Even though our wedding is still 449 days away (but who's counting, right) I have every intention of locking down vendors as quickly as possible. I know I'm not the only 2013 bride sniffing out vendors already and I want to make sure we get who we want, at the price we want, for the date we're very much tied to now.
Making a deposit on our venue was huge. With one deposit we secured a ceremony, cocktail hour and reception site, a caterer for food and drinks, tables, chair, linens and china/serve ware. That's a lot of coordinating we no longer have to deal with. That deposit also includes the cost of the venue wedding planner, so we also have her. Which means I don't have to do any set up, break down, constant vendor coordination contacting, etc. She handles everything. As we collect vendors, we just send her the names and numbers of them and she does the rest. I love it.
I've also secured a hairdresser. But this wasn't really because I sought a local one out. Our family friend Tina is a licensed cosmetologist and has done my hair for every formal occasion I've gone to pretty much since we moved to New York. We're going to pay for her room at the hotel in return for her to do both my hair and the bridal party's hair for the wedding.
I spoke with a photographer yesterday. This is something I'm quite adamant about settling on as soon as possible. I have every intention of paying under $1500 all said and done as far as photos go, preferably including albums. But I still intend to get a good, experienced photographer who takes photos we both like and someone we jive with. I spoke with Sonia from Sonia Maria Photography yesterday and she seems wonderful. She was very nice, easy to talk to, and very sweet. I like her work and her prices are very good. I'm having a hard time getting Rob to give me a straight answer about what he likes as far as the photographers we've been looking at. I'm sure my onslaught of persistence is mostly to blame. But I don't want us to over pay for someone who we got stuck with because we waited too long to make a decision, as opposed to someone we actually like and want to work with. I'm hoping to be able to make a deposit on a photographer within the next week or two, at the most. Then after that, it's DJ time.
We were supposed to meet with Ken Paradise a month or so ago. He's the best of the best in the Finger Lakes region and comes so incredibly highly acclaimed. We had made an appointment to meet him on a Saturday morning at the radio station he works at. But we got there and the place was locked and no one answered our knocking. So when we found him at the bridal expo in Geneva a few weeks ago, he apologized profusely for "blowing us off" and promptly offered us a $150 discount off any of his packages. Now I definitely hope to use him. Originally, we were just going to snag him to DJ, but with the discount I want to upgrade to the package that includes up-lighting. We're having our reception in a relatively generic hotel ballroom, so up-lighting would be a big help to make it feel nicer, more romantic, less generic, more fancy, whatever.
We're going to Syracuse this weekend to watch the Big East Championship game with our friends then staying the night at my parents house. I'm sure they'll want to talk wedding, so hopefully that'll help us settle on a photographer. I really want Rob's honest input, I want us both to be happy with the choices we make for this. This is our wedding, not my wedding, and the last thing I want is to start a marriage following a wedding where we didn't compromise and one of us was unhappy with aspects of it because of that. I want us both to be happy. After all, we're getting married!