Wedding Inspiration

By Krysten Lewis

Check out some of these great ideas for a fall or early winter wedding! The Bride requested that there be no cut flowers in her bouquet and if any were used for the centerpieces then they would have to be locally grown. Read the full story and see more pictures on Style Me Pretty!

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Photography: The Reason; Cake: Cake Design by Debra;  Floral and Decor: Z. Grant Designs; Rentals: Goodwin Event Rentals; Furniture: Southern Vintage; Linens: I Do Linens; Venue: Milledgeville Country Club; Ceremony Pews: P.E.W.S Purely Elegant Wedding Statements; Ceremony Music: Mark Maxwell; Reception Entertainment: Amp’d Atlanta; Printing: Simply Put Paper; Bride’s Gown: Jenny Packham; Groom’s Attire: Brooks Brothers; Boutique: Kelly’s Closet.

How To Save The Date

By Krysten Lewis

More and more, couples today are using save-the-dates to notify their guests about their upcoming nuptials. In a world that seems to be speeding up by the minute, letting guests know of the planned wedding date well in advance can provide ample opportunity to make accommodations in anticipation of the big day. A good rule of thumb for when to send out save-the-dates is six months prior to the wedding. Additionally, there are five important things to include when creating the notification:

  1. Put your name on the card. The most common save the dates these days involve a picture of the bride and groom. Of course, your friends will know who you are by looking at the picture. However, other guests (your parent’s friends, for example) might not recognize you just from a picture. Therefore, add your name to the save-the-date so all guests will know whose wedding to expect.
  2. Put the wedding date on the card in print form. Sounds silly, right? But with the latest trend being to create a cute picture that incorporates the wedding date into the image, some guests might not study the picture close enough and end up missing the date. Most guests will probably still notice the cute idea you came up with, but just to spare anyone any con1fusion, be sure to include the date in a written or printed form.
  3. Include the location. While the wedding party and family already know the location and are able to plan accordingly, make sure that your guests know if they will need to plot out hotel accommodations or transportation by including the location of the wedding (this is especially important if planning a destination wedding!)
  4. Specify that formal invitations will follow. Be sure to include “Formal Invitation to Follow” somewhere on the save-the-date to avoid guests mistaking the save-the-date for the more formal invitation to the wedding (which might include important times, reception location, required attire, etc.).
  5. Add your wedding website (if you have one)Not everyone creates a wedding website for their wedding, so this detail might be optional. However, a wedding website usually includes information abut the bride and groom, where the wedding ceremony and reception will take place, and at what retail locations the couple are registered. If you have chosen to create a wedding website, be sure to also include it as a part of your save-the-date as a way of sharing additional information about the wedding with your guests.

     

Since save-the-dates are a relatively new wedding tradition, there is no formal way of choosing how they will look. Some choose to create a postcard while others go with a magnet or video. Plain Jane Designs says that as long as you have included these five important pieces of information listed above, feel free to make the save-the-date look however you want! Most Couples seem to incorporate the color scheme or them of their wedding into their look of the save-the-date, however the decision is entirely up to you. Whichever way you choose to do your save-the-date, tailor it to your personality. It is your special day; do what makes you happy!

Tis The Season!!! Engagement Season!

By Nancy Kuperberg

With a new year in view many people begin thinking about life changes, getting engaged is right up there with the big ones. Believe it our not, Christmas trumps Valentines Day for number of engagements that take plaringsce. In the wedding industry it is a time of the year that is comparable to tax season for an accountant…but way more fun! Basically November to January, aka Engagement Season, in our world.

There is no one we love more than newly engaged couples. They are so excited and full of love! But, far too quickly the excitement can fade as the reality of planning hits them. They have never planned a wedding before. For heaven’s sakes, all they want to do is get married! So many decisions to be made and the options seem infinite, not to mention the endless advise from friends. Who? What? Where? What colors? With this being fired at couples the question we get asked most is “How do we get started?” Yes, it can seem a bit overwhelming but weddings happen every day and you can plan your perfect day too!

All you need is a little thoughtful planning and organization. The No Regrets Events team has come up with five tips to help you get started and make good decisions so that you can avoid some common wedding planning pitfalls.

  1. Set a wedding budget – We can’t tell you how often we sit down with couples and they have amazing Pinterest boards, know how many guests will be invited and a great grasp on the overall style for their marriage celebration, some have even hired a wedding vendors or two, but have given no thought to what their wedding might cost. Picking out color and finding inspiration pieces is far more fun than talking dollars and cents, but you shouldn’t do anything until a budget has been sorted out…not even hire that wedding vendor! Whether the wedding is being paid for by the two of you, your families or other means it is imperative that you figure this out before you move on to the fun stuff.
  2. Some fun stuff!!! Determine your wedding style – In the wedding business this is the whole “which came first the chicken or the egg?” Should you choose your wedding style before finding a venue or should your venue drive your wedding style? Here is where we stand…you and your fiancée have likes and dislikes, places where you are comfortable, colors that make you happy, and you have distinct personality traits. Why shouldn’t you look for a location to share one of the biggest days in your life that is a reflection of you and your special love story?planning
  3. Determine your wedding date and venue – These two have been listed together because they really go hand in hand. Do you want an outdoor wedding in North Carolina…then some of your winter months may be out. What about a fall wedding in the south…then you may need to take a close look at a college football schedule. Would you want to have a beach wedding during a peak summer vacation month when travel will be the most expensive? Work schedules, holidays, school schedules all come into play. Make your first date choice and have a 2nd and 3rd for back up. If you are determined to have your wedding and reception at a popular venue then you may need to have some flexibility with your date selection. Some venues will book up to 18 months in advance.
  4. Work on your guest list – You have made some very important decisions, so now you can decide on the number of guests to invite. This can be another really difficult task because you want to invite everyone you know to your wedding, but as my friend Dianne would say, “Let it be told…” the more people you invite the more money you will spend. Your guest count will drive the other decisions you make related to your wedding, so spend time with your fiancée and even with your families to create your guest list.
  5. If you haven’t already, get support – Couples do not plan their wedding alone…they get help. Help can come in many forms, wedding professionals, respected publications, or trusted friends who have planned their own weddings. For many hiring a professional wedding planner may not seem necessary (see our article http://noregretsevents.com/why-hire-a-wedding-planner/) or you may not think they will fit into your overall wedding budget, but there are professional wedding planners out there for every bride and every budget. If you completely rule out hiring a planner then seek out as much information as you can. There are volumes of checklist and tools available online.10702136_834091876625335_3557991169374387274_n

By making these decisions you have laid a solid foundation for your wedding. Now it is time to get down to the fun stuff like wedding gowns, flowers, music, and paper goods.

We always tell our clients that the process should be as memorable as the wedding day, so we will leave you with these final tips: do your research, ask questions, laugh a lot and breath! Not only are you planning your wedding day, but you are planning your future.

Wedding Heirlooms and Traditions

By madisonstudios

One part of being a wedding planner that I love as much as the wedding day is learning from brides their family wedding traditions or seeing beautiful heirlooms that are significant to their family. The No Regrets Events team loves working with brides to come up with creative ways integrate these in a meaningful way into their wedding celebration. But, as with every aspect of planning a wedding, there is certain etiquette that should be followed when it comes to incorporating traditions and heirlooms into the celebration. When including these delightful details in your special day it is important to pay attention to three helpful guidelines:

Etiquette Rule Number One: Ask for Permission

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Photograph by Frank Gibson
Photography
A very special No Regrets Events Bride!

A recent No Regrets Events bride wore a beautiful gown that had been worn by not only her grandmother and mother, but by other family members, and had significant meaning to each of them. After several weddings and years of storage the dress was in need of repair and a good cleaning. The loving and patient hands of the talented Chris Hudson brought the dress back to practically the state it was the day her grandmother walked down the aisle more than 50 years earlier. Throughout the cleaning and repairing process the bride and her mother consulted with the previous wearers and were very conscious of the family members desire not to see the dress altered in ways other than properly fitting the bride. The key etiquette here is to ask for permission. For those of you who have seen the movie 27 Dresses, you are familiar with that gut-wrenching scene where Katherine Heigl’s clueless sister totally reworks their deceased mother’s wedding dress to the point where it is unrecognizable without ever having asked her older sister’s feelings on the matter. Weddings are a beautiful time but they can also be a sensitive time – this is a good time to be especially careful of your family and loved ones feelings (and vice versa). So the bottom line in etiquette when incorporating family treasures is to be considerate and ask for permission.

Etiquette Rule Number Two: Keep It Safe

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Photography By McGinnis Leathers
The handbag was carried by the bride’s grandmother on her wedding day

This piece of advice isn’t as much about etiquette but is equally, if not more important – guard these treasures. If you don’t have a No Regrets Events wedding planner to protect these priceless pieces, then find a trustworthy friend or family member who is assigned to the particular item and have them guard it with their life. Chances are this heirloom is very special to you or someone else and that someone else will want it back the way you found it. So make like a Girl Scout and leave that camp site better than you found it if you catch my drift.

Etiquette Rule Number Three: Be Creative
The No Regrets Events team loves the various heirlooms brides incorporate into their wedding. The jewelry we have seen over the years has been amazing, hankies are favorites, beautiful family veils, and even special family Bibles are some of the special things we have seen.

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Photography By Rafterman Photography
This broach has been passed down for several generations and was carried by the bride’s mother on her wedding day

However, not everyone has family jewels or Scottish kilts to pass down so get creative. Maybe you could read a passage that was read at your grandparents wedding or mimic the style of your parents wedding invitation on your own.

Things like this aren’t necessarily family heirlooms but could be your way of creating a special wedding tradition, and a way to honor

special people in your lives. Maybe you and your fiancée decide to create your own tradition. Be certain to document the details through photographs and in writing so you can share the tradition with future generations. The most important thing is that you are creating a beautiful reminder of what this day is truly about – a lifelong commitment to loving one another.

Whether you’re having a funky, modern, vintage, or formal wedding, integrating a family tradition or heirloom is a wonderful way to make a special day even more memorable. Just remember to ask permission, keep it safe and be creative.

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Photogrphy By Ratherman Photography
The bride, her mom, aunts and grandmother spent a weekend
putting these photographs together to display around the
cake table.

Why Hire a Wedding Planner…

By madisonstudios

Those that know me well know that I am pretty quick to hop on a soap box about the importance of hiring a reputable, experienced wedding planner or coordinator on your wedding day. A fellow wedding professional named Stephanie Uchima with Preppy Chic out of Torrance, California put it all very well so I thought I would share with you an article from her blog. Thanks Stephanie for providing the facts and being so realistic!

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I was hesitant to write this article because as a wedding planner I don’t want to sound biased or to come across like a sales pitch, BUT after hearing a horror story from a recent wedding without a planner and having a potential client decide not to hire a wedding planner at all and “trust the on-site catering manager,” I realized that it is necessary to inform couples on the IMPORTANCE OF A WEDDING PLANNER!

Last weekend a friend of mine attended a wedding (without planner) where the hotel gave away the bride & groom’s wedding night ‘honeymoon suite’ because the hotel was overbooked and the couple hadn’t checked in (since they didn’t have time before the ceremony). After the reception ended the couple went to check in and the hotel informed them that they gave away their room, were sold out and there was nothing more the hotel could do! The couple ended up driving 45 minutes back to their home at 3am the night of their wedding because they had no place to go! If they had a wedding planner, this would not have happened.

There are many wedding horror stories, but one of the best articles I have read is by wedding expert Leila Khalil of Be Inspired PR. She recounts a series the disasters that occurred at one wedding all in the same night: {Inspired by This} Please Hire A Wedding Planner. Her best piece of advice: “You get what you pay for! SO when you don’t pay for a friend who is helping you out as your “day of stand in coordinator” OR you find one that is only a couple hundred dollars…. guess what- it may not be that good of an outcome… There is a huge difference between a venue coordinator and a legitimate wedding planner.” [Also check out Leila’s article in the Huffington Post called “Hire a Wedding Planner… or Else”]

What is the difference between a “wedding planner” and “wedding coordinator”?

A wedding planner and wedding coordinator are essentially the same thing, the difference is between the role of a “day-of coordinator” and a planner.

A day-of coordinator usually begins services close to wedding date and after the couple has hired all their vendors and venue. Her role is to be in charge of the actual wedding by managing all the details that the bride and groom have spent months planning to make sure that everything comes together in the end exactly as the couple imagined. A coordinator allows the couple, wedding party and guests to enjoy their special day without the stress. Think of a “day-of coordinator” as a general contractor or a symphony conductor.

A wedding planner goes beyond just the day-of the wedding. A planner will work with the couple for up to a year before the big day helping with everything from design creation, budget management, stationary/invitations, vendor booking and suggestions, and contract negotiation or review along with coordinating everything the day of the wedding. A wedding planner is there to help reduce stress by managing and organizing all the details from start to finish. This is a great option for couples that want assurance that they are hiring reliable vendors and getting the most for their budget or have demanding busy lifestyles and schedules.

A wedding planner is there for YOU. It’s YOUR day and YOU deserve the best! A planner will not make decisions for you or take away the fun of planning, but she will be there to help you make informed decisions and to ensure that your plan is executed accordingly.

{Why Hire a Wedding Planner} I don’t need a wedding planner because…

… I can’t afford a planner. It’s just not in my budget ~ Think about the amount of money you allocate to feeding your guests, hiring the photographer to take the perfect photos, picking a DJ that will get the party started, yet couples tend to skimp when it comes to hiring a planner that will orchestrate the whole day! It’s like having a car and all the passengers but no driver (or GPS)! So why stop at hiring the planner. In reality a planner can SAVE YOU MONEY & TIME! Planners have relationships with vendors and venues since they work on many weddings not just one, so they can give you economies of scale. They can also help you put together a realistic budget. In the end the money and time saved might be greater than the cost of the planner, so you basically got the planner for FREE!

… I have family and friends who have volunteered to help me day-of. It should be fine! ~ While this is a nice gesture, unless your family member is a professional event planner, I’m pretty sure it won’t be fine. They are your guests and should not be working on your wedding day. They will be so preoccupied with socializing, drinking a little too much champagne, ooh’ing and ahh’ing over how beautiful you look, taking hundreds of photos, and not focused on the important details that make the event run smoothly. They will not be informed on important decisions (i.e. telling the catering manager that although the bar tab has been exceed you insist the bride and groom said its fine to keep it open, leaving the couple with a few thousand dollars more to pay).

… The venue coordinator & catering manager assured me that I don’t need to hire a planner because they can handle it. ~ All I have to say is read Leila’s article above. The bottom line: venue coordinators are there because they are hired by the venue to maintain and manage the venue only (i.e. food, rentals, staff, etc…). They work for the venue and not for you. Their main goal is to ensure the facility runs smoothly. So if you arrive and all your flower arrangements are wrong and the guests can’t figure out where they are supposed to sit, don’t look at the venue coordinator to help you out because they won’t have any idea on what you wanted.

… Shouldn’t the vendors be able to manage themselves since they work weddings all the time? ~ According to feedback from vendors I have worked with, I have heard more times than not, there is a huge difference between a wedding with a planner vs. one without / with a venue coordinator. Not only are the finishing touches and design usually better but also the flow of the event and communication between the parties (i.e. the photographer will be ready for photos and not out in the cocktail area when the DJ plays the song for the Grand Entrance because the coordinator will have given both a warning). Although it’s your day, think about the vendors you have hired. What will help make both your lives and their lives easier? A wedding planner!

… I read all the magazines and blogs. I have all the resources I need. I don’t want a wedding planner to take away the fun of planning my wedding! ~ When you first get engaged, wedding planning is a novelty. You buy every magazine and bookmark every blog out there to help plan your big day. However, with hundreds of wedding blogs, magazines, photographers, videographers, venues, etc… it can get overwhelming and stressful trying to narrow down who/what is the best fit for your style, budget and needs. Once the wedding comes the couple is so worn out with decisions that the process is no longer fun. Wedding planners do this every day will help bring you the resources that best fit your needs to that you can ENJOY the planning process until the end! They are educated and knowledgeable in all things wedding related from etiquette to getting a marriage license and are a huge accessible resource!

… My family & friends want to help me with the planning process ~ Except when your future mother-in-law has a completely different vision for her son’s wedding and your brother insists that his heavy metal band play a medley at your reception and your parents decide to invite all their friends as if it was their party. Think “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.” You need a MEDIATOR. A planner is a good third-party mediator in tricky family situations. It is impossible to please everyone; however, at least a planner can give an unbiased opinion to help navigate problems.

So in the end, a wedding planner/coordinator WILL:

  • Convert your vision into a reality
  • Guarantee that you make the most informed decision when signing a contract and hiring a vendor
  • Ensure that your special day runs smoothly ~ timeline management & troubleshooting
  • Be ORGANIZED
  • Manage vendors, guests & all the details
  • Help you SAVE MONEY
  • Be a resource of knowledge, a sounding board for decisions, a mediator, a therapist, and a stress reducer!

A wedding planner is there to help YOU design your big day and ensure that YOUR big day is everything you dreamed and more!

Minty Fresh!

By madisonstudios

Welcome to the beginning of wedding season 2013! If you have been perusing blogs, magazines, and Pinterest like we have, you know that the #1 hot wedding trend for 2013 is the color MINT!! Brides are popping accents of this fresh color into everything from their cake, to shoes, to the bridesmaids dresses and groomsman ties just in time for spring. Check it out!

So festive and springy! And with the Pantone color of the year being green, mint falls perfectly in line for the spring version of the color. Here’s a little more about green:

GREEN says growth – balance – harmony. It is a color of healthy relationships. Green symbolizes self-respect and well being. Balance and a sense of order are found in the color green. Change and transformation is necessary for growth, and so this ability to sustain changes is also a part of the energy of green. – from crystal-cure.com

These are all wonderful vibes and symbols to be surrounded with on your wedding day, as you start a new phase of your life. So, if you believe in the inner meaning of colors, or you just want a lively, fresh feel to your wedding, consider incorporating some green (or MINT!) into your wedding

Studio 1658

By madisonstudios

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No Regrets Events is so excited to share some exciting news!!! Through the vision and hard work of some very talented people Studio 1658 has been created and we get to be a part of this amazing collaborative.

Studio 1658 is a creative collective that joins the most extraordinary Atlanta event resources under one roof to simplify your planning efforts and to help create and produce beautiful events, weddings, and all celebrations in life.

We have everything you may need including designers, caterers, florists, stylists, event planners, furnishings, photographers, invitations, videographers, hair and makeup — our chemistry and experience has brought us together as trusted and respected partners, which will ensure the vision for your event is exactly how it should be.

Whether singularly or collaboratively, the businesses of Studio 1658 can help craft your event and make the planning process as one-of-a-kind as the celebration itself.

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