Keys to a Successful Wedding Reception” to keep in mind when it comes to room layout, room size, where to put the dance floor etc.
The Best Wedding Reception…Ever!
Another great resource is a book written by Peter Merry called “The Best Wedding Reception…Ever!“. The book is a full of great wedding ideas you can use at your reception. More importantly the book is also full of little tips on things to look for in your wedding DJ too. In 2013, we have actually started giving all our brides and grooms a free copy of this book when they sign with us! It is also required reading for the entire Uptown Xpress team.
Lastly, don’t under-estimate the power of referrals. Ask your friends and family for vendors they’ve used and where happy with. Ask vendors you hire to recommend people they’ve worked with as well. This can help you narrow down your search. I put together a small referral list in a blog post I called “Our Montreal Wedding Love List“, check it out.
Remember you want to be looking for vendors who want to do what it takes to make your day as a whole a success. Working together as a team with all your other vendors is critical, I wrote on a post on that too “Communication is Key!“.
Start early, stay organized, and you’ll be well on your way! To all the newly engaged couples, congratulations! And happy planning!