Archive for Planning Help

wedding planning, help with wedding planning, tipping wedding vendors,  wedding planner, wedding coordinator, wedding vendors, tipping protocol

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!

wedding planning, help with wedding planning, tipping wedding vendors,  wedding planner, wedding coordinator, wedding vendors, tipping protocol

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

All about the BAR

wedding planner in San Diego, San Diego Wedding Coordinator, Day of Coordinator San Diego, Wedding vendors San Diego

How much Alcohol should I buy for my Wedding???

A fellow wedding planner from Massachusetts, Tanya Costigan Events, came up with the following formula! With her permission, I’m sharing it with all of you wonderful Brides/Grooms-to-be.

 

how much alcohol for my wedding, How much alcohol, beverage calculator, alcohol calculator, wedding planning, wedding alcohol, wedding beverage calculator, san diego wedding, wedding planning

 

How much of each type of Beverage?

To this I say, you know your guests best. If you’re family primarily sticks to wine, stock up on that. If you live in San Diego, our Craft Brew scene has exploded, and if you are part of the following- make sure to have more than your typical amount of Stone and Ballast Point on hand for you and your buddies to share!

wedding planner in San Diego, San Diego Wedding Coordinator, Day of Coordinator San Diego, Wedding vendors San Diego

 

Typically though:

If it is a full bar (beer, wine, and hard liquor): 50% should be wine servings, 20% should be beer servings, and 30% should be hard liquor

If it is only Beer and Wine: 60% should be wine servings, 40% should be beer servings

wedding planner in San Diego, San Diego Wedding Coordinator, Day of Coordinator San Diego, Wedding vendors San Diego

If you are having “signature drinks” in addition to the above: estimate that each guest will have just one. Very rarely to people go back to order a second sig. cocktail. And not everyone will be as adventurous to try even one. But don’t stock up on the fixings, because unless it is pre-mixed, it will just turn into shots later in the evening.

At the end of the day, people will drink whatever is behind the bar because it’s free (to them at least)! In my personal opinion, having been to SO many weddings, Beer and Wine bars get everybody happy and almost nobody sloshy! It is a very easy way to keep your guests tamed and have the elegance of your wedding last until the very end of the night! Full bars are, of course, FUN! But there is always at least one person who is a little too ambitious with the amount they consume and they become a burden on the other guests/vendors.

 

Free Printable!!!!!

For a fun way to help your guests remember to finish their drinks from earlier, and help conserve some of your rented glassware, use these handy little cards!

I print these on colored card stock to match the color scheme of the wedding, usually 4 per 8.5×11 page, then cut. Cut 1 per guest, and place one at each place setting under one of the glasses or at the bar in a stack by the napkins!

how much alcohol for my wedding, How much alcohol, beverage calculator, alcohol calculator, wedding planning, wedding alcohol, wedding beverage calculator, san diego wedding, wedding planning

 

Happy Planning!!!

Find this helpful??? Please leave a comment so I know that what I do isn’t unnoticed 😉

Mar 09, 2016
posted in Planning Help with 0 Comments

You’re Engaged! Congratulations are in order!!!

……now what……

wedding budget, San Diego Wedding Planner, San Diego Weddings, 2014 wedding budget, how to spend my wedding budget

How much do you have to spend?

For most couples, money is a very stressful thing to talk about. But it is so important to start now! I suggest scheduling “the talk” after going to dinner and returning to the comfort of your own home.

1. Estimate what you can save:

When do you think you want to get married? What month?

Multiply the number of months left until the wedding by how much you and your groom can realistically set aside each month. If you think you will be paying for most of the wedding yourselves, think about picking up a small part time job a couple nights a week. Or maybe just babysitting or dog walking… every little bit is going to help!

2. Talk to your families

Muster up the courage and ask your parents, and his, if they are planning on pitching in on the wedding spending. This should be in person if possible. If they say yes, ask them for a specific dollar amount. Tip: Estimate to spend a little less than what they offer, this way if you need money at the end of the engagement, they wont be burnt out on resources! Now is also a good time to ask any other family who may be inclined to contribute.

When you add everything up, subtract about 10% to allow for last minute costs and overages.

wedding budget, San Diego Wedding Planner, San Diego Weddings, 2014 wedding budget, how to spend my wedding budget

Now that you have your budget total…

How are YOU going to spend it?

 

There is absolutely NO right way to spend your budget! It is personal to you! So how do you figure out where your money needs to go?

wedding budget, San Diego Wedding Planner, San Diego Weddings, 2014 wedding budget, how to spend my wedding budget

Make a list of what you will be spending your money on…

The Dress
The Tux
Ceremony Location
Reception Location
Wedding Planner (full/partial/”day of”)
Rentals
Food
Flowers (Personal, Ceremony, and Reception)
Officiant
Photographer
Videographer
Music/ Entertainment
Invitations
Stationary
Cake
Gifts/Favors
Bar
Rings
Beauty
Transportation
Honeymoon
 

Now rate each category from most important to you → least important.

For example, photography was the most important thing to me when I got married. Turns out, about 1/3 of our budget went to the photographer, because I knew what I wanted, and that was a good photographer who understood my artistic eye! For my friend, the venue was most important to her and her fiancé. They wanted a mountain view, with a down home country feel. That is how they were both raised, in different parts of the country. And it was a big deal to them that they were able to find a venue with the same qualities that could make them feel at home!

Once you have figured out what is important to you and your groom, you can start spending accordingly. But don’t just start spending, do some recon… figure out what the average cost of the services and products are. I suggest googling “the category” + “your city”. A lot of wedding vendors make you email them for  a price quote, but some will post the prices on their site! Look at these vendors prices to get a estimate of what the average cost is in this category. Factor this info into your spending as well. Make sure you are following your prioritized list to gage how much of your budget should be allotted to each wedding category.

Combine, Edit, Save, and Spend

San Diego Wedding Planner, Wedding Planner in San Diego, Wedding Designer San Diego, Wedding Design, Beautiful Wedding Designs, Rustic Chic Wedding Design

 

Combine:

Start thinking of how you can combine elements! Check out the live plants featured above ↑. A potted flower or succulent placed on the tables as centerpieces, can double as favors to the guests sitting at that table! They can even triple as place cards by stringing tags with the guests name or the family name around one of the stems.

Edit:

What is down at the bottom of your list, that neither you or you fiancé really care about. Maybe it’s a professional officiant or a traditional 5 tier wedding cake. Spend less or even nothing on the items and services that mean the least to you! I don’t care how much money you have…The less you spend on things that you don’t want the more you can spend on the items you do want!

So what do you do when you future in laws step in and say that their has to be “a cake”? Here’s the rules: You can not ruin your future relationships over you wedding plans. As messed up as it may sound, you have to listen to what everyone wants. But when there is no room in the budget for it, say just that! “We simply can’t afford it with everything else that we need to spend our money on. We would love to have “a cake”, but other items have our priority. If you would like to pay for “the cake” we would be more than happy to help you pick it out!” But remember, if they pay for it, they have a say in it! So be careful what you relinquish power on, make sure it’s not something that you have to have exactly your way. These are bottom half of the list items!

Save:

Look for ways to save. Be creative. DIY, or enlist the services of your super hip and crafty aunt. My cousin’s new wife sewed each persons napkin and the table runners! This added so much pattern and charm that a simple centerpiece and the basic white table cloth and plates from the catering service was all that was needed to make the reception tables amazing! Not to mention, it made each of their 150 guests feel so special.

Look to who you know! If they meet your style and standards, reach out to the people you know to help you out a little! If they are professionals, remember not to ask them for too much, as they make their living based on the services that you are likely asking them to discount. Be respectful, and they will reciprocate! If they are hobbyists, offer them a little something in return for their service. If they refuse payment, at least hand them a gift card and a thank you note on the big day!

Spend:

Take advantage of a planning notebook or a online wedding guide. Wedding Wire has the most comprehensive budget tracking system I’ve ever seen, and it’s Free!!! It will help you estimate, track, and adjust your spending. They also have a payment reminder system that will remind you when you have a payment coming up!

Leave some money for the last minute expenses. Even the most organized bride is going to have the last minute blowout shopping trip to Michaels or some other craft store to pick up “all the other things”!

wedding budget, San Diego Wedding Planner, San Diego Weddings, 2014 wedding budget, how to spend my wedding budget

Remember for tips and tricks on ways to save, read more of what the Simply Elegant blog has to say! 

A couple other budget friendly blogs I LOVE to read:

Broke-Ass Bride

Budget Savvy Bride

Check out my services for Wedding Planning as well as “Day of” Wedding Coordination! If you need help getting started, schedule a free Start up Consultation with me, where we can talk about your wedding plans, I can give you some great information, and we can talk about which wedding planning services might be right for what you, your budget, and your wedding!

Happy Planning!

-Juliette

 

 

 

wedding planning san diego, how to plan a wedding in san diego, san diego wedding planner, diy wedding, diy wedding planning, what to do first in planning my wedding

Simply Elegant Weddings – San Diego

Why would someone want to hire a wedding planner, when they already know what they want and how it should look on Pinterest?

There is so much more to planning an event than just picking out the right color swatches and DIYing all your own decor. There are vendors to hire, money to organize, etiquette to follow (or not follow), and more opinions from your friends/family than you ever thought possible. So here are just some of the things that we will help you with! 

Get you Started:

Beginning to plan a wedding is like trying to clean up a disaster zone. You can stare at the pile for hours before you even know where to start. That’s why looking to someone who has done it before can be so helpful! When you look to an experienced wedding planner, you gain the benefit of our knowledge and past experiences. A good Planner can tell you what you need to know when interviewing other vendors. We can even go with you on those meetings to help screen out the good, from the just okay. An educated planner can look over your contracts with other vendors to make sure you are not paying for things you do not need or fees that were not agreed upon. Most planners have a preferred list of vendors that they have worked with in the past. We know that those vendors are worthy of your money! Planners have also worked with vendors that are not so good (unfortunately)! We remember what happened in the past, the mishaps that they (the planner) had to make right. We can warn you to stay away from these troubled vendors, something that Yelp reviews may not always be able to do.

Save Time:

Time is money, and when there is a deadline, it is a stressor! There is no need to spend 24/7 researching how to’s or stressing over what flowers would make your bouquet pop against your white dress! A planner can do that for you. Save your beauty sleep, and schedule a meeting with your planner. We will research anything that you have a question about! Then we will present you with a few options based on your vision and all you have to do is say “I want this one.”

Rescue your Relationships:

 

When you are engaged there can be a lot of family input, from both sides. Being a patient and kind bride will help to start your relationship with your in laws on the right foot. It is important not to step on anyone’s toes and not hurt any feelings. Part of a planners job is to act as a buffer, between the couple and their relatives. A planner can help smooth over any differences that you may have with your immediate or your future family. Also, We can help to prevent a case of “Crazy Bride Syndrome” from occurring a week before the big day. Our goal is to keep you as calm and as relaxed as possible, because the last thing anyone wants to deal with is a case of “The Freaked Out Groom”! Grooms: yes, your bride has a lot of things to deal with at the moment. no, they are not going to stay this way once you are married! Weddings do have a tendency to cause temporary insanity. Spare yourself and let the planner be the one to go through it.

Save you Money:

Although it seems counter productive to spend money on someone who can save you money, it really isn’t, I promise. Wedding Planners are expert bargain hunters. Even working with the most outrageous of budgets, a wedding planner is still faced with the obstacle that our clients don’t want to spend more than they have to. It is our job to find the best price possible. San Diego is consistently ranked one of the most expensive cities in the country to host a wedding. In 2014, the average budget in San Diego was $32,941! That’s a lot of pressure for a bride on a tight budget. Wedding Planners have the knowledge of the city and we can give you pointers on where to shop for the best prices! Working with a planner can help you find reputable vendors in the price point that you are looking to spend. Vendors on a planners preferred list will often either give a discount to the couple or will give the planner a kick back for setting them up with the job. **At Simply Elegant Weddings, we ALWAYS pass this on to the client in the form of a discount from the vendor, or a discount on our services to make up the difference! And we never choose vendors just for this reason, they have to be good at their job for us to want to work with them!

San Diego wedding planner, Wedding Coordinator San Diego, San Diego day of wedding coordinator, rustic wedding san diego, diy wedding san diego, diy wedding planner

Be Happy on your Wedding Day!

Make your day about You:

Wedding Planners are trained to notice (and fix) the details. You want your guests to be focused on you and your partner, not on the boxes behind you that someone forgot to move out of sight. But if you are getting dressed and having your hair and makeup done, who is going to look after these last minute details. This is the job of the Day-of Wedding Coordinator. We are there to make sure that every wrinkle gets unwrinkled, that every stray thread gets plucked, that every piece of glass is fingerprint free! Day of Coordinating is the most affordable form of wedding planning, and in my opinion is the most important. You can not be everywhere on the day of your wedding, it’s impossible. You will be getting hair and makeup done at the same time that vendors will be arriving to the venue to set up. You need to be focused on what is important, the major fact that you are getting married to the love of your life in a few short hours! It is a Wedding Planners job to make sure that the vendors arrive on time and that everything looks the way that you envisioned it would.

Many major wedding venues (like hotels and catering halls) come with the service of an ‘Events Manager’ or ‘Venue Coordinator’. These guys are great, but they are not your personal wedding coordinator. The role of an events manager or venue coordinator is to take care of what the venue is in charge of (tables, chairs, linens, place settings) and to make sure that your event stays within the rules of the venue. Often times, that is where the service stops. They do not coordinate activities during the event and they do not set up (or clean up) any personal decor that you have to incorporate in your wedding or reception.

Fix what needs Fixin’:

JLo had an utility belt. I have a Mary Poppins bag full of last minute emergency fixes. I am sure that I haven’t seen it All, but I have seen a lot! Everything from blood on the wedding dress to broken boutonnieres, suit coat buttons that are missing to wipes for your face after a good cake smash. I’ve got you and your guests covered, all day long. Think of me as hands-on insurance! But we don’t just fix things on the wedding day, If you have a tiff with your future mother in law and you need to be reassured at 2am that going through with the wedding is the right thing to do, I’ll answer your call! If your DJ makes you angry by playing a song that you hate, I’ll take care of that too! My job is to make sure that you enjoy getting married and that you celebrate it with no stress attached!

 

Wedding Planners are a necessity for weddings. Maybe I am biased, but I really do think that hiring someone to take care of plans and logistics is essential to being able to relax and enjoy your special day. I think that the idea of hiring a planner or even a Day of Coordinator has become associated with being a Luxury expense when it comes to your wedding budget. However, when you factor in what a planner can save you, through connections with other vendors and shopping for the best deals, it can pretty much even out the price of their services. Plus, you get all of the other perks of having a planner, an extra set of hands, and the knowledge from their previous experiences.

So are you are still on the fence about whether to brave the process yourself or hire a planner? If so, I encourage you to schedule a FREE start up consultation! This is not a commitment ceremony, it’s Just a meeting. There is no charge, and it will help get you organized and focused! We will go over the different services that we can offer you and different ways that we can help that will fit into your specific budget. It’s not just a sales pitch though! We will also give you checklists and worksheets that will help you throughout your planning process, whether you decide to hire us or not!

Happy Planning!

-Juliette

 

Dec 08, 2015
posted in Planning Help with 0 Comments

Wedding Planning can get overwhelming! There is no way around that truth. But it can be less stressful when you know a little bit about what you’re doing! With many of you just starting your wedding planning journey, I thought it would be helpful to share some ideas that I’ve learned to make your wedding planning and wedding day easier! So today, and next week, I am sharing some of the best advise and “wedding hacks” that I’ve learned over the years, so that you can be happy and mentally sane on the biggest day of your life!

Follow us on Instagram for daily helpful tricks, and extra special (not so secret) ideas that won’t be shared here on the blog!

wedding planning, how to plan a wedding, wedding planner, san diego wedding planner, wedding coordinator, san diego wedding planning, wedding planning help, wedding planning hacks, wedding hacks

wedding planning, how to plan a wedding, wedding planner, san diego wedding planner, wedding coordinator, san diego wedding planning, wedding planning help, wedding planning hacks, wedding hacks

wedding planning, how to plan a wedding, wedding planner, san diego wedding planner, wedding coordinator, san diego wedding planning, wedding planning help, wedding planning hacks, wedding hacks

wedding planning, how to plan a wedding, wedding planner, san diego wedding planner, wedding coordinator, san diego wedding planning, wedding planning help, wedding planning hacks, wedding hacks

Don’t forget to Follow us on Instagram!

Dec 01, 2015
posted in Planning Help with 0 Comments

With many of you just starting your wedding planning journey, I thought it would be helpful to share some ideas that I’ve learned to make your wedding planning and wedding day easier! So over the next week or so, I’ll be sharing some of the best advise and “wedding hacks” that I know, so that you can be happy and mentally sane on the biggest day of your life!

Follow us on Instagram for daily helpful tricks, and special (not so secret) ideas that won’t be shared here on the blog!

 

wedding planning, how to plan a wedding, wedding planner, san diego wedding planner, wedding coordinator, san diego wedding planning, wedding planning help, wedding planning hacks, wedding hacks

 

wedding planning, how to plan a wedding, wedding planner, san diego wedding planner, wedding coordinator, san diego wedding planning, wedding planning help, wedding planning hacks, wedding hacks

 

wedding planning, how to plan a wedding, wedding planner, san diego wedding planner, wedding coordinator, san diego wedding planning, wedding planning help, wedding planning hacks, wedding hacks

 

wedding planning, how to plan a wedding, wedding planner, san diego wedding planner, wedding coordinator, san diego wedding planning, wedding planning help, wedding planning hacks, wedding hacks

 

Happy Planning!

-Juliette

unique ways to save on your wedding, save on wedding, budget wedding, budget wedding ideas, weddings, wedding planning, wedding planning help

 

DIY weddings have been common lately, and I absolutely love the control it gives a bride and groom over their own celebration. Many choose DIY in order to add a more personal touch to their event. Others choose to do a DIY wedding in order to cut costs.

However, after a trip or two to Michael’s, DIY can seem like you’re spending more than you’re saving! Here’s a list of a few ways to make sure that your DIY wedding stays within your budget and makes your big day extra personal.

1. Use a Wedding Resale site

Wedding Planner San Diego, San Diego Wedding Coordinator, Wedding Design in San Diego, unique ways to save on your wedding, save on wedding, budget wedding, budget wedding ideas, weddings, wedding planning, wedding planning help

Why buy new materials when you can get gently used supplies at a fraction of the cost? Wedding resale sites are places where newly married brides sell their wedding decorations, dresses, and more to people who are planning their weddings now. You can find anything from 100 mason jar glasses to 100 yards of pink ribbon at discounted prices!

There are several national sites where brides can shop for these items. However, there are also many local sites that allow brides to score great wedding necessities and save on shipping costs! In addition, make sure to check Facebook and other social media sites for pages that are dedicated to wedding resale. Check out this Facebook page for San Diego weddings!

2. Use Video to Create the Perfect Photograph

unique ways to save on your wedding, save on wedding, budget wedding, budget wedding ideas, weddings, wedding planning, wedding planning help

Want to save money on a photographer, but don’t want your friends and family on their phones during the entire ceremony? Try setting up a video camera (or two!) during the ceremony and recording your wedding. This way, you will have your own wedding video. From that, you can take stills from the video to create stunning photographs. For the group shots after the wedding, have a friend or a planner set-up and take the shots. This way, you don’t need to spend any additional money on a photographer and you will have your photos and video right away!

To avoid disaster on your day, make sure to test this technique before your wedding. There are many online tutorials that show you how to take stills from a video camera. Make sure to read these through and do a test run of the ceremony to make sure that the lighting and focus settings will yield the best possible photographs!

3. Send Invites on Social Media

unique ways to save on your wedding, save on wedding, budget wedding, budget wedding ideas, weddings, wedding planning, wedding planning help

This may seem like a cheap and cheesy idea, but hear me out. Instead of spending money to have engagement photos taken and then paying to have an invitation designed, printed, and mailed, use social media to your advantage! Take your engagement photos and make a flipagram set to your favorite song, or film a more personal invitation from the bride and the groom.

Once you have your video, flipagram, or photo designed, send it to your friends and family using email, Facebook, or any other electronic medium you’d like! This is a nice way to add a personal touch to invitations while saving money on printing and mailing. You could do the same thing for thank you’s, and personally thank each person in a short video from the newly married couple! This site has lots of options for evites, including animated messages that look like you are opening a real card. Additionally, they make paper invitations as well, so if you wanted to send a real invitation to the traditionalists in your family, you can!

4. Make Your Own Favors

blog 4

Wedding favors are little gifts given to guests to thank them for celebrating your special day with you. While these are a nice thought, the cost of giving even a small gift to each and every guest can add up very quickly. One way to cut these costs is to make your own wedding favors!

Edible favors are always a hit, and are more likely to be used rather than thrown away or forgotten. You could make your own tiny treats for guests, like cupcakes, brownies, or cookies. Or you could try something more non-traditional like these spice jars from The Knot.

Other ideas that could save you money on favors include setting up a candy bar where guests could make themselves a goodie bag, or boxing up the remainders of the wedding cake for a late night treat for guests! If you’re interested in having us provide a candy bar for you and your guests, check out this page! Any of these ideas are sure to make sure your friends and family feel appreciated while not blowing the budget.

5. Cut Back on Greenery to Save Some Green

San Diego wedding planner, Wedding Coordinator San Diego, San Diego day of wedding coordinator, rustic wedding san diego, diy wedding san diego, diy wedding planner

A wedding budget breakdown usually devotes between 5-15% of the wedding budget to flowers and centerpieces. That’s a huge chunk of change! By making a few adjustments to your floral plan, you can save that money for other splurges, like your honeymoon! The most important thing to do when deciding how to save money on flowers is to talk to your florist. They know how to cut the costs of wedding arrangements, and may have some out-of-the-box ideas to help you save money! In the meantime, think about these tips to save a bunch on your blossoms:

Ask your florist to reuse flowers from the ceremony for your reception as well. This will require some extra labor in between the two spaces, so be sure to factor that in when talking to your florist and your planner. However, reusing the flowers means reducing the number of flowers you need. How resourceful!

Try using items other than flowers! Some brides have been carrying bouquets of brooches, which is a fun way to add a very personal touch to your arrangement. For centerpieces you could try using lanterns, wooden décor, candles, or anything else that catches your eye!

If you’d still like to have large, cascading arrangements, try reducing the number of flowers and using greenery and herbs instead. These stems cost a lot less than flowers do and can do wonders to fill out a smaller bunch. Try using only one or three flowers with a whole lot of greens for a statement arrangement that will really wow your guests!

Happy Planning!!!

-Juliette

San Diego Ranch Wedding Venue, Wedding Venue San Diego, Rustic Wedding Venue San Diego

 

I recently found this article from Huffington Post. It is great at explaining what to expect from a florist quote! Working with a professional florist who is experienced with weddings is SO important to helping your day run smoothly and look the way you are dreaming/planning it will! DIY is great for some things, but when it comes to flowers that have to be put together the day before at the earliest, leave it to a pro!

wedding budget, San Diego Wedding Planner, San Diego Weddings, 2014 wedding budget, how to spend my wedding budget

Below is the article that you can find originally at:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/carly-cylinder/how-to-decode-a-wedding_b_3002434.html and was written by the incredibly talented , owner of Flour LA

 

“One of my best friends, who is getting married in San Diego this fall, recently emailed me a copy of her wedding flower invoice to make sure everything was copacetic. I get this a lot — not just from friends, but from friends of friends, from strangers, etc. People always think their florist is ripping them off, and want me to check. In most cases they’re not. Flowers are expensive! There’s the actual cost of the flowers, the time, the labor, the van and studio rentals… again, the time (yes, it takes along time to get that bouquet just right).

The invoice is a line-by-line breakdown of each item and cost. Florists may call it a proposal, bid, or an invoice. Once the couple looks it over and makes any changes, they will sign a contract with the florist. Some event designers who do flowers themselves may do an all inclusive cost — just make sure you get a breakdown of rental vases verus the vases you can keep.

In case you’re not friends with a florist I’m going to decode the proposal for you and give you the inside scoop.

Bouquet – The bride’s bouquet will always cost more. Why? Well, usually it’s bigger. It may have more expensive flowers than the bridesmaids’ bouquets. But sometimes, just sometimes, the bride wants a small bouquet, or one that’s the same size as the bridesmaids’. In that case, it really should be the same price. The range should be from $100-$250.

Boutonnieres – We make up on other costs from these since generally they’re only one or two main flowers. But someone does have to sit there, tying the ribbon just so. The range should be from $10-$15 each.

Flower Girl Baskets – Want to save money? Buy your own baskets and leave them with the coordinator. Again, it takes time for the florist to purchase these, and each little thing adds up.

Ceremony – Arches can be very expensive. The sheer amount of flowers needed to fill them can be astounding. Opt for flowers in the corners of your venue, or a larger middle arrangement to cut back on costs. I’m one of the only florists I know who tells my clients to rent their arch/chuppah from a rental company. Why you ask? Because I don’t want to be bothered with the hassle of the setup. Been there, done that, and it’s not fun. These pros that rent them can put them up quickly and break them down. That way, the bride pays the rental company directly, not me. I will adorn the arch with fabric and flowers. This can range from $250 to thousands. Reuse the flowers after the ceremony by placing them around the reception if there are empty areas (e.g. extra space on the gift table or sign-in table).

Aisle flowers – Opt for every other row. Reuse them on the chairs during the reception.

Rose petals – Range from $60-$150 depending on how lush you want them. I usually use 50 roses (2 bunches) for an aisle.

Centerpieces – This is really subjective because of how custom this is. For smaller arrangements, the couple usually chooses to give the centerpieces away to guests. If they are large, and you’re not giving them away, ask your florist to bring the leftover flowers to a hospital. The volunteers will be very happy, I promise! While they can’t always put them in hospital rooms because of allergies and germs, they can display them in areas where the patients will see them! Centerpieces can range from $75-thousands.

Cake flowers – If you just want some blooms on your cake, ask your florist to throw in the leftover flowers. Same goes with hair flowers. Be a nice client, and they should happily agree!

Setup, Delivery, and Breakdown – Anywhere from $200-$300 is normal. Remember, the florist is setting up hours before the ceremony, and then will stay after the ceremony to breakdown the chuppah/arch, move things around, and clean up. That’s almost six hours right there! If you are keeping the flowers (and not using rentals), the florist won’t have to come back, so it should be a lower price.

People tend to want to negotiate with flowers, but like I say, you wouldn’t go into a restaurant saying you want a steak, but can only afford the hamburger. There are hard costs involved that can’t be negotiated. Be reasonable too. I know that planners say that 10 percent of the budget should go to flowers, but if you really love them, and they’re your main decor, then don’t hold that rule steadfast. If the florist can’t meet your budget, then instead of nickle and diming them, be willing to cut some items out. For sure you need centerpieces, but you don’t really need aisle flowers (in my opinion).”

 

Couldn’t have explained it better myself, so I didn’t!

San Diego Ranch Wedding Venue, Wedding Venue San Diego, Rustic Wedding Venue San Diego

Happy Planning!!!

-Juliette

 

wedding planning san diego, how to plan a wedding in san diego, san diego wedding planner, diy wedding, diy wedding planning, what to do first in planning my wedding

February:

  • Book your Venue
  • Go to tastings to pick your Caterer

March

  • Decide on your Caterer, have them provide the bar service too!
  • interview and book your Photographer and DJ
  • Order your rentals

April

  • Pick your cake
  • Meet with Florist and design your decor
  • Order your invitations

May

  • send out invites
  • Finish your DIY projects
  • tie up loose ends

Looking for a one stop shop when it comes to your whole wedding? Look into our friends at Ranch Events or Best Event Packages!

San diego wedding planner, wedding planner san diego, what is wedding insurance, wedding insurance, Why wedding insurance, how to plan a wedding, help with wedding insurance,

First, I would like to thank Reviews.com for their incredible research. A lot of the following information is taken straight from their article found here: http://www.reviews.com/wedding-insurance/ 

So what is Wedding Insurance? and What does it cover?

You are spending thousands of dollars on your dream wedding! There are few cases where this is not a true statement. You’ve chosen a venue that matches your personalities perfectly. You’ve chosen, what you hope to be, reputable vendors that will make your day flow smoothly. You’ve even hired yours truly as your day of coordinator, so you know everything will go as planned! (wink, wink!!!)

I’m going to let you in on a little secret, there will always be something to fix when it comes to a wedding! And those horror stories that you hear, don’t always happen to people who didn’t plan as well as you have. And they aren’t always bad people that the universe decided to punish! Thing happen! Sometimes it’s minor, like the groom’s boutonniere breaking while he is getting pinned. Or the ring bearers feet grew two sizes the night before so his shoes don’t fit. These are minor, and can be fixed (or at least dealt with). But what if something major happens? Your beautiful forest venue is being threatened by a wild fire. Or the bus, that was supposed to shuttle your guests to the wedding, breaks down on the way to picking them up. What then?

If you have wedding insurance, having to find last minute replacements and new costs incurred because of that, ARE COVERED!

Also covered in most event insurance policies:

the costs incurred or lost because of sickness to essential members of the wedding
the deposits lost because of postponement/cancelation relating to military deployment or job relocation
weather conditions that prevent the wedding from happening as planned, and needing to reschedule
liability coverage covers any bodily injuries that occur during the event
liability coverage also covers any damage to the venue or property during the event

Where can you get it? and How do you know which policy to choose?

For this section, I am turning it over to the pros at review.com! They have gathered information from 19 different companies and rated them! Then they reviewed the top 6 companies and what they offer in their wedding insurance policies! Take a look for yourself: http://www.reviews.com/wedding-insurance/

This article details everything that each provider covers in their policies. So if you want to compare side by side what policy gives you the most bang for your buck, this is a great resource. Here are my top pics, after reviewing the reviews:

http://www.reviews.com/wedding-insurance/wedsafe/

http://www.reviews.com/wedding-insurance/wedsure/

Why should you get insurance for your wedding?

Well for starters, most event venues in Southern California mandate that you get coverage. And a big reason for that is what’s called “Host Liquor Liability” coverage. This will protect both you and the venue against any injury or accident related to intoxication.

Also, if you are spending so much money on something, you should be thinking of the best way to protect your investment! Most vendors require a large deposit, sometimes 50% up front. This is pretty standard in the wedding world. This means that a lot of money is going to be spent in the beginning of planning. If you have a year engagement (also standard), that is a year for something to go wrong. If you have coverage, and you loose a deposit due to factors beyond your control, you will want a safety next to get you that money back.

If all of the above doesn’t sway you… here are some more scenarios found on theknot.com:

  • Janet and Dan spend months planning their winter wedding. But on wedding day, their reception site is made inaccessible by an ice storm. With the right wedding insurance policy, the couple can postpone their wedding and receive every penny they lost (less the deductible) — including money for the invites, cake, catering, attire, and non-refundable deposits for ceremony musicians, floral designer, and other vendors.
  • The bride’s father is injured in a car accident just before the wedding and cannot travel. If the couple has to postpone their wedding, with wedding insurance they could be paid back their expenses to enable them to have the wedding when the father recovers.
  • Right before the ceremony, Brittany’s gown catches a gust of wind. Unfortunately, the tulle dances right over to the end of Uncle Howard’s cigar and the dress instantly goes up in flames. Fortunately, the right insurance policy covers the replacement of the veil and gown.

 

Sorry for not many fancy pictures this time around, it’s all business! Happy Planning,

-Juliette