Archives for May 2018

Identifying and Working Through Your Wedding Values: Part 2

Hi Love Birds,

Photo Credit: Booth Photographics

Last week we went through the first five topics regarding wedding values to discuss with your partners, and this week we have five more! We are getting into the nitty-gritty of wedding planning and therefore, the nitty gritty of your values! Let’s begin with ceremonial aspects and then get more specific. Remember to categorize each topic by need, want, and “really-don’t-care” so that you and your partner can get a good idea of what is most important to you both.

Photo Credit: Iris and Light

Ceremony & Traditions

An important element to discuss is your actual ceremony… you know, the part of the wedding that makes you legally married. Are there religious or cultural traditions that you (or your families) want to include? Is it important who marries you (i.e. – a priest, rabbi, friend, etc.)? Another part of this is the traditions or moments that take place outside of the ceremony. For example, if you grew up Jewish, you may want to include the breaking of the glass into your ceremony or if you are Chinese, you may want to kick off the festivities with a tea ceremony. From jumping the broom to henna tattoos and from the father-of-the-bride speech to cutting the cake, there are a thousand little traditions that you will want to think through and decide what elements to include in your day.

Photo Credit: Anya Kernes Photography


This is a perfect time to decide on how you want to remember your day. You can hire a photographer, a videographer, or both! Talk through how important each of them is for you, and what kind of style of photography/videography you would like.

Photo Credit: Birds of a Feather

Food and Drinks

Although every wedding has food and beverages included, where it lands in terms of importance for each couple can vary greatly based on budget. This area is like a can of worms, so make sure to go through the following questions carefully. What kind of bar do you want to have, full or partial? Do you want a full sit-down plated dinner or a more cost-effective buffet? Is there a specific type of food you want to serve and are there any allergy accommodations you want to make sure you are sensitive to? This also includes dessert and cake! Discuss whether you want to have a cake and/or some other kind of dessert.

Photo Credit: Amanda McKinnon

Beauty & Attire

Start this conversation by discussing the dress code for your wedding. What you envision yourself and your partner wearing goes into this (for example, you can’t have a black tie wedding if the groom is wearing a suit). Think through what you want your crew to wear on the big day. We suggest our brides get their hair and makeup done professionally. However, it is up to you whether you cover this fully, partially or not at all for your gals.

Photo Credit: Birds of a Feather

Printed Items

At this point, you should discuss printed items and how important they are to you. Do you want elaborately decorate invitations and save the dates? Or sweet day-of programs? Also, do you and your partner want to create an interactive guest website for the event? There are plenty of options to choose from.

Photo Credit: Andrew Abajian

While this all may feel a bit overwhelming, it is so important to talk to your partner about all ten of these topics and decide what you both value the most. This is really the kick start to the rest of your decisions about budget and timing. With your values in hand, you can sketch out an initial estimated cost breakdown to help you keep your budget in check as you enter into any wedding related contracts. Remember that all of this work will be worth it when your special day arrives!

Identifying and Working Through Your Wedding Values: Part 1

Hi Love Birds,

Photo Credit: Salt and Sky Studios

One of the first things we do with our clients is have them identify where their wedding values and priorities lie before we get started with the heavy duty planning. We know that there are some things you have dreamed about since you were young. Or maybe there are certain components of the wedding that you want to include because they are specific to your family traditions… but how exactly do you weed out the needs and the wants? That’s what we are here for! In part one of this blog series, we’re going to walk you through how we suggest you can figure out your wedding values. In part one we start with the five topics below that should be addressed first, and in part two (coming next week) we will continue with the 5 last topics. Talk through each section with your partner, deciding which items are needs, wants or “really-don’t-cares”. We suggest doing this in a low-stress manner, possibly over a bottle of wine, to help you both stay on the same page.

Photo Credit: Chloe Moore Photography


Start by conceptualizing your ideal budget. This is ideal, but depending on what you want to include and what items you do or do not consider “part of the budget”, this overall number may move up or down. If someone is helping you out financially with the costs of the wedding, be sure to get an idea of how much they are going to contribute. We know that money is a hard thing to talk about and this can be an awkward conversation, but it is better to get everyone on the same page regarding funds at the very beginning of the wedding planning process.

Photo Credit: Nick Radford


Venue is the biggest decision you’ll make in the whole wedding planning process. Be sure to discuss if you want a local celebration or a destination wedding. Go through what wedding venue elements and venue style you both want and how necessary they are.

Photo Credit: Kim Fox Photography

Guests List and Overall Experience

You both definitely want to create a general idea for the number of guests at your wedding and how important this is to you. The easiest way to cut down a wedding budget is to cut down your guest list. Do you want kids to come or do you need it to be adult only? Following this topic is what kind of experience you want your guests to have. We know you want everyone to have a good time, but how important is it to you that your guests feel like royalty throughout the weekend? Some couples are set on doing a wedding weekend full of activities. Some of our clients want to keep their flow super traditional while others want to go unconventional. Do you want to provide accommodations for the guests if they are all coming from out of town? Will there be transportation provided for everyone? How important is it that your guests receive have wedding favors or welcome bags? The list goes on and on, but we think you get the idea!

Photo Credit: Next Exit Photography


Now we can focus on what reception details you both prioritize. This is a great time to decide what kind of entertainment you want to have throughout the various sections of your wedding. Is it important for you to have live musicians or performers sprinkled throughout your wedding? Or maybe you are happy to go the DJ route and maybe bring in a live musician or performer for cocktail hour or the ceremony if the budget will allow.

Photo Credit: Birds of a Feather

Overall Style and Design Direction

Additionally, you should go over the overall style of the wedding that you both want, and some design details. These could include decisions on; glassware, china, flatware, tables, chairs, and linens. Or is the reception lighting important to you? Do you absolutely need hanging lights or could you budge with a different alternative? You also should consider what furniture you want to include and whether it is lounge style or vintage rentals. Make sure you discuss what you value in the wedding style. Are there any visual motifs you want to include in your wedding? Or maybe there is a specific flower or floral direction you just love. Go through and remember to create a list of need, want, and “really-don’t-care” for each aspect.

Photo Credit: Next Exit Photography

These can definitely be difficult decisions as you and your partner might have different visions. Just remember what matters most at the end of the day – that you two get to be together forever.

Marisa’s Wedding Planner Tell-All

Hi Love Birds,

As my time interning for Marisa comes to a close, I realize that I still have a lot of questions left unanswered! Do you ever wonder what it is like working as a Wedding Planner? I sure do, and there is no better person to ask than the boss lady herself! To learn a little more about what it’s like to be a wedding planner, I asked Marisa a couple of questions that I am most curious about from how she gets new inspiration to what skill is most surprising for a wedding planner. Marisa has a lot of insight and we are giving you a sneak peek of what goes through her mind when planning a wedding!

Photo Credit: Iris and Light

What do you love most about Wedding planning?

“I love working with the clients to create a vision for the day, draw it all out beforehand in the best ways possible, and then bring everything to life the day of the event. I love getting to enjoy the final product and one of the best parts of the whole process is being able to see the awe on the faces of the couple when it all comes together.”

Photo Credit: Amanda McKinnon

What is your favorite wedding moment?

“The moment when the bride walks down the aisle. At that point, we have been running around all day (setting up, styling, coordinating family, and everything you can think of), once the bride gets down the aisle, we can finally take a quick moment of relief. We have done our job, they are getting married and everything looks beautiful. Our team usually has a celebratory glass of champagne to toast the couple and our accomplishment while the ceremony is going on! That is probably my favorite moment of the day.”

Where do you go for new, fresh design inspiration?

“I’ve always found that collaborating with other really talented, innovative professionals has been the best way to create fresh designs. A lot of my new ideas birthed during this collaboration and paired with lots of internet research”

Photo Credit: Birds of a Feather

How do you stay organized?

“ Well, having a touch of OCD doesn’t hurt! The real key though is to write everything down and have a list for any and all things you can think of. There really should be a list for every single thing.”

What is the most surprising skill a Wedding planner needs to be successful

“Something that people don’t think about often is your communication skills. It is absolutely necessary to have strong interpersonal communication skills. This means communicating with both vendors and clients and keeping great relationships with them. This is done by communicating effectively so no one is in the dark about anything. You have to make sure that every person who is involved in the planning and event process feels heard, but you also can’t say yes to every request. So communicating effectively and balancing the relationships are both really key to being successful.”

Photo Credit: Next Exit Photography

What is your favorite wedding trend right now?

“I think my favorite trend is how weddings are ditching tradition! They are forming into events that are more like parties than formal, sit-down dinners. There are tons of new interactive activities for weddings that are becoming popular including having fun entertainment. Weddings are starting to have a lot more movement and feel less like everyone has to stay seated and watch the bride and groom.”

What is the most challenging part of being a Wedding Planner?

“The most challenging part is helping couples understand the balance between having their dream Pinterest wedding and having a wedding that they can afford. It is so much fun to play around with ideas online, but there has to be a little give and take in the relationship between one’s aesthetic ideals and what their wallet can manage.”

Photo Credit: Iris and Light

If you could change one thing about the Wedding planning process, what would it be?

“Something about the wedding industry is that it is mostly made up of many small businesses that each run their companies wildly different from each other. If I could change one thing, it would be to have one way that every company runs. It would be much easier to give an apples to apple comparison to the couples of what they are getting from each company if they all ran in the same way and had the same policies!”

How do you maintain strong relationships with different vendors?

“I definitely start with respect and some basic values like always treating someone the same way I would want to be treated. I strongly believe in friendly professionalism, because who wants to work with someone who isn’t like a friend! It also helps to have some kick-booty weddings and clients for the vendors to show off their work and include in their portfolios. We are all trying to help each other be successful!”

Photo Credit: Becca Rillo Photography

What advice would you give to an aspiring Wedding planner?

“Before all else, be prepared to work your butt off and go above and beyond of what you are asked. I would also say to make sure that you do your research because there is a lot to learn about the industry. Especially if you are creating a cultural wedding, you need to learn about the customs and traditions that you have to incorporate for your clients. Also always make a template for everything and save all of your work. This is great for going back and references what you have done in the past and how you can build off of it in the future. Communicate by email and track all conversations, orders, etc. And just remember, no one starts off knowing everything. It will always take trial and error to become a pro.”

Photo Credit: Iris and Light

Well, you all heard it here first from our amazing boss lady, Marisa! She knows the ins and the outs, and can definitely help you plan a killer wedding. Happy planning!