Think You’re “Naive” About Wedding Planning? Don’t Feel Bad.

Confused Bride, Naive Bride

Not too long ago, I came across this question, “In what ways are brides and grooms naïve during the wedding planning process?”

First of, we need to understand why many couples are “naïve.”

It has absolutely nothing to do with their intelligence, or ability to comprehend. Instead it’s more like the saying, “You don’t know what you don’t know.”

Think of it this way – it’s highly unlikely that you’ve ever planned an event on this scale before. A wedding is two events (ceremony AND reception) with special attire, special décor, dinner, entertainment . . . So. Many. Details.

Wedding Reception With Decor, Centerpiece, and Food

Sooooo, if you haven’t done something before, how can you know and understand (or be expected to know and understand) all the ins and outs? (BTW – This reasoning can apply to anybody, not just those planning a wedding).

Ok, so in what ways can brides and grooms not fully understand the ins and outs?

Often, couples:

Underestimate the Time Involved
One way that they are “naïve” is that they usually aren’t thinking beyond the 6 – 7 hours of the event itself.

Among other things, there are preparations that need to take place prior to the wedding day on the part of the caterer (food purchasing and prep for their wedding menu), and the wedding coordinator (including timeline creation and vendor confirmations). Also, after the fact – the work for the photographer and videographer isn’t done at the end of the reception (they have hours of editing, creating photo layouts, etc.)

Or the couple has misjudged the timing of the day.

Have you ever heard that 1 hour of “wedding time” is equivalent to 1 ½ hours of “real time” (meaning things will take 1 ½ times longer than anticipated on your wedding day)? Believe it. Things will take longer – from getting ready, to eating dinner, and doing a receiving line.

Wanting to do a receiving line for your 150 guests, then finish after-ceremony photos, (including both sides of the family), then a quick stop at that cute garden for a quick pic of just the two of you, AND get to the reception within an hour? Not gonna happen.

Another area of underestimating time is with DIY projects.

We’ve all seen those funny “nailed it” pictures on Facebook. You know the ones with the original picture of how it’s supposed to look next to the photo of the crazy mess of how it turned out. The “crazy mess” is the result of the project needing more time to properly execute, and/or the person not truly knowing how to properly execute the project.

Which leads us to:

Have Limited Knowledge
Back to “You don’t know what you don’t know.” We base our plans on what we know, or at least what we think we know. Unless it’s an area of expertise, there will be gaps in this knowledge.

A perfect example is with flowers. Unless you are a florist or have worked extensively with flowers, your flower knowledge is probably limited. Don’t feel bad. Even after being in the wedding business for over 20 years, my flower knowledge is still limited, (although I have learned a lot through the years).

Anyway, like most people, you probably know the names of flowers such as roses, lilies, and daisies, but not much beyond those few popular flowers, or a particular flower that you’ve really loved for years. Because of this, most people are unfamiliar with what flowers are in season, and what flowers are hearty enough to stay fresh throughout the entire event, and not be wilted halfway through the reception.

Incorrectly Use Tools
Also, many get too caught up in what they see on tv and online, particularly with Pinterest and styled shoots. Don’t shoot me for saying that. I actually love seeing stylized shoots, and am a Pinterest junkie.

weddings from the heart interest board

But for those of you who are planning your wedding, you need to understand and use tools such as Pinterest as ways to get ideas and inspiration. Then weed through those ideas and bits of inspiration to hone, craft, and build upon to create a wedding that really represents you and your fiancé.

Unfortunately, rather than using these as tools for inspiration and starting points for their own ideas, many couples try to recreate what they see exactly as it appears in the photos.

Stylized Wedding Shoot

There are two problems with this desire and attempt to recreate. 1) There’s no personalization. It completely takes “you” out of the equation because you weren’t there (or even thought about) when it was created; and 2) The expense. Most couples don’t realize the time and expense it took to produce that one look (particularly for a stylized shoot). The specialty items (linens, vases, plates, glassware) and custom-made items can get expensive when trying to recreate the desired table-look for 15 – 20 tables.

How to Avoid the Naïveté?

1) As vendors, we need to continually share our knowledge and wisdom, if you will, with couples so they become educated, and have the opportunity to learn and understand what they need to know for their own event.

2) As brides and grooms, couples need to delve deeper than what’s on the surface, ask questions, and trust what their vendors are telling them, so they can be educated consumers.

Do they have to learn all there is to know about weddings? Of course not. (Guess what? That’s an impossible feat, even for the professionals). But a little bit of knowledge goes a long way.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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For planning help and unique ideas for your wedding contact me at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

Photo credit (confused bride): ljupco / 123RF Stock Photo

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You’ve Got To Say “Yes” Before You Say “I Do” – Marriage Proposal Ideas

So you’ve found the one you want to share your life with, you may even have purchased the ring. But have you thought about where you’ll get down on one knee?

Take a knee on the waterfront of a historic landmark
Why not take a knee on the waterfront of a historic landmark?

A marriage proposal is a life-changing milestone in any relationship. Whether you’ve purchased the ring or not, you know that planning a proposal is an exciting yet nerve wracking time. You’ll want this moment to be memorable and one-of-a-kind.

For a simple proposal idea recreate your first date
For a simple proposal idea, recreate your first date!

So, how can you make it yours? To help you find inspiration, ProFlowers has put together a generator featuring some of the best marriage proposal ideas.

Use the Proposal Ideas Sharable Guide below for quick inspiration, then browse through their entire collection of over 60 swoon-worthy proposals. You can scroll through them all, or use the helpful filters like ‘creative,’ ‘simple,’ ‘beach,’ and ‘city’ to easily find the ideal proposal idea that fits your style.

proposal ideas

A big Thank You to Taylor Poppmeier with ProFlowers for this fun, and inspirational, Marriage Proposal Ideas Interactive .

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

If you have questions or are looking for unique ideas for your wedding contact me at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

Photo credits:
(historic landmark): Samonot Photography
(recreate first date): Sarah Olfelt Photo

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Not Hiring a Professional Wedding Videographer? You Need To Reconsider.

wedding video with bride and groom through video camera

A video of your wedding is a wonderful way to capture your wedding story. Unfortunately, many brides and grooms view the wedding videographer as one of the most expendable vendors for their wedding day. Some of the more common reasons couples forgo having a professional videographer is:

(1) They have a friend or family member who has a video camera.

(2) They have a professional photographer, and don’t see any reason for a videographer.

(3) They aren’t going to watch a video of their wedding day over and over.

Too often, couples don’t think about the fact (until it is too late) that professional videographers are trained and experienced, and take their profession and the medium seriously and absolutely love what they do. The combination of training, experience, and love shows in a beautiful finished product.

wedding video with bride and groom kiss ceremony

So you have a friend or relative with a video camera.

Sure, you can have Uncle Joe with his home video camera — but it will probably be blurry, wobbly, or on a tripod the whole evening with no closeups (BORING!) He only has the microphone which is attached to the camera, and when that baby in the back pew with mommy starts to cry during the vows the mic will only pick that up. Even if there are no crying babies, it will be very difficult for him to clearly record your voices, as well as your readers and vocalist.

 

He will start and stop the camera at the wrong moments, so your processional music will sound like someone continually changing radio stations without stopping to listen to any one song — and he won’t know how to dub in sound to fix this either. There won’t be any editing, so the finished product will look like a cheap, home video (which is what it is) and no one will ever want to watch it, including the you.

Of course you’ve got your photographer to take lovely photos on your wedding day.

But stop and consider what having your wedding professionally recorded offers. It is important to remember that videography is a vastly different medium than still photography. Its purpose is not the same as still photography either.

Photography captures a single instant, a fraction of a second, while videography captures the events themselves as they unfold. One of the most common complaints from a bride after her wedding day is, “I don’t remember half of what happened on my wedding day! It went by all too fast!” Having a video of your wedding day will allow you to see and hear everything that happened so you don’t have to miss a thing.

Say “Cheese!” 5 Ways to Make the Most of Posed Photos at Your Wedding

A key element that video offers can’t possible be reproduced by still photography is sound – the ceremony music, grandma’s voice, the laughter of your guests as they’re enjoying your reception, your vows.

You think you probably won’t watch your own wedding video very often.

You know, you’re probably right on this one. You’ll pull out the video on your anniversary, or to show special people in your life who weren’t at your wedding.

But why miss out on a precious family heirloom?

strip of film

If you’re still wondering “who’s going to watch that video?”, ask yourself this – if you had access to a video of your parents’ or grandparents’ wedding day, wouldn’t you want to watch it?

Your wedding videography, especially now with digital technology and DVD’s, will last a life time. Wouldn’t a beautifully recorded and edited wedding video (or DVD) make a wonderful edition to your family history?

So what do you think? Are you going to hire a professional videographer for your wedding?

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Looking for unique ideas for your wedding? Weddings From The Heart can help. Contact me today at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

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Catering ‘Service Charge’ Explained

This weeks blog, “Catering ‘Service Charge’ Explained,” comes from Chef Doug Brown with Beyond the Box Catering and Wedbites

catering service charge explained by Chef Doug Brown

It is the most commonly asked question – what DOES the service charge include? It doesn’t always mean servers, which we know can be confusing. Most catering companies (and venues) have a lot of odds and ends that cost them money to make your event happen, and in turn, will apply a percentage to your event in order to cover those costs. In lieu of sending you a 4-page breakdown of every single item they are charging you for, the end result is the service charge line on your invoice. Typically this percentage ranges between 18–20% for offsite catering, and 21–23% for exclusive catering at a venue.

Your service charge includes the following:

• Serving Items
This includes things like chafers to keep the food hot, large salad platters, bowls for dressings, large serving spoons and other items at the buffet line. Some caterers will also bring stands to elevate displayed food – not only does it look cool, but it is actually practical in making the most of the table’s space. Passed hors d’oeuvres need something to be set on when they are moving around, such as platters and trays. All of these extra items can really add up, so instead of listing every single spoon, tray, and pan, they are included under the umbrella of the service charge.

• Large Equipment & Delivery Vehicles
When your food is prepped at the catering kitchen it still has to travel to you and most times your event isn’t around the corner. Large warmers/ovens and refrigerated trucks keep your food at the appropriate temperature so it tastes just as fresh as it did the second it came out of the oven. This equipment requires purchasing and maintenance, just like your daily driver, our trucks need gas and routine oil changes/maintenance. The service charge contributes to these costs, ensuring your caterer is able to afford to properly execute your event. No one wants to eat a wilted salad or ice cold chicken parmesan!

• Behind the Scenes Staff
Before your event, operations staff prep and load the trucks with all the rentals and equipment needed to execute your event. They are loading dishes that were cleaned by dishwashers and food prepped by prep cooks. It takes 6–8 hours of pre-production before your caterer even arrives at your event. Before you, your family or your wedding planner see the caterer set foot at your venue, there have been at least 10 people already involved in the making of your event that day. Once the event is over, staff unloads the equipment, sends the dishes, silverware, and glassware to the dishwasher area and it starts all over again the next day. These staff members receive a wage just like any other job and the service charge contributes towards these pre and post event production costs.

• Event Staff – MAYBE

This one depends on the caterer and venue to the fluctuation in venue layout, dinner style etc. The floor plan/number of floors at the venue, number of event hours, travel time, style of dinner, rentals, and other extras like wine service influence the off-site labor calculation. In this scenario, they charge on the lower end for service charge. When a venue has an in-house caterer, they may only charge for EXTRA staff, such as security guards, or additional chefs, bartenders or servers if the event’s menu or special services require it. A lot of venues include a certain time frame for your event time with your rental (ie: 4 hours of the event included in rental, $250 per additional hour). This helps them balance the costs of staff with the service charge alone and they don’t need to charge anything more than the 21- 23% service charge. When they are the exclusive caterer, they are able to store things at the venue as well, which eliminates the back and forth transport of many items that your offsite caterer has to bring every time.

So there you have it, the mysterious service charge line in your quote or invoice explained. Every caterer may do things slightly different so it never hurts to ask them about all they include in their catering quote. No matter what the case, there is A LOT that goes on behind the scenes of your event. We understand you don’t do this every day, and we expect questions so don’t be afraid to ask!

About Chef Doug Brown, the author:
After graduating from New York’s renowned Culinary Institute of America, I chose to further my education at Florida International University, where I attained a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management. After finishing my education, I obtained my first Executive Chef Position at the age of 23. Since then, I have worked several Executive Chef Positions all over the United States until eventually making the decision to create my own business. In 2003, I opened Beyond the Box Café, which shortly after, was followed by Beyond the Box Catering Company. Thanks to the success of Beyond the Box Catering, I now also operate The Orion Ballroom, The Carlisle Room and The Pads at the Aloft Hotel in Dallas. These venues are used to each host hundreds of weddings a year. With over a decade of experience, I have decided to bring my knowledge to you in order to help make your wedding planning experience a little easier!

Photo credit: Rafael Serrano Photography
flourish

Hope you found this helpful.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Do you have a wedding dilemma or question you need answered? I’d love to help. Contact me at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

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