wedding planning

Wedding Planner Myths Busted

When it comes to wedding planners, there’s plenty of myths out there, often propagated thanks to images of wedding planners in Hollywood movies or lavish reality TV shows.

Of course, there are wedding planners who work with celebrities and those with larger budgets, but that doesn’t mean couples with more modest budgets planning smaller weddings cannot avail of a wedding planners highly valued services too.

And yet, often couples have preconceived notions of what wedding planners can and can’t do and many times those assumptions are wrong.

So in an effort to set the record straight, we’re going to bust some of the biggest myths out there and show you that every couple, no matter what their budget or wedding size/style can avail of a wedding planners services.

In the meantime, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me directly if you wish to chat about any aspect of your wedding planning and décor.

                                                           

 

Wedding Planners Take Over

If there is one of the biggest myths surrounding wedding planners we’d like to put to rest, it’s that we have a tendency to ‘take over,’ but that is absolutely not the case. Forget those images you may have seen in Hollywood movies of pushy wedding planners who disregard their couple’s wishes. In reality a good wedding planner is very much YOUR advocate. In essence, we’re here to bring your wedding vision to life, it’s always your day, not ours. Think of us as your fairy godmother, who will work every way we can to bring your ideal wedding plans to fruition, just as you envisioned it.

 

 

Wedding Planners Can’t Assist With Small Parts of the Wedding

Another falsity.  Most wedding planners will be happy to assist with any part of your wedding day. For example I offer full, partial or even on the day coordination. A good wedding planner is adept at handling big parts of the wedding planning, but they are also able to come in and offer targeted assistance with say one particular aspect of your planning that is proving either difficult to pull together, or it could be something you simply don’t have time to focus on yourself.

 

A Wedding Planner Will Blow My Budget

Another often perpetuated myth is that wedding planners are expensive. Again we may have films and TV to blame for this one, however often a good wedding planner will often times help you cut down on your costs as we have access to vendors and venues at much better rates. We pass these savings on to you, plus we are always cognisant of your budget and will be better able to stick within those limits. Often couples can see their budgets spiral out of control when planning by themselves.

 

 

My Venue Has A Wedding Coordinator Why Do Would I Need To Hire Someone Else?

While most venues these days do indeed have wedding co-ordinators, their main job is to oversee the wedding in terms of the venue. They generally don’t liaise with your vendors, or assist in terms of sourcing décor or hire items, beyond what might be offered by the venue. A wedding planner is your advocate and will be able to bring all aspects of your wedding day together from the ceremony to the reception, as well as all the lead up, logistics, décor and much, much more.

 

 

Wedding Planning Mistakes and How To Avoid Them

 

Planning your wedding day is one of the most exciting times in your life. However, for many busy couples the reality of trying to bring your wedding dreams to life can be a challenge.

Factors such as the budget, as well as just having enough time in your life to actually get through your list of wedding to-do’s can be a minefield.

It can be easy to get caught up and fall for some very simple mistakes that could end up costing you both financially and emotionally.

As an award winning wedding planner with years of experience at the top of the wedding industry, I know all the ways to avoid making those wedding planning mistakes.

Here’s some of my top tips.  In the meantime, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me directly if you wish to chat about any aspect of your wedding planning and décor.

                                                           

 

Don’t be Tempted to Go over Budget

Your budget is the key foundation of your wedding. While it can be tempting to say, book a lavish venue first, when you know it will eat up the majority of your budget, you’ve got to be realistic with yourself. There will always be last minute costs involved in your wedding planning and it’s key to factor these in. The best thing to do is get a full handle on the costs you’re looking at before going ahead and booking venues, vendors or even sending out invites. There’s plenty of ways to be savvy of course and still have the wedding of your dreams well within your budget and in fact working with a wedding planner like myself is a simple way to do this.

 

Invite The People You Want At Your Wedding, Not The People You Think Should Invite

Sometimes, this can be easier said than done. Family politics can play a huge role in your invite list and indeed if the couple’s parents are assisting with the costs, then they may feel they are entitled to some say in who attends. However, your wedding day is YOUR wedding day and as much as possible that means you want people there who you love and enjoy spending time with. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you shouldn’t invite someone who lives abroad or you haven’t seen in a while. Fundamentally it’s about gathering your loved ones together to celebrate this special day with you and not feeling obliged to invite people based on anything else.

 

Don’t Get Stressed

Planning a wedding should be a wonderful and exciting experience. However, it also has the potential to be a stressful endeavour. Spiralling budgets, a lack of time and a feeling of plans going out of control can all add to couples feeling stressed. This is completely the opposite of how you should feel in the run up to your wedding day, it’ supposed to be fun. If you do find yourself getting stressed, it’s important to pause, take a breath and revaluate things.

One of the best things you can do is to seek help from a professional wedding planner, such as myself. I can help with as much or as little of your plans as you need. So if for example, there is one area of your planning making your stressed, then I can take that off your shoulders and allow you to concentrate on other aspects of the planning, or indeed I can also provide assistance on multiple parts of your wedding day too.

 

 

Remember It Is YOUR Day  

In all the hectic planning and family politics of wedding planning it can be easy to forget that your wedding is YOUR day. It is a most special day where you get to celebrate your love for your partner with your family and friends. It should be the day you’ve dreamt of and it should look and feel the way YOU want it to feel. If you find yourself changing plans to suit other people, then you need to take a step back and remember why you’re doing it.

You’ll hopefully only have one wedding day, so it should be a happy, special day that unfolds how you want it to. The last thing you want is to look back and regret changing aspects of the day or compromising on elements you didn’t feel you had to.

Spring Fling – Wedding Colours

Spring is all about the return of colour. In nature, the buds return to the trees, we start to get daffodils and tulips peeing through, cherry blossoms, the grass gets that touch greener and it’s all about a sense of freshness.

It’s a beautiful time of the year to tie the knot. And if you’re planning a spring wedding and you want to tie in with the seasonal colours and themes, then think colour and fresh greenery.

Often, spring evokes those ice cream dream pastel colours of blush pink, baby blue, canary yellow and mint green. All of which will look absolutely stunning and are easy to work with.

However, don’t discount going bolder with colour, either all round through your decor and flowers, or just with a few pops to offset the pastels. And of course a refreshing touch of crisp white and vivid greenery is always a classic look too.

Here’s some ideas to get your thinking. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me directly if you wish to chat about any aspect of your wedding planning and décor.

                                                           

Ceremony

Whether you’re saying ‘I do’ indoors or outdoors, flowers are key to channelling spring. Don’t be afraid to add some bright colours to your bridal bouquets, but equally don’t fear going for the more traditional blush pinks or soft peaches either. If you want to make a really stunning statement of spring, why not have a floral wall as your ceremony backdrop? Add colourful confetti for your church departure and why not consider having blossom trees line your aisle in the ultimate tribute to the spring?

 

On the Table

A heady mix of burlap, wooden slices, vases and pops of spring colour will look stunning for your table décor. If your budget is tight, why not go for a mix of paper pom poms in a range of colours, against some beautiful baby’s breath? Add in lanterns and candles for the perfect mix to bring your table to life

 

 

Around the Room

While flowers play a key role, lighting will also be a big factor in how your room looks and feels. Intersperse fairy lights with up-lighters and candles for the right mix of spring garden. Chinese style lanterns hung from the ceiling or over the dancefloor in a variety of pastels will look amazing during the day and even more romantic as the sun goes down. Don’t forget to dress focal points like staircases, fireplaces and consider having a flower wall for guests to take selfies at during the evening.

 

The Cake

When it comes to the cake, you can really have a lot of fun with a spring colour palette. But if you want to try something more unique, why not go for a naked style cake but with a different colour for each tier, for an almost pastel rainbow effect? Add flowers to your tiers and play around with buttercream and fondant finishes for that really stunning effect. And why not have fun adding additions like cake pops, donuts or mini cakes too in a variety of spring colours.

Bring The Outdoors In For Your Wedding

Having an outdoor wedding ceremony and reception is not something that’s always possible in Ireland. Of course, it is possible to do an outdoor ‘I do’ and have a portion of the drinks reception outside, but having all aspects of the wedding from start to finish outdoors is an unlikely scenario, especially if you’re having a winter wedding.

But that shouldn’t mean you still cannot imbue your day with a sense of the outdoors. In fact, now more than ever there are readily available props and items of décor that can turn your wedding into a secret garden in a flash.

From green trees, to blossom trees, to hanging floral installations, to bay trees, garlands and backdrops, there are a myriad of ways to make your guests feel as though they are sitting in a garden paradise indoors.

Here’s some ideas to get your thinking. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me directly if you wish to chat about any aspect of your wedding planning and décor.

Ceremony
When it comes to bringing a sense of the outdoors into your ceremony, there’s plenty of ways to channel the look. Why not go for tall tree style pew ends? Crisp white blossom trees or trees with a greenery feel will look stunning and add a sense of magic garden to proceedings. If the venue doesn’t allow for this, then think lower down with leaves lining the aisle intermixed with lanterns.

On the Table
If you want to make a big impression why not go for mini trees as your table centrepieces? Be they white or pink style blossom trees, or greenery, it will have an immediate visual impact on your room. If you want to take things down a notch, then why not consider garlands packed with leafy greens? These work especially well for long tables. Consider bare sticks in long vases interspersed with lower set florals. Of if you want to think differently why not have hanging greenery above your tables?

Around the Room
Dot trees around the room in different locations to create a sense of being inside a woodland or lush green garden. Intersperse them with fairly lights, or hanging tea lights for a really magical feel when the sun goes down. Hang greenery from chandeliers or lights. Make use of potted plants and if you’re budget won’t allow fresh flowers, then there are some stunning synthetic versions that will work equally well. Floral backdrops will look stunning in conjunction with these elements and can become a selfie wall for guests too.

 

The Cake
Why not have a floral or greenery style backdrop stationed behind your cake or dessert table? It will add a real focal point to the room and of course it can then be moved to another location after the cake has been cut. For the cake itself, think naked icing with greenery and wooden accents to really reinforce the outdoorsy feel.

Floral Installations

Flowers play a big role in how your wedding day will look. It can be easy to simply think of wedding flowers in terms of the bridal bouquets, the buttonholes and perhaps a few flowers for the ceremony or church, but in fact flowers are so much more integral to the wedding theme and overall décor than most couples can imagine.

While flowers will always be key to wedding décor, this year you can expect to see more and more impressive ‘floral installations, thanks in part to  the two British royal family weddings last year, which featured some very impressive floral arches and walls. So not surprisingly this year, we can expect to see this trend reflected in microcosm, with floral arches, floral moon gates, flower walls and hanging floral installations to add drama to the proceedings.

Here’s some ideas to get your thinking. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me directly if you wish to chat about any aspect of your wedding planning and décor.

 

Floral Wall

A good floral wall is a really savvy investment to make for your wedding day, because quite simply it is a multi-taskers dream! It can be used as a backdrop for your ceremony. You could use it as a selfie wall for your guests to take snaps. You could place it behind the top table, use it as a backdrop for your cake. The list is endless.

Ceremony Statements

This year it’s all about the big floral statements for your ceremony. Think chic floral moon gates and floral arches as either the backdrops for your ceremony or if that won’t work, try them on your church entrance. Use oversized greens and draping to make a big statement on your entrances or use blossom trees to line your aisles.

 

 

 

Hanging Florals

This year, it’s time to look up and think about ways to use the vertical space above your wedding! Hanging florals make an absolutely stunning visual impact on your wedding venue and can completely transform the look of your space in an instant. From floral chandeliers, to hoops covered with flowers, to long box style installations, there’s so many ways to utilise the vertical space. Don’t forget to play around with colour and greenery and use additions like hanging tea lights for an added romantic dimension once the sun goes down.

Garlands

While they might be seen as the more traditional cousin of modern floral installations, don’t underestimate the impact of a classic garland. Whether you use them on fireplaces, as table runners, on walls to create a backdrop or lining a great staircase, these type of statement florals are the ideal match for weddings.

 

 

 

Interactive Wedding Food

Gone are the days when weddings were centred around a sit down meal. Of course, for many that is still a focal point of the evening celebration, however the way in which we present the food experience to our wedding guests has evolved.

Today, it’s all about interactive food and whether you decide to have that as the main meal or just incorporate it into your pre-meal canapes, your dessert table or late night snack, it’s a really on-trend way to get your guests involved in their food.
And they sky really is the limit when it comes to ideas. You could keep it simple and have one main element, such as a chocolate fountain, or go all out with donut decorating stations, sliders, dessert tables.

Here’s some ideas to get you thinking. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me directly if you wish to chat about any aspect of your wedding planning and décor.

Pre-Meal Ideas
These days many couples have trays of canapes for guests when they arrive at the reception. Weddings can be a long day, so it’s nice to be able to offer them a little something to keep them going. If you want to inject a little more fun into proceedings, then why not supplement the canapes with something like a chocolate fountain? Or instead of canapes why not have some small food stations set up, such as sushi, crepes, build your own crostini or some Italian inspired antipasti filled with meats and cheeses?

 

Dessert Tables
We all know the cake is still a showstopper and traditional part of the wedding and by having a dessert table it doesn’t have to diminish the importance of your cake, but let’s face it who doesn’t love sweet treats? So why not add pick ‘n’ mix station, donut, cookie or cupcake decorating stations? Plus if you have kids at the wedding they are going to just love this.

 

The Late Night Snack
After a couple of hours of bopping on the dancefloor, guests tummies can be rumbling, so instead of the old fashioned sandwiches and cocktail sausages, why not mix it up with some more interactive ideas? What about pizza stations where guests can choose slices, or slider stations where they can create their own mini burgers? Nachos and tacos are another super customisable treat.

 

Drinks Stations
Don’t forget the drinks too! Prosecco stations or cocktail making stations where guests can get creative with the help of a mixologist are a super idea. For the non alcoholic choices, you could have hot chocolate stations with a variety of toppings guests could add, as well as lemonade stations which could be adorned with fruit and umbrellas, again huge fun for the kids.

 

Images via Pinterest

What is a Wedding Rehearsal Dinner?

You may have heard the term wedding ‘rehearsal dinner,’ in lots of American movies when it comes to wedding ceremonies. But just what is a rehearsal meal and should you have one?

Well while these occasions are par for the course in the USA, there are not exactly a formality on this side of the pond. A rehearsal dinner is generally speaking, a meal held the night before the wedding where both sides of the families can meet each other ahead of the big day.

So while we don’t tend to have official rehearsal dinners here, many families do organise some kind of get together before the main event.

We’ve put together a list of everything you might want to consider about having an official rehearsal dinner vs a more relaxed event.

In the meantime, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me directly if you wish to chat about any aspect of your wedding planning and décor.

 

Formal Rehearsal Dinner

Movies would have us believe that a rehearsal dinner is a very formal sit down occasion held the night before the wedding. In reality, this is not always the case, but it does throw up some pros and cons.

Pros

Holding it the night before the wedding means that most family members who have travelled great distances will be in situ.

It gives the bridal party a chance to practise speeches and go through other formalities of the role.

You can assign seats and get different sides of the families sitting together so they can break the ice ahead of the big day.

Traditionally the groom’s parents arrange this event and it can be a nice way to let them feel more involved in the wedding.

 

Cons

Having it the night before can break the old tradition of the bride and groom not seeing each other.

The couple may not be staying in the same location the night before the wedding, so a meal this close to the big day becomes impractical.

If guests have travelled a great distance, they may be tired and not able to stay up for a sit down meal.

A more formal affair can add to your budget.

 

 

More Relaxed Get Together

On this side of the Atlantic, many families would arrange a get together where both sides of the families can meet in a more relaxed environment and it generally takes place in advance of the wedding.

 

Pros

There’s less pressure on everyone if you go for a more laid back feel to the event, such as drinks in your home or local pub or a meal in a restaurant.

You’ve more choice about the sort of event you choose, when it’s laid back – a daytime BBQ, a picnic, an evening in a local restaurant, drop in drinks in your home, etc.

It won’t take a huge chunk out of your budget.

Often the two families spend the night before the wedding in different locations, so having the event more in advance will mean everyone can comfortably get together.

 

Cons

If you’re arranging it in the weeks before the wedding, not all members of the family who may live abroad for example will be available to attend and as such it might negate the whole idea of the event.

You may be quite busy in the weeks leading up to the wedding and the idea of organising a get together like this could be too much to have on your plate.

Without a more formal sit down arrangement where you can control who sits where, people might mot mingle as well and stick to their own families, which again is the opposite of what you want to achieve.

 

Green and White Wedding Theme

Crisp whites and fresh greens is one of those universal themes that works for practically any type of wedding venue. It’s a tried and tested combination that can be interpreted in many ways to suit your particular style of wedding, be it elegant, rustic, vintage, modern or anything in between. You could want a tropical theme for example and have palms and grasses as your greenery or equally if you wanted an elegant feel, then you could have sophisticated topiaries. The only limit here is your imagination.

The beauty of this colour palette is the scope you have for creativity. You can go all out with elaborate hanging or tall green centrepieces, or keep it simple with low wooden boxes filled with greenery, or candles and greens interspersed around your tables. You can decide to splash out on real specimens, or you can source some artificial pieces too. Don’t be afraid to add some flecks of colour too, such as gold or other metallics which work really well with this theme too.

If you’d like to chat about this or any other aspect of your wedding day décor or planning, then don’t hesitate to contact me directly.

 

Ceremony Décor

Greenery makes the perfect addition to your ceremony décor and whether you’re saying ‘I do’ in a church or not, this colour palette will work really well.  Think intense greens and white candles in lanterns for pew ends. Why not bring the outside in and have leaf filled branches as tall pew ends? Why not spread soft white petals and green leaves along the aisles? And of course don’t forget the classic baby’s breath too.

 

Centrepieces

If you’re thinking of making a grand impression, then why not go for tall green centrepieces? Think about matching with crisp white table cloths and flecks of gold. But this colour palate works really well for a more rustic look too. Try low centrepieces such as rustic boxes or candles mixed with fresh greens.

 

 

Garlands

Garlands packed with greens and accents of white flowers, were made for each other and work so well for this colour palette. If you’ve decided on long tables for your venue, then garlands or greenery filled table runners will look stunning. Don’t forget to highlight other parts of your venue too, garlands looks fantastic around fireplaces, mirrors and of course staircases.

 

Creative Touches

Have fun with this look and think about using some greenery on your wedding cake. It looks particularly well with a naked or white cake draped with green leaves. Why not consider having some oversized white balloons with greenery on the tail? Turn chandeliers in the room into floral ones with the addition of white blooms and green leaves? Or if you’re a DIY lover then why not make some hula hoop wreaths? And for a really stunning addition try a floral wall!

 

Images via Pinterest 

Creative Wedding Reception Drinks Ideas

There’s plenty about weddings that are steeped in tradition and the idea of the champagne drinks reception on arrival is certainly one of them. But there’s no reason why you have to stick with the rulebook here. While it’s lovely to have drinks to welcome your guests, you don’t have to serve bubbles. Instead think of this as the perfect opportunity to set the tone for your wedding day to come, so why not have some fun and serve something more unique.

Think about having bespoke cocktails, retro lemonade stations, ice cold beer served in old fashioned tins and troughs or for the younger guest’s milk and cookies? The only limit is you imagination.

If you’d like to chat about this or any other aspect of your wedding day décor or planning, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me directly.

 

Colourful cocktails

Be it a cotton candy champagne cocktail, to the classic cosmo, or something bespoke served in mason style jars, think colour and fun when it comes to these drinks.  Use different glasses, glitter and colour to make things really stand out. And why not offer a special his and hers option with a bespoke cocktail from the bride and a special creation from the groom too!

 

Retro Lemonade

A great idea for summer weddings, why not offer your guests some refreshing lemonade flavours served from large, retro Kilner style containers? Think about traditional lemonade flavours, but also consider different options in keeping with the season, such as fresh berries, elderflower or even fresh cucumber? Offer boozy and non-boozy varieties to keep everyone happy.

 

 

Old Fashioned Refreshments Troughs

From troughs, to canoes, to wheelbarrows, to old tins and even baths, ice cold beers displayed in any of these retro inspired ways is a fantastically fun take on your drinks reception.  Of course you don’t have to just serve beer this way, you can offer a variety of drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic alike.

 

Hot Drinks

If you’re tying the knot in the winter months then think about something warming and welcoming like hot chocolate laced with bourbon. What about hot apple cider or fruit punch? Think about Irish coffees, lattes and lots of luscious toppings too and let guests help themselves.

 

For the kids

If you’ve got younger guests at your wedding reception, then don’t leave them out. Having something special just for them will really make them feel part of the day. Milk and cookie style drinks and canapes are ideal for children and they’ll just love the idea that they have special drinks just for them. Why not consider flavoured milks too and all sorts of different cookies.

 

Images via Pinterest 

 

How to Tackle the Wedding Plus One?

Weddings can often throw up a lot of potential landmines with regards to issues such as seating arrangements and who to invite. Often it can be focused on whether or not to invite small children and whether or not to extend your invitation to a plus one.

We all read the hot debate of the latter topic when Pippa Middleton tied the knot last month and allegedly had a ‘no ring no bring’ invite policy with regards to her guests. It’s something that you really do need to think about as you go through your guest list. Do you do ultimately do a ‘Pippa’ or do you welcome guest’s partners or dates no matter how long they’ve been together?

It can be a thorny issue and is dependent on so many factors. Here’s some things to consider when thinking about how you’ll approach the topic for your wedding day.

If you’d like to chat about this or any other aspect of your wedding day décor or planning, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

 

Budget & Venue

These two factors are key when it comes to how many guests and plus ones you can afford to have at your wedding day. You may be working with a strict budget, which means plus ones won’t be a given. Also you may have a small and intimate venue, which again will mean that you’ll have to scrutinise your plus ones.

 

No Ring No Invite?

This is a tricky issue, but it’s one you should decide on from the start. Do you automatically invite guest’s partners if they are in a long term relationship but not engaged or married? Or do you allow the guest to bring their boyfriend/girlfriend who they’ve only been seeing a short time. Or do you simply allow them to bring a date for the wedding? Decide on which works best for you and stick to it.

 

 

How Many Singletons?

If you’re likely to have a lot of singletons at the wedding, then extending plus ones may not be an issue as you can seat many of them together. However, if you only have a couple of single people attending, then you’ve got to take into account how much they will be able to enjoy your day if they are there effectively on their own.

 

Be Clear From the Start

If you don’t want to extend a plus one to a guest, then make this very clear by only putting their name on the invitation. Generally speaking people will immediately understand the situation when the see it’s only their name listed. If you do want to allow your guest to bring someone, then name them or put ‘plus guest’ but ensure you get their name for your seating plan.

 

Consider After the Meal

If you do feel under pressure to allow guests to bring more causal plus ones, then perhaps compromise and invite them to the ‘afters.’ This is when all of the formalities will be out of the way and all the guests will have their hair down so the fact that there will be a few partners whom you don’t know very well will be less of an issue.

 

Images via pinterest