Crafting Your Day-of Timeline Part One of Three

Happy Wednesday, lovebirds!

Wedding season is finally here and, in a perfect world, every couple would have an amazing wedding planner in charge of putting together a solid, logistically sound day-of timeline. However, we get that this is not feasible for everyone. So, today, and in the coming weeks, we are going to talk you through how to create an efficient wedding day timeline for your celebration.

Day of Timeline Part 1 | Marisa Nicole Events

Photo Credit: Birds of a Feather

The most important thing to remember is that it is essential to formalize and write down every detail of what will happen on your wedding day. Do not leave anything up to chance! The who, what, when, and where of every action, whether it be a simple floral movement or a big delivery, must be accounted for. The first part of this three-part blog series is about gathering all the information. Once you and your fiancé have made all the necessary decisions, you’ll be ready to put pen to paper – which we will get to in Part Two and Three!

Day of Timeline Part 1 | Marisa Nicole Events

Photo Credit: Chloe Moore Photography

Questions to ask yourself about getting ready for your big day. (Remember, no detail is insignificant!)

  • Where do you want to get into your dress? This may seem like a quick, simple detail but it is an important decision that will affect other pieces of your day. If you are getting ready off-site and choose to get in your dress there, you will need to make appropriate transportation arrangements and consider how to keep your dress tidy in the car. If you are getting dressed at the venue, you will need to ensure you have the time and space secured. In either case, arrange to have your photographer present where you are getting ready.
  • Are you willing to do a First Look? Some couples prefer to wait to see each other until the bride walks down the aisle; however, this means all couples photography will have to be done after the ceremony during the first part of cocktail hour. If you are willing to do a First Look, however, you will be able to take photos before the ceremony begins and fully enjoy your guests for the entire cocktail hour! Either option works, but it is important to discuss what you and your fiancé prioritize.
  • Are you, your partner, or your bridal party changing clothes throughout the day? If so, take note of these costume changes and plan your timing accordingly.

Day of Timeline Part 1 | Marisa Nicole Events

Photo Credit: Holding & Co.

Information to gather from your venue and vendors.

  • What time are you allowed on the property and by what time will you be required to leave? Knowing the times you are working with will give you a specific information about when the day needs to start and when it must end. This will help in determining the “call time” for each vendor. It is very important to honor the agreed upon time you will be off the property. Not doing this may cost you a lot of money.
  • What time does your venue require sound to be turned off by? It might not be the most desirable task, but assigning someone to track this time and ensure it is met is very important. Delegating this will free you from worrying about the night wrapping up smoothly and on time.
  • What times do you have all your vendors contracted for? Take note of the amount of time you have agreed upon and the number of tasks you are expecting. For example, for hair and makeup: figure out how long you have each of your hairstylists and makeup artists for and how many looks you need completed. Time out each individual makeover in your schedule.
  • What type of dinner will you be doing? Establish how many courses you will include. Ask your caterer how long they will need to prepare, as well as realistically how long each course will take to serve, enjoy, and clear.
  • What types of photos are important to you? The main categories you need to be present for are getting ready, dress, bridal party, romantics, and family shots.

Day of Timeline Part 1 | Marisa Nicole Events

Photo Credit: Salt & Sky

Logistics to discuss about day-of transitions.

  • What is the approximate length of your ceremony? Do not just guess, and make sure you leave room for error. It is better to have a little extra time than have to cut another area of your wedding short.
  • Do items need to be moved from the ceremony site to the reception? Make sure someone is in charge of this and knows exactly when and where to move these items.
  • Do you want to do a grand entrance into the reception? Some couples like to be introduced as the new Mr. and Mrs., while others prefer a quiet entrance. Decide, as a couple, what is best for you.
  • What traditions would you like to include? Often, wedding traditions are integrated as part of the reception. These may include a father-daughter dance, first dance, garter toss, toasts, bouquet toss, and cake cutting. Decide which you want to include, how much time to allot for each, and build them into your day-of schedule.

Day of Timeline Part 1 | Marisa Nicole Events

Photo Credit: Hom Photography

The information you gather from these decisions will guide you in creating your day-of timeline. In two weeks, we will be back and ready to get started with organizing! Happy planning!

Small Touches That Increase Your Wedding Guest Experience

Hi there, Lovebirds!

Pretty much all of our couples place a high value on their guests’ experience at their wedding day. And we get it, you want to make sure your guests are having the time of their life at your wedding (#bestweddingever!). Over the years of designing and implementing legendary celebrations, we’ve discovered a few small things that make a big difference in your guests’ experience. From providing entertainment on wedding transportation to keeping everyone comfortable as the night progresses, today we are sharing with you some of our best tips to optimize your guests’ comfort!

Guest Comfort | Marisa Nicole Events

Photo Credit: Chloe Moore

1. Provide refreshments and entertainment on the way to the wedding.

What better way to kick off your big day festivities than by giving your guests a great experience from the very start?! By offering drinks and light bites on the ride to the ceremony, your friends and family will be well fed and comfortable. Also, if the venue is located a little further away, consider crafting a custom playlist or streaming a fun film! Does anyone remember the Friends episode where Monica and Chandler get married?

Guest Comfort | Marisa Nicole Events

Photo Credit: Leanne Marie Photography

2. Fill your amenities baskets with all the essentials.

Nothing kills the party mood more than a headache. Keep your guests looking and feeling their best until the last dance by creating bathroom baskets that anticipate all your guests’ needs. Amongst others, this may include Advil, mouthwash, breath mints, Band-Aids, tampons, safety pins, hairspray, hand lotion, and a lint roller. They will surely thank you later!

Increase Wedding Guest Comfort | Marisa Nicole Events

Photo Credit: Pinimg (Left) Birds of a Feather (Right)

3. Take weather conditions into account.

As spring and summer approach, it is important to prepare for warm outdoor weddings. Consider offering guests parasols, fans, or sunscreen as they enter the ceremony area. If pesky mosquitoes could bother your guests, keep bug repellent available. By preparing in advance, you will ensure comfortable, happy guests.

Increase Wedding Guest Comfort | Marisa Nicole Events

Photo Credit: Cute Wedding Ideas (Left) Dennis Kwan (Right)

Increase Wedding Guest Comfort | Marisa Nicole Events

Photo Credit: Let’s Frolic Together  (Left) JAC Photography (Right)

4. Pass the drinks!

Waiting in line for the first round of drinks slows down the start of your cocktail hour. Help guests avoid the long line at the bar by passing drinks! Particularly for larger weddings, we recommend having drinks poured and ready to be distributed immediately following the ceremony. This will not only impress your guests but will get the party started right away!

Guest Comfort | Marisa Nicole Events

Photo Credit: Holding & Co.

5. Have a stationary food and drink option at cocktail hour.

Following the ceremony, guests are often ready to munch. In addition to having servers passing trays of appetizers, a self-serve food station gives guests the option to simply grab a quick bite as they socialize. They can also help themselves to a beverage, as opposed to waiting in line at the bar.

Guest Comfort | Marisa Nicole Events

Photo Credit: Sally Pinera

Guest Comfort | Marisa Nicole Events

Photo Credit: Jessica Hickerson

6. Give your guests the tools to keep dancing all night!

You’ve heard the phrase “happy wife, happy life.” If we were to add one thing to that, it would be “happy feet!” Have a supply of flip flops handy for the ladies who may be regretting their shoe choice. Or, if grass is a concern for heels, provide heel savers. As the night cools down, offer pashminas or blankets. Keeping your guests comfortable and warm will encourage them to stay through the last dance!

Increase Wedding Guest Comfort | Marisa Nicole Events

Photo Credit: Birds of a Feather (Left) Birds of a Feather (Right)

Guest Comfort | Marisa Nicole Events

Photo Credit: Iris and Light

Optimizing your guests’ experience is all about thinking ahead. Be familiar with your venue and the expected weather. Anticipate potential concerns and address them in advance. By doing this, you will keep your guests happy and yourself worry-free on your big day!

Wedding Day Self Care: 10 Tips for Brides To Live Your Best Life on Your Wedding Day

Wedding season is almost upon us and there are many things to consider when preparing for the biggest celebration of your life. You’ve read all the tips on how to choose catering, colors, and guest favors. Since this day is your day, we want to make sure you also take care of yourself! Feeling great and looking your best will help you get the most out of your big day. Here are our top ten golden nuggets of advice for all you foxy brides out there on your wedding day!

1. Start hydrated and stay hydrated.

First things first: drink two large glasses of water when you wake up on the morning of your wedding day. By doing this, your skin will be glowing and you will feel refreshed. Throughout the entirety of the celebration, remember to consume extra water.

Wedding Day Bridal Tips | Marisa Nicole Events

Photo Credit: Birds of a Feather

2. Abandon your phone and watch.

Ditch your phone and watch for the day! Don’t be concerned about what is being posted to social media or who may be texting you. Designate a trusted bridesmaid or friend to manage your essential communications. Trust your wedding planner to coordinate timing appropriately and keep the day flowing. It is important to be entirely in the moment and enjoy your wedding day.

Wedding Day Bridal Tips | Marisa Nicole Events

Photo Credit: Jillian Rose Photography

3.  Surround yourself with people who make you truly happy.

Getting ready for your wedding should be relaxing and pleasant. Prioritize your experience and keep your immediate company to those who will add positively to your day. For example, if you have a bridesmaid you felt obligated to include in your wedding party, discretely organize hair and makeup sessions to give yourself some distance from that person. If your beloved mom can also be a bit overwhelming, ask your best friend to be on “mom duty” for the day. By making these arrangements in advance, you will minimize conflicts on the wedding day.

Wedding Day Bridal Tips | Marisa Nicole Events

Photo Credit: Salt and Sky Studios

4. Look like you.

Hair and makeup is a fun way to enhance your natural beauty for your special occasion. Do what makes you feel your absolute best. Don’t be convinced by others to get carried away with a crazy hairstyle or heavy makeup that doesn’t make you feel like yourself. To get an idea of how a certain look feels on you, do a trial run of planned hair and makeup to find the style you love before a date night or your Bachelorette party!

Wedding Day Bridal Tips | Marisa Nicole Events

Photo Credit: Salt and Sky Studios

5. Monitor your alcohol consumption.

Feel free to enjoy a bit of bubbly with your bridesmaids while getting ready. However, don’t forget to balance your alcohol consumption with water, food, and time before the ceremony. We encourage you to have a good time, but not to go overboard.

Wedding Day Bridal Tips | Marisa Nicole Events

Photo Credit: Chloe Moore Photography

6. Eat!

Brides often get wedding day butterflies that give them a weird gut feeling, reducing their normal appetite. However, it is essential to make yourself eat something before the celebration begins. Dinner will be a long time away, and standing for extended periods of time in a long dress is not easy. You don’t want to feel poorly or, worst of all, faint. Before hopping into your gorgeous gown, munch on a little something — you’ll thank yourself later!

Wedding Day Bridal Tips | Marisa Nicole Events

Photo Credit: Kim Fox Photography

7. Pack extra shoes.

There is nothing worse than being miserable by the time cocktail hour rolls around because your feet are killing you. We encourage brides to change their shoes often. Wear your cute heels for the ceremony and photos, but beyond that we urge you to wear heels only when you absolutely must. Bring a comfortable pair of flip flops or slippers to get ready in, a pair of flats for after the ceremony, and your most comfortable shoes to dance the night away. Being comfortable will allow you to have a good time!

Wedding Day Bridal Tips | Marisa Nicole Events

Photo Credit: Holding & Co.

8. Stick with your partner.

We always encourage you to enjoy the company of your best girlfriends, but your wedding day is all about celebrating you and your partner. Make a conscious effort to spend the day side by side. Make memories together, enjoying the start of your new chapter!

Wedding Day Bridal Tips | Marisa Nicole Events

Photo Credit: Kim Fox Photography

9. Get out on the dance floor!

If you want the dance floor at your wedding to be fun, lead by example. No one else will start dancing if the couple isn’t, so make sure the DJ starts the night with some of your favorites and get out there! This is a time to let loose and enjoy the festivities, so soak it all in and let yourself have a good time.

Wedding Day Bridal Tips | Marisa Nicole Events

Photo Credit: Hom Photography

10. Plan your exit ahead of time.

There comes a point in the night where there are few enough guests remaining that you will have to say goodbye to each and every person, leaving yourselves the last people left at your own wedding. Do not wait until this moment to leave! Avoid this uncomfortable scenario by planning a sendoff in advance. Or, if you prefer, do an Irish farewell, quietly exiting and letting the party continue. Either way, plan it!

Wedding Day Bridal Tips | Marisa Nicole Events

Photo Credit: Nick Radford

From properly fueling yourself for the day to prioritizing your own comfort to making arrangements that will help the day flow smoothly, these tips will help you, as a bride, enjoy your wedding day to the fullest!

Wedding Venue 101: Things to Consider When Finding the Perfect Spot to Tie the Knot

Happy Wedding Wednesday, Lovebirds!

Wedding planning season is underway and we know that many newly-engaged couples are in search of the perfect location to tie the knot. Finding the right wedding venue may seem like a daunting task, but we are here to help! Whether you want an enchanting evening spent outdoors, a modern urban space, or the feel of a traditional chapel ceremony, the perfect venue for you is out there. So, without further ado, we’d like to share with you our most important considerations for selecting your venue.

Wedding Venue 101 | Marisa Nicole Events

Photo Credit: Hom Photography 

Venue: Catalina View Gardens 

Staying in Budget

First things first: the financial component. When looking at a venue, assessing the overall budget for your wedding is where you should start. If the comprehensive cost of the location fee, reception expenses, food and beverage costs, and functional rental fees is only 40-50% of your overall budget, you can afford that venue. If it at all exceeds 50% of your budget, that venue is too expensive.

Wedding Venue 101 | Marisa Nicole Events

Photo Credit: Jessica Hickerson 

Venue: Private Estate

Keep Future Costs in Mind

A venue you love may seem like an area you are willing to spend beyond your price range, but we discourage you from doing so. Choosing a venue that is too expensive will prevent you from being able to splurge on any other areas of your wedding. Since the detail costs are not as flexible as venue costs, you will be forced to cut back in pretty much every other area if you are to stay in budget. Small touches are what make big differences in personalizing and polishing your big day!

Wedding Venue 101 | Marisa Nicole Events

Photo Credit: Ronca Productions

Venue: Verandas Beach House 

Identify Venue Values

Just as important as understanding your budget is identifying what we call “venue values.” Your venue values are the most important things you are looking for in a site. These values will contribute to the overall vibe of your big day. Do you value natural beauty? Is having rolling vineyards setting the stage for your reception important to you and your partner? How about a mountain or ocean scene? Or maybe you envision a chic ballroom setting? Establishing this before searching for a venue will accelerate the process of finding your ideal space.

Wedding Venue 101 | Marisa Nicole Events

Photo Credit: Chloe Moore 

Venue: Rancho Las Lomas 

Prioritize Venue Features

Next, narrow down locations based on the venue features that are essential to you. These are the make-or-break amenities the final spot must include. Consider if having on-site bathrooms, as opposed to bringing in portable restrooms, is important to you. Assess the height of ceilings, pillars, and chandeliers in a potential ballroom. See if adequate power is accessible on site. Ask if rentals are included with the venue. If overnight guest accomodations is a must, ensure that this will be an option at the location you are considering.

Wedding Venue 101 | Marisa Nicole Events

Photo Credit: Salt + Sky Studios 

Venue: Topa Mountain Winery 

Go on a Venue Hunt

Finally, you must go out and find that perfect venue. Our #1 piece of advice is: only look at places that are viable options, meeting both your budget and venue values. When you have found a venue you are seriously considering, go visit! Take as many pictures as needed, visualize how your wedding would play out at this location, and ask all the questions. These might include whether you will be required to work with in-house vendors and if the venue has time, alcohol, or sound restrictions you should be aware of.

Wedding Venue 101 | Marisa Nicole Events

Photo Credit: Birds of a Feather 

Venue: Avalon Hotel Palm Springs 

Follow your Gut Feeling

Choose the venue that gives you what clients have called “that warm, fuzzy feeling.” Pick the place that feels right and at home. This comfortable, gut feeling will confirm you have found the one!

Wedding Venue 101 | Marisa Nicole Events

Photo Credit: Iris & Light 

Venue: Pine Rose Cabins 

Planning your wedding is an exciting time. It marks the beginning of a new chapter with your partner and the countdown to your big day! Feeling stressed about finding the right venue should not take away from this excitement. We hope that these tips will ease your venue hunt!

Wedding Venue 101 | Marisa Nicole Events

Photo Credit: Andrew Abajian 

Venue: La Venta Inn