Every bride thinks about the perfect dress, the centerpieces, pretty programs, and just the right flowers. The one item in all of the beautiful décor that is typically forgotten is actually one of the most seen…the chairs.
Chair covers can be expensive depending on the number of guests but there are tons of great ways to dress up all of your chairs at the reception, just a row or two at the reception, or even just the chairs meant for the bride and groom. From ribbons & bows to Mr. & Mrs. signs, the ideas are endless.
We’ve pinned several of our favorite ideas on our Pinterest. We’ve even included a few of them below. Surely you can find one that fits your style and you’ll get to listen to your guests rave about the décor with very little work on your part.
From The Knot
Via Wedding Gawker
Via Your Nest Design
Via Style Me Pretty
When planning a wedding, I always suggest that my clients make a list of things they must have, things they would like to have, and things they don’t want. I always insist that a wedding coordinator is on the must-have list! The first question I get when I tell them this is always the same, “what is the difference between a planner and a coordinator?”
In some instances they are the same. For example, if a client purchases a planning package with Any Way You Want It Weddings & Events, they automatically receive a coordination package. It is already built into every planning package. However, the role of the planner and the role of the coordinator are actually quite different.
A wedding coordinator is the person there the day of the wedding, and the rehearsal, to direct (coordinate) your wedding. They are there to do all of the hands-on work at the rehearsal, ceremony, and/or reception. The coordinator’s job is to make sure that everything you’ve planned goes smoothly. They will oversee every detail. Their duties will include, but are not limited to, vendor management and ensuring that contracts are being followed through (i.e. that all of your must see photos are being taken), keeping everyone on schedule, keeping the bridal party in all the right places, keeping the guests happy and making sure that you have everything you need.
A wedding planner is a little more self-explanatory. They plan weddings. They can be hired at any point in the planning process, but they are there from that point on. They will visit vendors with you, give you referrals, help you negotiate prices, help develop the theme and style of your wedding, help you stay within your budget, and be there to offer advice, tips, and answer questions. They are really there for everything.
I always use the same reference when explaining the difference between these two roles. The movie, “The Wedding Planner”. The movie starts with Jennifer Lopez, Mary, at a wedding. She has all of the proper “tools” and know-how to make the wedding run smoothly. She is there to solve and avert every problem. This is the role of the coordinator.
Throughout the rest of the movie she is helping Steve & Fran plan their wedding. From touring the venue to picking out flowers, she is there for everything. This is the role of the planner.
The biggest difference between the two is that a wedding planner is not a must. DIY brides are all the rage right now and I get that. I was a DIY bride. It’s the perfect way to put your own touch on your very special day. There are tons of planning books and resources that can help you plan for the big day, but when it comes to the day of your wedding you can’t expect to be able to do it all. You’re going to be a bit busy.
The next thing a lot of brides say is, “can’t my friend just coordinate the wedding for me?” They sure can, but is that really what you want them to do? However, unless your friend is a wedding coordinator they probably don’t know what all they need to stay on top of. They probably won’t talk with the vendors and make sure they are set up properly and sticking to their contracts, she won’t keep an eye on little things like spills or overflowing trash and making sure they’re taken care of right away. Most importantly, wouldn’t you rather that they were able to enjoy the day instead of running around and working hard all day? And trust me it is hard work.
If you’re still not sold, talk to a bride who didn’t think it was important to hire a coordinator. Any that I have spoken to have regretted it tremendously, me included. See our blog entry, “The Importance of a Wedding Planner,” for the whole story.
Trust me, you don’t want to be the bride running around making sure that the favors are set out just so and that all of the guests received the proper entrée. Even small things like finding toilet paper if the bathrooms run out take up time that you could be spending enjoying your wedding. You may say that you won’t worry about these little details, but when you think about how hard you’ve worked to make this day perfect do you really think you’ll just stop worrying about it on your wedding day if there’s no one there to take care of it all for you?
You want a perfect wedding, we all do, but perfection is hard work and hard work is the last thing a bride should be doing on her wedding day!!
So, my point, hire a coordinator…and a good one at that! I’d be even happier if there was a wedding planner to go along with that coordinator, but one is better than none!
Enjoy your Valentine’s Day and happy planning!!
Check back next week for the start of our décor series!
Lindsay & Hutch’s Wedding Part 2
Enjoy!! This couple was such a delight to work with and their wedding was absolutely gorgeous!
In our last blog, we talked about the importance of a wedding planner or at the very least a wedding coordinator. Today, I’m going to tell you a little bit about the value of a wedding planner.
I get emails everyday from brides that are planning their very special day. Many are only a few months away from their big day, some have even less time than that. Most of them start their emails with the package that they want and go into a lot of detail about the extravagant wedding they plan to have. The next line has been pretty standard recently and I think it really does reflect the state of our economy but also the fact that many brides don’t understand the value of a quality wedding planner and/or coordinator. That line is, “I don’t have a very big budget.”
While I don’t list my prices on my website, many potential clients assume that the prices will be too high. Some assume that because I don’t list them, they are too high.
While part of the problem is that brides don’t fully understand the value of a quality wedding planner and/or coordinator, there may also be a problem on the vendors end. Brides can’t make money come out of thin air and it is possible to get through your wedding day without a wedding planner or coordinator, but do you really want to just “get through” your wedding day?
When brides pay a photographer, they receive prints or a CD of their images. When they hire a caterer, they get to consume what is hopefully delicious food. However, when they hire a wedding planner and/or coordinator, they receive nothing tangible and therefore often the value is forgotten.
So what do you receive when you hire a wedding planner and/or coordinator? You receive everything that I didn’t on my big day. You’ll have the opportunity to sleep in or take in some time at the spa. You could enjoy mimosas and a long breakfast with your bridesmaids. You will get to arrive at your reception venue and know that everything is already done and exactly the way you planned. You can walk down the aisle without worrying about if the guests are having a good time, if there is plenty of food, if the DJ is playing the right music, etc. You can simply enjoy the moments of your special day.
Enjoy the little moments beforehand, enjoy the ceremony, your first dance, the cake cutting, and especially that very first kiss after you are announced as a married couple! How much is that worth to you? Do you think you could put a price on simply being able to enjoy every second of that very special day?
On the other hand, it really is impossible to pull money out of thin air. You have a budget for a reason and you can’t constantly spend more than planned. However, another misconception is that a wedding planner is an additional expense. It’s quite the contrary! A wedding planner should be included in the original budget. Their job is to save you money along the way. They will come up with creative ways to stretch your budget and achieve a beautiful wedding day for you.
Everyone can afford a wedding coordinator, especially at Any Way You Want It Weddings & Events. It’s all about finding a package at a price that suits your wedding and your budget. That is what we do. If we don’t have a package that already fits those needs, we will create one just for you.
A skilled wedding planner will be worth every single penny, but part of their job is to make their package fit not only your needs but also your budget. While this may mean that you can’t get the most expensive package or even all of the frills, you can afford a stress-free wedding day.
We work very hard to accommodate all of the desires of our clients, but many of them don’t completely understand the value of these services until their actual wedding day. I hear all of the time that if you choose a “cheap” wedding coordinator, then you are choosing an unskilled coordinator. While this may be true, it does not mean that the most expensive wedding coordinator or planner is the best. The best wedding coordinator/planner is the one that will work hard to provide you with the services you need at a price that you can afford.
Check back next week for How to Find the Perfect Wedding Planner
Lindsay & Hutch’s Wedding Part I
Lindsay & Hutch were married during a beautiful nuptial mass at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Gastonia, NC. The wedding guests were invited to take part in communion with this wonderful couple.
The reception that followed was absolutely breathtaking and The Vineyard was the perfect setting. It was made complete by a video toast sent by Hutch’s brother stationed in Afghanistan.
Any Way You Want It Weddings & Events was thrilled to provide our Deluxe Coordination Package for this beautiful couple.
WHEN: January 29, 2012 1p-4p
WHERE: The Vineyard - 160 W Franklin Blvd Gastonia, NC
We will be featured at The Vineyard’s bridal show this weekend!! This is our first show so we hope you will all come out and show us some love!
The show is sponsored by The Knot and is completely FREE!!!
We will be giving away $25, $50, $75, and even $100 gift certificates. One lucky bride will even win a FREE Ceremony Coordination Package!! We have more giveaways and freebies, but you’ll have to come by our booth to see what they are!
We hope to see you there!!!!
Growing up I was a typical girl. I loved Barbies, everything pink, and dreamed endlessly about my wedding day. If my Barbies had received a bill after their many weddings, it probably would have bankrupted the entire Matel company!
I think every little girl dreams of her big day, from the perfect white dress, all of the flowers, and of course their prince charming. While we all think of those wonderful little details and all the ways that we would put our own personal touch on our special day, we never think about all the work it takes to assemble this dream wedding. We certainly don’t think about who will put out all of the chairs and tables, who will assemble the centerpieces, who will make the food, who will serve it, who will make sure that the wedding party gets down the aisle in an orderly and beautiful manner, and so on. I’m guessing in your dream, the person achieving any of these tasks is not you.
Take a minute to think about it. What is it that you really want to do on the morning of your wedding? Would you like to sleep in? Enjoy a massage or a few hours at a spa? Mimosas with your bridesmaids? Maybe even a little extra time taking photos with your bridesmaids, or maybe even your parents?
I wish those are the things I had been doing on my wedding day! See I never dreamed about being a wedding planner. While I envisioned my perfect day over and over, I never even gave a second thought to who would orchestrate everything for me. I enjoyed the DIY aspects of my wedding and putting my personal touch on everything. While many vendors become frustrated with DIY brides because they think they’re only trying to save a buck, I get it. For me, it really was about wanting to have those special favors and programs that showed just who we were. I enjoyed all of the planning, the crafting, and my ‘type A’ personality came in handy with impressive organizational skills, but I was not prepared for the wedding day.
The night before my wedding, I was up until 2:00am preparing spaghetti and meatballs, baked ziti, and salad for almost 200 guests and packing the car with all my boxes of wedding decorations. By the time things were cleaned up and I could actually get in bed it was just about time to get up and head to the salon. By the time we finished at the salon, we had to rush over to the venue and start setting everything up, and I do mean everything!
Once we got there, it was one disaster after another. It started with tablecloths that had come in the wrong size. They barely covered the tables. At that point it was too late to do anything about it, since everything else had to be set up. I had to meet and greet all of my vendors and make sure they were setting up in the right place. Luckily I was blessed with wonderful bridesmaids and one terrific friend who were willing to help, but they should have been able to enjoy the day.
By the time the reception began, the groom’s cake had been devoured…before the groom even got to see it! The food was gone long before we could get a plate (we got the joy of enjoying McDonald’s after the reception for our wedding day meal).
After spending the entire day running, the wedding all seemed like a blur. I realized at this point that no one’s wedding should be this stressful. I felt it was my job to make sure that no one else had to spend their wedding day the way I had. I needed to be a wedding planner!
It seems like when you’re planning a wedding, everyone is always there to give you advice even when you don’t ask for it. One tidbit of advice they never give you is the importance of a wedding planner or at the very least a wedding coordinator. You will need help that day and even if you don’t think so now, what will you do when you realize it on your big day?
Don’t let your wedding day be a day that rushes by and be filled with responsibilities and stress. You can enjoy your day. You can soak up every minute and just enjoy being married. After all, that’s really what you’ve been planning for isn’t it?
Check back next week for The Importance of a Wedding Planner, Part II
How many of you have visited sites like “The Knot” or “Wedding Wire” looking for vendors? How many have typed “wedding vendors” into “Google”? I’m guessing most of you. I know I did all of these when I was planning my wedding.
Since I was the first of my friends to get married I had no one to turn to for great referrals and I had to find great vendors on my own. I can say that despite everything I know now that I did wrong in planning my wedding, I certainly did find some great vendors.
The first important tip I can give you about picking a planner is very simple. Just because a planner shows up as a top result on Google, The Knot, Wedding Wire, or any other big site does not mean they are the best! It just means that they are spending more on advertising.
The second tip is to ask any of your friends or relatives that have recently married or attended a wedding, probably within the last 5 years or so, if they know of any great planners. Listen to what they have to say. Word of mouth referral is the best tool at your disposal.
Once you have a couple of names, whether you’ve found them online or been referred to them, look at their website before you call or email them. Their website says a lot about them. They should have pictures of other events that they have done. What do you think of them? They should have testimonials somewhere on their website. What are past brides saying about them? This should give you a great feel for the quality of work that they will provide for your big day.
At this point, you should have narrowed down your choices at least a little bit. The next thing I would recommend is to Google the remaining planners. Are there any negative reviews? A great place to find reviews is actually on weddingwire.com. Unlike The Knot, it is free for vendors to advertise here so many vendors will probably have an ad and past clients can leave reviews directly on the vendors page. Wedding Wire will give you an overall score, out of 5 stars, for each vendor, allow you to read all of the reviews, good or bad, and see the score that each bride gave that vendor. If you take this route and a vendor has all good reviews, please know that vendors cannot remove a bad review. Only Wedding Wire can remove them and that is only done if it is proven that the review was not accurate.
By now you should have a very manageable list, or maybe you’ve even narrowed it down to only one or two planners. This is the time to contact them and the earlier in the wedding planning process the better. Even if you’re only planning to hire a coordinator, they give great advice and often will include vendor referrals in their coordinating package, at least we do.
I suggest emailing each planner, it saves you some time and it’s a simple way to provide the potential planners with the important information about your wedding. You’ll want to include in the email which package you are interested in. This information should be listed on their website. If not, try to be specific about what you are looking for in a planner or coordinator.
When you email, or call, them be prepared to provide them with the following:
Your fiancé’s name
Your contact information – phone, email, etc
Your wedding date, time, & location (if known)
The style & theme of your wedding
Some planners may have an information sheet for you to fill out and others may require a meeting with you, but this should provide them with most of the information they will need to get started. And again, don’t forget to tell them what package you are interested in.
Once your emails are sent, you’ll be well on your way to receiving quotes from these planners and/or coordinators. When you start receiving quotes, you will need to compare their prices, services, and even their personalities. Which one fits your budget? Which one offers you the most for the money? Which one can you picture yourself working with?
The most important piece of advice that I can give you is this, do not choose a planner or coordinator based solely on price. If there is a planner that you absolutely want to work with but their prices are too high, you may be able to remove a few services to bring the price down. At this point, be honest with the planner. If you really want to hire them but really can’t swing the price, talk to them. A good planner can probably help you remedy the problem.
So whether you decide to hire Any Way You Want It Weddings & Events or another planner, choose the one that feels like the right fit and will make your wedding day dreams come true!
Check back next week for Planners & Coordinators…What’s the Big Difference?
Check in with us on Monday for our new 2 part blog, The Importance of a Wedding Planner!
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