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The 4 Professionals You Must Hire For Your Budget-Friendly Wedding

The 4 Professionals You Must Hire For Your Budget-Friendly Wedding

Planning a budget-friendly wedding might seem like a challenge. Often times when planning a wedding with a budget, the first thing the soon-to-be bride and groom do in order to keep costs down is limit the use of professional services during the ceremony and reception. While limiting the number of people you have to hire can help you save money, there are some areas that truly benefit from adding a professional’s touch to the task.

Before you cut all of the professional services from your budget-friendly wedding, consider keeping these services to ensure you get the wedding of your dreams:

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A Wedding Photographer

Many people are under the belief that anyone can capture a quality photo. While smartphone cameras and apps have allowed more people to explore their interest in photography, that doesn’t mean that just anyone can achieve a high-quality result. Photography is an artform after all and it requires a certain level of expertise in order to be done well. And since you only intend to get married once, failing to get the professional photographs you imagined means you missed your opportunity completely if you don’t hire the right person to take your photos for you.

Since capturing the memories of your big day are often critical, hiring a wedding photographer needs to be a priority. Not only are they familiar with all of the traditional poses most couples want, but they also understand how to ensure everyone looks their best in every shot. Their familiarity with wedding services also helps them anticipate when important moments are coming up, ensuring they are prepared to get that shot when those key wedding day moments take place.

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A Wedding Cake Specialist

When people picture the cake at their wedding, a sheet cake from the local grocery store normally doesn’t quite come to mind. Many bakeries of this nature have limited experience creating the cakes more commonly seen at weddings. Additionally, many home bakers don’t have the opportunity to create multi-tiered creations often, so they may not be familiar with the intricacies of creating a proper supporting structure for such a large and decadent piece.

bride and groom celebrating
    Credit: J. LEAL

    So, if you have your eyes set on a more traditional looking dessert, then it is best to choose a bakery that creates delicacies for weddings on a regular basis. More than likely, they will work with you to identify less expensive wedding cake options that will suit your budget.

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    A Band or DJ

    If your reception involves music playing throughout the night, then you might want to make sure this is handled by someone specifically hired to do the job. Many brides and grooms think managing the music/playlist for the entire evening is an easy thing to do, especially since many people can carry around thousands of songs in their pockets through their phones and music devices. But, unless you want to create a playlist for the entire reception, it can be worth the investment to choose a professional to manage and perform that task for you.

    Not only can they ensure certain songs are played at the right time, but they can also take requests from guests while you’re enjoying your special night. If there are certain songs you don’t want to hear on your big day, you can provide them with a list of songs that are off limits too. That way, you don’t have to worry about a friend or family member taking over your smartphone to find the “Chicken Dance” if you really prefer it not be played. And sometimes, having that professional buffer can alleviate a lot of stress.

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    A Caterer (For Large Receptions)

    Many people underestimate what it takes to produce food for large groups of people, especially if you are planning on having a full meal prepared and served. While smaller receptions might be manageable for those accustomed to cooking for large families, very few non-professionals have the expertise required to time and create a multicourse meal for hundreds of people.

    If you have concerns about the food budget, but would still like options available to a large group, consider timing your ceremony to make only having hors d’oeuvres appropriate. Otherwise, choose food options that are less expensive for full meals. For example, chicken tends to be less expensive than most other meats, so you might be able to experience significant savings by choosing it over options like beef or fish as your entree of choice.

    Featured photo credit: J. LEAL via jleal.eu

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    Last Updated on May 21, 2019

    How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

    How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

    For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

    If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

    Example 1

    You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

    You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

    In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

    Example 2

    You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

    People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

    You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

    Example 3

    You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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    The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

    Example 4

    You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

    Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

    If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

    Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

    • Understand your own communication style
    • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
    • Communicate with precision and care
    • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

    1. Understand Your Communication Style

    To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

    In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

    Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

    2. Learn Others Communication Styles

    Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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    If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

    “How do you prefer to receive information?”

    This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

    To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

    3. Exercise Precision and Care

    A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

    On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

    Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

    I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

    I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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    In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

    The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

    Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

    4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

    Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

    In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

    “Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

    Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

    Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

    It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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    It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

    It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

    Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

    Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

    The Bottom Line

    When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

    I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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    Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

    Reference

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