Thursday, July 31, 2014

My best friend Brittany Stallworth and her fiancé are one of the four semi-finalists of the "Sharing the Romance" giveaway sponsored by Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, Charleston Wedding Magazine, and FOX24-TV. 

Now this is the public's opportunity to select a winner of this wedding giveaway, valued at $50,000. Please help me and show your support and vote for Brittany and Sergio at Magnolia Plantation & GardensOnly one vote can be cast in a 24-hour period. The voting ends Aug. 15.


Sunday, July 13, 2014

"Musthave Creative" Photos

The photos of your wedding are the most precious items from your wedding day that will be cherished for years and years. It is very important not to skim on the photography and choose a photographer with expertise, eye for detail, and creativeness. I found some of the most unique poses and special moments captured on photo that I suggest brides recommend to their photographers. *Note: there is nothing wrong with presenting the photographer a list of special photos you would like taken. The photographer may already have those in mind and maybe not.

A shot of the bride and her maids pre-wedding ceremony celebration.

A picture of the bridesmaids assisting with the bride's dress.

I love this picture of the bride and maid/matron of honor holding hands and groom and best man bumping fists. 

The bride and groom holding pictures of their parents on their wedding day. 

So cute. The bouquets in the form of the couple's last name initial.

Very creative using a collage of other wedding pictures into one picture of the bride and groom.

Awww. The flower girl assisting with zipping the bride's dress. 

Pictures courtesy of Pinterest

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Guestbook Alternatives

While working with a client I was introduced to a very creative and non-traditional guestbook idea. And it made me do some extra research on other different guestbook ideas. Here is some of the images I found.

Shutterfly allows you to create a photo book. Then at the ceremony or reception, guest could pick  their favorite picture and sign on that page.

This is the easiest by far. Hobby Lobby sells the metal letters. Choose your last name initial and have guest sign it.

I looked at different websites and turning a photo into a puzzle piece can get very expensive, up to $300. I suggest taking multiple photos (depending on your guest list) and taking to CVS or Walgreens and have them turn into a puzzle. Much more affordable. 

This is a very personable guestbook. And I love it because when friends and family from both sides (bride and groom) input their fingerprint, they all become apart of one "family tree."

I love this idea. I don't know if I'm the only person when I say this but when I look back at my photo guest book, some names I look at and I'm like who is that. With this guest book idea, you would have a face to match the name.


Sunday, March 16, 2014

What Does a Wedding Planner Do?

I have come in contact with some people who don't understand what a wedding planner really does. I have heard one person ask with sincere honesty that with the money a planner charges, does the planner go out and buy the decoration and items for the wedding with that money. No. If that was the case then the planner would be working for free and would only be a personal shopper. That's just like hiring an interior designer and expecting them to buy the furnishings with the money you pay them. That logic doesn't make sense. When you go to a car repair shop, the shop charges a service fee or labor fee. Its the charge for the repairman to do the repair. Its the same with a wedding planner. The fee that a wedding planner charges is a service or labor fee. The bride pays for the wedding planner's expertise, ideas, time and energy.

Now what all a wedding planner's duties consist of differs from person to person. Some planners offer different packages which includes different things. For the most part, the job of a wedding planner is to guide the bride through all wedding decisions which includes:

  • wedding style consultation
  • provide a list of preferred vendors
  • assist on vendor visits
  • review all vendor contracts and confirmation with all vendors
  • professional management of wedding day itinerary, vendors, and wedding party
  • assist with reception set up along with vendors
  • assist with send-off which includes appointing responsibilities to have tux returned, bride's dress given to mom, etc.  
Some other duties may include personal shopping. Only in this case would the wedding planner actually go and buy decoration and items for wedding with money given to planner by the customer. This money is outside of the fee the planner charges for services. Also the planner can do the invitations, thank you cards, and help with registry. Usually these are additional charges. 

The planning can be done with most or all the bride's input. Or the bride can explain what type of wedding they want, trust that the planner can make their vision come to life and let the planner make all the decisions and the bride just shows up on the wedding day.  The planner can do as much or as little according to what the bride desires. Those decisions are agreed upon at the signing of the contract between the bride and planner.  

So with that being said, when setting a price for their services planners have to know their worth and every aspect that goes into planning; the time, effort, and gas driving around all over town. This is what brides need to consider when evaluating the fee wedding planners charge. 

Bottom line, the planner works for the bride. The bride is the employer and the planner is the employee. The planner charges per their expertise and experience. Being a wedding planner is a tedious tasks that requires the planner to be able to handle multiple personalities and ever-changing minds. My goal as a wedding planner is to help alleviate the stress that wedding planning may cause. I want to put the joy back into planning joyous occasions.

Matthew 11:28 "Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."

Friday, February 14, 2014

$1500 Wedding

I challenged myself to plan a elegant chic wedding with a budget of $1500. This does not include the rings or the honeymoon. The wedding is being planned with 100 guests in mind with actually 75 being in attendance. When you are reading this please proceed with an open mind and remember this couple only has $1500 to spend; therefore, some of the things will be unconventional. 

Here is the breakdown budget for each category: 

                              SUGGESTED %          BUDGET
Reception                     45%                        $675
Ceremony                     2.7%                     $40.50
Apparel bride                 8%.                        $120
Apparel groom.            .60%.                         $9
Photographer                 7%.                       $105
Videographer                 5%.                         $75
Flowers                          7%.                       $105
Music                          6.25%.                    $93.75
Stationery                      3%.                        $45
Accessories.                1.5%.                      $22.50
Gifts                             1.5%.                     $22.50
Transportation              2.5%.                     $37.50
Beauty                        .70%.                      $10.50
Other                            7%.                        $105
Overages                    2.25%.                    $33.75
TOTAL                        100%.                     $1500

For the bride I found a dress on clearance at David's Bridal for $99, shoes on clearance at Dillards, jewelry at ICING for BOGO, and veil on bringing my apparel bride's total to $147.39. Over budget. 

For the groom: Men's Warehouse has a special when 5 tux rentals are paid in full the groom's tux rental is free! My cost for grooms apparel is $0. Under budget. 

Beauty: The bride will get her makeup done by a professional at a makeup counter such as MAC for free. The mani/pedi and hair will be done by a student cosmetologist all for $51. Over budget. 

Photographer/Videography:  Once again we will take advantage of professional students. View some of the portfolios of photographer and videographer students. You will be very surprised by their work. They would be thrilled for the opportunity to add to their portfolio for free. You would maybe have to pay for the printing of the pictures and DVD of the wedding. Free. Under budget. 

Music: Create a playlist on your iPod or other device. Assign a responsible person to operate and switch to the songs picked out for each part of the reception. Free. And for the wedding ceremony, the church choir, soloist, or talented friend can sing at the ceremony. Free. Under budget. 

Stationary: DIY invitations and DIY programs purchased at Walmart for $70.19. Over budget. 

Accessories: This includes flower girl baskets, ring bearer pillow, aisle runner, cake knife set, and toasting flutes all for $49.03 from Walmart. Over budget. 

Gifts: The bride will give her attendants monogram luggage tags or keychains purchased at for $30. Most men don't care about little things like this so I suggest the groom pay the tab for the first round of drinks for his attendants. Over budget. 

Transportation: The couple will borrow a vintage or antique vehicle of a friend or family member. Usually people with vintage cars (just for personal use not intended for car shows) will lend out their car (driven by the owner) for free. Only $40 in gas would be required for transportation for the couple's send off. Over budget. 

Ceremony: Most preachers will wed couples of the congregation without a fee. Decor for the wedding will be rented (arch and unity candle stand). The candles and spheres for the unity set will be purchased at Dollar Tree which brings the total to $47.50. Over budget. 

Reception and flowers: The reception will be held at the church reception hall or other addition to the church for free. The linens and napkins will be rented for $150. The clear fancy plates, silver cutlery and clear fancy cups will all be purchased from Sam's for $81.39. The bride's cake and groom's cake will be purchased at Publix bakery both for $260. The food will be catered only with a carving station that will supply the meat for the reception for $265 which includes rolls, condiments, and attendant. Now for the sides the couple will enlist the best cook family members to make side dishes such as green beans, au gratin potatoes, and supply iced tea and water. Next is the table decor for the wedding. The centerpieces will be DIY with very low cost. The brides's bouquet and boutonnières will be live flowers purchased at the local grocery florist for $100. I choose baby breaths because they are the most least expensive flowers. All other flowers used for decor at the reception and ceremony will be artificial purchased in a bundle from Hobby Lobby during their 50% off sale for $50. Or individual small bundles from Dollar Tree. Total $906.39 

THIS BRINGS MY GRAND TOTAL TO $1480.25 with $19.75 LEFTOVER!!!!!!

*This is a hypothetical situation. Actual retail prices may vary. Pictures courtesy of David's Bridal,, Dillard's, ICING, Walmart, Pinterest, and Publix.