Why hiring a wedding planner could save your wedding

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As I enter into my third season of wedding planning I've learned a lot about the industry and I wanted to shed some light on my job and what it is exactly that I do. Often times when I tell people that I am a wedding planner the response I usually get is "oh that must be a fun job" followed by "so what do you do exactly" and "do you have to deal with a lot of bridezillas?" 

Often times there are misconceptions about our work and what it entitles. Of course, I would love to say that all we do is show up, look pretty and carry around a clipboard. But that is NEVER the case. As planners we try our best to execute the wedding as smoothly as possible. We know what is at stake and that there is no do over. We don't get to say cut when something goes wrong and edit out the mistakes. If you are a current bride thank you for trusting my team and I with your wedding day. If you are not, but is considering hiring a planner please continue reading as I share my most frequently asked questions from couples. 

Professional vs. Hobby?

Ahh.. the most common question of all. Why do I need a professional wedding planner? First off, wedding planning is a full time job, if it wasn't all us planners would be out of work. It is common for bride-to-bes to assign tasks to their bridal party or family members but keep in mind they probably want to enjoy the wedding rather than be working it. I could go on with multiple points about why this may not be the best idea but I will limit it to the 3 below.

  • They are not insured and don't owe you anything - This is a major one! 100% of the time those assigned to help are doing it for free. This means that they don't owe you anything. Because of this they are most likely not insured. So if an accident happens they aren't liable, not to mention how awkward it would be for you to blame them.

  • They don't know industry standards and laws - There are certain laws and permits required if you want to host a wedding in the GTA. Because we do this on a day to day basis you are rest assured that we are kept up to date with the ever changing rules. For someone who is assigned this task because they are somehow related to the bride may not have the experience and knowledge to execute the wedding. 

  • They don’t have the inside scoop - What makes professional planners credible is that we’ve worked with vendors in the industry and know the good vs. the bad. We have built quality relationships with reliable vendors and can get you prices that aren’t offered to the general public based on these connections. Because we know the cost of items we are able to provide suggestions on where to allocate your budget accordingly. 

Wedding planners are not a luxury service for the rich and famous. In fact we are accessible, affordable and probably the most valuable investment you’ll make for your wedding day.

The venue provides a wedding coordinator, why do I need a wedding planner?

A lot of the time couples tell me that their venue package includes a venue coordinator and that they don't need a planner. The venue coordinator does exactly what their title states - coordinate the events at the venue. Their main focus is that dinner is served and the wedding happening at the venue runs smoothly. They will answer your questions about the venue and assist with any tasks related to the venue but not the other items related to planning the wedding. What happens if your cake doesn't show up? Who will set up the receiving table exactly the way your pictured it? These are tasks that are not the responsibility of a venue coordinator. 

How will a wedding planner benefit me?

Speaking specifically about the day of coordination, wouldn’t it be great to know that there is someone overseeing all the logistics. We coordinate with all your vendors, making sure items are set up as planned, place cards are at each correct seat, cake knife and fork at the cake table, your Aunt Mary gets the red wine out of her dress (with our on site emergency kit) etc. You’ve put so much time, effort and not to mention money into planning your perfect day so why jeopardize it.

Happy planning!

Captured beautifully by: Hello Inspira

5 tips you need to know when creating your Wedding Day Itinerary

A wedding day itinerary or timeline is a break down of events that happen on your wedding day to ensure that it runs smoothly. Not only will it be more organized, it also keeps everyone on track especially if you are paying some vendors by the hour. Here are my 5 tips you need to know when creating your wedding day itinerary.

1.     Start and stop time of vendors – This is often overlooked as most couples assume that they have their vendors for the entire day. Make sure that you check each vendor’s start and stop time when creating your order of events. Another point that couples should remember is that for most vendors unless stated otherwise their X amount of hours are continuous. You are essentially paying for their time to be at your wedding and therefore they won’t be able to take on another client. So if you have a break in between your ceremony and reception it is good to keep this in mind.

2.     Be realistic with time slot allocation – Talk to your vendors, ask them approximately how long they will need for them to do their job if you are unsure. You hired professional for your wedding because of their professional expertise, so why not have them give you the approximate time. Once you ask your vendors, you’ll be surprised that most of your wedding itinerary is complete.

3.     Always add a buffer – You never know if Aunt Susan has a surprise gift for you that she needs 5 minutes of your time as she watches you open it or if you need to run to the washroom in between your dress change. When I create my timeline for my brides, I always like to add in an extra 5-7 minutes after major events just so everyone has some time to breathe and enjoy the moment.

4.     Plan B options – This is especially important for couples who are planning an outdoor ceremony or reception or both. What will happen if bad weather hits? Will the ceremony be moved inside? Will the area be tented? Who will move the furniture? Having Plan B options in place or even creating a plan B timeline would save you, vendors and the guests a lot of stress on the wedding day.

5.     Review, review, review – Lastly, you can never be too sure with your wedding itinerary. Because it is something that you have worked on over and over again, there might be some things that you may have overlooked without knowing. Maybe you forgot to add in parent dances as you were too focused on managing speeches. A fresh pair of eyes will definitely help point out anything that is out of place.

And there you have it, 5 useful tips to help you when creating your wedding day itinerary. Of course, if you have a wedding planner then this is just useful information as your planner would have this all sorted out for you. I hope you enjoyed this post. Don’t forget to follow along on social media for additional tips from the industry.

 

7 tips for styling a sweets table

As we move into the midst of the holiday season, many of us will either be attending parties or hosting them. Here are 7 tips to help you create a stunning sweets table that will leave your guests in awe.

1.    Choose a theme – First and foremost every sweets table design starts with a theme. The theme will also help you determine your colour palette. It can come from anywhere whether it is the time of the year, your favourite movie, place, moment etc. There are lots of great ideas on the Internet which I’m sure will help get your creative mind working.

2.     Choose a Focal Point“In fine art, a focal point focuses specifically on a point of interest which makes a canvas unique” Most sweets table use a cake as a focal point but there is no set rule. If you won’t be serving any cake, options such as a macaroon tower or floral arrangements works just as well. Think of the focal point as your showstopper piece.

3.    Play with different heights – You will be surprised that having ordinary desserts presented at different levels creates an interesting presentation. I always love to divide my table into 2-3 levels. Main level usually for flat desserts and/or larger items such as cookies, mini cupcakes, tarts, and lollipops. For the mid section I would display desserts on stands like cake pops, éclairs, and doughnuts. On the highest level I place the cake and a few fancy desserts making sure they get all the attention they deserve.

4.    Balance is key – Not all sweets table have to be symmetrical like the one I have here, but do keep in mind to keep your table balance. By balance I mean if you have something on one side, you should balance the table out with something similar in height or width on the other. This will result in a perfectly planned looking table.

5.     Odd numbers are aesthetically pleasing – Making another reference to art anything that is grouped in odd numbers are more appealing, memorable and effective. When designing the table, although you need to remember to be balance try to group your items in 3s or 5s if you want to draw attention to them.

6.    A Variety of Desserts – The thing that makes sweets table so amazing is the variety of desserts options available to your guests. You can have mini doughnuts, cheesecake, and sugar cookies, bulk candy, cake pops, cupcakes; the list goes on and on. I would recommend staying within 5-8 options so there is enough interest on the table.

7.    Décor & Backdrop – Finally, the thing that completes all sweets table is décor. Adding bits of relevant décor items and a backdrop adds interest and will bring the entire table together.

Remember, like with any creative project there is no right or wrong. Just have fun with it and your guests will definitely be impressed

Wedding Invitation Kit - What to include

Stationery:  Impressions

Stationery: Impressions

Hello again,

It's been a little over a month since the launch and I wanted to share with your guys some tips on wedding invitations. I am planning a wedding for a beautiful couple for fall of next year and I thought that this would be helpful for couples in general.

With the ever evolving traditions of weddings it could get pretty confusing of what to include or not include in your invitation kit. However, regardless of what you choose to include, wedding invitations all serve one main purpose. They are the initial communication between you as the couple to your guests.

Usually wedding invitations should be finalized and ordered 6-9 months before the wedding date. This allows time for them to be printed, packaged and ship to you. An invitation kit usually includes: the invitation itself, RSVP cards, RSVP envelopes, map and directions, and accommodations cards.

The Invitation: The initial communication between you and your guest. This should include details such as date, time, and place of your wedding ceremony and/or reception. If you plan on having a different guest list for your ceremony vs. your reception you will need to print them separately.

RSVP Cards & Envelopes: The invitation is your communication to your guest and the RSVP card is their way of communication back. This generally indicates to them how many are invited and if children will be present at the wedding. Having a stamped envelope with your returning address is ideal so that this way all your guest has to do is fill out the RSVP and drop if off in the mail. 

Map and Directions: A simple eligible map with written directions helps those that aren’t familiar with the area of your venue. They are also extremely helpful for those out-of-town guests.

Accommodations Cards: Accommodation cards are used for out-of-town guest which list things for them to do and see during their stay while they attend your wedding. Most out-of-town guest stay a weekend or if they are travelling a great distance maybe even longer. This is not mandatory and not always included if the majority of your guest are locals, but it is a nice gesture.

Now keep in mind, there are no set rules on what must and must not be included; after all this is your wedding and you’re are entitled to include whatever you want. I hope you enjoyed reading and remember to follow for more wedding tips and tricks.