Planning For Your Honeymoon

Granted, a lot of time is spent planning a wedding, as it should. But, how much time is spent planning your honeymoon? Believe it or not, the wedding is for your guests and the honeymoon is for you and your beloved. Although your wedding may have lots of details that speak to your style and individual personality, you should always plan your wedding with your guests in mind. If you’re having an outdoor wedding in the summer, you may want to have fan programs or personalized bottles of water to keep your guests cool in the warmer temperatures.

Your honeymoon is more than just packing a swimsuit because you're headed to a private island. So, the same amount of detail should be considered when planning your honeymoon. What will you do when you get there? You’ll want to pack, not only for the location, but any activities as well. When planning your honeymoon, some things that you should consider are:

  • Excursions. Are there any fun activities that you and your new spouse would like to join, such as a romantic gondola ride or swimming with the dolphins? If so, call ahead to reserve your spot as to avoid it being full and not being able to attend a much anticipated outing.
  • Couples activities, such as couple massages or private dinners for two. Many hotels are eager to welcome a pair of newlyweds and calling ahead and asking them to set up a private dinner for two, may not be out of the question. Furthermore, many resorts have massage facilities where couple massages are available. Call ahead so that your time slot is already booked upon your arrival.
  • Local Happenings. What’s on the local city calendar that you may want to attend? Many cities, especially a tourist town, will have a calendar of events for you to review. There may be concerts going on or even sporting events. Check ahead and pack appropriately.
  • The forecast. What will the weather be like when you arrive? You may be going to a tropical island, but is it going to rain while you’re there? You’ll need to pack some type of rain protection. Is the temperature going to me extremely sunny and hot? You certainly don’t want to forget the sunscreen and maybe a hat!
  • Home: Last, but not least, you can’t forget about home. This is the age of social media where we’re eager to let people in on all the exciting things that we have going on. Only let your immediate family know where you’re going and when you’ll be traveling for your honeymoon. Of course, take pictures while you’re there but post them after you return. This will prevent any potential social media stalkers from knowing when you’re away and how long you'll be away from home. You certainly don't want to come home to a disrupted home.

Planning your honeymoon doesn’t take as much thought and coordination as planning a wedding, but it does take just a little bit of effort and planning. Of course you can just “wing-it” and fly by the seat of your pants when you get there. But if you want to add a little bit of structure and assure some specific activities on your honeymoon, following these tips will certainly help you out. Happy planning!

Images courtesy of Samantha Clarke Photography

Choosing The Perfect Wedding Venue

Awesome events don't just happen.  They have to be planned.  When getting married, there are a lot of things to consider. Things such as theme, colors, budget and of course, the dress!  Also, on that list should be the venue. However, many brides and grooms don't consider the venue as a whole when selecting it for their wedding. The venue holds the power to make or break the perfect wedding.  The venue will help that theme to stand out, those colors to pop and that dress to shine.  Choosing the perfect wedding venue is more than just its location and picturesque views.

Hyatt Midtown Atlanta: Image Courtesy of Ross Oscar Knight Photography

Hyatt Midtown Atlanta: Image Courtesy of Ross Oscar Knight Photography

Hyatt Midtown Atlanta: Image Courtesy of Ross Oscar Knight Photography

Hyatt Midtown Atlanta: Image Courtesy of Ross Oscar Knight Photography

Ashton Gardens Chapel: Image Courtesy of Taun Henderson Photography

Ashton Gardens Chapel: Image Courtesy of Taun Henderson Photography

The Piedmont Room: Image Courtesy of Ross Oscar Knight Photography

The Piedmont Room: Image Courtesy of Ross Oscar Knight Photography

Choosing the right venue takes some skill. When considering where to host your big day, you have to think about several key factors to make the right decision.

  • Guest size: Will the venue hold 200 guests or is its maximum 150 guests? Will your guests be comfortable enough to eat dinner and mingle after you add the dance floor?
  • Parking: Will your guests have a difficult time parking? Will they have to pay to park or will you have to get parking passes for them? Does the venue require you to have valet parking for your guests?
  • Inclusions: Many wedding venues offer tables and chairs with your rental. Do they have enough tables? Do they have the type and color chairs that you want or will you have to rent different ones? With traditional seating being a thing of the past, it's important to know if your chosen venue has enough tables and the type of chairs to accommodate your design.
  • Vendor Deliveries: The venue may be gorgeous but what's will the delivery be like for your vendors? Is there a service elevator or will they have to navigate stairs? Is the delivery area large enough for multiple delivery trucks or will the deliveries have to be coordinated to allow for the ease of your deliveries?
  • Rental Time: With every rental, you're given an allotment of time. Typically, you'll have a six hour event rental; a half hour for your ceremony, an hour for your cocktail reception, and four hours for your reception. However, this isn't the case with every venue. Some only offer enough time for a three hour reception and may charge additional for more time. How much time is allowed for set up and break down? If you and your wedding planner have come up with an elaborate design, an hour or two to set up just won't be enough.
  • Hotels: Are there hotels near by for your out of town guests? Will your guests have to travel a great distance from their hotel to your venue? With the traffic in your city, will arriving to your wedding venue be easy or somewhat of a challenge for your guests?
Payne-Corley House: Image Courtesy of Matt Yung Photography

Payne-Corley House: Image Courtesy of Matt Yung Photography

Rhodes Hall: Image Courtesy of Sophia Barrett Studios

Rhodes Hall: Image Courtesy of Sophia Barrett Studios

The Ritz Carlton Downtown Atlanta: Image Courtesy of Michelle Davina Photography

The Ritz Carlton Downtown Atlanta: Image Courtesy of Michelle Davina Photography

The Wimbish House: Image Courtesy of Bri McDaniel Photography

The Wimbish House: Image Courtesy of Bri McDaniel Photography

Choosing the perfect wedding venue is no small feat. Location definitely matters, but as you can see, there are other things that you must consider as well. Working along side your wedding planner will definitely help you make the right decision for your wedding, helping you have a perfect wedding day. Happy planning!

 

A Warm And Inviting Option For Your Out Of Town Guests

As a wedding planner, for the many weddings that I plan, I am often setting up room blocks for the out of town wedding guests. There are some guests that opt to stay at the homes of nearby relatives for the various amenities that a home provides. Personally, I like a space where I can relax as well as entertain, even if it’s as simple as fixing a nice dinner and having guests over. When I travel, I’d still like to be able to do the same; at least have the option to do so. Some hotel suites offer extra amenities and of course have more room, but still aren’t quite the same.

HL_003.jpg

Since last year, I’ve loved the idea of Air BnB. It provides some of the luxuries of being at home, such as full kitchens and multiple rooms, while still allowing you to book a place that’s safe and secure through a trusted website. Recently, I had the opportunity to design a warm and inviting space as a rental that’s a very viable option for your out of town guests.

 Keeping my current and future clients in mind, I designed a space that would be just as comforting as a nice hotel or one's home would be, making sure that all the details were chic and upscale. With fine China, cherry wood and leather furniture, large-screen TVs, ceramic cookware, cozy bath towels, and even a smoothie maker, it was important to me to appeal to everyone when selecting items to furnish and decorate it. For your added comfort, there's a washer and dryer. Lastly, if you're anything like me and prefer at-home entertainment, there's a theater room to watch your favorite movie or tv show. Or, if you'd rather strike up a game of pool, with Sports Center playing in the background, you can do that too!

If any of your wedding guests are coming in from out of town but don't really want to stay at a hotel, you may want to suggest a place like this warm and inviting upscale place on Air BnB. If you're in the Atlanta area, let me know and I'll be happy to help you learn more on renting this one. Happy planning!

Images via Michelle Davina Photography (where depicted) and personal cell phone.

Whose Wedding Is It Really?

There’s often a fine line between the wedding you’ve always wanted and the wedding that your mother never had and the one she’s always dreamed you’d have because of it.  Many mothers-of-the-bride are more than excited for their daughters, while at the same time, living a bit vicariously through her. This is all fine and dandy, until what she wants and what you want are almost polar opposites.  As a wedding planner, it’s not uncommon to be faced with this scenario and many times we may have to step in as “counselor” because of it.

Image Courtesy of Matt Yung Photography Click here for more wedding images.

Image Courtesy of Matt Yung Photography Click here for more wedding images.

Who’s wedding is it really? Well, as much as I’d like to say it’s your wedding, we have to also take mom’s opinion into consideration. When your mom is footing the bill, she definitely feels that her opinion should be heavily considered. Today’s brides are accessing blogs, Pinterest, Instagram, and dozens of new magazines for wedding inspiration, further creating distance between the old and the new. It’s my job to create the perfect wedding while keeping your interests a priority and also striking the perfect compromise so that ultimately, the you get the wedding you've always dreamed of.

Image Courtesy of Sophia Barrett Studios

Image Courtesy of Sophia Barrett Studios

If you’ve found yourself in this situation, there are a few things that you could do to make it a little less stressful.

  1. Communication is key. Let mom know what you’ve always dreamed of for your wedding. You should look back at your wedding day and be happy with the photographs and have the same feeling on the day that you took them. You greatly appreciate your mom by your side throughout the planning process, but a gentle reminder that it’s your wedding should help.
  2. Include mom in the decisions where you value her opinion the most, such as purchasing your wedding gown. This makes her feel as though she’s helping and is a part of the planning process.
  3. Utilize your wedding planner. As mentioned earlier, your wedding planner is a great buffer between you and your mother. If things get too difficult for you to say, your wedding planner can and should take on that task for you.
  4. Put mom to work. When your mother is occupied with specific tasks and details of your wedding, such as the bridal shower or RSVP’s, she’s less likely to interfere with the choices you’re making.
  5. Contribute to the cost of your wedding. When you’re footing a portion of the bill, mom is less likely to dominate and make the decisions during your vendor meetings. She’ll understand that she’ll have to relinquish some control.
Image Courtesy of Ross Oscar Knight Photography Click here for more wedding images.

Image Courtesy of Ross Oscar Knight Photography Click here for more wedding images.

Hopefully these tips will help you have the wedding of your dreams while including your mom along the way. Happy planning!

Choosing Your Wedding Vendors

When planning a wedding, selecting your wedding vendors is just as important as selecting your wedding planner. It still amazes me how many brides come to me, stating that different friends or family members have been selected to perform various aspects of the wedding. Now, don't get me wrong, there are a lot of talented people in this world! The issue that's often overlooked is the fact that your friends and family members want to enjoy your wedding day just as much as you do and having to spend it "working" may be more than they've bargained for. If you hire a professional, they're there solely to do a specific task and less likely to be concerned with having fun. Now, with that being said, how do you go about choosing your wedding vendors?

Image Courtesy of Michelle Davina Photography: Click here for full gallery

Image Courtesy of Michelle Davina Photography: Click here for full gallery

For starters, you have to set a realistic wedding budget. Choosing a vendor does not have to be expensive. However, it's a lot easier to choose the right vendor if you know how much money you have allotted. If you've hired a great wedding planner, he or she will help you choose the right vendors to fit your budget.

Images Courtesy of: Michelle Davina Photography

Images Courtesy of: Michelle Davina Photography

Secondly, do your research; check references, read reviews, ask to see samples of their work and by all means, taste food! I heard someone recently say at a wedding conference, "Other people can sing your praises better than you can". And it's true! It's great to have a good rapport with a vendor but you want to have added peace of mind by checking references or reading reviews. You definitely don't want to waste your hard earned money.

Image Courtesy of Images by N'neka. Click here for full feature.

Image Courtesy of Images by N'neka. Click here for full feature.

Lastly, get it all in writing! Whatever you've hired your vendor for, you want to make sure that you get it documented; the time of their arrival for set up and what they're responsible for. Often times, friends and family members won't have a contract and responsibilities can get muddled. You don't want this to happen to you.

Image Courtesy of: Leslie Marie Photography

Image Courtesy of: Leslie Marie Photography

Of course, it is totally up to you to allow anyone you choose to take on the many, many tasks of being a part of your wedding day. However, be sure to keep in mind the importance of hiring the right vendors. This is your special day. You are going to want each and every element to be perfectly timed and choreographed to leave the people speechless at the end of the night and you with a lifetime of fond memories. Late arrivals, a lopsided cake and cold or poorly prepared food might leave people speechless but not in the way you’d like.

Happy planning! 

 

Wedding Day Rompers and Jumpsuits

Being stylish and comfortable is really what it’s all about. As trends continue to change in the wedding industry, there are more opportunities for you and your bridal party to have some comfort on your wedding day. With wedding day rompers and jumpsuits, your bridal party can be extra comfortable as they’re getting ready for the wedding. The rompers are just as pretty and appealing as the bathrobes that many brides and their bridesmaids are choosing to wearing today. They’re also great for taking pictures in and make great gifts for your bridal party to have long after your wedding day.

Image Courtesy of: Amy Hutchinson Photography

Image Courtesy of: Luke & Ashley Photography

Image Courtesy of: Etsy

Image Courtesy of: Love Ophelia

Image Courtesy of: Southern Weddings Magazine

Image Courtesy of: Etsy

Another trend that’s growing these days are the wedding day jumpsuit. We’ve all heard story after story of bridesmaids not liking the dress that they have to purchase for your wedding. Depending on the time of year, wearing pants may be more suitable and a lot more comfortable than wearing a dress. This is where the option of wearing a wedding day jumpsuit may come in handy. They’re just as formal as a traditional bridesmaid dress and you may even have greater buy-in from your bridal party. Lastly, a wedding day jumpsuit can serve as your second outfit to wear as you dance the night away or as you say goodbye to your family and friends as you’re getting in your getaway car.

Image Courtesy of: OnceWed

Alfred Angelo Pantsuit Image Courtesy of: Bridal Cottage

Image Courtesy of: Pure Wow

Image Courtesy of: WeddingWire

Image Courtesy of: Wedding Party App

 Whether you’re wearing a wedding day romper to start the day or a jumpsuit to end the night, you and your bridal party will be stylish and comfortable. Happy planning!

Friends Before Prince Charming

Growing up, little girls dream about the day they will get married. The venue, the flowers, the dress and the shoes. We can picture it all. It's a beautiful, perfect day.  There is only one thing missing from our vision...the groom.  We have no idea who this lucky guy will be but we know he is going to simply be the best.  He's educated, has a career, a sense of humor, and his number one priority is his lady. I've read my fair share of love stories and know that many of them start with the girl and guy being really good friends before realizing that they have something much more than that.

Image Courtesy of: This Modern Love Photography

Image Courtesy of: Michael D Images

Prior to finding our Prince Charming, we may have to wade through a few not so good catches.  When opportunities for dates present themselves and we get ready for that first date, think for a moment about meeting a new friend and not a potential husband.  Although a husband may be our ultimate goal, think of the great future you could have if before you met your husband, you met your best friend. Friendship, after all, is the foundation of any great relationship. I’ve heard many brides say “he’s my best friend” I mean; does it get any better than that?

Image Courtesy of: Sharon Theresa Wheaton

Image Courtesy of: Matt Yung Photography

I'm so fortunate and blessed to have a job where I work with some awesome brides (featured above) and get to witness amazing friendships, blossoming love, and those who have found their Prince Charming.

Two Easy Ways To Have Radiant Skin On Your Wedding Day

Your big day is coming up soon and there’s probably still a lot of last minute things to do. The good news is that you can leave all that last minute running around to your planner and spend these last few days taking care of yourself. This Wednesday, we’ll be focusing on keeping your face bright, clear, and photo ready! Here are a couple of very simple things that you and your bridesmaids can do together to make sure everyone has a face that's looking smooth and relaxed for your wedding day.

Egg Mask

This one is great for oily skin, it helps tighten your pores and it adds some brightness to your skin. It only requires two ingredients: an egg and fresh lemon juice!

Image Courtesy of: WikiHow

Image Courtesy of: WikiHow

Image Courtesy of: Cure Joy

Image Courtesy of: Cure Joy

What you’ll need to do is separate your eggs into whites and yolk. Next, you’ll need to take the whites and beat them until they are frothy. Then, add lemon juice. Clean your face with warm water and pat dry. Apply mixture evenly over your face and allow to dry. Once it dries, peel or rinse it off. After that, your skin should feel tight, bright, and refreshed!

Olive Oil and Honey Mask

Before you boycott this one, let me just say that this will not clog your pores or make your skin oily! It actually does kind of the opposite. The molecules in olive oil are too big to fit in your pores. This combined with honey makes for an amazing hydrating mask for dry skin, and like the title says, you only need these two ingredients!

Image Courtesy of: Beauty Epic

Image Courtesy of: Beauty Epic

To make this mask, you’ll need two tablespoons of honey and one of extra virgin olive oil. After that, you’ll mix it together until it’s thoroughly combined and then heat it in the microwave for 20 seconds. Next, smear the warm mixture over your face and wait for a few minutes. When it cools, rinse it off, and voila! You’ll be left with smooth, healthy, and hydrated skin. 

Image Courtesy of: Hairpedia Club

Image Courtesy of: Hairpedia Club

You can also use this mixture as a means to treating your dry or damaged hair. Apply the mixture to damp hair, letting it sit for approximately 45 minutes, then wash with a mild shampoo. Make sure you have radiant on your wedding day. Happy Planning!

Works of Art; Hand Painted Wedding Cakes

A work of art is defined as a piece of creative work, especially a painting or sculpture. One of the latest trends in the wedding industry are hand painted wedding cakes, which are truly works of art that you can eat! The bride will always be the center of attention on her wedding day, with the wedding cake coming in as a close second. Aside from tasting great, your wedding cakes should look amazing. I've gathered some of my favorites for you to feast your eyes on.

Image Courtesy of: Ideias de Bolos e Festas

Image Courtesy of: Ideias de Bolos e Festas

Image Courtesy of: Cakes Decor

Image Courtesy of: Cakes Decor

The wedding cake is important because it’s a symbol of the bride and groom’s eternal love and one of the centers of attention on your wedding day. It’s the first things your guests will look for, upon entering your reception. For this reason, much time is devoted into coming up with the perfect design.

Image Courtesy of: Buzz Feed via Roberta Facchini

Image Courtesy of: Buzz Feed via Roberta Facchini

Image Courtesy of: Wedbits

Image Courtesy of: Wedbits

Image Courtesy of: Cake Wrecks via Tran Linh

Image Courtesy of: Cake Wrecks via Tran Linh

Image Courtesy of: Bloglovin via Hey There Cupcake

Image Courtesy of: Bloglovin via Hey There Cupcake

Hand painted wedding cakes are quickly becoming some of my favorites because the designs are not limited to the shape of the cake. Regardless of the shape, the cake is a blank canvas. From floral patterns to tea cup designs and scene silhouettes, the options are endless. The paintings can provide movement, texture, and a type of mood or feeling to the wedding cake.

Image Courtesy of: The Cake Blog

Image Courtesy of: The Cake Blog

Image Courtesy of: Cakes Decor

Image Courtesy of: Cakes Decor

Image Courtesy of: BenaCakes

Image Courtesy of: BenaCakes

Image Courtesy of: Cakes Decor

Image Courtesy of: Cakes Decor

What will your work of art look like? Happy planning!

Remembering Loved Ones On Your Wedding Day

Gone, but never forgotten. When a loved one passes on, it’s never easy having to say goodbye. It can be especially difficult when that loved one can no longer be there and share in one of the happiest days of your life; your wedding day. For some brides and grooms, it’s important to feel as though a part of their loved ones are there on their wedding day and show how special that person was to them. From display tables to images attached to bouquets and lapels, couples are choosing to remember their loved ones in various ways, sparking new forms of creativity and individuality on their wedding day. Here are some of my favorites.

Sentimental photos on  the bride's bouquet is always one of my favorites.

Just like the bride can have a photo on her bouquet, the groom can wear an image on his lapel, attached to his boutonniere or inside his cuff links.

Image Courtesy of Munaluchi Bridal 

Image Courtesy of Munaluchi Bridal 

Image Courtesy of Wedding Mix Blog

Image Courtesy of Wedding Mix Blog

Displayed images are always popular but couples are becoming more and more creative in how they display the photos.

Image Courtesy of Inspired by This via Braedon Photography

Reserving a seat in his or her honor is also one of my favorites and often chosen by many couples.

Image Courtesy of Hostess With The Mostess

Image Courtesy of Hostess With The Mostess

Candles are always a great way to remember someone. At many memorials, people light candles and it's a nice gesture at a wedding as well.

Image Courtesy of Kayla's Five Things

Image Courtesy of Kayla's Five Things

Image Courtesy of My Wedding Reception Ideas

Image Courtesy of My Wedding Reception Ideas

Whether a subtle picture attached to your bouquet or a full on display, how you choose to remember your loved ones on your wedding day is totally up to you. It's all about your personal style. Happy planning!

Copper and Cream Wedding Inspiration

Lately, I've been completely OBSESSED with copper and rose gold. As a child, rose gold was my favorite color of gold, which stemmed from the colors in a cameo brooch that my grandmother had given me. I even remember wanting all of my jewelry to be rose gold.

Image Courtesy of: Style Me Pretty

Image Courtesy of: Style Me Pretty

Today, rose gold, or copper as some like to call it, is making a mark on the wedding industry and having a huge impact! Over the last year, we've seen it in the most classic and elegant weddings or weddings having a more rustic feel. For whatever type of wedding you're planning, I have for you today, a copper and cream inspiration board. Within it, you'll find elements that tickle your fancy, no matter your style. Enjoy and happy planning!

Centerpiece Image Courtesy of: Deer Pearl Flowers Teacup Image Courtesy of: Wedding Bee Furniture (Pillow) Image Courtesy of: Etsy Place Setting Image Courtesy of: Style Me Pretty via Steve Steinhardt Stationery Image Courtesy of: Martha Stewart Weddings Bouquet Image Courtesy of: Ruffled Blog Stiletto Image Courtesy of: The Perfect Palette via Amy & Jordan Photography Wedding Cake Image Courtesy of: Monecheri Bridals

Grooms Awaiting

What’s the most anticipated moment of the wedding ceremony? For most people, it’s the moment when the doors open and the bride begins to make her descent down the aisle. For some of us, including myself, when the doors open up, I look toward the groom instead of the bride.

Image Courtesy of Fotos by Fola

Image Courtesy of Fotos by Fola

We all know she’s going to be a beautiful bride; this is the day she’s been dreaming of for so long. But, seeing the look of anticipation, joy, and love on the groom’s face as she makes her way toward him is priceless, especially when it’s captured on film! Today, I'm sharing a few of my favorite moments of grooms awaiting their brides. I'm sure some of them will tug at your heart strings too. Enjoy!

Image Courtesy of Fotos by Fola

Image Courtesy of Fotos by Fola

Image Courtesy of Fotos by Fola 

Image Courtesy of Fotos by Fola 

Image Courtesy of Sophia Barrett Studios

Image Courtesy of Sophia Barrett Studios

Image Courtesy of Fotos by Fola

Image Courtesy of Fotos by Fola

Image Courtesy of Sophia Barrett Studios

Image Courtesy of Sophia Barrett Studios

The Groom's Side of the Story

As we approach the last day of “love month”, for this Men Talk Monday post, I wanted to share love from the groom’s perspective. I had the opportunity to plan a romantic dinner for three newly engaged couples, through a contest that they entered on Munaluchi Bridal. As a member of the Munaluchi Coterie, the contest allowed the winners to have an experience with other Coterie members and enjoy their products or services in the industry as well.

The couples were selected based on their stories; how they met and how the grooms proposed to his bride. When I conduct my consultations, hearing the couple’s story is one of my favorite parts and often brings a smile to my face. Of course, the bride entered the contest, so we wanted to do something a little differently. We captured the love story from the grooms' side! Who doesn’t like a great love story? I invite you to take a look at the video, by Frank and Mia Wedding Films, and share in their joy. I dare you not to smile. :)

Hearing the grooms' side of the story and hearing how he knew his bride was the one, what made her special, and how he proposed to her was so endearing. As the couples dined on a wonderful meal, prepared by Sonesta Gwinnett, you’ll also see that they looked as though they’d been friends for years, although they’d just met moments before! Now that you've seen the video, enjoy some of the pictures, so beautifully captured by Images by N’neka.

Venue & Meal- Sonesta Gwinnett

Photographer- Images by N'neka

Videographer- Frank and Mia Wedding Films

Florals- Perfect Petals Design Group

Linens- Chair Covers & Linen

Menus- Ink & Elegance

Infinity Chairs- Sweet Seats

Makeup- Samantha Reese

Flute Player- McClenton Institue of Music

5 Reasons Why You Should Hire A Wedding Planner

Today's Tuesday's Topic is all about hiring a wedding planner. This is the time of year where many people got engaged over the holiday season and you just might be one of them. And...I bet you’re wondering if it’s really necessary to hire a wedding planner and if you do, if there’s an actual benefit to doing so. Well, there is! There are many benefits to hiring a wedding planner, but I’ve narrowed them to my top 5. Trust me, the right wedding planner is an asset to your wedding day; not a liability!

Image Courtesy of Michelle Davina Photography

Image Courtesy of Michelle Davina Photography

Image Courtesy of Michelle Davina Photography

Image Courtesy of Michelle Davina Photography

1.   Directly, in the form of discounts! Everybody want to save a buck or two. That's the nature of the beast. I, like many other planners, know tons of other wedding vendors and worked hard to build and cultivate my relationships with ALL of them. Often times, we're able to get things just because of our long-time friendships or because the overall design concept is so beautiful that they just want to throw “a little something extra” in. More often than not, this is the case. However, the right wedding planner works with you to select the vendors that are perfect for you and within your specified budget. Haggling over prices or seeking vendor kickbacks isn't always good either.

2.  Indirectly, in the form of long-time experience! I’ve been there and I’ve done that. I can save you money be asking questions that you may not know to ask. For example, a current bride of mine just lost her $2,500 deposit on a venue because she didn’t know that she had to pay $35 per car for each of her guests to park. This cost was not factored into her budget, nor was it a part of the food and beverage minimum that she had to meet. It helps to know venues, logistics, and the right questions to ask. It can save you lots of money in the long run.

Image Courtesy of Leslie Marie Photography

Image Courtesy of Leslie Marie Photography

Image Courtesy of Michelle Davina Photography

Image Courtesy of Michelle Davina Photography

3.  Incidentally, in the form of the all-inclusive venue! If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a million times “the venue comes with tables and chairs”. Just because the venue comes with table and chairs does NOT mean that they are the right chairs for your wedding. Another former bride of mine booked her venue before hiring me and her venue had 50 chocolate brown chairs and 50 tan chairs. Her wedding colors were black and green, which meant she had to rent 100 black and green chairs! In the end, she didn’t save money.  

4.  Logistically, in the form of time! Well, time is money, right? More often than not, a bride wants to DIY  a good part of her wedding because she feels that she can handle it all, plus her full-time job, her family, friends, and her fiancé! Well, once the wedding draws near, she realizes that she can’t handle it all and things start to fall through the cracks! This is when your wedding planner has to step in and find an amazing vendor that's going to pull off an even bigger miracle to complete the project that you've run out of time to do, yet still needs to get done before your wedding.

Image Courtesy of Sophia Barrett Studios

Image Courtesy of Sophia Barrett Studios

Image Courtesy of Sophia Barrett Studios

Image Courtesy of Sophia Barrett Studios

5.  Medically, in the form of pre-marital and family counseling! Planning a wedding should be stress free, but sometimes there are petty fights over colors, guest lists, and of course money. I’m certainly happy that I’m able to be a friend, counselor, and confidant to my brides and grooms. I definitely have been able to save them a lot in insurance co-payments. If I had to charge for all the times that I’ve had to be a psychiatrist, a counselor, and a mediator, there may not be much left in the budget for me as the wedding planner!

Image Courtesy of Leslie Marie Photography

Image Courtesy of Leslie Marie Photography

The moral of the story: Hire a wedding planner first! If you have a stressful job, are having a wedding out of town, or simply just want it to run smoothly, hire a professional. Happy planning!

Should You Rent a Tuxedo or Purchase a Custom One?

It's a new year and a new blog series; Men Talk Mondays. In the first Monday of 2016, I wanted to talk about tuxedos. As a wedding planner, I'm often asked should you, the groom (and some groomsmen) rent or purchase their tuxedos. Most times, the groom is thinking about the moment that he's the groom and may get a free rental, from a major chain, if he has a certain number of groomsmen to rent a tuxedo. Well, what about all the other times?

Image Courtesy of Romance Weddings

Image Courtesy of Romance Weddings

Well, for the most part, buying a tuxedo depends on you and your lifestyle. It depends on how often you wear suits or formal attire. If it's just every once in a while or on occasion, the rental option may be the way to go. However, if you're a social butterfly, happening to be on everyone's invite list and attend a lot of events or have a career that requires you to dress to the nines a little more often, then custom option is for you.  It'll cost a bit more upfront, but save you a lot more in the long run. With the average cost of a tuxedo rental being $150 and a custom tuxedo averaging approximately $1,500, it's an investment that you're sure to get your money's worth out of. Renting a tuxedo adds up over time when you have to rent one over and over again.

Image Courtesy of Just The Design

Image Courtesy of Just The Design

Image Courtesy of The Knot

Image Courtesy of The Knot

Another thing! We all know the saying "When you look good, you feel good" and personally, I feel that a custom, well tailored tuxedo gives a man a different kind of "feel-good" attitude; a kind of swagger, if you will. A custom tuxedo will be tailored to fit your body and fit much better than a rented one would. Whereas a rented tuxedo is just meant to really fit your measurements with a little bit of wiggle room for minor adjustments. With a custom tailored tuxedo, it fits to a T! With commonly known brands like Hugo Boss, Ralph Lauren, and Giorgio Armani, you really can't go wrong. 

Image Courtesy of Brides.com

Image Courtesy of Brides.com

So, the question of should you rent a tuxedo or purchase a custom one? In my personal opinion, if you have a very active social calendar, when you consider what you have going of from January through December, the investment in a custom tuxedo is absolutely worth it. Treat yourself to that feel-good moment you deserve!

Burnt Orange and Brown Wedding Inspiration

Fall is my favorite time of year, for its bold beautiful colors. It's the time of year where we see plenty of reds, burgundies, browns, and oranges. But, the time right around Halloween and Thanksgiving really brings about the earth tones of burnt orange and brown and all of the smells of the holidays. These colors have also been quite poplar in many fall wedding color palettes. So, as we approach this holiday season, enjoy this vivid burnt orange and brown wedding inspiration board. Burnt Orange Brown Collage

Cake Image Courtesy of: Wedding Bee Dressing Room Image Courtesy of: Hill Country InteriorsNail Polish Image Courtesy of: The Nail Network Tablescape Image Courtesy of: Arising ImagesCeremony Aisle Image Courtesy of: Napkin Image Courtesy of: Project Wedding Jewel Image Courtesy of: Stoned With Carl Dress Image Courtesy of: Frou Frou Fashionista

Shades of Gray Wedding Inspiration

I recently heard someone say that gray is the new black. In fact, I found a Facebook and Pinterest page devoted to the topic. I like the color gray because it’s the current day neutral color and can be paired with just about any other color to create a beautiful wedding. In the warmer months, it can be paired with warmer, softer colors. In the fall and winter months, in can be paired with the deeper colors. Just this past weekend, I paired gray with burnt orange to add a little splash of color. Today’s inspiration board is very clean and classic, with shades of gray and white. Enjoy and happy planning! Gray Collage2

Wedding Gown Image Courtesy of: Wedding Sparrow Bouquet Image Courtesy of: Sortra.com Ring Bearer Image Courtesy of: Munaluchi Bridal Shoe Image Courtesy of: Rustic Wedding Chic Cake Image Courtesy of: The Cake Blog Stationery Image Courtesy of: Etsy Suit Image Courtesy of: Wedding Chicks Table Image Courtesy of: Simply Wed

Insight Into Enraptured Events

It’s been a while since I’ve written on my own blog (I’ve been writing for others for a while now)! It’s time I’ve gotten back into the habit of doing so and I’m starting with a ten part series, starting with a little insight into Enraptured Events. Who I am and how I got started in the wedding industry. Cimona and Darryl for Art-172Image Courtesy of: Sophia Barrett Studios

I love planning events! I started planning weddings business because I absolutely love love and weddings are, to me, the most romantic parties that I can plan. Since wedding typically happen on the weekend, it’s like falling in love every single weekend.

It all started when a friend of mine asked me to help her with her wedding.  At the time, I didn’t think much more than helping my friend in need. But as I got further along in the process, I drew more on my creativity and imagination; seeking inspiration from her likes, dislikes, and her relationship with her fiancé.  I was able to organize people, times, and put together a program. It was then that I knew that I had a gift!

View More: http://brimcdanielphotography.pass.us/enrapturedeventsImage Courtesy of: Brie McDaniel Photography

Enraptured Events is all about the couple getting married or the person that’s celebrating a birthday, anniversary, or other significant event; incorporating those specific details that are uniquely their own.  People ask me all the time, “What style of weddings do you do”? I may be wrong for my answer, but I can honestly say that I don’t have a style, per sé, but elegance would be the one word that would describe my style. However, I do like to focus on the details of the client at hand. I don’t like to put my focus on contemporary, rustic, or the like, as it may not allow opportunities to stretch my creative juices and reach beyond my comfort zone.

IMG_7869Image Courtesy of: Carla Stafford Photography

Since I was a teenager, I’ve been able to read a romance novel and very vividly see the stories leap from the pages, in clear and crisp detail. As my clients tell me the stories of their special day, the stories that they've dreamed of all of their lives, I can easily see it, as if it were written on the pages of a romance novel. Because no two people are alike and no two romance novels are exactly alike, I feel that no two weddings should be alike, which is why elegance can be the word that transcends all of my clients, regardless of their style of event.

Thank you for stopping by and learning more about Enraptured Events. We look forward helping make your special day beautiful. Happy Planning!