Professional wedding planning tips + trends + what to do + especially what not to do

Professional wedding planning tips + trends + what to do + especially what not to do

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

What not to wear. Mother of the bride dresses.

This question was just posed to me the other day by a friend.  She asked if it was ok if her fiance's mom wore a cream colored lace dress to the wedding.  The bride was wearing a cream colored lace dress.  Ummmm. . .that was an easy question - NO, IT'S NOT OK!

I'm going to make this short and sweet and I hope my moms out there aren't offended, but this is how it goes:  If you match the bride, the bride will likely be upset.  You have to admit that's understandable.  And your guests will notice too, and think it's in poor taste.  Here are my tips for picking the perfect outfit for the wedding:

1.  Pick a color.  
Preferably pick a color that doesn't completely clash with the color scheme of the wedding.  And definitely NOT an attention grabbing color like red.  If you're going to wear black, please add a pop of color (like an statement jewelry piece) so you don't appear to be attending a funeral.  Jewel tones are current, and a safe bet!  But if you MUST go with an off white or cream color, please make it in a completely different style from the bride.  (See image below).  If the bride is going with a long white tulle skirt on her dress, you can get away with a short length lacy dress in champagne. . . but that's about as close as I would call "safe" (see #2)!

2.  Don't match the bride.  
It doesn't matter if you're fully paying for the wedding.  It is still your daughter's/son's wedding, and you're not the guest of honor.  Yes, you'll know more people on the guest list than the bride likely will, but it's still "her" day.  So please don't compete for attention by wearing a dress that matches the bride.  You can have your say in how the money is spent for the wedding, but let her shine on her day in a dress that stands out.  

3.  Pick a dress that makes YOU feel great!  
After all the planning that goes into the wedding, you deserve to kick up your heels and dance the night away too, so please pick a style you can move in.  You can be absolutely stunning in a dress that doesn't resemble anything bridal, while still showing off your fabulous personal flair!

Here are some great examples of stunning dresses, perfect for a mother of the bride.  We love the ruffled collars, stylish jackets, color options, and flattering fits!

Flattering fits for a mother of a bride

Ruffled collars are super chic for mother of the bride dressesSleek fit in a flattering color

Matching shrug to go with Mother of the bride dressesBeautiful jacket and skirt combo

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Wedding Day "Emergency" Kit

We take our slogan “reduce your stress and not your expectations” very seriously.  We feel strongly that part of reducing stress is helping cope with any emergencies that may arise, by quickly diffusing them, and moving on.  That’s why Events by Autumn provides a bridal “survival kit.”  As a planner, this is part of our responsibility to our clients.   

In all, the contents include over 100 essential items, and over $300 worth of products.  We make sure it’s stocked for every single wedding we work, so you will always have access to a full kit.  It contains things like: a complete first aid kit, stain fighting solutions, hygiene items, tape, pins & glue, beauty products, and even a faux diamond ring!

Still want to make your own kit?  Let us ask a few questions:

How do you know what to pack?
Trust us that there is no one list online which includes the full contents of what you might need in the event of an emergency!  We have created our own kit based on a decade worth of wedding planning experience.  To be honest, we looked online as well, but needed to combine over a dozen “complete” emergency kits to create our version.

What are you going to do with these items after the wedding is over?
Just as an example, we provide all colors of bobby pins in the kit.  Your bridesmaids may need a few pins to repair an up-do at some point during the evening.  Granted, it’s only a few dollars for a bunch of bobby pins, but if you’re a blonde, what are you going to do with 500 black bobby pins after the wedding day?  It does add up quickly when you’re talking about 100+ different items.

What kind of “emergencies” would you prepare for?
I’ve seen the best man forget his socks when he packed his tux; so I now include black dress socks.  I’ve seen the groom break his shoelace 20 minutes before ceremony starts; so I now include extra shoelaces.   The kit continues to evolve as I see a need for additional items.  But the real question is - do you really want to buy all these items “just in case?”  Just let us bring the kit and you won’t have to worry about it.

Does your planner provide this?
When comparing planners, you need to look at ALL the services they offer.  In addition to all the planning we do, we also provide access to over $300 worth of products, and save you the time required to make your own kit.  If your planner doesn’t come prepared to diffuse an “emergency” situation into a “no big deal” situation, what services are they really providing you?  The point of a planner is to make the wedding run smoothly.  Yes, that includes managing vendors, setting up, and running the timeline, but it also includes being prepared AND equipped to handle any unexpected occurrences on the wedding day too.  We are fully prepared and equipped!

Why not save that money and spend it on something else?
What would you do with $300 extra dollars towards your wedding?  Why not create baskets of essential items in the restrooms?  Or maybe now you can splurge on moving lights from the DJ company, (which we strongly recommend!).  Or maybe $300 more will allow you to add prime rib to the menu?  There are so many options, but the answer is up to you!

But one thing is for sure – we’ve got a bridal survival kit that’s like no other.  Brides and bridesmaids oogle over it when I show them. . . Even vendors love it.  It’s flattering when a very successful wedding photographer tells you they’ve never seen anything like it before, and proceeds to take pictures of it!  That just means we’re doing something right.  And it’s just another reason why we stand out from the rest.    

Photo credit:  Cake Knife Photography 

Events by Autumn's wedding day emergency kit

Monday, November 3, 2014

Who will clean up your wedding?

This is one of my favorite topics to talk about.  Who is going to clean up after your wedding is over?  Either people just don't want to think about this, or they think their family/caterer/friends/venue is going to take care of it.  After planning weddings for almost 10 years I've compiled some seriously amusing realities of what happens when you leave your wedding for others to clean up.  I'll only list 3 here:

1.  Your Wedding Reception will end early.
Here's the scenario:  your older relatives think they're going to be really helpful and clean up for you.  And they're tired at 8:30pm, so they start cleaning up at 8:30pm.  But you've booked your reception space until midnight. 

I was at a friends' wedding when an uncle literally removed the centerpiece, candles, AND LINEN from the table I was still sitting at.  I was really confused, because it was very early in the evening.  But sure enough, the reception ended very shortly after that, because the room was stripped bare.

Or how about the time I left a reception room for 5 minutes to prep sparklers for a sendoff, and in that 5 minutes, an Aunt decided to start packing up the centerpieces.  Thankfully, she started on a few tables in the back of the room before I caught her!  I politely told her I was being paid to do that, and she should just go back to enjoying the party.  The candles she was blowing out was providing the ambient lighting in the room - she was going to make the room completely dark before she realized she shouldn't have done that.

If someone strips your reception room of decor while the party is still going on, it will kill the ambiance and end the party early.  I promise.  So be smart and hire a planner to clean up.

2.  You will be charged penalties
Think about this - you've signed an agreement with a rental company.  Likely, the agreement's fine print states that you WILL NOT put wet or soiled linens into the linen bag.  But if you aren't physically there to clean up, who else knows that fine print on the contract?

Think about it - your wedding is likely on a Saturday evening.  If you put those wet or soiled linens in a bag, and the rental company picks up on Monday, I guarantee there's going to be the beginnings of mold in there.  It's gross.  And it happens.  And ALL weddings have wet and soiled linens.  Trust me.  

I heard from a rental vendor last week that she had to charge a $250 penalty because someone was helping a bride pick up after the wedding, and a relative literally took the linen off the cake table, with the cake STILL in the middle, and shoved it into a linen bag.  It molded all the linens in the bag, and they couldn't be simply washed clean.  The bride was upset she was being charged the penalty, and her defense was SHE didn't clean it up.

But guess what?  When you sign that contract, you ARE responsible.  Hiring a planner who knows your contracts avoids penalties like this.

3.  Who really wants to clean up the next day?!
If you're lucky enough to leave decor up until the morning after, great.  But do you REALLY want to clean it up then?  I know the answer is no.  You do too - you just have to admit it.

Trust us - there are a million things you would rather be doing than return to the reception room AFTER the party is over.  An event venue after a wild wedding often looks like a tornado ravaged it.  And in the daylight, the disaster area is only more visible.  You don't want to remember your wedding this way.  

So you should leave it to the pros to clean it up!  The most overlooked but valuable part of my services is THIS:

I remove all decor and package it back into the original containers it came in.  If you or a family member lives nearby, I'll drop off your decor to a house, or leave it ORGANIZED and ready for simple pickup in the room the next morning.

Actual picture of an actual wedding mess taken on my personal cell phone.  Do you want to clean this up in your wedding dress?  Do you want to leave this mess for your friends or family?

A cake and cupcakes that were blown off the table by hurricane force winds