09 Jul Designer Diary: Common Questions about Wedding Planning
In today’s Designer Diaries, we take a look at some of the most commonly asked questions we receive from couples when it comes to wedding planning.
1. What should I bring to our first consultation?
First and foremost – an open mind! We also find it helpful for prospective brides and grooms to bring any inspirational photographs, Pinterest boards, saved Instagram posts, vision board(s), or any visuals that can be used as a starting point. Don’t have any of these items ready just yet? Don’t worry! We can always start with a conversation. For couples that have the following information available, it is helpful for us to understand:
– Floral design/décor budget
– Bridal party headcount and color palette
– Estimated guest count
– Venue details (either confirmed or ideas – we can always help!)
– Ideas for your style/color palette
– Lastly: What’s most important to you! From there we can prioritize and work within your budget. Are fresh flowers the focal point or are they a more subtle/timeless addition. Do you want a wedding bouquet of all peonies or a few roses and otherwise filled with greens?
2. Should I create a wedding website?
While not required, they’re a really fun (and usually free!) way to create an interactive and informative experience for your guests. Creating a wedding website allows you to answer as many possible questions and flush out details that either don’t fit or typically shouldn’t go on an invitation. It’s also a great opportunity to share photos, personal stories, and recommendations.
3. Do I need to include the dress code on the invite?
If you have a strong opinion about how your guests should be dressed for the event and/or the venue has certain dress requirements, then we recommend including. Otherwise, you’ll find that most guests will gauge the season, time of day, and venue.
4. What do I need to know about wedding venue walkthroughs, contracts, and more?
As exciting as walk-throughs can be, they can also feel very overwhelming! To help keep you on track, we recommend bringing a written list of questions, concerns, and preferences (sometimes it’s hard not to be visually sidetracked!)
Your walkthrough will likely be conducted by a venue coordinator and they’ll be able to best guide you through space from both the perspective of the guest and as the guest(s) of honor! When it comes to the contract, we recommend reading it over in detail after you get home before moving forward with any signatures. Some recommendations to consider when reading through a contract proposal:
– Check to see if gratuity is included (if not, make sure to confirm the required and/or expected breakdown of percentages)
– Understand your backup option(s) in the case of inclement weather
– Go through the list of all on-site inclusions and cross-check with your design team (like us!) regarding any required rentals. For instance, do you prefer the house linens, or will they clash with your design scheme? Do they offer different lighting options, or will you need to bring in bistro lighting for outdoor cocktails? Our team of wedding designers can help talk through all of these details with you!
5. Is it worth hiring a videographer?
Videography has come a long, long way! Gone are the days of cheesy table interviews and awkward waving. Today, a majority of videographers record the entire day and then create short films set to music – ensuring every special moment is captured! If you have room available in your budget, it’s certainly a wonderful splurge!
6. How can I make my wedding spectacular without breaking the bank?
First and foremost, prioritization is key. Work with your team to understand which elements are most important and how to make them work within your budget. Secondly, communication is essential – especially with your venue! Understand all of their house offerings (perhaps they have a selection of votive candles included so that can be omitted from your design budget, do they have in-house chefs, or will you need to bring in an external catering company?). In some instances, you’ll find an all-inclusive venue where there is no need to bring in any additional vendors and therefore reduce your costs across the board.
Additionally, we recommend working with established vendors and openly discuss cost-saving alternatives. They know the business inside and out and will help guide you through the process. From a cost-saving perspective, they can recommend fellow vendors or colleagues which you’ll find can sometimes eliminate the need for a separate party planner.
At the end of the day, vendors are there to make your day spectacular no matter what! So, find a team you trust and be open to their expertise.
7. When should I send out save-the-dates and formal wedding invitations? Do I even need to send out save-the-dates?
People have lives, vacations, children, jobs, and more, so save-the-dates are very helpful for planning – especially if travel is required. Once your venue is set, it is recommended to send your save-the-date 6 months prior followed by a formal invitation to be sent out 3 months prior. If you are looking for a cost-saving option, you can elect to email your save-the-dates and include a link to your wedding website so guests can plan accordingly.
8. I want to have a destination wedding but I am unsure where to start. Any tips?
First, you’ll need to determine your budget as there are a ton of factors that will need to be taken into consideration. From there, it’s important to understand that for most destination weddings, the percentage of attendees compared to a local wedding will be much different.
9. How do I choose a theme/color scheme for my wedding?
What do you gravitate toward when buying your home? Or clothing? Do you find your patterns are bright in color or do you lean toward a more neutral look? Inspiration can be found anywhere! We recommend looking through magazines, Pinterest, Instagram, blogs, and more and save photos of the designs, colors, furniture, and clothing that you like. It can be anything! Our designers will be able to pull from and provide recommendations and design options based on your preferences.
10. Are there any things that can be DIY?
There are tons of options! Some of the most common DIY projects we find are: save-the-dates, wedding party favors, place cards, and signage, but the possibilities are endless!
11. Does my photographer create a timeline/shot list or vice versa?
This is a delicate dance between so many important people! You will need to provide your photographer with your personal timeline ahead of the wedding so timing can be coordinated. They will already have a list of shots they intend to shoot, but if there are specific photos that you want to capture (specific family photos, first look, certain angles of the ceremony) it is best to discuss those options with the photographer and provide your own list. (This also goes for images or moments you may not want captured!). Your photographer will connect with the band/musicians, venue, coordinators, and caterers so there is one timeline for the big day!
12. Do bridesmaids have to wear the same dresses? Any tips on how to individualize with accessories?
Not at all! We’ve seen so many stunning variations over the years! All bodies are different, so finding a ‘one size fits all’ look can really limit your options. Switching up colors, styles, and designs can be a beautiful design enhancement to the big day! We’ve seen everything from brides choosing a color and then having their bridesmaids find the dress or ensemble of their choice to customized florals, wearable floral crowns or jewelry, different colored capes, shoes, you name it!