Archives for October 2017

Wedding Planning in a Nutshell Pt. 3: Final Logistics

Happy Tuesday, friends!

We are back today with the final installment of our wedding planning in a nutshell series. In week 1, we shared a visual via our wedding planning cheat sheet. In the second part of the series, we talked you through the first three levels of wedding planning priorities including hiring a fab planner, choosing your venue, designing your day and hiring some of the bigger vendors. Last week we talked you through the middle three levels of priorities in the wedding planning process including booking the majority of your vendors. Now that you have the majority of your wedding day team and design in place, it is time to focus on the minute logistics to make sure everything goes as planned. Here are the final three levels of priorities to focus on in the last few months leading up to your wedding!

Photo Credit: Ronca Productions

Tier 7 – Officiant, Valet, & Bar

Now that you have the majority of your high costing vendors in place, you need to determine who will officiate the ceremony! The choice of an officiant varies between couples. Some couples choose a family friend to do the deed, while others hire a professional. If hiring a professional, you’ll want to find someone you connect with and feel comfortable around. The next thing to consider for your event is whether you have any outstanding parking or valet needs. We tend to need valets most frequently at urban venues or private estate weddings in a neighborhood. Venues like these tend to have limited parking options and hiring a valet will prevent your guests from worrying about having to find a place to park when arriving at your event. It will be one less stress for your guests and you won’t have to worry about any of your guests getting a ticket on your special day. Now is also the time to determine the details of your bar. From a beer and wine only bar to a partial bar with a few specialty cocktails, or a full bar to a full bar with specialty cocktails, whatever you decide to offer your guests, we always suggest offering a hosted bar (switching over to cash, just isn’t the classy thing to do). A beer and wine bar is the most cost effective way to go, while a full bar with specialty cocktails is the most costly. Keep your budget in mind and make the decision that is best for you and your party. Once you decide which way to go, touch base with your caterer or bar company for the type of bar needed and the drink quantities based on your guest count. Pad that number a bit, and make sure that everything you need for your bar is either on the bar or catering order (we often get mixers, ice and water through the caterer).  Just remember that for many venues, if you don’t bring it to the party, it won’t be there if you need it. Oh, and don’t forget to ask for the beer, wine and bubbly to be chilled for delivery (trust me on this one).

Photo Credit: Booth Photographics

Photo Credit: Birds of a Feather

Tier 8 – Day of Flow, Aesthetics & DIY Projects

One of most difficult projects to attack for a wedding, is crafting together a solid day of flow that outlines everything that happens on your wedding day, by whom and when. By now, you should have pretty much all of your vendors booked and your design nailed down. With the major details in place, you can switch gears to figuring out how this whole day will play out by putting pen to paper and creating a detailed day of timeline. This will indicate both specific times (such as vendor arrivals and bridal party call times) and specific tasks (such as items to be set-up and announcements to be made), all the way until you and your partner are back in your room at the end of the night as an official married couple. At this point, it is time to really flush out the overall design with some personalized touches and DIY projects. This can be as party favors for your guests or minor details just to add a little fun to your event with your “couple signature.” Personal details are the best way to make your event unique and memorable for your guests. For you Pinterest lovers, this will be your favorite part of the planning process. Get creative and have fun with your projects!

Photo Credit: Iris & Light

Photo Credit: Dennis Kwan

Tier 9 – Final Logistics: Lists, Seating Assignments, & Layout

This tier will be the last of your pre-wedding “to-dos”, yet most important part of your day. You will need to compile lists, seating assignments, and venue layouts to keep everything organized and how you want it on the day. First you will work with your venue, caterer and planner to get a good looking venue layout in place for each section of your wedding. This layout will show where all rentals, tables, chairs and structures will be placed so that everyone knows where to put things on the big day. From there, you can turn your focus to the many lists needs for your wedding. You will want to give your photographer a list of family/friend formal or posed photos that are important to you (be specific, list names!). You will also need to create a music list of specific songs and genres you’ll want your entertainment company to play at specific times throughout the wedding. We have also found it helpful to have a “packing list” of all the items that you are providing for the party (not through a vendor). This will help keep you organized on the crazy days leading up to your wedding to ensure that everything you planned to bring to the wedding is actually packed up and present on the day. It will also help your execution team get everything back to you at the end of the celebration. It may go without saying, but you should have a compiled vendor list with email addresses, special notes and day of emergency contact info in addition to the other lists. Finally, you will need to create a thorough guest list with table and meal indication in two forms: alphabetically and by table. If you choose to assign your guests to specific seats, you will need a map indicating this as well. These final logistics are absolutely essential for the production of your big day. Your lists and layouts will serve as aids for everyone working at your wedding so the whole day runs smoothly.

Photo Credit: Amanda McKinnon

Well, that’s all folks! That is pretty much a breakdown of how to plan a wedding Marisa Nicole Events the Marisa Nicole Events way. We hope you found our wedding planning cheat sheet helpful. Don’t hesitate to use this blog series as your guide to plan your perfect wedding day!

Wedding Planning in a Nutshell Part 2: Major Details

Hello there, beauties!

We are cruising through our “Wedding Planning in a Nutshell” series. First we shared our chart to help visualize this whole wedding planning thing broken down. Last week, we talked you through the first three groups of  items to attack. Today, we’re back to continue with the next three tiers of our chart.

During the middle three segments of the wedding planning process, it is  time to narrow down your design details and think about how to save our wedding day memories. From rentals to florals and from makeup to transportation, this middle section is where you’ll nail down the majority of your wedding day vendors. So without further ado, here it goes:

Photo Credit: Iris & Light

Tier 4 – Rentals, Printed Items, & Videography

Once you have your venue and design plan in place, you’ll want to get the word out to your guests. Save-the-Date cards can be sent out anywhere from one year to six months prior to your wedding day. It is the first chance for your guests to get an impression of what your celebration will look like, so be sure to carefully choose or design this piece so that it is a true reflection of what your guests will experience at your wedding. Formal invitations are sent out later in the process, (according to wedding paper etiquette, eight weeks prior to the wedding). Here is more information on printed items in our blog series about the “who,” “what,” “when,” and “how” of wedding invitation etiquette. While you work on getting those save the dates into your guests hands, you can start to focus on event rentals! The ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception need the appropriate lighting, tables, chairs, linens, etc. to develop a foundation to your wedding design. Your caterer may also need a number of items included in your rental order in  order to make your wedding dinner happen. Sometimes we are able to get everything we need from one general rental company, while other times we may bring in up to four specialty rentals companies to bring our client’s dream to life. The final thing to prioritize in the fourth tier of wedding planning is videography. Many of our couples want real life footage of their happy day. Although not all couples choose to bring in a vendor for this. We at Marisa Nicole Events are big fans of wedding cinematography and think there is no way to relive a day that goes by far too quickly quite as well as a mini movie of your day (I watch mine every year on my anniversary… and cry).

Photo Credit: Booth Photographics

Photo Credit: Booth Photographics

Tier 5 – Transportation, Floral Design, & Entertainment

The fifth tier of our wedding planning “cake” includes any potential transportation needed for your bridal party, family and guest both to and from your wedding. Transporting all your guests can take up quite a chunk of change, so be sure to plan for this in your budget if your ceremony and reception are in two different locations, have a slew of out-of-town guests, or just want your guests to have a rad time without having to worry about transportation logistics. This is also when you want to start planning out your floral needs. Think through your ceremony, cocktail hour, reception start to finish, as well as who in your bridal party and family will need a floral adornment to get a full picture of what your floral order should include. Our rule of thumb is that every surface needs some kind of decor (no naked cocktail tables, please!), and every person you want to honor needs something on them that allows them to stand out from the other guests and look like they are a part of the group in posed group images. From there, it is time to start thinking through the soundtrack of your day! People generally choose to hire a DJ, full band, or some kind of hybrid of a DJ with moments of live entertainment (such as a string quartette during the ceremony, jazz band during cocktail hour, or dancing performers during dinner). The possibilities are endless. For those of you going the DJ route (which tends to be the most cost effective), here is another resource booking the DJ that is right for you.

Photo Credit: Chloe Moore Photography

Photo Credit: Birds of a Feather

Tier 6 – Hair & Makeup, Cake/Dessert, and Specialty Rentals

One of the most coinescental things that go along with weddings is the cake. Most of our couples do choose to have some kind of cake at their celebration. Whether that cake be something petite just for cutting or something large that will serve as the dessert for your whole guests count, you’ll want a delicious cake that matches the design of your wedding look & feel. Some of our couples choose to do sweets instead of or in addition to a traditional wedding cake. From donuts to fondue and from pies to ice-cream, the possibilities are endless. Click here for alternative dessert options for your wedding! Now it is time to find your hair and makeup artists. You’ll want to do a trial or two prior to booking the glam team for your wedding. Here are some of our tips on how to get your wedding hair and makeup right. Finally, if there are any additional touches you may want to add that your rental vendor(s) don’t have and/or you don’t want to DIY, specialty rentals are the way to go! We love bringing in lounge furniture, colored pieces of varying glass, marquee signs and more to add a little flavor to our designs and make our client’s weddings feel special and unique.

Photo Credit: Iris & Light

Photo Credit: Kim Fox Photography

We’re almost done with our chart! Next week, we will give you the last, but not least, details needed to perfect your big day. We’ll be talking about DIY aesthetics, and final lists needed to keep every event organized. If you’re a type A person like me, you won’t want to miss it!

Wedding Planning in a Nutshell Part 1: The Foundation of Your Big Day

Happy Wednesday, friends!

As we know, planning your wedding can be extremely stressful. In our last blog post, we shared a basic visual of how to plan your wedding the “MNE way.” Just as we promised, here is the breakdown of the first 3 tiers of our chart. The best way to work through this chart is by imagining a wedding cake with many tiers.

Tier 1 – Find Your Other Soul Mate: Hire a Wedding Planner!

The first tier in planning a wedding is one that may seem obvious, but actually isn’t to many couples. It is in your best interest to hire a fabulous wedding planner (one like yours truly) before you do anything else to not only help make your dreams come true, but also guide you throughout the wedding planning process in a strategic way. A wedding planner will know exactly how to tend to your wedding needs and be the partner in crime you need for your big day. Leave the stress with us, and we can deal with all the extra logistics on this chart so you can enjoy one of the best days of your life!

Photo Credit: Iris & Light

Tier 2 – Venues, Values & Saying Yes to the Dress

In the second tier, we move onto booking your venue, working through the administrative plan for your wedding, and finding your dress. After securing your wedding planner, it is time to get yourself centered. Sit down with your fiance and talk through the various items you could spend time and money on for your wedding and decide together what items are and are not important to you. These decisions will help determine your budget. With your values in hand, sketch out an initial estimated costs breakdown so that keep your budget in mind as you enter into wedding related contracts (check out this blog to help you work through the budget process). Once you have a working budget, it is time to book your venue. You can’t book anything else without having a date and location, so it is important that we attack finding your venue before doing anything else. The venue you choose is also the single most decision that will throw you into the path of staying in or exceeding your budget. This is why we suggest choosing a planner prior to starting the venue search process, so we can help pair you with venues that will not only allow you to get hitched in a setting that is a good fit for you, but also in a venue that sets you up for success financially. For a few venue ideas, check out our blog series on amazing spots in the greater Los Angeles area (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3). Once you have found the ideal spot to host your big day, the next step is to find that stunning dress that works in your setting and makes you feel like a million bucks.

Photo Credit: Sam Lim Studio

Photo Credit: Iris & Light

Tier 3 – Catering, Design Plan, & Photography

The next item to focus on is feeding your guests. It is good to figure this out early on in the wedding planning process, as it will take up a big chunk of your budget. From food trucks to a fancy full-service catering company, and everything in between, you’ll need to decide how you want to provide the food and drinks that will keep your party going. While you are working on finding your caterer, now is the time to start working through your design plan so you can go into booking your floral designer, printed items, rentals, lighting and more with an overall look & feel in mind. This is also a good time to research photographers. Be sure to check out their portfolios to discover which photography style that you like the best! For help in this area, check out this post on finding the photographer that is right for you.

Photo Credit: Becca Rillo

This was a glimpse of the top three layers of our wedding planning cake. We’ll be back next week to give you the nitty gritty on floral designs, hair and makeup, specialty rentals, and just a few more. Stay tuned!