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This blog is designed to give advice on proper etiquette when planning events plus we threw in a few cool design tips on how to make your event fabulous!

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Courthouse or Traditional Wedding?

Posted on November 25, 2014 at 4:55 PM Comments comments (9)

I have worked with brides and researched a lot of trends in the wedding industry and I wanted to drop some advice for all the soon to be brides. I have noticed that a lot of brides put off their wedding date or try to lowball wedding vendors or venues because of money issues. I would like to give a piece of advice to all those who are seeking to save money for their big day.

 

1. Limit your guest list

 

Limiting the amount of people on your guest list can save you thousands of dollars and you can also invest more money into the things that you really want for your big day. Your wedding day should be shared with those closest to you and those you plan on talking to after the wedding. If you're spending big money on your day, you want it to be shared with those that mean the most to you and have invested in your lives.

 

2. Set a reasonable budget

 

Research vendors and their costs and set a budget that you and your fiance can both agree with that works with all the elements you want to include on your special day. Setting a $5,000 budget for a 250 person wedding with a Gatsby theme is not reasonable- you are spending less than $20 a person. You must include things like catering, linen rentals, decor, rings, dress, suit, etc in your overall budget and these things start to add up quickly.

 

3. Consider a courthouse wedding

 

If you can't afford a traditional wedding, don't get bent out of shape. After all, the most important things is having a healthy marriage after the wedding. Consider getting married at the justice of the peace. It's less than one hundred dollars! You can still dress up, have a best man/maid of honor, have a bouquet, take pictures, have rings etc. You could also have a belated reception up to 6 months after the wedding. If you still want a traditional wedding consider having one a few years down the line after you tie the knot at the JOP once you have enough saved up.

 

4. Consider DIY techniques

 

There are so many sites where you can plan an entire wedding using do it yourself techniques. Plus, you can save tons of money in the long run. For example you could make your own bridal bouquets using faux flowers which could save you tons of money. (There are video tutorials on this). So research some different things you can do and start planning.

 

5. Hire a wedding planner

 

Wedding planners often have connections with venues and vendors and may be able to connect your with resources that can help you stay within your budget. Find a planner that you like and that you can afford. After all, they will save you tons of time and money in the long run!

Top 10 reasons to hire a wedding or event planner

Posted on May 5, 2014 at 10:00 PM Comments comments (0)

There are a few reasons those of you who are thinking of having an event should hire a planner. A planner can save time, stress and act as a go to person for all aspects of the event. These are all just suggestions but in the long run, a planner can save you a lot of time and money.

1. If you are having an event involving over 100 guests

2. If you are having a wedding and the ceremony and reception are in two different locations

3. If you are having an outdoor wedding ceremony and indoor wedding reception

4. If you are planning a destination event

5. If you are planning an event out of town

6. If you are on a budget

7. If you want to save money

8. For a wedding - If you are having a short engagement and need to put an event together quickly

9. If you are too busy

10. If you are planning an event that is incorporating different cultures

I could go into more details about this reasoning but most of it is self explanatory.

Love & Peace

Whitney B

Wedding Planner vs. Venue Coordinator

Posted on May 5, 2014 at 9:25 PM Comments comments (0)

A wedding planner and venue coordinator are not one and the same. They may share similiar responsibilties and work together on the day of the event but they essentially have different functions and priorities. It is better to have knowledge before making a decision that could turn a beautiful event into a complete disaster. You are not paying for the same service twice. Wedding planners plan your vision for the day, venue coordinators work for the venue and may not be able to ensure everything runs as scheduled.

Picture this scenario: you are having a ceremony and reception in different locations and you are behind schedule getting to the reception hall due to an unexpected delay. The venue coordinator is going to follow what is on the schedule. You as the bride and groom will not have time to deal with communicating a delay issue to the venue.

Wedding planners have one priority: making your day flawless and smooth. They have a greater knowledge of what your day will look like. They will know every detail and will be on hand in case any issues arise. They will work and communicate with the venue if any issues arise. They will also ensure that the expectations of the couple are enforced by the venue. If anything goes wrong, they take care of it. Wedding planners build a team of professionals that will work with your budget, style and vision for your event. A wedding planner will also help you with proper etiquette for the day. There are a team of people who consult the wedding planner as far as where to put deliveries, how to set up, how to handle timing issues and delays, etc.

A venue coordinator is the ambassador for the venue. They act a a liasion between the venue operations team and the couple. They arrange menu tastings, event layout, etc. You will most likely not hear from them until a month before the wedding. They make sure the venue is set up according to what was discussed and they stick to the schedule that was outlined in the original agreement. If you're having a church ceremony the venue coordinator will not be able to help with that. Most of their suppliers are those who they have worked with and are paid on commission but with a wedding planner, most suppliers have built a relationship with that planner and have certain quality expectations because of this.

There is also a difference between the church coordinator and a wedding coordinator.  Church coordinators usually help facilitate your ceremony but they don't actually get involved in the details of planning it.

I hope this helps those of you who are considering hiring a wedding planner and want to know more in depth about the different roles.

Whitney B

Wedding Etiquette 101

Posted on March 3, 2014 at 11:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Dear Bride & Groom,

As I mentioned below, I will be doing a series of posts about proper wedding etiquette when it comes to the various roles of the bride, groom, friends and family of this major life changing event.This post is addressed to the bride's and groom's of the world.


Do not invite guests to your wedding just to receive gifts. I've had some brides and grooms say to me well, aren't guests supposed to pay for the wedding? Let me answer that quickly, no they are not. In other cultures in the world that is generally true and accepted but in America, you are inviting guests to your special day and the focus is not on receiving gifts but on what that day means to both of you and how you want to express that to others.

Do remember to invite close friends and all those important to you to your wedding parties and the big day. I know this may sound odd with me mentioning it but, there are instances where a family or friend may have been missed. Or you may think that it would not be a big deal to not invite them to a bridal shower or engagement party since they are coming to the wedding. But trust me, you want to avoid offending those close to you as much as possible. Before and after sending out invites, make sure you call/text and check to make sure all of the intended recipients have received them. It would be a shame to miss an invitation and hurt a loved one's feelings in the process. The best method is to check twice!

Do remember those that are helping to making your day special. Keeping a positive attitude and saying thank you goes a long way.

Avoid asking friends and family to take on various roles in the wedding that are meant for professionals. It's okay to ask for minor things like helping to pass out programs or guiding the crowd after the ceremony or helping to clean up after the event. But asking others to take photos, video, coordinate, provide food or DJ, etc is not a good idea for two reasons: If they are not certified or licensed in these areas and if you are unhappy with how things turned out or the quality of what was provided. There is no return policy when you hire friends. So you are stuck with the results. Two, that is a great burden and if you asking for these things as favors without compensation or gratuity, you are putting a great responsibility on those around you. The best thing to do is leave it to the professionals. There are affordable professionals that a wedding planner can help you locate in your area. If you don't have enough money to spend on these additional costs, then consider cutting down your guest count to cut costs or waiting to save enough money so that you can afford these services. And now more venues are requiring licensed or certified vendors in order to have your event at their location.

Do add elements to your wedding that will engage guests and make them feel apart of your special day.

Consider including children in the reception. "Adult only events" put strain on those who have children. Put yourself in the place of the parents, who may be coming from out of town and may not have someone to babysit their children. You can add elements like a kid's corner so that they will be entertained during the wedding. 

Pay vendors on time. There is nothing worse for a vendor than providing a service for a couple and payment not being made on time.

Do work as much through familial relationships and problems BEFORE the wedding date. Lets face it, your spouse may not get along with your parents and vice versa. It is better to face these problems head on and work through them before the wedding to avoid stress and strain on the wedding day.

Do not invite more people than what you have to spend on the wedding budget. More people = more in wedding costs. It is not realistic to invite 500 people and have a budget of $5,000. It is almost impossible to do that. If you want quality, you will have to spend more. And nowadays, most wedding planners charge $5,000 just for servicing your wedding!

Do send thank you notes to your guests after the wedding. A handwritten message is much better than a spoken thank you when most of your guests have traveled, broughts gifts, took off work, etc for your special day.

I hope this helps all of you couples have a more enjoyable wedding season! It doesn't have to be stressful if you take an expert's advice. ;)

Peace,

Whitney B.


Wedding Etiquette 101

Posted on January 31, 2014 at 12:10 AM Comments comments (0)

I will be doing a series of posts about wedding ettiquette since a lot of people do not know about proper wedding etiquette when it comes to vendor payments, invitations, friend and family roles, etc. My first post will be addressed to invitees. If a couple mails you a save the date card or an invitation, please refrain from posting a picture or "instagramming" a photo of the invite onto social media sites, such as Facebook, Instagram, Vine, etc. There are many reasons why this is not appropriate. First off, they may not want everyone to know where they are getting married. What if an uninvited guest showed up at the wedding without an invitation because they saw something on social media? Second, there may be an ex spouse or ex girlfriend/boyfriend that might not be too happy about them getting married. We like to believe people are inherently good but everyone does not have your best interests at heart. Third and lastly, they may not want to offend acquaintances that they purposely did not invite to the wedding. Think about it, you may have close friends that are friends with others who you find to be an acquaintance but not someone you want to invite your wedding. And you may hang out with them with your close friends but don't see them as someone you want to invite to your special event. Trust me, people get upset about things like this and I have seen a lot in this industry. I hope that you all will find this information useful the next time you are invited to someone's big day.

Love & Peace,

Wedding Bells & Events

Winter Wedding Inspiration

Posted on December 4, 2013 at 6:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Looking for decor ideas for your upcoming winter wedding? Bridal Guide has new and fresh decor ideas for couples who choose to get married during the cold months of the year. Whether you're looking for a cake or dress, you will find these ideas truly inspiring! Check out http://www.bridalguide.com/planning/the-details/reception/winter-wedding-ideas#136390 for more information! 


Photo credit: Debra Gulbas Photography

Looking for a non-traditional processional entrance?

Posted on November 4, 2013 at 12:30 AM Comments comments (0)

Processionals are an important component in all wedding ceremonies. If you don't want to have a traditional processional, check out this classic video on youtube . There are also other ways to enter in to your ceremony so consult with your local wedding planner for more ideas. 

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The best months to get married

Posted on October 3, 2013 at 5:15 AM Comments comments (0)

"So, you want a summer wedding?" That was a question that I had asked a customer after she explained to me her dreams of being married in the summer. Although May, June and July are some of the most poular months to get married, they are some of the HOTTEST months too, if you live down south. You gals in the southern hemisphere know what I'm talking about. Merit that those months are full of brides packing bright festive colors on their wedding day, there are some other months to consider when getting married. 

January.

Although the time of year seems a little dull after new years, a lot of wedding professionals and venues offer huge discounts to couples who book during this month.

February.

There is a growing population of brides who are getting married during this Valentine's Day weekend. It's a good time to show your love for each other and also vendors are scrambling to fill those empty holes in their schedules so they are liable to give you a good deal.

August.

Although the back to school fuss tends to makes things a little crazy when tryng to fill up your guest list but I bet you didn't know that there is not a lot of competition between brides during this month. It's a great time get married and as I said before, vendors will probably give you a nice discount to go along with it.

So like I mentioned there are plenty of fabulous times to get married throughout the year, especially if you are in the business of saving money. Don't limit yourself to a certain month just because it's what you've dreamed of. Think of the benefit of saving all that cash, you'll have a little extra to spend on the honeymoon!


Love & Peace,

Whitney B.


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