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!


Wedding Planning Cheat Sheet

It’s officially fall and many couples getting married in 2018 are just starting to plan their wedding. There are tons of “to-do” items and things to think about throughout this process: creative designs, fresh florals, functional rentals, the perfect venue… the whole thing can be more than a bit overwhelming. Here at Marisa Nicole Events, we understand the stress the accompanies planning a wedding. We suggest approaching the project that is your wedding in a strategic manner. Don’t try to attack everything at once (you’ll drive yourself crazy!). Some items you will want to wait on until you lock in other aspects of your wedding (for example, you don’t even want to start trying to figure out your rental needs until you’ve booked a caterer). For other items, if you try to nail them down too early, you’ll likely change your mind and end up wasting time working on the same project twice (your music play list and seating chart, just to name a few). To help our couples wrap their minds around what you need to approach and when, we created a wedding planning flow chart cheat sheet. We’ll be diving into details for each section next week, so be sure to check back in with us for more info! But for now…

Summer Weddings: How to Keep Your Guests Cool!

Hello lovelies!

June is here, which means the heat is here to stay! We in SoCal love a fully outdoor wedding and summer is the most popular time to host one, as you’re pretty much always guaranteed good weather. Despite the very low chance of rain and generally pleasant coastal climate, things can get pretty toasty, particularly in the heat of the day as guests are waiting for the ceremony to begin. We totally understand this, so today we’re sharing a few super slick tips & tricks to keep your guests cool, calm, and collected on your big day.

Photo Credits: Iris & Light Photography

Refreshing Drink Display

Is there anything better than stepping out of your car/Uber/taxi/limo to find some ice cold sassy water or lemonade waiting for you? We are loving the idea of having a killer refreshing drink display upon your guests’ arrival at your wedding. It’s a nice way to keep your guests occupied on the way to their seats while also keeping them happy.

Photo Credits: Iris & Light Photography

Photo Credits: Iris & Light Photography

Photo Credits: Iris & Light Photography

Photo Credits: Jessica Hickerson

Iced Spa Towels

We just love having iced towels on hand to offer guests when things get a little heated, just like at a bougie spa. Of course not everyone will want to wipe their face on a damp towel (unless your makeup primer works wonders, ladies), but for the guests who do, having chilled towels with eucalyptus oil and hints of cucumber or citrus to cool off will set your wedding apart from the rest.

Photo Credits: Pinterest

Photo Credits: Pinterest

Personalized Fans & Parasols

Fans and parasols have long been used in weddings, and can sometimes feel tired. We think if you customize one with an adorable phrase or wedding hashtag, guests will have a keepsake from your wedding and a quick way to bring down their body temperature. And just think of the cute Instas that can come from your guests waving your fans or parasols around!?!

Photo Credits: Next Exit Photography

Photo Credits: Lexia Frank Photography

Photo Credits: Megan Welker Photography

Citrus Galore!

Our pro tip for making things feel refreshing, even when it is hot as Hades outside, is to style your designs with lemons, limes and oranges. It is a super fun way to spice up your welcome and beverage tables and even showcase in your centerpieces! Incorporating citrus into your wedding is the perfect way to add color, while keeping things feeling light and fresh!

Photo Credits: Andrew James Abajian

Photo Credits: Jessica Hickerson

Sweet (and Cold) Treats!

Apart from decor and favor ideas there are many other cute ways to cool your guests down with food! Our favorite is to showcase you and your spouse’s signature frozen treats during your cocktail hours to keep your guests cool and full. You can rent a frozen margarita machine, serve homemade popsicles (full of fancy fruit), or keep it simple with some ice cream! There are tons of different sweet treats to serve at your wedding and that’s why we love this idea.

Photo Credits: Grandbaby Cakes

Photo Credits: Carlie Statsky

We hope you take some of our advice and have the coolest summer wedding around! Stay fab, beauties!