DIY Weddings: Flowers

May 28th, 2012

Do-It-Yourself is all the rage.  And there are lots of things you can do yourself for your own wedding (or a friend’s). But there are some DIY ideas that require a little more thought before implementation.  This is the second post in a series on the beauties and pitfalls of DIY.

Perhaps because her livelihood is on the line, a florist friend of mine refers to DIY wedding flowers as “f— it up yourself” flowers.  And because I don’t want to anger all my florist colleagues, I am going to agree with her–up to a point.

This is a professionally designed and created floral display.  Photo by Magical Moments Photography.

This is a professionally designed and created floral display. Photo by Magical Moments Photography.

The reason you hire a professional floral designer is because they have specialized knowledge.  It’s true that you can send someone to the farmer’s market on the morning of your wedding to pick up flowers.  But will the buds all be open?  Florists know how to time the opening of flowers so your wedding flowers look picture-perfect.  And do you really want to be tying bouquets on the morning of your wedding?

There is nothing wrong with this bridesmaid's bouquet that the bride made.

There is nothing wrong with this bridesmaid's bouquet that the bride made.

On the other hand, I have seen DIY flowers that are perfectly nice.  It all depends on the look you are going for.  If you want a home-made look or a casual feel, your flowers might end up the way you want them if you do them yourself.  If you have special training in art, design, or floral arrangement, you’re probably ahead of the curve.  But this is one area where I would recommend to most people to hire a professional, especially if the flowers are important to you.

Wedding Planning Tips (fourth of a series)

May 21st, 2012
Florists' contracts might have less information that others.  Photo by Happy Buddy PhotoArt.

Florists' contracts might have less information that others. Photo by Happy Buddy PhotoArt.

Every wedding planner has a calendar or timeline laying out the important steps necessary to plan a wedding and reception. The timeline is an important part of planning your wedding, but there are other equally important things to think about in order to have the wedding you really want. Here is one more of them:

Remember when hiring vendors that this is a business proposition, and deal with them in a business-like manner. Never, ever give any vendor a down payment until you have a written contract and until you understand and agree with everything in the contract. A contract should contain, at a minimum, the vendor’s name, business address, and telephone number; an itemized list of services the vendor will supply and dates and times the services will be provided; and the cost for those services and when payment is due. Some smaller businesses, especially busy ones like florists and bakeries, sometimes have minimal information on their contracts. Feel free to hand write missing information on the contract they give you, and get them to initial it. You should also initial any changes. Contracts are also negotiable. You will not be able to negotiate everything you want into a contract, but if there is something important you want, try to get it included. Or if there is a clause you can’t live with, you can try to negotiate it out.

Introducing Healthy Green Goods

May 14th, 2012


Healthy Green Goods in Evanston is not a wedding vendor, but Marny Turvil, the owner, is someone you should know if you are interested in environmental topics.

The store on Main Street stocks a wide variety of non-toxic and environmentally safe items for the home, including linens, paint, furniture, air and water purifiers, and personal care items.  Marny is also available for in-home consultations on indoor air quality and keeping a healthy home.

If you are looking for a high-quality, environmentally friendly, non-toxic gift (for a wedding or for any occasion), Healthy Green Goods is a good place to start.  They will even ship anywhere in the US.

Why Should I Hire a Day-Of Wedding Coordinator?

May 7th, 2012

I am asked sometimes why anyone should hire a wedding planner.

Beautiful wedding day.  Photo by Magical Moments Photography.

Beautiful wedding day. Photo by Magical Moments Photography.

After all, you can probably do all the planning yourself. With some time, a few organizational skills, and the ability to see the project through, you can plan your wedding by yourself. Of course, it is a large job that takes a lot of time and attention. Most people find the process momentarily frustrating. At the same time, it can be very rewarding. You might even find that it is a lot of fun.

On the other hand, when it comes to day-of wedding coordination, almost everyone needs someone to do the job. In the past when brides were typically younger, the mother of the bride often took care of the coordinating. Sometimes the Maid of Honor does all the work.  These days, though, most couples want to allow their families and friends to enjoy the wedding day and not have to deal with the details.

Even if your wedding is simple and straightforward, if you hire a day-of coordinator, you are also hiring a professional consultant who can help you with the planning. When I am working with a couple, I tell them that once they hire me, they can call me or send me an e-mail any time if they need guidance or a vendor referral or just someone to bounce an idea off of. My function is to make sure that the wedding goes smoothly, and that means that I start working toward that goal as soon as I am hired. If I can prevent costly mistakes or solve a problem months in advance, then I am doing my job as day-of coordinator.

Also, I have resources that you might not have.  Especially if your wedding is non-traditional or if you want to make sure it is environmentally friendly, I have access to vendors and other resources that you might not know about.

Maybe you have been to a wedding and thought it all went so smoothly that there was no need for a coordinator. That is actually the highest compliment you can pay to a day-of wedding coordinator. From the point of view of the guests, it should all look effortless, and that means that someone has put all the details together into a beautiful wedding day.