Another Reason You Want a Planner

July 30th, 2012
Your vendors want to provide you with the best service.  Photo by hannahelaine photography (hannahelaine.com).

Your vendors want to provide you with the best service. Photo by hannahelaine photography (hannahelaine.com).

One of the things no one ever talks about is the automatic sort of insurance that comes with hiring a wedding planner or coordinator.  It’s not foolproof, but if you have a planner as part of your team, it can keep other vendors on their best behavior.  Other vendors rely on planners to refer them for future work, so they are often careful not to pull any funny business.  Of course, there are exceptions, and I have written about some of them in the past.  But having a planner and the power of internet reviews are often enough to ensure that you are getting the best service from your vendors.

DIY Weddings: Catering

July 23rd, 2012

Of all the things you might want to do yourself for your wedding, the one I would recommend against without hesitation is catering your wedding reception yourself.  You might think this would be obvious, but I have talked to people who thought they could do this.

Did I mention that presentation is a professional catering skill?  Photo courtesy of Artisan Events.

Did I mention that presentation is a professional catering skill? Photo courtesy of Artisan Events.

I have actually heard of self-catered weddings that were pulled off with a lot of help from friends and family.  I know it can be done, especially if there are people with special skills involved.  So, I won’t say you should never, ever do it.  I’m just going to give you a lot of reasons not to.

Caterers do a lot more than cook in quantity.  They also manage the kitchen, order and return rental items, keep the food (and so your reception) on schedule, hire and manage serving and bar staff, set up tables, chairs and linens, set the tables, and clean up.  Caterers also have food sanitation licenses, meaning there is a low probability of spoiled food or food poisoning from their kitchens.  They know how much ice to buy and bring.  Some of them own serving equipment that they provide at no charge.

And that is just the minimum of what a professional caterer has to offer.  I would say that unless you are able to provide everything a caterer brings to the table, hire a professional and save cooking for a crowd for another party.

Is Eco-Friendly Expensive?

July 16th, 2012
A tent wedding can be a green option.

A tent wedding can be a green option.

One concern I hear about having eco-friendly events is that it is going to be too expensive to be eco-conscious.  While it is true that some environmentally friendly choices are more expensive, others are less expensive.  There are always trade-offs, and, in the end, it is up to you to make the choices.

Organic food and flowers are almost certainly more expensive than conventionally grown or raised food and flowers.  Organic growing is more labor-intensive, and so the price goes up.  Also, retailers raise the price of organics when they can because it is a niche market.  But much of the increased cost is due to the high quality of the product.  On the other hand, local food and flowers in season may be less expensive than their counterparts from distant locations because of the lower transportation costs.  You can get local, organic; local, non-organic; or organic, non-local products.  Each of these is more environmentally friendly than non-local and non-organic products, so you can figure out what best meets your budget and your expectations.

When you’re thinking about decor, you can save money and go green by reducing the quantity of decor items at your celebration and by reducing the potential waste. For example, edible or grow-able favors with minimal (or reusable) packaging might save you money over an elaborate knick-knack that may end up in the landfill.  Finding a location that doesn’t require much decoration can save you a lot of money (and time) on decor.

A little creative thinking can both save you money and increase your green quotient.  And you don’t have to have a perfectly green event.  There are always trade-offs and purity shouldn’t be the goal.  But if there’s something you can do that suits your style and your budget, you can be just a little more green.

Stress Buster!

July 9th, 2012
Even if you're accomplished dancers, dance lessons are fun.  Photo by Happy Buddy PhotoArt.

Even if you're accomplished dancers, dance lessons are fun. Photo by Happy Buddy PhotoArt.

A client of mine wanted me to share with you her best stress-busting tip.  She had a short engagement and a rather stressful time planning her wedding (on top of a demanding job).  She said that the best thing she and her fiance did was take weekly dance lessons.  Sure, it takes some time out of your week, but it’s a time to enjoy being with the one you love and it really blows off some steam.  And then, come your wedding day, you can show off all your new dance moves!