The Big Three: Choosing your Venue, Entertainment, and Photographer

Your special day is quickly approaching! In order to make your celebration the most enjoyable and memorable it can be, careful selection of your venue, entertainment, and photographer is essential. We at Kari Lywood Events have put together some key tips to consider when considering the selection of these major vendors.


Venue Selection



Photo Credit: The Bell Tower on 34th

Keeping in mind your budget, consider venues that speak to your personalities as a couple and those that can accommodate your desires for decor and styling. Are you hosting both your ceremony and reception at the same venue? Are you considering an outdoor wedding?  Will your guest count limit your options? Consider these thoughts while conducting your research.

A good idea when sourcing potential venues is to record all information you are able to obtain in a spreadsheet or powerpoint with photos. This way, when you have looked at multiple venues, you can cross-compare all of the information and eliminate those right away that cannot accommodate your wishes. Be sure to note not only the name and location of the venue, but also its capacity, availability, parking details, catering, facility extras (such as tables, chairs, linens, and A/V equipment), and most importantly, their rates. If possible, save some photos of each so that you are able to better visualize your day. While not all of this information may be available on the venue’s website, reach out via email or phone and gather as much information as possible so that making your decision can be that much easier. It is important to research these key ideas when sourcing out venues so you can begin to consider whether or not the venue can fit into your budget. If the venue has higher rates for the time of year you are considering having your celebration, has an exclusive caterer, or does not provide some of these facility extras, your tab may skyrocket.

Once you have been able to narrow your list down to your favourites and those that best fit your dream, visit them! Explore the grounds and take a tour so you can better visualize your celebration. This is also a great time to gain more insight into specifics for your event by discussing with staff members. Most importantly, go prepared with questions, a camera, and a notebook! Take down all of the information you learn that day so that you can revisit your notes with your fiancée in a few days and make a decision.


DJ and Entertainment Selection


Photo Credit: BeatMixology

Everyone loves a good celebration! Therefore, the selection of the right DJ or entertainment is crucial. Just like your venue sourcing, spend time doing research and reading testimonials. Reach out to those that interest you and communicate your desires – what type of music you and your fiancée wish to have played during your celebration. Sometimes, particular DJs or bands are more comfortable or better suited to particular genres, so be sure to discuss this before booking. You’ll also want to consider the duration of their set – will they be playing solely during the entrance and dance time? During your meal? During your ceremony as well? These are all things you will want to discuss with your prospects. Many times, the DJ or entertainment service will offer MC services as well. Inquire about this if you do not want to delegate the task to a family member or friend during your celebration.


Photographer Selection


Photo Credit: Seth Partridge

Finally, one of the most important elements of your special day is the selection and hiring of a photographer and/or videographer. In depth research and careful consideration is essential. Not only will they be responsible for capturing the most special moments of your day, you will want to ensure that their creative eye is in line with your desires. Every photographer is different and specializes in particular areas (detail shots, portraits, etc.). You, as a couple, will want to determine a photography style, set up interviews, and view multiple pieces of work from your prospects. If you desire more candid shots, you’ll want to source a photographer who specializes in documentary versus portraiture, which would entail much more styled shots instead of candid. Meet with those who interest you and request to see their work, asking any questions and addressing any reservations you may have. Most importantly, you’ll want to be sure your personalities mesh! Nothing can bring more tension and stress to your celebration than working with a vendor (especially one who is so critical to the day) who you do not get along with.


In considering all of these elements for your special day, it is also worth thinking about hiring a day-of coordinator. At Kari Lywood Events, we offer day-of coordination packages that are designed to alleviate all stress from you as a couple, your friends, and family members on your special day. After all, this IS a celebration! Our coordinators will review your current to-do list, create a detailed itinerary for your wedding day, and communicate with your vendors to share your itinerary and any special instructions you may have! From 14-days prior to your wedding day, our coordinators will be the main point of contact and attend your rehearsal, assisting with on-site coordination. Hiring a day-of coordinator allows you to be confident that each of your guests are having the best time possible, responsibility free, and that you as a couple can celebrate your special day to its fullest extent.

For more information on our packages, visit our website at or fill out the form below!



Written by Stephanie La Civita, Event Coordinator at Kari Lywood Events


How to Start Planning your Dream Wedding

Congratulations! Before you begin your new lives as a happily married couple, the planning of your celebration must commence. We at Kari Lywood Events have put together some simple steps and reminders to help with your planning process.

Set the Date

Setting the date for your wedding is one of the first, and most essential steps in beginning to plan your dream day. Not only do many venues book up well in advance, this date will be critical when contacting  all other vendors for your day. Having this date in mind will also allow your to prioritize items on your checklist and allow for a clear path for you to follow over the next few months.


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Choose your Colours or Theme

This is where it gets fun – infuse your personalities!! Use colours and decor that best represent you as a couple. Knowing your ideal colours and theme are not only important for your decor at both your ceremony and reception, but are also extremely important for elements such as invites, flowers, and bridal party gowns. Decide whether you would like to have a more modern, romantic, or traditional feel to your wedding and choose colour palettes that compliment this, spreading similar style across all elements of your wedding for a cohesive, consistent appeal.


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Environment and Venue

Now you need a place! Visit multiple venues and see what can be best offered to fit your taste, personalities, and budget.


Photo Credit:


Dress Shopping!

Every girl’s favourite moment – finding “the one”! Start EARLY! This process takes time, and you do NOT want to feel rushed or pressured into a particular gown because of time constraints. Don’t settle. Fall in love. Keep in mind (multiple) alterations will be needed, and aim to have your dress well ahead of your wedding date.


Photo Credit: Lockhart’s Weddings and Special Occasions

Mail Invitations

Receiving a physical invitation in the mail for a wedding is always both traditionally valued and truly sentimental. Take the time to send each of your guests individual invitations! Follow-up thank you notes to each of your guests is always appreciated as well.


Photo Credit: Shine Wedding Invitations

Arrange Entertainment and Photography

Time to make your celebration the best it can be – this is YOUR DAY! Bring together your guests with a live DJ or band, fun activities, and a great photographer who can document the celebration as it happens. Join your guests in the festivities, and create your first memories as a newly married couple.


Photo Credit: Wedding Idea Box



Hire Help!

The planning process can be both overwhelming and, at times, challenging. Hire help! Handing off some of the responsibilities to a coordinator not only eliminates stress in the planning process and on your day, but allows both you and your loved ones to enjoy your celebration to the fullest, worry-free. Allow us to take on any troubles that may arise during the planning process or celebration! And most importantly, enjoy your day!



At Kari Lywood Events, we offer a variety of coordinating packages to suit the needs of your big day. Visit our website for more details, and forward all inquiries to We can’t wait to help make your day as special as possible! 

-Stephanie La Civita