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Category Archives: Wedding Planning

Top 10 Wedding Planning Mistakes Couples Make

There is so much to think about when wedding planning, from choosing a venue to deciding on catering to crafting a day-of timeline…

It’s enough to make your head spin. Thankfully, you can learn a lot from wedding planners and couples who have already been through it. One of my most frequently asked questions is, “What are common mistakes that you see couples making while wedding planning?” To help answer that question for everyone, here are the top 10 mistakes I see couples make when planning their wedding.

1. Booking a venue before considering additional costs

Having a finalized wedding venue feels so great, and venues tend to be so expensive that securing one in your budget can offer immense relief. However, “cheap” venues often incur additional unanticipated costs for many couples, such as through a restrictive preferred caterers list. If you’re required to use a preferred caterer, be sure there is an option you like that fits your budget; otherwise, catering may turn into a more significant line item than you planned for. Other costs to look out for include tables and chairs not being provided by the venue for the ceremony and/or reception (requiring you to rent them from your caterer or another vendor instead). 

Remember: taxes, delivery fees, and gratuity can quickly add up.


2. Not having a Plan B for outdoor events

Outdoor weddings can be wonderful, and they’ve lasted the test of time for a reason. However, many things could happen, from rain to high winds to heat waves, so it’s essential to have a backup plan (even if it “never rains that time of year.” The most convenient option: A venue with both indoor and outdoor spaces. A popular alternative is to rent a tent. Tents allow you to have your wedding outdoors while protecting you from (most) elements. However, you should note that rentals are costly and are often not readily available at the last minute. Depending on how many people and dining tables need to fit, event tents can cost upwards of $5,000, including delivery and pick-up fees. When possible, decide early in your planning whether or not you want to rent tents.


3. Making decisions based on price, not priorities

Everyone has different priorities for their wedding day. For some people, a specific venue is non-negotiable, and for others having the best photographers is the most essential part. If a particular aspect of your wedding day is vital to you, be sure to budget appropriately for it and book it first. There is no “right” budget breakdown for a wedding. It is all about what you want for your wedding. 

Remember: When wedding planning on a budget, you can have anything, but not everything.


4. Budgeting too little (or not at all) for alterations

Be sure to budget enough money and time for alterations. Alterations can take 2-4 fitting appointments and cost anywhere from $150 – $1000+, especially for custom-ordered wedding dresses. At a minimum, most wedding dresses will require a hem and the addition of a bustle (if the dress has a train), and many people also need the bust taken in. It’s also common to have bra cups sewn into the dress, so you don’t have to worry about finding a comfortable bra that works with your dress.

Whether your wedding attire is a dress, a suit, or a jumpsuit, you can expect to need minor alterations if you want the perfect fit. 

Bonus tip: Remember to budget for accessories (jewelry, watch, veil, etc.)!


Speaking of attire…


5. Choosing uncomfortable attire

Of course, you want your wedding outfit to be just as you envision. Still, it should also be comfortable since weddings are usually a whole day affair. Make sure you have shoes you can walk and dance in or plan for a change of shoes. Make sure you sit in your apparel when shopping and at fittings to ensure you can do it comfortably (or at all!). 

Most importantly, make sure you love it! It’s okay if you don’t cry happy tears when you try it on, but you should wear what you know will make you happy and feel good on your wedding day.  


6. Not allocating enough time for photos 

Generally, everything on your wedding day will take longer than you expect. This is especially true for hair and makeup, photos, videography, and transitions. Leaning on the advice of professional vendors and asking how long they recommend for their services is crucial. No one can predict the length of these things down to the minute. Still, your vendors will have a pretty good idea of how long makeup or photos will take, particularly for your group size. When in doubt, it helps to add a little buffer time here and there.


7. Doing too much DIY

When planning on a tight budget, many people turn to Do-It-Yourself (DIY) decor. You may be creative and love crafts, and you know you can make your stationery and decor cheaper than renting or buying the same things. However, I have yet to talk to a DIY couple who did not feel completely overwhelmed and stressed out in the months leading up to the wedding, realizing all their DIY is taking three times longer than expected. This is something to consider when deciding whether to make, rent, or buy items for your wedding.

Remember: You can spend your time, or you can spend your money. 


8. Forgetting to plan breakfast and lunch 

If you’re having a dinner reception, as most people do, you need to plan what you and your wedding party will eat for breakfast and lunch on the day of the wedding. If you’re usually someone who skips breakfast, make it a priority on your wedding day to at least eat something small, like fruit or toast. It’s a LONG day, and you need to be nourished and hydrated. 

Since you will likely eat breakfast around 8am or earlier, and dinner won’t be until 6pm, you also need to plan for lunch. You want to avoid figuring out last-minute lunch plans while getting your hair and makeup done, but also, you and your wedding party need to eat.


9. Focusing too much on others

Your wedding day is a day to celebrate the love between you and your partner. You are the most critical part of this day. Really though, the wedding will only happen with you there. As you move through the planning process, limit how much information you share with people who like to give unsolicited opinions (someone come to mind?). Even when you do ask for opinions and advice, remember to ultimately trust your gut and make the choice that is best for you, your partner, and your event as a whole.

To prioritize yourself on your wedding day, I recommend being the first ones to eat dinner and taking some time for just you and your partner in the middle of this exciting yet exhausting day. A great way to do this is to have a “sweetheart table” for you two to eat at rather than sitting with your wedding party or family. Your wedding party members likely want to sit with their friends and plus ones, and you’ll have time later to talk with family.

If you’re not someone who usually puts yourself first, give yourself permission to do that for your wedding day.


10. Not hiring a day-of coordinator 

Last but not least, the one you knew was coming: You should hire a wedding coordinator. It is easy to say that your friends and family will help set up and organize your wedding day (and maybe they’ve already volunteered); however, you’ll want your friends and your family to enjoy the wedding without worrying about whether the catering will be ready on time or if all the centerpieces are set up. That is where your event coordinator comes in. Their entire job is to manage the logistics of the wedding in the final months leading up to the wedding and on your wedding day.

Even if a wedding planner doesn’t feel right for you or your budget, having an event coordinator (not the same as your venue coordinator) is a must-have to ensure you can truly enjoy your day.

Booking a wedding planner will save you time and stress, so contact me if you’d like to work together to bring all your great ideas to life!


What Does a Wedding Planner Actually Do?

Planning a wedding can be a fun and exciting experience, especially when you think of the big picture.

However, it can quickly become overwhelming once you start thinking about all the details and decisions. This is likely your first time planning a wedding (or an event of this size), and you may have a full-time job or other commitments where you need to spend your time. Sure, you may have a family member that is really good at organizing things and has more free time to help. Still, what happens when their opinions become too much or the wedding weekend arrives, and they want to enjoy the fun?

That is where a wedding planner steps in! Planners help you through the research and decision-making process, keep you on track, and ensure you and your family and friends can enjoy the moment.

Wedding planners are experts in the event industry. They can coordinate an event that is not only personalized to you but beautiful and logistically sound, all while respecting your budget comfort zone. A planner allows you, and anyone involved in planning, to focus on “fun” parts of the planning process (menu tasting, design, etc.). At the same time, they handle the logistics and back-and-forth details with vendors.

“…at the core is ensuring the wedding day runs smoothly.”

Many planning companies offer a variety of packages ranging from event coordination (also known as day-of or month-of coordination) to partial/guided planning to full-service planning. These packages may vary between planning companies, but at the core is ensuring the wedding day runs smoothly.

Sounds simple, right? The reality is your planner will spend anywhere from 30-40 hours on an event coordination package and 150+ hours on a full-service package, not to mention up to 12 hours on your wedding day! Let’s briefly break down the high-level difference between a wedding coordination package and a wedding planning package and what a planner might be responsible for in each of these:

Wedding Coordinator

  • Typically steps into the planning process around 2-3 months before the wedding
  • Assists in communicating final details and logistics with vendors you selected
  • Creates a comprehensive wedding weekend timeline to share with vendors as well as you and your wedding party
  • Is onsite on the wedding day, directing vendors and ensuring the timeline is being followed and the day runs smoothly

Wedding Planner

  • With you from the beginning, sometimes even before you have selected a date and location
  • Assists you in establishing a vision and realistic budget 
  • Connects you with professional vendors to bring your vision to life and reviews all contracts
  • Communicates all details and logistics with vendors throughout the entire planning process
  • Helps create a cohesive design based on your vision and budget
  • There to guide you during planning, providing etiquette guidance on aspects such as invitations, family situations, and wedding day flow
  • Creates a comprehensive wedding weekend timeline to share with vendors as well as you and your wedding party
  • Onsite on the wedding day, directing vendors and ensuring the timeline is being followed and the day runs smoothly

View My Planning & Coordination Packages

Planning packages offer a long list of services a planner will do to help make the wedding process stress-free and enjoyable for you and your family. However, in addition to that long list of service offerings, many more services are not listed that help make your wedding day seamless and let your friends and family have the experience of a lifetime. 

Some of these lesser-known services are…

  • Listening and empathizing as you go through the ups and downs of wedding planning
  •  Putting out fires and solving problems that arise on wedding day (without you ever knowing!)
  • Fashioning a bustle out of safety pins and thread underneath your dress when yours breaks
  • Ensuring that you and your partner actually get to eat the food at your wedding, uninterrupted
  • Finding another vendor last minute when your vendor gets sick on the day of your wedding
  • Giving you and your partner (and wedding party) breath mints and tissues before walking down the aisle
  • Making sure you have your room key/phone/wallet at the end of the night before you leave
  • Having bobby pins, boutonniere pins, and a steamer on hand to fix up any outfit
  • Helping out all your other vendors to help them bring their A-game

A wedding planner is much more than someone who shows up on the wedding day and tells people what to do (though that’s important too)! Trusting your planner and knowing they have your best interest in mind is essential. They are experts in their field and have seen a thing or two when it comes to weddings.

Booking a wedding planner will save you time and stress, so contact me if you’d like to work together to bring all your great ideas to life!

Blog photo by Saaty Photography


You’re Engaged! Now What…?

Congratulations, you’re engaged!

Being engaged and beginning wedding planning should be a fun experience, but sometimes it can feel stressful or overwhelming instead.  You may be wondering where to begin as you start visualizing your wedding day. What should I do first? How much is this wedding going to cost? Who should I invite?

Here are the top three things I recommend you put at the top of your wedding planning to-do list.

1. Discuss with your partner key wedding planning decisions.

Once engaged, the first step in the wedding planning process is to sit down as a couple and discuss three key wedding planning topics.

First, establish who is involved in the decision-making process. Throughout the wedding planning journey, you will be faced with countless decisions. Where will the wedding take place? How many people will be invited? What is the overall vibe of the day? It is important that you and your partner decide early whether decisions will only be yours or whether your parents or other family members will be contributing.

Next, as you think of all the initial considerations, you’ll also want to figure out your overall budget. Talk with anyone who may be contributing financially to gather the information needed to set your maximum wedding budget. Before you start booking anything, it is crucial to decide how much you’re comfortable spending.

Lastly, talk with your partner about your top priorities for the wedding day. Perhaps your top priorities are the food, or maybe it’s having a live band. Regardless, it’s important to remember the must-haves as you begin to work through your budget and plan your wedding day.

2. Hire a wedding planner.

Okay, okay, I know I’m bias, but for many people, your wedding day is one of the most important (and expensive) days of your life, and I believe you should be able to enjoy it! Like your engagement, your wedding day happens once, and it will be over in the blink of an eye! So why not hire someone who will allow the wedding planning process to be stress-free and enjoyable? A wedding planner guides you in the decision-making process based on your priorities and budget. Planners help you mediate between different opinions throughout the process. Plus, they allow you to be fully present on the wedding day! There are wedding planners for all kinds of people and budgets, so regardless of how long you’ve been engaged, now is a great time to begin looking for a wedding planner who is within your budget and set up a few consultation calls to find the best fit for you and your partner.

Pro tip: Book your wedding planner before you book a venue. Your venue choice will have a huge impact on the rest of your budget and planning, and a wedding planner can make sure you’re making the best choice for your vision and budget.

3. Determine your VIPs and ensure they can attend on your ideal wedding date at your preferred location.

Your third top to-do after getting engaged is to determine your VIPs – your loved ones you can’t imagine your wedding day without. Check with them to ensure they can attend on your ideal wedding date at your preferred location! Being transparent with your inner circle is a great step towards ensuring they’re all able to make it to your wedding day.

All in all, enjoy this amazing time of being engaged! Wedding planning tasks can quickly pile up, but I encourage you to take a step back and a moment to breathe before diving in too deeply. Booking a wedding planner will save you time and stress when getting started, so contact me if you’d like to work together to plan your dream wedding day!

Booking a wedding planner will save you time and stress, so contact me if you’d like to work together to bring all your great ideas to life!

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