Embracing your lifestyle, national origin, gender expression, ability, culture, traditions and values.

Dan Jones, a wedding minister for all genders

Embracing Ceremony Blog

Five Guidelines for Planning Your Wedding

Are you in the early stages of thinking about your wedding day? Since you’re reading this you’re already doing the first couple of steps in planning your wedding that I recommend to achieve a dream-fulfilling wedding day.

planning your wedding for a dramatic location
Are you planning your wedding to be in a dramatic outdoor wedding location? We have plenty of those in Taos, New Mexico!

What are my credentials for offering this advice you may ask? I’m a wedding minister in Taos, New Mexico. As a Taos wedding officiant I work with many other wedding vendors in northern New Mexico and have seen a lot of successful weddings.

Start Planning Your Wedding Early

planning is necessary even for an elopement wedding
Even a last-minute elopement benefits from a little planning

Even if yours is a simple, intimate wedding or elopement, you’ll want to start planning your wedding early. The final month leading up to your wedding date means myriad decisions and many unexpected variables. By starting sooner rather than later you’ll have addressed many of these things earlier in your planning stages. And your research will inform you to make better decisions when they need to be hasty. Example: Your florist calls two days before your wedding to let you know the calla lilies you’d dreamed of for your bouquet are not available. But you remember seeing a company in Hawaii that can overnight them. Or you remember an alternative lily that will work for you.

Do Research

While planning your wedding, utilize wedding powerhouse websites and organizations such Wedding Wire. This consolidates your research within one place. But don’t limit your research to one company. Do Google searches specific to your interests and needs. There might be a well-suited vendor for your intimate wedding that doesn’t list on Wedding Wire but will quickly be found when searching on the web. For example, if you look on Wedding Wire for a Taos wedding officiant you’ll get dozens of choices, but many of them are located hours away from Taos and will likely involve a travel fee. On the web you can try variations on the search terms such as “same sex wedding celebrant Taos”, “wedding officiator Taos” and “Taos wedding interfaith minister”. Go to more than the top three websites. Delve into those listed on pages two and three of your search.

Utilize Facebook to corroborate what you’re learning on the web. It isn’t a deal breaker, but if the company or individual has an active Facebook page complete with reviews, pictures and helpful information you can probably assume they’ll be equally responsive to your individual needs when you’re working together. And it certainly can offer you peace of mind as to their validity.

Be sure to read reviews of your prospective vendors. Reviews on a vendor website are great, but even more valuable are the ones curated on an independent website. Those can be more trusted. Look for recent reviews, not ones from five years ago. Look for reviews that address your type of wedding. If every review is for an elopement-type ceremony it may not translate to your 200-guest affair at a swanky resort.

Thorough planning results in a happy wedding day
Taos wedding officiant Dan Jones of Embracing Ceremony keeps everyone smiling.

Talk to Multiple Vendors

Develop a list of your favorite vendors as you go about planning your wedding. Talk to multiple vendors for each thing or vendor need on your list. Have a list of standard questions (even if it is just 2-3) so you can compare their answers. You only need one musician for your ceremony music. But you might choose number one only to learn that they are not available on the date of your wedding. Rather than going back to the drawing board, it is nice to have your research done and be ready to contact your second choice. (You don’t have to tell them they’re your second choice!)

Ask Vendors for Recommendations

With careful planning, Taos wedding minister Dan Jones makes sure your parents are honored.

As a wedding vendor in a small town, I can tell you it is particularly helpful to network with your vendors as you interview them and once they’re hired. Each vendor you select and contract with may have valuable insight to other aspects of your wedding vendor team. For example, as a wedding officiant in Taos I’ve worked with many deejays. A powerhouse company from Albuquerque recently botched every single cue during one very high-end ceremony at El Monte Sagrado; however, our local DJ Oliver Knight is not only easy to work with, he’s been flawless every time I’ve worked with him. You can depend on his delivery of smooth transitions and ability to hit every cue.

Make Vendors a Team

Nothing will make your wedding day run more smoothly than having it well planned. If you’ve hired a wedding planner you can trust this to them. Otherwise, make sure that your vendors have the names and contact information of your other vendors. If they’re seasoned professionals their interactions can be very brief, but can make all the difference. As an example, when I’m officiating at a unique wedding location in Taos, the photographer may be new to the spot. I can suggest photogenic vignette spots a short walk away that’ll be perfect for some posed family portraits.

It should give you peace of mind that on your wedding day – when you’re hopefully luxuriating in a long morning of spa treatments! – that your team knows what they’re doing and if they encounter a question they have a list of who to ask, rather than interrupting you to ask whether you want the musician set up on the left or right, front or back.

Wedding Officiant with Experience

When you’re ready to research the person that’ll be standing with you and pronouncing you joined in marriage I hope you’ll call me at 720-849-5967 or visit my information-laden website. You’ll find me easy to work with and full of fun and innovative ideas that will make planning your wedding the fun time it is meant to be!

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