Tips & Tricks

Reasons to hire a wedding planner: Part 3

Happy November! I know, I know… it’s been a minute. The past few months have been absolutely insane. After wedding season, I got covid, followed by appendicitis, followed by a case of some serious burn-out. BUT, I am happy to finally be caught up and ready to get back into the swing of things. Engagement season has arrived, and whether there is a ring on your finger yet or not, you may still be considering if you want to hire a wedding planner for your wedding. Well, here is part 3 of the Reasons to Hire a Wedding Planner blog series (be sure to check out the first two posts if you haven’t already). Last but not least, here are the 3 more reasons a wedding planner is worth the investment:

They handle the logistics so you can focus on fun

Planning a wedding require a lot of attention to detail, and I think this is one of the most underestimated parts of wedding planning. How do you seat your guests? If your wedding is in a tent, where do you put the buffet table and how far away should the guest tables be so it doesn’t get crammed? How do you make a photographer’s list? Do you need a liquor license or does the venue have it? These are all examples of small details that often don’t get addressed ahead of time and can create unnecessary anxiety and panic. Your wedding planner helps you think of all these details, and is capable of handling any minor details that would be missed. This leads us to our next point:

They find solutions as problems arise

No matter how prepared you are for your wedding, I can promise that there will be unexpected situations that pop up. There are some things completely out of your control, and we are human beings who make mistakes. Rather than try and solve all the unexpected situations that arise, you can let your wedding planner handle it. For example, this past spring I was coordinating a wedding and the florist forgot the pins for the boutonnieres for the groomsmen, father of the bride, and groom. The bride was in a robe with half a face of makeup, 20 minutes away from the nearest town & another 15 from the groom’s cabin. Rather than her, her mother, or bridesmaids come up with a solution, I stepped in. I knew safety pins would do the trick so I dove into my “wedding planner toolkit”, drove to the men’s cabin, and got them all suited up. Another time, the DJ never showed up for the ceremony due to a mix-up, so I stepped in to make sure the ceremony music got timed and played as it was planned. This did involve hunting down audio equipment as well, which was a little trickier, but we made it work! My point is, things happen, and having someone there whose sole task is to make sure things go smoothly can be the difference between a good day and a great day.

They make sure your timeline flows as smoothly as possible and stays on track

Sometimes the day just flies by, and you forget where you have to be and when. A wedding planner makes sure that you leave your venue in time for your must-have sunset photos, or that supper will be served before all the guests spend too much time in cocktail hour throwing back shots. Whatever you have planned for the day, your wedding planner will make sure it can all get done in time, and that you have things spaced out in a timely matter. Usually, wedding planners are capable of helping you months in advance of your wedding to make this timeline and to ensure that you aren’t putting too much in the schedule, while also making sure all your “must-haves” happen.

I hope that this helps shed some light on how a wedding planner or coordinator can help with your special day. If you have a knack for planning, then maybe you just want some help on that day, in which case you can just look into a coordinator. But if you just want to try on dresses and scroll through Pinterest while a professional handles the rest, then I would definitely suggest a planner to help you from beginning to end. If you are planning a wedding for summer 2023, now is definitely the right time to be thinking about how much help you want. As always, enjoy the process and remember that no matter what, you will have a beautiful wedding day.

Tips & Tricks

Reasons to Hire a Wedding Planner: Part 2

Well folks, I hope you enjoyed the last post that talked about wedding planners and listed some reasons on why they are often a good investment for your wedding. I am back for part 2 with some more reasons why you should consider a wedding planner to help with your special day!

Now, I do want to say that it’s okay if you aren’t wanting to hire a wedding planner. Some people really do love having total control over their wedding from start to finish without very much help, and that’s totally fine! But if you are on the fence, or trying to figure out if you might want an extra hand, here are 3 more things that a wedding planner can do for you:

They are the go-to the day of the wedding so you don’t have to deal with all the questions

When the wedding day rolls around, this is it. All the work you’ve put into your wedding to make it a fun, special, memorable day with your family and friends has finally arrived, and you deserve to enjoy every minute of it. You shouldn’t have to be checking to see if the decorators have arrived, or answer the caterer’s questions about where the gluten-free kids meal has to go later that night, or review the plan with the ushers and hour before the ceremony. Your wedding planner is the designated go-to for any and all questions for your wedding that day, so nobody has to bug you with questions that you really don’t need to be bothered with. This gives you extra time to spend with your wedding party, your family, and the ability to truly enjoy every single moment.

They make sure the wedding party sticks to the schedule

Despite having a schedule or timeline made for the wedding party, it’s quite easy to get running behind or off track, especially because the party often starts early for anybody who is standing up in the wedding! A planner would be able to make sure that the wedding party stays on track, making sure that you:
A) don’t miss the ceremony
B) don’t have supper starting late
This might be as simple as making sure the entire wedding party goes straight to the bus that is taking you all for photos before the cocktail hour begins. It is also helpful if there are specific things you want to do with the wedding party prior to the ceremony. The wedding planner is there to make sure it all gets done, and in good time too.

They make sure your guests are taken care of

Wedding planners are great observers; they make sure the beverages are stocked, ice bins are full, chairs are clean and candles are on. They make sure that all the guest’s needs are taken care of, and take care of anybody who needs some assistance. This is great for you because it means that you don’t have to worry if everybody is happy or enjoying themselves, because you know that there is someone there solely dedicated to making sure they are.

So many people forget that wedding planners aren’t just there to help prepare for your wedding, they are also there to make sure that it all comes to life and goes as smooth as possible that day too. They want you to have a perfect day, and they work with you for so long prior that they learn exactly what you want your wedding to look like and are there to help make it a reality. However, if hiring a full service planner is too far outside your budget, consider asking them for alternative services. Month-of (or often called “day-of”) coordination services are often a big money-saving service because you still do the planning of the wedding, but then a professional comes in and handles everything the day of. Most wedding planners offer a variety of services to suit your needs, so be sure to explore this option as well if you aren’t sure what you need help with yet.

Don’t forget to subscribe to emails to get notified when Reasons to Hire a Wedding Planner: Part 3 is up on the blog!

Tips & Tricks

Reasons to Hire a Wedding Planner: Part 1

You’re sitting at home with a pen and paper, making a to-do list for your wedding. You don’t think it’s much, until you realize the list is suddenly 3 pages long and you have zero idea where to start with half of them. You also don’t know where to get the motivation, time, or money. If this sounds familiar, you aren’t alone! Planning a wedding is a lot of work, and that’s why wedding professionals exist. So the question is, do you hire one? It all depends on your priorities and how much help you need. To try and help you make a decision whether a wedding planner is right for you, I have compiled a list of how they can be worth the investment. For today’s post, here are 3 reasons to hire a wedding planner:

They help you save money

I think the biggest thing couples struggle with when planning their wedding is where and how to cut costs. If you’ve never had to plan a wedding (which most haven’t), then you have a hard time deciding what is worth spending some extra cash on, versus what you can find a more budget-friendly solution for. This is where a wedding planner can help. They have enough experience with wedding planning that they are able to help you build AND stay within your budget. They are able to help you understand where to go for the best prices and will often will reach out to these people for you and get a selection of quotes for you to see. Yes, wedding planners cost money, but they are also able to help you identify where you can save money which makes them worth every penny.

They know who’s in the industry

When you are spending thousands of dollars on your wedding, you want to know that the vendors you hire are professional, easy to work with, and care about providing high quality services and products. Reviews that you can find on social media and Google are fantastic for helping with this, but researching all these different businesses can eat up a lot of time. If you have a wedding planner, they can help you shorten the list in a fraction of time; they know who offers high quality services, which vendors are great to work with, which  offer the type of product you are looking for, and what vendors might fit into your budget/price range. 

They allow you to have a life outside your wedding planning

Planning your big day can be a lot of fun, but it can also become overwhelming. There are so many deadlines to make sure that everything is organized and prepared for your special day, and it can often feel Ike work rather than fun. A good wedding planner does the heavy lifting for you and allows you to focus on still having a life. They  take care of the time consuming details and research, only coming to you and your fiancé when it’s needed. For example, a good wedding planner might research and collect quotes for different decor companies (which can take weeks to do), and then you and your fiancé just have to review the quotes and select which one you want to go with (which might take one evening).

At the end of the day it’s entirely what you feel is best for you. These are just 3 ways a wedding planner can be worth their investment, but there are so many more. As I always say, getting ready for your wedding and enjoying your big day is supposed to be a positive, unforgettable experience for you and the love of your life. And if handling all the parts of your wedding is going to prevent that from happening, then I highly suggest looking into getting a professional to help (most planners offer a variety of services to help with what best suits your needs). 

If you still aren’t sure, talk to some married friends and family to learn about what they wish they did/didn’t do. And don’t forget to subscribe to get notified when Reasons to Hire a Wedding Planner: Part 2 is posted!

Tips & Tricks

A Reminder for the Newly Engaged

I’m at the age now that all of my friends are getting married, already married, or they’re in the wedding party for their friend, sibling, etc. Which means if I’m not working for a wedding, I’m attending one! After the wedding is over and you ask the couple how their wedding went, you would think that they always say “It went exactly how I wanted, it was exactly what I dreamed of.” But this often isn’t the case. A lot of the time, I hear the couple say:

“I wish I didn’t let other people influence my wedding so much”

Frankly, it breaks my heart. You might not think that you can fall victim to this, but it happens so easily that you don’t even realize it’s happening. And because I can’t sit every newly-engaged couple down and warn them not to let others decide how to do their wedding, I figured I would put it here instead.

One of the biggest pressures that couples fall into is who they invite to their wedding. Their parents, coworkers, friends, are all pressuring them to invite every blood member in their family, everybody they have ever worked with, or their cousin’s-best friend’s-daughter’s-friend. Not only does this greatly increase the cost of a wedding, but it also starts to change the wedding from a celebration with family and friends, to an open-invitation to come party with people you barely know.

So, I’m just gonna say it: If you have a toxic relationship with your aunt, your brother’s best-friend, your co-worker, or quite literally anybody who gives you a negative feeling, you are allowed to not invite them. These days, the costs for a wedding only go up and you don’t need to spend money on someone who isn’t going to be celebrating and showering you with love and support. This is your day to forget the real world and anything that weighs heavy on your heart, so be sure to make sure you surround yourself with those who you want there by your side!

The other common way I see couple’s being influenced, is in the overall look of the wedding. I’ve seen mother’s tell their daughters that the dress they are crying tears of joy over is not the one (coming from a mother who is already married and had her time to shine 40 years ago). I’ve seen the couple being told a destination wedding isn’t “realistic” for everybody that they absolutely must invite.  Or I’ve seen the sister of the bride thinking a rustic look is best, when the bride just wants hot pink sequin tablecloths and chandeliers sparkling throughout the venue. But let me tell you something; the people who are the happiest for you and who truly want to be by your side while you marry the love of your life will go through hell or high waters to be at your wedding and they genuinely won’t care what it looks like, how big it is, or how much money you put into it.

So to the newly engaged couple about to start planning their special day together, don’t forget to regularly remind yourself whose day this is. It’s yours! It’s not your family’s day, it’s not your best friends’ day. This day is only about the two of you joining your lives together, and you are allowed to have as few (or as many) people as your heart desires. Whatever brings you excitement and joy when thinking about your wedding, that is the direction to go. And if you catch yourself being influenced by those around you, just take an extra moment to think about what you want.

Tips & Tricks

The Perfect Social Idea for Golf Lovers

A few weeks ago I was scrolling through Facebook when I came across a review for a wedding social idea that absolutely blew my mind. I found myself thinking “how are more people not doing this”! This genius couple saved themselves the hassel of liquor permits, DJ’s, and all the common social responsibilities and held a golf tournament to raise money instead! Let me explain this in some more detail, as this idea could work for so many different types of fundraisers:

Basically, they paid a Golf & Country Club a specific amount of money to cover a 1/2 cart, 9-hole round of golf, a sandwich on the course, and a meal after the round of golf. Then they marked up the price of the tickets to cover both that expense AND still profit off each ticket. I don’t remember exactly what their costs came to, but for example’s sake, let’s just say that they paid $100 per person for the cart, golf, and food. They then sold the tickets for $125, and profited $25 per ticket sold. Then, because we all know prizes are one of the best parts, they just had the prizes inside the country club for everybody to put raffle tickets into after they drank 12 beers during golf and come inside to sit down and have their included meal.

There’s a few reasons why I think this is genius. First, this is so much easier to budget for. Because you know what’s included in each ticket price, you know that with each ticket sold that that person’s expenses will be covered, and you will profit $25. You can budget ahead of time how many tickets you need to sell in order to break-even, and how much you could profit for each number of tickets sold.  Second, this saves you all the troubles of getting a liquor permit, as the Country Club can handle this. The guests can just pay the country club separately for the liquor. And finally, this is the type of social event that can get everybody involved! Even if you aren’t a big golfer, you can still have fun giving it your best shot with friends and family!

The only real downside I found to this was that some people might be upset they have to spend a larger amount than usual on a ticket, and that booze are an additional expense. But truthfully, I don’t think this would be that big of an issue. You also would need to have a backup in case of weather. If it pours rain, you would need to decide if you’re postponing, or if there is an alternative to this. My idea would be to convert all the social tickets purchased as golf gift cards instead, and then you’d still profit the same amount on the ticket price. I’d also suggest going to an 18-hole course so you can have some people start on the back 9 and some start on the front 9. This way you can sell double the amount of tickets.

So there you have it! If you are wanting to do something a little bit different for your social fundraiser, this is one fantastic idea. I think this would work great for any event fundraiser, and now I am eager to find more cool social ideas to share with you.

Did you do something unique for your social? I would love to know!

Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful rest of your day (or night)!

Tips & Tricks

Tips for Using a Clear Top Tent for Your Event

One trend that I have seen grow a lot the last couple years is the vision to host an event underneath a clear top tent. It’s not hard to understand why: they are absolutely stunning, protecting you from the outdoor elements while also making you feel like you are out in the open. They leave room for a lot of possibilities for decor, and you’re guaranteed to have beautiful photos. This being said, I do think there are some things to consider when it comes to planning an event inside a clear top tent. If you are thinking about booking one of these gorgeous pieces for your wedding, here are a few suggestions that I have:

Have your event in early spring or late summer/early fall (cooler temperatures)

Through my personal experience , client experiences, and guest feedback, one of the most common things I hear is that it was hot. Like, greenhouse hot. And when you think about it, it does make sense that the temperatures would get so high, especially in the summer months of July & August. My suggestion would be to consider booking a clear top tent when the temperatures are slightly cooler, such as in May, June, or September. This way, your tent will likely be warm, but not that sweaty hot where people are sweating through their dress clothes (which is never fun to see when looking back on photos). So if you aren’t picky about the time of year that you host your event, I would say to pick early spring or fall. This way you still get to experience the beauty of the tent without having to worry about it getting too hot. However, the one downside to booking in spring or early fall would be that July and August are when nature is in full-bloom and at it’s most lush state, so if this is important to you then maybe it’s worth the extra warmth! You can also have your event start later in the day when the sun isn’t directly overtop of you, which might help this problem too.

Find the right spot

If you are renting a clear top tent that is to be installed on a location of your choice (such as your family farm or a park), I strongly suggest considering the placement. As with all tents, you want to make sure it’s on flat ground. But with clear top tents, it’s especially important to consider where it’s sitting and what it’s surrounded by. You’ll ideally want a spot that balances shade with daylight. If you’re out in the open where the sun can beat down on the tent from sunrise to sunset, the heat might become a problem. However, you don’t want to be buried in the trees where no daylight can get in, as that’s how you show off the beauty of a clear top tent! If you look at popular clear top tent venues, they are situated in an open area that is surrounded by trees. This allows shade during certain times of day and can help cool the tent, while also being open enough that you can have a bright, stunning atmosphere in your tent. If you have a wedding planner, they should be able to help you find a spot that fits your needs!

If you are still stuck on finding a spot, I always suggest just going to a clear top tent venue. It’s already in the perfect spot, and you can look at photos taken there at past events so you can really see what it’s going to look like for you. Plus, it makes it a lot easier to visualize your wedding when it’s already standing!

Simplicity is key! You’re decor is the outdoors

Even though you are likely paying extra for a clear top tent, the good news is that you don’t need a lot of decor to make the space feel grand. Some florals inside the tent can give a garden-fairytale theme, or lots of white and acrylic decor will give you some modern vibes. Or, if you’re a boho fan, just have lots of neutral colours, chiffon and pampas around the tent and you’ll immediately get that feeling. Being able to see the outdoors all around you is going to give such a beautiful, natural feeling, while still giving you so much potential to make it your own. You don’t need to spend a boat-load of money on decor, as so much of your aesthetic is going to be what the environment is around you.

I also think its important to note that there are TONS of clear top venues now, and so many of these logistical and design aspects are taken care of by the venue coordinators for you! They put tons of research into their venue and all offer something unique. If you are ever unsure about the tent design, just talk to them! Every location of every tent is different and the venue coordinators are the experts in their venue and what design is the most suitable.

All in all, clear top tents are a wonderful choice for a venue and I have never seen an event held in a clear top tent that wasn’t absolutely stunning. If you are considering one I don’t blame you and would say you can’t go wrong. Just consider when you’re using it, and how you plan to use that clear top tent to its full potential.

I hope this post helped provide some clarity or inspiration for you, and remember if you like what you read that you can subscribe below to get updated when there is something new to see! As always, have a beautiful day friends.

Tips & Tricks

5 ways to reduce wedding planning stress

Planning a wedding is a lot of work. And unless you’ve done it, I don’t think people can really grasp just how much time it takes up, and how organized you have to be (especially if you’re sticking to a tight budget). But if you are planning a wedding, especially if it’s your wedding, then you definitely shouldn’t feel overwhelmed by stress. If you go to sit down and work on some more of the wedding details and you catch yourself going “I would rather be doing anything else but this”, then it’s probably time to reassess and reduce some stress. Here are 5 tips that might help bring the ease and enjoyment back into planning your big day:

Pick 3 Things

A budget is hard to keep, especially when you have so many ideas and visions for your wedding. If the budget isn’t accommodating everything you want and is causing you to freak out about how to bring your wedding to life, I suggest picking 3 things that you want to be your focal points. What are 3 things that you want to prioritize in your wedding? For some people, it’s an extravagant seating chart that people will want to get photos in front of. For many, they want their head table backdrop to be unforgettable. It can be as small an item as you want, but it will get you excited to focus on your 3 favourite features at your wedding, while also giving your budget some breathing room in other area. This is almost like a give-and-take approach when planning a wedding. Maybe drop the gold cutlery and get classic silver so that the extra money can help add a chandelier above the dance floor.

Start a Pinterest board

One of the biggest struggles brides face is what they envision their decor to look like. There are colour schemes to consider, different styles of candles, artificial or real florals, and the list goes on. One of the first things I tell brides to do is a start a Pinterest board! Once they have a few things they like on a board (could be as simple as a ceremony arch they saw that they thought looked pretty), then Pinterest will begin to suggest similar ideas. 

Without even realizing it, brides have subconciously created an entire board surrounding a certain aesthetic. You begin to notice all the colours have lots of greenery but not many florals, or they all incorporate taper candles and tiny votives. I am a firm believer that Pinterest is one of the biggest stress-reducing tools you can have when planning a wedding.

Hire a Planner

No, this isn’t me trying to get you to spend more money. But by hiring a professional, they are capable of taking care of everything. Whether you just need support on the day of the wedding, or if you need help from start to finish, having someone whose sole responsibility is to make your wedding come to life is one of the best investments. Wedding designers, decorators, planners, and coordinators spend at least 40 hours a week pouring over wedding trends and details.

Truthfully, this is one of the most common things I hear brides say they regret not investing in. Trying to manage the timeline, the correspondence, organization, and other small details can take the fun out of getting married and cause an overload of stress. If your budget can afford it, give yourself the opportunity to enjoy the fun parts of wedding plan and leave the small stuff to a professional.

Talk to the Professionals

Every professional in the event industry wants to help. If you have questions or want suggestions relating to the services they offer, don’t hesitate to ask them for their opinion. Event professionals are constantly studying and evolving their knowledge to adapt to growing trends or needs for weddings. If you ask them a question, they can provide a knowledge and reliable answer for you. We’re here to help, so relieve some stress by letting us.

Rent, don’t buy

Okay, I get why people like to buy their items. You can get them for cheap and know exactly what you have for your wedding. But I also find that a lot of wedding stress can come from trying to make sure you have of each item, such as enough table numbers or cylinder vases. And when the wedding is finished, what do you do with everything after? Sure you can sell to other brides, but that might take a while and could potentially take up a lot of storage space that you would rather use for something else.

Rental companies are great because they can instantly reserve the correct quantities for you. On top of that, majority rental companies don’t want you to wash or clean anything. They will take everything back after the wedding and do the clean up themselves. That alone will reduce so much post-wedding stress for you when you are trying to clean up after your wedding. 

There you have it folks, there are 5 tips that I suggest considering to help reduce some of the wedding planning stress. Remember, the big day is about who you are spending it with, not about how it looks or how big the party is.

Do you have other ways to reduce stress that aren’t on this list? Let me know below! And don’t forget, if you like what you see, you can subscribe and receive updates every time there’s something new to see.

Have a fabulous day – Jess xx