Protecting Your Wedding

October 13, 2012

Protecting Yourself

The average wedding costs nearly $26,000 nationally or $20,000 in the greater Jacksonville area. A large portion of that must be prepaid in full or with deposits. So it may seem to be stating the obvious when we say it is important to protect yourself against fraud, business failures and even honest mistakes.

One way to avoid  a lot of innocent mistakes is to hire a professional wedding coordinator.

Attention to detail can save you thousands of dollars by preventing disasters before they happen. Brides and grooms who elect to plan the wedding on their own should pay special attention to the following:


Request a sampling of the items on your menu. Confirm in writing that the same chef will prepare the food for your reception. Contracts are important so go over the agreement carefully. Determine any additional charges such as cake cutting or corkage fees before you sign the contract.


Ask if the musicians are used to performing together as a group. If you get the chance to hear them play live, do so. The contract should list the musicians by name, state the number of hours included in the price (one hour for cocktails and four for the reception is standard) and detail potential overtime charges.


Meet in person with the photographer you’re considering to make sure that you are comfortable with him or her. Specify the name of the photographer whose work you viewed in the contract, and make sure that same photographer will shoot your wedding. See if the photographer has ever shot a wedding at your reception venue.  Depending on what time of day you are getting married, the lighting is very important, see examples of their work in the type of lighting your wedding will take place in.  Get the delivery date for proofs and finished photos in writing.


Buying a gown usually requires a minimum lead-time of six months and a 50 percent deposit. Confirm delivery for a few months prior to the wedding to allow for the unexpected. Use the manufacturer’s size chart when ordering to avoid unnecessary alteration charges. Remember that it is normally easier to alter a dress that is too big than one that is too small.


Inform your florist of the time of day and location for the ceremony and reception, so they can recommend flowers that will last throughout the festivities. Because we are in the greater Jacksonville area, different flowers react differently to our heart.  Talk with your florist about what will be best in our climate. A week prior to the wedding, confirm delivery time. A friend or family member should check that the flowers delivered on the wedding day are fresh and as ordered.


Your contract should state that you can review your invitation proof (an extra charge may apply), and that any printer’s mistakes will be corrected at no charge. Include the delivery date on your contract. Order invitations at least four to five months prior to the wedding to avoid rush-order mistakes.

The important thing to remember when planning your wedding in the greater Jacksonville area is to make sure that you work with wedding professionals and get a contract when hiring anyone!  Do your research an make sure that the vendors your are interviewing have the proper insurance and licenses!

Categorized in: