Dog of Honor? – Including Your Dogs in Your Wedding Ceremony

Tips for including your dog in your wedding ceremony - the bride and her dog Photo credit: Tammy Pressnell

Well, after 23 years of planning weddings, Weddings From The Heart experienced a first.

Earlier this month was the first time that one of my couples included their dogs in their wedding ceremony.

And things could not have gone smoother!

Their dogs, Molly and Kava, were the sweetest, most well behaved pups ever! (Molly even gave me doggie kisses!)

Tips When Including Your Four-Legged Family Members

Our pets are our family, so for many people it makes sense to include them in their big day.

The following are some tips to help make things go smooth for everyone involved.

1. Before you start in on planning for including your pet, make sure your ceremony and reception venues permit pets.

Confirm that pets are welcome. The last thing you want is to arrive on your wedding day only to find that your dogs can’t be there.

Let the folks at the venues know in what capacity your pet will play. Will they just be present for the ceremony? At the ceremony and reception? On a leash or free range?

2. Consider your pet’s personality.

Are they shy? Social? Vocal? Quiet?

Are your pups comfortable around a large group of people? You don’t want them to be overwhelmed.

Does your pet have good “doggie manners”? Your wedding day is not the time or place for friendly little Fido to be greeting people by jumping on them, or begging for food.

Does a little hunter come out in them at the sight of a squirrel, or will they ignore it?

3. Are any of your key people (parents, wedding party members, photographer) allergic to dogs?

If so, are there precautions they can take that will alleviate their allergy symptoms without leaving them drowsy?

4. Are any of your key people afraid of dogs?

Discuss with them what you have in mind for including your dogs and see if that may be acceptable to them. Or consider limiting your dogs’ participation to ceremony only, on leashes.

5. Consider the role you want your pet to play.

Are they merely guests of honor or will they play a more active role such as being the ring bearer?

Have them practice at the rehearsal too.

6. Have a designated handler for the wedding day.

You’re going to be busy with everything else going on to have to be the one to feed, walk, or clean up after your pets when “nature calls.” Also they can keep an eye on your four-legged babies in case some chocolate cake or wedding favors accidently gets dropped on the floor (don’t want them getting into that and getting sick – or worse!)

7. Do you want your pet to wear a special little outfit?

Make sure your pet in comfortable wearing a little doggie tux or hat. (As handsome as my dog would look with a hat, he’d paw it off the second it was placed on his head). You don’t want them to be tugging at it trying to get it off during your vows.

Keep it simple. A little bow tie or flower attached to it’s collar will look adorable!

8. Have some familiar items on hand.

Unless you typically have a hundred or so people around, your pooch is going to be out of his element. Bring along a favorite toy, dog bed, and treats. Your pet will be in an unfamiliar environment (different location, different people), so having some familiar items on hand can make things more comforting for your pet.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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For more wedding planning tips contact me today at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net, 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

45+ Ways to Save Money on Your Wedding

45+ Ways to Save Money on Your Wedding | If you want to save money on your wedding then this post is for you! It includes more than 45 different tips to easily save money, but still have the  beautiful wedding you’ve always dreamed of. #wedding #moneysavingtips #weddingplanning #daytonweddingplanner #ohioweddingplanner

Spending money on your wedding can be easy – way too easy.

The good news is saving money is easy too! Here are over 45 ways to save.

General

1. Trim your guest list.
Fewer people means less food, beverages, centerpieces, linens, favors, etc.

2. Have a longer engagement.
Not only will you have more time to search and find sales, you’ll also have more time to set aside money.

3. Enter giveaways to win free wedding stuff.
Free is always good.

4. Use coupons and watch for sales when buying items from craft stores.
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Michaels and Hobby Lobby always have coupons and sales. There’s no reason to pay full price.

5. Opt for an adult-only reception.
An easy way to decide who to trim from your guest list. Determine no one under the age of 13 or the age of 16 for example.

6. Seat more guests at larger tables.
You’ll end up needing less tables and chairs, and in turn less centerpieces and linens.

Your Wedding Date/Time

7. Get married on any day but Saturday.
Many venues and vendors offer a discount for any day other than a Saturday.

8. Get married off-peak season.
45+ Ways to Save Money on Your Wedding | If you want to save money on your wedding then this post is for you! It includes more than 45 different tips to easily save money, but still have the  beautiful wedding you’ve always dreamed of. #wedding #moneysavingtips #weddingplanning #daytonweddingplanner #ohioweddingplanner
Winter months are typically the slow season in the wedding world, so many venues/vendors offer a discount for those months.

9. Have your wedding ceremony and reception earlier in the day.
A late morning ceremony followed by a brunch reception will save you tons of money.

Favors

10. Skip the expensive favors.
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Fancy favors are commonly left behind. Why? Because your guests really don’t want/can’t use them. Edible treats are one of the best favor options. They’re inexpensive, and your guests will actually use them.

11. Or omit favors altogether.

12. Choose escort cards that double as favors.
Double duty is a wonderful money saver.

Invitations & Other Printed Items

13. Send postcard style response cards with your invitations.
Not only will the postcard RSVP cards cost less, you’ll also need less postage on each one.

14. Skip the fancy custom or vintage postage stamps.
45+ Ways to Save Money on Your Wedding | If you want to save money on your wedding then this post is for you! It includes more than 45 different tips to easily save money, but still have the  beautiful wedding you’ve always dreamed of. #wedding #moneysavingtips #weddingplanning #daytonweddingplanner #ohioweddingplanner
Your guests won’t miss the fancy postage stamps, and regular stamps (check with your post office for pretty floral or LOVE stamps) cost less than the custom ones.

15. Skip square or odd sized invitations.
They may look great, but the post office charges more postage on non standard shaped or sized envelopes.

16. Use a sign instead of a ceremony program.
Rather than printing up programs all of your guests, do one large sign and have it at the entry to your ceremony.

17. Proofread everything twice before ordering.
Having something reprinted is definitely a cost that is not budgeted for. Eliminate this possibility by proofreading everything multiple times. Have someone else proofread them as well – a second pair of eyes can spot things that the first may have missed. Double check all spellings, dates, and addresses.

18. Order thank you cards when you order invitations.
Saves on extra shipping and handling charges.

9 Easy Ways to Contain Your Wedding Costs

19. Print guests names on a board instead of individual escort cards.
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20. DIY your invitation assembly.
From standard envelope stuffing to attaching rhinestone embellishments or pretty belly bands – paying the invitation company to assemble them costs more money. Save by assembling them yourself (or have your wedding party help out).

Wedding Cake

21. Choose a small one or two tiered cake.
45+ Ways to Save Money on Your Wedding | If you want to save money on your wedding then this post is for you! It includes more than 45 different tips to easily save money, but still have the  beautiful wedding you’ve always dreamed of. #wedding #moneysavingtips #weddingplanning #daytonweddingplanner #ohioweddingplanner
Have the small cake on display for your cake cutting ceremony, but also have unadorned (just iced) cakes hidden in the kitchen.

22. Skip the dessert table.
You don’t need additional desserts. Your wedding cake is enough.

23. Choose buttercream icing instead of fondant.
Fondant may look gorgeous, but you’ll end up paying at least twice as much (maybe more!) for your cake.

24. Skip on the cake fillings.
Fillings typically cost more, and if you’ve got delicious cake to start with, your guests won’t miss a filling.

25. Serve cupcakes instead of cake.
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You’ll save on the serving price (cupcakes can be up to half the cost per serving as cake). Also, since cupcakes don’t have to be cut/plated, you’ll save on the plating fee most venues charge.

Food & Beverages

26. Offer beer and wine, and a signature drink.
45+ Ways to Save Money on Your Wedding | If you want to save money on your wedding then this post is for you! It includes more than 45 different tips to easily save money, but still have the  beautiful wedding you’ve always dreamed of. #wedding #moneysavingtips #weddingplanning #daytonweddingplanner #ohioweddingplanner
Serving alcohol can get expensive. Save by offering only beer and wine, and perhaps a fun signature drink.

27. Serve champagne to the head table only.
You don’t need to provide champagne to all of your guests, and they will be fine toasting with whatever beverage they’ve chosen from the bar.

28. Skip the late night snack.
Sending your guests off with a yummy little nibble may sound like a fun idea, but it’s a cost that you can easily omit, and no one will miss it.

Flowers/Décor

29. Choose less pricey flowers in your bouquet.
Your florist can give you lost of flower cost-effective options that achieve the look you are going for.

30. Re-use decorations from the ceremony at the reception.
You’ve already paid for them, so why not get more use out of them? This includes altar arrangements, unity candle flowers, and bridesmaids bouquets.

31. Pick simple tablecloths.
Many venues provide standard linens at no additional cost. In love with a pricy specialty linen? Use it on just the cake table and sweetheart/head table.

32. Choose flowers that are in-season.
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Flowers that are in-season are more abundant, and will cost less than flowers that have to be imported.

33. Choose short centerpieces.
Tall centerpieces are elegant, but often need more flowers to look so grand. More flowers = more cost.

34. Skip the chair covers and sashes.
Unless the chairs are ghastly, save money by not getting covers. Another option is renting resin or samsonite folding chairs. These common chair rental styles often cost less than renting chair covers/sashes.

35. Choose a ceremony venue and/or reception venue that requires little decoration.

Not All Money Saving Ideas Are Good

36. Skip the aisle runner.
In reality, aisle runners don’t enhance the overall look of your ceremony. Save yourself a bit of cash by omitting an aisle runner altogether.

37. Use more greenery and less blooms.
Greenery is elegant, abundant, and less costly that flowers.

38. Use non-florals in your centerpiece design.
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Candles, books, bird cages, lanterns, and bowls of fruit are just some non-floral ideas that cost less than a floral arrangement, yet are still pretty and stylish.

Attire

39. Borrow a veil.
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Borrowing is always cost-friendly. Plus you’ll have your “Something Borrowed” covered.

40. Buy shoes you’ll actually wear again.
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Why spend money on shoes you’re only going to wear just once? Save money by choosing a pair that you will be able to wear again and again.

Vendors

41. Hire a DJ instead of a band.
45+ Ways to Save Money on Your Wedding | If you want to save money on your wedding then this post is for you! It includes more than 45 different tips to easily save money, but still have the  beautiful wedding you’ve always dreamed of. #wedding #moneysavingtips #weddingplanning #daytonweddingplanner #ohioweddingplanner
Simply put, having a DJ costs less than having a band.

42. Skip the limousine.
A fancy ride is fun, but you’re only going to be in it for a relatively short time.

43. Hire a wedding planner.
A wedding planner has the know-how to stay on budget, yet stay stylish with creative alternatives.

44. Have ceremony & reception at same place.

45. Choose a venue that doesn’t require you to use their vendors.
Not having to use their “short list” of vendors gives you more options.

46. Borrow items.
45+ Ways to Save Money on Your Wedding | If you want to save money on your wedding then this post is for you! It includes more than 45 different tips to easily save money, but still have the  beautiful wedding you’ve always dreamed of. #wedding #moneysavingtips #weddingplanning #daytonweddingplanner #ohioweddingplanner
Not interested in keeping the cake knife/server or toasting glasses? Borrow them.

47. Buy items instead of renting them.
You can purchase just about everything for your wedding, from table linens to vases. What to do with them after the wedding? Sell them of course. These days, many areas have bridal resale shops. Or check out online sites such as Wedding Recycle.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

For more ideas, contact me today at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

How I Got Started as a Wedding Planner

 

 

 

 

 

I was never one of those girls who dreamt of her wedding day since she was a little girl. Only once did I and my friends stage a wedding for Barbie and Ken (the highlight of that event was when Ken’s head popped off right after their first kiss).

Never threw parties or had big get-togethers. (Still don’t. We’re more of the homey types. Watching tv. Reading a good book. Love board games and cards).

 

 

 

 

 

So, how did I discover the world of wedding planning?

Planning our wedding is where I got the spark.

When my husband and I were planning our wedding (back in 1988) I was the most clueless bride ever. Heck, (dare I admit it), I didn’t even realize that there were wedding magazines available.

Because of our crazy work schedules at the time we did most of the planning on our lunch breaks (very few wedding vendors would meet with us after work, and we couldn’t get time off during work hours).

Some vendors were no-shows for our scheduled meetings. Our reception venue was bought out by another company, and the new company’s catering style was ribs. Delicious yes, but very different that what we wanted and had contracted for (thankfully they honored our original menu choices). My aunt made our cake, and my cousin did our bouquets, corsages, and boutonnieres. That was a tremendous help (2 less vendors that we had to deal with).

 

 

 

 

 

However, it was still S-T-R-E-S-S-F-U-L. But on our wedding day we were surrounded by our family and closest friends. And in the end, we were married, and starting this new stage in our lives together.

The decision to become a wedding planner was never an “aha moment.”

Instead something about planning my wedding stuck in the back of my head, and gradually evolved. I’d often think that planning weddings for others would be fabulous, but was a “wedding planner” really a thing? I didn’t think it was.

But it still stuck with me. I’d find myself thinking that there had to be a right way to plan weddings for other people. Planning your own wedding does not make you a wedding planner – I got that.

My interest and desire to pursue this career grew, and I continued to talk about wanting to be someone who plans weddings. (But is it even a real thing?)

Finally, one day my husband told me to stop talking about it and do something about it, or just stop talking about it. Ok, not those exact words. But he was giving me the push (and his support) to pursue this.

So, in 1994 I joined an wedding organization for wedding planners, took their training courses and shadowed with a local wedding planner. The following year I officially opened Weddings From The Heart.

That’s how I got started.

Through the years (it still doesn’t seem like it’s been over 20 years!) I’ve participated in other training courses, seminars, and workshops to continue to hone my craft. (There is always something new to learn).

Hello. How much do you charge?

It really is an honor and privilege to get to work with couples and help them have the wedding day they’ve imagined and hoped for.

 

 

 

 

 

I can’t imaging doing anything else.

Photo credit (Barbie and Ken): The flowers were the easy part. via photopin (license)
Photo credit (Monopoly Board): Monopoly via photopin (license)

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

I’d love to help you make your wedding day stress-free, enjoyable, and just the way YOU want! Contact me today at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

So You Want to Be a Wedding Planner – Some of My FAQ’s

wedding planner

Being a professional wedding planner is more than just loving weddings and being able to throw a great party. People interested in becoming a wedding planner often contact me about how to get started. Below are some of the more common questions asked by people who want to be a wedding planner.

(By the way – even though this information is directed at those interested in becoming a planner, it is also useful to someone who is planning her/his own wedding).

1.      What advice would you give to someone starting out in the business?

  • Get as much education (wedding/event related and business related) as you can.
  • Network as much as you can.
  • Read, read, read! Read bridal magazines like Brides, Martha Stewart Weddings, Grace Ormonde, etc., (what brides are looking at). Read books and magazines on decorating, flowers, etc. Read trade publications such as Vows, Special Events Magazine, and Cater Source. Read wedding blogs such as Style Me Pretty, Wedding Bee, or (my personal favorite) Preston Bailey.
  • Join (and participate in) organizations (wedding related and business related).
  • Take the time to make appointments to visit other vendors. (Remember, referrals go both ways).
  • Remember that it is UNETHICAL to misrepresent yourself by saying you are a bride (or getting a friend or family member to do so) in order to get information from other consultants.
  • Take it slow and steady, you’ve got a lot of relationships to develop and maintain, and when they say it takes as least five years to establish a new business, believe it. But the time invested is worth it.
  • Be sure to give yourself regular “off time,” especially if yours is a home based business. (This has been hard for me to do, but my husband and our 20 year old son give me incentive).

2.     What wedding associations/organizations are there?

There are several reputable associations, including:

Some consultants will swear by one and not another, and vice versa. Look into what’s available to determine which one(s) will suit you best.

3.     What would you consider to be the most demanding part of your job as a consultant?

Keeping brides, (as well as grooms, and other wedding professionals) informed and educated as to what professional wedding planners/consultants/coordinators truly do, and what differentiates the “professional” from the “hobbyist.”

Being a wedding consultant is nothing like what is usually shown in the movies or on tv, and isn’t the high-paying, oh-so-glamorous get-rich profession as so many seem to believe.

Other tips, suggestions include:

How I Got Started as a Wedding Planner

4.     Be aware that there are no “typical” work weeks, and that you WILL be expected to work evenings, weekends, tomorrow, etc. While I find being a bridal consultant to be rewarding, it isn’t all “fun and glamorous.” Contrary to what many people think, it is not all about getting to go to a lot of parties. It is work.

5.     Contact local wedding related companies. Are they hiring? While the position(s) they have are not wedding consulting, you will gain valuable “behind the scenes” experience.

6.     This is a field that relies heavily on good communication skills, both verbal and written.

Before contacting any wedding related companies, take the time to find out the name of the contact person, including proper spelling. This is a detail oriented profession, and addressing someone by their name rather than a generic “dear sir or madam” or the like, or misspelling their name, is one detail not to be missed.

While you’re sure to be enthusiastic and excited, you need to be an active and effective listener (talking 90 miles a minute without taking a breath is not good). Also, clarify and summarize details of the conversation (ex. if an appointment has been set, state “we’ll be meeting at 2:00 at such and such place on Tuesday the 23rd.”)

You only get one chance at a first impression, and if you use poor grammar/spelling/punctuation, repeatedly forget the person’s name, etc. you will not be taken seriously, and may not get another chance.

7.     Keep in mind that many wedding planning companies may be just a “one-man- or one-woman-show” and do not have any paying positions to offer, but may be open to having someone job shadow, with the experience being the payment.

Photo credit: © Margoorita | Dreamstime.com | Wedding Planner Photo

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Do you have a question, comment, or wedding concern? Let me know. Contact me today at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

Why Your Wedding Planner Needs To Be At Your Ceremony Rehearsal

wedding rehearsal

Came across an inquiry for a wedding planner. For the planning services requested, the bride-to-be checked off yes for “ceremony,” yes for “reception,” and no for “wedding rehearsal.”

Ladies, you may think you’ll save some money if your planner doesn’t have to be at the rehearsal. But IT IS IMPERATIVE that anyone involved with the ceremony to also be at the rehearsal.

Sure, you’ll discuss with your planner in great detail the way you want the ceremony to be, the order that the wedding party will go down the aisle, if there will be a unity candle, what songs will be played for the processional . . .

But, things can change. And even the slightest change can throw things off IF THE PLANNER WAS NOT AT THE REHEARSAL!

So You Want to Be a Wedding Planner – Some of My FAQ’s

What could possibly be changed?

  • The order of the wedding party is different than what the couple decided at first
  • Programs will be passed out (when originally there were none)
  • The bride’s processional song is different than what she initially chose
  • An aisle runner has been added
  • There won’t be a unity candle (or sand ceremony or the like)

Can you imagine what would happen if any of the above occurred at the rehearsal, and the planner wasn’t there?

There would be confusion, and the likelihood that something would not go right.

In over 20 years as a professional planner, I have never left a wedding rehearsal without having any changes or updates to be made to the timeline. Sometimes the changes were minimal and minor. Other times the ceremony timeline had major revisions.

A couple years ago, I was told that I didn’t have to come to the rehearsal. There ceremony site was a bit of a drive, and she didn’t want me to have to make the trip two days in a row.

A very kind gesture. But, I explained to her that yes, I will definitely be (and have to be) at the rehearsal. Although I have done hundreds of wedding ceremonies, I have not done YOUR ceremony.

Being at the rehearsal ensures that all of my information is up to date, any last minute questions are answered, your wedding party knows who I am, and I will know the “lay of the land” if it is at a venue I haven’t been to before.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

If you’re looking for fun ideas, or need help with your wedding plans Weddings From The Heart can help. Contact me today at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

Photo credit: The Bride via photopin cc

Dear Weddings From The Heart . . .

Dear Weddings From The Heart File this under “How a wedding planner can help.”

A while back I received a letter from a groom. It was a few weeks after his wedding, and although we did not work together he wanted to share some information with me. Apparently, on the day of their wedding, he and his new bride had a horrible experience with their venue and caterer.

His letter described the problems and issues created by the venue and staff, including how rude their staff was, how they ran out of food, and, what food there was, was cold.

The point of his letter was to warn me about this venue/caterer.

It broke my heart. No one deserves to be treated in this fashion, and for any company, wedding related or not, to provide such low quality of service and product is unforgivable.

But it doubly broke my heart as I soon realized that I could have helped this couple avoid this issue altogether.

5 Reasons You Need a Wedding Planner

Let’s go back several months . . . to when they were just starting with their wedding plans.

I received a phone call from this groom as he was interested in meeting with me to provide planning and coordination services for their wedding. So we scheduled an appointment.

However, a couple days later he called me back to cancel the appointment. He explained that his fiancée did not want a planner/coordinator, as she preferred to take care of things herself. I told him that my role does not hinder or diminish any couple from planning their own wedding, but instead is there to guide and assist, but if they would like to reschedule to let me know. The appointment was cancelled, and I did not hear back from them . . . until his letter after their wedding.

It made me sad (for them, not for me) because had they kept the appointment and hired my services, even for just venue/catering selection, I would have steered them clear from this venue, as it was notorious for such horrible practices (and then some) that he and his new bride experienced.

The reason I’m sharing this with you is not to pat myself on the back, or to claim to be the grand know-it-all of weddings, or to say that everyone should hire me for their wedding.

Instead it is just a simple reminder that there are people out there who are there to help you with your wedding, to take away the stress, to make sure you are making informed decisions regarding the many choices you are presented with, to provide options. And we are happy to help with a little or a lot, depending on your specific wedding needs.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

To see how Weddings From The Heart can make your wedding day stress-free, enjoyable, and just the way you want, contact me at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net, or by phone at 937-235-2586, or 937-581-3647, to schedule your free, initial appointment!

Photo credit: kla4067 via photopin cc

Top 13 Common Myths & Misconceptions About Wedding Planners

medusa - common myths & misconceptions about wedding planners photo credit: bl3w via photopin cc

Medusa, the Loch Ness Monster, Big Foot, Jennifer Lopez as The Wedding Planner . . . What do these things have in common? They’re all MYTHS!

While being a myth doesn’t keep people from seeking some of these out (well, maybe not Medusa . . . ) they often prevent couples from seeking out the assistance of a professional wedding planner.

To help clarify and debunk some of these, here is a list of some of the more common misconceptions of professional wedding planners, aka wedding consultants, wedding coordinators, and bridal consultants.

1. Consultants are expensive and only for the rich and famous.
Like most people, much of what you know about a Wedding Planner is what you see on TV, the movies, and in magazines. Lavish celebrity weddings sell ratings and more copies – but they are not the stuff of everyday real-life weddings. And the people who produce these weddings (Colin Cowie, Preston Bailey . . .) provide a very different service than your local Wedding Planner. The local Wedding Planner understands what’s in their region — current trends, and all the great local vendors and resources.

Also, most Wedding Planners offer different levels of service, from a basic hour-long session to full-service coordination and design, so you should be able to find something in your price range quite easily.

2. My caterer also does wedding planning. Why not just use them to plan mine?
A caterer’s (or florist’s, or dj’s, etc.) main job is to provide the service they are specifically trained and experienced in. While they are busy providing their service on a wedding day, how are they going to take care of any the other behind-the-scenes things? They just can’t be in two places at once.

3. I’ve just booked my reception venue and they have a list of “preferred vendors.” Why should I pay someone for the same information?
Because a Wedding Planner doesn’t give the same information. The “preferred vendor” list provided by venues, caterers, etc. are often vendors who have paid to be on that list, and is not an indication of their style, pricing, availability, nor reputation. This very same list is given to all of the venue’s clients.

On the other hand, the list of vendors provided by a Wedding Planner is tailored specifically for each bride & groom. You have your own specific style and desires, as well as budget, that you want for your wedding day.

Wouldn’t you rather have a list of available vendors that you know specialize in your desired style, and fit your budget?

4. But I don’t want someone to plan my wedding they way they think it should be.
A Wedding Planner will take the time to find out exactly what you and your fiancé want out of your wedding, how you envision your wedding day, how much you have and want to spend, and what your priorities are for your wedding.

She will also take the time to get to know YOU. By doing so, then she can make referrals and suggestions based on your unique desires and dreams for your wedding day, and NOT some preconceived notion of what a wedding “should” be.

She will help you plan your wedding the way YOU want it to be, not the way she thinks it should be, or (worse yet!) “the way it’s always been done.”

5. Don’t consultants take ‘kickbacks’ from the vendors they refer?
Absolutely not! It is unethical to accept kickbacks, finders fees, or whatever you want to call them. A Wedding Planner’s main focus is on you, the bride and groom. The Wedding Planners are looking out for the bride and groom’s best interest, not their own, nor any other vendor’s. The ONLY exception is if the consultant’s fees will be paid by the vendors and not by the client.

6. Won’t a consultant want to run the whole show?
A Wedding Planner will work with you, handling as much or as little of your wedding as you want. After all, it is your wedding. The Wedding Planner is there to help you and your family make the day perfect. If you want her to, the Wedding Planner will run the whole show, but it is your show that she is running.

7. Our church has a wedding coordinator. Why do I need someone else?
The person at the church is usually only familiar with his/her aspect of the wedding — getting the bride down the aisle on time — not the complete planning process, and is primarily concerned with making sure the rules of their church are followed. Don’t assume the church coordinator will help with any set-up, assist you and your bridal party while you’re getting dressed, pass out and pin on boutonnieres and corsages, make sure everything and everyone is in place, or be able to fix any behind-the-scenes problems that may arise.

8. I can find vendors off the internet. Why pay someone to do this for me?
You can pick names from the internet yourself. However, this is no indication of their style, price ranges, availability, or if the vendor is even reputable. Referrals provided by a Wedding Planner are not pulled off of the internet or out of the yellow pages, but from a data base of pre-qualified, reputable vendors who match a specific set of criteria that fits your wedding vision and budget.

9. My friend (or sister) just got married, and her wedding was great. Why can’t I use the same vendors?
Of course you can use the same vendors, but do you really want to have your wedding just like someone else’s?

10. My mom is helping me. Why hire someone when we can do it all?
Using the services of a Wedding Planner does not prevent you and/or your mom from “doing it all.” Instead, with her training, experience and expertise, the Wedding Planner is on hand to assist and guide you through the entire wedding process, offering suitable suggestions and quickly remedying any problems, so no one ends up too stressed and too tired to enjoy the big day when it finally arrives.

Wouldn’t you rather look forward to and enjoy your wedding day with anticipation than get so stressed out that you can’t wait for it to be over with?

11. I’m organized so I don’t need a wedding planner.
Planning a wedding takes more than just organization. You also need time.

On the average, it takes a bride at least 200-250 hours to plan her wedding. So you need to ask yourself, with everything else going on in your busy life, is there enough time? Having a Wedding Planner does not exclude you from planning your wedding. In fact, it will make the process easier. So why not let someone else do the leg work and leave the fun parts to you?

12. My venue has a wedding coordinator
While the venue coordinator can offer wonderful help and advice, their role does not cover the full range of wedding planner/coordinator duties. In truth, the role of the venue event coordinator is to manage the venue, make sure its contractual obligations to you are met, and that any venue “rules” are followed. They are not in contact with any of your other vendors prior to your wedding day.

They may not even be there on the day of your wedding (or only be there for part of the day). It’s even possible the by the time your wedding day is here, they are no longer with the venue, leaving you to have to bring the new person “up to speed.”

A Wedding Planner will be there with you throughout the whole process, offer suggestions and advice based on what will best suit you and YOUR wedding instead of just how things are done at a particular venue, and have at her fingertips all of the information from all of your selected vendors pertaining to your wedding.

13. My vendors are all professionals, I don’t need a planner
The use of a Wedding Planner in no way implies that the vendors aren’t professional or have to be watched over in order to get the job done right.

Most weddings utilize anywhere from 10 – 20 different types of vendors. All of the communication necessary during the planning process – questions asked, changes made, questions answered, things added . . . will take a lot of time. How much extra time do you really have to make additional phone calls, often getting voice mail, leaving messages, then waiting for those return calls? Part of a Wedding Planners role is to take care of this communication for you.

Not to mention that 10-15 of these vendors will have an active role on your wedding day itself. It’s so important that everyone is working together as a team, and is working off of the same time schedule. So your Wedding Planner is the team leader. We pull everyone and everything together to make sure that your wedding day meets the vision that you had during the planning, leaving you to be able to relax and get to enjoy your wedding day.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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See how Weddings From The Heart can make your wedding day stress-free, enjoyable, and just the way YOU want it to be. Contact me at 937-235-2586, 937-581-3647, or jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net and schedule your free, initial appointment!

Don't Let This Happen To You!

The REAL Wedding Crashers: Two women ‘crashed receptions and stole gifts and money’

Sadly this is a real headline. In this instance two Massachusetts women crashed two weddings and stole several thousand dollars worth of cash and gifts. One even tried to steal a guest’s purse!

It’s sad to know that there are dishonest people who prey upon people during what should be one of the happiest and most magical days of their lives – their wedding day.

Think about it. Your wedding planning is complete, and your special day is finally here. The last thing you should have to worry about on your wedding day is “will someone come and steal something?” And no bride wants to have to file a police report after her reception.

Here are some easy tips to avoid this situation:

Don’t put the gift table in the hallway
There will be very few people around, and problems can occur if it is mainly out of sight. Instead, place the gift table inside the room where the main action will occur.

Don’t put the gift table next to the entry door
This makes it too easy for something to be slipped out unnoticed. Instead place it across the room. To make it easier on your guests, have someone from the venue staff, your wedding planner, or a trustworthy friend assist guests by taking the gifts to the table for them.

Have a sturdy receptacle, with a lid, for gift envelopes
With an open basket or container with no lid, it is too easy, and virtually unnoticeable, for someone to remove something. Carefully check out those cardboard gift envelope boxes as many are nothing more than heavy paper. They look cute, but they are just not secure enough. Instead, use a container that has to be opened from the bottom, locks, or has a tight lid – making removal attempts much harder and more obvious.

Insurance
Following these tips is good insurance on keeping your gifts and envelopes safe and sound, but you may still want to get the real thing. You can get a policy that covers stolen gifts. Check out Wedsure, Wedsafe, or Wedding Protector Plan for more information.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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For more wedding tips and ideas, contact me at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

Jean's Top 10 Tips for Planning Your Wedding – Part 9

Wedding Planning Tips: Tip #9 -Go-To Person

9. Designate a go-to person for your wedding day

Do you want to have vendors and friends/family members bombarding you or your fiancé with questions on your wedding day?

Of course not.

Make sure you aren’t being pestered by designating a go-to person.

Your professional wedding planner/coordinator will fill this role, as “go-to person” is part of the job description.

Jean’s Top 10 Tips for Planning Your Wedding – Part 2

But if you don’t have a wedding planner/coordinator make sure you choose someone other than yourself, your groom, your mom, his mom, or a member of your bridal party. Make sure that this person will be available at the rehearsal, ceremony and reception.

This person, who can be a friend or relative, will need to know all of the details of your wedding day, including where everything will go, and when everything will occur (without having to ask you on your wedding day!)

Jean’s Top 10 Tips for Planning Your Wedding – Part 6

They will take on several responsibilities such as:

  • making sure all of your vendors have arrived and are set up correctly
  • all corsages and boutonnieres are pinned on
  • getting everyone down the aisle at the right moment
  • ensuring that all of your vendors are on the same schedule
  • the champagne is poured at the proper time
  • knowing if the dollar dance or the bouquet toss comes next
  • directing guests to their tables if you’ve got assigned seating

    Among other things, this person will be a combination go-fer, hostess, delivery person and trouble shooter, and will take care of all the little (and big) behind-the-scenes details so you and your groom will be able to enjoy your wedding day and not have to worry about anything.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

For more wedding planning tips and ideas contact me at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!