Wedding Advice

Video Blog: Using Pinterest for Wedding Inspiration

Shari Zatman, Owner and Principal Event Planner and Designer of Perfectly Planned by Shari, discusses the use of Pinterest as a tool for wedding inspiration.

Video Blog Series: Get to Know Shari Zatman

February 23, 2018

Get to know Owner and Principal Event Planner and Designer, Shari Zatman, of Perfectly Planned by Shari. This is the first in the series of upcoming videos.

5 Tips for Newly-Engaged Couples

5 Tips for Newly-Engaged Couples

January 24, 2018

You have the ring, you’ve spread the news and all of a sudden, scrolling through Pinterest for wedding ideas has become one of your favorite hobbies. With any wedding engagement comes some obvious stressors, but we’re here to help!

Here are our top 5 suggestions for the beginning stages of planning your wedding:

1.Take some time to enjoy your engagement
Before jumping into the planning process, take some time to truly enjoy your engagement. Whether that time together is spent on a romantic date, casual night-in, or a short getaway, be sure to savor this time together without discussing all of the wedding details.

2.Tackle that guest list
Creating your guest list early on can help you avoid a plethora of problems. You’ll have an understanding of how large of a venue you need, and how flexible you can be with your budget. This lays the framework for our next couple of suggestions.

3.Talk through your budget
Do you have a restricted budget or is it flexible? It’s important to work through your budget and decide who is contributing to the wedding expenses and what the maximum amount of money is that you are willing to spend on your wedding.

4.Secure a venue and wedding date
It sounds obvious, but it’s difficult to take any additional steps until you have selected a venue and confirmed your wedding date, so you need to start here. Since you have a general idea of how many guests you’ll invite and what your budget is, you can start to sort through venue options using those important criteria.

5.Consider your vendors
What vendors are most important to you – Your photographer or florist? Maybe it’s your band or a DJ? Start to research potential vendors, and don’t be afraid to meet with several for comparison before making your final decision. We may be bias, but we are positive that a professional Wedding Planner should be one of the first vendors you hire because we can help you make all of the right decisions. As with other vendors, explore your options and talk to different planners to see which one is the right fit for you.

(Featured image taken by Joey Kennedy Photography.)

The Benefits of Hiring Your Own Wedding Planner Versus Using The Venue’s Coordinator

The Benefits of Hiring Your Own Wedding Planner Versus Using The Venue’s Coordinator

Many engagements have recently taken place and there are couples currently looking in droves to book their wedding venues. During this time, we wanted to offer some important advice about the benefits of hiring your own Wedding Planner versus being swayed into believing that the coordinator provided at the venue will provide the same assistance for you.
While not all venues are the same and they vary from place to place in terms of the experience and service level of their coordinators, we have compiled the following list of what many Venue Coordinators DO NOT do for you. We hope this is helpful as you are navigating through the beginning stages of planning and trying to make the decision about whether hiring your own Wedding Planner is the right fit for you.

What your venue does NOT do for you as your “Wedding Planner”*

  • • Create a decor plan from your vision and provide creative direction
  • • Review Pinterest photos with you and design your ceremony and reception based on your visual interest
  • • Help you create and manage your overall wedding budget
  • • Handle negotiations and contracting with vendors- most venues just provide a list of recommended vendors and let you do the rest
  • • Accompany you to your offsite vendor meetings to convey your vision and provide direction
  • • Provide consistent vendor management through the entire planning
  • • Handle transportation contracting and management
  • • Contract and manage hotel blocks (if not a hotel venue and using their own sleeping rooms)
  • • Stationery materials- save the dates, invitations, ceremony programs, etc.
  • • Be your advocate for all aspects of planning without bias
  • • Review all vendor contracts
  • • Manage your planning timelines, keep you on track and on task with planning deadlines
  • • Manage vendor payments
  • • Plan anything pertaining to your ceremony if it is not at their venue
  • • Create order and structure of wedding ceremony
  • • Direct ceremony rehearsal
  • • Provide one on one attention and attendance during entire wedding set up
  • • Do anything with you that takes place offsite of their property

*This list does not reference any one particular venue or venue coordinator. It is an generalized list based on a variety of event venues.

Writing Thank You Notes

After your celebration, you are tired probably tired and you don’t even want to think about going through all of the gifts that you received let alone write all those thank you notes. However, thank you notes are a very important event detailed but often not emphasized as such. Guests look forward to those notes. It shows that you appreciate your guests sharing in on your wonderful celebration. When opening all of the gifts, make sure to keep a detailed list of who the giver is and what they have given you.

When should you send thank you notes? After a bridal shower or party, notes should be sent within 2 weeks. After a wedding, a longer timeline is acceptable. Guests understand there is a lot going on with getting settled as husband and wife, returning home from the honeymoon, opening all gifts and writing all thank you cards so there is a bit more time for these. It is best to send thank you notes within 6-8 weeks of the wedding. Any later, people will begin to think that you forgot about them or maybe you didn’t receive their gift.
Thank you notes can be tedious and tiring. The best approach to getting these written and mailed is to set a goal to write a certain number each day. This will help keep your sanity as well as helping maintain sincerity in each note. Here is a tip for the bride and groom, if you are travelling a distance for your honeymoon, try to open your gifts in advance and then take the gift list, address list and your thank you notes with you. You could get most or even all of the notes written during the lengthy travel to and from your destination and have finished before you return home.

Saying Thank You
When writing thank you notes, it may seem difficult to think of something to say. The outline for a note is in three parts- 1.Express gratitude for the gift (be sure to be specific about the gift and mention what you were given), 2. Explain how you may use the gift. 3.Thank them for attending the celebration. If they could not attend, thank them for thinking of you and let them know you wish that they would have been there.
If it was a monetary gift, thank them for their generosity. Do not mention the monetary amount. When receiving a monetary gift, it helps to tell the guest how you plan on using it. Whether it be used for a house down payment, the honeymoon, or simply to start a savings account, guests enjoy knowing what it may be used for.

Addressing and Mailing
Thank you notes should be addressed to each individual who attended your event and/or gave the gift. For families, Mr. and Mrs. should be addressed on the envelope. Inside on the note, address each individual family member that attended and express your gratitude.
Thank you notes can be tiring to write but they are a great keepsake and memory for guests. Thank you notes also show that you truly appreciate each guest that helped celebrate your day. We hope that following these steps will help to make writing thank you notes a little less intimidating and stressful.

One Last Thing
Electronic communication through text and email often replace the written word these days. Please do not use that as a substitute for hand writing a thank you note. Hand written thank you notes are timeless and show that you care and have taken the extra effort to let people know you appreciate them.