Planning tips

Home/Planning tips

All in the details

Weddings typically are a first occasion to combine your and your partners’ aesthetics, tastes, and preferences into one place. The trick is to combine these and still make your wedding look cohesive and tasteful. Best weddings we have helped to design were the ones where both partners’ tastes were taken into consideration and that “yin and yang” of aesthetics created an amazing visual outcome. So don’t worry about staying in a certain color hue or following a certain design path. Just have fun with it and think outside of the box.

An homage to groom’s military background.

Couple’s goose pet got a floral representation.

Bride’s students drew each guest portrait to serve as an escort card.

All in the details2020-08-25T14:47:49+00:00

Stop and smell the roses

After choosing your perfect wedding venue it’s time to discuss your style, colors, and what type of wedding decor would suit you and your partner. A good starting point is discussing your favorite flowers and colors and building from there. The second factor would be your floral budget. As a general rule using flowers that are local and in season will bring your cost down. Also opting for low centerpieces vs. tall centerpieces will be more budget-friendly. You can also alternate tall and low centerpieces to create a more dimensional look.
Another way to lower your overall floral cost is to have larger tables and sit your guests 12 per table instead of a typical 10, the lower the number of tables, the lower the number of centerpieces.
When it comes to a bridal bouquet, I suggest that my clients not skimp here and choose something personal and meaningful. If you want exotic flowers, this is the place to use them.
For bridesmaids bouquets, you can simply pick a few types of flowers that you used in your bouquet and create either a mini version of your bouquet (minus the extravagant flowers) or make a monochromatic version of your bridal bouquet.
Have fun and don’t forget to stop and smell the roses!

Stop and smell the roses2020-06-28T17:47:55+00:00

Wedding planner?


I have done wedding planning professionally for the past decade. From a quaint 40 person wedding to over 350 guests extravaganza. What do these two had in common? No matter how many guests attended, every wedding had the same amount of moving pieces that needed to be coordinated. From the venue and seating charts to the DJ or band, florals, and your photography timeline, no matter how big or small your wedding is, your wedding day logistics are still quite complicated. So I guess the question shouldn’t be “do I need to hire a wedding planner,” but rather, “how do I hire the right wedding planner?”

I have done wedding planning professionally for the past decade. From a quaint 40 person wedding to over 350 guests extravaganza. What do these two had in common? No matter how many guests attended, every wedding had the same amount of moving pieces that needed to be coordinated. From the venue and seating charts to the DJ or band, florals, and your photography timeline, no matter how big or small your wedding is, your wedding day logistics are still quite complicated. So I guess the question shouldn’t be “do I need to hire a wedding planner,” but rather, “how do I hire the right wedding planner?”

Day of or full service?

That depends on how involved you can or are willing to be in your wedding planning because it truly is a full-time job. If you have time and love planning, I suggest hiring a day of the wedding planner. Even though those services are called “day of” I highly suggest meeting with your planner a few weeks out and conveying your message of how you envision your wedding day.

Hiring your “best friend”

Think of it that way, your planner will be your eyes and ears when you are enjoying yourself, s(he) will be the person that every vendor will approach with problems, changes or issues that arise during the wedding. And with so many moving parts, you can bet on things popping up for sure.
So the more s(he) knows the better s(he) can do the job, so you have the most ideal wedding day.

I liked to ask my clients for the priority list: what is the most important thing to them on their wedding day, what is the second and so on. This way I knew how to prioritize things when problems came up.

When choosing your planner it is important to find someone that you get along with well. This person will be with you practically 24/7 during one of the most important moments, while you are emotional, sensitive, agitated. You want someone that calms you down and makes you smile. I know that you can’t hire your best friend, but if you can get as close to that as possible you will be golden.

Wedding planner?2020-06-14T19:02:53+00:00

DJ or Band?

When wedding guests talk about any wedding they attended they usually comment on three things: how lovely the bride looked, how good the food was and how great the music was.

The first decision you will have to make is to decide if you want a live band or a DJ. There are pros and cons to both.
Live Band:
A great band will bring any crowd up on their feet and to the dance floor and make your wedding unforgettable.

Look for bands with equally talented male and female lead vocals. You will want that variety because the music you will want at your wedding is meant to satisfy many varied tastes. The same goes for the number of musicians and instruments, more pieces in the band-the better the musical outcome.
However, you will need to budget significantly more money for a live band than a DJ, and not only for their services but also for tips and the cost of meals for the band.

Keep in mind, that each band has its own style and it will perform certain songs in that style. So if you want lots of Adele and want it sounding exactly like Adele, don’t expect the band to pull it off flawlessly (there is only one Adele).

DJ
If you are more of a music purist and want to hear music true to the original, then a great DJ is your best bet.
DJs charge less money (it’s typically 1-2 ppl team vs. 6-8 for the band).
Some DJs offer enhancements in the form of a live sax player or a drummer, to enliven the original tracks they are playing.

When it comes down to the choice between a band or a DJ it is truly a personal preference. Most of my clients knew right away which music entertainment they wanted. But whichever one you decide on make sure you get to see them performing live before booking. It is truly the best way to judge their performance and seeing if you and the performers have that chemistry.

DJ or Band?2020-05-24T19:24:49+00:00

How to start your wedding planning NOW

I know that times are uncertain at the moment, but being an eternal optimist I choose to focus on the positive and look ahead to the smell of sweet summer air, never-ending sunsets, and ice-cream truck songs.

If your wedding was postponed or you just starting to plan for your wedding in the future, read on for real-life tips for a fully online (aka quarantine) wedding planning. Yes, some of the wedding planning steps can be taken virtually. Today’s post is on budgeting and choosing a venue.

First things first

Budget right and choose your dream venue.

Talk to your partner and decide if his/her family will contribute and what percentage, then come up with a $ amount that you can and are willing to spend and also a buffer $ amount in case you want to upgrade certain things or services along the way (trust me it happens!)

Once you have that number, divide it in half, that’s the money that you will spend on the wedding venue (food and drinks, the cake is usually included as well, but if you want something unique and custom you will need to use some of that buffer money here.) Once you have your $ number for the wedding venue, divide that number by the number of guests you will be inviting. That’s your per person price. Now comes the fun part, start looking online for your perfect wedding venue, look for real customer reviews, real wedding videos, and photos, cost per guest (although these are rarely accurate when posted online they can give you an idea if the venue you are looking at is in your budget range). You can also use the app 360 Site Visit to tour some venues virtually.

I suggest making a spreadsheet with venue name, address, phone number, and space for your notes and questions to the venue rep. Then start calling or emailing. Here is what you ask them about: 

a) What dates do you have available? (in the season and year that you are looking for)

b) What is your minimum guest count on those dates? Sometimes Friday and Sunday weddings have lower guest count requirements. Early afternoon weddings (12 pm to 5 pm) are also cheaper and have a lower guest count than evening weddings (usually 6 pm to 11 pm).

c) Can I add menu enhancements in lieu of the possibility of not meeting the minimum guest count?

d) What is the price per person ‘plus plus’? (which means that price includes service charge and taxes-that doesn’t mean tips, those will be added on later)

e) Are there any other fees that might be required? (ceremony fee etc.)

f) Are outside vendors allowed? (some venues only use their partner vendors, which in itself might not be bad, but you can’t price shop and you will be forced to spend what they are asking for)

Once you have your sheet completed with all the details, you will be able to make a preliminary decision on which venue would make your heart skip. Give your dream venue a call/send an email and ask what would the next step be. Since we are in a social distancing, they should have a plan in place to possibly take a small deposit until you are able to see the venue in person.

Photo credits in order of posting: Cody Raisig, Samantha Lauren, Joseph Delgado

How to start your wedding planning NOW2020-04-10T17:45:01+00:00