Thinking about hiring a wedding planner to help with your big day? Other than the wedding day setup and coordination (which a day of coordinator can cover!), many of the wedding planning duties involve organizing big day logistics prior to the day.

wedding planner

Photographer: Lara Hotz

From finding your style to helping you secure the best vendors, here are five things that your wedding planner will totally take care of:

1. Helping you hone in on your style.

Not so sure what type of bride or groom you are? Worry not! A wedding planner will help steer you towards your very own big day style. Maybe you like Mason jars and glitter, but you’re not sure how they go together? Maybe you’re dying to get married in a ballroom, but you can’t imagine serving anything other than pizza? A pro planner knows how to help you build a cohesive vision that reflects who you are as a couple.

 

2. Working with you to set a budget. 

Building a budget can be a bummer… It’s hard work, after all! But an expert planner will be there to consult you on all the costs associated with your big day. They can advise on where it’s worth spending big and where you’ll probably want to cut costs (which will save you a lot of trouble in the long run). Some wedding experts might even offer a budget-friendly flat fee wedding planning service themselves.

 

3. Sourcing items for your big day. 

Think of your wedding planner as your ultimate personal shopper or the perfect personal wedding concierge. They’ll take your style and vision, and track down all the little pieces that’ll make it a reality. From helping you find your dream gown, to locating those sequins linens you’re just dying to put on the reception tables, to securing a custom cake topper, they’ll seriously hook you up.

 

4. Securing vendors and taking care of contracts.

So many options, and so little time! You’re wedding planner will connect you with vendors they’ve already vetted and help you build relationships with the ones your choose. Your planner can answer any contract questions before you sign, and will attend vendor meetings with you during the planning process.

 

5. Serving as your wedding guru before the big day. 

Your wedding planner knows a lot about the industry. From etiquette advice to answering those tough timeline questions, your planner will be your go-to. That’s why he or she is a wedding expert!

I have seen how hectic and overwhelming the getting ready process can be for brides. Establishing a beauty timeline is essential for creating a stress-free wedding day. Below are my top ten tips to keep things on track for your hair and makeup before you say “I do.”

 

Hair and makeup

Photography by: I Love Wednesday

 

1. To ensure that everything runs smoothly on your event date, be sure to schedule a consultation and trial session with your makeup artist and hair stylist 3-6 months prior to your event. You’ll feel relaxed and won’t be making decisions under pressure.

2. Day-of hair styling will take approximately 40-45 minutes per person, depending on the type of hair style. Makeup applications take approximately 30 minutes per person.

3. Once you’ve determined the time when you need to be ready, we suggest working backwards in 30-40 minute increments to determine an arrival time for your beauty team.For example, if you need to be ready by 3 PM and have six applications/styles total, the start time would be 11 AM for hair and 12 PM for makeup.

4. Contrary to what most people think, it’s actually best for the bride to have her hair and makeup done toward the beginning or middle of the timeline as opposed to the very end. In the (highly likely) event that things are running a tad behind schedule, you don’t want your stylists rushing on the bride.

5. If you are hoping for some getting ready photos, the planned time slot for the bride’s hair and makeup should coordinate with arrival time of your photographer. The day will continue to run smoothly and photos won’t be delayed.

6. Typically, we suggest having hair done first followed by makeup, but I wouldn’t let this stress you out too much! Truthfully, it really doesn’t matter which order you go in.

7. We always suggest having your bridesmaids or other family and friends arrive 5-10 minutes prior to their assigned time slot. This way, if things are running ahead, you can keep the ball rolling.

8. Arrive with dry hair. If possible, wash hair the day before (not the day of) as the oils will help your style hold better. Also, arrive with a clean face sans moisturizer. Your makeup artist will apply primer before your foundation.

9. Ask your beauty team in advance if touch-up time is included or if it can be added into your contract. If touch-ups are not offered or not within your budget, be sure to bring a few key items with you– blotting sheets, pressed powder, and a lip color.

10. If you have a large group and an early ceremony time, ask your beauty team if they can bring assistants with them to save on time. If this is not an option, be sure your guests take their assigned time slots seriously.

Choosing the right wedding florist can make all the difference at your event. Researching wedding vendors can feel totally overwhelming; there are so many options (and so many dollars!) involved, and in many cases, you’re shopping for something completely new to you. So here are 4 basic things you should know before booking your wedding florist.

wedding-florist-love-2-love-wedding-planner

Photographer: Michelle Fiona

1. Should I look for a florist that focuses specifically on weddings and events? 

A lot of retail florists just don’t have the ideas, vision, or time to create dynamic events (0r they just have no interest). Be wary of the retailer that does a lot of weddings; unless they have a business partner or an incredible staff, it’s hard to focus on both aspects of florals and do both well.

2. How many years of experience should a good wedding florist/floral event designer have?

Experience speaks for a lot..at the same time, someone who has been cranking out the same designs for 20 years may not be a fit for the unique style of wedding you want. The visionary up-and-comer may be more your design style, but they may not have the notches on their belt to be able to execute their designs in a professional and timely manner. Finding a balance is key.

3. Is a tablescape mockup included or do I have to pay extra?

Depending on your budget, most designers will include a mockup, but some will charge an additional fee. If you require a visual of the end product, make sure your designer includes this as part of their package. Some brides prefer to leave the design details to their vendor and won’t require a prototype.

4. Can I rent the vessels and candles from my florist or do I have to buy them?

Some floral designers have the inventory to provide these items for a rental fee, which will likely be cheaper than renting or buying them elsewhere.

Yes, photos are one of the few things from your wedding that you’ll actually have forever. So, on top of finding a wedding photographer you absolutely love, it’s definitely worth doing your part to make his or her job as easy as possible! While any pro will come with heaps of knowledge and experience, here are six things you can do to help things go smoothly.

Wedding Photographer

Photograpy by: Frank Farrugia

1. Plan your timeline with lighting in mind.

Any photographer will tell you that taking photos at noon is far from ideal. Direct lighting from the sun makes your images look overexposed and harsh. A photo session in the late morning or early evening produces much better lighting. Before nailing down times, ask your photographer what time of day is best for them.

2. Create a concise shot list.

While most photographers very much appreciate a list of your must-must-must have images, a never-ending spreadsheet is likely to be unrealistic and limiting. No need to tell them to get a photo of you walking down the aisle (they’ve got that covered…). Stick to listing specific groupings for portraits and small day of details that could easily be missed.

3. Wrangle everyone up for group shots.

Taking family photos can be lengthy and stressful, and it only gets more difficult if the whole gang is nowhere to be found. Don’t make it your photographer’s responsibility to track them down. Communicate the timeline to everyone well in advance, and on the big day, ask a member of your wedding party to be in charge of getting everyone in the right place at the right time.

4. Listen to posing suggestions—even if something feels awkward.

She wants you to stick your neck out or stand weirdly in front of your partner? You might feel silly, but go along with it. Photographers have a different view behind the lens, and they wouldn’t suggest something that looks odd.

5. Speak up.

Within reason, of course. While there’s no need to bark orders, photographers aren’t mind readers! If you spot a moment you want captured, let them know. If you’re worried your hair got messed up, say something before posing for hundreds of portraits.

6. Stick to the timeline.

It’s totally normal for weddings to get off schedule by a few minutes (it’s no big deal, promise!). But there are two big rules for timelines when it comes to photography: First, while it’s OK to push things back, don’t push them up (at least not without telling the photographer). Otherwise, you risk missing a photo op. And second, don’t change up the order of events without notice. If you switch the cake cutting and toasts, the photographer might be stationed by the dessert table instead of near the best man.

 

If you’ve done your research on whether you should hire a wedding videographer, you already know that the main pros of a having a wedding video are playing back your day in motion and being able to listen to the audio. While the reasons below might not pop into your head immediately, they are definitely great points to consider when making your decision. 

 

Wedding Videographer

Photographer by: Frank Farrugia

1. Your failing memory
Think about it: how much do you really remember from your years of college or uni?
As the years fly by, more memories are packed into our brains and some older ones
fade. Your wedding day is a major life event, so it’s going to have a solid place in
your mind, but the little details are another story. Only your wedding video will help
you recall what your best friend said during her toast that made the room erupt
with laughter.

2. Guests who couldn’t attend

If you have some key players who can’t attend, like an elderly grandmother or a brother who is fighting for our country, or your event is out of town, a wedding video with all of the action and excitement of the day is the perfect way to make your loved ones feel like they didn’t miss a thing.

3. Remember people as they were
We are always growing and changing. A snapshot can show you a split second of
what life was once like, but a video can take you back to that time. One day, that
handsome guy in the tux who is full of youthful energy is going to be someone’s
grandfather. Life is an hourglass, so capture every minute before it fades away!

4. Archive for the future
Fast forward to your 8-year anniversary. You are frantically trying to get ready to go
out before the babysitter arrives, when your little girl comes into your bedroom and
says, “Mommy, what was your wedding like?” Think of how much it will mean to
both of you when you can sit down and watch your wedding video together.

So you want to set the right tone for your big day with your wedding invitations, but you don’t have a big budget. Don’t sweat it! There are plenty of ways to get gorgeous invites without breaking the bank. Here are 10 ways to save big on your big day stationery.

 

wedding-invitations-love-2-love-wedding-planner

1. Make your own invitations. 

If you have a great printer at home, you’re halfway there! Browse wedding blogs or online stationery stores for gorgeous free invitation templates that can be personalized with your wedding details before you print. Feel like getting crafty? Order a rubber stamp customized with your invitation wording, pick up a few packs of pretty paper, and get to work.

2. Shop online and customize your stationery. 

Try Wedding Paper Divas, Etsy, Basic Invite, and Minted for stunning stationery at super-reasonable prices. Choose a template and add in your wedding details, or completely customize a suite to suit your personal style. You can even find designs from high-end luxury stationers at discounted prices by purchasing pre-printed invites online.

3. Use standard-sized envelopes. 

Believe it or not, a square wedding invitation is going to cost you! Oversized or non-standard envelopes have to be hand-stamped by the post office, so you’ll end up shelling out more for postage than you would for rectangular invites.

4. Choose a lower-cost printing technique. 

Engraving, foiling and letterpress are certainly stunning, but if you’re on a budget, look for digitally-printed invitations that are equally chic. Just make sure to talk to your stationer about printing options before settling on a final design, since certain aesthetics can only be achieved through specific print methods.

5. Keep it simple. 

All of those bells and whistles may seem inexpensive at first, but the extra details add up when you have 100+ guests to consider. Skip the bows, pocket folders, inner envelopes, and keep your invitation costs to a minimum. Trifold invitations with tear-off RSVP postcards are a particularly good way to streamline your invite and cut costs, especially if you have a lot of information to share with your guests.

6. Extra Invitation and Envelopes

Remember to order extra invitations and envelopes for last-minute additions to the guest list and inevitable printing and addressing accidents. A one-off print job is far more expensive per invitation than bulk printing, and you’ll likely have to pay extra to get the job done quickly.

7. Proofread. 

This may seem like a no-brainer, but couples who fail to proofread often find themselves paying massive reprinting fees to replace invites with misspelled venues or the incorrect year! Carefully review your invitation proof before approving, paying especially close attention to all names, dates, times, and addresses.

8. Address your own envelopes. 

It’s wonderful to receive a hand-calligraphed wedding invitation, but ultimately, hiring a calligrapher is an expense you can forgo. Guests will appreciate that you hand-wrote their addresses and you’ll save big bucks. If your handwriting just isn’t envelope-worthy, talk to your stationer about digital guest addressing.

9. Work your website. 

There are so many great free wedding website services out there, so take advantage and build one for your wedding! Include maps, hotel, and travel information, and even manage your RSVPs online. Then you can direct guests to your website and skip the inserts, RSVP cards, return envelopes, and postage that raise stationery prices.

10. Skip the fancy materials. 

You don’t need organic cotton, leather, or wood to send a memorable and stylish wedding invitation! Choose a design you love that represents your wedding style and can be printed on regular old paper and we promise — your invitations will still be gorgeous.

 

What do you get when you combine an overwhelmed bride, a bunch of her besties (hello, big personalities…), and the stress of wedding planning? The potential for conflict….To avoid a bummer backlash, be wary of the eight most common bridesmaids fights.

Here are 8 common Bridesmaids flights and How to Avoid Them

Bridesmaids

1. Dress Dilemmas.

Of course, everyone wants to look their best on the big day, but that likely means something different to all involved. If your crew isn’t feeling the color you chose, consider whether you’re willing to let your girls pick from a curated color palette instead. If someone feels like the fit of the dress just doesn’t flatter, try mixing up the hem or necklines to suit each bridesmaid. And if you’ve got your heart set on your original vision with very little wiggle room, simply take the time to explain to your posse how important that vision is to you and how much you appreciate their support.

2. Hair and Makeup.

Much like the dress, your ‘maids may not love your hair and makeup vision as much as you do. Again, compromise is key, if you’re willing to offer up a few more options. If you’re not so willing to budge on the beauty routine, communicate that kindly and clearly to your crew, and show your appreciation for their efforts.

3. Timeliness.

Got a friend who takes weeks to respond to time-sensitive emails or is always late to fittings and appointments? It’s best to talk it out early. Explain that you understand what a big commitment being a bridesmaid is, and that you asked her to take part because of how important she is to you. An open, honest conversation should be all it takes to get things back on track.

4. Expenses.

Between dresses, bachelorette parties, transportation, and gifts, wedding spending can quickly add up. If one of your gals is feeling the pinch more than others, be sure to open the lines of communication. Explain that it’s more important to have her presence than a present, and allow her to take part in the activities in the way that works best for her. Friends are more important than money, and losing one over cash flow is never worth it.

5. Plus Ones.

While even experts disagree on “plus one” etiquette, most will tell you that offering your bridesmaids the option to bring a date is always a nice gesture. Of course, husbands and wives should always receive an invitation, but consider asking your single girls if they’d like to invite a date along as well.

6. Jealousy.

Wedding season can be emotionally trying for some gals. Whether one of your ‘maids is going through a tough breakup or eagerly waiting for her partner to pop the question, try not to take her not-always-cheerful attitude personally. But, if things escalate to dramatic displays or excessive waterworks, have a heart to heart and offer your ‘maid the option to opt out. This may not be the right role for her right now…

7. Cat Fights.

Groups of friends who’ve known each other for many years usually have a whole lot of history that comes with them. Between passive-aggressive remarks, rivalries, and rocky relationships, a host of problems can arise. As the bride, choose to bow out as much as possible, giving the girls time to work it out on their own time.

8. Manual Labor.

Being a bridesmaid comes with a lot of responsibilities. Between addressing envelopes, DIYs, going to dress fittings, and planning events, it’s not uncommon for ‘maids to feel overwhelmed. If possible, try to limit the amount of work you dole out. Your crew should feel honored, but never taken advantage of. When the tasks become too numerous, ask a trusted friend or family member to assist and give your girls a break.

This may come as a surprise, but there’s NO rule saying your wedding has to include dinner and dancing. Busting a move might feed a little odd at a mid-morning brunch reception or if your celebration is super intimate, for example. Or, maybe you and your spouse-to-be just aren’t that into dancing. That’s totally OK!  There are plenty of other entertainment options to consider for your big day.

Before we get started, here are a few tips. First, pick activities based on you and your guests’ preferences and personalities and your wedding style. If you’ve got a fun-loving crowd that likes to be a little silly (and a group of actual kids to entertain), fun games and activities could be the perfect fit! More formal affairs call for a different kind of entertainment. And don’t forget that just because you don’t want dancing doesn’t mean you can skip music altogether. Can you imagine how awkward a silent reception hall would be? Just let your band or DJ know that you want more low-key tunes, and don’t set up a dance floor. Your guests will get the picture. Swap out the dance floor for one of these other fun forms of entertainment:

 

love-2-love-wedding-planner

Photo by: SugarLove Weddings

 

Set up a photo booth.

This is one trend we’ll never get sick of! Guests love taking pictures and having something to take home with them at the end of the night. Plus, while renting a photo booth is fun and easy, you can also get your DIY on and create your own with a real festive backdrop.

Hire an artist caricaturist.

Guests will be lining up to having their picture sketched by a professional. Ask the artist to add your monogram or another design from your big day design, and then the drawings can double as a favor, too! Um, hooray for crossing THAT off your to-do list. Have a lot of artsy friends? Let them step in and do the painting for a fun twist.

Play lawn games.

Let your inner child shine by setting up croquet, cornhole or a volleyball net at your wedding. Not having an outdoor affair? Classic board games are always a hit!

Pick a cool musical performance.

If you’re still feeling that itch for music, find a more low-key way to bring in the beat. But have fun with it! Find dueling pianos, a mariachi band, a barbershop quartet or reach out to your favorite singer-songwriter. Hey, it never hurts to ask!

Create an arcade.

If you’re going for that old-school vibe, rent classic table games, like ping pong, foosball, and billiards, and some games you’d find in a retro arcade (think pinball, Pac-Man, and Donkey Kong). You could create a little lounge to house the games if you’re hoping to keep all the beeping noises and cheering away from the dining area.

Let your food and drink double as entertainment.

Why not make dinner more fun by bringing in food trucks? Dessert can be made more memorable with a DIY station for sundaes (or waffles or s’mores or cheesecakes…the options are endless!). As for drinks, consider hiring a mixologist to concoct cool drinks or a sommelier to lead a wine tasting.

Give your party a theme.

Remember how fun those themed college parties were? You’d dress up with all your friends and party on. Get creative and come up with a motif that calls for unusual (in a good way) activities and costumes. Having a carnival-themed wedding? You’ll have no shortage of games and activities to choose from, and your decor will be extraordinary. Guests definitely won’t want to leave a casino-themed reception at the end of the night. Talk to your partner about what kinds of things you’re both into…and have fun with it!

While you do want to show your guests a good time, entertainment is NOT something to stress about! Count on good conversations (and maybe a few adult beverages) to create a fun atmosphere. No matter what, your nearest and dearest will have a great time celebrating your marriage with you.

 

It happens sometimes… a falling out with a friend or family member. But when things have gotten too hot to handle with someone you’ve invited to the wedding as a guest, is it ever okay to go back on an invitation? If you’ve sent the Save the Date, received the RVSP, and now you’re not sure you want the person at your big day, what’s a someone to do? We’ve got a few tips for navigating these tough questions when relationships change.

 

guest-love-2-love-wedding-planner

Photo by: I Love Wednesday

 

1. Think Long and Hard.

While your relationship with this person may have recently changed – and dramatically – there was something that made them very important to you only a short time ago. Are the events of recent days so traumatic that you would like to formally reject their presence at your wedding? Remember that your nuptials are a once-in-a-lifetime event, and if that person isn’t present on your big day, there isn’t a do-over. Be sure your decision is lasting and final before moving forward with a change of heart.

2. Consult with Your Trusted Few.

We all have a tendency to make impulsive decisions, and with the stress and anxiety of planning a wedding, it’s common for tensions to run high. Avoid gossiping about the person you are arguing with, but do take solace in the advice of close friends or family. Explain to them how the events have made you feel, and ask what they would do in your shoes. Weigh their opinions carefully, take time to think it over, and then proceed with caution.

3. Attempt to Talk It Out. 

If the person who has wronged you is a much loved friend or a family member, it’s almost always worth trying to salvage the relationship. Take some time to gather your thoughts, and once you are calm, approach them delicately and discuss how you are feeling. See if the two of you can come to some sort of resolution on your own before you decide to cut them out of the wedding.

4. Be True To Yourself.

In the event that you do decide to move forward with an “un-invitation” remember to have the poise and class that will make you proud of your behavior long into the future. Do not turn this into an opportunity to explain how the person has wronged you, simply state your decision and stick with it. And most importantly – this is not a time for email or text. If you’re brave enough to rescind on an invitation, you need to be brave enough to handle it face-to-face, or at the very least – over the phone.

 

Wait! Before you say yes to that beautiful dress, there are some super important factors you need to consider…

Here are few questions you’ve gotta ask prior to purchasing your big day gown.

wedding-dress

Photo by: I Love Wednesday

 

1. Will this dress be appropriate for the season?

Make sure to consider your wedding date when picking out the dress. You might fall absolutely in love with a dramatic brocade number, but if you’re getting married in the summer, will you wilt? (Probably.)

2. Is this dress practical?

Will you be able to move on your wedding day? Remember you’ll need to gracefully walk down the aisle in this gown! If you’re into dancing, you’ll also want to make sure it doesn’t limit your moves.

3. What additional accessories will I need to purchase to accent this dress?

For budget and planning purposes, it’s important to consider your accessories before you buy the dress. Does it need a lot? Or a little?

4. Are alterations included in the dress price? And if not, does the salon offer alterations or will you need a seamstress?

If the cost of alterations isn’t included in the gown price, you’ll need to make sure to factor the extra costs into your dress budget. You’ll also want to make sure you can find a reputable seamstress to make the alterations if your salon doesn’t offer the service at all.

5. How trustworthy is the bridal salon you intend to purchase from?

Before you make any purchases, read reviews of the salon online. You’ll want to make sure they don’t have a bad track record before putting any money down.

6. When will my dress arrive?

Make sure that your dress will arrive with plenty of time for alterations before your big day.

7. How many fittings will I need to get this dress perfect?

Are you planning to make any major changes to the dress? If so, make sure you determine how many fittings you’ll need to get it right so you can schedule accordingly.

8. Are their any upcoming promotions or sales that the salon is offering?

Ask your bridal salon if they have any upcoming trunk shows or clearance events, or if they know of any special promotions on the dress you’re looking at. If you have time to wait for a sale, you could save some serious cash.

9. What is the return policy on the dress?

Hopefully you won’t need to return the dress, but if something goes wrong or you change your mind, you’ll want to know what the return policy is!