We love all things wedding. Follow along and we will provide you with simple tips, do's & don'ts as you prepare for your big day.
(all images are from our events, unless otherwise noted)
Do We or Don’t We… Let Guests Request Songs at Our Wedding?
What you don’t know, until you’re a bride-and-groom-to-be and planning a wedding, is how much time and effort it takes to create the ‘perfect’ musical environment at your reception. You picture having the perfect flow from song to song, dance floor jams that you love and know will keep everybody shaking their booties and throwback songs that are a total reflection of you as a couple. So how do you stop the Electric Slide from sliding into your reception without seeming like a total bridezilla?
DO Lay the Groundwork
Talk to your Band or DJ first and find out if they have request policies and what they are. The best-case scenario is that they read the crowd and tailor the set list to what is resonating with your guests. To avoid a frenzy of folks requesting songs, you want to make sure there won’t be a request list anywhere. Even though they won’t play the songs you have marked as “do not play” there is no reason to give false hope! Having a clear understanding of the expectations with your band or DJ is key.
DON’T Take the Heat
If you’re guests happen to request a song you have put on your “do not play” list (marked with skulls and crossbones to reflect your disdain for party killers like the Limbo or the Macarena) have your DJ/Band be the bearer of bad news (read:great news) and simply tell them they don’t have that selection. No need to make the disappointment personal by saying things like, “Sorry, the bride and groom have asked that song not be played” when its just as easy to blame it on the DJ and have no hard feelings.
DO know your crowd
A great way to keep the crowd moving and their minds off of requesting the Cha Cha slide is to throw a few songs on your list that you KNOW will get the crowd excited. If the groom has a song that was played at every fraternity party and is the unspoken anthem of the brotherhood, play it and that group will surely get everyone on their feet. If your best friends from middle school are there and you feel like the world needs to see your talent show rendition of Spice Up Your Life, toss it in the mix!
Do We or Don’t We ... Have an Outdoor Wedding?
If your dream wedding takes place on a white sandy beach or on a vineyard surrounded by mountains, you’re not alone: 43% of Weddings take place outdoors. There is something special about gathering your friends and family in a gorgeous place to celebrate your marriage, not to mention the to-die-for pictures. So if you’re considering the options and are wondering, “Do We or Don’t We Have an Outdoor Wedding?” we say, (from two absolutely breath-taking locations- Lake Tahoe, CA & Charlottesville, VA) “Absolutely!” Here are our DOs and DON’Ts:
DO Have a Tent
Even if your worst nightmare is rain on your wedding day and you cannot bear the thought of even considering that to be a plausible outcome- let us assure you it is a very real thing and wishing it away almost never works. Rent a tent and even if it doesn’t rain it provides a defined space for your reception and shade for your guests!
DON’T Seat Your Guests Too Early
If you’re ceremony is taking place on a beach or somewhere in direct sunlight (anything not in a structure or a tent), have your wedding planner seat the guests just a few minutes before the ceremony is to begin. Traditionally 15-20 minutes is the standard time to have guests start to sit down but that will seem like a lifetime in direct sun while wearing a suit.
DO Have Ice Cold Water Available for the Duration of the Festivities
Talk to your caterer about supplying tubs full of water bottles or setup a cute infused water station for your guests to easily access during both the ceremony and reception. Most of our brides are consumed with a million details including signature cocktails and timelines that water often slips their mind.
DON’T Schedule Your Ceremony During the Hottest Hours of the Day
The hottest point of the day with direct sunlight is between 10am-3pm, not ideal for a large group of your friends and family to watch you marry the love of your life through beads of sweat dripping into their eyes. Visit your site at the time you’re hoping to have your ceremony to properly gauge the climate before you make your final decision.
DO Have a Sound System and Microphone
Talk to you venue, DJ or Band about setting up a sound system and microphone to ensure your guests can hear you say “I Do”. While we love an outdoor event, you want to make sure your guests can hear you over a gust of wind, passing boats or noisy neighbors. These are all things you might not notice on your initial site visits, but be prepared with the proper equipment and power.
Wedding Event Gift Guide:
Engagement Party: Traditionally, gifts are not given at this event. A small token, like a bottle of champagne if the event is taking place at a family member’s or the bride and groom’s home.
Bridal Shower: Yes, a gift is expected at this event. If it is a ladies-only event the gifts can be a fun combination of lingerie and items from the registry. If it is a couples shower, often a “stock the bar” theme, the expected gift is a bottle of liquor/wine to fill the bar. Otherwise, household items from the registry are appropriate.
Bachelor/ette Party: Yes, typically a small gift of lingerie for the ladies and cigars for the men is appropriate for this event.
Do We or Don’t We- Have a Cash Bar?
I once attended a wedding where they ran out of booze before the salad course was cleared. I still don’t know if it was more embarrassing for the guests or the couple…I’m leaning towards the couple considering that they invited his entire fraternity. For most people, providing the beer, wine and limitless liquor flow is undoubtedly one of the most expensive parts of the wedding and if your friends are anything like our friends… that open bar will break the bank! So if you’re trying to save a little money you ask (really for the sake of your friends’ dignity) Do We or Don’t We Have A Cash Bar?
A cash bar at a wedding is like serving filet mignon and having the server ask you if you’d like to add a lobster tail for $15. It’s your wedding! If you can’t afford an endless open bar or just don’t really want to see your Aunt Margret drink three martinis before you cut the cake… there are other creative ways to provide libations to your guests WITHOUT having to resort to a cash bar:
DO have 1-2 Signature Cocktails
Perspective: You get to show of your personality in the form of a cocktail, perhaps a ‘his’ and ‘hers’ drink. The guests will get to indulge while getting to know a little bit about your taste in cocktails.
Reality: You get to choose the liquor, the mixers and the strength of the drink. As long as it’s beautiful and tastes delicious, no need to worry about stocking the shelves with top shelf liquors and every flavor of La Croix.
DON’T think you have to nix the liquor all together
If you’re sticking to beer and wine for dinner and dancing but still want to spice it up with some cocktails, offer open bar during cocktail hour. Since its usually only an hour you won’t need an abundance of product so you’re able to provide more of a variety for your guests to enjoy before anyone has a chance to indulge too much before the speeches. Besides, you know what they say… liquor before beer…
DO stock up on beer/wine and make sure it lasts
It is always, we repeat, always a good idea to have your catering team provide a server or bartender to serve the drinks. Even if you’re just going to fill a canoe with ice and bottled beers, make sure there is a server there to pop them open, serve them and smile. If you leave it to the guests to get their own wine and beers you’ll end up with an empty canoe and guests with a beer in each hand and wine glasses filled to the brim.
DON’T be afraid to buy too much
If your site allows, BYOB! Save 10-15% by buying beer, wine and liquor by the case. Buy more than you think you need, it’s always worse to run out than to have too much and most states allow you to return unopened cases and bottles.
DO get creative
If you’re having your reception at a vineyard, serve sangria! Everyone loves it and it last longer than your favorite Rosé. If you’re in the desert, serve margaritas! At a plantation in the south? Mint Juleps! There are plenty of ways to limit the options and save a little (read: a lot) of money… ask your wedding planner for some ideas on how to get creative in the libation department!
It's hard to imagine anything catostrophic happening on your wedding day but unfortunately we've seen some pretty terrible mishaps ruin a wedding ...so if there is a way to be 'better safe than sorry' we say #JustDoIt avoid the nightmares and get Wedding Insurance. Yep, it's a thing. Check out this article from The Knot
Do We or Don’t We . DIY the Flowers?
They’re so pretty aren’t they? Giant floral arrangements elegantly placed throughout your ceremony site, peonies here and orchids there. Maybe your reception tables are the formal tall arrangements or perhaps the shorter and trendy bouquets… whatever it is that make up your wedding dreams, they can often turn into your worst wedding nightmares when you receive the final quote from your florist. From $1000- $10,000, flowers are the most underestimated cost of a wedding leaving you shocked and your husband-to-be asking if you can pick up a couple bouquets from Trader Joe’s and slap ‘em in some mason jars. So- Do We or Don’t We DIY the Flowers?
Don’t worry, there is a middle ground between spending thousands of dollars on flowers and your dreams of an ethereal woodland wedding coming to a screeching, crashing halt. Consider these Do’s and Don’ts for your wedding flowers:
DO use flowers that are in season and sourced locally
Insisting that you have peonies in November means your florist is flying them in from somewhere in the world where they are actually in season and tacking on some zeroes to your bill. Step 1: Find a local florist that you trust and whose designs you love. Step 2: Ask what will be in season during your wedding month and what suggestions they have for arrangements and bouquets.
DON’T attempt to deconstruct prearranged bouquets from the supermarket and arrange your own
It seems easy, you know what flowers you like and you will just put them together yourself- cut, wrap… how hard can it be? HARD. Your bouquets should make it to the end of the aisle and buying prearranged and rearranging is almost guaranteeing that won’t happen.
DO re-purpose the bouquets for your centerpieces
Ever thought about what you’re going to do with those bouquets AFTER the I Do’s and pictures? You’ll probably toss them on a table during the reception so you can eat, toast and dance the night away… so why not use the bouquets for your centerpieces instead of paying for additional arrangements? Let your wedding planner know that’s your plan and they should be able to pull off the trick without anyone noticing!
DON’T use fake flowers… anywhere
If you were taking pictures, with a bad camera, from really far away and not having any actual people around then yea sure, no one would notice the flowers aren’t real. Besides the looks, fresh flowers bring a sense of nature and blooming beauty to your big day- not to mention the amazing smell. Forgo the fake flowers and definitely go with real, if you dry them they’ll last forever too (and not in a creepy, dust covered way).
DO use potted plants as both a favor and a centerpiece
What’s better than a gift that keeps on giving? Saving money on flowers, that’s what. So while your guests can take the gorgeous potted beauties home and plant a garden in your honor, you can also be saving money on buying flowers for the tables AND wedding favors for everyone on your guest list. If that’s not a win-win… then we don’t know what is!
DO DIY right!
If you’re super into flowers like we are and want to put together your own bouquets and table arrangements then we recommend Bloominous for all of your wedding flower needs! Bloominous uses wedding-grade, farm fresh flowers according to your preferences and sends you everything you need to make beautiful arrangments and bouquets in a priority overnight package to ensure the best quality for your special day!
DO We or DON’T We...Use a Pro?
As if the idea of throwing the biggest party of your life wasn’t pressure enough, now we’ve added Pinterest and Social Media to really up the ante. A lot of our brides struggle in finding the right balance between where they can handle the job themselves or whether they need to enlist a professional. With more and more DIYers than ever, brides want to take the reigns (and credit!) for all aspects of their wedding. We applaud the spirit and champion the creativity but we have to ask- before Pinterest, was anyone looking at pictures of Martha Stewart’s DIY creations and saying, “oh yea, I can do that!” It’s not for everyone and most of the time, it’s harder than it looks. In this blog we talk about where it’s optimal to bite the bullet and hire a professional and where it’s okay to insert your craftiness and DIY!
We cannot stress enough how important having gorgeous pictures of your wedding are. You spend a year planning the big day and find yourself getting light-headed at all the expenses and a lot of times when brides (or parents of the bride!) see the price tag on a great photographer, they think they can cut corners or go without altogether. We’re here to tell you that is a HUGE mistake! A professional photographer has the right equipment (lighting, multiple cameras and lenses, etc.) to make you look your best; they have taken thousands of photos and know what poses are the most flattering, where the lighting in the venue is best and how to move through the process with ease and quickness to let you get back to the party!
We are not suggesting you and your friends head to the nearest Whole Foods the day before the wedding and start creating your own bouquets- they won’t last, there is not likely to be enough of any one flower you want and in addition to the flowers, you’ll need the right tools to wrap and secure the bouquets. What we are suggesting is that you use Bloominous, an online floral design company that ships you the flowers you want (based on your own design or you can choose from of their design galleries) with all the necessary accompaniments to put together gorgeous centerpieces, bouquets, boutonnieres and even table garland. You’re saving on not having to purchase pre-arranged flowers but you still get to choose what you want and enjoy the satisfaction of putting them together the way you want!
Unless you’re having a backyard BBQ wedding with less than 50 people and your uncle Ted smokes the greatest brisket this side of the Mississippi, then I wouldn’t attempt to DIY the catering. Catering is more than just the delicious food (costed, prepared and plated for exactly the number of guests at your wedding) but its about the benefits that only a professional brings to the table on this one: consistency with every plate, a team of servers and bartenders so all of your friends and family can enjoy the party and finally- a much better deal on rentals (just think about all of those forks, knives, plates, napkins, chaffing dishes, tongs, buffet tables).
DON’T: Rehearsal Dinner
A classic DIY option for your wedding that often gets overlooked! Instead of hosting your rehearsal dinner at a restaurant or banquet hall, host a BBQ or Brunch at the Mother and Father of the Groom’s home (if local) or a bonfire on the beach… the point is, choose an intimate setting and low-key food and make this all about the company on a very special night before the big day!
DO: Wedding Planner
Hiring a wedding planner doesn’t mean that you’re not creative enough to DIY nor does it mean that you CAN’T DIY the favors, the welcome bags, the table settings, etc- the most common mistake brides make by opting out of hiring a wedding planner is underestimating how much work is involved with logistics- vendor coordination, contracts, timelines, budget control and organization, etc. Hiring a professional here means giving your creative input and having someone giving you a realistic perspective on what will work vs what won’t and having a support system through the entire process to put the fun back into planning!
DON’T Skip the Research and DO Let Them Do Their Jobs
If you’re going to spend the money then don’t sell yourself short but not spending the time on researching professionals. Get an idea of their body of work, their process and look at the reviews! Schedule a phone call or a meeting to find out if you get along, that they can appreciate your vision and ensure they can execute the plan to your expectations before you sign the contract. Once you do hire a professional, whether it’s the photographer, caterer, wedding planner or all of the above- let them do their job! You’ve done the research and by hiring them you’ve made the commitment on your end to trust them to perform so resist the urge to micromanage!
The biggest difference between a wedding coordinator and a wedding planner is this: a wedding coordinator is more like your wedding day manager. They will put out fires and make sure things go according to plan on the day of your wedding- i.e. the ceremony starts on time, guests are seated on time, the bridal party is cued to walk down the aisle, the caterers know where to go, etc. A wedding planner is your partner in the planning process- whether you have hired them as a full wedding planer, month of, or designed your own package. A wedding planner helps with design, helps with vendor coordination, assists with your timeline, answers panicky phone calls and emails and sees the event through the reception (or the farewell brunch if you choose)! Understand the differences between the two before you decide the level of help you need for your big day. Any great coordinator will tell you they are not a planner and if you feel you need one, you should hire additional help!
DO WE OR DON’T WE: DO A FIRST LOOK?
Traditionally, the first time a groom sees his bride on their wedding day is when she walks down the aisle. Timeless to some and outdated to others, traditions are something you can follow or create your own, especially when it comes to your wedding day!
While the groom seeing his bride for the first time when she walks down the aisle is a custom some are not willing to break, incorporating a first look before the ceremony can still allow for that special moment between the bride and groom in their own unique way.
Your wedding is about starting your life together and celebrating your love- traditionally or non-traditionally depends on the couple but here’s a few things to consider if you’re thinking about a first look:
DO make it special
When you see each other for the first time is easily the most anticipated moment of the day. Make sure if you decide to go with a first look that you put some thought into it and discuss with your wedding planner where you would like to do it and ensure that there is a sufficient slot blocked off in your time line.
DON’T make it a family affair
Don’t invite the wedding party, your parents or anyone else to this sweet encounter- it should be an intimate moment between you and your partner with the photographer to capture it all!
DO enjoy your own cocktail hour
By incorporating a first look and doing bridal party pictures before the ceremony, you won’t have to worry about taking photos while your guests are enjoying cocktail hour. One of the best pieces of advice we can give our brides and grooms is to participate in their wedding day- if there is a way to rearrange the timeline to get you more face time with the people you love, we say do it!
DON’T let your nerves get the best of you
A lot of brides and grooms are nervous and have anxiety when the moment arrives when you see each other for the first time, there is so much build up, it can be hard to focus on the vows or really living in the moment. It’s a BIG moment, a lot of planning and time and stress goes into planning a wedding and that is the moment of truth, the I Dos. Having a first look can calm some of those nerves by having that special moment with just the two of you before anyone else, making the rest a piece of cake!
DO GET CREATIVE
Whether your holding hands with a door in between you or sneaking up behind the other in a grassy meadow, this moment is one you will never forget so make it as true to you as possible. There are several ways to make a first look unique, if you can’t conjure up something that seems absolutely perfect, ask your wedding planner for some suggestions- we love a great first look!
As a general rule- shower & engagement gift ‘Thank You’ cards should be sent within 2-3 weeks and early wedding gifts sent to your house should be sent before the wedding.
Everything after the wedding should be acknowledge within 3-6 months.
If you’re falling behind, consider a phone call to let the person know you’ve received the gift and that you *love* it and then follow up with a ‘Thank You’ card in the mail.
1. Have a plan in place ahead of time, how you want your catering & planning team to deal with the disorderly guests.
2. Appoint a person you know won't be drinking much, and ask for their help if the need arises
3. Touch base with your bartenders and planners and point out any specific guests so they can be on the lookout for any bad behavior.
4. As the Bride + Groom, try and stay out of any drama and let the pro's do their job!
Do We or Don’t We…. Include our registry on our invites?
It has to be the best day of being engaged- the day you get to gallivant around your favorite stores with a price gun looking cool while you ping everything in your wildest dreams (spoiler alert: you’re probably not getting that cow print suede couch from Restoration Hardware that costs more than your rent). Your grandmother probably still talks about the china they got for their wedding. Its an age old tradition that will last forever because well it includes picking out gifts other people are going to buy you… is there anything better? So now that your wish lists are abundant and your dreams are full of napkin styles and kitchen appliances- how do you spread the word to the masses (no you should not make the kitchenaid stand mixer your profile picture)?
The obvious answer to Do We or Don’t We include our registry on our invites might be yes but our answer is no, no, NO. Check out our Dos and Don’t of the almighty wedding registry:
DON’T worry- those precious codes of all your hopes and dreams will land in the right hands
Your wedding invitations are a sure fire line of communication between you and everyone you hope to be at your wedding, isn’t this the perfect way to let everyone know where we’re registered? Unfortunately, no. The invitation is a formal way of letting people know that you cherish your relationship with them and you want them to celebrate with you on your big day! You wrote your whole name out, and probably spelled out the date in beautiful script… don’t spoil it by basically asking for gifts before they have a chance to say Congratulations!
DO tell both your parents and best friends the details
Good ole’ fashioned word of mouth… your aunt Sharon will most likely call your mother to find out what you two crazy kids want for a gift and your fraternity brother will probably call your other fraternity brother who happens to be the best man and ask what you dudes want.
DON’T include your registry on any other invite either!
We can hear you now… “I know it says not on the WEDDING invite but I’ll just slip it in here on the Save the Date or the Bridal Shower invitation…” Same rules apply… an invitation extends your appreciation for that person and signifies the hope that they will join you on your special occasion. Gifts are implied, let them stay that way.
DO include your wedding website on your invitations
A lovely modern convenience easing the minds of friends and families everywhere- the wedding website. Not only can you include your registry here but you can list the details of your ceremony and reception location with directions and the best part – you can add pictures and stories about yourselves…the spotlight is on, soak it up!
Do We or Don’t We…Rule at being Wedding Guests?
As our own wedding planning team individually step out of our roles a few times this Summer to participate in our loved ones nuptials, we can’t help but think about what it means to be an A+ wedding guest! We’ve seen it all- from a drunken cousin who passed out on the dance floor to a creepy uncle trying to hit on all of the bridesmaids. There are oh so many DON’Ts in following the ‘rules’ of being a great guest but some noteworthy Dos in there as well. Check it out and see if you’re a zero or a hero when it comes to other peoples’ weddings!
DO RSVP! On Time!
If you’re married, you know all about the nightmare that is the dreaded RSVP. If you’re not married, you should know that that little card and envelope are worth their weight in gold when it comes to planning a wedding. It happens to the best of us (well not really us, we’ve learned our lesson!) you get those beautiful invitations and immediately tack them up on the fridge or lean them against a frame on your desks and they seem to vanish to the land of all things out of sight: out of mind. Respond ASAP to avoid the bride and groom having to begrudgingly hunt you down to find out if they need to count you (and by count you we mean pay for you) on their final guest lists for their venue and caterer!
DON’T Question the +1
If the invitation is addressed to you and does not explicitly say “and guest” then you’re expected to make this a solo mission. It is completely inappropriate, no matter how close you are to the bride-and-groom-to-be, to ask them about bringing a date/friend/child. Don’t make them have to explain that they either cannot afford to give everyone a +1 and/or that they simply do not want the person they suspect you will bring at their wedding. It’s their day they’ve made their expectations clear on the invite - respect their wishes or reply that you “regretfully decline.”
DO Dress the Part
Call us old school but even if the invitation or wedding website says “casual” it is still wildly inappropriate to wear jeans, shorts, flip flops, or baseball hats to a wedding. A “semi-formal” wedding means that it is expected for gentlemen to wear a suit (no tie required) and ladies to wear a cocktail dress. As for “semi-casual” gentlemen should still wear a button-down shirt or at the most casual a nice polo (whichever option is worn it should always be tucked in) while ladies should wear a nice dress and at the most casual a sundress or a nice blouse with slacks/cropped pants. For those wondering the age-old question of “is it really still taboo to wear black and forbidden to wear white to a wedding?” It’s not taboo to wear black but still more tasteful to avoid it if possible. And yes, totally still forbidden to show up in all white.
DON’T Take Pictures During the Ceremony!
Put your phone down! Your loved ones are engaging in the most important moment of their lives together and have invited you to share in that moment with them! They hired and spent lots of money on a professional photographer, whose photos will no doubt be better than your new iPhone. Trust us, those special moments will be captured, posted, framed and tagged. Be present in these moments and engage with the people around you to truly make their special day unforgettable.
DO Send a Gift (from the registry) Even If You Can’t Attend
One timeless rule of weddings: one invitation is equal to one wedding gift. It is important, it is sending your congratulations, blessing and well wishes to the couple by sending them something they will not only use in their new life together but also think of you when they do. Stick with the registry- no one knows what they need/want more than they do.
Do We or Don’t We: invite kids to our wedding?
That daunting moment in engagement bliss when you’re dreaming up the perfect little lace dress for your flower girl niece and realize…. Wait a minute, do we have to invite their kids and those kids … all the sudden your elegant garden ceremony turns into the romper room in your head. Inevitably you might find yourself in an argument with your soon to be about who’s kids or if there will be kids at all and the questions begs – Do We or Don’t We have kids at our wedding?
Whether you decide to keep it to the wedding participants only (the flower girl and ring bearer) or also invite the kids of close friends and family, it doesn’t have to be a wedding gone wiggles… here are some guidelines for maintaining bliss on your special day:
DO make it clear who’s invited
Include the child’s name on the invitation (or “and family”) if you’re inviting them and if not, leave it off.
Be prepared to have awkward conversations with family and friends who are parents and either assume their children are invited (you know because they are a physical extension of the parent) or will come right out and ask why their kid was NOT invited.
DON’T have a kids table
Those moments where you break into a cold sweat picturing a lunch room food fight at your wedding might become reality if you put all the little guys at one table unsupervised. You might think you’re doing the parents a favor by giving them some adult time at dinner but that whole “time and a place” mantra kicks in here. If you do want to give your parents a break, there is almost always a younger cousin dying to be a part of your big day that you could give the VERY IMPORTANT job of chaperone during the festivities.
DO talk to your caterer
If food is your fancy and you cannot wait to debut the delicious menu you’ve chosen, do yourself and your wallet a favor and skip the feast for the kiddos. Having a fun, interactive snack is fun for kids and adults…. Maybe a popcorn bar during cocktail hour or s’mores for dessert, either one is a fun option for all of your guests! As for dinner, talk to your caterer about kid friendly meals at a lower rate. Don’t forget to also coordinate those meals to be served a little earlier than the adults, perhaps during the salad course if it’s a plated meal.
DON’T be so worried about offending people that you’re doing something you ultimately don’t want to do on your wedding day
If you just cannot get the idea of a temper tantrum during your vows out of your head then we recommend you should have an adult only ceremony. While it might sting some parents that they can’t bring their little ones, it is YOUR wedding day… they will heal. Have this discussion with your fiancé and do whatever feels right for both of you and no one else!
Do We or Don’t We : Buy Vs. Rent
When it comes to all things wedding décor- do we or don’t we rent?
Popular theory: Buying all of the décor for your wedding and re-selling it afterwards will save you money. Not-so-popular reality: While it might save a few bucks here and there, when you factor in the labor it will cost, you may reconsider whether its worth it. You can rent anything and everything these days, from chalkboard easels to your bridesmaids’ dresses…but does it work for you and your big day? Our advice for this modern conundrum is to rent wherever you can… check out our do’s and don’t for a little insight into why.
DO consider the labor intensity of buying new versus renting
Buying new means un-packaging, washing and transporting; all without breaking anything… then doing it all over again if you plan to re-sell. Renting items most often means they will be delivered and set up, all ready to go.
DON’T get sucked into the sale items at popular discount stores
One thing to remember when it comes to décor is that it usually means multiples and the chances of finding the exact number of matching votives you will need for each table is slim to none in a discount store. Having a larger inventory to browse is so important to ensure a cohesive design plan!
DO stay organized
The downfall of purchasing things here and there during the planning process is that they usually end up in boxes or crates waiting for that special day. When it is time to finalize your design you don’t really have a plan for everything you bought and end up with more than you need. Renting items keeps an inventory of what you have, all in one place where you can see it and most importantly see how much it all costs. You’re less likely to overspend, over-purchase and lose track of what you have when you can see it in a spreadsheet.
DON’T give up on a specific item just because you don’t see it
If you’re looking for a piece of décor specific to your theme, say a large metal anchor for a nautical wedding, and you can’t find it- just ask! Often times with smaller rental companies, they will purchase a specific item and rent it to you if it something they will get use out of for other weddings. Try a few different places and talk to the right people before you give up and go on the antique and specialty store hunt to purchase that must have item.
DO think outside the box with rentals
If you’ve never considered having your bridesmaids rent their dresses, you should! Companies like Rent the Runway have stunning designer gowns that will have your favorite girls looking fabulous and are often less expensive than buying. The boys have been renting their digs for years… now we finally have the option, we love options!
DO WE OR DON'T WE
June 29, 2016 - Written by Kristen A. Gray
Do we or Don’t we plan our wedding on Labor Day weekend?
Let’s face it- Memorial and Labor Day are the two most coveted three day weekends, each significant as a bookend to everyone’s favorite season: Summer. And so the question is: Is it okay to take advantage of those three days to plan your wedding?
In short, yes. BUT there are rules of social etiquette that apply when occupying your friends holiday weekend for your own ultimate soiree.
DO give your guests plenty of notice!
It’s true, people plan for their Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends all year round so if you plan on occupying this three-day treasure of a weekend then send out Save the Dates as far in advance as you can and if you have jet setting friends who are always on the go, send them an informal email or text to let them know what’s going on as soon as you’ve set the date!
DO really make a weekend out of it.
Aside from wedding events planned for the bridal party, remember to plan an awesome getaway for your friends! If you’re getting married in an urban setting- choose a friend or family member that won’t be a part of the bridal party functions to act a the social chair for the weekend- meeting your guests at a local bar for happy hour, a baseball game or dinner downtown. If you’re getting married at the beach, plan a sand volleyball tournament, bonfire at night or a crab feast at a local spot. Wherever your wedding, be sure to spend some time coming up with a fun itinerary of things to do throughout the weekend.
DO give your guests some down time.
I know it’s hard to resist planning for every moment of your special weekend but do save some down time from both wedding related and nonrelated scheduled events for your guests to explore the territory on their own and really feel like they are on vacation.
DO create a welcome bag or basket for your guests arrival.
Send the message from the start that this weekend is all about celebrating and fun- before, during and after the big day! Include things like mini bottles of champagne or local beer/wine; a handmade or purchased ‘guide to the area’ that highlights the MOST fun things to do or see and finally don’t forget to have a takeaway of something to remember this special weekend by.
DO make Sunday fun
The whole reason a three-day weekend is so fantastic is because it’s a free Sunday to enjoy instead of preparing for the week ahead and the dreaded: Monday. Do plan something fun for Sunday like a brunch or BBQ on the beach! Most people will have to travel that afternoon or early evening but definitely take advantage of the earlier part of the day… but not too early if you had the kind of reception people will be talking about for ages!
DON’T want to do it all on your own?
If the wedding seems like it is already too much to handle, this is where the Pros can really make a difference in your day. This might be your one and only wedding, but a professional wedding planner already knows the “best of” and can make sure yours will be a wedding weekend to remember.
DO WE OR DON'T WE
June 22, 2016 - Written by Kristen A. Gray
Do we or Don’t we have a Traditional Wedding Cake?
The days of fondant covered wedding cakes are as far behind us as pastel bridesmaid gowns and rose petal aisles. In an ever-evolving industry, wedding trends come and go but one thing is for sure- change is inevitable from season to season. Trying to keep up with the latest and greatest wedding do’s and don’ts is exhausting, so we’ll give you the abridged version of what’s hot and what’s not for your perfect day. This season is all about reinventing wedding desserts; from doughnuts to s’mores bars the question is: Do we or don’t we forgo the cake and add a different sweet ending to the festivities?
In short, maybe. Its worth it to explore both options and find out what is the best reflection of you as a couple and what fits within your big day.
DO some investigating into what other type of dessert you would provide if you did choose to forgo the cake.
What is the reason you are losing the cake and choosing a different option? Is it because you like the idea of everyone having a ready-to-go individual dessert, like a cupcake? Or is it because you want something different and exciting as the perfect ending to your perfect day? If you’re thinking doughnuts or popsicles, there is a how-to piece to consider. Part of the out-of-the-box trend in serving alternative desserts is the interactive piece that is involved. Hiring a food truck for dessert is a great way to keep the guests mingling, talking and most importantly happy! Who doesn’t love a fresh, hot doughnut?
DON’T think you have to have a cotton candy bar because you think cakes are a thing of the past
If flipping through your parent’s photo album and their fondant covered, triple layer sheet cake with the plastic couple in a ballgown and tux on top is not inspiring you to want to go the cake direction, we don’t blame you. Wedding cakes have drastically changed over the years and there is something for everyone now. Fondant has officially conceded to the refreshingly imperfect Buttercream frosting. If frosting is not your thing, Naked Cakes are also all the rage now with fresh flowers or fruit as the garnish.
DO consider the tradition in cake cutting and whether or not you’re willing to sacrifice that age old photo opp or change it up to fit your dessert choice
After the I Dos and the first dance, past the speeches and into the home stretch comes the cake cutting. You slice into the edible masterpiece and feed your wife/husband in front of a room full of your closest friends and family. Who knows when this became a thing but it’s a thing. Ask yourself if you want this tradition as part of your big day (keeping the first layer and eating it a year later is part of the deal too!) or if you do decide to change it up, if you want to create a new tradition unique to you!
DON’T try and please everyone in your search for the perfect dessert
Whether you go cake or cupcake, trying to please everyone when choosing between chocolate and vanilla, hand pie or crepes- focus on what you as a couple want, what best reflect your personalities and whatever you choose your guests are sure to enjoy.