Sunday, February 28, 2010

Don't forget your checkbook!

I know a lot of brides (and probably even me) will have to have almost everything paid for the wedding before the big day.  For example, my caterer requires balance paid in full 30 days prior to the wedding.  My DJ needs payment at least two weeks before the big day to allow time for processing.  My florist however will let me pay on the day of the wedding...ain't she sweet?

However, I don't necessarily want to be dealing with payments on the day of the wedding.  Unfortunately, there's no way around it completely.  So I will be sure to have my checkbook on hand (or a credit card if that would be allowed/accepted) for those last minute purchases or fees on the day of the wedding. 

Here's a few things to consider or think of that you might need to be prepared for:

1)  Tips!  We plan on having cash tips in envelopes for our vendors and giving them to the coordinator on the wedding day.  They will have increments of cash in them such that when it's time to tip a vendor (DJ, photog, videog, etc) as they leave, the caterer will confirm with me or Mr Fix It as to how well we think they provided their services.  If they blew us away, she'll hand over the envelope with all of it's cash in it.  If they pissed us off or did something wrong, then we can pull out some of the cash and not tip as much at our discretion.

2)  Overtime.  Thankfully, I had a planning meeting with my photog 2 weeks ago and figured out that I was going to need him for two hours more than I originally booked him for based on the schedule we came up with for the wedding day.  My contract states that overtime is charged at an hourly rate of 10% of the total contracted price.   But let's just say the groom's parents show up an hour late for pictures and we ask our photog to stay an extra hour to compensate on the day of the wedding?  Well then the overtime fee goes up to $300 an hour for the wedding day!  Be sure to ask how overtime is charged and assessed for all your vendors.  You never know if you're going to want/need to ask them to stay longer on the wedding day.

3)  Shortage of food or alcohol.  This is especially important for those of you that are handling catering or alcohol yourself.  Hopefully it won't happen, but what if you suddenly find that the bar is out of beer at 9:30!  You may have to send someone up to the local liquor store or discount grocery chain to get some extra cases and you'll need some moola on hand as I don't think they're going to offer to pay for it themselves!

4)  Decor items or florals ruined.  A friend of mine had her florist show up on the day of her wedding with a van full of wilted and dead flowers!  It was an insanely hot July day.  She was devastated.  They made a quick run up to Costco and had a friend buy a bunch of bouquets of roses and quickly assemble them for some bouquets and such. 

I love the motto "Hope for the best but prepare for the worst."  It's always good to anticipate potential emergencies or issues that might come up on the day of your wedding.  And having extra money on hand to be able to pay for unexpected expenses is an absolute must!  You don't want to be tearing into your wedding cards during the reception to see if anyone gifted you some cash you can use to pay for a wedding related expense!

Can you think of any other things that might come up on the wedding day you should be prepared for?


Bicoastal Bride said...

I’m doing exactly what you’re doing, and agree that it’s best to be prepared. We’ll also have envelopes ready to go for our DOC with all the tips, plus any payments, although we’re hoping to make our final payments in advance. I’ll also make sure my mom has my checkbook on hand just in case something goes wrong or arises unexpectedly.

A couple other scenarios I can think of are that unexpected guests who RSVPed “no” might show up and expect a meal, or that the cake might be damaged. I’m confident and hopeful that these things won’t happen at my wedding, but I have heard plenty of horror stories!

A. Marigold said...

Oh no, the wilted flowers would be so sad!

megan marie said...

We ran into one of these problems... we ran out of alcohol! Luckily our caterer was super nice and she sent one of the waiters on a run, and we just paid her for it after the honeymoon! I didn't even know about the shortage until the next day :)

DaughteroftheStars said...

I'm sure you already have this covered but recently for a friend's wedding I helped her prepare an emergency bag for the day. This included items like hair pins, spare panty-hose, pain-killers, a small sewing kit for any dress mishaps, band-aids etc etc.

Mrs T said...

So true. At a friends wedding they ran out of alcohol for their cocktail hour and Mr B drove half an hour to the closest bar to buy more - with our money. We never got the money back. We always seem to end up playing wedding fairy - which is probably the reason we were so upset about some of the things that went wrong on our day.

Luckily we don't tip in Australia either.

Here's hoping they all do such an incredible job that you don't have to open those tip envelopes again!

Gracie said...

You're definitely very prepared and I can't think of much more that you need to have on the day.

I think you sort of have to flow with the day. If things go wrong don't get upset but just rectify the situation. At our wedding they forgot to give us the bird cage wishing well and we didn't even notice until half way into the reception.

There's only so much you can be prepared for so don't let things ruin your day. xx

very married said...

so, luckily i am crazy prepared because all of my vendors asked for payment the day of the wedding and my husband didn't really think of any of that stuff.

the only thing that really pissed me off was that my caterer asked for my check right when the mother son dance was happening... i missed it while writing a check. not okay!

buhdoop said...

Our goal is to have everything paid off before hand. Having it at an all inclusive place helps a lot, but your post reminds me that I need to make another payment on our photographers :)

Nicole said...

my bridesmaid flowers wilted..due to the heat im assuming..but they are bells of ireland! hearty!!! ugh.. my cake didnt' turn out as what i requested..but try not to focus on that stuff that goes wrong..the cleaners ruined my dress..1 week prior to wedding!! thank god a store near by still had the sample dress... ugh.... wine..i drank tons of wine!

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