When you are planning the details of your ceremony, it’s common to include personal touches that are unique to you and your fiance! One special-touch that many couples choose to include is a reading. Here’s what you need to know about how to include this into your ceremony!
Incorporating a reading can add an intimate touch to your wedding ceremony and there are many different ways to approach a reading. If you have an important mentor, friend, or family member attending your wedding and you’d like them to speak during the ceremony, then requesting them to read a passage can be quite an honor. If you choose to ask someone special to prepare a reading, then give them enough time to prepare! Ask at least a month or two in advance of the ceremony.
If you’d rather choose a quote from a book, bible verse, or other important work, you can also request someone special to read pre-written item. You and your fiance can sit down and think about words that have impacted your lives, relationship or how you hope your marriage will look. Choosing the reading together will make it incredibly sweet to hear those words again on your wedding day.
Depending on how long your reading is, it can be done towards the beginning of the ceremony, or smaller passages can be read intermittently. If you have other traditions you are including (religious or non-religious) then pairing the reading with these traditions is a good way to continue the flow of the ceremony. Ultimately, it’s up to you and how you want to craft these special moments! Just remember, don’t make the reading incredibly long – this will help your guests follow along without losing interest.
Readings can be chosen from any number of sources – religious or non-religious; they are typically picked with some sentimental meaning to the couple getting married. You and your fiance can read the passage, or you can ask an important friend or family member to do the honors. If you’d like this important person to create their own words for your ceremony, remember to give them enough of a notice so they have time to think through what they want to say!
Want some helpful places to look for these readings?
You may be thinking, “why would I need to go to counseling before I’m even married?”. Although this might sound premature, there are many benefits to attending premarital counseling before tying the knot. The choice to add this in the wedding planning process is completely up to the individual couple, but here are some tips if you’re thinking about signing up and how to get started:
Why Consider Premarital Counseling?
Premarital counseling can begin any time prior to the wedding. If you’d really like to work through topics with your significant other, it might be better to set it up sooner rather than later. Creating a space to directly work on communication can provide you with time to discuss your unique stories and how they fit into each other’s lives. Your time in counseling can help combine visions you each have for the future so that once you are married there is a clear path for where you want your relationship to go. Also, if you and your significant other have had communication issues in the past, premarital counseling is a great place to sort out those feelings and work on effective communication before your marriage even begins!
Benefits of Premarital Counseling:
Being married will send you over-the-moon with exciting ideas, hope, and vision for the future. Some of these visions can include challenging topics, but counseling can help you sort out the details. Some of these topics include kids, finances or intimacy. With a third party in the room, counseling provides guidance into navigating some of the deep (but exciting) waters that marriage provides. A therapist can guide you through all of the emotions that are associated with life decisions while helping you develop effective communication skills. It can be challenging to convey how you feel in the emotional moments but if you’re able to process your thoughts with a third party then clarity can be brought to the situation. Even if you and your fiance have already discussed hopes for the future, premarital counseling can provide a space for you to openly talk about your relationship.
How do I get started?
There are multiple ways to begin premarital counseling, ranging from expanding current practices or doing a little research to get started with a therapist in your area. If you and your fiance are part of a religious institution then this is a great place to seek additional counseling. A combination of choices may be available including small groups or meeting with a member of your church for individual counseling. If you would rather seek premarital counseling elsewhere, another great option is if you already see a therapist. Consider the possibility of including couple sessions along with your individual meetings. Beginning these sessions with someone who is already part of your trust circle can make premarital counseling easier to start. If you don’t see a therapist or would like to seek counseling elsewhere, a little research can go a long way. Ask friends for recommendations or search for marriage counselors in your area and look at their reviews or sessions that are offered. It’s possible for any couple to find a premarital counseling fit that makes them feel comfortable, safe, and successful.
The benefits of premarital counseling cannot be stated loud enough. This provides a place to have open communication about your relationship and it provides a safe place to discuss some of the more difficult topics that marriage presents. At the end of it, you and your fiance will be able to communicate easier and it may set you up for more success in marriage. Think about your options based on the community you are in – whether a church or therapist can provide the resources you are looking for. If not, there are premarital counselors everywhere who are willing to help you before the wedding day comes!
Here are some tips to get your wedding on time and in style with your bridal party and guests in tow.
Where do I find wedding transportation?
Well friends, a quick search on google or yelp is the first place to start. Then we recommend searching TheKnot and WeddingWire. And if a do-it-yourself search just doesn’t fit in you, ask your wedding planner! She has many resources up her sleeves to help you find just what you need.
Who do I transport?
The first step is to take a headcount for immediate family and VIPs. This typically means the bride and groom, their wedding party, both sets of parents, siblings not in the wedding party, and grandparents. Some couples may also provide transportation for out-of-towners or all guests if there is extensive transportation from the ceremony to the reception. So, how do I decide who to transport? The decision may come down to budget. Just make sure no VIP guests are stranded.
When do I book my transportation?
Book a car company way in advance. Hire your car company about 6 months out (after you’ve settled on your date, party size, ceremony, and reception site. Be aware of any other special events that may be happening around your day such as prom, graduation season, etc. Formal vehicles will be in high demand during this time and it is best to book your transportation event early if possible. Keep in mind, you don’t have to use the first company you find. Research your options and gets quotes from the top contenders.
If you are hosting out-of-towners, or your ceremony and/or reception site are far, consider providing them a ride from a location (i.e. their hotel) to the wedding and back. A charter bus or shuttle which holds up to 60 passengers, will usually do the trick. Or go the extra mile and choose something with character that matches your wedding, like a double decker.
When booking your wedding transportation keep in mind traffic, pictures running late, time of day, etc. Pad in some extra time onto each trip you’ll be making for any unexpected delays. Keep in mind, getting everyone into the vehicle on time can be a task in itself. Another thing to keep in mind when booking your transportation is wait time. Most rental companies will charge by the hour, with a minimum booking time. Be sure to calculate the total hours needed from the ceremony pickup to the end of the reception, to determine whether it’s worth it to pay for the wait.
Making It Official With Your Wedding Transportation
Once you choose your transportation, be sure to get all the details in writing with your rental company. These points should be included in the contract:
Date, time, and location(s) of pickup and drop-off points
Type and number of vehicles rented
Exact hours each vehicle is hired for
Amenities supplied in each vehicle
Total cost included gas and mileage
Overtime fees and gratuities
Cancellation and refund policies
And that’s all folks! If you feel like you need a little further guidance, drop a comment below and we’d be happy to help!
Wondering the best way to find your wedding photographer?
Photos are a big part of your wedding day. These photos capture everything about your wedding from the ceremony to the decor, from the guests to the emotions and expressions on their face. Picking out just the right photographer to capture your day in the way you want can be hard. Here are some tips on how to pick out the right photographer for you and your fiance.
Style: What style(s) do you specialize in? How would you describe your photography style?
There are many different styles of photography. Before you begin researching photographers, you’ll need to first decide what type of photography style you prefer, as that will help determine which kind of photographer you’ll want shooting your wedding. Some photographer styles are the following:
Edgy and Bold
“When should I book my photographer?”
It is never too early to start looking. Search photographers near you and start browsing their website and portfolio. If you are interested in them, contact them and see if they have your date available. When to book your photographer will depend on a few different factors such as the following:
Is your wedding around a holiday? If so, photographers can be extra busy, so booking as soon as you know you want them to shoot your big day is a good idea.
Is your wedding on a weekend or a weekday? Weekends are very popular for weddings, therefore photographers tend to be busier on the weekends.
The earlier the better to book a photographer, as they can be booked out months away.
Research/Setting up interviews:
Once you have an idea of what kind of photos you like, you can start to research the photographers around you. If you like what you see on their website, contact them to see if they are available on your wedding day. If they are, ask to meet up with him. It is hard to make a decision like this just based on their website portfolio. You must meet potential photographers in person and see if you click with each other. Below are a few questions to ask:
Will the photos be retouched and color balanced? Is that done before I see the proofs?
How many weddings have you shot and how many do you do in a year? Also, what’s your favorite part of a wedding day
and time of year to shoot?
Have you ever shot at *venue name* before?
Do you shoot both digital and film?
What is included in your packages?
How many hours of coverage do we get? What is the charge for overtime?
What is the deposit and total fee?
Will you be my actual photographer or will it be one of your associates?
Do you have backup photographers who will shoot the wedding if you’re sick?
Will there be a second shooter or any assistants? If so, is there an additional fee for each?
How long will it take us to receive the photos?
Will you follow a shot list?
What are the restrictions for sharing photos online?
When you meet with a wedding photographer have an idea of what you are envisioning for your wedding. It would also be helpful if you had a list of the types of pictures you want from your wedding so the photographer can get a feel for your style as well. Don’t be afraid to convey to the photographer what you are looking for!
Follow me on Pinterest for Wedding Photography Shotlist Inspiration!
So you have picked out your officiant; CONGRATULATIONS! That is one less vendor to worry about not having. Now that you have an Officiant, you can start talking about the details of the ceremony. Depending on your officiant’s preferences, you and your fiance may meet with him/her multiple times prior to your wedding or only once or twice closer to your wedding date.
Typically, Officiants will have a generic template they use in each ceremony. If you are looking for him/her to customize the ceremony, be sure to discuss what you want included in it.
Any special religious traditions
Ceremonies are usually 15-20 minutes, however it is important to discuss with your officiant how long you want your ceremony to be. Special traditions and add-ins, may make the ceremony longer. If you are having any special traditions or ceremonies, be sure to discuss with the officiant when you want them in your ceremony and who will be doing what parts.
Another important thing to discuss with your officiant are your vows. Do you plan to write your own vows? If so, be sure to let the officiant know to what extent you would like to write your own vows. Some couples may want to be asked the simple marriage vows as a question first and then they speak their own words. Maybe you want to exchange formal vows and use your own vows as part of your ring exchange.
Some other details that should be discussed are the following:
Will you be exchanging rings? This seems like a strange question to ask, but it’s not. Some people get tattoos instead of rings. Sometimes brides will receive the ring, but the groom won’t because the groom works in an industry where he can’t wear a ring.
Will you be having someone walk you down the aisle? If so, who? While for some brides this question may be easy, but for others not so much. There are some brides who walk themselves down the aisle and there is nothing wrong with that.
Who will be participating in your ceremony? This helps the officiant know who should be in the ceremony and what to expect.
All these little questions and details help the officiant understand what you as a couple are looking for in your ceremony. Be sure to discuss timeline and language of the ceremony so it is exactly what you and your fiance are looking for.
Want more advice on planning your wedding ceremony?
~ Jumping the Broom. ~ Handfasting. ~ Lighting of a Unity Candle. ~ Sand Ceremony. ~ Reading of Scripture or special notes. ~ Signing of the Ketubah. ~ Kneeling on a family prayer rug. ~ Taking your first communion as man and wife. ~ Including family photos as part of a bridal bouquet. ~ A bride wearing coins in her shoes during the wedding. ~ A Rose Presentation. ~ The Mothers’ Kiss. ~ Planting a tree. ~ Washing of feet. ~
As you can see from the simple list started above, wedding ceremony customs and traditions are as countless as they are timeless. Yet, there is also room to add a fresh twist to a tradition that reflects your unique personalities and sharing of your love story.
From the processional and giving of the bride, to exchanging vows, rings and kiss, a traditional American wedding ceremony is so conventional, that many couples do not often find a reason to deviate from the expected outline.
American Wedding Ceremony Traditions
In a usual ceremony, you will also find elements such as the seating of parents with the bride’s mother seated last, welcoming of guests, reading of scripture, the wedding message, declaration of intent, pronouncement as man and wife, and the wedding party recessional. The order of ceremony will be determined by your officiant, with consideration of your desires. You may wish to include special elements, such as lighting a unity candle, taking communion, singing of hymns or special love songs, a family custom or a fresh take on an old custom. — As you firm up plans with your officiant, feel free to ensure the ceremony expresses not only your love and commitment but your style and personality as a new Mr. and Mrs.!
Multi-Cultural Wedding Traditions
Looking beyond your own backyard, into your own family ethnicity or history, you might find other charming ideas to include in your own exceptional ceremony. There are so many ideas to explore and consider of which the following are just a few. For instance, in Sweden, the bride and groom enter down the aisle together, and the bride carries coins in her shoes on her wedding day: one silver coin in her left shoe from her father, and one gold coin in her right from her mother are placed to ensure that she will never go without. Varsågod!The Japanese follow the tradition of san-san-kudo, where the bride and groom take three sips each from three flat sake cups, after which their parents do the same to symbolize bonding the families together. Many modern couples are including Handfasting, a ritual that began in long ago Great Britain as part of their ceremony, in which they bind their hands together with a ribbon, symbolizing the joining of their lives. In addition, many families have special items or traditions that hold special meaning in the family history. One such family has a special prayer rug that has been used in the wedding ceremonies of all their weddings for many generations. Another beautiful idea is to include the memory of a late mother/mother-in-law or grandparents in small photo lockets on the bride’s bouquet. You could also consider honoring your late loved one/s by placing a single flower from your bouquet on the seat they would occupy if they were still among us. (You can find more ceremony ideas from around the world here. https://www.littlechapel.com/marriage-customs-from-around-the-world.html )
Religious Ceremony Traditions
Looking to a few religious ceremony traditions, Indian couples are married under a special canopy called a ‘Mandap’. Each of the four pillars of the bridal canopy represents one of the four parents. In the Jewish faith, couples are joined together under a canopy called a ‘Chuppah’. In the Jewish ceremony, the groom and two witnesses sign a Ketubah, which is a special document outlining his duties and responsibilities toward his wife, after which the bride circles her groom seven times as a symbol of breaking down barriers and more. If you are a couple with an interfaith wedding, you may find it might be appropriate to alternate traditions back and forth, until your ceremony concludes. It’s less jarring for guests and creates a unity to your ceremony that mirrors your marriage. Together, choose traditions that you consider beautiful and add them where appropriate to personalize your wedding.
When looking to put your own personal stamp on your wedding ceremony, one certain way is to find and incorporate fun and unique rituals that symbolize love and unity. OffBeat Bride has gathered a host of unique and uncommon wedding Unity ceremony ideas to check out here. http://offbeatbride.com/tag/unity-ceremony/ Becoming increasingly popular, Jumping the Broom symbolizes not only a new beginning but a sweeping away of the past as the bride and groom together jump over a decorated broomstick that is laid on the ground. The traditional Sand Ceremony mixes different colored sands, but by ordering and mixing glass crystals instead, you can have it blown into a beautiful commemorative glass work of art to keep for a lifetime. https://www.unityinglass.com/ How about showing your mothers the love with a special last ‘kiss’ for them as singles, just before you are pronounced man and wife, or giving them each a special rose as a symbol of your love as you begin your life as man and wife during the recessional? Or consider going green and planting a tree to symbolize your vow to grow together. Another special feature to consider is to include a foot-washing ceremony, which has roots in Christianity and other ancient religions. What a beautiful way to show your promise to serve one another in love.
As a couple, have fun joining your hearts and minds together in planning a ceremony as specialized and personal as you two are. Whether you use one of the different ideas mentioned above or come up with your own exclusive, adding a special tradition, custom or ritual to your wedding ceremony will make yours a wedding day to remember.
Determining your wedding guest list can be one of those daunting wedding planning tasks but it is a super necessary one for sure. Remember, this is one of the first things you need to do. Your budget, venue, and guest list are all equally important and will help guide the other areas. Below is a simple guest list building ‘funnel’ to help you determine your who you’re inviting!
Step One: Gather The Guest List
Gather the list of closest folks in the 6 categories of wedding guest lists: Couple’s friends, Bride’s friends, Groom’s friends, Bride’s parent’s friends, Groom’s parent’s friends, and family. Just put EVERYBODY in.
Step Two: Narrow It Down
Budget and venue will help to determine this. Perhaps your venue has a maximum guest count. Or perhaps your
the estimated budget only allows for 100 or so guests. With those details in mind, start narrowing down your guests with those MUST have invites and those that you’d LOVE to have but will to be put on the B or even C lists. We recommend making an A-list, B list, and C list if needed.
Step Three: Gather Contacts
Gather all their e-mail addresses, contact numbers, and mailing addresses. Again, this can be tedious and takes a lot of phone calls, direct messaging, and texting but it is well worth it and once you have all that information compiled, you will feel so relieved! Then, once you have your venue + wedding date, you know exactly who you’re sending those #savethedates to.
Now friends, hear me, I KNOW this is a huge and daunting task. But once you get this step all figured out, you’ll be that much farther along on the wedding planning process! We’re a huge fan of #weddingwednesdays, where you and your boo set aside weekly wedding planning dates with each other. Grab a glass of wine or whiskey and tackle those to-dos.
To help make things easier, I’ve got an amazing guest list compiling spreadsheet just for you! Comment below or send me a message to receive yours!
Your family, friends and loved ones celebrated with you.
Your wedding budget is set
And perhaps you’ve already selected your bridesmaids and groomsmen.
And your gown has been ordered and you can’t wait to wear it on your wedding day!
Wow, way to go you boss woman, you!
But the planning is at a halt now, because you don’t have your venue and thus, don’t have your wedding date yet.
Below are 3 things to look for in a wedding venue:
Budget, Location, + Date:
Because your wedding budget has been set, you now have a fairly good idea of what you can afford when it comes to your venue. You should be spending roughly 11% of your total budget on your venue. On average, we’re seeing venues cost anywhere between $2500 to $10,000. There are reasons for this price differences that we’ll discuss in a bit!
Location: Hopefully you’ve determined whether you want a hometown wedding or destination wedding at this point. Do you
want your guests traveling a good distance or are you just as happy with finding a venue closer to home? This will guide you in the areas to look for in a venue.
Destination weddings may decrease the guest count but cost more per guest and potentially less for you.
Hometown weddings may increase the guest count, cost less for your guests, and potentially more for you.
What feel/vibe are you looking for? There are outdoor rustic venues, venues in the mountains, venues by the coast, garden venues, luxurious hotels, and low cost reception halls to choose from (to name a few). How much space do you need? Are you having a smaller guest count? Or do you need a venue that can host up to 300 guests? These factors play a huge part in choosing your venue.
Okay, here is the fun part. Remember I said I’d talk more about the price gap in venue prices?
There are several factors to that:
Location: You can bet that the venue in the more desirable location will cost more. It may have more scenic views or be in a more exotic or upscale region with prices to match. For the lower cost venues, they may be new and are offering booking discounts or they’re in a less upscale/exotic place.
Many of the higher priced venues charge accordingly because they provide so much! Often, they’ll provide a venue supervisor to represent the venue during your event. They’ll also include tables, chairs, + linens. Some even include your glassware and table settings along with some decor for you to use! If you’re even luckier, they’ll include a complimentary champagne toast and coffee for your guests. Note: Some venues require you use their catering. This’ll be a bigger overall venue cost but you get to add the catering budget to create that total.
For the lower cost venues, you probably guessed it. They usually ONLY provide the venue. Some will include the tables and chairs but you’ll
Some other things to note:
-Some venues will require that you use only the vendors on their preferred vendor list.
-Check to see if they require you purchase event insurance and what limits they require.
-When they provide tables and chairs, be sure to look at the quality of chairs they provide. Some offer basic white plastic folding chairs while others will offer even chivari chairs for your wedding!
-A Venue coordinator is not the same thing as a wedding planner. Their man job is to represent the venue and will perhaps help with some vendor recommendations and timeline.
How is it already January 5th?! I know I know, we’re just 5 days into the New Year but it seems like time is already flying so fast. Well, I took a small hiatus during the holidays but I’m back and ready to share with you one of my favorite California Vendor Friends (Friendor), Miss Kaylia Fisher of Tumbleweed Floral Truck.
I had the privilege of meeting Kaylia at a styled shoot I’d planned almost two years ago now. I immediately knew she had talent as she took the color scheme and vision of
the styled shoot and made her florals something magical. Kaylia’s business was just starting out and I knew she was going great places. And lordy, I was right! I think it’s fair to say now that she is one of the up and coming luxury wedding florists in the San Francisco Bay Area. She consistently creates lush, organic, whimsical florals that will guarantee to make your wedding the vision of beauty you’ve been dreaming of.
Without further ado, please welcome Kaylia Fisher of Tumbleweed Floral Truck
What’s your favorite ice cream?
What’s your go-to song?
Always changing, but right nowCalifornia by Joni Mitchell
Do you have a favorite quote?
‘Live the full life of the mind, exhilarated by new ideas, intoxicated by the romance of the unusual.’ -Ernest Hemingway
Now let’s talk about your business:
How did you get started in your business?
Freelancing in New York City while going to school for an event and design company who did large floral installs for stores on 5th Ave. I moved home after college and helped out a family friend who did wedding florals as a side job and decided it was where I really felt at home.
How long has your business been established for?
Since February 2014
What’s the process like when someone books with you?
We start with the initial inquiry and then the client fills out a pretty in depth consultation form so I can get a clear idea of their vision to be sure it lines up with my
style; I always want to be sure we are a good fit for each other aesthetically. Then we go through a few rounds of estimates until we decide on something that is agreeable open; the estimate will of course change but we make final edits around 2 months before the wedding. I then accept a retainer to book the date and then the rest of the design is completed at the 2 month mark where we’ll go over final quantities and any changes as well as design. They will then receive a final invoice and an in depth design board before their final payment is due!
What makes you different from the rest?
First of all, my floral truck, which is still a work in progress hopefully launching Valentines Day 2018. But I’d like to think I have a modern boho vibe that fits the modern California bride in a unique way.
What do you love about your field?
The way that florals elevate the entire event. I always say their what makes the difference between a party and a wedding.
What are some popular trends you’ve seen this year that you think will be big next year?
Velvet, bridesmaids jumpsuits and alternatives to bridesmaids bouquets like lanterns and hoops.
If you could give three pieces of advice for couples who are looking to hire a vendor like you, what would those be?
1. Get clear on a realistic floral budget for your vision— first decide how important florals are to your day.
2. Find someone who’s style really mirrors yours— there are so many great florists out there; its important to find the right one for you.
3. Have fun! Florals are your chance to really add in some pizazz to your design. If your on the fence about where to play with color, I always say in the florals! If your someone who’s scared of color, choose a neutral linen and go big with florals.
Want to learn more about this floral boss babe or inquire about having her as part of your wedding team?
a. You’re newly engaged (Congrats!) and not sure where to start with all your wedding planning. In fact, you’re feeling highly overwhelmed and super stressed out with all that has to happen before you walk down the aisle. You’ve heard about wedding planners but not sure if hiring one is right for you.
b. You’ve been engaged for close to a year now, have a lot of your main wedding components figured out. But there are a few areas you’re still unsure of and a few you’ve got planned but want to confirm your plans seem right. You’re looking into hiring a wedding planner but are still on the fence.
c. Your wedding is literally weeks away. You’ve got everything planned and are considering asking Aunt Lucy to get together and go over your plans. Your 50% positive this is a good idea but it may be better if you just hire a wedding planner.
We still hear of folks who get to their wedding day and don’t have a wedding planner or day of coordinator. Regretfully, their story is told and now wish they’d invested in hiring someone other than their Aunt, Best Man, or DJ to ensure all the details happen smoothly and any Day-of mishaps or emergencies are put out quickly.
And we’re talking two types of information here. #1: Your wedding planner knows the ins and outs of the wedding industry and should be able to educate you on things like current day wedding etiquette, what a ceremony processional is, and what the going rate is for wedding florals or a Photo Booth these days. #2: That person is going to have ALL the information day of. When anyone has questions day of, they’ll be going to your wedding planner, NOT your maid of honor, to answer their question, thus alleviating stress and worries from any of your close loved one.
A good wedding planner will be able to make some awesome recommendations for you on any vendors you may still be needing. In fact, they very likely have a whole slew of personal vendor referrals they can make because they’ve seen these vendors do amazing work first hand! If they can’t find one that fits your requirements with in their immediate network, they should have access to a much bigger resource of recommendations they can find those referrals from.
3. Cost Reduction:
Maybe you’ve got a particular allowance to stick with or maybe you’re able to allocate an unlimited amount of funds to your wedding. Regardless your situation, your wedding planner will be able to help you make the most of your available resources and even be able to help you find ways to keep those estimated costs!
4. Avoids Hassle, Reduces Effort, + Saves Time:
A good wedding planner is going to have an amazing system in place to ensure a smooth wedding planning process for you True, there can always be stress with wedding planning especially since there’s a lot for our brides and grooms to decide! But with a wedding planner, the hassle, effort and time needed to be spent are reduced significantly as they’ve already found the most efficient ways to plan a wedding.
5. Simplifies + Organize:
Similar to the last point, your wedding planner should have a cut an amazing organization system all set up before you even inquire with them. When you hire your wedding planner, you’ll be amazed at how much simpler the planning process is than you thought it’d be and how organized everything is.
6. Reduces Anxiety by Reducing Risk:
Yep, you heard that right. You don’t have to stress as much because you’re plans are being made by a professional planner; someone who’s had a lot of experience planning weddings (+ maybe even events!) and can ensure that your wedding day plans and logistics are happening in the most foolproof way. And, if there is a chance of risk (can we say outdoor wedding + summer downpour? Yep, been there, seen that.) You can rest assured that your wedding planner has taken that chance into account and thought of Plan A, B, and C. This might be a good place to point out that it hiring a wedding planner not only reduces YOUR anxiety + stress but can also reduce the stress + anxiety of those near and dear to you (say mom, aunts, bridal party, and close friend) because they don’t have to worry about all those logistics and plans day of. They only have to be present, be their beautiful selves, and enjoy the beautiful day.
Didn’t think that hiring a wedding planner goes with fun/entertaining? Well, it does actually! Because all the hassle, effort, time, anxiety, + risk has been reduced therefore alleviating a ton of that stress, your emotions are that much freer to enjoy the wedding planning process. Furthermore, your wedding planner knows how to make the wedding planning process (can we say planning meetings over a glass of beer/wine at a coffee shop?) And all the fun vendor meetings + tastings where you learn more about what you like and all that delicious cake and food you get to try. All that is just a little bit fun, you know? Day of, if you’re wanting to bring the fun to your party your wedding planner will be able to either help make your dreams happen OR be able to create a really fun environment for you and your guests to enjoy.
8. Design+ Attractiveness:
A good wedding planner should be able to help bring your vision to life in the most aesthetically appealing way. We often have brides come to us with their design vision needing just a little bit of reassurance or a lot a bit of help needed to make their dream happen. We also have those brides who need help creating the design/theme of their wedding. And guess what? Your wedding planner should be more than able to help you design the wedding of your dreams.
Okay, and just a few more reasons you should hire a wedding planner:
They’re not your mom, sisters, or best friends. We get it, it’s so much fun to have all the ladies in your life come together to help you plan your big day. And they’ll probably be so excited to help, too! But it’s super nice to have someone who isn’t so close to you that will be able to hear your visions and dreams objectively and who’ll be able to ensure they’ll happen the way you’ve dreamed. Not your mom or best friends way.
They’re a professional. Your wedding planner takes their job seriously and is constantly educating themselves in industry best practices, networking with vendors, and growing themselves all so that they can serve you better. For us wedding planners, we kind of geek out on all the above because we love what we do but do it because we LOVE serving YOU (no rhyme intended).
Most wedding planners offer a handful of different services so you can choose one that will most fit your needs. So hiring a wedding planner should be an easy decision for you.
But if you’re still on the fence about whether you should hire a wedding planner, give me a ring or send an e-mail. We’d be happy to answer any questions you might have.
You’re engaged! Congratulations!! It goes without saying you’re probably feeling all the feels that come with engagement season. Excitement, love, elation, and perhaps a bit of overwhelm.
‘We’re engaged to be married. I love you. I’m committed to you. We’ve made it official. Now what?’
Now’s the time to decide three things which are almost holistic to each other. Budget, guest count, and venue.
But the big determining factor which determines the other two is your budget.
How much are we willing to spend on our wedding?
According to costofwedding.com the average cost of a wedding in America is roughly $35K. Now that can vary depending on demographics you’re in and the types of vendors you choose. But know that on average across the U.S. that is what is being spent on a wedding.
So how DO we determine our budget?
Determine Who’s Paying
Traditionally, the bride’s parents pay for the wedding and the groom’s parents pay for the rehearsal dinner. The bride and groom pay for each other’s wedding bands and the groom pays for the getaway vehicle and honeymoon. The bride and groom also pay for gifts for their bridal party, family, and other significant participants Day of. In our modern era, we often find that brides and grooms are fiscally able to foot the majority of the bill whereas their parents and perhaps grandparents will cover costs of a certain vendor.
We recommend taking the first weeks of engagement to speak with those key players to see who can cover what bill or if you two are able to cover that on your own.
Alright, let’s get real here. If you’ve been pinning a lot of wedding goals and planning your wedding via Instagram, then you should expect a very big budget to achieve that ‘perfect’ look. Chances are that photographer was a higher end photographer, the gorgeous florals were roughly $5K and there was a significant amount spent on draping + decor.
Know that it is totally possible to create a perfectly Pinterest look but it may not have all that decor or it may be with a newer/more affordable photographer.
Once your budget is set, you need to look at what you really can afford and what you should expect to spend on each category.
Now that you’ve got your budget cemented, let’s take a look at who you’d like to invite! The smaller the guest count, the more smaller your wedding bill is. The larger your guest count; the larger your wedding bill is.
Why is that? Well, on average, one should expect to spend about $100/head at least per guest for venue, food, and beverage.
A wedding meal usually begins at $25-$35 depending on your location. Then you need to calculate the beverages which can add to about $10-$15 per head. Table linens, centerpieces, candles, napkins, desserts, favors, etc all add up into that guest count, too.
Often times, the wedding budget will determine the amount of guests you are able to invite. But sometimes the wedding guests will determine the wedding budget because you just can’t leave anyone out.
Now it’s time to look at your venue. Are you wanting to be married in a church? Perhaps you’re more of the gorgeous historic mansion type. Or you’re looking for a rustic mountain venue. Are you wanting to be married in a big urban city or are you okay with getting married in a more rural location?
The venue type and location will play a role on it’s cost and can add some variables to determining your budget.
Also, do you want a venue that provides table, chairs, and linens? Do you want chivari chairs or are you okay with banquet chairs or even plastic folding chairs?
Determine What’s Important
Is that the venue? the photographer? The florals? The food? Some folks will Budget more on a vendor category that is more important to them, and spend less that’s a little less important. However, you may decide that you want EVERYTHING! That’s okay, too, however, know that THAT can place an impact on your overall budget, too.
Date & Time of Year
While this is not the case with every venue, many will offer discounts for off-season wedding dates (roughly November-April) and for less popular days of the week. For example, if you are okay getting married on a Monday in March, you are more likely to get a discount on your venue (and sometimes vendor!) prices. However, if you are wanting to get married on New Year’s Eve, you may be paying a pretty penny.
Most of the time, the overall budget will determine the who, when, + where. But if you’re able to, and decide that one or all of these is more important and finances aren’t an issue, go for your heart! This is, after all, a day about the two of you and we want to create your dream vision!
If you are looking for other information on what to do now that you’re engaged, check out these blog posts!
Trying to decide on your officiant for the wedding? There are many different types of officiants you can use for a wedding. Below are some helpful ideas to guide you in choosing the wedding officiant that’s right for you.
The Different Types of Wedding Officiants
Religious Official: Priests, ministers, rabbis, Muslim qadis, and Hindu priests all perform weddings
Ordained Minister: If you want a friend or family member to do the honors, he or she will have to get ordained.
Justice of the Peace or Notary: Appointed on the state level, these officials are authorized to perform civil marriages.
Civil Officiant: In some states, a person can petition for a one-time pass to perform a marriage. Most require the would-be celebrant to take an oath in a local court and pay a small fee.
Questions To Ask Your Potential Officiant:
Once you have decided what kind of officiant you would like to have, contact them and meet with them. When meeting with your potential officiant, it is important that they connect with you and will give you the ceremony you and your fiance are looking for. Keep in mind, while you are trying to decide if the officiant is a good fit for you, the officiant is trying to decide if they are a good fit for you as well.
Here are some questions to ask:
What is your fee?
How long have you been performing weddings?
Why do you like to do weddings?
Are you willing to customize your ceremony or let us do so?
Can you incorporate X (any special ceremony, unity candle, sand ceremony, etc)?
Questions Your Officiant May Ask:
The officiant may come back with questions of his or her own to get to know the two of you as a couple. Some of the questions are the following:
How did you two meet?
What made you fall in love with each other?
How did you know that you were The One for each other?
What are the values that are important to you in your marriage?
Where do you see your life as a couple in ten years?
By sharing some of these details, the officiant can get a better understanding of the two of you as the couple, as well as personalize your ceremony with special details. Once you and your officiant feel like this would be a good fit, you can start to get into the details of the ceremony.
Keep in mind, a good officiant will not insist on specific requirements and will give you every consideration for your special day. It’s your wedding! Shop around and listen to your gut. If there is someone who is making you uncomfortable, remember you have other options. Lastly, it is great to go with someone you are comfortable with and have a great connection with. Feeling like you and your officiant are on the same page will put your mind at ease and give you one less thing to stress over!
April and I had the privilege of working together on a styled shoot a year and a half ago. I was so impressed with her professionalism and passion that flowed through her hands. Styled shoots (just like weddings!) begin early, and I was wowed when I learned she had been up since 4:30 am to make sure she arrived in time for the dark o’clock start time. This chick’s got talent, friends.
April Foster Bridal is a luxury onsite beauty team that services the San Francisco Bay Area. April and her team enhance natural beauty by providing clients with soft, romantic, loose and modern looks that bring out their inner glow. From City Hall to larger events her crafted wedding packages provides brides and bridal parties a celebrity-like experience. April and her team are obsessed with all things beauty and are inspired with each opportunity to make someone look and feel like their beautiful inner self.
A Little About You
Favorite Ice Cream: So Delicious Coconut Milk “Ice cream” in Cold Brew!
Go-To Song: Something by Mariah Carey or Britney Spears. 😉
About Your Business
How did you get started in your business?
A lot of sweat, tears and lipsticks. Lots of lipsticks.
How long has your business been established for?
I’ve been in business for 3 years
What’s the process like when someone books with you?
After a Bride reserves her date with 50% date retainer and signed contract, we get down with the fun! Gathering inspiration photos, from everything to hair and makeup to their florals, to their gowns! I want to see it all! We review it during our preview consultation and then co create a look that’s perfect for my Bride’s personality, face shape and hair texture.
Why Should I Pick You?
What makes you different from the rest?
My Brides are my top priority! My crafted hair and makeup packages provides brides and bridal parties a celebrity like experience. With our ‘Classic Day Experience’ which enables me to be behind the scenes of your bridal portraits ensuring every photo that your photographer clicks is absolutely picture perfect.
What are some popular trends you’ve seen this year that you think will be big next year?
Things are moving away from super organic borderline messy into more sleek and polished looks. I’m seeing a lot more simple and understated looks.
If you could give three pieces of advice for couples who are looking to hire a vendor like you, what would those be?
Best advice is once you find someone that you love their portfolio, BOOK them! We often book up to a year in advance. To avoid disappointment, lock your favorite artist in.
Curating the perfect day-of wedding team for you and your beau is one of the privileges a wedding planner gets to help with. You want wedding vendors whose style speaks of your style and whose personalities you enjoy. You want vendors you can trust will serve you well and do all they can to ensure your day is perfect. Helping you determine who those team players will be is one of the most important tasks on your wedding planner’s list. Though we all play a different role during the wedding planning process, we work together as a team with one common goal: To give you the most perfect, stress free wedding we can give and to serve you, your family, and your guests well.
A perk of being in this industry is the ability to work with SO many talented wedding professionals. Like myself, many of them started out with a passion, a vision, and a dream and after a lot of courage mixed with gumption and hard work have paved a path of success and growth. I am always encouraged and energized to learn more about their stories and how they came to be the successful creative professionals they are today.
I’ve had a vision of interviewing, promoting, and highlighting some of my absolute favorites in the industry. And I am FINALLY making that happen. I’ll be highlighting ones from Colorado, California, and other regions I’ve worked in. So on Fridays, stay tuned as I introduce folks who I think will make fantastic wedding day team members.
Are you recently engaged or do you have someone close to you who is? This is an exciting time, and leading up to the wedding there are many parties to celebrate the happy couple. To start this journey, an engagement party is a fun way to share the news with friends and family! Here are a few tips on how to plan this one-time event:
You may be wondering how to start the event planning. Here are a few basics: Typically, the engagement party is held within a few months of the engagement, and is usually hosted by the bride’s parents (The Knot). If you would rather host (or have your bridesmaids do it), go for it! This might be good practice for your bridesmaids to take initiative in planning events leading up to your wedding. If you don’t have your bridesmaids picked out yet, don’t worry, that’s often the case! You still have plenty of time to solidify your wedding party. At this point, you can recruit help from family members or a couple solid friends that you trust. Gathering support from family or friends for this first celebration can be an immense help.
Luckily, the planning process for the engagement party will mimic that of the actual wedding. That being said, it is important to create a guest list, make invitations and send them out with enough time for guests to RSVP (about 3 weeks). Another rule of thumb: everyone who is invited to the engagement party should also be invited to the wedding. This will help you avoid any awkward conversations later on. You don’t have to create your guest list this early, but inviting close family and friends to your engagement party is a safe place to begin. So, what next? This event doesn’t have to be a huge spectacle, but creating a menu and drink list is important so your guests are taken care of! Beyond these details, the party can be as grand or as intimate as you would like. If you’d like to match the extravagance of the event to that of your wedding, it can make planning easier.
Setting the Scene
This event can be as formal or informal as you’d like. It can be at your favorite restaurant, a friend’s backyard, or at your home. It can be a suit and tie event, or a shorts and sandals kick back. You get to choose! In addition, decorations don’t have to be over the top. These can include very simple color themes, or you can add as many decor details as you’d like. Although gifts aren’t a requirement, having a small area set aside for them is appropriate, but not necessary. Most importantly, you should relax and enjoy time with your significant other and guests. Don’t stress too much over specific details or if everything is perfect. Remember, your guests are there to celebrate YOU! Eat yummy food, enjoy good company, and keep this as a time to celebrate a new season of life.
Congratulations on your engagement, have fun planning, and don’t stress too much! Recruit the help of family and friends to plan this event and keep it as simple or extravagant as you’d like. Although some planning is necessary, such as invitations, guest list, and food, this is a time for you to be celebrated.
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