Addressing your wedding invitations is kind of a big deal. And although there are about a million super fun ways to address your envelopes for your wedding invites and more fonts and envelope choices than I can count, there are some rules of etiquette that simply cannot be broken when it comes to HOW the titles are worded.Read More
Oftentimes I hear brides and grooms telling me all the reasons they can't afford a wedding planner and I just want to BEG them to reconsider that stance for sooooooo many reasons. You can't afford NOT to have a competent wedding planner on the ground handling all the details you've worked so long and so hard to put together. Here are just a few reasons why you should think twice before skipping a planner. I'm likely going to repeat myself a few times here, but trust me, I speak the truth!
I'm not going to touch on Destination Weddings in this post because we've got one specifically dedicated to that in the works so just stay tuned!
1. Peace of mind!
This is the biggest and the most important reason you should have a wedding planner that is both competent (and I stress that word) and professional (another word that deserves much emphasis) handling all the details of your big day. A real true event planner will have a whole team with her (or him!) so that no detail goes unnoticed.
Oh, what's that? Your auntie used to work at a flower shop in college back in '87 and she's going to do all the planning AND the flowers? Oh, your mom's cousin's best friend's step-brother's nephew's girlfriend does planning on the side? First of all, no. Second, do you really want your loved ones or some random person "working" your wedding instead of enjoying it? Don't you want to spend that wonderful day WITH your friends and family versus ordering everyone around and making sure people have done their "jobs" as well as making sure the vendors are on point? Wouldn't it be brilliant to have someone there to make sure all that happens while you get to be the Bride and not the Planner?
Furthermore, that person is more than likely not a professional wedding planner. Without the experience of a seasoned planning professional, when the average person gets hit with a high-stress, highly unpredictable day things can go very wrong. I'm not trying to scare you, but if things get hairy, can your mom/sister/cousin/aunt/friend handle the stress? And do you even want to expose her to that? Don't put the people you love to work at your wedding. The margin for error, stress and drama is exceptionally high when you do that!
Event & Wedding Planner jobs have landed on the top 5 lists of most stressful jobs for the last 5+ years. Simply put, we're used to this shit!
2. You will get access to our connections!
We've spent years carefully curating a list of vendors* we trust and highly recommend. We've built relationships with people and we know how they operate, we know that they are true professionals and we can attest to their abilities to deliver on their promises. We know exactly who to match you up with to fit your design and budget. We know who to guide you toward and who to steer you away from.
And even aside from discounts, we can open doors to vendors that may only work with clients that have wedding planners. That's right, there are many venues and vendors that will only work with people that have a planner. Without one of us, you'd likely never even know about them!
*PLEASE know that our Preferred Vendor list is not built on kickbacks, charging vendors commissions or referral fees. We find kickbacks to be not only dishonest, but wholly unethical and would never suggest a vendor based on them paying us to do so.
3. We can help you SAVE money!
Yes, you heard me right. We can save you money by helping you spend it smarter and negotiating better terms with your vendors. And sometimes our Preferred Vendors will offer discounted rates or throw in a little something extra for Scarlet brides. I'm not saying we will definitely be able to get you discounts and freebies with every single vendor, but sometimes it will happen. We work very closely with our preferred list for many reasons and occasionally they'll toss in a little lagniappe (a little something extra) for our clients. Let me reiterate that, we cannot guarantee discounts from everyone, but sometimes they will be offered. Do not go into a relationship with a planner simply because you think she's going to get you bajillions of discounts and get you a free wedding because you will be sorely disappointed, but certain vendors are able to extend discounts and upgrades for the clients of a planner they love.
We can also help you spend your money smarter by showing you where you can source things for less, talking you OUT of wasting $250 on a custom aisle runner you will probably trip on, and introducing you to the wonderful world of new talent! Love a high-end designer's flowers but can't afford it? We can introduce you to new talent that is very similar to their design aesthetic for a fraction of the cost. Bringing me right back to point #2 again, we know people!
Did you know it takes roughly 250-300 hours to plan a wedding for 125 people? Do you really have that much time on your hands? We do!
5. We can handle the drama!
If we know beforehand that Aunt Carol and Uncle Victor don't get along we can make sure they don't have any run-ins during the wedding. We can help you with the seating chart and make sure to seat them far, far away from each other at the reception (and we even keep an eye for trouble!) instead of them accidentally ending up at the same table and someone getting stabbed. This has legit happened. Buy me a margarita and I might just tell you that story!
6. We are your new, super organized, wedding loving best friends!
In addition to all the normal stuff like putting your timeline together and creating floorplans, we are one of the only people you know who will never get sick of your wedding! We spend hours gathering all your important personal belongings, helping you make your seating chart, putting together and delivering your Welcome Bags, helping keep you calm when your future sister-in-law gets a mad classy, monstrous new skull & crossbones tattoo right across her throat 2 days before your super traditional cathedral wedding (airbrushing isn't that expensive and works really well!), performing amateur relationship counseling when the groom insists on wearing his ratty old beat up Chucks with his custom Vera Wang tux (just let it slide!), coming with you to fittings, helping you pick out just the right shoes and earrings and then helping you again when you change your mind, keeping you hydrated & fed the day of the wedding, and answering every call and text you send our way. We keep track of payments for your vendors, help the best man and the MOH write their speeches if they need us, hand out all the tips, and we keep your event running seamlessly, handling whatever gets thrown our way.
And, honestly, the only thing we want at the end of the night is for you to hug us and tell us that you love us before you head off into Happily Ever After. That's the stuff we live for. Make your planner feel like she's loved and we will move mountains for you. Always.
7. We have brilliant ideas!
What? It's true Sure, you've seen all kinds of cool stuff on Pinterest but so have 100 million other Pinners. Most wedding planners & event designers strive to create unique events customized to the exact taste & budget of each client. And that means we get to know you as a couple and then come up with truly unique ideas for just y'all. We don't just copy our other weddings or another designer's work.
Or maybe you want to do something completely wild? We have crazy out of the box ideas (and the right connections!) to take your event to the next level! Want to hear more? Schedule your complimentary consultation with a Scarlet Wedding Planner today!
I know some of y'all are still worried that you cant afford a planner, but here's one last piece of advice, the ages old saying: "You'll catch more flies with honey than vinegar" is one that will never go out of style. There is not one client that's been genuinely being kind and honest about their needs that has walked away without us finding a way to help them.
One of my absolute favorite past clients was on a tight budget and totally overwhelmed with planning, but she reminded me so much of my little sister, and on top of it she was absolutely delightful and gave me all the warm fuzzies when we talked for the first time that I knew I had to work with her and she's become one of my dearest friends (love you, Em!). So don't let your idea of what you can and can't afford stand in your way of at least talking to a wedding planner!
Happy planning, my loves!
enjoy a few photos of the SPD crew in action!
Update! John & Paul's wedding has been published in the Spring/Summer 2016 Issue of The Knot Magazine! Snag your copy today!
SMF, y'all, this post is gonna be long and mushy. Honestly I'm getting all kinds of choked up as I begin to write this blog about one of the most amazing couples I've ever been blessed enough to work with. John & Paul quickly went from incredible clients to good friends to people I now consider family. I'd say I miss them, but lucky for me they've become a part of my life and I'll never have to actually say goodbye to them. Geez, am I mushy enough or what?!
Now to the nitty gritty, but where do I even begin with their epic 3 part wedding extravaganza?! Let's get the vendor credits out of the way :)
::: planning, design, floral & styling : Sara Skinner, Scarlet Plan & Design | photography : Milanes Photography | venue : Library Hotel | menswear : The Modern Gent | shoes : Converse | cufflinks : Burberry | rings : Chris Ploof Designs, Mokume Gane | stationery : Paper Daisies | videography : Love Brain Films | cupcakes : Prohibition & Buttercup Cake Shop | restaurant : Tri Bec Ca | officiant : Reverend Lou Olivieri | glass ceremony : Unity In Glass | musicians : New York Virtuosi :::
When John & Paul first contacted me about planning their wedding, we hit it off within seconds and I immediately knew it was right up my alley and I just had to be involved. They were sweet, funky, madly in love and wanted a creative nontraditional bash to celebrate their marriage. And for them, it was all about the details! We took all the special details about their life and found ways to incorporate them into their big day.
We set the wheels in motion for the ceremony and a small reception to be held in New York (since at the time same-sex marriage was not yet legal in all 50 states) and planned for their reception to take place in their hometown of Atlanta a month later. And stay tuned for Part 2 of their Epic Wedding Adventure coming soon!
So off to New York we went! After countless Uber rides, 11 venue tours, 17 cases of the giggles (SMF!), 3 nights in a super sketchy Air BNB, treks through 2 Boroughs, a super awkward "tasting", inside jokes nobody but us will ever understand, dinner at a winery where no wine is actually made and one of the MOST fun planning trips I've ever taken, J&P fell in love with the Library Hotel, an impeccable gem of a boutique hotel. With sweeping views of Manhattan and the NY Public Library from the rooftop garden and the most incredible staff I've ever worked with (especially Sarah & Joel!), I couldn't possibly have better things to say about them!
Then we met with Reverend Lou Olivieri and he has easily become my favorite officiant of all time. Kind, genuine and just incredibly warm and welcoming, we immediately knew that he was the man for the job! I think it's safe to say we all fell a little bit in love with Rev. Lou! And his ceremony?! Just forget it. I straight up Kim K Ugly Cried the entire time. It was beautiful.
The grooms got ready together the morning of the wedding, just the two of them. Seeing as how it was their 7th anniversary, my team and I surprised them with an enormous bouquet of roses in their room while they were out taking their portraits with Cathi.
And then off they went to Washington Square Park & Central Park for portraits! Never have I seen 2 people more excited or full of joy than John & Paul the morning of their wedding day!
After J&P greeted most of their guests, we got the ceremony started! Their families walked down the aisle first, then their ADORABLE little flower girl, before John & Paul walked together, side by side just like every other aspect of their lives. Partners. Equals. Soul mates.
We did a gorgeous Glass Unity Ceremony where John & Paul poured different colored glass together and then we sent it off to Unity In Glass where they turned it into a gorgeous sculpture. And with the extra glass that was leftover from the sculpture my wonderful grooms had 2 gorgeous Christmas ornaments made for their mothers! Pics of those on my Part 2 blog post!
Following the rooftop ceremony John & Paul enjoyed a fabulous brunch mini-reception with all of their nearest & dearest! And then the entire gang walked a block over to the New York Public Library for some fun group shots!
Cheers to you both, my loves. May your lives always be filled with joy, love and laughter...and loads of SMF ;)
love always and always and always, Sara
OK, so this might come off as a tad ranty, but hear me out! I'm soooooo tired of looking at wedding photos and all I see are guests hidden behind their damn cellphones. Where is the bride walking down the aisle with her father? Hidden behind Auntie Carol's gigantic friggin' iPad, 17 cellphones, Uncle Bob squatting in the aisle because he has a DSLR and now fancies himself a photographer, and even a couple of disposable cameras. Seriously? Where did you even get that fossil?
Y'all, stop! For the love of all things sacred and sugar-glazed, please stop it! Tell me this has not become the norm.
Oh, but it has! Everyone thinks they are entitled to get that special shot. But let me clarify this for you, you're not entitled to any such thing. You were invited by the happy couple to take part in witnessing and celebrating their union and the only thing you're entitled to is that, so feel free to just enjoy the moment and make memories. I'm not telling you not to take any photos...oh, wait, that's exactly what I'm telling you. PUT THE PHONE/CAMERA/IPAD (really? you carry an iPad around with you in real life situations?) DOWN AND ENJOY THE MOMENT. At least wait until after the ceremony to break out the devices again.
If the happy couple hasn't already decided to make their wedding unplugged, let me break down why you, my dear guests, should just go ahead and turn off your devices for a hot second.
Now let's have a chat about "Uncle Bob"
Uncle Bob is the cousin/uncle/father/friend with the "fancy" camera and the eye for ruining a pros shot. (That's what we folks in the wedding biz call "that guy".) Believe it or not, the happy couple actually hired a professional to take their wedding photos. Can you imagine the nerve?! They had the gall to spend thousands of dollars on a professional photographer and, in some cases a videographer, to capture images of the most important day of their lives. And you, my overly eager - ahem, obnoxious - friend, are in their way!
Let me repeat myself. You are in their way. When you hold up your camera while they are having their first dance, everyone who looks at the wedding photos will see that bright little light in your hand or (worse) you blocking the photographer. When you lean into the aisle when they are exchanging vows, having their first kiss, entering the church, you are blocking the photographer. And more often than not, churches have very specific rules when it comes to where the photographer can be. The photographer will painstakingly research the best place for them to set up their cameras and then most of the time they cannot leave that location for the duration of the ceremony. But if you decide to hop into the aisle, you will be the only thing people will focus on when they see the photos. And I hate to break it to you, but the only images the couple will really and truly care about come from the photographer they hired. Your photos, while appreciated, are not the ones they are most looking forward to. Sorry.
Now, about the flash.
And, no, I don't mean a super fun flash mob! The photos are trashed when you use the flash. That flash and the awful red dot that accompanies it can be seen like a beacon fire on a mountaintop! Yes, that's how it looks. That cannot be edited out. Once the flash goes off, the photo is ruined.
Bruh, we need to talk about social media etiquette.
I can't even count how many times we've seen overly excited bridesmaids or random guests/family members post a photo of the bride in her gown on Facebook, Snapchat or Instagram before the ceremony. I actually had a bride tell her wedding party that if they posted a pic of her online before the ceremony that she would smash their phone with a hammer! I kid you not, she pulled out an actual hammer. Don't even ask me where she found a hammer at the beach...
But seriously, y'all, it's not OK to post photos of the bride or groom on the internet before the ceremony or First Look. We get it, you're super excited about your bestie getting hitched, and OMG she really does look totes fabs, but just slow down, tiger, this isn't your moment to share. We've had many grooms see their brides beforehand and it's really heartbreaking for that special moment to be ruined. Please just don't do it.
And now what you've been waiting for...the photobombers in action! Enjoy the awfulness.
The only thing hotter than a well dressed man is two well dressed men! Here we've culled some of our favorite looks for tying the knot in style. Some of them are matching, some of them are complete opposites and some are just too dope (do the cool kids still say that?) not to include!
The one piece of advice I give all my couples is to be true to themselves and to make sure your attire is well tailored. If you're not comfortable wearing a tuxedo, then don't do it. However, if you're the sort of couple the adores being matchy-matchy then absolutely match one another for your wedding. This is your day and you should feel your absolute best while letting your personalities shine through!
Why not have one of you wear a bowtie and the other can wear a necktie in coordinating colors like the couple below? I honestly just can't handle how much I love the light gray suits sans jacket and just the vests!
Matching tuxes will never be wrong in my book either! Good gracious, men in well fitted tuxes just make your heart go pitter-patter...
And matching brown designer suits with matching socks? That's a done deal!
I just love these handsome fellas in blue and navy blue suits that really compliment each other perfectly. You really can't go wrong!
There is nothing I don't love about everything in the photo below! Super dark jeans with white tux jackets and the Happily Ever After jump? Adore!
One of the best ways to set the stage for the mood and style of your event is through the escort cards. They are one of the first things your guests will see before entering the reception and it's a great chance to show off your personalities. Between unique cards and even more unique displays, the opportunities to do something completely out of the ordinary are endless! We hope the following images inspire and ignite your imaginations to let your personalities shine through at your wedding!
With watercolors making a huge impact on weddings right now it's safe to say we're utterly smitten with these amazing escort card displays found on Ruffled! How perfect would they be for a wedding in a museum or lovely garden fete?
And aren't we all a little obsessed with gold right now? I can't even contain my excitement over these gorgeous gilded farm animals!
What do you do when you've only got a small space to display your escort cards? Utilize the wall! Why not incorporate flowers from your bouquet and the tables into one of the most unique displays we've ever seen?
Even if you're not having a nautical wedding, using a boat to display your escort cards is super fun!
Who could resist the rustic charm of these?
I can honestly say with all certainty that if I found a portrait of my own face as my place card I'd be over the freaking moon!!
And all it takes for this little gem is matchbox cars and tiny Christmas trees! Stop. The. Madness. I'm utterly obsessed. If someone would like to make these for me I will love you forever! Please & Thank You!
photo credits: style me pretty, ruffled blog, craft gawker, the knot, southbound bride
When choosing your wedding decor, never think for a second that you're limited to only traditional options. If you're getting hitched outside a church, the only thing that you are limited by is your, or your planner's, imagination.
Backdrops can be used for a variety of reasons. Perhaps you'd like to add some extra color or a fun focal point for your guests. Or perhaps you'd like to show off your wedding vows on a massive handpainted canvas. No matter your reason, if you can dream it up, it can be done! So be brave and go for something that really speaks to you.
This gorgeous floral backdrop would look just as at home in a lovely garden wedding as it would in a barn. It would even look incredible in an art gallery!
If you're getting married in a garden and want something outside the traditional flower route but still want to add a bit of whimsy, check out these amazing hedges in the initials of the newlyweds!
Or this eco-friendly living backdrop!
Love books? We do!
These wooden doors are just amazing too!
I'm especially smitten with the idea of writing your wedding vows or a favorite passage on a giant backdrop!
Or upcycle an old wooden pallet with a lovely garland.
So go have some fun with your ceremony decor!