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Soda. Yummy.

Happy Friday everybody! Here comes the “ruffle some feathers” blog of the week. The topic? Open bar? Necessary at a wedding?

YES. IT. IS.

We’re seeing a whole lot of blog posts on other wedding sites go up this week asking the question if people are having an open bar and is it OK not to offer one. We’re also reading plenty of comments that basically say “if people need to drink at your wedding, then they are alcoholics.”

Paint me “alcoholic” then. Anyway…

It’s a wedding, and an open bar, or at the very least: wine, beer and a signature drink is *mandatory*.

There is the argument that open bar or alcohol is expensive. Right, but so are plenty of other things that you can cut down on when planning a wedding. The bar is not where you cut costs. We manage to save our clients money in every other category, but this is something we insist that they don’t skimp out on. You can change your decor, cut your guest list, pick a less expensive time of year to get married…the list goes on. What you can’t do is cut the alcohol. Diet Coke with dinner? Bad.

We also saw the argument that “my fiance and I don’t drink” for not offering a bar. Whatever the reason is that you don’t drink is fine, but you two are not the only people at the wedding. That’s like offering soy everything because you’re a vegetarian. Vegetarians eat soy, right? You have to cater to your guests. That’s why it’s called “catering”. Your guests aren’t necessarily looking to get wasted (though plenty will), but they do not want to have a soda with their chicken, beef or fish either.

Then there was the “if people don’t want to come because there won’t be alcohol, then I don’t want them there,” argument. Yes, you do want them there, or else you would not have invited them. Do you want your guests to pick vodka over you? This is a bad time to stand on ceremony and see who your “real friends” are. If it’s a dry wedding, make sure that is clear in the invitation and that way your guests aren’t surprised when they go to order a Pinot Grigio and are handed a Shirley Temple. Flask anyone?

The only thing worse than a dry wedding is a cash bar. STOP. THIS. MADNESS. Your guests are coming to celebrate your marriage and are spending the entire day with you. There are travel expenses (no matter how small), other things they could be doing, and a gift they will be giving you. To slap them in the face with a “that’ll be $12” comment from your bartender is in really poor taste. Your guests should never have to take their wallets out at your wedding. Everything is included. They want to tip the bartender, the valet, the coat check, that’s on them. However, paying for their drinks is so tacky and we hate it. We forbid you to have a cash bar.

That’s really all there is to say on this. We know, we know, plenty of people will be up in arms over this but we have Emily Post on our sides on this one….and plenty of major wedding magazine editors, too. 

Team Open Bar.

Got Photographer. Got Photos?

Finding the perfect photographer for your wedding or next big event can be a daunting task. Pretty much anyone can label themselves as a photographer now, so the first step is to find the professional amidst a sea of amateurs. Once you’ve done that, it’s all easy right? Not if you’re one of those people that thinks they are getting all of those pictures on a disc as soon as the event is over. Here comes trouble for you…that is, if you don’t read this blog.

Many photographers we work with offer up various package options. In these packages you will see items like parent albums, engagement portraits, and other types of printing services. Now, you might be the person that only wants the pictures and would be find with them all sitting on a flash drive so that you can upload them to Facebook when you feel like it. Many people, however, want to use those photos in some sort of print form. Maybe they will be the “save the date” or invitation cover, perhaps they will be printed to hang above a mantel, or maybe they want an album for themselves or their parents. File all of that under “the photographer’s job”.

Yeah, sorry, but not too many photographers will be keen on the idea of handing you over raw files so that you can go print up a book on Snapfish. How unreasonable! It’s ridiculous for what they are charging! Right? Wrong.

You hired a professional photographer so that your pictures will come out kick ass. After all, why are you spending all of that money on design, decor and wardrobe just to have some hack job with a big flash and long lens not take a single good picture? If it’s that easy to realize that your photographer needs to be a good shot, then it should be even easier to understand that they want their work represented well.

If you take a picture that your photographer shot, and upload it to a picture book making site, the resolution is going to suck. Sorry, but there is no nicer way to say it. No matter how you choose to print it, whether you do it at home, at a store or send it off to some website, the picture will be grainy or blurry or distorted, but the bottom line is, it is NOT what you paid for. Now, the photographer’s work looks like garbage because you didn’t ask them to print it for you.

I could get into copyright issues here, but it’s boring and if you are really annoyed with all of this, you will probably google it. 

I’ve seen (and heard) many people start arguments with photographers that they “paid for” the prints, when in actuality, they didn’t. They paid for the session and whatever else was in their package. My advice is to read the contract that the photographer gives you and truly understand it. If you don’t understand it (and if you are assuming things) then speak with the photographer to make sure you are all on the same page. 

Are there photographers that will give you your hi-res images on a disc? Absolutely. We think those images belong on your social media pages and should be emailed to anyone you want. We do not think those images should be printed. If you want them printed, go back to the photographer and work it out. 

It’s expensive? Yes, it probably is. But, in the long run, you want those images to look as perfect as the possibly can be. The only way to accomplish this is to go back to the photographer and talk to them about how to get your printing needs me. Whether it’s before or after the party, it doesn’t matter, but you should always go to the photographer about this.

Surely this blog has ruffled some feathers or those planning and already stretching their budgets. We’re sorry, but this is something that had to be said. Too many blogs are out there stating that photographers basically “owe” their clients photos, when that is a lie.

The Guest’s Guide to Giving

Giving a gift to a couple for their wedding sometimes proves to be a difficult task for guests to accomplish. I am frequently asked what my recommendations are for a good gift to give a couple. I am also frequently told by my clients about the gifts they received that they hated, and worse yet, the gifts they never received from people that attended (drank and ate at) their weddings. Thus, here is today’s blog.

First and foremost, is the couple registered anywhere? There are a few ways to find this out. Google is this nifty little website where you can search out things on the internet. Put in the couple’s name, the word “wedding” and see what happens. If they are on www.theknot.com like many other couples, their registry will pop right up (if they have one). Of course, you could also go straight to TheKnot.com and use their search function to find the couple’s registry and wedding information. 

If nothing comes up, then flat out ask the couple if they are registered. If they didn’t include a registry note with their invitation, they might have completed their registry after they sent out their mail. Trust me, if a couple is registered, they want you to know.

Once you have their registry, buy from it. I cannot tell you the amount of people that look at a registry list (and it could be a mile long) and say to me that they hate everything on there. Well good thing the gift isn’t for you! A cardinal sin would be to buy something from the store they are registered at but ISN’T on the registry. Put down that Waterford bowl because they did not ask for it.  You think they will love it anyway? I doubt it. Oh, they can return it if they don’t? How nice of you to give them a gift they didn’t want and then force them to bring it back to the store (because you have a lot of down time when planning a wedding) to get whatever credit they can. Do you like making store returns? Those lines at the register and the banter back and forth are your thing? I didn’t think so.

BUY. FROM. THE. REGISTRY.

Now, no registry? No worries. That means they want money. That does not mean for you to go shopping somewhere else for *that gift* that they must have. Unless you are amazingly creative (and I mean really be honest with yourself), then do the easy thing that they want you to do: write out a check. At almost every single wedding there is a card box put out on a table. As soon as you get to the reception, drop your card off in the box and boom, you’re done! That card needs to have a check in it. Seriously. A card with no check is no bueno. 

Money isn’t personal? They don’t care. Really, trust me. I have never had clients complain to me about all of the checks they received at their wedding. Instead, they are putting that money to pay for whatever wedding expenses are left, or to a new house, or to other items that weren’t purchased off their registry because Aunt Millie was super positive they wanted a particular slow cooker that they did not ask for. 

Worst of the worst offenses: not giving a gift. I don’t understand it, at all. Yes, there is this little bit of etiquette that states a guest has up to a year to give a gift after the wedding. I disagree with Emily Post right here. There is no reason to wait to give a gift. If you’re having monetary issues, then speak with the couple and let them know. Don’t play slick, show up to their wedding, drink their alcohol and eat the venue food that probably cost upwards of $150 for just you, and then not give a gift that same exact night. They had to pay for you in advance so you best show up with a gift.

Last piece of advice: don’t leave your card on the table. While our clients don’t have to worry about this, since we check the tables and hand deliver the card box to the person or place of our client’s choosing, not everyone hires us (super weird, right?). If you leave your card on the table, odds are that the catering staff will wrap it up in the linens at the end of the night and your card will wind up in the laundry. Meaning you won’t get a thank you note from the couple and that just leads to years of awkward run-ins where they want to ask why you didn’t give anything and you want to ask why they didn’t thank you. 

That about covers the gift giving advice that we can offer. We hope that couples will share this as they plan their wedding because the truth is, a lot of guests don’t know right from wrong. Education is important. The more you know….

RSVP Education for “That Person”.

You’re invited to a wedding! You get the invitation with the RSVP card. It is addressed to you and your spouse. Well that’s careless of them! You have two children…they must be so busy and stressed with planning the wedding that they simply forgot to write in “and family” on the envelope. You’ll do them a favor and pencil in your children’s names on your RSVP. What an awesome person you are….and thoughtful!!!

Nope.

When you receive an invitation, etiquette dictates that the people listed on the envelope, are the people invited. Does it say “and family”? If not, then your children are not invited. Does it say “and guest”? If not, then you are not welcome to bring a guest. It’s pretty simple. 

For some reason, it has become acceptable practice to write in the names of everyone you are bringing with you to the wedding. This is not an informal BBQ in someone’s backyard, it’s a wedding. You don’t just get to bring anyone you damn well please. It’s not an election ballot where you write in a name, it’s your RSVP card where you either accept or decline. You don’t add people. You just don’t. No. Never. Ever. 

Think that the host forgot to invite you with a plus one? Think they meant to invite you with kids but this was an oversight? If you really think that and it just doesn’t sit well with you (although you should just build a bridge and get over it), then ask the host. Don’t just write down “accepts” and add 5 more people to the guest list.

When planning a wedding, the number one thing that drives up the cost is the guest count. Perhaps your host can only invite a certain amount of people. You are now upping that number. And if it’s OK for you to do, why is not OK for everyone else? That table chart that they have to create, which is basically the seventh circle of hell, just got a little more complicated because you want to bring a caravan of people.

Seriously: don’t do it. 

Your host will receive the RSVP with your written in names and will be put in a very awkward position. Do they call you and say “hey, you screwed this up,” or do they let it slide as to not create drama? Are you a family member and they can’t say anything to you because you’ll run and tell their parents, and then their parents will scold them? You have now put them in a spot where nothing they do is going to be unacceptable and that’s not fair because you are the one that created the problem in the first place. Frankly, if they call you and make you feel uncomfortable, you deserve it and bravo to them.

I hear this all of the time from my clients: so and so wrote in extra people, so what do I do? I tell them to call these people and politely apologize for any confusion the invitation might have caused. Clarify whom is invited and do not give a reason why. Why? Because it’s your party and you’re paying for it. If these people truly have a problem, then they don’t need to come to your celebration. Yes, it is as black and white as just that. 

If you have received an invitation and it’s not what you want…meaning, you want to bring your +1 but weren’t given that option, or want to bring your children and weren’t given that option either, then simply decline the invitation. Do not call and explain why you aren’t coming or what would need to change in order for you to come. Contrary to popular belief, planning a wedding is hard and time consuming and if you add to that stress, then you’re “that person”.

Don’t be “that person”. RSVP appropriately. 

Who is Your Wedding Coordinator?

It’s interesting to see how fast people will waste their money on “$500 Day Of Coordinators” with no experience, but think that they are actually saving money by not going with a professional that has a higher rate. There is that old saying “you get what you pay for”, and we would like to speak with you about what it is you are actually paying for.

The inspiration for this blog is a recent Facebook post that we saw. It was a planner (so she claims) posting in an open group for those in the wedding industry, and she was asking for another planner to help her on an event. The event is scheduled for a few days from now and she needs someone else because her assistant is sick.

Does she have Ebola? She’s sick? The event is a few days away and she is already calling out?

And you don’t have a backup?

So this “planner” (picture me using air quotes and rolling my eyes) comes to a Facebook group looking for an assistant. If you were the bride, and you found out that the planner you trust is coming online to just find someone to help, how mad do you think you would be?

When we have consultations with our clients, we talk to them about the years of experience that we have and the projects that we have completed. We also mention that we always work with an assistant and depending on the project, may have a third one along for the big day. God forbid I get sick or die or something like that, there will be a back up. That backup will not come from Facebook, Craigslist, Tindr…Tinder..Timber? Whatever that site is….That backup will be a trained coordinator even if I have to get a coordinator that has his or her own planning business. 

My best guess as to what happened here, is that the couple that hired this planner wanted to spend next to nothing. Who knows, maybe they were even in my office and couldn’t imagine actually paying more than $500. Now they have this person running their wedding day that is hiring off of Facebook. There is so much wrong with this that it is painful not to post the screenshot and shame this “planner”. 

I have said it before and I will say it again: a real wedding coordinator is not going to charge you $500 for day of…the price is going to be higher. In fact, if you get that quote and you hire them, you are basically throwing your money into a pile on the floor and setting it on fire. Don’t hire this planner and if you cannot afford the professionals, then don’t hire one at all. Save your money and put it towards something else. Do not hire a planner just to say that you hired a planner. The real ones, the ones that help you will start their prices above the $2k mark and go from there. 

Just to break down the math of the $500 planner for “Day Of”/Month Of Coordination.

6-8 weeks of work prior to the wedding, 7 days a week, 8 hours a day (it’s more than that, but let’s just keep it simple)

$500 divided by 6 weeks=$83 per week.
$83 divided by 7 days=$11 per day.
$11 divided by 8 hours=$1.48 per hour.

Now, is the planner working all 8 hours a day on your file? Probably not. But there will be days where they might work 12 hours on just your file, and every other day they will be on call to work on your file. We get calls at 2am, 7am, 10pm….every day of the week from our clients. 

Get quoted $3,000 for “Day Of”/Month Of? Here is what that looks like:

$3,000 divided by 6 weeks=$500 per week.
$500 divided by 7 days=$71 per day.
$71 divided by 8 hours=$8.93 per hour.

So basically, if you hired a planner that is getting paid $1.48 per hour to work for you, trust and believe that her assistant probably came from Facebook or a similar site. That assistant is also (most likely) being paid even less….how motivating for them to make sure your day is perfect.

Please stop hiring hackjobs for what will be one of the most important days of your life.

*drops mic*

Hurricane Sandy

It’s hard to believe that it has been two years since Hurricane Sandy came tearing through New Jersey. No one was prepared for it because it’s NJ, not Miami and we don’t get hurricanes here. At least, not hurricanes that can paralyze a state for weeks and months on end. Snow storms? No problem. Superstorm Sandy? Big problem.

Rothweiler Event Design had a wedding on November 2, 2012 which was just a few short days after the storm ripped through the area. In fact, I was at the bridal shower for the bride the day that the storm approached. I remember looking outside and watching the sky get dark. And then I remember the entire state going dark as everyone lost power.

During the week of the wedding, we speak with all of the vendors to finalize the timeline. This includes everything from limo pick ups to hair pull downs to when vendors are allowed to set up inside the venue to when shuttles will pick up guests at the end of the night. It’s a challenge to get this all together, but it’s even more challenging to do this without anyone being able to use a phone or email. 

That week we had to change the rehearsal dinner location (as the location previously selected had no power) as well as the church for the ceremony (same problem). Thankfully, The Palace of Somerset Park, did not lose power, and we were still able to hold the reception there. 

Our bride had ordered a custom runner from Original Aisle Runner which we had our limo drivers pick up on the way to the church since there was no way to do that during the storm. After a little fight with the priests (Catholic churches tend to frown on and not allow runners) we were able to put the runner down the aisle for our bride who remained calm during all of the chaos. 

Conversations that needed to happen during the week, happened at the set up, and the location for the outside photos was changed as the park we wanted to use was under several feet of water. 

Hurricane Sandy was probably the biggest challenge I have ever faced as a wedding and event planner. You cannot plan for something of that magnitude until you actually go through it. The power going out, not being able to communicate, and the gas shortage was just unreal. The eerie stillness of the streets with dead traffic lights and no one on them looked like something out of a zombie movie.

It was an experience every planner and every vendor should have to go through once. Because if you can handle Sandy, you can handle anything.

Venue Coordinator vs. Wedding Coordinator

“But our venue comes with a coordinator, so we don’t need a planner.”

“Our venue told us that they have an on-site coordinator, so we don’t need to hire a planner for the day of.”

“The venue said that they handle everything that a planner would.”

I have heard all three and frankly, I have heard enough.

Hiring a planner for your wedding or event is often seen as a luxury item and less of a necessity. Necessities would include vendors like a photographer, caterer, florist, and so forth. But what happens when none of these vendors talk to each other before your big day and the timeline falls apart/the food comes out cold/your photographer misses your first dance/the shuttles don’t arrive on time/etc.? Your venue is not going to save you even if they said they would.

Many venues come with an on-site coordinator. This coordinator works for the venue. Their job starts at either the ceremony if it is on site or at the cocktail hour. You may not even meet this coordinator until your final walk through the week of the wedding.

A planner’s job starts months if not years before that (depending on your package with said planner) and concludes on your wedding day….at the end of the day. Your wedding planner will work with your venue and all of your vendors to put together a timeline for your entire day. That timeline will include things that are outside of the venue such as hair and make up preparation, first looks with your sweetie, transportation pick ups and more. 

Your venue coordinator will be at your venue (probably showing up an hour or two before your vendors do) dealing with venue stuff. Why? Because that’s their job. If the shuttle that you have picking up your guests doesn’t arrive at the hotel where your guests are staying, do not call your venue coordinator because that is not their job.

I am hearing more and more often that venue coordinators are telling couples that they do not need a planner. I had a venue coordinator say that to my couple while I was standing right there, in fact. That’s a bunch of garbage. 

Russell Pinto of Little Red Bean Productions had this to say:

“Venues and caterers have taken the role of their existing catering captain or on-site venue operator and spun it into a perceived value-add on of their services. I urge my brides not to be fooled.”

He went on to say,

“It’s the wedding planner that works directly for the bride! We are the bride’s voice, as we understand every single detail of the wedding- the ‘venue coordinator’ will not.”

We couldn’t agree more. The venue coordinator has their own issues to deal with and on the wedding day you will want someone on your side dealing with everything else that goes on outside of your venue. The wedding “day” not the wedding “five-six hours” is your planner’s responsibility.

Danielle Aspromatis of d’Luxe Events talked to us about this issue as well, saying:

“Venues often confuse couples by saying they have a day of coordinator. Their coordinator is a bridal attendant that will get the couple food and drinks, as well as have communication with the Maitre D as far as timing for the introductions into the ballroom. What they neglect to tell you is that their ‘coordinator’ is not going to coordinate your day from the time you wake up until the time your head hits your pillow at night.”

The timeline is a major duty of your wedding planner, and getting the entire day right requires a planner that communicates with all of your vendors. Danielle also added,

“The bridal attendant knows nothing about their (bride’s) style, vision, details or how you want all of your day of items displayed. A true wedding coordinator needs to be involved WEEKS before your event and should be involved day of from hair and make up onwards…the wedding day does not just begin with cocktail hour!”

One of the hardest things to do as a planner is to educate couples as to why they need one. They will drop thousands on a vendor that will be there for a few hours, but not put anything aside for the one person that can be with you every day from day one. There is only so much warning that we, as planners, can give to couples about what can go wrong without a professional planner (i.e. not your mom or sister that planned one wedding) on the day of the wedding. Frustration is the client that didn’t book with us, that comes back after the wedding and tells us that they wish they had…and yes, that has happened.

A planner might not be for everyone. But trust and believe that a venue coordinator will not act as a substitute for a wedding planner. Ever. 

Make sure you visit the pages of the planners we interviewed for this blog here:

www.littleredbeanproductions.com
www.dluxeevents.com

Oscar de la Renta

….and Oscar de la Renta…

We know you recognize this screenshot from the first Sex and the City movie. Carrie Bradshaw wore various iconic dresses for her Vogue shoot, and this one was designed by Oscar de la Renta. This morning, we received news of his passing and it is devastating to say the absolute least.

While de la Renta was famous for designing items that were outside the wedding world (take a look at any red carpet event), we are going to miss his white gowns the most. 

His most recent Spring 2015 collection was unveiled on the catwalk in NYC a few weeks ago. It contained one classic dress after the next and many with hints of the lace that we continue to see since Kate Middleton walked down the aisle. The simplicity of each gown was breathtaking and perfect for the bride looking for something not so over the top as many other designers showcased. 

Of course, his most recent work was seen on Amal Clooney (aka George Clooney’s wife) at their wedding earlier this year in Italy. Amal, who had been quoted in interviews said that she wanted a gown that was “classic and romantic” and that Oscar was the first person she thought of. Her lace wedding dress worn on September 27, 2014 was graceful and stunning, just like all of de la Renta’s other designs.

This is a true moment of sadness in the fashion world. With many designers competing to bring their backless dresses to the forefront and blinged out necklines to brides across the world, none of de la Renta’s dresses were ever like that. He was a classic designer and his gowns were just that: classic. There was no “back down to here” and “slit up to there” and unlike many dresses that we see now, his wedding gowns looked like actual wedding gowns. 

One word I would never use to describe de la Renta with? “Trendy”. And that’s a good thing. In a world of “I’ve seen that dress a hundred times before”, his creations stood out. You always knew his gowns when you saw them. Brides that are trying so hard to be different should look at his gowns for inspiration. When a woman put on her de la Renta wedding gown, you couldn’t help but say, “Now there’s a bride.”

He is going to be missed dearly. 

Thank you Oscar. You made an impact on the fashion world, and the bridal fashion world that was more powerful than many designers ever dream of. Thank you for being true to your designs and for always putting together some of the classiest wedding gowns we would’ve never imagined ourselves.

No. Just Stop Talking.

Brides.com published a Top 10 list of things that you should never say to a bride. I want to print this list out a billion times, rent a helicopter and rain it down every weekend in every location that a wedding is taking place.

Read the full list here: http://www.brides.com/blogs/aisle-say/2014/08/things-to-never-say-to-a-bride.html

Number 3 is near and dear to our hearts and should be numbers 4, 5, 6 and 7 as well. Telling the bride “don’t panic but…” or any rendition of same on her wedding day is a capital offense. The person that says it should immediately be ejected from the room, through the ceiling and off the planet. I’m serious.

First of all, why are you even saying it? So that you can present a “solution” and be the hero for the day? Newsflash: it’s not your day. You are not going to be the hero by presenting a way to avert a crisis. Want to be a hero? Fix the problem and never say a thing. We know how hard that is to do in a society where people clamor to get credit just for putting their pants on the right way, but do it. 

Does the bride have a wedding planner? I cannot tell you the amount of times that Aunt Lily or Sister in Law Betty comes to the bride with this nonsense *right in front of me*. What do you think I have been doing the entire planning process? I have been putting fires out and making sure that the bride never has a reason to panic, least of all, on her wedding day. If there is an issue, bringing it up in front of me doesn’t show the bride that she didn’t need a wedding planner, it shows the bride that she *did* need one because you are a headache and are causing issues that I am hired to make go away. Don’t you dare make issues on the day of the wedding in front of me. Don’t do it at all.

The absolute last thing a planner, by the way, wants to hear from some friend or family member on the wedding day is a suggestion of how things should be done. We don’t show up at your job on Monday morning to give you suggestions. We have it handled, go attend to the bride. We do not need your two cents, help with set up, or anything other service that you are offering solely because you want to show how “helpful” you are. 

Furthermore, don’t offer your suggestions to the bride because when the planner walks in and finds out that you have manipulated her into your way of thinking, you might be taken into the hallway for a “talk”. Telling the bride your concerns about the timeline or anything else that has been planned meticulously by us, is a reason for you to be scolded (and you will be) by us. You don’t understand something? You truly think there is a reason to panic? Tell the planner and we will handle it. No planner? Then keep it to yourself. 

Unless the venue has burnt down to the ground, her dress has gotten eaten by dragons and all of the flowers have mysteriously died, then do not, I repeat, do not talk to the bride about how she should panic BUT. 

Thanks to Brides.com for this amazing list. We hope it reaches everyone that it needs to.

Flowers: The Ultimate Ink Blot Test

What do you see? Flowers? A hat? An insect?

Ink Blots or “Rorschach Tests” as they are properly known, are used as a personality test. What you see in this picture can determine your personality characteristics and way of thinking. In wedding planning, flowers are the ultimate ink blot test.

Many of our brides think that finding the dress is going to be the hardest part of planning their wedding. They think that once that is done, everything else will be easy. Then we get to design and flower selection and it’s as if someone put on the brakes. Interestingly enough, almost every bride has more pictures of flower inspiration than they have dress inspiration. The difficult part is seeing what she sees.

For instance: you go to a hair salon because you see that the hottest new celebrity has this amazing cut and color that you need. You bring a picture. What is the first thing that the stylist asks you? “What do you like about this picture?” It’s important to know this answer because what YOU see is not necessarily what your stylist will see.

As a wedding planner, we work hand in hand with our florists to make sure that the vision of the couple, what is in their heads, is what they will see in person on their wedding day. Pictures are just not enough. We need words and descriptions to help guide everyone along. Because, let’s face it, no one wants the exact picture they found on Pinterest because that’s unoriginal. 

Currently we have multiple clients in the flower phase. For most of them, we’ve had to explain (and it’s true) that this is time consuming and isn’t going to be easy. Some believe us and some don’t. Some understand that this is a monumental task while others don’t. If you’re in the flower phase right now and stressed out, we want you to know that you are not alone. There should be a support group for this type of thing. 

Supplying pictures to your planner and florist is only step one. That said, supply a lot of pictures, and we do mean a lot. Never worry if you are sending too many because that is never going to be an issue. Be prepared to hear “out of season”, “out of price range” and “out of your mind”. But also be prepared for “this would be a great alternative” followed by suggestions from people that do this for a living and have been doing it for years. 

Come to your appointments with words and lots of them. What do you like and what do you not like about the pictures you are bringing? What’s important to you and what’s not important to you? Mostly: be honest with yourself and with your planner and florist. If you don’t like something, say you don’t like it AND why you don’t like it. Expect the same honesty in return. If you’re having a winter wedding, stop pinning the peonies. The best florists will tell you like it is. You want to work with those people. PS- same goes for planners.

Now, there are some couples reading this that are more laid back and probably will never need this advice. To them I say “God Bless” because you don’t know the mind struggle that these couples are dealing with. Personally, I had one floral appointment with one designer for my own wedding….no sample…and loved every last detail. That said, being in this industry, I know at what point I have to relinquish control and I do speak flower. 

But, if you are *that* couple (and again, many are) that has specific wants and needs when it comes to flowers, then treat it like an ink blot test. Not everyone sees what you see. Be prepared to take your time and know that your perfect table setting isn’t going to happen in the blink of an eye.

And if it does…if you’re promised that it will…do not book that florist.