free wedding planning advice …

While we are veteran wedding planners (twelve years), we still learn things at each wedding. Seriously. Something new, all the time! Even though we have pretty much experienced (almost) everything.

So today, for you DIY couples that are planning your own wedding without the advice or direction from a professional planner, I’m going to give you some free advice.

free advice on wedding planning:

  1. Never ever, assume. This seems obvious, but this mistake happens all the time. You assume the bartenders will clear the tables after your wedding. You show your florist a photo of a centerpiece that you like and you are excited to see the low estimate for the same centerpiece. You assume the cake person will create a cake that looks just like the Pinterest photo that you gave them.
  2. Ask questions. You should clarify and ask what everyone’s roles are at the wedding reception. Bartenders do not clear, they set the bar and serve. Your floral estimate is within your budget (yay!), but you should know that it may mean there will be a lot less flowers in that centerpiece. Is that what you want? You think your cake will look like your photo and be placed straight on the your vintage cake stand, but instead it arrives like this:

cake

So why does this happen? I believe it is because we are all so busy and have so much information to process on a daily basis, that both sides think they are understanding what the other is saying, but they don’t. No one is being malicious. So my advice, which I will also follow, will be to ask certain questions, clarify the plans, and not take for granted that another person understands what you are wanting.

photo credit: pfe iphone

plan on!

diy and pinterest brides … caution!

Listen up you lovely DIY Pinterest loving brides! Please listen to this. Not everything you see on Pinterest is good (although we do enjoy that website, you can follow me here).

For instance, the Gold Glitter Mason Jar.

If you have ever worked with glitter, you know it is not the most friendly type of crafting. In fact, it’s quite unforgivable. Once you open that glitter jar, you are pretty much committed to having specks of glitter in your house, on your body, on your face, on the floor … for a very long time.

gold-glitter-mason-jars

photo credit: somewhere on etsy, the page went down

I love me some DIY, really I do. We do a lot of it (check out our feature photo of custom banner we made for one of our brides). However, we just want you to proceed with caution when you are thinking about making your own decor for your wedding. In other words, learn from our experience and mistakes.

For instance, we had a wedding that was a Winter Wonderland. It was gorgeous. We used over 700 votive candles. You read that correctly. Eight people and 15 minutes we had them lit for the reception, but I digress.

We purchased faux snow flakes to put on the tables. A mound of snow flakes, votives on top and then branches (the bride and groom raided their acreage for real branches … hey this was back in 2005). White on white with lots of luminous candle light.

candlelight-snow

photo credit: todd pellowe photography

The problem was those beautiful snowflakes became pesky intruders on the guest tables. They grew legs and morphed their way into people’s plates, on the floor, on your fancy dress, men’s slacks, etc. You would think this wouldn’t happen, but it did. You can barely see the snow, you have to look really closely.

moral of the story?

While everything can look easy to create and beautiful, it can be hard to replicate and end up being a colossal mess at your event. So think twice. Try it out way in advance (not in bulk) so you can edit. Because not EVERYTHING on Pinterest should be replicated.

featured photo credit: pfe iPhone

plan on!

 

managing your wedding diy projects

We have a lot of clients that love to do DIY projects for their wedding. We totally encourage it. It’s exciting to be create stationery, favors and other original creations on your special day.

The only request (more like an admonition) is that you do your DIY projects in advance! The last thing you need to be doing is cutting escort cards or tying ribbons on ceremony programs at 2am in the morning on your wedding day. A waste of time at that point? Yes it is.

So don’t do it.

We’ve had clients who have done it right and have done it wrong. A few tips:

1.  Map out your projects and set deadlines. All of them should be completed as early as possible before the wedding day. Pick a deadline in your head and then make it one week earlier, just to give yourself some extra time to finish.

2.  Accept help from your loved ones. Don’t be so Type A and let them help you.

3.  Don’t be bitter when you don’t get offered help from your loved ones. That just means more work for you so space out your projects. Of course, when you have a wedding planner this is where they can really help. *wink*

4.  Don’t bite off more than you can chew or glue (ha, ha). I know that a lot of brides will have big ideas 10 months before the wedding that they may want to create, but in the end it just becomes too much.

5.  Know when to dump a project. Some projects become too much to complete to fit in with your busy schedule. It’s okay. Nobody will know.

photo credit: clarion creative photography
menu designed/created by real bride: brittany porter mcwilliams 2009

plan on!

 

how to use pinterest.com for your wedding

It’s the latest wedding crack for all you lovelys planning weddings. Welcome to the fray, pinterest.com

We know you’ve heard of it. Who hasn’t? It’s a plethora of photos and information for anything! Recipes, books you may want to read, clothing, photos, and of course, weddings.

So here are some points on how to use pinterest.com to gather ideas for your wedding:

[pointinglist]

  • Start your own board for your wedding. That way you can keep it separate from all your other fascinating pins.
  • Share your pinterest with your wedding vendors! We immediately follow our clients because it helps us get to know their tastes and aesthetic views. Encourage your event designer and photographer to follow you as well. They don’t have to be on pinterest, you can just send them a direct link to your board.
  • Remember … this is open to the public. So if you find a super cool idea and “pin” it in your wedding folder, well your 45 friends will see it as well. So if you want to keep some of your wedding ideas secret, then save the photo to your computer.
  • You can download an app for your smart phone. Because we all know that inspiration for your upcoming nuptials can happen at any moment of the day. Multi-tasking while standing in that long line at Target just took on a whole new meaning!
  • You can download “pin it” extension in your browser for pinning photos as you peruse the internet. I told you this is crack for the creative.
  • Do NOT link every pin that you do to your Facebook account. It’s too much and clogs your feed.
  • CAUTION: You can have TOO MANY IDEAS. Seriously. You can’t do them all for your wedding. Even IF money was no object. So pin away my friend, but learn to edit when it comes down to final decisions.
  • As always, I remind our clients who have exquisite taste, but are planning their wedding on a  limited budget … that floral arrangement that you adore, may cost triple of what you are willing to pay. That’s why it’s so darn gorgeous.

[/pointinglist]

We’ve actually starting pinning photos from our real events and table scape designs. We plan to grow this as we move forward.

And of course, you’ll want to follow us:

saundra on pinterest
kerry on pinterest

So are you on pinterest? Do you love? Let us know!