Tips & Advice

Wedding & Event Planning Tips & Advice


Event Planning Resources

Why hire a wedding planner?
Social media, planning books, and friends can be great and helpful sources when planning a wedding, but a professional wedding planner should have experience and understanding of all the little details that can make or break your event. With our reputation on the line, we have a vested interest in creating a beautiful experience for you. There are so many decisions to make when planning a wedding, from vendors, venue, budget, and more, and a wedding planner helps you stay organized and gives much-needed advice. A wedding planner will work to make sure you stay on schedule with your timeline and within your budget.

The Difference Between a Planner and a Coordinator:
This is an important distinction to make…We actually would love the word “coordinator” to disappear, but to help clarify the difference…

A planner offers support with all facets of planning in the months (or years) leading up to your event. Things like assisting with deciding on your complete vision, finding and contacting vendors, reading contracts, sourcing rentals, floral consultations, invitation mock-up and ordering, and MANY other crucial points. They know everything related to your wishes and will be at your event making it happen with your assigned team!

A coordinator only steps in around 30 days prior to your event, handling the creation of the timeline, and getting your floor plan from you, as well as your vendor list. The coordinator is then at the event to execute the timeline. Depending on the company and/or package purchased…they may not even do any decorating or teardown. These individuals are pretty clueless to all of the finer details you have been working on previously unless you accurately convey them. No offense…this rarely happens and many times the coordinator is picking up the pieces at the last minute, trying to hold an event together.

If you can at all find it in your budget to have a planner, there is not only an elevated experience in store for you but much less chance of a disaster happening at your event. Pressuring yourself to divulge months’ worth of DIY planning to a person in just one meeting before your event, is a recipe for disaster! Also, a coordinator who just met you will not have the chance to get to know their client well enough to make decisions for them. A planner has spent months with you, getting to know your style and vision, and is much better equipped to handle the day of issues. In fact, in our experience…there are little to no issues at events that we have planned with a client, compared to just stepping in the last minute!

Tipping Etiquette for vendors
Though tipping is on a case-by-case basis and can depend on service charges and contractual agreements with vendors, knowing when and when not to tip is an important part of any event.

Planner/Coordinator: 10-20% up to $500.00

Hair & Makeup: 15-25% (watch your contracts, as many add in your gratuity ahead of time!)

Cake/Desserts: $25.00

Officiant: If they are affiliated with a church or similar institution, a donation is expected for the services provided. In general, $50-$100 is appropriate, depending on how much time they spend on your wedding.

DJ / Band: $25-$35 per musician and $50-$150 for DJs. Give your thanks at the end of the reception!

Photographer/Videographer: $50-$200 depending on the time they spent at your event. Feel free to give tips at the end of your event, along with a thank you note!

Wait staff, Bartenders, and Attendants: 10-20% of the final bill to be split among the group. For valet and coat attendants, plan for $1 per coat and car. Tips can be given at the end of your event when you close out your tab.

*** A general rule of thumb is to ensure you read your contracts thoroughly and understand all your monetary responsibilities.

Renting vs. Buying
For the DIY event, it may seem cheaper and tempting to buy all of your décor from Facebook or Amazon. The truth is, renting is by far cheaper because it costs a fraction of buying. Also, storing items before and after your event is a major hassle and one we hear after the fact all of the time. We get calls from DIY brides just looking to offload their stash to us all at one time, instead of online to people trying to pick apart the pieces they want for less than desirable prices.

Most in this situation find they can’t make the money back they spent, which means you are now losing money. Obviously, it is more of a headache to go this route to try and save yourself what may only equal pennies on the dollar.

Don’t stress yourself out making more work than is necessary!!!