Et Lofte Events Blog
Most couples who hire a Wedding Planner
trust their chosen wedding guru to the fullest extent. After all, most couples have never planned a wedding before or their knowledge is limited to what they’ve seen in magazines or at their brother/sister/cousin/friend’s weddings. And so they hire Wedding Planners to guide them through the intricate process and to help them plan the wedding that they have envisioned or, in some cases, a wedding that exceeds what they had envisioned (in a good way of course).
However somecouples hire a Wedding Planner to advise them during the planning process but then are selective as to when they actually trust their chosen Planner’s judgement. Whether it’s regarding their wedding budget, the rules of etiquette, how to handle certain situations or even in terms of style, some couples would rather do things their way instead of listening and, more importantly, trusting the wedding professional’s advice. After all, it’s their day right? What they want is how things should be right?
Nope. If you’re not going to trust/listen to a wedding professional’s advice, what was the point of hiring them in the first place?
Here are the top three things that you may hear from your Wedding Planner for which you need to put the “It’s-My-Day/This-is-What-I-Want-And-You-Have-To-Make-It-Happen-Because-I’m-Paying-You-To-Make-It-Happen” mentality aside and for the love of Gawd, trust your Wedding Planner’s judgement (in addition to all of our other advice of course!)
YOUR BUDGET IS UNREALISTIC
Wedding Planners have worked on countless weddings of different sizes and budgets and so you have to trust that they have a pretty good idea of what things cost. Just by looking at a client’s wish list and their guest count, etc, they have a really good idea of what a 150-person wedding or a 50-person wedding will cost overall. Because they have likely worked on…oh…about a gazillion of them. If you present your total budget to your Planner and it’s completely unrealistic or not enough of a budget to have your dream wedding that you just described in detail, a good Wedding Planner will tell you this.
Rather than get your nose out of joint, insist that your parents say it’s a realistic budget (this isn’t the 1970s anymore people!) or refuse to make sacrifices or increase your budget; you need to trust your Wedding Planner when they say it’s not enough money. Your Wedding Planner is not telling you these things because it will benefit them nor will it affect what you are paying them for their service. They’re telling you that your budget is unrealistic because they want you to have that wedding you’ve always dreamed of and they don’t wantyou to go into debt in order to have it.
No Wedding Planner can force you to change your budget but if you don’t trust your Planner/refuse to increase your budget/refuse to sacrifice some of your grand vision to make ends meet (NOTE: if you don’t increase your budget you WILL have to sacrifice some things), then you can’t get upset with your Wedding Planner when you’ve gone so far over your original budget that you can’t remember what the initial budget was anymore.
THAT IS NOT SOMETHING YOU NEED/
YOU SHOULD CONSIDER SOMETHING ELSE
As mentioned above, if your Wedding Planner is telling you something it’s for your own good. If, in the interest of keeping you on budget, for example, they tell you that you don’t need that ice sculpture or those acrobats in your wedding, then you need to trust them. Sure, your Wedding Planner understands that perhaps you want to one-up your cousin’s wedding or that you want a “unique” wedding. But if there are more important things in your wedding that require your funds (especially if you’re on a tight budget!), you need to trust that your Wedding Planner knows what she/he is talking about. A good Wedding Planner will ensure that you’ve got all the necessities covered first and IF you have extra funds, she/he will implement those extras that you don’t need.
Also, if your heart is set on a particular trend that has been so many times that the only reaction it gets nowadays is an eye roll, you have to trust your Wedding Planner when she/he tells you that it’s overdone and allow her/him to find another “wow” factor for your wedding. They want you to have the best wedding ever and while you may think that following the latest trend is the way to have that, your Wedding Planner knows better and will ensure that you feel that same excitement but with something that hasn't been done a million times over.
THAT IS SOMETHING YOU ABSOLUTELY NEED/
Further to the above point, if your Wedding Planner is telling you that there is something you need or must do in order for your Wedding Day to run smoothly as planned or to have the look that you desire, LISTEN TO THEM. This is not your Wedding Planner’s first rodeo. They know from experience what you need in your wedding or what you must do. If they are telling you that you need that DJ over playing an IPod, they’re telling you this for a reason. If they are telling you that you must have a catering tent in addition to your reception tent, they’re telling you this because they know the proper regulations for tent weddings. If they are telling you that if you allow a handful of guests to bring children to your adult-only wedding then you have to let everyone bring their children, they’re telling you this because they know proper etiquette (not to mention have personally witnessed the fallout of ignoring said advice)! Whatever the item/etiquette/requirement is, refusing to accept what your Wedding Planner is telling you or worse, thinking that you know better than your Wedding Planner, is a sure-fire way to have challenges come up on your big day.
When you first met your Wedding Planner, something in your gut told you that this was the gal/guy who was going to give you the most romantic, most fun, most organized and brilliantly planned Wedding of your dreams and you hired them. Just like you trusted your instinct that day, you need to trust the professional you hired. Trust me (no pun intended), you'll be pleasantly surprised.
It's a scary thought but This Planner
's generation is the last generation to have grown up both without and with the internet. (sheesh, I just aged myself). We're the ones who played outside until the streetlights came on, our research was done in a library/through books, the phone and snail mail was our primary source of connecting (that and actually knocking on our friends' doors), Milestones and Weddings were celebrated together and photos were shared afterwards in-person
. But things have changed. For the Millennials and the generations to come it's all about online and connecting. Services and professionals are researched online. They get their ideas from places like Pinterest. They get their advice through forums and social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. They share celebrations online including platforms like Instagram.
And with this generation's dire need for constant connectivity comes a host of services that are targeted to weddings to supply this 'need'. This Planner has seen it all. Some services are pretty cool and some are...well...just plain ridiculous. The reality though, is that This Planner already has clients who have jumped at the opportunity to incorporate such services into their weddings. And the services often are not a "want" but a "need".
...'Cause you know. Being tagged in a gazillion Facebook photos or hashtagging your wedding isn't enough these days...the wedding has to be everywhere
...it has to trend
One pretty cool company that This Planner came across is Hashtag Events
. It's a social media based company founded by Frank Fusaro in Toronto. One service that this company offers are Selfie Print Stations. These stations are customized to the wedding theme and will allow guests to interact at the event and take home a branded keepsake. Think photobooth-concept-meets-the-selfie. Hashtag Events can also create a customized hashtag and their team will bring all social media posts like Instagram and Twitter right from the guests' fingertips to the large screen in real time
. That's a unique concept for the social-media-junkie-couple.
Live streaming is one of those upcoming trends that is actually quite useful when it comes to weddings -- especially for those couples who have many out-of-town friends and family who are unable to attend the festivities. Companies like Wedding Live
have developed services to bring the wedding to them. Wedding Live creates a customized wedding site upon which family and friends can watch the action. A live camera-man attends the wedding and captures every moment sending the action to the website in real time. Friends and Family can even chat and comment on what they're seeing through the Live Chat feature on the web site.
What makes the above services brilliant ways to tap into the social media mayhem is that they add to the guest experience. They utilize social media to entertain and connect which is one of the reasons that social media is so huge.
What do you prefer for weddings? Constant connectivity or old-school?
By now This Planner
is sure that you realize the value in having a wedding planner by your side while you embark on this wonderful journey of wedding planning. After all, your Wedding Planner can save you countless hours (not to mention stress) by way of keeping you on track both with budget and planning duties, recommending solid wedding professionals to create and execute your wedding day flawlessly and being that golden voice of reason and assurance.
But there are some big myths out there about what wedding planners do and how they operate. And sometimes these wrong impressions can affect your relationship with your wedding planner and the effectiveness of their work. So we thought we'd shed some light on these myths so that you can have the most effective partnership with your Wedding Planner. 1. BEING A WEDDING PLANNER IS ALL GLITTER AND SPARKLES.MYTH.
Now don't get me wrong! Wedding Planners DO enjoy their work (we wouldn't be doing this otherwise). However Wedding Planning is a very challenging career. It's not all about sampling cake, dreaming up glamorous concepts and smelling roses all day. It's a lot of scheduling, negotiating, managing expectations, number crunching, problem-solving, project management, endless research, resolving personality conflicts (a.k.a reducing drama), collaborating, meetings, more meetings, risk management, administrating, did we mention meetings?...and that's all for just ONE client. Now add on multiple couples -- each with their own wedding agenda that requires an equal amount of attention. And that's just leading up to the wedding day. On the wedding day itself, your Wedding Planner is the point of contact for all of your vendors, family, wedding party and guests, your personal wedding-day-tour-operator and the ultimate
problem solver, in addition to managing and directing your itinerary and ensuring that your day is as close to perfect as humanly possible.
Still think that being a Wedding Planner is glamorous?
Wedding Planners do
love what they do and equally love the clients with whom they work, but like any
profession there is a lot of sweat and tears that goes along with the glittery side. 2. A WEDDING PLANNER WILL BE AT YOUR BECK AND CALL.MYTH.
While it's hard to imagine with all the tender loving care that your Wedding Planner gives you, you are not
your Wedding Planner's only client. Wedding Planners have multiple wedding clients at any given time (some even have corporate or event planning clients as well) and every client is a priority
. While Wedding Planners are the royalty of multi-tasking (trust me, we are), to expect your Wedding Planner to drop everything to cater to your every wish or to respond to your email/text/phone call within minutes is very unreasonable. You also have to realize that Wedding Planners have lives outside of wedding planning too. They have significant others, children, hobbies and/or daily responsibilities that they have to tackle outside of their careers just as you do. Just as you don't work at your job 24 hours a day, the same can be said for Wedding Planners. A good Wedding Planner will do their absolute best to have an answer for you, tackle an issue (or at least provide an update), do a favor or respond to your inquiry within 24 hours. Think of it this way: imagine your busiest day at work -- managing multiple projects at one time -- and your Boss suddenly demands that you drop everything to make an appointment for him or her. Frustrating right? Ahhhh, now you get it. To have a good relationship with your Wedding Planner you need to cut them some slack and know that you are not merely being brushed aside. You are most definitely
a priority. You are just not a priority at that exact moment
. 3. A WEDDING PLANNER WILL ALWAYS GET YOU THE LOWEST PRICE FOR SERVICES.MYTH.
First off, I need to preface this with the note that as a couple, it is YOU who makes the final decision when it comes to selecting vendors. That having been said, you can't realistically aim for that $10K photographer and expect your Wedding Planner to wave a magic want and get that photographer for the $3K that you can afford. Now don't get me wrong, Wedding Planners can
save your money, however it may not be in the way that you expect. Your Wedding Planner cannot obtain discounts from every
vendor that you want to hire. In some cases they can and in other cases they can't. Some vendors, as much as they adore your Wedding Planner and want to work with her/him, just cannot afford to offer discounts on their services or match your budget. But they WILL go to the moon and back for you (which is a very important quality to consider). And while Wedding Planners can, in some cases, negotiate great rates from vendors, expecting your Wedding Planner to "nickel and dime" your vendors into doing a service for you for what YOU WANT to pay is NOT negotiating and is a sure fire way to expect the impossible.
In most cases, Wedding Planners will recommend professionals that will provide you with the same quality of service that you're looking for but that also fit your budget
, not exceed it. And that
, ladies and gentlemen, is how Wedding Planners really save you money. You're getting quality vendors for what you can realistically afford. 4. A WEDDING PLANNER WILL DO EVERYTHING FOR YOU.MYTH.
Wedding Planners are your advisors -- your Go-To for advice on all things weddings. They are also your creative input, your financial consultants (in terms of your wedding budget), and your product researcher among other roles. However, your Wedding Planner is not
your personal assistant. No, they will not assemble those three hundred pouches of confetti while you watch reruns of 'Friends
'. No, they will not cut out those die-cut banners you so desperately want while you look through Pinterest all day. No, they will not be your personal receptionist and handle your RSVPs for you. Will they help
you if you ask nicely and IF
they have the time? Maybe.
But to expect your Wedding Planner to do absolutely everything involved in planning your wedding is unrealistic. After all, this is your
wedding, not your Wedding Planner's and there are responsibilities on the To-Do list that you will have to tackle yourselves. Your Wedding Planner is there to guide you through the planning process so that you have a beautiful, memorable day, not to complete every task on your To-Do list for you. Remember everything that your Wedding Planner is doing for your wedding behind the scenes (see Myth #1). So it's important to expect that there will be certain tasks that you will have to do yourselves and your Wedding Planner will assist where they can
and within reason
to eleviate any stress.5. A WEDDING PLANNER IS EXPENSIVE, HAS EXPENSIVE TASTE AND WILL DRIVE YOUR BUDGET OUT OF WHACK. MYTH.
Here's the easiest way I can put this: take a look at what your photographer charges for their services. Their fee includes a set number of hours on the wedding day and post-wedding work. Now take a look at the fee of a Wedding Planner. Their fee includes an entire year
(or in some cases more) of work on your wedding, plus
the management of the wedding day itself. Still think Wedding Planners are expensive? Take a look at Myth #1 and now imagine yourself handling all those responsibilities on top of your full-time job, family responsibilities and, well, life. Now tell me that Wedding Planners are expensive. Hard to say now isn't it?
In regards to the myth that Wedding Planners have expensive taste and will drive your budget out of whack...one of the many responsibilities of a Wedding Planner is to help keep you on track in terms of your budget. That said, to recommend vendors, designs or ideas that are completely out of your budget range is obviously counter-productive. If you're dangerously teetering over-budget (trust me, your Wedding Planner will tell you when you are), chances are it's because of decisions that you
have made, not
your Wedding Planner. Remember that Wedding Planners can only guide you towards what you realistically afford and it's important that you trust your Wedding Planner's recommendations. But if your heart is set on a particular design, flower, concept, etc that will exceed your budget then of course they'll recommend the vendors that can pull it off -- with the disclaimer that you will go over your budget. In the end, it will be your decision. Remember that Wedding Planners have a good idea of what things cost and so if you're head strong on that particular element for your wedding that exceeds the budget, then you'll have to expect that you will pay for it.
And if your first reaction is that your Wedding Planner should be able to just negotiate a discount so that you can
afford it, refer to myth #3.
Just as Wedding Planners have to manage what they expect of their clients, wedding couples have to manage what they expect of their Wedding Planners. And when realistic expectations are met by all parties involved, what you have is a wonderful business relationship with a dash of friendship and a planning process that is enjoyable and stress-free.
This Planner loves Christmas. And when I say, love, I mean LOVE
. I'm the type of person who has the Christmas tree and decorations up as soon as Halloween is over. And while I'm always encouraging straying from the typical "winter wonderland", yada, yada, yada for Christmas weddings
or winter weddings
and opting for more unique themes and styling that steer clear of the usual... there's something to be said for that fuzzy, warm feeling of tradition.
What you don't experience with a lot of Winter Weddings is "gitchy" Christmas -- taking the most cheesy (yet fun!) aspects of Christmas...the "feel good", "when I think of Christmas..." aspects and incorporating them into the wedding. Oh you might see a small detail here and there. But rarely do you see an entire wedding outfitted with the best of the best of the Holiday spirit.Not sure how to pull off a "gitchy" Christmas wedding? Here are just a few ideas:
Have the Groom and Groomsmen dress up in ugly Christmas sweaters instead of the typical suits and ties. For the girls, have them dress up in red dresses adorned with white faux-fur stoles or muffs. Even your Flower Girl and Ring Bearer can get in on the fun whether dressing up in little red tutu-dresses and checkered sweater-vests or dressing up as little Santa's helpers.
Hang mistletoe over the entrance to the venue so that guests can share some holiday smooches (have a photographer handy to catch the action as the guests enter as a fun giveaway). Or have guests pose for a photo with Santa himself!
Forgo the typical, elegant ornaments in a vase or white branches with crystals as centerpieces and have small Christmas trees or Gingerbread houses instead.
Rather than a typical head table backdrop, line the wall with evergreens decorated for Christmas.
Hand out candy-cane reindeer as favors (you know the ones...try not smiling when you get one). Or hand out individually gift-wrapped fruitcake.
Rather than custom-made invitations, send out your wedding details a la cheesy, wintery-landscape Christmas cards (you know the ones..)
Serve up Christmas-y favourites like egg nogg in moose mugs (think National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
), turkey with all the trimmings, hot apple cider or hot chocolate, mince meat pies, etc.
Have carolers sing during the cocktail hour or heck, even during the ceremony! Or host a post-dinner caroling session around a bonfire outside.
Yes, when one thinks of Winter Weddings
or Christmas weddings
they tend to think of the romantic, elegant side of things. But at the same time, going the complete opposite and having a fun, quirky Christmas theme with all the trimmings can give that Christmas-morning feeling to the wedding. After all, Christmas is a time for family and friends...and you've already got that part covered. Now to add all the things that you personally love about Christmas and have a fun-filled wedding that will have your guests leaving chock-full of the Christmas spirit.
If you're new to this Blog then you're likely unfamiliar with This Planner
's dislike for following wedding trends. And if you follow this Blog (bless your lil' heart), then This Planner's dislike for following wedding trends comes as no surprise. While I try to avoid wedding trends where I can, sometimes clients are adamant about incorporating them into their wedding. And that's OK.
However, there are some wedding trends out there that have been done over and over again, making me want to tear my eyes out. And so, without further delay, here are the top six wedding trends that, in my opinion, have seriously met their expiration date:
We've all had to sit through at least one wedding slideshow in our lives...oh who am I kidding? You have likely had to endure a wedding slideshow at almost every wedding you've attended. Yes, we get it that you have been together for what feels like eons. Yes, you were adorable as children. Do all three hundred of your guests want to sit through ten minutes of you reminiscing about how your lives came together?
Nope. Remember that feeling of having to sit through Aunt Bessy's vacation photos? Yah, that's kind of how your guests feel.
If you absolutely must
share your life story, find a more creative way to do it other than making guests sit through 15 minutes of photos when all they really want to do is hit the dance floor...or the bar. Even a bulletin board collage that guests can view during the cocktail hour is less painful than making them sit through a slideshow.
Seriously? I mean...seriously? If you're going to charge your guests to drink alcohol at your wedding just because you decided to have a giant dinner party in a fancy venue, then please, charge your guests who come to your home for dinner too. If you're going to be an ass, at least be consistent.
'DANCING ON A CLOUD'
I try not to smirk when a DJ tries to sell my clients on the whole "dancing on a cloud" thing as though it's the most magical, most brilliant, new concept, when in actuality it's been around forever
and it's been done a hundred times over. Hey, I'm all for jazzing up the First Dance if that's what you want to do. And OK, the fog (let's just call it what it is shall we?) can look pretty in a photo. But really, fogging up the place is not the most original way to go. Not to mention a potential safety hazard depending on what's used to make the fog. In my personal opinion, it often looks like you're trying too hard to make an already beautiful moment, beautiful.
Opt for something different. Maybe a video montage of memorable moments playing in the background. Maybe a more unique song choice to dance to. At this point, anything
is more original than 'dancing on a cloud'.
Can we end this trend already? Ok fine, photo booths can be entertaining to a certain degree, but there are so many other options out there to entertain guests during the cocktail hour rather than have them pose for photos. While I am slightly (read: slightly
) relieved that "live photobooths" (a backdrop and a live photographer) have taken over from the literal "booths" that you have to cram yourself into, it's still a photo booth nonetheless. And it's so common place now that it almost seems as though photo booths are a prerequisite if you're hosting a wedding.
Why not take the $1000+ that you'll be spending on a box that takes photos and spend it on entertainment that will...well...actually be entertaining? There are countless options out there from musicians and entertainers to aerobatics and interactive food/beverage stations.
Oh, and the mustaches on a stick? Stop it. Just stop it.
BOUQUET TOSS & GARTER REMOVAL
Oh sure, being in a gaggle of women elbowing each other for an opportunity to catch a bouquet that will seemingly end your singledom was a ton of fun...when you were fifteen.
Let's face it ladies, the novelty of the traditional bouquet toss has lost its momentum and nowadays the DJ literally has to drag women onto the dance floor in order to get them to participate. If you're in your mid-twenties and up, this is likely a trend that can be tossed (literally).
One of my favourite alternatives to the bouquet toss is simply handing the bouquet to the couple that has been together the longest. They're not expecting it and it truly reflects what marriage is all about.
Then there's the garter removal...Is there anything sexier than the groom diving under the Bride's dress in front of her parents and grandparents to remove a piece of fabric from her leg with his teeth?
Yes. Yes there is.
I don't think there's one guest that can honestly say that this isn't at least slightly awkward. So unless you're a die-hard traditionalist, I don't think any of your guests will miss this little part of the itinerary.
BALLOONS AS PROPS IN PHOTOS
. Why not just stick a clown in there while you're at it? Balloons as props in photos has been done, done and done again and again and again. It's not at all an original concept anymore. It's time to deflate the trend ladies and gents! Move on to new and exciting props (if you must) or here's a novel idea: no props at all
! Aim for exciting and unique photo locations that draw out your joint interests or personalities.
Forgo the typical floral garden or urban downtown locations and choose an alternative, more personal or visually unique location that doesn't require inanimate objects. Sports lovers? Why not take photos of you and your wedding party out on a football field pretending to have a game of football? Animal lovers? Why not have your photos done at a petting zoo? Do some fun and quirky activities with your wedding party and capture those moments that truly reflect you as a couple and your circle of friends. Why? Because those are the photos that you'll want to print and hang on your wall. Having photos that look like a cross between a wedding and a child's First Birthday are easily forgettable.
Obviously wedding trends exist because a once-unique concept was a big hit at someone's wedding and now every Bride and Groom on the planet wants to have that same 'big hit' at their wedding. But if your guests have seen that 'big hit' over and over and over, it's lost it's momentum and it'll merely be a "oh that again" at your wedding. If there's a trend that you absolutely love, try to come up with a creative twist to it. The overall concept will still be there but it'll be fresh take on an old trend and a new experience for your guests.