Showing posts with label Planning Advice. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Planning Advice. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

{tips & tricks} TUESDAY :: bridal wisdom, installment 2 : mrs. brooke v. on the day-of.

y'all,
 
our real-life newlywed bride, mrs. v., is full of fabulous advice that even i had never thought of giving before {and i've worked what feels like a million weddings}, like the boudoir shots idea - what! talk about a great way to get the most out of your 8 hours with your photographer;) but i will let her speak for herself. following are her tips for having the best wedding day ever:
 
- Try to avoid excess alcohol the night before your wedding and get plenty
of beauty rest!
 
- Eat breakfast! I ended up having scrambled eggs and cheese grits. It
held me over until after the wedding!
 
- Avoid carbonated drinks while getting ready. I drank Red Bull that I
flattened by pouring it back and forth between two cups until all of the
bubbles disappeared.
 
- Take the time to thank your parents. I got them a gift basket filled
with goodies from all over Savannah and embroidered handkerchiefs. The
exchange was caught on our wedding film and is something we will cherish
forever.
 
- Right before you put on your wedding gown, ask the photographer if you
can take a few boudoir shots to give to your new husband later! ;)
 
- Do not fill up on all of the food at the reception! Pace your eating if
you plan on drinking champagne and eating your wedding cake. I was so
excited to actually eat that I was stuffed by the time the cake was cut.
The only bite I had was the one my husband fed me.
 
- Make an Instagram hashtag sign for your reception! We were able to see
so many photos uploaded by guests on Instagram the next day!
 
- Bring flip flops to change into after the ceremony. My feet were killing
me, once all the nerves went away and I could actually feel them
throbbing! I purchased ivory, wedge flip flops online that were the same
height as my heels and no one knew the difference.
 
- Smile, have fun, and take LOTS of pictures!!!!
 
suggestions of your own? let me know!
 
shoot me an e-mail at
 
jennifer {at} morgan gallo events {dot} com
 
and i would adore featuring your advice, too!
 
have a beautiful day & XO,
 
jennifer

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

{tips & tricks} TUESDAY :: bridal wisdom, installment 1 : mrs. brooke v. on the planning process.

dear ladies & gents,

we here at mge have enlisted the help of our fabulous brides {wedding graduates?} to come up with a new series that we like to call bridal wisdom.

these tidbits of advice come straight from our past clients and run the gamut, from gems about the planning process to pitfalls {and how to avoid them!} that may happen closer to the big day.

our first featured bride, mrs. brooke v., has fantastic advice for you all on different facets of the planning process.

- Do not be afraid to ask for help from your bridesmaids! I wanted to do
everything on my own so everyone would be stress free and enjoy themselves
throughout the planning process. All that did was stress me out. Towards
the end of the planning, I found myself leaning on my Maid of Honor for
help and it took a huge weight off of my shoulders!

- Make a backup seating chart for guests who did not RSVP and you believe
they are still going to show up. I made a backup seating plan for my
planner and it made me feel much more relaxed because I knew either way,
the seating would be as planned. In the end, I did not need the backup
plan after all!

- Prepare yourself ahead of time to be frustrated with RSVPs. You most
likely not get all of them back and will have to hunt people down for an
answer. Family members and people in your bridal party will not send them
because they assume you have already counted them in. What they fail to
realize is the self addressed and stamped envelope that you included that
will take two seconds from their day to fill out. As long as you expect
that before sending them out, then there will be no surprises.

- Make a weekend out of it! Our wedding in Savannah was out of state for
us and all of the guests. We arrived two days before the wedding with
about ten other guests. We went on a haunted ghost tour and had a blast!
The next day, the bridesmaids, my mother and I got our nails done in the
morning. We had rehearsal that evening, has our rehearsal dinner at an
Irish pub and then we went out with friends to a rooftop bar! I called it
a night around 9:30pm so I could spend my last night with my parents and
relax.

I hope these tips help future brides!

Love,
Mrs. Brooke V.
 
if you have any suggestions of your own to add, please do not hesitate to e-mail me at
 
jennifer {at} morgan gallo events {dot} com
 
and i would love to include you in a feature as well. look forward to next week's installment, when i will share her advice for the day-of - she has some great ideas!
 
have a beautiful day & XO,
 
jennifer

 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

be merry.


dear brides- and grooms-to-be: 
this article is a must-read. 
written from an authentic wedding photographer’s perspective, it elucidates the true meaning of your wedding and encapsulates my feelings about what is most important to remember on your big day. 
is it more important to record evidence of the hand-embroidered vintage lace handkerchiefs that you tenderly folded and placed in a specially-crafted galvanized metal tin with a personalized chalkboard tag at the entrance to your ceremony with the handwritten message signifying guests should take one to “dry happy tears” or is it more significant to take a photo of your mom using said hankie to wipe her eyes as she sees her husband, your daddy, hand you over into your future spouse’s loving care? 
would you rather look back on pictures of your custom ribbon chandelier strung with handmade fabric florals, or the image of your grandparents dancing under it after celebrating over fifty years of marital bliss as the longest married couple in attendance at your wedding? 
you get the idea. 
if i could give modern brides just one piece of advice, it would be the following: don’t let the crafty genius of pinterest, the ingeniousness of wedding blogs or gorgeously styled wedding magazines ruin your day. 
what do i mean by that? 
simply this: feel free to use all available media sources as inspiration when planning your wedding, but don’t allow yourself to feel bad if you do not have the resources {whether financial or time} to recreate every look and detail that you want.
at the end of the day, the tiny details – while obviously adorable and meaningful in their own right – are not what matter the most. it’s the connection that you have with your future spouse, the love with which your family and friends surround you, and the fabulous time you have celebrating your brand-new marriage with everyone you care about. 
xo, 
jennifer

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

how to cultivate a guest list & the world’s smallest post service

i just love these tiny little save the dates from leaf cutter designs!
however, while the whole button thing is unique and crafty, it is a tad impractical. you can’t exactly cultivate a guest list of buttons, now can you? and more than likely, all of your guests are not singles living in separate households, which makes the red/blue button method a bit too simplistic for your response needs.
there are a myriad of ways to determine your guest list, but some are certainly better than others. following are a few points to consider as you embark on the harrowing journey of choosing whom you would like to include in the celebration of your big day:
{} the ‘A’, ‘B’, ‘C’, ‘D’ list method: this is where you would slice up your invitees into groups ranked in importance; i.e., the ‘A’ list is your closest family and friends {mom, dad, siblings, grandparents, bridal party}, the ‘B’ list is your close family and friends {cousins, non-bridal party besties, etc.}, and so on. the theory with this is you automatically invite the ‘A’ and ‘B’ lists {and the ‘C’ list depending on your budget} and draw from the ‘D’ list as people from the first lists respond that they cannot come to your wedding.
    proyou can keep a better handle on your budget, you can be truly honest with yourself about who you want at your wedding, and it really opens up communication between you and your spouse-to-be about how you are slicing up your guest list.
    con: living in this social media-laden world as we do, this method doesn’t exactly work. imagine this: your friend from college {a ‘d’ lister since you have kept up with each other’s lives very minimally, but you did go to her wedding and you invited mutual friends so you wouldn’t mind seeing her at yours – phew, the reasoning!} sees that your mutual friend {a ‘b’ lister – you guys were, and still are, best friends from college!} put up a picture of your save the date/invite on facebook. said ‘d’ lister thinks to herself, ‘what a gorgeous invitation! too bad i’m not invited. oh well.’ a month or so passes, you’ve heard back from a few people that they won’t be able to attend, so you move on to your ‘d’ list. said friend receives a belated invitation, realizes that she is a “second-choice” attendee, and rsvp’s an emphatic no, thank you and you wonder if you did something wrong when she harbors a grudge {albeit a petty one} against you.
     verdict: i wouldn’t recommend this method unless you use it cautiously. that is, perhaps group your potential invitees using the a/b/c/d lists, but go about eliminating individuals from the first few lists in advance of sending out any official paper goods. you can do this by calling up your uncle {a ‘b’ lister, in this case}, who you know has a kid graduating from high school. your wedding happens to be on a saturday in june {the only available date at your absolute must-have venue!} – the very same saturday that your cousin is graduating from high school, and at nearly the exact same time. since you called your uncle to ask in advance, you just had two spots open up – his and your aunt’s –  so you can slide some ‘c’ or ‘d’ people on over and not hurt any feelings in the process! congrats. 
{} ask yourself a few questions: 
– has the prospective invitee met your fiance? if you live an unreasonable distance away or if you had a short dating period prior to your engagement, this may not be a good measure. if you have a friend who lives in your town  has never met your fiance, however, that could be a determining factor.
– when was the last time you spoke to them? if you lost touch with your freshman college roommate {sad – i’m sorry}, don’t feel obligated to invite her to your wedding. your wedding should not be a reunion: it is a time for you and your loved ones to celebrate your life as a couple, not a time to rehash old inside jokes with people you haven’t spoken to since your last college/high school reunion.
– would you be offended if you weren’t invited to their wedding? now, if you’re overly sensitive {and hopefully you can self-identify;)}, this doesn’t necessarily apply to you. for most of us, though, this is a good question to ask yourself when deciding whether or not you should invite someone to your wedding. 
– do they really need to be invited with a guest? while it is generally courteous to include a plus-1 for all invitees to a destination wedding {who wants to sit in a hotel room all by their lonesome?}, if that’s not you {or if you are inviting a large group of mutual friends who would stay in a hotel together and know plenty of people at the wedding}, consider not including a plus-1 for your little sister who is constantly on/off with a multitude of sketchy characters. not only are weddings a great place for singles to mix with other singles and potentially get together themselves {has anyone seen the five-year engagement? love that movie!}, but it will free up a seat for one of your friends and likely keep your event more drama-free.
– will they be a part of your lives forever? when deciding between cutting a relative or a friend, it usually makes more sense to cut the friend from the list rather than the relative who will forever be curt with you at family gatherings.
to read more advice & points to consider, the knot has an excellent article all about the subject that you can readhere.
enjoy!


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Q: I have Pinterest--Why do I need a planner?



It is no secret that since the birth of Pinterest, weddings have transformed into detailed and creative productions that push the envelope in a fabulous way. So I think we can all agree that Pinterest rocks our socks. It’s ah-mazing!! Life-changing even, but don’t start your craft projects just yet. Here are some serious reasons why Pinterest makes a disastrous wedding planner. 

  1. I think the number one reason is redundancy. Don't you want your wedding to be unique? Pinterest is a fabulous place to gather initial ideas, but can you take it to the next level so Pinterest lovers are pinning YOUR wedding photos? A wedding planner and event designer can help you recreate and elaborate on your design ideas. 
  2. It’s probably more expensive than you think. When’s the last time you ventured into the craft store to buy, I don’t know, scrapbook supplies or paint? That stuff isn’t cheap. Not at all. And when you start trying to arrange your own flowers (which may or may not be in season), find the 20 vases that you need, buy the satin ribbons, rent your own linens... etc. You get it. On top of the crafting being expensive, most of these stunning weddings you are seeing are super high dollar affairs, so you have to be realistic about your budget and a planner can help you achieve your look within your budget. We are THAT good. 
  3. It doesn’t set its brilliant ideas up on the tables, nor does it clean those ideas up. Lauren says "So the best part of my wedding was the part when it was over, it was over. My family took the flower arrangements and we were outta there. My family and friends weren’t stuck cleaning up the room. My ah-mazing planner took care of it all. She coordinated with the vendors before the wedding, so that the only thing I had to do was show up. Pinterest does not take care of this." And you know who her wedding planner was right--yep, you guessed it! Yours truly! :) But seriously folks, if you really knew how much day of running around, coordinating and planning that it takes to get your day up and running smoothly, remain smooth and then clean up, you would be amazed. There was one wedding that had so much set up and clean up that we arrived around 8am and didn't leave until 4am. Are you prepared to put your hair and makeup on the back-burner while you oversee and aid in the installation of flowers or run back through your sparklers to pack up the guest book, gifts and strip tables of linens? NO, and you shouldn't have to, nor should your family and friends have to. They too are there to enjoy your day. 
  4. Too much of a good thing, can look like too much. There are a ton of beautiful ideas on Pinterest. A TON. And in my mind, requires a great deal of editing. You want to have balance. You don’t want your wedding to look like a Pinterest board. 
  5. Once you’re married you are gonna be stuck with a ton of junk. Congrats, you’re married. Now you 12-18 giant vases and 80 votive holders that you have to store in your house. Sure you can try to get some cash back on craigslist, but don’t expect to get all of your money back. And if are like Lauren, after your wedding you move into a 450 square foot apartment, you definitely WILL NOT have the room for those. Sometimes your planner or florist might be willing to buy some of your items if craigslist isn't an option, but keep in mind that trends change and therefore a lot of what you used for your wedding might not be "in" next year. Therefore, there might be very few items they will want/need. What will you do with them now? Trust me, storing them in your cabinets and garage only upset your dear hubby each time he goes to find something and knocks over a vase. 
  6. No offense, but it might look a hot mess. So have you ever seen a craft project and thought... that looks like... a craft project??? Weellllllll, is your wedding day really the day to summon up your inner Martha Stewart? Isn’t it best to leave this to a professional? I don’t know about you, but I sure think so! And I don’t say this because the blog is called “The Savannah Wedding Planner,” I say it because crafts are usually fun in the beginning, but can very quickly become a flipping disaster. And when you decide to emboss 300 place cards because you saw it on Pinterest or whatever else you think would be “so super cute” after a few hours you will be over it. I swear. 
  7. 99% ( a number we completely made up) of the cute wedding photos on Pinterest are of weddings that most definitely had a wedding planner. Our numbers may be off, but I assure you all of these complicated and stunning set ups with curtains and chandeliers and lanterns hanging from trees, tables with giant flower arrangements and 20 different linens and adorable menus... these were NOT diy weddings. 

So do us all a favor and hire a planner and use Pinterest with them to help collect ideas. We love collaborating with you..it's half the fun of the process! Best. Idea. Ever.  

Lauren + Morgan 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

So you want a simple wedding...




Photo via Sincerely Kinsey

I have to admit. I wanted a giant wedding. I sort of had a giant wedding, so the ladies who tell me they want small weddings or no wedding at all, completely baffle me. I know it’s possible to have a small soiree that can be elegant, chic, and simple. Here are a few rules for the bride that thinks she doesn’t want a big wedding or, gasp, a wedding at all. 

  1. Hire a Planner - The best advice I can give for a bride who doesn’t want a complicated or “big” wedding is to hire a wedding planner. I swear I’m not just saying that!! Having nothing to worry about on your big day makes it really easy to relax and enjoy the party. I seriously didn’t have to worry about anything ever... and that is most important thing, to enjoy spending your day with friends and family and new husband!!
  2. Keep it Simple - Just because you hire a planner doesn’t mean that you have to go overboard, but it does mean that you will have someone to help make the process that much easier.
  3. Keep it Small - Keep the guest list small. The easy way to keep things easy is to keep your wedding a small, intimate affair. A “small” wedding means different things to everyone, but I’d say anywhere from 50-100 people. 
  4. Take your time - I feel like the people that say they don’t want weddings all tried to plan a wedding within a matter of months, almost like they just wanted to get it over with!! Take your time planning, just because you want a simple, small wedding doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t give your self proper time to plan. The more time you have, the less likely you are to feel the crazy pressure of the wedding. Trust me on this. 
  5. Don’t Stress - If you want your wedding to go smoothly and without a hitch, the key is to not be a perfectionist. Let other people help you and be okay with things not going exactly as planned... this is another time the wedding planner will be a plus, you probably won’t ever know if something goes wrong... Yes, they are that good! 

Lauren 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Wedding Barre



photo via
Every bride wants to get in shape before the big day!! In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever known a bride who wasn’t trying to tone something or loose “X” amount of pounds. That’s were the barre comes in... no, no, no, not that kind of bar, you lush!! I’m talking about a ballet barre!!! And I swear to you it’s the most fun exercise that you will ever do and the brilliant part, results are quick!!! The principals of barre are simple, using short, repetitive motions you work your large muscle groups to burn calories, which is followed by stretching to lean the muscles out!! I swear, my butt has never been higher, my core has never been tighter. Not to mention how wonderful your back and arms will look after all of those push-ups... Oh yes, I said push-ups. Now, classes aren’t cheap, but I’ve found Bridal specials at just about all of the studios I’ve looked up!!! And even easier on the wallet, there are dvds that you can use at home!! Trust me it hurts just as bad in your living room!! I’m a big believer in this style of workout... I swear no one paid me to write this!! It’s just that awesome!!! 
Keep your eyes out for a studio near you! 
Lauren

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

So you just got engaged?!?!? This is what you need to do now!

Congratulations first and foremost! Try to sit back for a few weeks and truly enjoy the experience of being engaged! Then when you are ready to start your planning, here is a great “get you started” guide to being newly engaged!

A majority of the years engagements take place during these holidays and the average engagement time is 12 months. This is a good amount of time to allow for all planning and decisions without the added stresses of rushing or loosing the vendors you want to hire. With that said, here are the things that need to happen within the first month or so of being engaged to ensure you are going to have everything you envisioned your wedding to be and more!

Savannah Wedding Rings 1. Announce your engagement: Let everyone know that you gotten engaged! Etiquette wise, believe it or not, there is an order to do this.

First: Let your parents, siblings and grandparents know. DO NOT SEND A TEXT MESSAGE! Give them a call! This is a very special occasion and they probably want to ask you all the fun details! Then you can send an email or an engagement announcement  to extended friends and family.

{TIP: Keep in mind, when you send engagement announcements, those that you send them to, will likely expect an invite to the wedding. Be sure they do not mistake that for an invitation though!}

Then: Publish an Announcement in Your Local Newspaper. Their requirements are usually listed online. It should tell you if they accept pictures, have any specific guidelines, deadlines, fees, or regulations about the announcement.  Typically, announcements include information on the two of you, including career and education credentials, and your parents names. If your parents live in a different town, you should also include their hometowns.

2. Pick a date: Pick Carefully!

There are a number of things you need to consider when picking a date:

  • In Season vs. Off Season: These months will vary depending on which area of the world you pick. For Savannah weddings, Hilton Head weddings, Jekyll Island weddings, and Charleston weddings the in season months are: April, May, June, September, October and lately November is becoming quite popular. But if you go to DC and your in season months would be different due to weather and tourism peak times. But the biggest thing to note is that your wedding costs will be less during the off season.
  • Location: What kind of atmosphere do you want for your wedding and guests? Do you want historic homes, museums, water access, mountains, etc? You should research the locations you are debating to the fullest. If you want to get married at a winery, unfortunately Savannah wouldn't be the area for you! However, if you want ocean, history, charm and beautiful weather…then Savannah or the Low Country is for you!
  • Weather: If you want the festivities to take place mainly outside, then I wouldn't recommend humid , rain prone, or cold months! Every city and location is different, so do a little research on what the average weather report is for each month.
  • Holidays: Will it be easy for your guests to travel? This can go both ways. On the up side, they would have more time to travel and make a mini-vacation out of it. but on the downside they can incur more costs due to high travel times.

3. Hire a wedding planner: A No Brainer!

imageThe average wedding takes 250+ hours to plan and this day in age with the hectic schedules we keep, who has the time to do a thorough job? Think about how much you get paid for an hour of work, now think about how much you get paid per hour. By the time you add up all the time you spent researching vendors, sending emails, making phone calls, and tracking details you could have paid for 4 planners! As a wedding planner,   I not only offer my expertise and share priceless information and knowledge with you, I am a sounding board, friend and liaison when it comes to vendor details and negotiations. It is very hard planning a wedding from another city in which you are not familiar. How are you supposed to know, of the hundreds of vendors listed, which ones will provide you with the quality service you deserve?  Wedding planners are also privy to discounts, that you as a private party wouldn’t normally be entitled to, based on the strong and constant working relationships they share with vendors. Thus, saving you even more money!  At the very least you should have a wedding planner for your day of. The last thing you want to think about when you are getting ready in your room, is whether or not the cake was delivered and having to get up extra early to lay linens and set your place settings. Just as you want to enjoy your wedding day, as do your friends and family. You want a professional who has experience with all the things that can and will go wrong, handle the most important day in your life.

4. Establish your Budget: Know your limits!

Before you can really start any type of planning, you really need to discuss this touchy subject with prospective contributors to your wedding budget. Your wedding planner can help you establish what you spend and which vendors will fit in your budget, based on what you have envisioned for your big day.

This will help determine decisions like:

  • Reception space options (Hall, Ballroom, Museum, Historic Home, etc)
  • What type of chairs you can rent (plastic, wood, chivari, etc)
  • Band vs. DJ
  • Passed Hors d’oeuvres vs. a Sit down Dinner
  • Bar options
  • Linen options
  • and much more!

You really need a number in your head before you begin to book vendors. You do not want to be stuck looking and falling in love with venue spots that do not fit in your budget!

{TIP: Depending on which location you pick for your wedding (beach, mountains, east coast, west coast, etc) will fluctuate in the price per person (PPP) number. On average you should plan to spend}

5. Start compiling your guest list: Be reasonable!

Knowing how many guests might attend will help determine what venues you can consider and how much you can plan to spend per person.

I don't have to tell you that the less guests you have, the farther your budget will go. You know that! Wouldn’t you rather the fun details like beautiful chargers, luxurious linens, lush floral decor, dramatic draping, amazing lighting and one more course to your meal, rather than 50 more guests? I know I WOULD! But, I can tell you that having a large number of guests is exhausting for you and your fiancé. You will spend most of the night making sure you talk to each guest and less time dancing and enjoying the festivities! It is no fun talking to people you have met once in your life when you were 10 not to mention you are paying a pretty penny for them to be there.

{TIP: Keep in mind this general rule of thumb--If your wedding is an out of town wedding 60-70% of guests will attend. If your wedding is an in town wedding, 70-80% of guests will attend. This number with the economy with the way it is now tends to lean more to the lower end of these numbers and holiday weekends will also affect your attendance.}

6. Start your wedding website:The ultimate information source for guests.

The best way to keep your guests informed and actively involved in your wedding is to create a wedding website. This day in age, with technology at everyone’s fingertips, it is easy to make a one-stop-shop for your family and friends. There are a number of free wedding website options and ones that have a month to month or yearly fee. Depending on the features you are looking for out of your website, will determine  the price you will end up paying. I suggest you find one that has an online RSVP option, external links to your registries, enough pages to add for hotel, travel, timing, things to do, and gallery information. My favorites are Wedding Window, Wedding Wire, and MyWedding. Check back next week for a more in depth overview and comparison of the most popular wedding website options to help you make an informed decision!

Save the Date 2

Photo by Thistleberry Press

7. Send out Save the Dates: A smart move.

I recommend, if you are planning a type of destination wedding where most of your guests will be attending from out of town, sending out a “Save the Date”.  Sending this card will allow your guests to make travel plans, hotel arrangements and make sure they mark their calendar to ensure no other future plans coincide with your wedding day! The more time they have to plan, the better the chance they will be able to come.

{TIP: If you have a wedding website, be sure to add that to the card. Providing information on hotels, important times, travel options, and giving them access to wedding registries, will help you in the long run as well!}

{TIP: You might want to include some travel brochures and visitor’s packets of the city you will be getting married in. This might entice your guests to make a mini vacation out of your wedding weekend and will prompt more guests to attend. Your wedding planner can help you gather these from a the local CVB.}

I know it seems overwhelming, but it never hurts to get started early and ask for help! planning your wedding is supposed to be fun and stress free and I assure you, having a wedding planner will guarantee this!  So ask me how I can help you love every minute of your planning in a luxurious fashion!

 

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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Is a Wedding Planner right for you?

image It is true that not every couple or every budget is a good fit for hiring a wedding planner. But the question most debated is just that. So I thought I would ask a few questions to help readers determine the right answer for them and their wedding. 

Ask yourself the following questions and track your answers:

  • You don’t have 250+ additional work hours to devote to research, meetings, phone calls, etc. on top of your work schedule and in substitution for your free time, do you?
  • You don’t have a friend/family member/contact in the area you wish to marry in, that will have the inside scoop as to who the best and most reliable vendors are?
  • Does the decision making process slow and sometimes tedious when more than one person is contributing input?
  • Do you have to mediate between two or more families when it will come to wedding details?
  • Do you stress easily?
  • Does you need some help pulling together a fluid and precise design aesthetic?
  • Do you want to relax and enjoy the wedding planning process?
  • Would you like someone besides yourself or a family member to focus on the details of the wedding day?

If you have answered “Yes” to more than 2 of these questions, then hiring a wedding planner might be the best route for you to ensure your are relaxed throughout the entire process and making the most of your time! This day in age time is money…and you don’t want your job or your wedding to suffer.

My professional opinion as a wedding planner/design and a past bride myself, is that the LEAST you should gift yourself, is a person to run the wedding day and finalize details. We offer our clients “WEEK OF” planning services during OFF SEASON months, where we come in one month prior and tie up loose ends, create timelines and run the wedding day. There are other planners that offer this service year round and I highly recommend you make room in your budget for peace of mind!

While not every package or wedding planner offers the same services, be rest assured there is someone for everyone. Maybe if you cannot afford a full service package, but you know that if you had a good head start on the right vendors in the area and ensuring someone to finalize details and run the day, will work for your budget.

Morgan

Friday, October 22, 2010

Ask Morgan: How to classify guests by age to give final counts

Question: Hi Morgan, I am trying to figure out how to give my caterer the final counts to get my final bill from the bartender, caterer and rental company, but don't know how to classify my guests. Some are too young to drink but too old for kid’s meals, some are too young to eat at all but need a booster, and some adults that are old enough to drink, don't drink----HELP. Thanks! Angela

Answer: Hi Angela! I know that giving final counts can be confusing but that is why you have a wedding planner right! It is super important that you get your RSVP’s back in time to get all of these handled yourself and updated contracts if you don’t have a wedding planner. If you do, they should take care of all of it! We always tell our clients the following:

IMG_4431Caterer:

0-3 Kids-Parents usually will bring something with them or feed off their plates. No need to include them in this count.

4-12 Kids Meals-Chicken Tenders, Pizza, etc. Your wedding planner and caterer should go over the options with you and remind you that they are much cheaper than your adult meals.

13 and Up- Adult Meal unless the younger kids as for a kids meal specifically Signature Drink

For the bar:

21 and over guests-Drinking

Guests that don't drink or are pregnant, your bar vendor will classify these guests as 21 and under (sodas, juice, non-alcoholic)

Rentals:

You will need to check with parents about what their kid’s seating requirements are. Normally if they can sit up at a table you might need a highchair or a booster chair. They do not need a full place setting though. So you can take them out of the glass, charger, silverware, and china count.  You should still leave room for them at a table though. There needs to be room for a stroller if need be.

I hope this helps!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Ask Morgan: To First Look or No First Look?

Q. Morgan, I have been told by my photographer that we should considering seeing each other before the wedding. But I am somewhat traditional and don't know if I like the idea of ruining that first moment as I walk down the aisle. What is your take on it and what are the pros and cons of each?—Tonya Savannah Wedding (65)

A.Tonya, I am for the first look! But this is ultimately up to the couple. However, before you make your decision, let me explain why I am PRO-First look!

Logistically here are some pros:

  • More time for you both to enjoy your cocktail hour after the ceremony, as you aren't rushing off to take an hour worth of pictures.
  • Guests aren't waiting for your arrival for too long. If guests wait longer than 45-1 hour, then it is almost considered rude and inconsiderate. They are there to see you….there is no need to keep them waiting that long.
  • Breaking the tension and ice before. This can easily calm nerves and allow for better pictures in general!
  • More one on one pictures. You don't want to get caught in the photography game of making sure your great Aunt Betty has a picture with you guys and cut down on your time to take pictures as a couple and only a couple.
    • I say this to all of my couples all the time: I feel that the pictures you two take together are some of the most important aspects of your wedding. I loved my wedding photographer but we have only a few pictures of Tim and I together due too much going on and lack of time. It is one of my biggest regrets at my wedding that we didn't do more or have this moment. (that is a different blog post for a different day!)
  • THE BEST pictures: Let me explain and I am sure my photographer friends would agree:

There is this moment when it is just the two of you…no one else……(no priest, no guests looking at you, no bridesmaids or groomsmen laughing or nudging him as you walk down the aisle to him) that happens. It is magical and the moment ccan only be caught in its entirety in a first look. Of course this moment will happen when you walk down the aisle but it is MUCH harder to capture in its entirety and the moment is shorter lived because you are now entering the moment of the actual wedding. And while you might be able to exchange a few words under breath, it doesn't get to come full circle until after the wedding ceremony and you have a private moment. But not…it is almost now a different moment. The moment of “sharing together for the first time as husband and wife”. Savannah Wedding (9)

Logistically here are some Cons:

  • You would need to scheduled your appointments for hair and makeup a little earlier
  • Your photographer would probably need to start earlier so it could mean more hours essentially if you want them to go to the end of the night.
  • You would need about 30 minutes for the first look so that means you might want to schedule to touch up makeup/hair afterwards if the weather is a bit sticky outside!
  • You are now alternating the first time you see each other from when you walk down the aisle to now and some parents might have a issue with this non-traditional concept. 

I would most definitely opt for the more intimate and lasting moment when the two of you see each other and only each other for the first time in a first look. Trust me you wont regret it and you wedding will mean just as much as you thought it would (pending you dint didn't do this) to you both and there will still be those butterflies the minute you begin you walk down the aisle towards him. I PROMISE!

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Monday, July 12, 2010

Start to Finish planning with MG Events: Cake, Cake and More Cake

cakeI figured cake tasting would be one of the easier vendors for me to handle, after all I love cake and I have made a few. But as life should have it, it sure showed me how wrong I could be even from the start!

My first task was trying to figure out what kind of design would go with the vintage garden theme of our wedding, not to mention finding one Joey and I agreed on. This was definitely one place Joey was overenthusiastic about being a part of. It is cake we are talking about, and what man doesn’t like cake! Joey and I sat down for days looking online for cake ideas. The MG Events team was even emailing us ideas that they had come across that they felt would fit our theme and personalities. Between the three of us, we came up with two cakes. And let me say two VERY different cakes they were. One design came from the art deco period and the other was delicate and soft with lace, but Joey and I couldn’t decide.

So the day came, when Morgan set up our first appointment. Joey couldn’t make it up for the first tasting, but Morgan had arranged with Carrie of Two Cakes for me to take samples back for him to try when he got into town. He was very excited about this, and it allowed for us both to have input on our cake decision. Morgan took me to her studio meeting space where we began to look Carrie’s previous cakes, which allowed me to get an idea of what she could do and how well she could do it! Morgan had previously emailed her our two ideas, so she sat and talked to me and Morgan a bit about what I was looking for and the style of our wedding. Morgan even had pictures of my wedding dress and vases we were using to help give her the feel of the wedding. From there we narrowed it down to the cake with lace piping on it. Carrie made a sketch of it and any changes we wanted or talked about, such as the colors or the piping on certain layers. She even wanted to change the sugar flowers on the cake to flowers that were going to be in my bouquet and all over the reception. I followed Morgan’s advice and let the experts make suggestions, after all, it is what they do best and often their suggestions only make it better. They know what works and what doesn’t. For example, we had to discuss if the cake was going to have butter cream or fondant on the outside. This mattered because we are having our wedding during the summer, but it was going to be kept inside with air conditioning. I have to say that it was nice having three people there and having it inside of a private business rental. It allowed me to really get to know Carrie, bounce ideas off of each other, and talk freely. After the look of the cake had been set, Morgan and I dove into the cake and icing flavors. Wow, there were so many flavors and combinations. That’s what makes it difficult, Carrie makes the samples with what is most popular and sometimes you have to just try the icing or just try the cake, or make up your own combinations. Thankfully Morgan was there to offer her expertise, too! Carrie really added an extra touch, by giving us a huge sample plate for Joey and then drew a labeled guide to go with it, so he would know what he was eating. Sometimes it really is the little things that people do, that make the difference.

The next cake appointment Morgan set up was at Gallery Espresso. The process was very similar, as the first, except this time I knew which cake we wanted and we brought a few more members of my family. Along with the MG Events team, my mom, dad, step mom, my fiancé Joey and I were all there. Since it was at a café it made it a little more difficult to exchange ideas or discuss details, especially when it was a busy weekend day and six were in our party. Sometimes when more people are there, more options and suggestions can go around, and although this can be a great thing (like two heads are better than one), occasionally it can make it overwhelming and difficult. I don’t think Joey and I were heard as much, or were able to connect the same way I did with first baker. This baker was so sweet to accommodate all of us, and her cake was absolutely delicious, especially her red velvet cake. It was the most popular, including mine!

Joey and I had a difficult choice ahead of us, and we knew it. We liked different things about each person and their cakes. But in the end we decided to go with Carrie of Two Cakes, with two separate flavors: Strawberry and a marble of Chocolate…but you will have to wait until the wedding to see what design we came up with!

Your fellow bride in planning,

xo Mandy

Photo by Tim Zielenbach

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Ask Morgan: The DJ song list is HUGE! Help…..

Q: Morgan, do I have to pick out all my reception songs? My DJ gave me a huge list of songs but it is daunting to go through! -Mandy

A: Hi Mandy, it is quite a 0655simple answer of NO, but the explanation might be more of what you are looking for. Here is the thing…a GOOD DJ will be able to gage your audience throughout the night and pick the appropriate music accordingly. If he sees that a particular genre of music is keeping the dance floor busy…they will continue with something similar to ensure that it continues to be the case. The last thing you want to do is limit and dictate exactly what they must play because it just might not flow or be what entices your guests to get their boogie ON!

My advice is simple:

-Pick the songs you want your important dances to be to as well as a genre of music if you are having a cocktail hour. (IE. Soft Rock-Michael Buble, Jack Jonson or Jazz-Etta James, Duke Ellington, etc)

-If there are songs that you know you HAVE to hear before the night is over, jot them down and give them to your wedding planner or the DJ ahead of time to ensure they can get the song and fit it into the night for you.

-List the songs you most definitely DO NOT want to hear played (chicken dance, polka, etc) This list will be pretty easy compared to picking out each and every song you want to hear. TIP: Ask the DJ to let you know if a guest happens to request a song you have asked him not to play and then make the call.

-Allow your guests to make requests if they would like. Merely let your DJ know it is ok as long as it falls into your realm of what is OK to play. (Granny is going to be there don't forget and you might not want her hearing “Baby got back!”

-Let your wedding planner create your reception timeline with you and let them discuss with your DJ. I know that we go over all names, pronunciations, and timing of all events with them prior to the wedding to ensure things go perfectly smoothly!

Then get your dancing shoes ready…because if your guests see you on the dance floor having fun---they are going to join you! There is nothing worse than an empty dance floor…

Monday, June 7, 2010

Your first wedding planning weekend-What to expect from Savannah and MG Events Part 2-Being an informed tourist!

image Ok got the rules of the road out of the way…you are checked into your hotel so now what. Well honestly, that depends on you and your husband-to-be. If you prefer to stay up all night drinking South Georgia Holy Water and roll into your appointment Saturday morning looking like a refugee well that can be arranged but lets keep it simple so you can enjoy everything this wonderful city has to offer. There is no way to cover all of Savannah in one weekend but this will ensure you make the most of your time!

So what is it about Savannah that's so attractive to everyone? Is it the Spanish moss hanging from the Oaks, perhaps you read "The Book" and want to know about the darker side of Savannah and see Mercer House, well let me tell you there is so much more to our imagecity than that. From beautiful homes and squares to architecture and food. Myself I am a history buff so I would recommend if you are there early enough prior to dinner to go ahead and get on one of the trolley tours, horse and carriage ride, or maybe even try a walking tour with the famous Savannah Dan. Again, take some time to check out Savannah’s CVB website and see what is going on in the area and which museums you might want to visit. (WE HAVE A TON!) Now I know you are thinking I don't want to do that "tourist" stuff, but trust me it's well worth the time. Learn about the city that you are getting married in…the more you know the more you can help your guests understand why you picked Savannah, Georgia to get married in!

 imageFancy a drink? Now there are no shortage of watering holes in  Savannah so it truly depends on your taste. Savannah offer everything from upscale bars to corner street beer joints. My husband prefers Pinkie Masters Lounge because they serve PBR in tall boy cans and take cash only (but they do have an ATM inside), so if you want to step back in history (rumor is Jimmy Carter proclaimed he would run for the Presidency from the bar) with everyone from the bankers to roughnecks and be treated like a lifelong friend this is the place for you. Another few of my favorites are Bay Street Blues and Jen and Friends, Circa 1875, Lulu’s Chocolate Bar and Moon River Brewery to name a few. This really boils down to your taste and idea of a good time, but we are always open to suggestions so tell us your style and we will get you there.

So now is the time you can spend your evening bar hopping or perhaps you want to find out about the "dead" of Savannah and take a Ghost Tour. You can even make it a Haunted Pub Crawl if you want to mix the two, where you visit the most haunted pubs and grab a drink along the way. But don’t grab too many…you have a busy day tomorrow of wedding planning remember! There are many options here, we prefer the walking tour that starts at Clarey's Café and you get to learn a little more about the city. Or if you are feeling really adventurous then try the Hearse Ghost Tours!!!! image

Ok well that's it for your first evening in Savannah because tomorrow is going to be a busy day of planning your big day so get some sleep and we will cover some great places to grab amazing grub and you will learn all about your meetings and how Mandy, our blogger bride experienced hers.

43 Things Tags: things to do in savannah,hearse ghost tours,trolley tours,horse and carriage tours,savannah wedding,savannah wedding planner

Friday, May 7, 2010

How to have the perfect Bachelorette party.

Now, while my own bachelorette didn’t work out so well... I didn’t even get through dinner before I puked my guts out... what a loser!?!?! I wasn’t even drunk, I swear. Buuuut I have attended/thrown some pretty rad ones. Here are a few of my tips to make sure that you and bridesmaids/friends are all on the same page.
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1. Pick your party type... are you a club girl? relaxation girl? adventure girl? spa girl? Do you want it to be a one day/night affair or last all weekend long? Don’t let your drunkard best friend talk you into a night of clubbing if that is the last thing on the planet you want to do. You don’t  have to be pushy, but come on... this is for you! No matter where you go you can be dolled up with crown and boa... I think it’s more fun to show up that way to normal places... like nice restaurants... or the spa. But seriously, you are the bride make sure you are going to enjoy what you are doing!

2. Pick your guest list... who is invited can be as big or as small as you want it to be. So choose a group of your besties. Like your big day, not everyone will make it, so be mindful of that. I find it’s always best to ask everyone the best dates for them, then go with the majority. You can’t please everyone, so don’t try.

3. Pick your budget... once you know who you want to come, discuss the options and everyone’s budget. A weekend in wine country might not work for everyone... and if no one comes, it’s not gonna be fun. It’s always good to choose things that can cover many budgets. Going to a spa doesn’t have to be expensive, a manicure is a 30 dollar treat that generally lasts as long as a massage or facial. Or do things like chill at the beach/lake/pool, bring some tasty beverages and it’s free.

4. Pick your destination... Once you know what everyone can spend and when they are available, choose the place. If you are making it a day affair, obviously, the location needs to be close. Find the best mani/pedi party spa and plan for an ah-mazing dinner. tapas is nice, because of the varying price points. Then you can head out to the bars, jazz club... whatever suits you. Or if it’s a weekend treat, find a place where everyone can afford to get to. The beach is always fun. The mountains. Cities like Boston, Savannah, Charleston are just the bees knees because they are insanely walkable and just sooooo much fun.
quick tips:
  • book spa days in advance. seriously, the longer you wait the harder it will be to find a place. trust me and the more people you have the more difficult it will be.
  • make reservations. even if the restaurant doesn’t “take” reservations, if you call them earlier in the day and let them know that a party of 15 is coming in at 8, they may be inclined to help you out. flirting always helps, not that i know...
  • have a plan. i don’t mean you have to have a play by play, but there is nothing worse than have a large group of people sitting around debating what to do. and if your friends are like mine, dude, we don’t make decisions. so we would basically sit around all day debating about what to do saying, “i don’t care, whadda you want to do?”... you get.
  • bride, have fun. don’t get all snotty about having to wear tiara’s... if you need to be talked into wearing a tiara then you probably need to take a chill pill... you are probably a bridezilla. calm.
The best advice I can offer is pretty similar to my wedding day advice. HAVE FUN. I mean this is celebrating you and your friends, it’s not that serious. So don’t let any drama in, if someone can’t make it, too bad. If bridesmaid A doesn’t want to do this or that, she doesn’t have to. It’s all about just having a great time, so don’t let anything ruin that. Just enjoy your time as a single girl hanging with the people you love the most.

Oh, and for funsies I put some awesome looks for your big days. All pieces can be found at Shopbop and J.Crew.

Until we meet again, stay bridal and remember your bachelorette isn’t spring break... no beads... please, you're a grown up.

Lauren
del.icio.us Tags: bachelorette party,bridezilla,bridesmaid,wedding,savannah wedding,savannah wedding planner

Monday, May 3, 2010

How to establish a budget and find out who is paying for what!

Last week I wrote a blog on a question that a bride asked about “Why have do I have a budget established and why Planners ask for a wedding budget” and today I want to share with you a great article that the Knot on wrote on the different options of who foots the bill and the pros and cons to each. Read below! 

lanza 064(The Bride's Parents Pay)

The traditional -- and still pretty popular -- way of paying for the wedding.If everyone is contributing, pool all the money upfront and then see what your bottom line is. It's much easier than saying "mom takes care of the gown, the flowers and the band" we take care of the rest.

The Pros:
You don't have to dip into your nest egg to pay for the wedding, which means you'll probably be driving a better car, buying a better house and taking better vacations a year from now than your contemporaries who are paying -- in full or partially -- for their own wedding.

The Cons:
"The person who pays ultimately gets what he or she wants," says JoAnn Gregoli, a wedding consultant and owner of Elegant Occasions in Denville, New Jersey. Which means that if you want 100 guests but your parents want 250, you'll probably end up with at least 175 to 200 people at your wedding. "Having your parents pay for the wedding doesn't hurt your wallet," notes Gregoli, "but you have to be willing to compromise on what the wedding will be like." Another downside: Having your parents pay for the wedding -- especially if they're retired, on a fixed income, or just not that well off to begin with -- could strap them down with some major debt.

(Everyone Pays)

A contemporary and, according to Gregoli, effective way of taking care of wedding expenses is for the two of you, the bride's family, and the groom's family to split the expenses. It works best, she says, if you simply take the whole cost of the wedding and divide it three ways, rather than dole out specific things to pay for: "For example, if you let your parents pay for the dinner, then they may be inclined to invite more guests. It can get sticky." If you can't divide it equally -- say one party is more or less wealthy than the other two -- ask that party what's comfortable for them to give, and throw it into the pot. "But just because his family, for example, is giving four times as much money as yours doesn't mean they get four times more say," says Gregoli. "You're handling this as a group, and one person can't push his or her weight around." The key to making this work, she cautions, is negotiation and compromise.

The Pros:
By pooling your resources, you may be able to afford the kind of wedding you want. You also may not have to empty your savings account to get it. What's more, since everyone is contributing -- which means everyone gets a say -- you're not likely to make one side or the other feel left out.

The Cons:
By accepting money from other people, you do give up some control. But there are always solutions, notes Gregoli. "If you want a DJ but the parents want a band, look for a band that also works with a DJ, who can play during the band's break. Or if you want a buffet reception and your parents want a seated dinner, perhaps have food stations, but arrange for waiters to serve your parents and their friends at assigned tables."

(You Two Pay for Everything)

More the norm than you might think. As more and more brides and grooms marry later -- stockpiling those Christmas bonuses, merit raises, and dividend checks -- more and more couples are in a good position to foot the entire wedding bill themselves.

The Pros:
Money talks, and as such, you will have total control over all aspects of the wedding. If you want to get married in a bikini on the beach and dance to a reggae band at the reception, you do it. Your mom may think it's an outrage, but in the end, she-who-does-not-open-her-wallet can't dictate to you.

The Cons:
You might deplete your savings (and rack up some debt if you take out a loan or charge on your credit card). You also run the risk of offending your parents if you refuse their financial help. To remedy the situation? You might accept a nominal sum from them, or let them pay for something you don't have strong opinions about -- say, the flowers. In any event, don't shut your parents out of the wedding-planning process. Encourage their input -- hey, they may even have a good idea or two -- compromise where you can, and stick to your guns on the things that are really important.

"If anything creates problems in planning a wedding, it's money," says Gregoli. "To sidestep problems, you need to do a lot of communicating -- with your partner and both families. If you don't, there will be trouble." Truer words were never spoken.

Look later this week for the post on how to approach the “Powers to be” on this delicate topic with grace and respect!

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Resources: The Knot

Photo: Geoff L Johnson

del.icio.us Tags: budget,wedding budget,how to establish a wedding budget,savannah wedding,savannah wedding planner

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Ask Morgan: Why do wedding planner’s ask about my Budget?

Question: I have interviewed a number of planner’s in the area and they all ask me about my budget. The problem is that I don't know what my budget is. Is this a problem and why does this seem like such an important question? –Ms. Moneytree

Picture 2 Answer: I know it might seem like an important question when beginning your planning process and hunt for planners and to be honest it is! When I conduct my calls and meetings with potential clients the oh so dreaded budget question does come up at some point. I don't ask it to establish what I am going to charge for my services. My services are a flat rate and do not change as the budget changes. That is another blog for another day! But today…let me tell you why knowing and asking about your budget is a necessary question for a number of reasons:

Know Your Starting Point: You cannot really begin any planning until you have a general budget in place. Your budget is one of the main driving points of your wedding planning right beside your guest list/count. You can read back on my blog about how to begin your wedding planning by clicking here.

Type of Service You Can Afford: We cannot be everything to everyone. We know that. Our pricing is not the least expensive in town but we aren't the most expensive either. We believe in quality over quantity and have priced our services accordingly. Now this doesn't mean that every wedding we take has an high/unlimited budget. When we have clients come to us with a smaller budget, it just means that we suggest our “Vendor Referral and Week of” package instead of our “Full Service” package instead. We ask specific questions to provide pertinent information to you to your inquiry. If I am in the market to buy a sporty couple I don't want the car salesman to sell me a truck! And we have priced our “Week of” package so that no one has to be without at the very least…a “Day of” planner! No bride should have to worry if the cake is being delivered or if the linens are set up properly, while she is getting ready with her best friends and family!

Suggestions and Parameters: As a planner, I have to know what kind of parameters we are being guided by. Although I wish money were no object and everyone had copious amounts of cash to spend, this is wishful thinking…I KNOW! So, we have to be sure to pair you with the correct vendors and suggestions based on your wants and budgetary means. I cannot suggest a $5,500 dollar photographer and the Jepson for a site when your total budget is $20,000 for 60 guests because that would leave less than 1/2 for the remainder of your vendors and details. Obviously, I wouldn't be doing my job thoroughly or well if I did. So I would suggest maybe a $3,500.00 photographer and an all in one venue site!

So the long and short of it is that everyone has a budget…even deep pockets himself…Bill Gates. Don't be afraid to share your budget with those that are going to help you make your wedding day a reality. We also want the best for you, but we cannot start without some guidelines.

On Monday, I will post a blog about how to approach the “Power that BE” with grace and confidence to help you establish your wedding budget.

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Photo by Turtlepond Photography

del.icio.us Tags: Wedding budget,Savannah wedding budget,Savannah Wedding Planner,Savannah Wedding,Savannah weddings,Planning a wedding