If you are recently engaged or have now started planning your wedding, you most likely have considered the idea of hiring a wedding planner/coordinator. Considering to hire someone is the easy part, but one of the biggest distinctions over looked is the difference between a wedding planner and a wedding coordinator. Although the two sound exactly the same, there is differences in the type of service provided, as well as the fee. Keep on reading to find out what the difference is!
The Wedding Planner
A wedding planner is your planning guru. They are the most involved and active participant in planning your wedding. A wedding planner focuses on everything from venue scouting, booking your vendors, event style and design, floor plans, seating charts, wedding etiquette, negotiation and the list can go on. The wedding planner is your right-hand-man from the beginning of the planning process until the end of the wedding day. Hiring a wedding planner is ideal if you have limited time to plan your wedding, if you’re not sure where to begin and what needs to be done, are concerned about budgeting or the idea of planning a wedding simply does not sound fun to you (with a ton of other reasons I haven’t mentioned). The fee of a wedding planner can range anywhere between $2,500-$10,000, based on region, level of service, and wedding details.
The Wedding Coordinator
A wedding coordinator is often referred to as the “day-of coordinator” or the “month-of coordinator.” The wedding coordinator jumps into the picture generally one month prior to your wedding to ensure your big day is ready to run smoothly. The wedding coordinator will address all last minute details, confirming logistics and arrival times with your vendors, building your day-of schedule, and of course, overseeing and managing all aspects on the wedding day. If you’ve completed most of your planning and are now looking to be hands-off on the wedding day, hiring a wedding coordinator is just what you need. Sit back, relax and enjoy the most precious day of your life and let the wedding coordinator take control. Based upon various factors including wedding details, region, and level of service, a wedding coordinator’s fee can range from $1,000-$5,000.
Now that you know the difference, choosing the right service for your wedding will be a piece of cake. Book your wedding planner or coordinator sooner than later, as dates get booked up very quickly. You don’t want to be the couple who says ” I should’ve hired a planner/coordinator” at the end of your wedding day.
Your vendors play a major role in your wedding, and they appreciate your gratitude more than anyone else. They help your dreams turn into a reality, so be sure to show them a little love. Sending a thank you card, e-mail or even a small gift expresses how much you really appreciate them for being apart of your big day. Please and thank you are still magic words!
Creating a seating plan for your wedding can be one of the more tedious tasks closer to the big day. There are many different types of seating options to choose from. Below are options that are frequently used at weddings.
Open Seating – Pick any seat!
This seating option works great for small, intimate weddings. Having open seating is a great option if your guests are comfortable with one another and are familiar. It’s great to be seated next to someone whose company you enjoy! However, this seating option may not be the most suitable for a large wedding. Guests find it a hassle to look for a seat themselves, and it becomes difficult to manage which tables have seats left.
A seating chart is one of the most commonly preferred styles of a seating plan. Easy to use and read, display all the names of your guests by first or last name, along with the table number beside it. For larger groups consider having one chart for the groom and one chart for the bride. You can also personalize and get creative with the design of your seating chart.
Escort cards are an aesthetically appealing option. An escort card displays the name of the guest, followed by the assigned table number on individual cards. You can have them in small envelopes or two fold tents. Place them in alphabetical order on your receiving table to add character to the entrance. Using escort cards also gives you the advantage to make any last minute changes without a big hassle.
Seating Chart + Place Cards
Make it even easier to seat your guests by using a seating chart and place cards. Place cards are placed on each table setting with the name of the guest to make is easy for guests to know exactly where they are sitting at the table. This is a great way to add some creativity to your guest tables.
Before creating your seating plan, always ensure to have a floor plan from the venue. This can also effect the type of seating option you choose to have. Try to be as accommodating as possible, and make it a memorable experience for your guests. Now, if everyone please take their seats, we are about to begin!
The moment you’ve all been waiting for; the Bride and Groom speech! Writing your speech can be nerve-racking and intimidating. With a ton of emotion involved it is often difficult to know where to begin. Here are a few pointers to get you started:
- Plan ahead – Do not wait until the last minute. Avoid writing your speech the night before your wedding. You’ll feel panicked and rushed, and you may forget key points that you want to address. The night before the wedding is overwhelming, especially with the crazy amounts of emotions. With chaos in the wedding house and guests all around, finding a quiet time to sit down and begin writing likely won’t happen. Give yourself enough time to really think about what you want to say, and how you want to say it.
- Have a little fun – We know your speech will address all the emotions you’ve been feeling throughout the wedding planning process, but it’s also okay to keep it light and fun. Add in a little joke or two to take the weight off the seriousness of the speech and keep your guests engaged. Friendly language can also make a big impact. Keep it simple, fun and emotional.
- The Key Players – Don’t forget to mention the key players in planning your wedding. Whether it be your family, friends or wedding planner a little thank you goes a long way. Take the time to make those around you feel special and touched by your words. Tell them how much you appreciate their unconditional love and support.
- Practice! – This goes hand in hand with planning ahead. Go through your speech at least one, if not twice. Does it flow? Did you forget to mention a special someone? When you practice your speech out loud you’ll get a sense of how it will sound to the audience, and if your emotions are coming across as you hope.
Now that you’ve nailed down the key points, grab a pen and paper and start writing!
E-shoots may not be as easy as the pictures make them seem. There is a lot of background work that goes into putting together the perfect e-shoot from both the photographer and the bride and groom. There are some key elements to keep in mind when putting together your e-shoot. Here are some pointers to help you prep.
What Represents You: An engagement shoot is a great opportunity to capture the love between two people. A great place to start brainstorming is to think about how you met, and where you met. Then think about your likes, dislikes, common interests and ideas that really represent you as a couple.
The “Feel”: Think about the overall feel you want to portray in the shoot. Maybe you want it to be cute, comfy, stylish, sexy, sweet, sporty, whimsical or a combination of a few. Pick something that makes you feel your best. Just remember that you should be having fun on the day of the shoot. At the end of the day, the pictures should convey your personalities as individuals and as a couple with a glimpse of an eye.
Location: Inside, outside, or destination? Maybe even multiple locations and seasons. The location plays an essential role when planning your shoot. It sets the ambiance for all of your pictures. Start by creating a list of locations that interest you. Then narrow it down to what fits your “feel”. Lastly, consider the time of year and any weather concerns that may affect your shoot on the day of. Remember to always have a backup plan.
What to Wear: Always wear something you are comfortable in. You never know what kind of stunts you may need to pull to achieve creative shots. Your outfit should also represent who you are and should coordinate with the overall “feel” of the shoot.
Get Creative: Have a little fun by using accessories and props at your e-shoot. Think creatively as to what props and accessories would fit accordingly with all the other elements of your shoot. Think outside of the box, and be distinctive.
Food for Thought
Literally, you need food to be able to think. Skipping breakfast on your wedding day is a BIG no no! You need the extra energy and nutrition to get you through the day. The last thing you need is your stomach growling while getting married.
Eating a breakfast will also assist in giving you that extra glow you need, because we all know that the night before the wedding you didn’t get much sleep. A yogurt, some toast, and a fruit will do just the trick!
Bad weather can happen anytime of the year. Depending on the season of your wedding, you can determine what kind of weather conditions are a possibility. We advise to always have a back-up plan or plan B, especially for outdoor weddings. There is nothing worse than scrambling to have everything arranged last minute. Think it through and list all the reasons you could be outside, such as photography. Consider carrying appealing umbrellas just in case the sun doesn’t want to shine.