Event Designer Spencer McCormack on Getting Started

We asked Spencer McCormack, of Main Event Caterers, to share a few tips with us about what a couple should keep in mind when getting started with planning a wedding. Here’s what he said:
So, you’re engaged? Congratulations! Now what do you do? An increasing number of gay and lesbian couples are finding themselves in this very predicament. The processes, the research and the expenses can be overwhelming at first, but if you take a deep breath and break down the process into digestible segments, you will be fine. People have been successfully planning their weddings for hundreds of years, now it’s your turn.

One of the most important first steps is to identify a realistic budget. Wedding costs vary wildly and the celebration can be as elaborate or as simple as you wish. First, identify the amount you are willing to spend on the total event, and then work backwards. Carefully take into consideration all of the necessary costs associated with organizing a wedding. Invitations, the venue rental, a catering company, a wedding cake and a DJ are expenses you are likely prepared for. However, there are other substantial costs to consider as well; chair and table rental, the renting of glassware, flatware, china and linens, floral arrangements, venue lighting, décor and valet parking, to name a few.

After identifying a big picture budget, research and identify reasonable costs for the individual components of the event. Perhaps flowers are really important to you. Speak to several florists and share your thoughts so that you get a ballpark idea of where your vision and budget intersect. If you and your partner fancy yourselves “foodies”, the caterer you select will be very important. Research caterers and find out what their past clients are saying about them. In addition to the food, many caterers will provide the food, service staff, tables, chairs, linens, all necessary service ware, and more.

Research and visit many venues. Renting a space can be a substantial percentage of your budget. Oftentimes, overzealous couples will rush out to secure the “perfect” venue, not considering what the remaining percentage of the budget must still accomplish.
Overspending on a venue without realistically considering the remaining expenses can force a couple to compromise on the quality of the food and even have a forced cut in number of invitees. Remember to consider the cost of a venue in terms of your overall budget.

Excellent advice! Looking for a list of vendors in your area? Check out the GayWeddings.com Vendor Directory.