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Wedding Planners 10 TOP Tips

First Step:

Falling in LOVE and deciding to spend the rest of your life with a special someone.

Second Step:

Hire a Wedding Planner

Hiring a good one will save you so much hassle and will probably end up saving you money too, because when it comes to the wedding industry, no one knows more than wedding planners! Most of your vendors only deal with one aspect of your wedding, but a planner deals with the ENTIRE wedding, they are a fountain of knowledge.

Here are some WP's Top Tips

1. Send invitations on a Wednesday.

Always plan to get your invites out on a Wednesday. This way, they arrive just in time for the weekend when people have a bit more free time and can RSVP right away."

2. Plan your RSVP window!

Give yourself a 3-4 week window as an RSVP deadline.

This way, you have plenty of time to call/text your stragglers and get a firm number turned into your venue, caterer and florist. Giving all your wedding professionals time to look for better deals and to locate locally goods is a great way to get more bang for your buck and wow your guests!

Speaking of RSVP - The trend for RSVP'ing is technology, which is making it easy for your guest to respond and gets a high percentages of RSVPs. Everyone is on their smart phones or tablets and one way to get some traction is to have a wedding website for all your guests to RSVP from (try a Google search for "Wedding Online Guest RSVP"). One word of caution, be sure to check out a couple of sites before choosing who will manage your RSVPs. Some require your guests to give all their personal information and this can rub your guests the wrong way and not continue on the site to RSVP.

3. Make a priorities list.

At the beginning of your wedding planning set 1-3 priorities.

These can be concrete items like I want all white roses or a LIVE band or they can be concepts like 'I want my wedding to feel like a upscale picnic.' Whenever you are meeting with a vendor, making decisions on the wedding or just clicking through Pinterest, these priorities will help guide your planning and more importantly your budget.

4. Know your style.

What is your style? That is what you know best, your own personal tastes. If you're a clean-line, modern kind of person don't do lace and burlap just because it's flooding Pinterest. Are you Romantic or a simple Earthy fan or absolutely love Bold and Vibrant colours? Your wedding should be a reflection of you as a couple not a copy and paste of every other wedding your guests might have attended in the past. Be unique, incorporate EVERYTHING you!

5. Discuss alcohol with your venue.

Most couples aren't aware of the cost of alcohol for their upcoming event. It is important to discuss the bar bill costs with their venue prior to signing a contract. If providing drinks at your event is important, this should be one of the first things discussed. Approximately how much of the reception bill, is related to bar costs? How is the bill determined - consumption based or does an open bottle policy apply? Are there additional bartending fees onto of the alcohol bill? Are there different packages of selections offered? Is obtaining a liquor license and supplying own alcohol an option or permitted? When is the final bar bill due? Make sure all alcohol related details are reviewed and well know prior to exchanging the funds.

6. Stay in season!

Use in season florals and elements for your wedding flowers and décor. This will save you a tremendous amount of money and also give a very seasonal feel to your event. Aisle florals placed at the ceremony can be used throughout your reception. For instance, you could transfer your tall arrangements as a backdrop surrounding the head table. You can also use your bouquets on the head table or your cake table as well for additional decor minus the cost. Note: rent or provide additional vases to place them in. Ranunculus and Pincushion Protea's are in high demand in the summer season ... however, requesting a quote for these particularly in the Fall/Winter months, you will take one step back when you discover the costs have been doubled, if not more. Take advantage of the seasonal options. You chose your Wedding Day at that particular time, therefore it must be a meaningful and special time of year you CHERISH the most.

7. Choose the Wedding Party carefully!

Pick your Wedding Party carefully and thoughtfully.

First thing to consider, your engagement period. If your big event is in two years per say, will you still be in touch with those on the top of your list? These selected individuals are there to assist you in the wedding process and to help in all the work and activities. Make sure they will be a help and not a hindrance. Remember that quality overrides quantity in this area. Consider everyone’s personality in this process carefully.

8. Schedule some alone time and pack protein bars!

Schedule in some time for just you and the groom on your wedding day! You'll have plenty of time to mix and mingle with friends and family at your reception. I like to schedule in about 30 minutes prior to opening the reception doors and forming the Receiving Line for my couples and send them away to a quiet part of the venue or simply encourage them to take in that very moment. The atmosphere, complete design they have waited to see this entire time is now in full Your wedding day will FLY by and if you don't stop to take it all in for a few minutes you might regret it. It's nice to take a little breather with your groom and maybe have your photographer capture those first quiet and intimate moments after you become husband and wife. This can segue right into a Grand Entrance as you join your cocktail hour or reception as "Mr & Mrs ___." It's also a great chance to grab a refreshing drink or bite to eat if you didn't have a chance all day. Which leads us to another little tip....pack a few protein bars in your bag a few days before. You will inevitably be famished by mid day (post ceremony picture locations) and wedding days hardly grant any time for brides to eat. It will give you that little boost of energy to continue throughout the long wedding day."

9. Confirm your vendors.

It can take months after months to plan a wedding. The detailed itinerary is finalized and ready to go. But who will assist with ensuring that its fully executed and vendors adhere to their contract? If you don't have a wedding planner or anyone who has been involved with you during the entire wedding planning process, it's wise to check in with all of your vendors 1-2 weeks before your wedding. Even if you booked a vendor and paid in full significantly before your wedding date, it's still a good idea to just check in via phone or email and discuss how the wedding day will work, your expectations, your timeline, arrival & departure times, and who is the best contact person day of so you are not getting bombarded with questions as the bride on your wedding day. To enjoy fully in the midst of creating the most wonderful memories of your lifetime, its a great idea to hire an experienced wedding planner who offers the "Day of Coordination" package. It will be the BEST money invested in the BIG event!

10. Don't forget about the cake cutting!

More brides are opting for creative wedding locations that may not include the services of a traditional, all-inclusive venue. One of the services often offered by an all inclusive venue is cake cutting. This includes cutting and serving the cake as an after dinner dessert or preparing slices to be placed on the sweet table immediately after the cake cutting. Therefore, providing the plates, forks and napkins to go with it, is a MUST. In my meetings with brides, I remind them that the additional service ware for cake is necessary and may not be within their rental order or (for the more DIY bride) that they will need to make sure to have an additional set of forks, plates and napkins available for whoever is cutting the cake.

So, "let them eat cake!" And, plan that it will be from a plate with a fork too! :)

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