wedding planning

The Most Common Misconceptions When Planning A Wedding

Besides shoe shopping, reading romance novels and traveling, planning weddings is definitely one of my favorite things to do in this world. It's what makes up most of my business, and it is by far what I am the most passionate about. Seeing clients get married and having the opportunity to map their love stories out through beautiful details never ceases to amaze me. I truly love what I do and I wouldn't change my career for anything. For these reasons it pains me to see clients fall victim to any of the many misconceptions that the wedding world (unfortunately) has to offer. 

I see clients budgeting far too much money on their dream venue alone, leaving little to no funds for things like food and beverage or floral and décor.  I see clients forget to budget their time correctly and end up rushing so close to the big day, and worst of all I see clients try to plan their own weddings and end up with way too much on their plate and stressing out before they can even say "I do". At Enraptured Events, we want our clients to know exactly what to expect and what to plan for, so we're going to debunk some common misconceptions in the wedding world! 

Image Courtesy of  Social Shots Photography

Image Courtesy of Social Shots Photography

Misconception 1: Silk flowers are cheaper than real flowers. Brides tell me all the time that their mother, aunt, or best friend, said that they should use silk flowers instead of fresh ones to keep the décor costs down. Up front, they are not cheaper! Silk flowers that look real costs the same as real flowers, if not more. In the short-term, silk flowers aren’t cheaper, because you’re going to spend approximately the same as you would on fresh flowers. In the long-term, silk flowers will be cheaper because you can use them again and again, as fresh flowers will die, therefore costing more because of the one-time use you’ll get out of them. This is the biggest misconception where flowers are concerned.

Image Courtesy of  Social Shots Photography

Image Courtesy of Social Shots Photography

 Misconception 2: Hiring a day of coordinator will save you money on wedding planning. I have brides contacting me all the time because they’ve tried to plan their own wedding, thinking that in the end, they’ll just hire a day-of coordinator. Well, if you haven’t done proper planning and asked the right questions up front, that day-of coordinator that you may be looking to hire will end up putting out fires, on your behalf, and won’t save you any money at all. In fact, you’re likely to spend more money because some of the things you didn’t know you needed from the beginning, you’ll need before your wedding day, causing you to spend last minute dollars, which could result in rush fees. When I did day-of coordination, this was often the case.

Misconception 3: That you can have a wedding for 200 guests with $20,000. I get calls from brides on a daily basis with a large guest count and small budget. I have to be the one to say that mathematically, this just isn’t feasible, after adding up all of the major costs of a wedding, such as the venue, catering, flowers, photography, not to mention all of the details that make your wedding YOUR wedding, such as the dress, your invitations, the cake, just to name a few. To touch on this misconception a bit more, I did an interview with Mark Brown of For Goodness Cakes, speaking a little more about it.

So, there you have it! Those are some of the most common misconceptions I see almost on a daily basis. My job is to educate my brides, be upfront and realistic with them, and to help them get from concept to execution in the best way possible. As always, I’m Delighted by Design and Inspired by You. Happy Planning!

Questions To Ask When Hiring A Wedding Planner

Image Courtesy of  Sophia Barrett Studios

Image Courtesy of Sophia Barrett Studios

When looking for a wedding planner, you need to ask more in-depth questions than the cost of services. Far too often, I’ll get an email inquiry asking about services and pricing, just to get a response that I’m out of budget. Even if that’s the case, you should do a little more inquiring to know and understand what you’re getting for the price. There are a lot more questions to ask when hiring a wedding planner and I’m going to share my top 7 with you so that you can be better prepared when interviewing wedding planners for your big day!

Is the planner certified? I have gone to school to become a Certified Wedding & Event Planner and continue mastering my craft with wedding conferences, seminars, and webinars. The industry is constantly changing and one of the first things we learn is to never become complacent.

Is the planner insured? I carry two policies, one being a general liability and the other a professional liability. Just like I protect my home and car, I protect myself against anything that could potentially happen on your wedding day. If something were to happen to something that you had to rent for your wedding day, I’m able to cover it under my policy and I’ve been able to add venue and larger items such as venues and Cadillac car bars as riders on my policy.

Image Courtesy of  Inije Photography

Image Courtesy of Inije Photography

Does the planner have a full-time job while planning full time? I used to be a planner that held down a full-time job while building my business. While I was good at jugging both full-time responsibilities seamlessly, not everyone can handle the stress of both worlds so easily. If your planner has a full-time job, ensure that he or she can devote adequate time to planning your wedding and the stressors of their career. After all, you’re hiring a wedding planner because you’re too busy and your job is too stressful. Right?

Image Courtesy of  Sophia Barrett Studios

Image Courtesy of Sophia Barrett Studios

How much experience does he or she have? Are you meeting with someone that has just planned their own wedding and now wants to plan yours? Will they be learning on your dime? Becoming a skilled wedding planner takes time; a lot of time. I worked with my mentor almost four years before launching Enraptured Events. I learned to master the art of logistics, work with a well-choreographed staff and team of vendors, all while honing my creativity.

Are they using someone else pictures on their website or social media outlet? If they haven’t had their company or been in the industry long enough, it’s not uncommon for a new planner to “borrow” a more established planner’s images as use as their own. You want to make sure that they have a proven track record that they can easily produce via reviews or references.

What happens when Plan A becomes Plan B? Inevitably, something will not go according to plan, regardless of how well and thought out the plans are. We can’t predict the weather, people, and things go wrong from time to time. An experienced planner takes control of the situation and deals with it. If you choose to enlist a family member or hire someone with not as much experience, you could be adding more stress to your wedding day.

Image Courtesy of  Made You Look Photography

Image Courtesy of Made You Look Photography

Do they have vendor relationships to help realize the wedding of your dreams? Being an experienced wedding planner comes with the adding benefit of building and cultivating relationships with some of the best people in the industry. Often times we can call upon at the last minute, late at night, and get things done in a manner that may be a bit for difficult without having that relationship.

Cost is important but should not be in the top three consideration of whether you want to work with a particular planner or not. You want to make sure you’re able to mesh well with the planner, find one that will go to bat for you when it’s time to stand up for you in your absence, one that will be responsive, and one whose creative vision is in line with your own and the services that they provide. These questions to ask when hiring a wedding planner will help get you started on the right path to choosing the best wedding planner for your big day!

From The Boardroom To The Altar

Image Courtesy of  Inije Photography

Image Courtesy of Inije Photography

Being pharmacists, attorneys, doctors, nurses, teachers, and businesswoman, many of my brides are busy, working professionals, with very little to no time to plan a wedding. They come to Enraptured Events to get help planning the wedding of their dreams. They reach out to me with only a vision in mind, typically having no idea where to begin. Whether I’m given 100 days or 18 months to plan, in the United States or abroad, I always welcome the challenge of taking my brides from the boardroom to down the altar.

Image Courtesy of  Romanza Wedding Photography

Image Courtesy of Romanza Wedding Photography

Navigating the wedding planning process is no easy feat. When you’re already juggling a busy career, a fiancé, an active social life, and sometimes a family, it makes sense to hire the right professional to take the helm of one of the most important days of your life. The Enraptured Events bride has a vision of what she wants, is looking for guidance to help create that vision, and has no time, nor desire for DIY projects. At Enraptured Events, you and your desires will be 100% catered to and taken care of, with a great attention to detail.

Image Courtesy of  Social Shots Photography

Image Courtesy of Social Shots Photography

I have a knack for understanding what it is that you want and the vision you have for your wedding day, even if you’re having difficulties articulating it. My abilities to clearly see the details of your love story as you’re describing it and then turn that into a beautiful wedding and reception is truly what I was meant to do.  As your full-service wedding planner, I’m with you every step of the way throughout the wedding planning process, steering you in the right direction.

Image via mobile phone

Image via mobile phone

I negotiate contracts before you ever have to deal with them, I have cultivated vendor relationships after 14 years in the industry, and I can tell your love story through the personal and intricate details. I shoulder the brunt of the planning so that you can focus on your busy lifestyle and enjoy being engaged. At Enraptured Events, we take you from the boardroom to the altar. I take care of the logistics, the design, and the overall look and feel of your wedding day so that essentially all you have to do is show up. The Enraptured Events bride will not only have a beautiful wedding day, but a pleasurable and hassle-free wedding planning experience.

The Vendor Says: Fotos By Fola Photography

I started this new series, The Vendor Says, wanting some of my favorite vendors in the industry to expound upon their working relationships with wedding planners and the importance of having an experienced planner for your most special day. In the first post of this series, with Exquisite Sounds Entertainment, that you can read here, speaks of how he got into the wedding industry and the importance of brides and grooms having an experienced planner at the wedding. 

Weddings require a great deal of planning as there are many logistical elements, long before any vendors arrive on the wedding day. When there's a great planner to lead the charge and get all of your vendors to work seamlessly and harmoniously on your wedding day, you know you're in good hands. As mentioned in the previous post, having strong vendor relationships is key when it comes to orchestrating and executing your wedding day.

Next up in the series, we have one of the most laid back and genuine photographers I know, Afolabi Sogunro, more affectionately known as Fola, of Fotos by Fola, who's brilliant behind with the camera.  Here’s what he had to say:

1. How did you get involved in Photography?

I've always enjoyed photography. I carried a small camera everywhere I went. One day my wife brought home a photography school flyer and I signed up ‎to take classes. As they say, the rest is history. 

2. Why did you choose to become a part of the wedding industry?

I love telling stories. Capturing emotions is something I truly enjoy and weddings allow me to be a part of this all the time.

3. How did you get into the wedding industry?

I simply photographed for a friend that was getting married.

4. What do you love about being a part of the wedding industry?

I love the energy. There is something special about being a part of someone's wedding.

5. What's your ideal bride or couple?

First and foremost a couple truly in love. Secondly, a couple that completely trusts me and understands my vision and style of photography. Lastly, a couple that understands the importance of having a good planner and Photographer. 

6. Do prefer working with wedding planners and do they make your job easier? 

I prefer working with a planner and they make my job easier. From a planning perspective they are instrumental in making sure everything runs effectively and plan for the unexpected.

7. Do you encourage your brides to choose wedding planners? Why or why not?

I encourage all brides to hire a planner. Having a planner allows you to actually enjoy your wedding day. By not having one they run it issues of stress and having a badly planned event which could end up costing thousands of dollars.

8. What's the best piece of advice you can provide to a bride?

Get a planner. Trust the planner to handle all the stress of wedding planning. Enjoy your day. Soak it all in as the day goes by so fast.

9. What has been the worst thing you've seen from a wedding when the bride and groom has gone against your suggestion of hiring a planner?

The wedding started 4 hours late. Family members were missing and the whole day was chaotic.

The Vendor Says: Exquisite Sounds Entertainment

Today, I’ve started a new blog series; The Vendor Says, with the intent to draw greater attention to the working relationship between the planner and vendors we work diligently with when planning and executing your wedding. Executing a wedding is often a full-on production, requiring countless hours of planning and numerous labor hours, installing and ensuring that every last detail is picture perfect. The vendor relationship is important, as everyone works harmoniously, under the planner’s guidance, to give you the most amazing wedding day. This further emphasizes the importance of hiring a professional planner for your wedding; one that’s knowledgeable on the ins and outs of the planning process, is well equipped to handle any situation that may arise, and have strong vendor relationships so that you can have some assurance of what the end result will be. Since so many brides attempt to go at it alone and plan their wedding themselves, I wanted to shed light on how we, as planners, help orchestrate the planning and execution of a wedding, while making it easier for everyone involved. 

First up in the series is the always dapper, always smiling and full of life and energy, which you want in a DJ, Toryn Lankford of Exquisite Sounds Entertainment. Here’s what he had to say:

Image Courtesy of  Fotos by Fola

Image Courtesy of Fotos by Fola

1. How did you get involved in DJing?

So, I’ll admit, I’ve always loved music, from being a really bad member of the church choir, to being in a high school Hip Hop group, to even pretending to be a hype man in my college years. It was in college, however, that I first attempted to get into DJing. I admit, I was horrible. Just horrible. I tried again several years later because being a DJ really appealed to me and I love all types of music. I tried again and I was still horrible. Several years later and minus a few distractions, I tried again and it stuck and I was on my way! I’ve now been DJing for years and I’ve gotten pretty good, but still find the time and desire to work on and sharpen my skills each week to make myself and my team better. 

2. Why did you choose to become a part of the wedding industry?

I chose to become part of the Wedding industry because of the great people that I met as I was researching or even just entering the field. I’ve met a lot of just really positive and create people and being around that energy each and every week, as we collectively help someone celebrate one of the best days of their lives is a great feeling. 

3. How did you get into the wedding industry?

Actually the very first wedding I did was for a friend of a friend. I was DJing on a regular basis at a few bars, clubs and private events and someone asked if I could do their Wedding. I had never really thought about it but agreed to do it. I worked with them on their ceremony & reception music and quite honestly, just never looked back. From the time I did that first wedding I was hooked and I’ve wanted to do bigger and better weddings ever since. 

4. What do you love about being a part of the wedding industry?

I love the community that exists within the industry. It’s great to be a part of a group of people that really care about what they do and how they do it. I find that wedding professionals are always looking to do better and be better and that really matters to me. I also find that we’ve been fortunate to be connected with some really great fellow vendors who offer great feedback, insight and even just help provide opportunities to one another. That level of support and dedication to the craft really excites me and keeps me motivated to continually add and do more!

Image Courtesy of  Michelle Davina Photography

Image Courtesy of Michelle Davina Photography

5. What's your ideal bride or couple?

The ideal couple, to me, are music lovers, but not just one genre.  They’re lovers of Top 40, Hip Hop, 80’s, 90’s and just all around good music. A couple with a deep appreciation for good music and what good music and entertainment can do for an event. Couples that offer input, but allow for enough creative control from the DJ to navigate the evening musically are always the best to work with because they don’t appear so rigid with their musical requests. They simply want to have an amazing time and help ride along on the journey. 

6. In your field within the wedding industry, is it easier or preferred to work with a planner or the couple alone?

Working with an organized, professional and knowledgeable planner is always a plus when it comes to weddings. The age old saying of “you get what you pay for” is true here. I prefer if we always have a great planner on board to work with. This helps to cut down on all the back and forth with the couple on the day of the wedding. There are a number of things that could happen or events that could change and being able to have a planner to facilitate those always helps. 

Image from  Alisha & Ron's Wedding ; Courtesy of  Fotos by Fola

Image from Alisha & Ron's Wedding; Courtesy of Fotos by Fola

7. Do wedding planners make your job easier? If so, how? If not, why not?

In some cases they do, in some they don’t. With everything it’s about relationships and working together. Some groups work better together as they know their team member's strengths and weaknesses or they see where help or value can be added. Planners help to work with the bride & groom, venue and other vendors while we as entertainers can entertain. We don’t have to be consumed with announcing tables for the buffet, not that we mind, but a planner’s simple communication to each table is far better than a DJ announcing it several times over. Also, if something changes or needs to be changed, it’s helpful to have a planner on hand to assist with those items, while not having an experienced one can make these times difficult and take away from the event at hand. 

8. Do you encourage your brides to choose wedding planners? Why or why not?

We always encourage our couples to secure the services of a knowledgeable planner. No matter if it’s for Month Of Planning or Full Service Planning, we definitely understand the value of having an experienced planner. If for nothing else, it helps the couple to be able to sit back and enjoy the moment at hand without having to worry about every single moment that’s going on or that’s coming up. They can enjoy the process as it leads up to their special day. Being consumed with contacting all the vendors and all the other various tasks takes away from the experience that they’ve been looking forward to for so long. 

9. What's the best piece of advice you can provide to a bride?

Simple. Hire an experienced Wedding Planner, oh and Exquisite Sounds Ent. But seriously, it would be to hire a wedding planner and hire one that you want to work with and that wants to work with you! 

10. What has been the worst thing you've seen from a wedding when the bride and groom has gone against your suggestion of hiring a planner?

I’ve personally seen a lot of things…but usually I’ve seen the worst when there;s no one at the helm on wedding day. It tends to be just a bit of chaos leading up to the point where the band or DJ takes over. In these cases there's always questions around when we start, end, when’s food, etc..once the party gets going, we’re in control, so that’s great, but leading up to that point are some very critical points and I’ve seen some really great moments missed because of lack of good planning and attention to detail. 

Image Courtesy of  Social Shots Photography

Image Courtesy of Social Shots Photography

5 Ways To Save Money On Your Bar Expenses

Let’s face it, planning a wedding can get pretty costly. Food and beverage costs alone, are typically 50% of your wedding expenses, with the bar tab often reaching $5,000 or more. Some wedding venues have a beverage minimum of $3,000-$6,000, depending on the day of week you’re getting married. In addition to your catering expenses, the costs for food and drinks at your wedding can add up. To save money on your bar expenses, here are 5 suggestions.

1.       Signature Drinks: Signature drinks can serve dual purposes. Not only does it let your guests in on a little bit more of your personality, but it adds a cocktail to your bar. If you’ve opted for beer and wine only, a signature cocktail is a way to infuse a little more variety and give those that crave something stronger, just what they’re looking for. You can also get a lot more drinks per bottle of alcohol with a predetermined cocktail.

2.       Beer & Wine Only: Because the cost of alcohol is quite expensive and charged per person, you may just opt for a beer and wine only bar. This will eliminate the added cost of barware, garnishes, as well as bartenders.

Image Courtesy of  Michelle Davina Photography

Image Courtesy of Michelle Davina Photography

3.       Dinner Closure: If you’ve decided on a full-bar, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. You can save by reducing the number of hours that the bar is open. I suggest to my brides and grooms that they close the bar during dinner service and have their guests drink the beverage that came with dinner service. After all, you paid for that too. You can then have the bar reopened to serve guests throughout the evening.

4.       Toasts: Sure, it’s a nice touch to serve everyone champagne for the toast but maybe not for your wallet. To save costs, you can have the venue or caterer just serve champagne to you and your new spouse and have your guests raise their glasses with the drinks they currently have.

5.       Cheaper Brands: Your guests will love having a full bar and not having to pay for a drink. To save money on your bar expenses, you can select a good bar package with basic gin, vodka, and such. However, you don’t have to splurge on the premium brands. They’ll appreciate what you give them!

Image from  Derrick & Joel's Wedding , Courtesy of  Knight Weddings
Image Courtesy of  Sophia Barrett Studios

Image Courtesy of Sophia Barrett Studios

Food and entertainment are the two things that your guests will remember the most about your wedding. They will remember if the food was bad and if they had to pay for their drinks at a cash bar. The ultimate goal is for you and your guests to have a great time at your wedding. So, don’t stress yourself too much over having a fully stocked premium bar. Determine what works best for you and your budget and go from there. Happy planning!

Choosing The Right Photographer For Your Wedding

Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life and happens once in a lifetime. As a wedding planner, my job is to help my couples select the best vendors that their budgets will allow. When it comes to wedding day photography, it’s not something that should be skimped on, because at the end of the day, after the food is eaten and the music stops, your wedding photos are all that you have left of your wedding day. The photos should instantly take you back to the mood and feelings that you were experiencing on your wedding day. Choosing the right photographer for your wedding day is a major decision and one that should be made with great consideration.

When looking for the right photographer, there are some questions that you should ask, which would aide you in making the right choice.

1.  Style: What style of photography are you looking for your wedding day to be captured? Are you looking for something more traditional? Photo journalistic? Or, something more bold and edgy? Whatever your preferred style, ensure that the photographer can comfortably shoot within it and capture your wedding day the way as you’d like.

2.  Portfolio: Does the photographer have wedding portfolios that you can review? How recent is the work? Can you visualize your wedding photos in this type of album?

3.  Quantity: How many weddings have he or she done? Photographing weddings require a great attention to detail, logistics, as well as a creative eye. The photographer has to be able to manage the timeline of the day’s events, while being able to capture the necessary shots that are needed to tell the story of your wedding day. Anyone can take a picture. It takes a true creative to take an awesome picture, with the right angles, staging, and background.

4.  Social Media: What is their social media presence like? Are the photos more of a personal or professional nature? Are you able to get a sense of the photographer’s style and creativity? It’s ok to see images that showcases one’s personality but you want to make sure that you’re seeing a profile that’s not bombarded with an overwhelming presence of selfies, food, or other images that distract from wedding photography.

Image from  Derrick & Joel's Wedding ; Courtesy of  Knight Weddings

5.  Creativity: What distinguishes this photographer’s work from another’s? Are their photos more creative? Do they have varying angles and lighting? Have they captured the tiniest of details? Consider the wedding that you’re planning, down to the smallest detail. Will this photographer be able to capture the image you see in your head? Will this photographer be able to capture the unexpected images?

6.  Turnaround: What’s the turnaround time in which you will receive your pictures after the wedding? The average turnaround time is 6-8 weeks. Depending on the season and busyness of the photographer, this time can be lessened or extended. You want to be sure you know ahead of time so that you can plan accordingly. If you want to use images in your thank you cards, see if you’re able to get a few sneak peek images that you can choose from.

Image from  Derrick & Joel's Wedding ; Courtesy of  Knight Weddings

7.  Editing: Will the photographer be editing the images in-house or be sending them out to be edited? If they’re being sent out, will that effect the turnaround time?

8.  Images: How will you be receiving your images? Via an online gallery, USB drive, or DVD? Will the images be high or low resolution? If you’re planning on printing any images or creating your own wedding album, you’ll want to have high resolution images so that you can print in many sizes without worry of pixelated images. If you’re posting online or to any social media sites, you’ll want to have high resolution images that are web ready. They’re larger files but small enough for easy loading onto website and social platforms.

Image from Trudy & Conrad's Wedding; Courtesy of  Neville Simpson Photography

Image from Trudy & Conrad's Wedding; Courtesy of Neville Simpson Photography

These are just some basic professional questions that you can use to get you started on the right path to choosing the right photographer for your wedding day. You also want to make sure the photographer is someone that gels well with your personality and that you can easily get along with. After all, you’ll be spending a great deal of time with this person and sharing some intimate moments, especially during your engagement session, possible boudoir or bridal session, and on the wedding day itself. When you hire someone that’s personable and professional, it makes for a much better working relationship. Happy planning!

Getting Your Groom To Be A Part Of The Planning Process

Work for the groom doesn’t have to stop after he pops the question.  Some grooms like to be involved in the planning process from beginning to end and some…well, they just want to know what to wear and where exactly to show up.  The men in our lives can be fickle creatures in that they simply want to know only the basics.  As women, we want them to be attentive, decisive and involved.  So, when planning a wedding, how do we get the groom to be a part of the planning process without overwhelming ourselves and them? Here are a few suggestions.

1.  Plan Ahead: Give yourself and your groom time and space to plan your wedding. You may want to be married the moment he’s asks, but if you’ve been dreaming about your wedding since you were a young girl you want to give yourself time to turn that dream into a reality.  By planning ahead, you can take some of the pressure off yourself and thereby eliminating the added pressure you may inadvertently place on your fiancé.

2.  Planning Sessions: Schedule planning sessions with your fiancé.  Find time that is convenient for him, have a list of key items you may want to discuss and set a time limit. If you know his attention may only be good for an hour then discuss the wedding for an hour only. He can focus on those items knowing that this won’t turn into an endless discussion about the wedding. Another thing, make sure your list isn’t a full list of everything you need to cover for the wedding.  You don’t want to get it all done in one sitting and you certainly don’t want to overwhelm your groom. Using a wedding timeline can help narrow your focus, keep his attention and get things accomplished.

Image Courtesy of  Michelle Davina Photography

Image Courtesy of Michelle Davina Photography

Image Courtesy of  Michelle Davina Photography

Image Courtesy of Michelle Davina Photography

Image Courtesy of  Michelle Davina Photography

Image Courtesy of Michelle Davina Photography

3.  Keep it Simple – If you want your fiancé to help make decisions about the wedding, remember: three is key.  When presenting him with items to choose from, narrow them down to three.  The last thing you want to do is overwhelm him with five or ten different options and expect him to choose just one.  His first thought may be to tell you to choose something and that’s not what you want.  The least amount of items he has to choose from the better chance you have at keeping him involved in the process. 

4.  The Details: In all honesty, most grooms don’t care about the pretty little details, flowers, or sparkly things that get us all excited about a wedding. When getting him to make a decision, you may want to keep the options limited to the entrée choices, wedding cake flavors, the wedding day attire for him and his groomsmen, gifts for his attendants and then allow him to gradually ease into other decisions.

Even though you may have been dreaming of your wedding day since you were a little girl, it’s still a day where two lives are joined together. You want it to be a day that reflects not only you, but your groom as well. Getting your groom to be a part of the planning process may be challenging but will also be rewarding, as the planning experience should be! Happy planning!

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!

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!