Planning Help | Simply Elegant Wedding Planning
San Diego wedding planning and Day of wedding coordination services specifically designed for DIY Brides and their busy lifestyles. We offer a large variety of customizable wedding planning services for engaged couples in San Diego.

Archive for 'Planning Help'

quick facts- seating

1.

If you are having a buffet, you don’t need assigned seats! You can totally get away with open seating (if that’s your style)!

2.

If you are having a plated meal, you MUST assign guests to a seat. There should be either an seating chart or a table of ESCORT CARDS near the entrance of the reception. This is in addition to the PLACE CARDS at the guests seat, telling them which seat at the table is their’s. The catering staff will need to have the seating chart sent to them in advance, with notes on which guest will be served which meal and any food allergies.

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On the PLACE CARD, there should be some symbol that illustrates which meal the guest has selected. In case the cards get mixed up in placement (or let’s be honest, a guest moves themselves to a different seat), the guest will still be served the correct meal.

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A Place Card is the one that is at the place setting. An Escort Card is the one they pick up at the entry, telling them which table to find.

5.

Escort Cards or Seating Charts should be arranged by ALPHABET, NOT TABLE NUMBER. None of your guests know what table number they will be sitting at until they find their name! It will create a huge line and back up the entire reception.

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6.

If you have a large guest list, your seating chart or escort card display should be accessible during the cocktail hour (after the ceremony). This will give your guests something to do during that time, other than drink. It will also help the transition to their dinner tables run smoothly and quickly.

 

 

 

quick facts- photography

1.

There is a big difference between someone who takes good photos and a wedding photographer. There is limited time to get all the photos of your family, wedding party, and most importantly you and your new spouse. A professional knows how to organize all your guests to get the photos they need, in the small window of time allotted for photos.

2.

Prepare a Must Have Photo List for your photographer. This should include a list of photos, descriptions and names of the people that should be in image. ie: Photo of Bride and Groom with Both Grandparents (Bride, Groom, Grandma Gladis, Grandpa Jim, Grandma Catherine, and Grandpa Gary.

3.

Don’t forget to be a little flexible on your wedding day! There may not be enough time to walk to that spot you’ve been thinking of taking photos at, or it might not be the best lighting. Let go and trust your photographer. If you chose the photographer based on the amazing photos you know they can produce, then relax and let them take the reigns. You need to relax in order to look good in those photos anyway!

4.

If your photographer has never been to your venue before, set up a site tour for them. You can walk the venue space together and discuss the best plan of action ahead of time, so there’s no guess work on the wedding day!

5.

Remember to tell your photographer where you will be getting ready/getting into your dress. If it is not at your venue, they will need to build travel time into the time they are allotting for all the photos they have to take!

6.

Meet with your photographer IN PERSON before you sign on the dotted line. This vendor is going to be with you more on your wedding day than anyone else. If you don’t like their personality at a meeting, you’re definitely not going to like them or feel comfortable with them on your wedding day when tensions are high! If they bug you or make you feel even the slightest bit of discomfort, don’t book them for your wedding!!!

quick facts- invitations

 

1.

Begin looking at invitation options about 6 months before the wedding day

2.

Order proofs of your invitations to make sure they look and feel the way you envision them. Proofs are normally free. But make sure to allow for time for the company to print and ship the proofs to you, then time to make any adjustments needed, and still be able to place the big order on time!

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Place the FINAL order for your invites 4 months before your wedding date. (If you are ordering them from a custom stationer, order them 5 months before the wedding).

4.

Once you have the invitations in hand, set up a night with your family or your bridesmaids, to put together the invitation suite, stuff the envelopes, stamp, and address! Put the person with the best hand writing in charge of addressing, or print the addresses directly onto the envelopes with your inkjet printer.

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Hand deliver the invitations to the post office. You can never be too careful! While you’re there, have them weigh one of the invites to make sure you don’t need any additional postage on the envelopes.

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Invitations should be sent out no later than 8 weeks prior to the wedding! Allow more time if you opted not to send Save The Dates.

7.

RSVP’s should be due 1 month before the wedding!!!  This will give you 2 weeks to follow up with everyone that “forgot” to send back their RSVP. Your final guest count should be sent to your caterer and other vendors no later than 2 weeks before the event.

 

 

 

 

guest list organizer image

 

Let’s talk guest list! Warning: This is likely going to be one of the toughest tasks of your wedding planning journey. But it is essential to the process and thereby, unavoidable! However, it doesn’t have to be super hard!

Tip #1:

Eliminate ALL distractions! Designate a night, alone, with just you and your fiancé. No one else is invited to this meeting! If you hear yourself or your partner start to say something like,”my mom said….” or “my parents want to invite…” SHUT IT DOWN!!! Those people are not in the room this time for a reason! This first go through is strictly about what YOU (the couple) want. Write down your decisions to the following questions:

#1: BIG or small?

#2: Kids or no kids?

#3 Local or far away?

Tip #2:

During this (↑) meeting, start writing down everyone that you BOTH know together. Start with CLOSE family members. Build to extended family members/childhood friends. Then discuss friends you know now who know you both, and see you regularly!

Tip #3:

Once you have this list (↑) written down, count how many people that is. Does it match your big or small answer? Big is typically categorized as over 100, Small is under 100.

Does it not match? If you have too many names, consider a destination wedding. Want to have a local wedding anyway, choose a venue that only allows a limited number of guests. Still have some room in the guest list? Ask your parents for some names of people they would like to have included. (see how this suggestion only comes after you’ve established who YOU want to be there!)

Tip #4:

Remember to consider your budget! You’re buying everyone their dinner and drinks, more people = more money!!!

Tip #5:

Keep it all organized! When you’re ready to make your scribble marks official, Use a Guest List Organizer to keep your wedding plans organized. Make sure to include Names of EACH guest, Mailing address, email, phone number, number in party, if the invite has been sent (and what number you put on the back of the RSVP card to keep it organized), how many will attend, meal choices (if applicable), and Food restrictions or allergies.

To Make it easy, you can download this one (↓) that I give to each of my full planning clients! Enjoy!

Wedding Guest List Organizer

 

Happy Planning,

xoxo, Juliette

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Why does a wedding cost so much?

I get asked this question ALL THE TIME! Mostly from family members, parents, and friends of a newly wedded couple who spent a small (sometimes large) fortune on the wedding of their dreams. Most engaged couples have already done their research before they get around to booking a planner, so I don’t hear it much from them. Until they are asked to sign contracts and put down huge down payments, then it becomes real. And rightfully so!

In 2015, the average cost of a wedding in San Diego was around $36,000 (based on The Wedding Report, Inc.). That’s as much as a down payment on a starter home!

Why?

Let’s look at real life equivalents for a sec. If you walked into a crowded restaurant of 100-200 individuals, and shouted at the top of your lungs, “hey everyone, drinks and food are on us! Have the kind of night you’ll remember forever!” first, I hope that I am sitting at one of those tables. But for real, you’re not going home with a just couple hundred out of your account. More like $10,000 or even more, depending on how much they drink, and how good the food is! But wait, you don’t want to get married in a crowded restaurant, cause you want to party! So you want to add that party atmosphere by setting up your own decor, in your own style. Basically creating the dining room of your dreams. Whether that be in a hotel ballroom, or a private estate, you are still looking at a space rental ($2500-$6000). But you don’t just need the space, you need it to be set up for you… add in rental companies and staff members to set up/clean up/and manage your event. And that is just dinner…

Average cost of a ceremony (complete with space rental, musicians, professional officiant, flowers, chairs, arch/chuppah) is about $2500.

Average cost of a florist (centerpieces, bridal bouquet, wedding party & family flowers, boutonniere, light ceremony decor) about $2000.

Average cost of a wedding photographer in San Diego ranges anywhere from $3000-$5000.

Videographer average in San Diego is $2000-$4000

Average cost of a DJ/MC is $1200

Planner: $3000-5000

Wedding Cake: $500-$700

Wedding Dress: $1300

Invitations/Stationary: $500

Etc.

Etc.

Etc.

And you are looking at a grand total of: your first born child or $30,000+. I wish it weren’t true, but it adds up real quick!

So what can I do to NOT spend than much?

For starters, Throw out the Pinterest expectations! I’m not saying that you can’t have a beautifully styled wedding! But be realistic about what things cost. There are some blog images that cost 1000’s of dollars to create just one table. So be realistic about what you can afford. DIYing crafts will help you, but it still doesn’t mean that your $10,000 budget is going to get you what you see on the front page of Style Me Pretty! Be okay with it looking different than the picture, and put your own spin on everything (it’s YOUR wedding after all, right?)!

Look for discounts. Here in San Diego, we LOVE our Military! So if you are in, or marrying into the armed forces, start throwing that weight around and take advantage of the saved cash! If you aren’t that fortunate, sign up for newsletters, LIKE your vendors pages on social media, and look on their Yelp pages for special offers.

Coupons are awesome, whether you’re getting married or stocking up on dish soap!

Cut the guest list! If your parents start complaining, just tell them that if they want to invite aunt X, Y, and baby Z, then they need to pay for those additional guests. To put it into perspective, about 60% of your budget is based off of per person amounts. More people = More money, it’s as simple as that!

For more tips and tricks to save you money on your wedding, just keep reading! I do my best to help stretch your budget as far as it can go… I love saving money!

Happy Planning!

<3 Juliette

Wedding Planner San Diego, San Diego Wedding Coordinator, Wedding Design in San Diego, Wedding Coordinator San Diego, San Diego wedding day of coordinator

Before you dash off to Snap and Insta to debut your new ring; Before you log in to your dream wedding Pinterest page to start DIYing yourself to wedding bliss; There are just a few questions that you need to discuss with your soon to be betrothed.

Write down your decisions, and stick to them. These 6 answers will keep you honest to what both of you have decided on together. Making sure that you stick to what you both want and decide will be a huge factor in making sure that your Wedding Day is exactly what you want, and not swayed by your friends/family members/most popular Pinterest posts/and even your vendors!

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1. What do you want your wedding to feel like?

2. How do you want your wedding guests to feel?

3. How do you and your partner want to feel on your wedding day?

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4. How many guests?

How many guests will determine your budget quite a bit. Over half of your wedding expenses are determined by per person cost. For more help with defining your budget, visit our post about how to properly create a wedding budget.

5. When-ish? Where-ish?

Remember not to officially set a date for now! However, you can plan for what season, month, or series of dates work best for you and your closest family. For more on this you can read our article on How to go about officially setting a date. 

When I say Where, I am not talking about your soon to be task of finding a venue. Discuss your options! Many couples decide on Destination Weddings. Some for the reason of a combined vacation and adventure for their family and friends. And some come to this decision to take away the burden of traveling far distances for some of their family members who live elsewhere. While it still is most popular to host your wedding wherever you and your partner feel Home is, make sure that which ever Country/State/or City you end up is the best representation of what you and your partner want for your wedding! And if it’s San Diego you decide, Welcome!

6. Planner or DIY?

This question is best discussed up front. There are so many benefits to working with your wedding planner from the very beginning. The decision-making is not going to stop after this conversation. A planner can help guide you through the process! Not to mention, the expertise, connections, and knowledge a good planner brings to the table. If you decide on a Destination Wedding, hiring a full planner who is local to the area is very important. And if you are staying local for your wedding, but you are in school or working full time, a full planner is definitely a good idea. Even if you are super organized, type A, or a little OCD (hi, sister!), planning your own wedding is going to be a lot of work no matter what! Finding someone who knows what their doing and can help guide you through the process and assume most of the stress, is going to make everything better! And that my friends, is a Wedding Planner!

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But above all else, remember to stay true to both of you. It is your wedding, it should be the best reflection of Your Relationship!

As always, Happy Planning! xo,

Juliette

Oct 11, 2016
posted in Planning Help with  0  Comments

 

blog 1

Congratulations! You just got a new ring 😉  The question everyone will immediately start asking you is, “so, when’s the wedding???” So naturally, you will think that the first thing you need to do is Set a Date. HOLD ON A MINUTE! There are very important steps that come before you circle a date on the calendar. First thing you need to do is enjoy the fact that you just got engaged to the person you have been dreaming about your whole life! Enjoy this blissful state for a few days, weeks, months (whatever you feel comfortable with), then move onto these 3 crucial first steps you have to do BEFORE you set that wedding date!

budget talk

Uncomfortable as it might be, you have to get this established before you do anything else. If you end up on a smaller than average budget, opting for a Sunday or Weekday to host your event will save you some serious cash. Also, if you elect a month that is considered “off season” for your particular climate, vendors will be more willing to play with the idea of discounts! If you jump the gun and choose a Saturday in the middle of June as your date, the demand is high, and you will find that vendors will have a hard time justifying a discount. Of course there are perks to that time of year, and a lot of perks to choosing a Saturday date. However, weighing the pros and cons on this list come after figuring out how much money you have to work with! 

Figure out who is willing to help with the expenses of the wedding. Hash it out with your parents, your fiance’s parents, grandparents, and your partner! Figure out a ball park estimate of how much you will have to spend, and who you can expect to be writing the check. Don’t feel discouraged if it ends up being you and your love! Many a wonderful wedding have been paid for by the couple. If this is the case, take the opportunity to make it completely about what you guys want! Your own money, means that you have 100% decision making power! If other people want to offer their two cents when it comes to what food you should serve, or what you should wear, then they can do just that (offer their two cents + how ever much their opinion is going to cost the budget!) For more help on how to create your wedding budget, read the article here, or Pin it and read it later!

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At the budget talk with your parents, ask them for their list! This is a list of family members, and family friends that your parents would like to be invited. Combine these lists with your own list of family and friends that you want there. At this point, you can take a pencil to the list your parents gave you to make some edits, but refrain from permanently marking anyone off the list until it gets closer to the time to send out the invites, just trust me on this one! You may have not seen your second cousin twice removed since you were two, but for some reason your mother thought of her. This doesn’t mean you have to invite everyone on the list right now! Once you get into the real planning, you will find things that will restrain the number of guests that you can actually invite (venue capacity, per person costs, etc). Let those issues be the reason you have to make “sacrifices” to the guest list.

For now, you just need a rough estimate. Gather your lists, pencil out the people you don’t think will make the cut, temporarily edit the people you don’t think will travel, and highlight your top 10% (your VIPs). When setting your date, you want to take into account what you know about your top 10%’s schedules. If you know that you want your brother to be your officiant, you better take into account that he starts his year abroad at school in London on September 3rd. I am NOT telling you to take into account everyone’s here and there’s, You will drive yourself crazy!  Only look at your top 10%. You won’t be able to please everyone, it’s virtually impossible!!! So don’t beat yourself up about it, and DO NOT let anyone guilt you. It’s not their wedding! At the end of it all, what matters is that you and your fiance get married and are happy!

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Venue’s schedules fill up fast, especially in San Diego. There are some that book 2 years in advance for Saturday dates! Before you start your search, narrow the style of venue you are looking for. What is so amazing about San Diego is that there is so much variety. Do you want your toes in the sand? or do you want woodsy wonderland? or maybe a rustic ranch complete with horses and hiking trails? Choosing the right location can minimize the amount of decor you need to supply. There are so many naturally beautiful venue’s to choose from, so don’t feel confined to a hotel ballroom or meeting hall. Once you have narrowed down your choices, contact the ones you are interested in. Inquire about availability! Price and maximum capacity are also good things to ask for up front. This information will also help you to narrow your search. The venue should be the first thing that you book! 

Once you have the venue booked, then you know your wedding date.

It is always good to narrow down your date selection to a season, or a couple of good months that would work for you. But be open to different dates until you put down your first deposit! That’s the key! If you have a specific date set before you do the above 3 steps, you may be making phone calls and announcements to let everyone know that the date has changed. There are those family members who will buy a plane ticket at the first mention of your wedding (you know who they are!). So spare them the hassle of having to reschedule their travel plans, and when they ask, “So, when’s the big day” just say, oh sometime this fall, we’ll let you know when! 

A warm WELCOME to all newly engaged ladies and gents! This blog is specifically designed to help you plan your wedding. I post frequently about tips and tricks to help you along your planning journey, helping you to save some money, and DIYing things in the process. If you would like to be included in my newsletter (0nly once per month, I promise) please fill out the email form below. Also, I didn’t mention it above, but now is also the time to start looking for wedding planners (if you want one). My services are designed with the DIY bride in mind, and still allow you to have a hand in planning your wedding, while receiving the guidance of a professional wedding planner. Please contact me if this is something you are interested in learning more about!

As always, Happy Planning!!!

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Wedding Cake, San Diego Wedding Cake, Wedding Planner in San Diego, San Diego Wedding Planner

Wedding Cakes are expensive! There is no easy way to put it.

There are a few ways to keep costs down though, and not all of them involve compromising your standards for style. If you start to think outside the box, you can make it look like you are showing off your creativity, rather than just making the budget work! Just because it is a cheaper way of doing things, doesn’t mean it has to look or taste that way!

First of all, everyone knows someone who loves to bake! and there is a pretty good chance that that person has offered their service to you in a Facebook comment or by way of your mother. If you are strapped for money because you have over spent elsewhere in your budget, don’t be shy asking for some help! Ask them if you can see some pictures of what they have done in the past. If you don’t like what you see as far as cakes go, ask them to make some cookies for the dessert table. That way, you don’t offend, and they still get to feel like they are helping out. If you do like what you see, then you have seriously lucked out! My cousin made my cake, and she did an awesome job. She was even able to do a funfetti layer (my favorite), and I may or may not have eaten 3 pieces (wink! wink!)

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If you only feel like having a cake because it’s tradition to cut and feed, then opt for a small cake. A small 7inch round will run you under $100, especially if you just go in and purchase it without mentioning it is for a wedding! You can then just set out a dessert bar with options for guests. Guests love to have options! and not everyone loves cake. So being able to choose which kind of dessert they want and when they want it is a bonus! But make sure that you have enough. One slice of cake per person is usually more than enough. But one mini torte or one cookie per person is not going to survive your total amount of guests! plan on 2-4 per person depending on the size and sweetness of the dessert options!

Another great option is to cut a small decadent cake for the cake cutting and to have displayed, but serve your guests sheet cake. Costco has sheets for $17.00. Or, if Costco cake isn’t your thing, bakeries will also sell sheet cakes at a fraction of the cost of a stacked and decorated tiered cake. Add something to the top of each slice like a berry, chocolate shaving, or single rose petal.

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My last money saving wedding cake trick is limit what the bakery has to do. Fondant and elaborate designs cost more! Instead of the Cake Boss cake recreation with the edible everything, opt for the simplest design! Buttercream frosting can look just as elegant as fondant, and costs less. And instead of the sugar flowers and decor, have your florist give you the extra blooms that she didn’t use for your centerpieces and bouquet. Place those flowers, or have your florist do it, on the cake! It looks fresh and costs a lot less money!

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Or you can do away with the traditional cake all together. Dessert tables are becoming much more popular and expectable than the traditional tiered cake. We’ve seen everything from bundt cakes, cupcakes, donuts, pies, candy buffets, mini cobblers in mason jars, ice cream sandwiches, and s’mores stations. Guests love the change of pace, and it’s exciting to see what couples will choose that best represents their desserts of choice! Throw a couple cute cake stands and serving trays in there, and viola! It’s wedding perfection!!!

Here’s some amazing inspiration from some of the best cakes and dessert bars we’ve had the pleasure of setting up and styling!

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Happy Planning!

-Juliette

Jun 06, 2016
posted in Planning Help with  0  Comments

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When you go into your florists office to tell her (or him) what you want your wedding flowers to look like, it is important to be prepared. Showing your florist a picture off Pinterest will only do so much. Likely, you’ll get the quote for those “Pinterest Arrangements” and pass out! So few people can actually afford exactly what is in those photos, you are not alone! If your decor budget allows for a variation on the elaborate floral sculptures you were hoping for, it will be SO important to know what kinds of flowers will create the mood you are looking for, so you can still keep the same feeling you had when you saw that arrangement done on Pinterest which is pretty much run over by people that have “1-Million Dollars” to spend on their decor alone!

So when FTD flowers asked me if they could create a blog post for my readers, I said um, OF COURSE!!!

Whether your favorite flower is the romantic rose, the lush peony, or even the exotic protea, there are many creative combinations that you can create using both popular classics and exotic rare blooms for your wedding centerpieces. Since flowers are such an essential part of any wedding, it’s important to know which flower types and colors complement each other well.

That’s why FTD created these 7 wedding centerpiece ideas inspired by different color palettes to fit the theme of your wedding. Whether you like bold and bright colors, or if you are more of a chic and effortless bride, we’ve included mood boards that feature the different flowers included within each centerpiece. We’ve also provided a helpful list of the flowers so that you can recreate them! You’ll be sure to get inspired by these ideas and find a wedding centerpiece that will fit your style and include your favorite blooms!

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Created by Foster’s Flower Shop, Captured by Tina Jay Photography

  • Ranunculus – Ranunculus are popular for their bright blooms and delicate, layered petals. They do best in hardiness zones 8 to 10, and bloom in the summer. They’re great for adding texture to a bouquet or centerpiece, though they only last about a week as cut flowers.
  • Tulips – Tulips are popular because of their unique shape and wide variety of colors, from bright reds and yellows to nearly black purples. They bloom from spring into early summer. Red tulips are great for weddings because they symbolize true love.
  • Clematis – The Jackman clematis is the most popular type in North America. The flowers grow on a vine and bloom in mid to late summer. These purple blossoms do best in hardiness zones 4 to 8, and can grow in full sun to partial shade.
  • Hydrangeas – Hydrangeas are great statement flowers because of their voluminous, round clusters of blooms. They bloom from summer into fall in shades of white, pink, purple, and blue. For some species, the color is determined by the pH of the soil.
  • Garden roses – There are two types of garden roses — Modern Garden Roses and Old Garden Roses. Modern Garden Roses are the most common. They bloom continuously and have a long vase life, making them good for centerpieces.
  • Ginestra – Ginestra are great accent flowers, because of their many tiny buds attached to a long stem. They are known for their strong, sweet fragrance and typically come in shades of pink, purple, yellow, and white.
  • Anemone – There are many species of anemone, which are also known as windflowers. The fall blooming varieties are taller with cup-shaped blossoms, while the spring blooming varieties grow lower to the ground. They grow in a variety of colors including pink, red, purple, and white.

 

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Created by LVL Events and Florals by Jenny, Captured by The Big Affair

  • English Roses – English roses, also known as David Austin roses, are famous for their pleasant fragrance, repeat flowering capability, and wide range of colors. Their flowers have a cupped shape and many petals. They grow best in hardiness zones 5 through 10.
  • Succulents – Succulents are available year-round, but are an especially good addition to warm weather weddings because they can stand heat well and won’t wilt. Their soft greens, blues, and greys are great accents to light-colored centerpieces like the one above.
  • Dahlias – Dahlias can be used to add texture to a bouquet because of their many small, rounded petals. These flowers bloom in mid-summer, and will continue to bloom into the fall until the weather gets cold.
  • Lisianthus – Lisianthus flowers are great for centerpieces because of their long lifespan as cut flowers — many can last in a vase for two to three weeks. Their loose, ruffled petals are a welcome contrast to more structured flowers like dahlias.
  • Dusty Miller – Dusty miller can grow year-round in hardiness zones 7-10. It produces yellow flowers during the summer, though people are often most interested in its lacey, silvery foliage, which is commonly used in bouquets and centerpieces.
  • Passion Fruit Vine – The passion fruit vine is a unique addition to the centerpiece above. It grows best in subtropical environments, and produces aromatic purple or yellow fruits. The vines grow quickly and should be guided along a fence or trestle.
  • Eucalyptus – Eucalyptus’ long stems and many leaves are a great way to add depth to your centerpiece. The trees grow quickly, and are hardy and adaptive. Most species are evergreen, making them a good filler for bouquets and centerpieces year-round.

 

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Created by Couture Events and Stephanie Grace, Captured by One Love Photography

  • Snow on the Mountain – Snow on the mountain is known for its showy leaves, which have white accents. The leaves are often used as fillers in centerpieces because of their unique appearance. This plant grows best in hardiness zones 3 through 9.
  • Curly Willow – Curly willow, or corkscrew willow, is known for its curling branches, which are available year-round. These trees grow best in hardiness zones 4 through 8, and produce beautiful buds in the spring.
  • Hydrangea – If you are looking for a classic romantic look, hydrangea is always the way to go. A huge perk of using hydrangeas in your arrangement is that they fill space and allow for the arrangement to appear full and fresh without having to use a lot of stems of flowers.

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Created by Arrangements floral, captured by Katie McGihon

  • Protea – Protea, also known as sugarbushes, are tropical flowers that are native to South Africa. There are over 2000 species of these flowers, which are known for their large, dome-like center with surrounding spiky, colorful petals.
  • Kangaroo Paw – The fine hairs that surround kangaroo paw flowers give them their pollen-like appearance. These flowers are native to Africa, and they grow in a variety of colors including black, red, yellow, and orange.
  • Air Plants – Air plants are great for warm weather weddings because they can withstand heat and do not need to be kept in water. Because of this they can easily be placed around the centerpieces or be incorporated into table settings as well.

 

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  • Peonies – Peonies are known for their lush, pink petals. Like in the centerpiece above, they’re often used when they’re only partially open to make a statement without overwhelming the arrangement. Peonies bloom from spring into early summer.
  • Hybrid Tea Roses – Hybrid tea roses are one of the most popular cut flowers because of their long, upright stems and sweet fragrance. They bloom in a wide variety of colors including pink, purple, red, yellow, and white.
  • Tuberoses – Tuberose is known for its strong, delightful fragrance. Many small clusters of flowers grow along one stem, making this a great accent flower. Tuberose blooms in summer, and is commonly found in shades of white, pink, and yellow.

 

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Created by Two Birds Events, Captured by Kenzie Packrall Photography

  • Calla Lily – Calla lilies are best known for their white blooms, though they also grow in shades of purple, pink, and yellow. They’re great for centerpieces because of versatility, as they can be dyed to fit your color scheme.
  • Stock Flower – Stock flowers are popular for wedding arrangements because they symbolize a happy life. They’re known for their strong, clove-like scent and clusters of small, delicate flowers. Stock flowers bloom from late spring into summer.
  • Orchids – There are over twenty thousand types of orchids, the most popular are phalaenopsis, dendrobium, and cymbidium. Because these flowers are so elegant, and there are so many different types, they are very popular for bouquets and centerpieces.
  • Magnolia leaves – Magnolia trees and shrubs can be deciduous or evergreen. Evergreen varieties allow the bold, green, waxy leaves to be available year-round. They’re commonly used as filler in centerpieces and bouquets.

 

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Created by Marie Floral Stylist and Captured by Wanderlust Creatives

  • Carnations – Carnations are great flowers for centerpieces because of their long life as cut flowers, usually two to three weeks, and their vast color assortment. Red and pink carnations symbolize love and admiration, making them fitting for a wedding.
  • Spray Roses – Spray roses usually have smaller blooms than typical roses, making them a good accent flower for centerpieces. Because they grow from small stems attached to one large stem, they’re often used for boutonnieres and corsages as well.
  • Kale Flower – Ornamental kale plants, which are not edible, are grown for the vivid color of their ruffled leaves. For optimal color, they must be grown in cool weather and kept well watered. They grow best in spring or fall in hardiness zones 2-11.
  • Statice – Statice are used on both fresh and dried floral arrangements. They begin blooming in summer, and bloom into fall. Statice are relatively easy to grow because they are hardy plants that are drought tolerant and deer resistant.
  • Veronicas – Veronicas are known for their narrow, spiky shape. They have a long bloom time — six to eight weeks — and bloom throughout the summer. They’re also known as speedwell, and known for their vivid blues and purples.
  • Green Trick Dianthus – Green trick dianthus is a unique flower that has a fuzzy, globe-like appearance. It was bred in Japan, and is relatively new to the cut flower market, but works well in bouquets and centerpieces because of its long vase life.
  • Cascading Amaranthus – Amaranthus is known for its elegant appearance and vibrant color, which remains even when the plant is dried. It does best in warm weather and is drought tolerant.

Thank you Caroline from FTD flowers for sending me all this great information and fun photos to use!

Happy Planning!    -Juliette 🙂

 

 

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Tipping wedding vendors can be a tricky subject, and one I get asked about regularly. There is a lot of mixed information on the main wedding blogs. theknot.com, weddingwire.com, loverly.com, all of them have articles on the subject, but nearly all of them contradict each other. And that’s what is confusing! Actually tipping your vendors does not have to be that complicated! So here’s an honest, straight forward approach from someone who has seen all sides of the issue! 

My general rule with the “who do I tip?” question is -Anyone who has provided you a service. The service based industry differs greatly from retail. So if you are simply purchasing a product from someone, that product is priced accordingly. However, services require a variable level of effort, commitment, and skill (especially with weddings) that are not always accounted for in the up front pricing. So if you feel that your service provider did an above and beyond job with your event (including the hours they put in before the actual wedding date), you should make sure that they know that you appreciate their extra effort to make your day awesome!

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Here’s a list of vendors with an estimated amount that should be given. (Just like going out to dinner, if you think their service sucked, then tip them less. If you felt like (metaphorically speaking) your glass was always full and your table was constantly cleaned appropriately, then tip them more!)

Hair/Makeup Artists

Should you: Expected.

Tip your hair and makeup artists as you would if you were getting yourself done up at the salon. Tip them More if they came to you and didn’t charge a travel fee!

How much: 15-25 percent
When to do it: After the work is completed.

Photographer/Videographer

Should you: Not required, but always appreciated!

These vendors don’t expect a tip, but thanking them with a monetary gift or some other present is a nice way to show your gratitude if the service provided exceeded your expectations.

How much: $50-$100 per shooter or 10% to the team.
When to do it: Either when they first arrive, or when they are finished.
                **Note: whenever you tip someone before they begin a job, it will help them to try as hard as they can to please you! Especially when it is not required that you tip, because they know that you already think highly of their services. Just the fact that you are giving them something, will lift their spirits and help them to go the extra mile for you when it counts (which is during your wedding!) This is not just for the Photographer, but for all your vendors! 

Delivery/Set-Up Staff

Should you: Expected, but rarely done
You can expect the florist, cake baker, and rental companies to send delivery or set-up staff. These individuals will care about pleasing you, if you are the one handing them cash directly. Otherwise, they are just there to do the job that they were assigned by their employer-to drop and run.
How much: $10-$20 per person, depending on how intense the set up is.
When to do it: The day before your wedding, leave envelopes with the person who will be receiving deliveries. Let’s be honest, you wont be around when the rentals are dropped off, so pass this on to your coordinator. Include a note that says thank you from the happy couple, to add the personal touch it needs! Your coordinator should give it after everything on the order is accounted for.

Caterer/ Venue Banquet Staff

Should you: Expected, however might be included already
This one is tricky, cause there are all these different charges and fees on your contract. Most of the time “Gratuity” means that that it is an actual tip built in for the staff. “Service fee” means that it will go to the company, not the staff members. Best way to decipher what the wording means for the specific caterer is to ask the catering manager how tipping works at their company.
If the Gratuity or Service charge does not go directly to the staff of your event, always be sure to tip the onsite banquet manager in easily dividable cash so that they can disperse it to their staff (wait staff, bartenders, chefs, etc)
How much: 15-20 percent of the total bill, or $50 to $100 for the manager and $20 to $30 for each cook or server.
When to do it: when clean up is done

Band/DJ

Should you: Not required, but always appreciated!
Tipping your wedding musicians is optional, but a nice gesture if they really provide outstanding service.
How much: $75 to $150 for a DJ, $20 to $25 per musician for a band.
When to do it: When they arrive to set up, or immediately following the event

Wedding Planner

Should you: Not required, but always appreciated!
Though wedding planners don’t expect anything, it’s a nice gesture if the service provided was exceptional (or you received a large discount either from them or because they helped you get one elsewhere). Take into account how many hours they are working for you on your wedding day and any last minute tasks you may have had them do for you.
How much: anywhere from $75-150 is standard for coordinators, if the planner has been with you through the planning process 10-20 percent of the planner’s fee.
When to tip: the morning of or immediately following the event

Officiant

Should you: Expected

Thanking your officiant with a tip or gift for performing one of the most important jobs of the day is customary. Especially if it is a friend or family member that knows you personally. If this is the case, and they needed to travel to the wedding to do it, you should offer to pay for their travel. It’s the least you can do, they are marrying you!

How much: $75 to $150 for an individual, or a donation to the house of worship.
When to do it: If you are hiring a professional, include the tip when you pay your ceremony fees before the wedding, or have it waiting for them at the venue before the ceremony. If it is a friend or family member, send the tip/gift to them before the wedding day.

Driver

Should you: Expected

As you would with a taxi, tip your driver unless gratuity is included in your contract.
How much: 15-20 percent.
When to do it: After the last ride of the night has been given, or the last time that you see the driver.

A couple things to remember:

  • Remember when tipping a team of people, use cash so that it can be easily split up at the end of the evening.
  • If you are getting married at a community hall/center, where your contract is with a City or County, the venue coordinator or manager of the facility can not be tipped or given a gift since they are a government employee.
  • Unless you feel strongly about handing these things to the vendors personally, it is perfectly acceptable to pass on the task to someone else on the day of the wedding. Your coordinator, best man, mom or dad, are all people that should take this on, so you don’t have to worry about it! Make sure the person you leave this to is responsible, even when drunk (because if they are waiting to hand things out after the party, they need to remember to actually do it!) This being said, most vendors expect the tips to be coming from the coordinator, and will find us to ask for them after clean up. Place the tips/gifts in sealed envelopes with the name of the recipient on the front, so that they are easy to hand out, and will get to the correct people when the time comes.

That’s all the advise I can give on the subject! Now you know as much as I do 😉

Happy Planning!

-Juliette