Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Why a Wedding Co-ordinator

Why a Coordinator

This is a question every bride and groom must ask themselves. When it comes down to the practicality of budgeting for a wedding, a professional wedding planner may seem like it is not an option for many of us. Here are a few considerations to take into account.

Vendor Referrals

I have worked with many professionals in the area of events. I know who has the best prices, who has the best quality and who can get exactly what you're looking for. Take the guessing game out of the picture with a vendor I recommend. I guarantee I have worked with them and have been impressed by their product.

Budget Development and Management

I have worked with every conceivable budget under the sun. Whether your budget is large or small, I can offer advice on vendors and make sure you get the most out of your money. Don't let money can be an additional stress on relationships. Together we can decide what aspects of the big day are the most important and go from there.

Contact Person

I will be the contact person for all vendors. I will solicit estimates and set up tastings or site inspections. Vendors will come to me with questions and problems that arise on the day of and prior to your event. I will coordinate the timing of all vendors from rental deliveries and catering staff to signaling the DJ and minister. This is the one most important service that ensures you can enjoy your day. Let me be the problem solver not you.

Details, Time, and Energy

"How hard can it be," you may say to yourself - a thought you'll look back and laugh once you're in the thick of flower colors and invitations and catering bids. The biggest mistake I see brides make is to try to do everything themselves. Unless you are one of those people who love details, planning an event the magnitude of your wedding (even a very small wedding) will drag the life out of you. Even those of us who excel at organization and taking care of details, will lose sight of the bigger picture - GETTING MARRIED! Time is precious and getting lost in the details of your event should not take away from your special day. Weigh the costs of time and energy - both yours and your family's - against the cost of a wedding planner. Too many times have I heard a mother-of-the-bride say in exasperation, "I wish we'd hired a wedding planner!" I know the ins and outs of weddings. Let me take of the details and you just relax and enjoy the day!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Economic Options

Weddings can definitely be expensive events. While money should not be what its all about, it can feel like money (or the lack there of) is the determining factor in many of your decisions. Below are the result of an email conversation I had with a good college friend who had recently gotten engaged. She was frustrated with even finding a PLACE to get married. If you're thinking venue and catering or not right now, this post is for you!

Weddings cost a bundle no matter how you look at it. Either you pay someone to do it (cook, clean, decorate, etc. . .) or you pay for it with time and energy and do it yourself with the help (hopefully) of friends and family. Having been a caterer for years, I would not recommend using one if cost is an issue. Often food/catering costs will be in addition to facility rental and equipment rental fees. Very spendy and you pay gratuity on top of food costs. That being said, food preparation and service isn't necessarily the thing you want vital family or bridal party members tied up doing the day of your wedding. It's incredibly time consuming and takes longer the less experience your helpers have. The way I see it, there are two cost effective options for food /venue:

1) Have friends and family doing food UP UNTIL the day of the event and then spend a little extra on a few staff people to actually put the food out, stock the buffet, and clean up. Still a huge drain of time with shopping and prep plus requires someone to direct the staff the day of.

2) Or my favorite - utilize a facility that has everything on site already such as a restaurant. Too often, wedding venues cost a fortune and include little beyond the use of the site. With our restaurant, what I do most often for brides, is offer them a wedding venue where they can have the ceremony and the reception (cut out a site rental fee right there) that also includes most of the basic equipment rentals. Restaurants obviously already have tables, chairs and china. Rentals would be limited to arches and possibly ceremony chairs if desired. Restaurants may have a fee for renting out part of their space, but more often than not, they are just looking to
make money off of the food and alcohol. What I do at my place is what's called a 'Food and Beverage Minimum.' Meaning if the cost of food and beverage for the event meets the minimum set for the day and time scheduled (obviously a weekend has a higher minimum than a weekday) then there is NO FACILITY RENTAL FEE! I am sure there are places in Portland who do this.

Other cost cutting options to think about
- Time your wedding so it doesn't center around a meal time. Mid afternoon weddings are too early for dinner and too late for lunch. You could get away with lighter food. Late weddings (after 7) could get away with just doing desserts for their guests. You just notate it in the invitation: "A dessert buffet will be served following the ceremony at _____."
- Don't include alcohol service. Instead, have a cash bar where people can pay for their own alcoholic beverages. Bar costs add up faster than any other if not controlled. It is perfectly acceptable to ask people to pay for their own liquor these days. Again, just notate it on the invitation so your guests are prepared with money. If you want to provide something, do
drink tickets that way consumption isn't

Hope this helps a little!