One of the BIGGEST Wedding Fails

What's the difference between a wedding planner and your venue's coordinator? Aren't they the same thing? 

Don't worry! This is confusing! If you didn't know the difference, we get it! Most people don't know there is a difference. If your wedding venue offers on-site coordinating services you may be tempted to not hire an outside wedding planner to save on costs. But there’s a good chance that you could end up frustrated and stressed out on your wedding day when the venue coordinator fails to “perform”.

 Simply put, the venue coordinator is coordinating between yourself and the venue staff only.

Even though, there are many venues who offer full-service planners for your wedding day. Their full-service may not be exactly what you are expecting. These services will focus mainly on what the venue provides to you only. For example; the banquet staff, food service, table and chair set up. 

So how does that happen? Maybe you hear the venue coordinator say things like, "I'll be here to help with anything the day of." YOU HEAR, she will take full ownership of anything happening on the wedding day, coordinating with other vendors, and playing catch all with every small thing that may come up. I am certain that in any emergencies your venue coordinator will be there to help, but they won't be there to take full ownership of all the moving parts on that day, simply because it isn't their job

So, the venue coordinator ends up getting a bad reputation for not doing things you thought they were handling. And you as the bride start to freak out about things that you just shouldn't have to on your wedding day!  

So who takes care of all the "other" stuff? 

You may be wondering, what other stuff is there to worry about?

Let's start with our FREE TO-DO LIST for anyone planning a wedding! This list may help you define what small things may need to be attended to, while you are getting married, just in case. 

But, there are so many possibilities that can and will arise that can be stress-free for you if you are working with a wedding planner. 

REASONS TO HIRE A WEDDING PLANNER. 

So here are 5 wedding fails you want to avoid when working with a venue coordinator. 

Number one! 

A wedding planner is your biggest advocate! They are working WITH you to create the wedding of your dreams.  There are times in-house coordinators are there to support their staff and sell you something more. A wedding planner hired by you is not going to try and add on upcharges. They will be fully supportive of your vision, ideas, and plans. And only there to help you communicate that to all your vendors. A venue coordinator will have the venues best interest in mind above all. So keep this in mind. 

Number two! 

A venue coordinator may have multiple events that day or weekend at their venue. This will divide their attention between you and other clients. They will likely have limited availability for questions or assistance during the time of the other event, this could cause stress on your if were expecting decor to be unpacked or, even worse still, when the morning wedding is vacating the ballroom you booked so that you can access it!

Number Three! 

An onsite coordinator is most likely not going to set up your wedding decor. They're main concern is going to be to make sure the tables, chairs, place settings and dishware are where they need to be. You cannot expect them to set up your centerpieces, name cards, or chair covers. Those duties belong to your wedding planner. Make sure to get a detailed list of things the venue coordinator plans to handle. Then create an additional to-do and work with your wedding planner to make sure these things get taken care of. 

 

Number four!

Photo by  Ana Jones

Photo by Ana Jones

A wedding coordinator will not ensure vendors are doing their job. Their primary focus will be that the venue is providing what they contracted to you. So, if you need someone to make sure your DJ is sticking to the playlist you agreed upon, your venue coordinator will not take that initiative. There may be logistics they have to manage during the timing of your event to accommodate other guests and their contracts. 

Number five! 

The venue coordinator will not carefully deliver your timeline. With the exception of deliverables that the venue is providing, the venue coordinator is not obligated to make sure that things are happening smoothly and according to your schedule. Some examples: Are photos taking longer than expected? Are one of the bridesmaids missing in action? Is decor set-up running way behind schedule? Here a wedding planner is pretty much a life saver! Your wedding planner will be acting as a behind the scenes director, making sure that all the players know their parts, and that they are on cue, too. 

And remember, every venue will have specifics for their spaces. Make sure to ask the right questions, and don't be afraid to ask for things in writing! 

If you are planning a wedding and want more tips and tricks! Make sure to subscribe to our newsletter and never miss a thing! And if you are a bridesmaid in wedding see how much it will cost you. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Plan your dream wedding for less than $10,000

Did you think it was possible to plan a Pinterest-worthy wedding for LESS THAN $10,000? 

There are so many places when planning your wedding that can save you tons of money to make sure no matter what budget you have, you can stick to it! AND still have that Pinterest -worthy event. 

Where you get married makes a lot of difference on how much you spend. Here are a few things you can do to help reduce that price! 

Venues and Locations

Our bride got married in her parents backyard! Photo by  Maria Glassford Photography

Our bride got married in her parents backyard! Photo by Maria Glassford Photography

Look into the option of a public park for a ceremony. A lot of parks will allow you to use the space for a small price and typically have very beautiful settings! Want to save even more, get married on a weekday or in the "off season." Dependent on your climate, there will be an in-season rate for most spaces due to the demand. Check your schedules and if an "off-season" wedding date works for you do it! 

Invitations

There are lots of sites that will create templates for beautiful invites, RSVP cards and thank you's. If you want to save a little money look into a template and make a few changes to make it unique to you. These sites usually have great rates on printing as well! If you do have talented friends who can create a unique design for you. Just simply upload the file and print! These options come with paper options so you can really create something nice, for a great price! Check out Vista Print, Minted, Basic InviteEtsy or even Wal-Mart

Wedding Dress

Our bride got her dress at a sample sale! And she didn't even need it altered! Photo by  Brooke Pavel Photography

Our bride got her dress at a sample sale! And she didn't even need it altered! Photo by Brooke Pavel Photography

Sample sales! Did you know that boutique wedding dress shops have sample sales ALL THE TIME! They will carry sizes 10-12 in store and these can be altered! These dresses, have been tried on, but NEVER WORN! These sample sales allow bridal gown stores to clear and update inventory, and they have to do this often. So, make sure to check them out! And you can always buy off the rack at places like David's Bridal or a local consignment store.

Did you know that most wedding dress consignment outlets usually have more BRAND NEW DRESSES than used?

So, don't write them off quite yet. 

DIY Florals

Okay, so there are so many options with flowers, how do you actually do it yourself? We recently had a bride have all her neighbors, aunts, & grandma's grow potted plants in certain pots and in certain colors. She only ordered bouquets for her bridal party for the wedding day. She used the potted plants for all the filler decorations including everything at her ceremony. Flowers are so beautiful, but usually get thrown away or donated after just a few short hours of enjoyment. Choosing to make a few changes with the flowers, you can save lots of money. AND after the event let your guests take them home! It's great for the environment and provides a party favor at NO EXTRA COST! 

All of these flowers were planted by the bride's mom or grown in her garden! Photo by  Val Marlene

All of these flowers were planted by the bride's mom or grown in her garden! Photo by Val Marlene

Wedding Favors 

Our bride offered her guest a traditional  Italian Cooke Table  Photo by  Brian Davis Photography

Our bride offered her guest a traditional Italian Cooke Table Photo by Brian Davis Photography

Our advice..SKIP IT! As a wedding planner, we box up more unused party favors at the end of events than ANYTHING ELSE! Although, you want to thank your guests for coming to celebrate with you. Wedding favors are not as appreciated by your guests as you may think. But, if must give something to them. Make it editable. People love food and they will eat any treat you leave for them. But, if it doesn't look like it's going to fit in your budget, scratch it! 

Wedding Desserts 

Did you know this wedding cheesecake is from Sam's Club? Photo by  Val Marlene

Did you know this wedding cheesecake is from Sam's Club? Photo by Val Marlene

Years ago, wedding cake was the only thing served at a wedding reception. So, many couples chose to create an elaborate cake to share with family and friends in celebration. But, now most events will feed guests, cocktail hors d'oeuvres and dinner. Wedding cakes can be expensive. So, look into other goodies! Serve donuts, or frozen cheesecake from your local grocery store. These are plenty of desserts that taste incredible and no one will ever know how much you saved! 

And as always, ask your wedding planner. They can always help you navigate what is really important to invest in on this special day. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MISTAKES brides make when planning an OUTDOOR WEDDING

Did you know that I have planned more OUTDOOR WEDDINGS than indoor? YES, it is true! If we know one thing around here it is outdoor weddings are so wonderful. BUT, they do require you think about a few details differently.  

MISTAKES BRIDES MAKE ALL THE TIME WHEN PLANNING AN OUTDOOR EVENT. 

Don't be THIS bride! 

Shoes

Think about the terrain of your outdoor location, will you have to walk a lot? Is your aisle long? Can your shoes withstand the rain? What about comfort? We always recommend wedges for an outdoor venue, or maybe something with a block heel. But, there are so many heel protectors you can get to stilettos to help balance you on any terrain. We also suggest packing a second pair for your reception. We don't want you to miss out on the dance floor! 

Back up plan

bridal-party-photo-outdoor-bridge-green-dresses

Yes, obvious... But, what happens when it really does rain on your parade? Work with your wedding planner to have a solid plan in case of rain. Make sure to have a "call time" for making that last minute decision. Although, the weather is not always predictable, there is a lot that goes into getting a space ready for hundreds of people. So, make sure a decision is made in time that the change of plans can be executed with the least amount of disruption to your guests. And remember, things may not be exactly how you envisioned them, but at least you are dry! Tents are a nice option to have with any outdoor event. This can help with the protection of vendor's electrical equipment, you can also create a great staging area if the tent is not needed to keep guests dry. 

ADA Compliance

Photo By:  Melody Jo

Photo By: Melody Jo

Typically, any location you have your wedding event at will have buildings and spaces that have taken care of ADA compliance already. But, with an outdoor space ADA compliance may be something to consider. Where can guests park? Who may need some extra assistance? Is there room for them to wheel in a wheel chair or walk with a walker if needed? If they are walking down the aisle, is it wide enough for them to pass? When dinner is outside, is there enough space between chairs and tables for them to maneuver? Your wedding planner should be asking if you have any guests coming who may need extra assistance. But, if they don't make sure to bring it up to them. A plan can be put in place to get them to all events comfortably! 

Lights

Not, all venues are created equal. There are so many beautiful spaces to discover to have your dream wedding at. But, when a space is not solely an event venue there can be a few more things to think through. Does your outdoor location have lights? If not, are you allowed to bring them in? Where will their power source be? If generators are needed, have you considered how noisy they can be? Will they be covered in case of inclement weather? Do you have extension cords to reach all the locations you plan to utilize? Ask these questions early on. Figure out a plan with your wedding planner, and make sure you have someone in charge of these details so when vendors arrive they can be pointed in the right direction for use. 

Bathrooms 

Photo by:  Val Marlene

Photo by: Val Marlene

Where will your guests go to the restroom? Is there a location on site? Is it easy for your guests to find? If you plan to have an evening wedding, we would suggest not only posting signs for guests awareness of the restroom, but also have it lit appropriately. If guests cannot see it, it can be really frustrating for them. And let's be honest, a restroom is required. 

Trash 

Photo By Frees Frame Photography

Photo By Frees Frame Photography

Most outdoor events revert to disposable dishware. Unless, your catering company is providing dishware that they will also clean up, disposable dishware is a great choice, especially when it comes to clean up! Keep in mind, catering companies will usually only take care of items they provide to you. So, if you work with an outside rental company to provide dishes and glassware, the catering company will not collect, clean, or haul away dirty dishes. That is a big job after a very long day. So consider disposable, and where guests will place it. Do you have visible trash cans? You will want to ensure that your guests can see where to dispose of trash and recycling. If not, you will find it everywhere on the property and will have to spend time cleaning up something that could have been avoided.