Organizing & Planning

What Inspires You? (April/May 2013)

Wedding Inspiration Boards can be found everywhere! They come in all sizes, shapes, colors and vary in inspiration. AND… they are fabulous! An inspiration board is a collage of images you put together that represent the colors/styles/themes/vibe you want your wedding to have.

You can refer to the inspiration board throughout the planning process to stay on track and make sure everything fits together perfectly. By using the ‘big picture’ mentality you will find the planning a lot easier and have a better visual than with a “TO DO” list.

You can plan your inspiration board on a website or print pictures from websites and tack them onto a bulletin board or cut photos from magazines and paste them on poster board. The best part about doing it online is that you can click and drag photos until you achieve the overall feeling you desire! Then, print the final version to keep with you when you are out and see something you love!

Be careful because inspiration boards make wedding planning so much fun you will be tempted to try out dozens of different ideas! Wait… that is a good thing—even better!! Try out several different color palettes to see which one suits your taste. Try different themes to see which one is the most suited to your personality. The sky is the limit—so, don’t hold back.

Wherever you can, whenever you can—create at least one inspiration board! It will change the way you view wedding planning… forever! thanks Penny Frulla of Bridal Expo Chicago for this article.

The Right Site (January/February 2008)

Your Wedding Site is like the stage for a play. With imagination and decoration, you can create any scene you like. Before building the set, consider the features of each site. Event planners know what to look for and inquire about when scouting locations with clients. Here they share some of their best advice with you.

Get the Look. Before scouting sites, experts recommend that you have a good idea of the style of event you want (formal, contemporary, etc.) and the number of guests you expect to attend. Ask the site manager how large a group the space can accommodate and also the options for seating. Discuss how large a dance floor you’d like (aim for two square feet per guest) and how much room your musicians will need (your band leader or DJ will know what they require).

Examine the site’s color scheme, lighting fixtures, curtains and carpets. Designers often prefer to work with a neutral palette which allows endless décor possibilities. “However, nothing is too hard to change,” says New York city-based event planner Bronson van Wyck. “It’s just a question of expense.” If your budget allows, walls may be covered with fabric and lighting changed to disguise undesirable elements. But, of course, a site with a pronounced style that appeals to you may be inspirational. “If you find an ornate Art Deco place that you love, then great, work with it,” says Los Angeles wedding planner Yifat Oren.

Know Your Limitations. Each site has restrictions to keep in mind. Will your venue allow you to bring in a caterer, floral designer and baker of your choice, or do they require you to work with their vendors? Many locations have regulations for candles and music. If your event is taking place outdoors, inquire about noise ordinances. In some neighborhoods, amplified music is prohibited outdoors or must be shut off at 10:00 PM, or even 8:00 PM. Planners always ask ahead when and where pickups and deliveries can be made for the rentals (linens, tents, food and flowers). Also consider guest transportation. If parking is scarce, you may have to provide shuttle service or provide parking permits.

Rehearse the Evening. When walking through the venue, picture step-by-step how the wedding will go. “It’s important to see the space as both the Bride and as a Guest,” says Ann David of David Reinhard Events. What does the entrance to the site look like? Are the hallways between the bar and the ballroom attractive? If you have to move between floors, how long it will take 100 or more guests to get upstairs using the elevator? Your site should have one toilet for every 50 guests. To keep the restrooms in good shape throughout the evening, ask the site manager about bringing in attendants.

Create Your Décor. Once you’ve got a handle on the logistics and restrictions of the site, think about the décor. Experts prefer spaces that have flow so guests can be moved to different rooms or locations throughout the evening. New York City event designer Preston Bailey advises couples to use color, lighting and flowers to give each part of your wedding day a unique feel. “For the ceremony, use quieter colors,” he suggests. “Crank it up a bit for cocktails, then go all the way in the ballroom to make it exciting.” And don’t forget that a room can do double-duty. At one wedding reception, while the guests were at dinner, Bailey completely transformed a Latin-inspired orange-and-green cocktail-hour space into a midnight-blue zen-like martini lounge.

With a tent or a loft, you can create any atmosphere. You can hang lighting from the ceiling, rent trees, or simply change the shape of the tables from round to square to give the area a different feel.

What’s the most important thing to look for in a site? “Make sure it feels right to you,” says Oren, echoing a common sentiment among other planners. “Go with your gut feeling. You have to be happy with the site you’ve chosen.”
Bridal Rescue 911 (June, 2006)

Not every Bride has 6-8 months to plan her wedding, much less a year. That’s the problem with many bridal organizers. It starts the countdown twelve months away – or even longer. But what if the Bride only has 4-6 weeks to plan her wedding? Is it possible to pull together a beautiful wedding within a matter of mere weeks? Never fear. It’s to the rescue – offering some great suggestions and tips.

First, realize that you’re going to have to simplify things. Create a master to-do list with the main focus being how to divide and conquer.

Ceremony/Reception Site. Chances are hotel or banquet rooms will already be booked with other events. That’s why you want to think outside the box. Consider getting married in the lush manicured gardens of a B&B, or having your reception at an art gallery or museum. If you want to be married among the grandeur of the outdoors, Granite Dells, Goldwater Lake or Lynx Lake are beautiful venues for an outdoor event. By the way, see PWC’s guide to “Where to Get Married” in the Prescott area here.

Your Wedding Gown. It’s not going to be possible to get a customized dress as those can take months to be ordered and fitted. Instead, call some good bridal salons and ask if they have any wedding gowns off the rack or mannequin model showpieces. Many do. If you don’t find a gown you like, look at the bridesmaid dresses. There are a number of styles that when ordered in white or ivory are perfect to wear as a wedding gown. Don a great pair of shoes and some sparkly earrings and your ensemble is complete.

Invites. There’s no time to waste and no time for special orders. People need to know fast so they can make their plans. Stationery and office supply stores are among those merchants who sell wedding invitation kits. Normally 25 cards and envelopes in a box, you can design your own invitation on the computer and print them out. When asking for an RSVP, put your phone number rather than including a self-addressed, stamped response card. It will save you time knowing the head count to give to the caterer. Though tempting, don’t send your invitations by email. Not everybody checks their email in a timely manner. Worse yet, your invite could be redirected to the spam/filter box and who knows when or if that would be noticed? If there’s not enough time to print and mail out invitations, it is perfectly acceptable to call guests asking them to your wedding.

Décor. Going to a flower market or floral boutique is a great way to get an idea of the colors you’d like for your wedding. Choose flowers that are in-season. They’re less expensive and their vibrant hues and delicate pastels look great in bouquets and corsages. To have your tablesetting look fabulous, use a lot of greenery whether it’s ferns or ornamental reed grasses. Greenery is totally underrated as to the beauty it brings to centerpieces – and best yet, very affordable.

Caterer. It might be difficult to find a caterer on such short notice. If that’s the case, take your silver platters and bowls to a deli shop. They pride themselves on loading your trays with tempting appetizers, tasty salads, and delectable entrees (ranging from chicken to enchiladas) for your guests’ enjoyment.

The Wedding Cake. In vogue this season are personalized wedding cakes, adorned with colorful sugared candies in a variety of shapes and sizes. Cake tops are the Bride and Groom’s initials, replacing the standard floral arrangement or wedding bell. Instruct the patisserie to bake cookies to accompany the cake – ideal in doubling as a take-home party favor.