Vendor Highlight: The Gourmet Kitchen

The Gourmet Kitchen

(+ Copper Leaf Gardens and Event Center)

www.thegourmetkitchen.biz

www.copperleafeventcenter.com

 

Today’s Vendor Highlight I am bringing you my friends over at The Gourmet Kitchen. I had the privilege of getting connected with Madhoo Seth of The Gourmet Kitchen last summer.  She immediately became a friend to me here in the Colorado Wedding Industry and I was immensely impressed with her talent in literally ANY cuisine.  Madhoo not only owns + runs The Gourmet Kitchen but also owns and operates Copper Leaf Gardens and Event Center in Broomfield, CO.  Along with her husband, Vipul, Madhoo is a powerhouse who strives to give you exceptional service.  When I am not working my own events, you can find me helping out other professionals in the industry, just like The Gourmet Kitchen.

Without further ado, I’d like to introduce you to my friend Madhoo, highlighting her catering business, The Gourmet Kitchen.

 

About The Owner:

The Gourmet Kitchen, Wedding Caterer

Madhoo Seth, Owner of The Gourmet KitchenMadhoo Seth, president and executive chef of The Gourmet Kitchen, began experimenting in the kitchen at just 12 years old. Over the years, her passion and dedication to this art form blossomed as she shared her love of food with clients who became friends. As a successful female entrepreneur and pillar of the community, Madhoo inspires her staff each and every day.

Our team has a passion for green living and infuses sustainability into every event. Our event coordinators are experts in green events and can help coordinate recycling, composting, and eco-friendly menu items and decor. Further, we have incorporated green practices into daily living and business practices by recycling, using LED bulbs, consuming local or organic food, and using compostable table settings.

What’s your favorite ice cream?

 Pistachio

What’s your go-to song?

Careless whisper ( Time can never have)..Wham

Do you have a favorite quote?

Any day it is, “Be the change if you wish to see in the world.” by Mahatma Gandhi.

 

About The Gourmet Kitchen:

How did you get started in your business?

The Gourmet Kitchen, Colorado Wedding Caterer, Wedding VendorMy background is fashion and design actually. Food was more of a hobby and passion actually and became my profession in no time. I started with corporate lunches, small Indian hors-d’oeuvres and street food or friends and family and here we are today. We cook for 25 to 2000 Guests. I daily religiously spend one hour to date learning new stuff, trends and styles and experimenting recipes.  We call ourselves experts in multicultural weddings. We cater to very diverse crowds and offer unique flavors to please everyone’s palate. We are very knowledgeable in vegan, GF and Vegetarian foods and a lot of happy clients.

How long has your business been established for?

Since 2002.

What makes you stand out from the rest?

We are experts in custom, multi-cuisine and multicultural weddings and we can cook in your language! Our goal is to provide you ONLY what you need to realize the vision of your dream wedding.The Gourmet Kitchen, Colorado Wedding Caterer, Wedding Vendor

Your food is what will make your wedding spectacular!

A perfect blend of sensational food, inspiring ideas, and professional staff – The Gourmet Kitchen has been offering custom menu design and event services throughout the Front Range since 2002.

With plenty of vegetarian, gluten-free, vegan, dairy free, nut free, kosher, and ethnic options, we can guarantee an experience that your guests will cherish.

What do you love about your field?

Food, Fashion, Glamour, and happy people. What else do you want?

What are some popular trends you’ve seen this year that you think will be big next year?

A lot of emerald, jewel tones, gold, and beads. And next year it is going to be about feathers as the The Gourmet Kitchen, Colorado Wedding Caterer, Wedding Vendoraccent in your centerpieces, Asian bold prints. Bling will be there. Modern and contemporary designs for displays are in for 2018 along with food Stations and fusion foods.

If you could give three pieces of advice for couples who are looking to hire a vendor like you, what would those be?

I have 4 actually:

  1. Trust your Gut first thing.
  2. Today’s bride wants more than steakThe Gourmet Kitchen, Colorado Wedding Caterer, Wedding Vendor and Potatoes so offer a great variety and food stations, action station, Dessert bar and we are experts in that.
  3. Food is what your guests will talk about even after years of your event. Invest in a well-seasoned caterer like us who has in-depth knowledge of Spices and cuisines around the world. In addition to American fare, TGK provides a large variety of ethnic gourmet food from around the globe, giving its customers an exceptional variety of menu choices. TGK custom designs its menus and services and works closely with its customers to make sure they can enjoy their day to the fullest – worry and stress-free. 
  4. We also provide event coordinators to manage your event so your event is seamless. Our Coordinators go above and beyond to make sure your event is executed in a timely manner. 

 

How to Book The Gourmet Kitchen:

Visit their website here learn more about The Gourmet Kitchen or to contact them about catering YOUR wedding OR call (303) 768-8970

How To Choose A Wedding Officiant

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

Wedding OfficiantReligious 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:

Custock Photography
  1. What is your fee?
  2. How long have you been performing weddings?
  3. Why do you like to do weddings?
  4. Are you willing to customize your ceremony or let us do so?
  5. 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:

  1. How did you two meet?
  2. What made you fall in love with each other?
  3. How did you know that you were The One for each other?
  4. What are the values that are important to you in your marriage?
  5. Where do you see your life as a couple in ten years?
Sweetness and Light Photography

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!

Vendor Highlight: April Foster Bridal Hair and Makeup

  • Luxury Bridal Makeup

April Foster Hair and Makeup Hair and Makeup

www.aprilfosterbridal.com

@aprilfosterbridal

wedding planning, event planning, event planner, wedding organizer, planning a wedding, wedding, Wedding makeup, Luxury makeup, Bridal makeup, bridal wedding planner book, wedding organiser, wedding ideas, wedding coordinator, party planner, wedding checklist, wedding preparation, wedding reception, wedding events, wedding reception ideas, wedding planning book, wedding consultant, wedding planning websites, best wedding planner, wedding colors, wedding planning checklist, online wedding planner, wedding event planner, bridal planner, destination wedding planner, the wedding planner, wedding planner organizer, wedding on a budget, wedding sites, wedding planner organizer, destination wedding planning, wedding planner investment, wedding and event planning, planning for a wedding, wedding planning website, wedding planning for dummies, wedding planning companies, wedding planning sites, wedding event management, plan my wedding, wedding budget, planning wedding, wedding organization, wedding management, wedding organizers, wedding organiser book, wedding planning on a budget, marriage planner, wedding planning organizer, party planning business, wedding locations, wedding day planner, wedding planner, wedding planning services, wedding planner cost, day of wedding coordinator cost, wedding coordinator, wedding checklist for bride, free wedding planning checklist, Colorado wedding planner, Nevada Wedding Planner, Reno Wedding planner, San Francisco Wedding planner, Bay Area wedding planner, California wedding planner,

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.  

So without further ado, it is my pleasure to introduce you to my first Vendor Highlight:  April Foster of April Foster Bridal.

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.

Interested in booking this beauty talent?

Phone: 415-802-9500

E-mail: hello@aprilfosterbridal.com

Vendor Highlights

wedding planning, event planning, event planner, wedding organizer, planning a wedding, wedding, Wedding makeup, Luxury makeup, Bridal makeup, bridal wedding planner book, wedding organiser, wedding ideas, wedding coordinator, party planner, wedding checklist, wedding preparation, wedding reception, wedding events, wedding reception ideas, wedding planning book, wedding consultant, wedding planning websites, best wedding planner, wedding colors, wedding planning checklist, online wedding planner, wedding event planner, bridal planner, destination wedding planner, the wedding planner, wedding planner organizer, wedding on a budget, wedding sites, wedding planner organizer, destination wedding planning, wedding planner investment, wedding and event planning, planning for a wedding, wedding planning website, wedding planning for dummies, wedding planning companies, wedding planning sites, wedding event management, plan my wedding, wedding budget, planning wedding, wedding organization, wedding management, wedding organizers, wedding organiser book, wedding planning on a budget, marriage planner, wedding planning organizer, party planning business, wedding locations, wedding day planner, wedding planner, wedding planning services, wedding planner cost, day of wedding coordinator cost, wedding coordinator, wedding checklist for bride, free wedding planning checklist, Colorado wedding planner, Nevada Wedding Planner, Reno Wedding planner, San Francisco Wedding planner, Bay Area wedding planner, California wedding planner,
Kayla Adams Photo

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.

XO,

Marci

3 Tips on How to Plan Your Engagement Party

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:

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Kayla Adams Photography

Getting Started

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.

Photo: Marcella Camille Events

 

Planning Details

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.

The Brazilian Room, Colorado Wedding Planner
Photography: Ridgewood Films

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.

Want more wedding planning tips?  Sign up below to be on the e-mail list!

 

References: https://www.theknot.com/content/engagement-parties-411

(Used to determine who hosts the engagement party)

 

Written by: Sara Mundo

Three Tips For Choosing Your Wedding Party

 

 

Once you’re engaged, this next season is filled with so many fun decisions, but you will also have to make some difficult choices – including who will stand next to you on your big day. Don’t let this overwhelm you! Taking the time to craft a solid support team will make your wedding that much sweeter.  Here are some things to consider when determining your bridesmaids and groomsmen:

Sonja K Photography

 

 

Wedding Size

When deciding your wedding party, it’s important to consider the size and budget of your wedding. If you are planning on having a small ceremony with your closest friends and family, your bridal and groomal party should fit that mold. It is perfectly okay to only have a couple of your best friends in the wedding. With a small ceremony, having a huge bridal party might not serve you well. Instead, if you choose to have a larger ceremony, including more people in your wedding party may fit that situation better. This isn’t to say you have to pick a ton of people if you have a big ceremony, but keeping budget and size in mind can help structure who is included.

 

Ridgewood Films

 

Trustworthy Friends

When preparing for your wedding day, it’s important to have friends that have seen you through thick and thin. These people can bring you peace, help accomplish tasks, and put you at ease rather than stress you out further. You deserve to have friends and family that are going to help more than hinder on your big day. Although there are friends that see you through different seasons of life, choosing bridesmaids or groomsmen that have been with you from the beginning can create a more trusting and supportive atmosphere. Typically, the people in your wedding help with events like the engagement party, bridal shower, and rehearsal dinner leading up to the celebration. Ensuring you have dependable people within your party can prevent you from feeling overwhelmed or unsupported. Pick people that know you well. They will be able to host these events without bombarding you with questions. You’re going to want people that are self-sufficient and have your back.

 

Colorado Wedding Planner
Custock Photography

 

 

The Pressure to Include

Let me start by saying this: your wedding day is YOURS and you shouldn’t feel pressure to include anyone. The most important advice I could give you is to fill your day with people that bring you joy, and let the rest fall into place. Yes, it can be a battle to find that sweet spot between who you want included versus other people’s expectations. It is often the case that the bride and groom look to avoid conflict and therefore choose their siblings or future spouse’s siblings automatically. It might be wise to consider what is most beneficial for the relationships around you, and picking family members can be a safe choice. At the end of the day, you get the final decision, and you shouldn’t feel obligated to include anyone in particular.  

How about a little refresher?

Correlating the budget and size of your wedding to your wedding party can act as a helpful starting point. From here, choose people that know you well so they can take care of you through the planning process. Last and most importantly, you may feel pressure to balance desires, but including people that you think are the best fit will make you that much more comfortable on your big day.

5 Things To Do Before Your Engagement Shoot

Excited for your engagement photos? Us too! To help you make the most of this special step during your wedding planning journey, consider doing these 5 steps:

#1.  Hire a photographer!

Credit: Hannah Mellum Photography

And not just any photographer,  but (hopefully) your wedding photographer! Many will offer a discount for engagement photos or even include them in your service agreement from them.  When looking for a photographer, you’ll want to find someone’s whose artistic style matches yours, is in the price point you your looking for AND someone whose personality you enjoy. Why? Well, your photographer is going to be with you practically all day and you want to hire someone you’d enjoy being around on your wedding day. However, if your photographer doesn’t include anything special with their day of services, you can always hire a different photographer to capture your engagement photos.

#2: Find your location:

Credit: Hannah Mellum Photography

Are and your boo more of a mountain or beach couple? Do you love beer or wine? Are you a coffee couple? Are you homebodies? What do you enjoy doing and where do you usually spend your time? It’s a fun trend to take your photos in a place that speaks of your relationship.  The who, what, where?  If you’re stuck, ask your photographer who should be able to help come up with a location that fits you.

#3: Create Your Style:

Are you more BohoChic, Indie, Rustic, Romantic? Are you more business professional, relaxed? A little more country? Determine which one fits you two best and then choose an outfit or two for you both.  And hey, if you need to make a special trip to  Anthropologie for that outfit, go right ahead!

#4:  Determine Your Must Have Shotlist:

If you spend anytime on Pinterest, you’ll find a lush amount of inspiration pics there.  Browse through some and compile a list of the ones that are must haves for you.  Hint: Think photos with your fur baby, of your ring, doing your favorite activity, a ‘dip’ picture.

#5: Get Pampered:

After all these steps are completed, consider getting pampered.  That means a trip to your hair salon to touch up those roots. A trip to the barber so your fiancé looking his finest. A trip to the nail salon so your digits are in pristine shape.  And day of, a trip to a blow dry bar so your locks are simply divine.  You can also hire a make up artist or get make up services at your blow dry bar (if they provide it).  Lastly, you may consider a quick trip to your jeweler so they can clean your ring.

Credit: Hannah Mellum Photography

Follow these fun steps and you are sure to have engagement photos you’ll cherish for a lifetime and look back on with love and joy.

Part 2: How to Buy Wedding Insurance + Where To Get It

Just as you have insurance for your home, for your car, for your health, and possibly even your cell (if you’re one of those who constantly drops theirs in the water or cracks the screen), it’s not a bad idea to have special event insurance for your wedding or event.

Now that we know why Wedding Insurance is important, find out how to purchase it and which ones we recommend.

 

How do I get wedding/event insurance?

Purchasing your wedding/event insurance policy is super easy!

There are many different online wedding insurance companies to choose from (I’ll provide them below).  Most allow you to simply fill out your wedding/event details such as date, location, guest count, coverage needed, and policy holder’s name and contact info, venue’s name and info and you can then purchase and print that day.

Below are some of my favorite wedding/event insurance providers with example policies covering just general aggregate liability insurance and then a second example policy showing general aggregate liability insurance with event cancellation.

  1. Wedsafe.com
  2. Theeventhelper.com
  3. www.protectmywedding.com
  4. www.markel.com

 

 

Interested in learning more about special event insurance for your wedding/event?  You can learn more about special event insurance by visiting any of the insurance websites or by visiting this comprehensive review on wedding insurance companies by .

 

Part 1: Should I Buy Wedding Insurance?

 

Most of the time, special events go pretty smoothly ( minus a few hiccups here and there). But when something unexpected goes wrong, it can be frightening how quickly costs can add up. Who is responsible when something goes wrong? What are the costs? Below we discuss what liability insurance is and if it is required.

What is a certificate of insurance?

A majority of venues/event locations require vendors and/or event holders to obtain a certificate of liability insurance (also known as one day insurance or event insurance). This Certificate of Insurance is a document that will list the type of insurance coverage you have on that event date and the coverage limits. Sometimes venues may request to be listed on the insurance as an additional insured.

How do I know if I will need insurance on the venue?

Venues often require proof of insurance from renters to confirm that they have coverage in place. Typically, when you are signing the contract to use a venue space, it will say that vendors (i.e. photographers, caterers, videographers, etc.) will need to provide proof of liability insurance. Some venues may want to be listed as an additional insured on the certificate of insurance. If you are uncertain or it is not clear, always be sure to check with the venue.

Why is a certificate of insurance necessary?

When contracting with a vendor for your event, the good(s) provided create an inherent liability risk to the venue. Typically the vendor is providing a service to the host, therefore the venue is not typically involved other than guidelines for setup and proof of insurance. By obtaining a certificate of insurance, you are protecting you, your guests, and your venue from any accidents and unexpected damages that may occur. There are many different types of insurance you can get for your event, depending on your needs and what the venue may want.

What do I need it for?

Most venues require that you have event or wedding insurance in case certain risks happen during your event in the form of $2M in general aggregate + $1 M per occurrence coverage.  Those risks could be property damage or bodily injury and your insurance will cover the cost of property repairs, medical expenses and lawsuits.  Host liquor liability is also widely available and is a good consideration to protect the host from being liable in the event of liquor related incidents that would occur from alcohol consumption at your wedding/event.

If you wanted to purchase total comprehensive wedding coverage you can cover aspects of your wedding such as the rehearsal dinner, the the ceremony, and reception set-up, event cancellation/postponement due to weather, wedding gifts, special attire, and jewelry.  You can even insure a vendor no show/cancellation and any counseling services that may be needed in the event of a cancelled wedding. 

What does wedding/event insurance cost?

The total cost varies depending on aspects like guest count, liability coverage amounts, wedding date, the state of wedding/event, whether you’re serving alcohol or not, and how many other aspects of your wedding you want covered.

On average, most wedding insurance costs between $100-$500.00 or more. 

When should I purchase event insurance?

Most special event insurance companies recommend you purchase your policy as early as possible, however, many can be purchased as early as two years prior to your date OR as late as one day prior to your event.

To read on about how to buy wedding insurance, visit or second post on this series https://www.marcellacamilleevents.com/2017/11/23/should-you-buy-wedding-insurance/here.

Want to learn more about wedding insurance?  Check out this handy blog post by our friends at Lend Edu here:  https://lendedu.com/blog/is-wedding-insurance-worth-it/

 

10 Things To Do Now That You’re Engaged

Congratulations!  You’re engaged!!

He popped the question and you said yes!  You’ve made all the phone calls, done all the celebrations and you still can’t stop looking at that gorgeous sparkling ring.  Yes, you are engaged!

And yes- that does mean you now have a wedding to plan! 🙂

Kayla Adams Photography

But WHERE to start??

Below are 10 key steps to take when you first get engaged!

  1.  Hire A Wedding Planner or Consultant:

    There are a few different ways a wedding planner can help you.  You may just need to hire someone for a few hours who can connect you with recommended vendors and help to make sure you are on the right way.  This would be hiring for Consultation Services.  Or perhaps you have family and friends who can help you determine all the details but you don’t want to burden any of them with the day-of logistics.  This service is for Month-of/Day-of

    Hannah Mellum Photography

    Coordination. Or perhaps it would be better to hire a professional who can literally do all the ground work for you and collaborate with you all along the way. This service would be considered Full Planning.  At the very least, I recommend hiring a Day-of Coordinator who can handle all set-up and logistical concerns for you.  This will guarantee a relaxing and enjoying day for you and your loved ones to fully engage in all the wonderful day’s activities. Believe me hiring the right wedding planner is well worth it!

  2. Determine your budget.

    According to costofwedding.com, the average cost of a wedding in the United States is $26,645.00.  But the good news is this varies depending on where you live and hiring a wedding coordinator can actually help you to save costs in the long run

  3. Determine Your Preferred Date/Months:

    If you’re planning on an 18+ month engagement, odds are you’ll be able to get the date of your choosing.  If your engagement is 18 months or shorter, you may have to open your preferences to a particular month or months.  When determining your preferred date or dates, I recommend considering a few things:

    1. The Important People:  Who are the important people in your lives you are willing
      Kayla Adams Photography

      to work your date around?  This could be your fiance’s grandparent’s in another state who would have a hard time traveling during the winter months OR perhaps you have siblings with only certain weeks during the school year they could attend your wedding.

    2. Annual Holidays/ Cultural Events: Are their annual holidays or cultural festivities that could make it hard for guests to attend?  For example, the first two weeks of June are the popular graduation celebrations.  December is plush with annual festive holidays. Do you mind having your wedding on one or near one of those celebrations?
  4. Book Your Venue:

    On average, most couples book their venue 18 months to one year out. (Check out this article from Huffington Post)  Crazy, I know.  I spent nearly two years as the wedding coordinator for a local wedding venue and I found those stats to be true.  With that knowledge I definitely recommend getting on top of the venue search fast!  Check out websites like theknot.com, weddingwire.com or wedding.com to help you find venues that fit your budget and your style.

  5. Choose Your Bridal & Groomal Party:

    Kayla Adams Photography

    Who are the people in your life who have genuinely been there for you?   Who has supported your relationship together?  Which of your friends can you envision being a #lifer?  Larger wedding parties of 6+ are quite popular nowadays but it is just as fine to have only a best man and maid of honor.  The important decision factors here are choosing those people who genuinely love you and have been and are willing to support you two day of and the rest of your lives.

  6. Create Your Guest List:

    A lot of this determines on your pre-determined budget.  What’s your food & beverage budget goal?  Most likely, you will have people from different seasons of life being invited.  Both sets of parents will have guests they’d like to invite and it is very likely that you may have friends from your life and your fiance may have friends from theirs.  Then you will also have friends you know collectively you’ll want to invite.  Many couples consider this one of the hardest parts.  If possible, get together with whomever is financially contributing to the wedding and determine your guest list there.  Also, don’t forget to write your A-List and B-List. 🙂

  7. Book Your Vendors!  

    Yep- you guessed it.  Just as your preferred venue and date of choice can book up fast, so can your vendors.  So it’s important to book those shortly after engagement, too.  But who do you need and how do you find them?  You can also visit websites like weddingwire.com, the knot.com, or wedding.com if you’ve got the time and ready to take that task on BUT a good wedding planner will have a whole slew of wedding professionals in her network she can recommend to you.  I love being able to connect some of my favorite industry professionals with my couples. Vendor Must Haves are: Caterer (if not included with the venue), Photographer, Florist, Dessert/Baker, DJ/Emcee, Officiant.  Some other vendors that would come in handy:  Calligraphist/Typographer, Wedding Design, Decor/Rentals, Videographer, Food Truck, Photobooth.

  8. Create Your Design:

    Hop on Pinterest!  Your design and theme may change a little

    Ridgewood Films

    from your initial pins but it is SO helpful to create a board labelled Our Wedding, The Best Day Ever, or Wedding Inspiration to help you two start to solidify the color palette and type of decor/feel you both want.  It’s a fun way to build the day that is strictly about you and your love.  Perhaps you have a hobby that you both really enjoy or there’s a certain era you both wish you grew up in, maybe you both love Telenovelas…  Whatever it is that speaks to you both, start pinning those things and you’ll start to see a clear vision of how you want your special day to aesthetically look. Note:  Having a Pinterest board is also super helpful to share with your wedding planner, florist, and any other vendor who is helping with the aesthetic design.

  9. Select Your Gowns:

    Brides, the process of getting your gown may take quite a while.  So gather your gals, a bottle of champagne, book some appointments and start trying on bridal gowns!  It’s also a good idea to determine the bridesmaids attire now, too.  It can take a few months for the gowns to be delivered and then alterations. So you want to allow plenty of time to have those ordered.  If you’re lucky-the dress will be the perfect fit.  Don’t forget to order your veil and belt if wearing those, too!

  10. Make Honeymoon Plans:

    Traditionally, this is the groom’s responsibility to make sure all the travel arrangements have been met.  Whether you are deciding on the plans together or not, it’s a good idea to make sure your travel documents (like your passport, visa, birth certificate) are up-to-date and ready to go.

There are many more details that go with each one of the items mentioned above and no doubt weddings take a lot of work  but they are also a LOT of fun!  So don’t forget to be present, relish the process, and take time to enjoy the season of being engaged!

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