Do You Need a Wedding Planner? Would You Remodel Your Home Without a General Contractor?

I don’t get it. Why would you take on a project that can cost you anywhere from $10,000 to, well, as high as you want to go without having a professional by your side?

Here is the thing, would you take on a major home remodeling project without hiring a general contractor? Of course not. I know, you are asking how are those even remotely the same. Let me ask you,

“How are they different?”

  • Both have budgets in at least the 5 figure range. That is a LOT of money.
  • In both instances you want a high degree of personalization. In short, you want YOUR dream to be executed.
  • Both will require a long list of sub-contractors that you have most likely never dealt with before.
  • Both require tight scheduling to make sure everything comes together on time and on budget.
  • Both are going to have glitches and unexpected issues pop up that someone is going to have to deal with.
  • The results of both are going to be with you for a long, long time.

Am I beginning to make some sense here?

All those things listed above are what a wedding planner does.

  • They know which vendors are reliable and match your style.
  • They help you translate your dreams to the people who are going to make them come true.
  • They know all about how your venue works in terms of timing and convenience for load in.
  • It is their job to keep that timeline on track so, for example, the flowers show up after the tables are set up, dinner is served hot and the MC know when to do the first dance.
  • It is their job to keep all those sub-contractors working together on the right plan.
  • They are there to look you right in the eye and say “Yes you can have that, but you are going to have to give up XYZ”
  • They are there to handle those last-minute glitches and issues in a way that you don’t even know they happened.

There is a wealth of information online today on how to plan a wedding, but until you actually do it, you have no idea of everything involved.
Seriously, when you look at it in this light, why would you even think of not hiring a wedding planner for one of the days you are going to remember for the rest of your life.

Sure, I could watch HGTV, DIY Network, House Crashers and This Old House until my eyes bleed but one episode of Holmes on Homes or DIY Disaster will cure my ass of thinking I can remodel my kitchen on my own!

 

*To my wedding planner friends, please feel free to copy this to your own blog. All I need is that you leave the following attribution:

By: Christine Boulton

Wedding Dish

Think Like A Bride

 

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Picture This Nashville

You have got to see this!

If you have ever considered a photo booth but you thought they were to big, bulky and ugly, then you haven’t seen this.

Picture this Nashville is the photobooth with out the booth. Instead the system uses 21″ touch screen iMac computers specially created for Picture This.

I could tell you about this until I am blue in the face, but until you play with one you just won’t get it. I had so much fun at last Sunday’s bridal show, I kept grabbing friends and dragging them to the booth.

To find out more, vist their website. Go to their Facebook page to see a whole bunch of fun images from the booth (including yours truly) AND find out where they will be so you can see this set up for yourself.

You can try it out at the Put a Ring On It Bridal Show on Sept.25th

What Brides Need to Know

This is an article I published today on my website for wedding professionals, Think Like A Bride. I wanted brides to see it too. You as brides have the power and right to have the wedding you want. I encourage you to weigh in by leaving a comment. Tell the wedding industry what you think. I’ll make sure they hear it!

Who Is Your Customer?

I got to thinking about this today as I was following a fairly heated conversation on a couple of wedding blogs.

By and large, the customer base of wedding blogs and the wedding print media is wedding vendors, not the bride & groom.

Now think about that for a minute. Any information based business is going to advocate for their customer base. They are going to speak in such a way and feed their readers information that is going to enhance the position of their customers. Again, please remember, their customer is the wedding vendor.

What does this mean for the bride and our industry?

It means that today’s bride is being fed a steady diet that is not always in her best interest. She is being told what to do and what is hot based on what the wedding industrial complex wants to sell. Just take a look at the dramatic rise in staged photo shoots on wedding blogs. Yes, they are gorgeous, I won’t argue that. The problem is they aren’t reality, although they are often presented as such. Most are unreachable by the average bride. I hate to tell you, but not every couple is hipster or shabby chic. don’t even get me started on the wedding gowns shown in the major magazines editorial. I have ranted on that until I am blue in the face.

It is no wonder that today’s bride is turning to alternatives to wedding professionals. As heavily exposed as brides are to over the top weddings they are beginning to believe that they both will not be able to afford a “wedding” professional and that even if they could, said “professional”  wouldn’t listen to them anyway. It isn’t that they are exploring using professionals and deciding against it, they are looking for alternatives first.

Is there an answer? Maybe.

I think that every wedding professional out there has a blog, why not start using it to really advocate for the bride. There is this little thing called Karma. If you as wedding professionals start telling the truth, being an advocate for the bride, showing them that you do offer alternatives  they will come back. Not only that, they will see you as a savior, a bright light in the darkness and they will be your evangelists.

 

 

Disclaimer, the ads at the side of this blog are through an affiliate service. I don’t sell ads to individual wedding vendors. I probably should, but then I couldn’t be this honest with you. Karma, baby, karma.

Gerard Tomko: Fine Art Wedding Photography

I get to experience a lot of wedding photographers, but rarely do I meet one as humble, funny and talented as Jerry Tomko. After 25+ years in this business, very little blows me away anymore. His work does.

To hear Jerry tell it, “I just do what I do.”  Um,did I say humble? Heck, he won’t even post his many award winning images on his website!  Uh, no my friend, what you do is fine art photography meets fashion photography like I haven’t seen before.

Take a look for yourself. All of the images are linked to the original post on Jerry’s blog. Check it out and send him some Dish love.

 

This is from the wedding that Jerry shot for the VH-1 reality series, “My Big Friggin’ Wedding!”

This is also from Alyssa & Tyler’s VH1 wedding. I love what this image says about the couple.

This is perhaps my favorite wedding image of all time. It just screams, “Anna Karenina”The size limitations of this blog don’t do it justice. Click the image to see it on Jerry’s blog.

Jerry isn’t for the couple that just want a record of their wedding. His is the bride that sees the art in the finest photography and understand that to capture it on this one day, that is all that matters. You can view Jerry’s website at Gerard Tomko.com.

 

What Flowers Are in Season for Your Wedding

Every book and expert will tell you to save on your floral decor budget choose flowers that are in season. Great, sure, I know EXACTLY what flowers are in season. Oh, come on, no you don’t!

Well now you do! Just go to the same place the pros go: the wholesale suppliers. You can be sure they know what’s in season when.

Mayesh Wholesale Florists are one of the largest suppliers of wholesale flowers in the United States. As such, they do not sell to the public, but their site is still a wealth of information; information from REAL experts for professionals. You may not be able to buy directly from them but you can still benefit from their knowledge and information.

I found this very handy Flower Library on their site. It lists flowers by color, by group and yes, by season.

What better place to get your information than from the authorities on flowers.

Holiday Weddings

At first it sounds like a great idea; you have a long weekend or a special meaning and everyone is already in a celebratory mood. Let’s get married on(fill in your favorite holiday weekend here). Maybe your friends will have an extra day to travel and your hubs won’t forget you anniversary. There may even be the the added perk of things already being decorated.

That all sounds good but you may pay for your cleverness in the most time honored way: higher prices.

I was talking with a floral designer yesterday that was putting together a bid for a 4th of July wedding. No, her flowers weren’t going Wedding+Fireworks+1to cost more but a lot of costs were. First off, the rental companies were charging a premium for delivery and breakdown on a holiday because they had to pay their staff holiday pay. The same held true for the floral design staff. The venue the bride chose is notoriously packed on the 4th because of the fireworks display they host, so that required her to hire a valet parking company to handle the additional cars. Do you see where I am going with this?

Let’s look at Memorial Day. This is one of the most sought after dates for wedding in my area. You may not have the same problem of higher staff costs, but you won’t be getting any deals either. Your wedding professionals will likely be booked to capacity if not beyond. This may translate to more crowded venues, things you wanted to rent being already booked and limited choices on people like photographers, DJs or bands.

You know what happen on Valentine’s Day right? The price of flowers goes through the roof. You can ditto that for New Year’s Eve when a little thing called the Rose Bowl Parade sucks just about every flower produced.

I am not trying to rain on your parade, really I’m not. I just don’t want you to be blindsided when you start trying to book your goods and services.

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Creative Masculine Boutonnieres

Maybe it’s just me, but I prefer my men to be men. Thoroughly masculine creatures and proud of it. One of the few places a man gets to express himself in his wedding is in his boutonniere. All to often what happens is a bride sits down with her floral designer and the result is a totally feminine bout designs to please the aesthetics of the bride. WRONG!

Witness this atrocity from an earlier post:

Pink Bout with velvet ribbon

Pink Bout with velvet ribbon

You can dress your guys in style and still nod to the fact that they are men. Check out these beautiful, creative and totally masculine bouts. Your guys will thank you.Masculine Boutonnieres

{sources}

Top row

Ace of bouts
chili pepper bout

Middle Row

juniper and sage boutonniere
bout with Thistles and feather
succulent and thistle bout

BottomRow

pom bout
composite bout with yellow mini calla

Save On Your Centerpiece and Eat It Too!

You want beautiful centerpieces for your tables. You want a yummy cake for dessert. You need to save as much as possible to make this whole wedding thingy happen. What is a girl to do?

How about centerpiece cakes?wedding-cake-centerpieces{source}

Back in my previous life as a cake designer I would do some very elaborate centerpiece cakes that cost mucho dinero but it doesn’t have to be that way. If you do a standard size cake from a good bakery and either add simple decorating or fresh flowers or fruit you can save a bundle.Centerpice Wedding Cake{source}

Think about it, a nice little 8′ or 9″ cake will generously(compared to standard wedding size servings) serve the 6 t0 10 guests at each table. Depending on what you choose and where you buy them, you will pay from $10 to $30 each, add $5 to $10 worth of flowers or fruit. So, on the high side you are looking at $40 per table.

Let’s look at an average wedding of 120 people. Six people at a table=20 tables.

Floral centerpieces with traditional wedding cake:

20 centerpieces @ $65 each=$1300

Wedding cake for 120 @$4.50 per person=$540

Total spend=$1840

Centerpiece cakes with DIY decorating:

20 tables @$40 each=$800

Let’s see, that looks like a savings of $1040.

Maybe you use a hundred of that for a bigger cake for the head table and you are still saving a bundle.

You can do this.Centerpiec cake with gerber daisies{source}

Tips:

Look around for your cakes at traditional bakeries and upscale grocery stores or even Costco.

Use flowers or fruits that are in season. If you use fresh flowers put a doily on top of your cake to protect it from contaminants in the flowers.

Put it on a cake stand. Treat it with honor and make it LOOK like a centerpiece.

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