Why hiring a wedding planner could save you money

In the 7 years of being a wedding planner (and over 20 in the industry), I have learnt so much. The comments I get when I tell people that I am a wedding planner are, “oooo I’d love that job”, followed by “do you get a lot of bridezillas?” and “what do you do exactly?”

 

People think that being a wedding planner is very glamourous! The reality is that it is a great job, but long hours and you are on your feet for the whole time. Is it fun? Absolutely! I love my job. Is it a bit like JLo in The Wedding Planner? In some ways yes. I have to have the answers to every challenge on a wedding day. Wedding planners are conductors of the wedding day. 

 

There are definitely misconceptions about our work and what it entails. As planners, we plan to execute the wedding as smoothly as possible. There are no second chances with a wedding, so we have to get it right first time!

 

If you are a current bride thank you for trusting us with your wedding day. If you are not, but are considering hiring a planner please continue reading as I share my most frequently asked questions from couples. 

Professional vs. Hobby?

Why do I need a professional wedding planner? First off, wedding planning is a full time job, if it wasn't all us planners would be out of work. It is common for bride-to-be’s to assign tasks to their bridal party or family members but there are many reasons why this is not a good idea.

  • keep in mind they probably want to enjoy the wedding rather than be working it.

  • they have a few too many drinks and get distracted (the most common).

  • They are not insured - This is a major one! 100% of the time those assigned to help are doing it for free which means they don't owe you anything. Because of this they are most likely not insured so if an accident happens they aren't liable, not to mention how awkward it would be for you to blame them.

  • They don't know industry standards and laws - There are certain laws and permits required if you want to host a wedding in the GTA. Because we do this on a daily basis you are rest assured that we are kept up to date with the ever changing rules.

  • They don’t have the insider knowledge - What makes professional planners creditable is that we’ve worked with vendors in the industry and know the good vs. the bad. We build quality relationships with reliable vendors.

Wedding planners are not a luxury service for the rich and famous. In fact we are accessible, affordable and probably the most valuable investment you’ll make for your wedding day.

The venue provides a wedding coordinator, why do I need a wedding planner?

Photo by  Redwood Studio

A lot of the times couples tell me that their venue package includes a venue coordinator and that they don't need a planner. The venue coordinator does exactly what their title states - coordinate the events at the venue. Their main focus is that dinner is served and the wedding happening at the venue runs smoothly. They will answer your questions about the venue and assist with any tasks related to the venue but not the other items related to planning the wedding. What happens if your cake doesn't show up? Who will set up the receiving table exactly the way your pictured it? These are tasks that are not the responsibility of a venue coordinator. 

How will a wedding planner benefit me?

Speaking specifically about the day of coordination, wouldn’t it be great to know that there is someone overseeing all the logistics. We coordinate with all your vendors, making sure items are set up as planned, place cards are at each correct seat, cake knife and server at the cake table, your dress splits and we sew it up with our on site emergency kit etc. You’ve put so much time, effort and not to mention money into planning your perfect day so why jeopardize it.

Happy planning!

Perfect Planners is an award winning Wedding Planning company.

"Our passion is to ensure that every wedding is exactly how the couple envisioned their special day to be. We are focused on giving couples an unforgettable and stress-free experience in planning and on their wedding day by creating new and lasting memories."

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The real life of a wedding planner!

Everyone thinks that I have the best job ever! Just like J Lo! And yes I do think I have the best job, but it's not glamorous all the time!

Photo credit : Avenue Photography

Stressful

Firstly, being a wedding/event planner is in the top 10 most stressful jobs. I can see why we are on that list, as every wedding day we have all the pressure to make sure the wedding is exactly what the couple want and that it is memorable for all the right reasons!

Long Hours

Each couple we spend around 25-30 hours working on their wedding day. It starts when we meet the couple for the first time and we spend 45mins-1hour chatting about their special day. We then meet again 4 weeks before the day and spend 2-3 hours with them, then the rehearsal another hour.

We spend 4-5 hours putting together the itinerary and personally contacting each vendor to make sure that they know what they are doing and if they have any special requirements. The wedding day arrives and we work around 12-15 hours on average.

On call

We are deemed to be on call 24/7. Receiving calls and emails at all times of the day and night.

Play the bad guy

We spend all day chasing vendors and telling them to change this, move that, go back and bring me the correct items. Cut off the drunk cousin and deal with the fallout.

Things we have to do

  • Hold up a dress while bride pees
  • Put hand up dress to fix bustle
  • Keep the divorced mom and dad away from each other
  • Keep the alcoholic cousin sober
  • Ask the cousin to leave
  • Drive to the bride and grooms house to collect some specialty drinks they had forgotten
  • Moved the cutting of the cake sooner as the cake was leaning
  • Sew buttons on grooms shirt
  • Cut fingers off surgical gloves so the flowers can be put on the cake (cannot push unprotected flowers into edible items)
  • Stop fights between guests
  • Receive calls from the groom at 2.30am to ask where his bag is, receive another call at 3am to ask the same question. Then receive a text message from the same groom at 7.15am to ask for a debrief of the night.
  • Pull labels off dollar store bought vases (they do not want to come off)
  • Asked to tell the wedding in the room next door, to stop their dancing until we've finished our speeches! (I didn't, I asked if they could turn it down a little. Downside of busy convention centres.)

Do I love my job? Absolutely, it's never dull.

If you are interested in hiring a wedding planner/coordinator please checkout our website www.perfectplanners.ca

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Wedding Coordinator versus Venue Coordinator 

When I chat to brides about their wedding and I ask if they are looking for a wedding coordinator  and I sometimes get the reply "no my venue has a coordinator." At this point I cringe internally.

Photo by Phat Dog Visuals Don't get me wrong, there are some amazing venue coordinators out there, but that is not the norm. Venue coordinators look at everything from the venues point of view. They will not be chasing if the cake does not show up, they will not be sewing the grooms button on because it fell off before the ceremony. They will not be checking that the dress/hair/makeup looks ok whilst you're having your photo's taken. 

Wedding coordinators are independent from everyone and are solely working for YOU and in YOUR best interests. They will create a timeline of events for your day and communicate it to all of your vendors, they will cue music, speeches, first dance etc. When something doesn't go to plan which happens at most weddings, wedding coordinators are skilled to find solutions or work around the issue to ensure that the day is kept on time. The couple often has no idea until after the day that anything has happened. And that is the job of the wedding coordinator, to ensure this day runs smoothly and you get to enjoy a stress free day! 

Photo by Sawyer Photography If you are starting to plan your wedding, do not assume that every service that your venue suggests is the best thing for you. Just because they are on the venues preferred vendor list, does not mean that they are the right fit for you. Ask questions to your venue coordinator regarding the timeline, cueing music, working with other vendors, managing the vendors, how often can you contact them, will they attend/supervise the rehearsal? All these things are included in a wedding coordinator's package. So do your research and ask the questions.

You are spending thousands and thousands of dollars on your special day, therefore it is so important to find vendors who you are comfortable with and who you feel you can trust to do a great job and take the stress away. 

This is what is included in our standard wedding day coordination package:

  • One Wedding Planners certified by the Wedding Planners Institute of Canada
  • At least one assistant coordinator
  • An initial meeting at no cost to you, at a mutually convenient location
  • One planning meeting prior to the rehearsal, normally at the venue of the reception 4 weeks before the wedding (usually 2 hrs duration)
  • Design an itinerary which once the couple has signed off it is distributed to all vendors involved in the day
  • Reviewing all vendor contracts
  • Unlimited communication from when you contract our services until your wedding day
  • Contacting all vendors to co-ordinate arrivals/set up/take down etc
  • Supervision and Direction of Wedding Rehearsal
  • Supervision and Execution of Ceremony and reception set up
  • On site direction of the Wedding Ceremony and Reception
  • Supervision of Photo session
  • We will arrive when needed and leave after the last major event (usually after the night table has been laid out)
  • Access for you and your guests to our emergency bag, because we are prepared for most situations

Christmas at a planners house!

Us wedding planners are creative types and we never need an excuse to decorate! Christmas is the time of year to go all out with décor. Last year, I was very taken with the light blue and silver which seemed to be very popular. I like to try something different, and so I did. img_1807-2

I loved the winter feel of the ice blue with the silver.

 

For Christmas Day, I coordinated the table with the tree.

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My friends at With All My Heart Wedding Décor did a great job with helping me pick the right chair sashes. They also had the perfect colour napkin holders.

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The centrepiece was creatively designed by Select Flowers who did a great job bringing to life my vision.

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This is a great time for those of you who are DIY brides to try out things that you have thought of for your tables.

 

 

 

DIY Rustic Wedding Signs

  DIY sign 1

Rustic signs at weddings are very trendy right now and they don't look like they are going anywhere. Made out of barn board, stenciling and white paint not only do they add a romantic touch to weddings but they are also simple, quick and inexpensive to make. These quirky signs suit easy going outdoor weddings but can also look quite elegant placed inside with just the right cursive.

DIY 2

Photo credit Caroline Frost

These signs can be placed to welcome your guests and also to direct your guests where they need to be in an organized fashion. For example use them to direct guests where the ceremony and reception will be taking place, where the bar is or where the washrooms are. They can also be used to state the menu at the buffet table. Not only are these signs functional but they may also be used as decor displaying your favourite beautiful quote.

Wedding-in-the-woods-17Photo Credit : Paige Jones

il_570xN.948671948_qfdy.jpg Or to catch the cute moments!

 

The materials needed to make these signs are barn board, stenciling and white paint. You can find barn board at most DIY stores but also check out any antique shops where you may find something interesting made of barn wood that can be recycled. Or if you´re lucky you may be able to score some wood from someone´s old barn - make sure you ask permission first of course. And unless you are very talented and can write or print beautifully freehand then I suggest you use stenciling. White paint shows up the best on the dark wood. If you´re really crafty jazz up your signs with flowers.

f6f5c2e1f68f18a4420622054eb0171f Unknown Photographer

If you´re placing your signs outside you´ll need to attach them to pickets so that they can be hammered into the ground. If you´re displaying them inside, setting them on easels is a good idea. You can find ideas and tutorials on how to make them on internet sites such as Pinterest.

The best part about these signs is getting together with your girlfriends, getting a bottle of wine and creating them together. Not only will they look amazing at your wedding but after your wedding is over and beautiful memories have been made, you can take them home and hang them on your walls as a reminder of the best day of your life.

For all your wedding planning needs contact Perfect Planners - Your Wedding Specialist

 

 

What to do with your bridal decor after the wedding?

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Your wedding was last month, you have had your honeymoon and when you got back you put away all the presents, but what are you going to do with your candle votives, mason jars, blackboards, centrepieces, umbrellas, dress? The Original Bridal Swap (8)

Your choices for selling them were limited to kijiji, craigslist or facebook groups, but not now.

The Original Bridal Swap is coming to Toronto!

This event is where past brides will sell their gently used items to brides to be. Let's face it, these items have been used for only 1 day, so they are in great condition!

The Original Bridal Swap (11)

You can also sell your wedding dress! There are consignment store in and around the GTA, but your dress could sit there for a year before it sells. With the bridal swap it is there one day. Also, with consignment you will receive around 50% of what the dress is sold for. If you consign your dress with the bridal swap you receive 70% and you set the selling price!

The Original Bridal Swap (2)

For more information contact The Original Bridal Swap Toronto West at torontowest@bridalswap.com or call 416 805 2096 (Vicky)

The Original Bridal Swap is brought to you by Perfect Planners - Your Wedding Specialist

 

Are couples getting married for the wrong reasons?

One of my husband's colleagues is getting married next year. He has started verbally inviting guests. One of his friend's who he has known for quite some time has been trying to decide whether to go or not. The wedding is 3 hours drive away and he isn't sure he can make that trip as he doesn't drive, pay for accommodation, present etc. The Groom to be came up to him a couple of days later and said 'so what are you giving us for a wedding present?'

I was so disappointed by this comment as I believe it shows they are getting married for all the wrong reasons. What happened to getting married for love? You invite guests to share in your special day not because of what you can get from them.

What's your view?

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The best Wedding Dress styles to wear for a plus size bride

As a plus size person I know how difficult it is to shop for our size. I used to end up wearing black so I blended in. This was until I got engaged! Your wedding say is a day with all eyes on you and you are going to have hundreds of photographs taken, so you need to feel comfortable and you want to look good.

The best advice is go in to a bridal store and try on lots of different styles and you will see what looks better for your shape. But here is a quick guide to advise you on what may look best.

If you have an hourglass figure, you would look best in A-line gowns or even mermaid/trumpet style dresses.  You have a tiny waist and so you want show that off!

Pear shaped brides look best in an empire waist dress and especially strapless ones!  This style adds extra 'wow' to the top half  and when teamed with a fuller skirt can flatter your lower curves.

Apple-brides should choose a ballgown style dress.  This will help to add volume to the lower half.  Avoid spaghetti straps and corsets which can cause skin spillage that you really don’t want.

Short waisted brides should look for gowns with a dropped waist, which will make  make your torso appear longer. A flair at the bottom of the dress will also help the look.

Busty brides should look for a V neck dress as this will allow you to get underwear which will support you throughout a very long day. And we all know how much our girls need support! You could also look at off the shoulder or straight across strapless, but avoid sweetheart and plunging necklines!

Take your time and when you go to try on dresses take the one person in your life who will tell you the truth!

www.perfectplanners.ca

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The 4 C's you need to know when buying an engagement ring

Image There are 4 things to consider accordingly to the experts when buying a diamond :

Colour :  The majority of engagement rings are a very white coloured diamond. Colours are graded from D (colourless and very rare), but most diamonds are around a F-H.

Clarity : Being natural, there will be imperfections in the diamond. The less imperfections, the greater the clarity and the more light is reflected from the diamond, causing it to "sparkle". Naturally, more clarity increases its value. Perfectly flawless diamonds with no internal flaws or surface blemishes are very hard to find as they are extremely rare.

Cut : There are many different ways to cut a diamond and the type of cut effects the sparkle of the diamond. The cut that produces the most sparkle is the round cut (also known as brilliant), while radiant and princess cuts are good at hiding flaws. Other cuts including square, emerald, pear, marquise, cushion, ssscher, and heart-shaped.

Carat : This is the weight of the diamond. Big is not always better

You need to consider all 4 C’s before choosing your diamond.