Archive for the ‘Wedding Planning’ Category

How to Plan Your First-Ever Event

Sunday, April 23rd, 2017

Planning your first event is never easy but with preparation it can be one of the most exhilarating moments of your life. During preparation, it is important to never forget this event is for your guests. Every step of the way should have the guests in mind.

What are the key details you should keep in mind when planning your first event? 


Research, Research, Research

There is no test trial when planning your first event. To keep yourself organized from the beginning, manage your event through Eventbrite. In addition, it is important to research the latest trends before the event begins. Personalization is the hottest trend right now in any event. From handwritten name cards to individual parting gifts, this is the perfect way to make sure each person knows he or she is the most important attendee at the event. Natural decorations are key to creating an authentic environment for your guests. The use of seasonal plants, animal furs and bird feathers, including ostrich feathers, creates a warm and inviting ambience for the event.

Lean on Key Influencers in Your Network

It is important to think through key influencers who will be able to help you pull off the event. Months before the event begins, think through your network of friends and the gifts and talents of individuals in this network. Is your friend a calligrapher? Can a family member provide live music during the event? A friend or family member could provide the integral piece to taking the event to the next level.


There are so many components to an event, so it is vital to communicate to your team, attendees and vendors before, during and after the event. Create to-do lists for each team member so they know their specific roles going into the event. During the event, clearly label directions for attendees and have extra team members ready to answer any questions. After the event is complete, write thank you notes to the key team members and vendors who made it all possible.

Your first event will set the trajectory for your career as an event planner. Take in each moment of the event so you can remember it the rest of your life.

What if it Rains on Your Wedding Day?

Tuesday, April 18th, 2017

rain wedding day

Of all the variables that can go right or wrong on your wedding day, none are quite as far outside of your control as the weather. Weather forecasts being as unpredictable as they are, it’s hard enough to plan for an outdoor event a week in advance, let alone a year. However much you may not want gloomy weather to intrude on your bright and happy occasion, the possibility has to be considered. You can’t control Mother Nature, but you can control how you respond to her meteorological whims. In the season of “April showers,” let’s consider some options for those dreaded rainy-day weddings.

Have a Back-Up Plan

If your wedding and/or reception are outside, make sure you know venues contingency plan—and that it’s acceptable to you. Your venue should be able to move you to a sheltered location and still keep things elegant. If you know the back-up plan in advance, you won’t be surprised or unhappy. And you won’t have the stress of worrying about what will happen when. You don’t want your guests and wedding party to spend a day miserable and drenched!

Be Creative With Your Photos

Believe it or not, some of the best wedding photos are taken on rainy days. You just need to think ahead! Invest in a black-and-white umbrella as a great accessory for pictures on a potentially-rainy wedding day. Identify sites at your venue that will still work. (Gazebos and tasteful overhangs make for great backdrops.)  An experienced photographer will be able to improvise and make the best out of the last-minute change. Make sure your team has some ideas in place ahead of time, just in case!

“Rain, rain, go away!”

Stay positive. You may not be getting the precise event you’d hoped for, but you’re still getting married! There are lovely decorative touches that work indoors, and most of what you’d planned out of doors will still work. Table arrangements, centerpieces and draping might even hold up better when not subjected to outdoor weather. If allowed, consider some lovely candle arrangements, and see if you can hold some floor candelabras in reserve as a stylish note well-suited to either a wedding or reception site.

If the rain insists on sticking around, you have options, and with some planning and forethought, they can be great ones!

What to Look For in a Florist

Wednesday, March 15th, 2017


Whether it’s Valentine’s Day, a birthday or an anniversary, flowers are part of almost every celebration in the world. Any event is enhanced by beautiful floral arrangements. But with so many florists and floral shops out there, how do you know which one is best for you? Here are some tips to make sure you’re choosing the best florist for your event.

Set A Budget

Simply put, flowers can be expensive. The final dollar amount for your event will depend on how elaborate your arrangements are, what flowers you choose and where you live. Floral costs can range from a few hundred dollars to as high as several thousand. If you choose a rare or out-of-season flower, be prepared to pay!

The best first step you can take is to decide on your budget, and stick to it! Get firm estimates from the potential florists you interview. But don’t be afraid to have a back-up choice in case their final proposal is more than your budget.

Find Your Style

A florist’s work is by definition visual, so ask for samples and pictures of their work. You’ll be able to confirm your florist’s decorative style is right for you and that they have the skill level you need. If they don’t have pictures to share, that’s a red flag.

Of course, you need to know your style first! The florist’s look book can also help with this. Is your preferred style classic/formal? Minimalist? (If so, you could save some money!) Or do you prefer the charming chaos of “Anything goes!” so long as it’s pretty?

Wherever you land on style, commit, and be consistent! And don’t focus so much on the flowers you forget the flower holder. Choose vases and floral stands that won’t clash with your overall theme.

Do Your Homework

Learn how much the services of a good florist go for in your area. Look for bargains, but the cheapest service is not always the best. If the quote seems too good to be true, it probably is. Pay attention to local word of mouth as well. When someone is thrilled with the flowers at their event, they won’t hesitate to tell you about it!

Did you love the flowers at your event? What were they? Share in the comments below!


image credit: Bara Art

What Will Your Wedding Cake Look Like?

Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

WES Blog 01 2017 03 Wedding Cake

When you get right down to it, what’s a party without a cake? In many ways, your wedding cake is the centerpiece of your reception celebration. Since this tradition is so important, take some time to make sure you and your spouse-to-be agree on the details. Wondering what those details are? We’ve got you covered!

Choosing a Baker

Whether your reception venue already has a first-class baker or you bring in a shop or vendor from the outside, your selection of a “cake boss” is a big decision. As with any of the other important roles in your wedding, ask for referrals from friends, read online reviews and, of course, do a tasting! Sample a few of your favorite types of cakes to figure out what will work best. Be thorough, and don’t be afraid to interview multiple bakers. (Just don’t interview too close to any dress fittings!)

Size Matters!

Ideally, you want a cake large enough for all of your guests to be able to have a slice without leaving a whole lot left over. As a general rule of thumb, you can expect to feed, on average, about 25 guests for every tier of wedding cake. You may not have all of your RSVPs back when making your cake decisions, so just go with your best guess for a final number of attendees, and when in doubt, round up. Always better to have too much cake than too little.

The Presentation

Possibly the hardest decisions about the wedding cake are those related to the details of the style.  Should it be round or square? How should it be decorated? What sort of cake topper should you have? Let your imagination run free! There are other matters of presentation to be sorted out as well. You get to choose the style of the serving set and the cake stand. You can personalize as much as you want!

Your wedding day is one of those rare occasions where you get to have your cake and eat it too. Make the most of it!

Get Your Romance on with a Valentine’s Day Wedding

Tuesday, February 14th, 2017

Valentine's Day Wedding

Today is Valentine’s Day, and we’re feeling the love! If you’ve been inspired by the season to throw a romantic Valentine’s Day wedding, we say great choice! You’ve got a year to plan, and we’ve have some fun ways to incorporate the season of love into your big day.

Two Hearts Beating as One

A heart-shaped theme is wedding appropriate any time of year, but if you’re planning a Valentine’s Day wedding, the theme is doubly appropriate. Stylish hearts—especially in a gold, red or silver foil–are a beautiful addition to the top or side margin of your programs. You’ll easily find heart-themed cake toppers, place settings and favors.

Do keep it classy, and don’t go overboard, but February gives you a little leeway in the heart department. This is the time of year when a little bit of heart décor is seen less as an excess of schmaltz and more as a touching hallmark of the season.

Lad(ies) in Red

While you don’t have to choose pink, red or white, even if your wedding is on Valentine’s Day, you certainly can! Pink can be gorgeous when done right, but it’s not for everyone. If you tend toward the bold and dramatic, choose a deep red for the bridesmaid dresses and complement with white bouquets. With the contrasting colors, your wedding pictures will really pop!

Keep it Toasty

Love is in the air at weddings but especially around Valentine’s Day. In many areas, though, a chill is in the air as well! Add some warmth—literally and figuratively—to the occasion with cuddly red or pink blankets as favors. Need a great send-off? Heart-shaped sparklers are just the thing! (Don’t miss our safety tips here.) The tone to set is cozy, so choose a warm color for your linens. And make sure there are enough heaters—especially if your wedding is outside!

Did you have a Valentine’s Day wedding? We’d love to see the pics! Share on our Facebook page or in the comments below!

How to Find the Right Wedding Photographer For You

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

wedding photographer

Brides and grooms often have differing ideas about the wedding, but one thing both parties can agree on after-the-fact is the big day goes by fast. With so much happening in such a blur, you want to be able to capture as many precious moments as possible. That’s why it’s so important that wedding photographers really know their stuff! Here are some things you should consider when selecting the perfect wedding photographer.

Interviewing the Wedding Photographer

Choosing a wedding photographer can be done relatively early in your planning, so time is on your side. Do some internet research, ask for referrals from friends and schedule several interviews. This is service you don’t want to skimp on, so don’t make a rushed decision. Finding a photographer whose work you’re comfortable with, and who you both you and your future spouse agree on, is a must.

It Can’t Hurt to Have a Back-up Plan

Though not a replacement for a good photographer having a back-up plan is always a good idea. Even professional photographers can have accidents, and you don’t want to be left without wedding photos. A great solution is providing each table at the reception with a disposable wedding camera. Many tasteful designs are available, and your guests will have a great time snapping away. You’ll probably get a few silly photos, but you’ll also get some extra candid moments you might have missed.

The Complete Package

Your photographer should offer final products that are attractive to you. If you want a traditional, bound wedding album, make sure your photographer offers that at a reasonable price. Or, if you just want digital files to print or assemble in your own time, make sure that’s understood and agreed upon. You want a professional that will be in the right place at the right time to take great pictures, but if you can’t actually get those pictures in the way you want, you’re liable to come away disappointed.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. The best wedding photographers illustrate this in spades. Search carefully for the right photographer for you, book well in advance, and don’t settle!

Something Old, Something New…

Wednesday, January 4th, 2017

Something Borrowed, Something Blue

We’ve all heard the rhyme “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue,” that led to the custom of including items fitting those descriptions in your wedding ceremony. For brides who value this tradition and want to take part, here are some fun ways to incorporate these into your big day!

Meaningful Links to the Past

When searching for your something old, heirlooms are the obvious choice. Since the something old represents continuity, a tasteful piece of jewelry that belonged to your great-grandmother can be worn as a hair bauble, a handkerchief from a favorite aunt can be carried or sewn into your dress or, if appropriate, you could incorporate your mother’s veil or a piece of her dress into yours. If you have a connection with a male relative, ask for a watch that can serve as your bouquet wrap. Pictures count as old too! A new locket or charm bracelet incorporating pictures of special family members that have passed away can satisfy your something old and something new in one!

Symbols of New Beginnings

Your something new is all about looking to the future. Since you’ve probably purchased at least one piece of your wedding attire, finding your something new is likely the easiest piece of this fun rhyme to fulfill. Many brides choose to designate their wedding ring or dress as the something new. But if your wedding ring is an heirloom or your wearing your mother’s dress, you might have to keep thinking. If nothing pops out at you, a coin minted in the year of your marriage and tucked into your dress is an elegant solution. But look around a little, and you’ll find at this time of new beginnings you have many choices for your something new.

Honoring Who You Love

This piece of the rhyme refers to borrowing happiness, so it’s the perfect opportunity to honor the special people in your life. Borrow the first dance song of a couple you admire, carry a small bag filled with “borrowed” relationship advice from your friends or ask to borrow the something new your mother or grandmother used. Poems, quotes or song lyrics you read at the ceremony are also good candidates for something borrowed. Your something borrowed is a great chance to get creative!

Bolt From the Blue

Blue symbolizes loyalty, so your something blue is important. If you’re wearing a traditional white wedding dress, your “blue” item is likely to be understated. A blue garter is traditional but has been falling out of favor over the past decade. Blue flowers in your bouquet, the date of your wedding discreetly sewn in blue thread on your dress or a piece of blue topaz jewelry are low-key choices that won’t conflict with your overall theme. Of course, you can always abandon the notion that each item needs to travel down the aisle with you, and use your something blue at the reception. Place settings, decorations or even cutting of the cake can fulfill your something blue.

Although most brides forego the final line of the poem “and a silver sixpence in her shoe” you can certainly complete the tradition if you’d like! So whether you choose to incorporate all of the traditional “something” elements in your wedding or not, have fun and make some special memories.

3 Easy Ways to Make Your Winter Wedding Wonderful

Wednesday, December 7th, 2016

winter wedding
With so many weddings taking place in summer or fall, hosting winter nuptials is a great way to make your special day stand out. And honestly, why wouldn’t you want to get married in winter? Winter is bright, clean and—most of all—cozy. With all the feelings of closeness, from fireside snuggles to holiday-inspired fellowship, the love-filled ambiance is built right in. What better atmosphere could you choose for a wedding? With all that in mind, we have a few ideas to make your winter wedding an affair to remember.

Snowflakes – A One-of-a-Kind Decoration

snowflake-bookmarkBeautiful, symmetrical and universally beloved, snowflakes are the perfect accent for any winter party. Whether decorating the venue, filling out the centerpieces or making the wedding party gifts special, snowflakes are a classic theme that will help celebrate both your day and the season. Snowflakes are so versatile, they’ll look great as a beautiful cake topper, fun icing on cookies or even as an graceful take-home favor.



Colors of the Season

White. Blue. Silver. Stick with these sparkly influences, and you’ll infuse your event with an elegant flair dovetailing nicely with the seasonal surroundings. Even if there’s no white blanket of snow on your special day, the anticipation of a frosty wonderland will fill your guests with excitement. You may be tempted to incorporate red and green, but your wedding is your day. Christmas is well-represented in the decor department, so you’re under no obligation to include the holiday season in your wedding plans.

Drinks for the Occasion

winter weddingIn addition to traditional drinks, why not introduce hot chocolate and spiced ciders into the equation? Nothing is more welcoming on a cold winter day than a steaming mug of hot chocolate (with snowflake marshmallows, of course)! The mugs for the warm drinks can provide another fun canvas to display wedding flair, and one that offers greater possibilities than simple white print on crystal flutes. Just another way to put your own unique stamp on the day!

Winter weddings need very little help to achieve peak beauty and romance. Just pick your winter theme, and stick with it. And, if you get your fill of the season, you can always go somewhere warm for the honeymoon!



photo credit: Bigstock/maksheb

What’s the Best Wedding Schedule? What to Do When!

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016

wedding schedule

Managing and scheduling the moving parts of a wedding will be one of the more challenging aspects of your planning experience. But establishing a timeline for what needs to get done—and when—will let you focus on individual tasks rather than taking on the whole event at once. With that in mind, we’ve put together a quick overview to guide you through the major milestones in the year leading up to your happy day. So take it one step at a time, and use our guide to help map out your year.

wedding scheduleRight away: Decide on your budget. Knowing what you want to spend will help you make all the rest of your decisions. At the same time, start your guest list. You need to know the size of the wedding since the number of guests has a direct bearing on cost and choice of venue. It’s hard to talk dollars-and-cents until you nail down whose attendance is essential.

Month 1: Pick a date. Once you agree on the day, select—and book—your venue. If the reception will be held at a different location, book that as well. You don’t want to miss out on your dream spot because someone else has it booked.


Month 2: Send your “Save the Date” cards to your guests, and begin researching photographers and DJs. Schedule and hold interviews. This gives you plenty of time to find the right match!

Month 3: Book the photographer and the DJ. Start thinking about a theme, and what you want the wedding party to wear.

Month 4: Order the wedding cake. Book the suits for the groom and groomsmen. Make your reservations for the honeymoon!

wedding scheduleMonth 5: Get rental agreements sorted. Plan your honeymoon, and if you’ll need passports, get the process started. Figure out the accommodations for guests traveling from out of town. And this is the time to buy the wedding dress!

Month 6: Now is when the best man and the maid of honor will be planning the get-togethers they’ll need to throw, so get them your invite lists. Also, book the officiant, and order your wedding invitations.

Month 7: Decide on the details of the ceremony, and work on the programs. Meet with a florist to make arrangements.

Month 8: Groomsmen and bridesmaids should get fitted for their wedding attire. Check your state laws and make sure you apply for your marriage license within the proper window of time.

wedding scheduleMonth 9: Choose your wedding rings!

Month 10: Send your invitations, and buy your groomsman/bridesmaid gifts.

Month 11: Get ready to look your best! The bride should book the hairdresser and makeup artist.

Month 12: Provide your venue with the final guest count and seating plan. Settle any remaining payments due to vendors.

Your Big Day: The planning is over, time to party! Focus on your new spouse, and enjoy the love from your friends and family. You’ll be busy, so designate a friend to keep you supplied with food and drinks. It’s your day, have fun!

From Cute to Clever: Event Place Card Ideas You’ll Love

Wednesday, October 19th, 2016

event place card

You definitely don’t have to choose traditional escort or place cards when deciding how you want guests to find their seats. Place card holders come in all shapes and sizes to match every theme. And if you play your cards right (see what I did there?), your place card can even double as your favor! We want your event to be perfect, so this week we’re sharing a few awesome ideas for unique event place cards.

But first, let’s eat!

After a long day of preparation, followed by a ceremony, guests will be hungry! Passed hors d’oeuvres are great, but why not make your place cards edible? Add little name flags to a delicious treat, spell out the guests’ names in chocolate or dressing on plates or even provide monogrammed cookies. If you can cook it and put a name on it, you can use it as a place card!

event place cardGet creative

Origami is complex, beautiful, and everyone loves it! Get your arts and crafts on, and fold an origami display for each guest. With thousands of options for folding paper, choosing an origami place card that fits your theme or your guest’s personality will be no problem.

Love game night?

Of course you do! Honor your hobby by buying Scrabble tiles in bulk, and spell out guests’ names to identify their seat. Playing cards are fun, but dominoes, Monopoly and chess all translate easily into place cards as well. Extend the theme a little further by giving guests the chance to play Wedding Bingo throughout the reception!

Travelers unite!

If you’re heading off to the honeymoon of a lifetime (or even if you’re still just dreaming about it!), a custom luggage tag is your chance to take care of the place setting and favor in one.

More Cowbell?

There’s nothing a little cowbell can’t fix, so if you’re planning a rustic-themed event, they’ll fit right in! Sweet and sentimental, an engraved cowbell is a unique memento your guests will want to keep.

event place card

Celebrate the season

Combine red or orange fall leaves with white marker for the names for a beautiful celebration of the season. Or print place cards and tuck them into a pine cone! Paint the pine cone to match your event theme, and add a touch of nature to your event.


Why would you ever use ordinary place cards when you have so many options to choose from?