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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.

Amy and Bob’s Lingrow Farm Wedding

Amy and Bob’s Lingrow Farm Wedding

Amy and Bob were married at Lingrow Farm on October 24, 2014. They were blessed with a gorgeous, sunny Fall day which was absolutely perfect for their outdoor ceremony set in the gazebo by the lake on the property’s farm. As if on cue, while Amy and Bob said their vows two horses grazed just behind them in the distance.

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The ceremony itself was very personalized. From the custom printed burlap aisle runner to Amy’s sister singing the bridal processional. The brides two brother in laws also personalized their wedding by officiating. Amy and Bob wrote their own vows which were both humorous and heartfelt.

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The couples’ whimsy was evident in all of their personal touches. They displayed their love, of all things “mustache”, in a variety of ways. The groomsmen all wore matching mustache Converse sneakers and mustache socks. Bob had custom mustache Converse made for himself in lime green.

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Their reception was “rustic chic” in the barn at the farm. DJ Kelli Burns kept the dance floor full and entertained the guests all night. After enjoying their dinner, a bonfire was lit and guests were able to roast marshmallows and make their own s’mores by the fire.

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For some scenes from the wedding, check out this short video courtesy of Trillium Wedding Films:

Thank you to the many wonderful vendor partners who worked with us:
DJ Kelli BurnsWhitling PhotographyTo The BoothTrillium Wedding FilmsTwisted ThistleLingrow FarmsOakmont Bakery

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.

Timeline
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.

How To Convey Appropriate Dress Code For Your Event

People often ponder how to convey appropriate dress to their guests for an event.  You want to tell your guests what to wear and ideally you want to be clever, but clear about it. Here are some ways to help point your guests into the right direction for your big day.

Include a brief Post Script on your invitations

A simple post script works best for dress code guidance. If clothing comfort factors are not obvious from your venue or wedding date, it is best to include a post script to help guests understand what they are expected to wear. For Example, a brief note about dress code due to weather for a wedding: “The ceremony and reception will be held on the top deck of the yacht; dress for cool weather.” When deciding where you put the post script, you have two options. Based on your invitation design and where the post script fits best, you could include at the bottom of the actual invitation. Another option that you have is to have a separate card conveying all of that information if it is more detailed like the above example.  Directions, accommodations and parking information can be on the same enclosure.

Wedding website

Today every couple likes to have a wedding website. And with social media, lots of people are able to check out your site for event details. With the perks of social media, you can tell guests what to expect at your wedding. “We’re getting married on the beach, barefoot or sandals are appropriate.” You can be as casual as you want when stating what you expect for your guests to wear, it’s your website. If you want to be more clear with what you expect or suggest guests should wear, include appropriate examples. For example: “Cocktail dresses for women and jacket and tie for men.” Even though you are creating a wedding website and most guests will check it out, you do need to remember that not everyone will go to your wedding website. If you have a strict dress code, you may want to convey that on invitations as well to be certain that guests adhere to that.

Dress codes for all occasions

When designating a dress code for your event, it is best to know all of the different options you have. Understanding the definition of each dress code is very helpful in determining what you want to ask of your guests. Here is a brief guide to some popular dress codes:

Black tie: Formal wear. Men wear traditional tuxedos with formal white shirt, black bow tie or tie. Women wear long evening or cocktail dresses.

Black tie Optional: Men have the option of wearing a tuxedo, but it gives the indication as to the formality of the event.  Women have the option of a short or long cocktail dress.