Pre Marital Investigations being a major department for us, the visitors who land up on our website after searching for services like ours are usually in the preparatory stages of their own or their son’s or daughter’s wedding. Keeping that in mind we have recently started a ‘Wedding Tips‘ category on our popular private investigation and personal security blog whereby visitors who are planning their marriages can take away some pointers for planning a perfect wedding.
I will set out to list below some pointers on how to hire the best professionals who will not only make your wedding memorable but also ensure minimum stress and hiccups.
Keeping Your Wedding Expenses in Check
You can keep some of your expenses in check by using your “personal network” to find people that can make your wedding cake, table decorations or even provide classy vehicles to transport the bridal party on the wedding day. But, don’t expect to get everything for free. Offer to cover any out of pocket expenses (such as fuel). Don’t forget to seek them out during the reception and chat. Then, make sure that you give them a quality token of your appreciation along with your sincere thanks.
Finding the Best Wedding Planner
If you have got just a small budget then you and, perhaps, family and friends will have to do all the planning. If you have the funds, then you might find the professional wedding planner will not just save you more than he / she charges, but will also act as a buffer where there is disagreement between you and one or more of your parents about some part of the arrangements. You can hire a wedding planner to take charge from the earliest stage or just come in a few days before the event to make sure everything comes to a memorable and joyous conclusion. Even if you go for the second, less expensive option, you will still need to book them much earlier, of course.
When the planner is in charge of most of the arrangements, she can get professional discounts from suppliers which means that your costs are lower. You might get discounts from some suppliers by yourself but they give planners who provide them with steady business much better ones. She also only deals with suppliers that she knows are reliable and high quality. Remember that any good planner will provide you with choices but always be focused on helping you to achieve the type of wedding that you want. She will explain what can be provided within your budget, suggest alternatives in design, location and other aspects but always leave the final decisions to you. Wedding Planners build their businesses through referrals. So, their focus is over-delivering on your usually very high expectations.
Don’t want a Professional Planner?
You can call on friends, colleagues and, especially, family to help you with advice and also the leg-work involved in checking on venues and suppliers. Many people will also have contacts that may be able and willing to supply some services for your wedding. At the very least, their feedback about suppliers they have used could save you a lot of leg work and time.
Choosing a Good Wedding Photographer
There are many commercial photographers to choose from when looking for someone to take photos or a video of your wedding and reception. These days in India, it is a very competitive market but price is just one important factor you have to consider. You need to look past the specially chosen pictures that the photographer puts on his brochure or website. The best idea is to ask to see a full set of proofs from one of the weddings which he photographed.
Ask for references and check through your own friends about their recommendations. Be prepared for some horror stories and some glowing testimonials. Make sure that the photographer whose pictures you have seen is actually the one who will be at your wedding. But, if it’s a one person business, ensure that they have someone with similar abilities who is able to step in if they are not available at short notice.
As with each of the other suppliers, you must expect to pay for any additional services or features. Make sure you have the cost for the whole package, including albums, in writing before signing the contract. At that point, you are legally committed and any additions or changes could be very expensive. Most photographers will proudly display their membership certificates for the appropriate professional associations. But, a photographer may still produce work of a very high standard and not be a member of any association. And, membership or even having won awards, is no guarantee of a good result – check their recent work.
Do not expect “Hollywood” or “Bollywood” standard results. Those pictures are produced by experts with a supporting team of qualified professionals and in highly controlled environments. One picture might take an hour to set up and then undergo significant retouching later on. Time is another important consideration. If you want the best possible pictures, set enough time into your wedding day schedule for the photographer to arrange and shoot the pictures at the various locations. Besides the best photographs are ‘candid’ reality photographs taken in moments when the couple and the guests are unaware that the photograph is being clicked and those are the ones that really shine out and show the real human warmth and emotions that are on ample display during a wedding.
Don’t let the photographer tie up your guests for long periods – they want to enjoy the function, to eat the food and mingle. Also, people that are not used to being posed and directed get irritable fairly quickly unless very carefully handled. Tell him what you want but be guided by his suggestions where they concern technical details. You want a photographer that you like enough to be comfortable around through the big day and one that will get along well with your guests. You can’t always avoid inviting your less pleasant relatives to your wedding but you have got more control over choosing the photographer.
Tell the photographer about any particular shots that you want, especially groups containing special family members and/or friends, and encourage them to take lots of pictures. They will probably have a good knowledge of the venue you chose. If they say that there are no good backgrounds for some shots, work with them so that you get the best possible results. All the above will apply when you hire someone to produce a video of your big day.
Give them a list of the particular moments that you want covered.
Don’t want a Professional Photographer?
Even when you hire a professional, encourage your guests to take their own pictures (without interfering with the photographer when he is setting up or shooting). Think carefully before you decide not to use a professional. Then, try to find someone you know who has photographed weddings before and got good results. It’s too important an occasion to risk ending up with no good pictures. Make one person your designated photographer and give them a list of the shots which you want.
Give them time to set up their equipment and the groups to be photographed. But, don’t let any photographer run your whole schedule or harass your guests. Set the locations for the special group shots. Give the people that you want in them at least a few minutes notice so that nobody pops out for a cigarette or is hurrying off to the toilet when they’re needed. Everybody knows that the best pictures have everyone looking at the camera but it is worth reminding your guests just before they are photographed, so that you aren’t left with an album full of apparently sleepy or distracted people. Some amateur videographers like to add a lot of flashy effects to their movies. Ask that they first give you an unedited version for you to keep.
Choosing a Good Wedding Videographer / Cameraman
Weddings can be a profitable area for Videographers but it takes experience and attention to detail to get good results.
Unfortunately, some people see wedding videography as a quick way to earn some money from their new video camera. Want to get spectacular results. Find a good ad film director – even one who has never shot a wedding. Most directors are eager to prove themselves and will work extra hard to get some great shots of your wedding. A quick search on Google will help you find some good young ad film directors and trust me hiring a good director will not cost you the earth. Some good assistant directors charge only Rs. 25,000/- per day and are also experts at editing what they have shot and will give you a colour corrected final edit that will look gorgeous and spectacular.
Ask how many people and cameras will be used. A good cameraman or director can produce an enjoyable result with just one camera and operator but two cameras give many more possibilities (and cost more too, of course). Of course once you hire a director, he / she will give you a budget that includes all costs of camera rentals, service charges etc.
If the film will be edited, check whether you can also get a copy of the raw footage for your own viewing. A professional probably won’t agree to just supplying the raw footage because they would not want it distributed – it might reflect on their professional reputation. But, supplying an unedited copy might be agreed to provided you confirm that it won’t be shown outside of your own home. It’s a good idea to get a volunteer to stay near the director / videographer while they are at the venue to smooth their way with the other guests so they can concentrate on giving you the best possible video memories.
Give them a list of the main people at your wedding and reception along with a clearly marked map and all the relevant people’s mobile phone numbers.
Don’t want a Professional Videographer?
The potential for disappointment with an amateur video of your wedding is like that with amateur photography but multiplied a few times. That’s because the technology is still fairly new but the price of a reasonable camera has dropped to where almost anyone can get one, just in time for your wedding. Where a professional will try to make a story from your wedding and reception, many amateurs will be prone to trying every feature which they can find on their camera.
They may not have conquered those common beginner problems of shake and external unwanted noise like wind or irrelevant conversation.
That can be significantly reduced by using an external directional microphone with a wind cover. It’s a good idea to use quality lapel microphones to record the speeches onto the video. Careful editing will improve most amateur videos but it is like anything else; start with the best original that you can to get the best results.
The bottom line is that you get just one chance to get it right. So hire a pro for video shooting your wedding and create memories that will last for generations to come!
Hiring a Master of Ceremonies
A professional MC can make an event memorable and the worst speaker look good. But, it’s an extra expense and many couples are choosing to get a DJ and rely on a male relative to introduce the special guests, speakers and anything else that is required.
They will discuss with you before the event any particular people you want them to mention and subjects that might unwittingly cause discomfort to any of the guests. Give them the times that your reception will start and finish as well as when you want them to begin their presentation, plus any relevant information about the minister or celebrant, special guests and the people who will do the actual speeches and any musicians or other entertainers who will perform at your reception. Then, just leave them to it.
Don’t want a Professional Master of Ceremonies?
You should try to find someone with some speaking experience or, at least, someone that you know will prepare for the occasion. There is no such thing as a great impromptu speech. A friend who is a professional speaker said that the most valuable advice he ever got was to practice everything, including his ad-libs (impromptu remarks).
If the professionals don’t risk making a real off-the-cuff joke, then the risk of someone with much less experience seeing his joke fall flat or, even worse, seriously offending a guest or group, you can see that preparation is essential.
The other point to be aware of with an amateur MC is for them to avoid making a speech themselves. They are needed to provide a smooth connection between the bride’s family, the groom and his family and friends (or whatever speakers you have) and help the audience to get maximum enjoyment possible from each one. All speakers need to rehearse their speeches. But, remind them that they’re going to be among friends and you just want a few sincere
Hiring a Wedding Caterer
You should do some investigating of your catering options before settling on the caterer or venue. Some venues have in-house catering which may give you a better price than if you hire a venue and arrange an outside caterer who has to bring in their equipment, staff and supplies, then pack up everything afterwards. Of course, deciding to use a specialist caterer will give you a wider range of food options and some may cost less than the in-house catering.
Focus on the sort of food which you both like and also your families, but be aware of the likely preferences of your guests, especially any from different cultures and the elderly. This is an area where you are unlikely to get more than you pay for. Catering is fiercely competitive and costs are steadily increasing. The best recommendation is word of mouth from friends, colleagues and people in other businesses you deal with. You could ask the people that organize your office’s Christmas party or the people at any other reasonable-sized business you deal with who caters for their functions and what they like or don’t like about them. You need to be sure that you won’t be let down on the day, so inquire what provision the caterer has if there is a problem with the number of their regular staff available for your event. Don’t just go for the caterer with the most eye-catching or largest advertisement in your phone book. You might find out that eating the Yellow Pages would have been better!
Don’t want a Professional Caterer?
If members of your family really want to prepare the food for you, tell them up front that they will have a lot to do and you won’t be able to help much because of the rest of your commitments. But, if they’re determined to go ahead, then give them what support you can and be mindful of this major contribution to your wedding when you’re thinking about asking them to help with other preparations.
There can be problems too if someone, like your mother or favorite aunt, offers to make your wedding cake for you. Preparing a wedding cake really is a major project, requiring a lot of effort and time. But, if your budget is very limited, thank them and keep an eye on their progress so that you don’t become cake-deprived at the last minute. The easier option all-round might be to use a professional caterer and ask the generous relative to maybe take part in the reception or give a reading during the wedding itself.
Choosing Live Music or a Disc Jockey For The Wedding Night
The choice of entertainment will depend in part, like everything else, on the budget. Then, it starts and finishes, in my opinion, with the desires of the bride and groom. You need to talk with the people you are thinking of hiring and, preferably, see them work for the same sort of people as yourselves and your friends. Try really hard to get references of people they have worked for recently. Don’t pay too much attention to critics’ column in the local press or their agent when he or she is trying to get you to book them.
When you have settled on a group or a DJ that’s within your budget and won’t completely freak out your beloved elderly relatives, you need to let them know of any special requirements you have. For instance, your Ketan Uncle may want to sing a ballad after he is two pegs down! If that’s okay with you, make sure that the DJ or musicians can accompany him or give them the name and other details of the song so that they can get the music. Some musicians can pick up a tune just by hearing it. Even if someone in the group can do that under normal conditions, it might not work when Uncle Ketan is the singer. The band will have their own needs, like a room to change into their stage gear, check their equipment and relax with a drink (that you pay for) between sessions.
When you decide how long you want them to work, they will say how many breaks they need. It is also wise to allow about, say, half an hour between the finish of the meal and the first music session. That’s because your musicians or DJ will need time to set the equipment in place and check it thoroughly. There’s also a 99% likelihood that the meal will take about that much longer than the caterer suggested. You should also arrange for someone to keep the band happy. That requires someone that is sober and reliable.
That person needs to be supplied with the fee in the agreed form to pay the band when they have finished and, preferably, to keep an eye on their equipment when they take a break and leave the stand. He must not let any of the guests, not even Uncle Jack, fiddle with their equipment.
Hiring Comedians To Keep Your Guests Entertained
Amateur comedians are a hazard. The professional comic spends years perfecting a personal style that looks effortless. But that makes the untalented, or drunk joker think it must be easy enough that even he can do it. If you want to make a great impression with your jokes, try to follow these tips from a very funny friend of mine:
1. Rehearse everything you are going to say, including any apparently impromptu jokes (ad-libs).
2. Be careful that you offend no-one.
3. If you must make someone the butt of a joke, use it against yourself. It worked pretty good for Bob Hope.
4. Don’t just leave them laughing. Stop before your run out of your best material and leave them wanting more!
5. Many people think that a little alcohol before they give a speech or tell a joke will “loosen them up” and help them fight their stage-fright. Instead, alcohol relaxes your inhibitions and reduces your coordination – a recipe for disaster!
I hope these above tips will help you in planning to hire the right people who will work towards making the wedding a grand success! To learn more about our Pre Marital Investigation Services please click here.
Tania Verma is the Head of Operations at Alliance One’s Mumbai Head Office. A mechanical engineer by education, she has a wide variety of experience in various fields such as manufacturing, consumer products and services and the Retail Sector. A strong operational person Tania gets the job done however tight the deadlines and however tough and arduous the task. She excels under pressure and maintains excellent relationships with our corporate clients as well as high networth individuals all over India who have used the company’s services in the past and continue to do so. Having married recently she feels strongly about untruthful people taking advantage of others and has taken a deep and abiding interest in our pre marital investigation services in Mumbai and leads our able team from the front.