top tips for planning your wedding
Renny was lucky to be included in an article written by the Chicago Tribune among other top planners around the country on great tips while planning your wedding. These are fun unexpected tips you don’t always hear written by Darcell Rockett. Happy Planning! XO
Weddings don’t necessarily require whining. Planners exist for a reason; but even if a third-party is not in the cards for organizing your event, your mind may be going a mile a minute trying to connect the dots in an orderly fashion.
Don’t stress. We talked with wedding planners for advice, tips and things to keep in mind to ensure the unique event you envisioned will be a happy, memorable one. So read on, and take notes. There’s something for every bride- and groom-to-be…..
“Most important considerations when planning a wedding: flattering lighting and good wine. You can go on and on with decor, but it is all lost if the lights are bright and there is no mood. Candlelight is the best vehicle to make guests feel beautiful and dance like animals without worrying about jiggling arms. Cutting corners with cheap wine can ruin the evening. There are plenty of delicious wines in a ‘party price range.’ Ask a local wine shop for ideas, and taste everything. Cheap wine, cheap wedding.” — Rebecca Gardner, founder and creative director of Houses & Parties, an event and interiors design collective in Savannah, Ga., and New York City.
Budget for tax and gratuity: “With wedding planning, couples oftentimes haven’t factored in tax/gratuity when creating their budget. I recommend that couples plan for at least 30 percent tax/gratuity/service fees in their wedding budget. Sounds pricey, but if you take catering as an example, you typically have approximately 18 percent gratuity + 11.5 percent sales tax (varies by municipality/state). So, if your budget is $20K, think about if that’s ‘all-in’ or if you are prepared to pay an extra $6K in taxes/gratuity/fees. In addition, there might be additional staff that you want to tip day-of, such as delivery crews. If you want to stay on budget and not have surprise fees once you tally things up, definitely factor all of these things into your initial budget.” — Erica Jones, owner/creative director of Chicago-based Elevated Occasions
For couples writing their own vows: “It is imperative that you have a neutral third party read both of your vows before you recite them at the altar. There is nothing more awkward than when one person reads a dissertation on love and the other says simply, ‘I’m so glad I swiped right.’” — Lindsay Landman, creative director of Lindsay Landman Events based in New York
Don’t let others steal your wedding thunder. “After the nuptials are sealed, ask the officiant to kindly step all the way aside (close to the middle bridal party member) so when you kiss your sweetheart, they are clear of the picture! Trust me, you will have a lot of pictures, and it’s always best if it is just the two of you. Ask your guests to put down their cameras/phones during the ceremony. The absolute worst thing is to have 30 hands in the air trying to capture the perfect moment. What a buzzkill! Put their phones away for 15 minutes, and be in the moment.” — Renny Pedersen, proprietor and creative director of Chicago-based Bliss Weddings & Events
When planning a wedding, consider the guest experience. “No one really wants beef Wellington and bananas Foster circa 1982, nor do they want a votive with your newlywed monogram on it. Eschew fussy moments for new traditional customs like food truck rodeo food, craft cocktails and offbeat musical performances (strolling electrified violinists anyone?); they add a lot of levity to the night.” — Calder Clark, owner and creative director of the Charleston, S.C.-based consulting and design firm Calder Clark.
Wedding should-dos, include creating a shot list of the photos you want back from your photographer and spending time to register well. “Important family and friend combinations, detail shots, etc. … Make sure the photographer reviews and there is a point person to confirm all important photographs have been taken. It’s one night only, so no second chances. You will receive thousands of dollars in presents. Two years after the wedding, most couples have nothing to show for it. A huge waste (registry remorse). Think long-term, and use the funds to fill your beautiful new home together.” — Jung Lee, owner of Fete, an event planning and design production firm based in New York City.
“Create a vision statement for your wedding — a sentence or two that you can come up with together that will define not only your wedding day but will also help you make decisions in your wedding planning process. Talk about your hopes, dreams, and choose some words together that describe your wedding experience. Words like ‘rooftop’ or ‘fun’ are great descriptors to start. Then, decide on the words you both like that describe your wedding vision, and turn them into a vision statement. This will be the statement you’ll use to make any wedding decision. If it doesn’t fit the statement, it doesn’t make it into your wedding planning process.” — Sharokina Pazand, founder, event director and experience visionary of Citygirl Events in Chicago