Category Archives: Wedding Planning Software

Wedding Venue Selection – A Guide

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Once the wedding date of your son or daughter is finalized, the first thing to do is to identify and book a suitable venue. Good venues get booked very early and you may have to compromise by selecting a less-than-ideal venue.

Here are some pointers about selecting a good venue for your event:

Is this the right venue?

Capacity: I am sure you have a tentative guest count in mind. Shortlist the venues which can accommodate all your guests comfortably.

Availability: The venue has to be available on your event date. Sometimes people have made pencil bookings but if you are willing to commit with advance, many venue owners will allot the venue to you.

Flexibility: Do they allow you to bring your own decorator and caterer or you have to hire one from their fixed panel?

Cost Factors

There are several direct and indirect costs in hiring different venues. You must consider these before giving the final go ahead:

Cost of hiring the venue: This is one of the biggest cost head in addition to the catering cost. Check out what all costs are included in the basic cost. Specifically ask about additions like taxes and compulsory items like service charge.

Catering Costs: Some venues, especially hotels and clubs have in-house catering service. Some other venues have a preferred list of caterers from which you have to choose. Find out the cost of hiring the catering service for your wedding and related ceremonies, if you decide to use their services and check how different this is from the cost you would have incurred otherwise.

Decoration Costs: Find out the charge of decorations for your event, if the venue has in-house or empanelled decorators.

Electrical Costs: Do they charge a separate fixed or variable cost for the electricity consumption? How much?

Overtime Fee: some venues may have prescribed hours within which you have to hand over. They may charge a hefty amount for overtime occupancy.

Cancellation charge: What is their cancellation fee if you have to cancel the booking due to some unforeseen situation? This needs to be kept in mind too.

Logistics

Rooms and Restrooms: Do they provide extra rooms for storing things and for the bride and/or groom to get ready? Are these rooms chargeable?

The banquet hall should look modern and contemporary so that the guests feel energetic and excited while attending the party. You might also opt for some heritage property to give your functions a grand look.

If the main function is to be held in an open area, you have to decide keeping the weather – heat and rain – in mind.

Fire Exits: For closed areas, it helps to find out if there is a decent fire fighting arrangement and proper fire exits if an emergency evacuation is needed.

Parking Lot: A sizeable parking lot in or near the wedding venue is a necessity. The guests can get quite inconvenienced, even with valet parking, otherwise.

Security: A fat Indian wedding needs good security arrangement as the guests will be wearing expensive jewellery. There may be some celebrity guests also. It helps to have good CCTV monitoring and allied security arrangements.

Water Logging: If the event is to be held in rain-prone season, make sure that the area near the venue does not get waterlogged or else your event is bound to be badly spoiled. Verify that the venue entry area remains free of mud and slush despite heavy rain.

In the wedding of the daughter of one of my friends, a senior guest actually did not get down from the car at the entrance as it was mud-spattered. She was worried that the mud could spoil her very expensive designer lehenga and actually turned back from the entrance. You can imagine the embarrassment for both the host and the guest.

Travel facilities: Not all of your guests would come in private cars. Some would use the public transport. Is the place well connected by public transport? Can the guests get a vehicle for their return?

Wedding Cakes: Nowadays it is quite common to cut and serve a cake during the wedding reception. Will you need to buy the cake from the in-premise patisserie or you can get it from your favorite cake shop?

Bar: Does the venue house a licensed bar? Some places allow you to get your favorite drinks from outside and they will serve them at no extra cost. For others, you may be forced to buy the drinks from them only.

DJ: Music has become an integral part of most events. You may like to get a DJ to play your favourite background music to create a nice ambiance. Young and teenage children may even want to shake a leg and you will need to setup a dance area and ample capacity speakers. Check out the possibilities.

Lodging Facilities: You will need to book lodging arrangement for your outstation guests. Will you book rooms in the same hotel or a nearby hotel? Check the room quality and other arrangements like swimming pool, 24-hour coffee shop, Internet facility etc before you decide.

Dress Code: Some clubs have a strict dress code and the guests have to be intimated well in advance so that they can make suitable arrangement. For some places, the strict dress code may be the deal breaker.

This is only a guideline. You can come up with many more venue-specific questions when you actually visit a venue. Generally you tend to evaluate a few venues on different parameters before paying the deposit and confirming one.

If you have hired a wedding planner, he or she might be able to help you with lots of grunt work for the venue selection. She may even get you a booking in one of the prime property through her connection.

For the sake of convenience and ease of planning the other logistics of the marriage, check out WedPlan, the online wedding planning software for end to end planning and management. There is a small investment but it offers a very good Return on Investment.

Visit www.weddingplanning.in and request FREE demo access – today!

Wedding Planning Checklist: Plan Early, Plan Well

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Wedding Planning Checklist

Getting married? Wedding in family? This must be one of the most important things in your life. It is believed that love or matrimonial alliance between two is arranged in the heavens. But that is the easy part. Niecy Nash had once famously said-“Falling in love was the easy part; planning a wedding-yikes!”

This wedding planning checklist will help you manage the wedding in a smooth way without unnecessary expenses and hassles due to poor planning and last minute frantic rush.

Your Guest List

The guest list is a key element of your wedding plan. You have to start early and discuss with all members of the family to make sure no one is left out. May be you already have an Excel sheet. You may even have the data in your Outlook or other contact managers.

Excel sheets are most popular with people managing the guest list, but these can turn very clumsy as soon as you make changes and add columns for events, gifts, arrivals, departures etc.

You will need to make separate lists or have columns for invitees to the different events like wedding, reception, cocktail parties and other theme parties. Then you will need to mark RSVPs based on their responses or your personal invites.

Shopping lists

Shopping for weddings is fun though extremely tiring and strenuous. If you don’t make elaborate checklists and plan the budget for different categories like clothes, jewellery, accessories, furniture, gifts etc, you will end up spending much higher than your planned budget and may even have to forego some important items.

You should start your shopping as early as possible because several items have to be custom built and you will need to order them early to get delivery in time. Buy things available in the same area or mall together to avoid running from one place to another.

You will also need to list and buy samagri (items) for different wedding rituals to avoid last minute rush and inconvenience.

Venue Selection and Decoration

Selection of the venue for the engagement ceremony, wedding, reception and other parties is another difficult task. Most of the good and central venues get booked much in advance.

You need to shortlist venues based on the area, references, number of guests it can accommodate etc. Check if they have a covered and air-conditioned area if the event is during rainy or summer time. Spare rooms for the bride and family to get ready will also be needed.

It is important to check the overall cleanliness of the banquet hall as well as the area near the venue. Make sure they have clean washroom facilities also.

Some venue owners insist on their own empanelled decorators and caterers. This needs to be an important consideration before you register.

Transport arrangement

Transport of the wedding party from the residence to the venue needs to be comfortable or else you will arrive in crumpled dresses, full of sweat, cursing and not enjoying. Similarly, you should arrange ample transport for the outstation guests to ferry them from the airport and railway stations to the hotels where they will be put up.

This simple thing can make or break the satisfaction and excitement level of the guests.

Hotel Accommodation

The outstation guests need to be put in suitable hotels. You will really have to juggle the budget and facilities for this. This is an expense head that eats up lots of money with nothing much to show. If you have a good indication of the exact number of rooms you will need, you can negotiate a good rate with the hotel manager by referring to the total number of room-nights you will be confirming.

You will also need to station a hospitality team at the hotel lobby to guide the guests about the events. Some guests also want to visit the local attractions or shop around in the spare time. They will need to be guided well so that they can relax and enjoy more.

Complaints about inadequate facilities or lack of proper information can really embarrass you. The charts listing the rooms available and occupancy details undergo massive changes every minute and hour. You will need an efficient person to keep on top of this.

Catering Services

Most of the people will forgive you for other mistakes if you serve them good food. People talk about the great food and arrangements years after the event.

While many people get satisfied with an elaborate menu, dishes from matching and complementary cuisine can impress the guests a lot. You have to plan the menu with the caterer and your family keeping in mind the guest list.

Do you have people insisting on vegetarian or Jain items? You have to setup separate counters for them. Highlight the dish names and cuisine to help people to taste more items from your elaborate spread and relish them.

Don’t forget that you will also need to plan for the food you serve at your residence or the place where you will stay. Your challenge will be to serve unique items every time and include at least a few new items to surprise and impress your guests.

Set up a few live counters based on your decided cuisine. Having one or two stalls exclusively for children is not a bad idea as they could keep them engaged and happy.

Make-up artist/beautician/mehendi artist

Mehendi is an important function in many Indian weddings. Get the best artists within your budget as poorly applied Mehendi can really put off the ladies and the girls. Enough make up staff to help get the guests ready will make them very excited.

The people helping the bride and groom get dressed up and made up will be separate and can’t be shared with the other guests. Again booking these people in advance is vital as it will be hard to get good people at short notice.

Photographer/Videographer

Ah those beautiful moments! Don’t you want to relive the exciting times again and again? Get the best photographer you can. Take references if you don’t have fixed family photographers.

Ask them to show the previous work. Discuss the budget and deliverables well in advance and clearly. Pre-wedding shoots are important and need to be included in the scope of work.

For most of the contractors, an informal contract or at least a written scope of work is vital as you will really like to avoid controversies at a later stage.

I am sure you know of 100s of other tasks that you need to accomplish smoothly to see through the wedding in style without getting stressed. WedPlan wedding planning software helps you to stay on top with 24×7 access from anywhere, anytime.  This comprehensive online software helps you manage all the logistics with a team-based working. Check out a FREE demo and experience the convenience!

Who needs outdated tools when you have the best wedding planning software to use!

WedPlan Allows You to Import Your Contact Lists

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Some of our prospects who really liked the WedPlan software were hesitating to use it thinking that they will have to enter information about all the guests manually. Are you thinking the same?

Import Contacts' data - wedding planning software

Let me put your mind at ease. We have a very sophisticated contacts’ import facility that allows you to import data from your Excel or compatible files. If you have the data in a database, just export it to a CSV file and then import it in WedPlan.

The software will guess and match columns from your table to the corresponding column in the software. So you may say fname and we will know that is to be put under ‘First name’. If we cannot guess a match, you can also drag and drop columns for the right match. This is easier done than said. The import only happens after you confirm all the matches.

Even if you have multiple data files like clients, family, friends, overseas guests – you are good to go. Just import these one by one and they will all be ready for you to start selecting invitees to the different functions.

Best wishes for your events! Experience the convenience – request the demo login details here.

Starting With WedPlan? Powerful Guest Data Import Facility

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Guest Data Import in Wedding Planning Software

Most of the prospects, who see the demo of the WedPlan software are quite impressed by the efficiency that it brings to planning and management of the wedding. However the typical concern they have is – how to enter our contact list in this software? This looks like a Herculean job!” Let me assure you – it is quite easy. Here’s how:

A. If you have your contacts’ data in one or more Excel files, you can import the data in the WedPlan software in about 2-5 minutes. We have a powerful import function coupled with a sophisticated field mapper, which intelligently matches the columns in your Excel to the right place in the contact form.

B. If you are using MS Outlook and want to import from there, the process is quite simple. Just export your data to CSV format and import it into WedPlan software using the above map and import function. It should take 5 minutes at best.

C. If you have your data in paper diaries, you will need to type your data in. However the tremendous convenience of access and quick updates that you will enjoy after converting your paper data to electronic format will make the work worth it.

So if you have been hesitating about using software like WedPlan due to fear of data entry work, rest assured. It is so much easier than you thought!

Wedding Planning Checklists for Stress-free Management

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Wedding Planning checklists

Wedding planning checklists have a vital role to play in the smooth management of the wedding arrangements.

If you prepare things-to-do lists for all major areas, you can pass these on to the person handling that activity, ensuring that the plans are executed perfectly.

Make a wedding list for all of the following:

  1. Shopping lists with clear sections for cloths, jewellery, cosmetics, gifts & others.
  2. Menu for all the functions to ensure that the minimum numbers of dishes are repeated across the entire wedding.
  3. Up to date guest lists for different functions.
  4. Venue arrangements to verify before the event starts.
  5. List of guest arrivals and departures at airport and railway station.
  6. Hotel room provisions’ checklists.

Naturally there will be 100s of checklists and the above list is just to get you started.

WedPlan has a dedicated section to store these planning checklists. Any user can retrieve a list from here as required and carry out the job with the least risk of confusion.

Family Relation Management with WedPlan

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Family Relation Manager
Family Relation Manager

The WedPlan wedding planning software has another use – the Family Relation Manager or FRM. Here’s how!

When you maintain your contacts information (including details of family & friends) with WedPlan, you can stay in constant touch with them.

Keep their information updated without any work on your part. You can request address and family updates from all your contacts in less than a minute and your folks will be able to edit their records themselves.

Similarly, you can send greeting cards and messages through the system on different festivals to spread the cheer.

The FRM system sends you weekly alerts for birthdays and anniversaries in the coming week so that you can call and greet them personally. You very well know how strong the bonds become when you call them on every occasion and wish them well.

Of course, WedPlan helps you to effortlessly plan the family parties like birthday and anniversary celebrations in addition to the weddings in family.

Get started now and send the New Year Greetings through your own FRM – easily!

Click here to take a no-obligation FREE demo of the WedPlan wedding planning and family relation manager software now!

Scheduled SMS from WedPlan

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Scheduled SMS from WedPlan

We are happy to announce Scheduled SMS feature in WedPlan for making your life even simpler.

You could always send SMS from WedPlan but the text messages went out the moment you would send them. So if you wanted to remind the guests in the morning of the event, you had to send the messages then only. But you can imagine how hectic things are on that day and it was a chore to have to sit down and send a SMS blast.

To make your life simpler, we now allow you to schedule your SMS in advance. You can select the guest list, specify the text message and the date & time when the SMSs have to go out.

Not only this, the recipient list is dynamic. If you add more people to the selected groups or modify some mobile numbers, up to date information will be used to send the messages at the scheduled time. This eliminates the faux pas that a fixed list might cause.

Remind your guests at the right time and make sure all of them attend your events!

WedPlan Offers Secure Data Access

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WedPlan works in secure access  mode

At WedPlan, we take your data security very seriously and that is why, our website as well as the online wedding planning software work on secure pages.

What it means: WedPlan offers secure data access through HTTPS. Most sites are accessible on HTTP which is not secure and a sniffer can view the data while being sent from your computer to the Internet.

This feature reduces the chances of someone hacking your data while you are using the site to zero.

Check out the free demo and experience the convenience – for yourself.

Met Awesome Events People at EMF’s ACE 2014

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ACE 2014 by EMF

I visited Event Management Federation’s (EMF) event and exhibition at Ahmedabad on 12th and 13th September 2014 to meet the wedding and event planners of Gujarat.

I met some fantastic people there, doing great work in events and weddings. While some people were thinking “Why bother with an online software when Excel does the work just fine”, several others appreciated how an online software with a team based approach will make the logistics management work extremely easy to handle.

Events are all about using the latest concepts, creatives and gadgets and a powerful data management software can bring incredible convenience to both the planners and the clients.

We are looking forward to doing business with several of them in the near future. If you are an EMF member, please refer this fact when you order your copy. We have a surprise discount for you 🙂

Why Did We Develop a Wedding Planning software?

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Recently we celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary (thanks for your kind wishes)  and while planning the arrangements, guest list, menus, gifts and all the other logistics issues, I extensively used Excel and paper diaries. Soon I got frustrated like crazy.

The data was all over the place and I had to personally update everything even though different people were looking at the various aspects of the planning and managing work. A horrifying thought came to my mind – how am I going to handle the management nightmare when my son will get married sometime in near future?

I asked around for a good software solution and found that there are no quality software available in the market. A few that were, catered to American style weddings and were all single computer based software resulting in me having to update all the records.

Wedding Planning Software

What does a software development company do in such situations? It starts looking at building a software to fill the gap. That’s exactly what we did. Of course, we talked around, did some surveys and tried to find out the pain points of other parents who are all facing similar challenges.

Introducing WedPlan, the wedding planning software that will make your life easier with integrated planning and managing facilities. You don’t need to download or install any software. Just sign-up and start using.

Add your family members, friends and relatives who will help you manage the show. Assign responsibilities to people and watch the updates happening in the various areas. Get a summary on a a single dashboard and drill down to any area for a detailed look.

Get more free time to enjoy the rituals with your family because the arrangements are proceeding smoothly. Check out the details of the user-friendly software.

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