Picking Wedding Vendors Is Like Dating | North Carolina Wedding Planner

 

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Alexa’s Photography

When you first meet with your potential wedding vendors and creative partners, it is very similar to going on a first date. I know it sounds silly, but it’s true! I checked out EHarmony’s 5 Telltale Signs of Great First Dates, and it’s surprising how well they apply to your first fall-in-love vendor meetings.

Positive Anticipation: You know those little butterflies you feel before a first date? The thoughts of what might happen, what you should wear, and the hope that you two hit it off? All of these should be present before your first meeting with a potential wedding vendor. You may have chatted on the phone a few times and gotten a little bit of information about your vendor, but that first meeting is when everything comes together; it’s absolutely normal to feel a little nervous! Remember: just like a first date, your first vendor meeting is a time to feel each other out and get some more information. It doesn’t have to lead to a commitment – it’s all about finding that chemistry.

Relative Ease: Just like a first date, the initial minutes of the first meeting with your vendor might be a little awkward. Icebreaker conversations about shared acquaintances are completely normal, but as your meeting goes on, you should become more comfortable and relaxed. Meeting with a vendor should be enjoyable whether the two of you are chatting over coffee or sitting in an office. If you feel relaxed and at ease with the vendor by the end of your meeting, you may want to take the next step in your relationship.

Mutual Curiosity: When chemistry is present on a date or in a vendor meeting, both parties should be curious about the other. First dates are a time to discover information about the other person, tell stories, and ask questions and this is no different from a first meeting with a vendor. You should be chatting it up and getting to know one another. Pay attention to how they conduct the meeting and their attitudes and opinions – if their style jives with yours, they me be the vendor of your dreams.

Great Endings: Being reluctant to end a first date is a good sign, and the same can be said for a first meeting with a vendor. At the end of your meeting, you should feel excited and happy – but you may want to skip that goodnight kiss (ha!). If you’ve found the vendor for you, you should be eager to start the planning process with him or her.

Even Greater Follow-Up: Commitments don’t have to be made on a first date, and they don’t have to be made during a first vendor meeting either. If you had a great consultation with your vendor, or even if it turned sour, follow-up is crucial. Make sure to call or send an e-mail in a timely manner thanking them for taking the time to meet with you, and if you think he or she is the one for you, be sure to let them know. It’s a good idea to set up another meeting, or at least make it clear that you’d love to work with the vendor to make your big day as fabulous as possible.

If you keep these 5 great tips in mind as you pick your wedding vendors, you may just find that your next great relationship is only a meeting away!

Snapchat Wedding Geofilters | North Carolina Wedding Planner

I am always on the lookout for the latest and greatest trends for our LPW clientele. Social media is ever changing and while the Instagram wedding hashtag is not going anywhere for a while, Snapchat is becoming a more and more popular medium for sharing your wedding day.

Recently Snapchat rolled out their On Demand Geofilters feature where you can create and submit a custom filter for your event. The fees vary and are mostly based on the size of the area you want your filter to be available to (i.e. just your venue or your entire city) and the length of time available. You can use a template from Snapchat to create your filter or upload a custom one you designed.

filters-640x551  via Mashable

If you are addicted to Snapchat like I am, this fun new feature will be such  a great addition to your customized event! Approval for your filter only takes one business day so you still have plenty of time to add this to your final wedding to do list!

7 Tips for Finding Your Perfect Wedding Gown | Winston Salem Wedding Planner

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McCardell Photography

Other than finding your soul mate, selecting your wedding dress can be one of the biggest obstacles on your way to the perfect day. There are a million styles, cuts, fabrics, price points … the list goes on and on. So, before stepping into the bridal salon or applying to be on “Say Yes to the Dress,” read up on my top 7 tips for find your dream dress:

1. Know exactly how much you are able to spend before you even walk in the door. Set a realistic budget ahead of time to avoid disappointment. Nothing good can come from trying on a dress that is way outside of your budget. I guarantee you will fall in love with the dress and nothing else will be able to compare.

2. Set up an appointment so you get the time and attention you deserve. If you’re able to, I suggest taking a day off of work. Week day appointments are less frequent so sales associates can give you more of their attention and aren’t going to rush you out when your time is up.

3. Bring some inspiration. Take along some magazine clippings or show the bridal consultant your Pinterest board. They will be able to get a sense the style you’re going for. I also recommend showing or describing a few dresses/styles that you absolutely hate. The consultant will appreciate the parameters you set and will be able to help you that much better.

4. Don’t bring along everyone you’ve ever met. If you’ve ever watched an episode of “Say Yes to the Dress,” you should already know this is a bad idea. Take along no more than 3 people (and that’s a stretch) to pick out your dress. You want to take someone whose opinion you value but who can also balance telling you you’re gorgeous and telling you the truth. Moms, sisters, and maids of honor are usually a safe bet. The other important people in your life that you want to see the dress (like Grandma or Dad) can come along with you to an alterations appointment.

5. Keep an open mind. The bridal consultant will take your ideas that you shared, but she’s the expert here. Don’t be afraid to try on some shapes and styles a little outside of your comfort zone. I guarantee you’ll like what you see.

6. Don’t forget about the details. Ask how the dress will look bustled. Try on some accessories like a veil to get the full affect. Ask when the dress will come in and how the payment plan (if there is one) works. Can the shop work with you on a discounted rate? Most importantly, ask how the alterations will work. Do you have to use their seamstress (how much?) or can you find your own?

7. Trust your gut. If you have to be constantly reassured that this dress is the one, then maybe it isn’t. Can you really see yourself walking down the aisle in this dress? Don’t be afraid to take a night to sleep on it. The dress will still be there the next morning. You don’t want to make a $2,000 mistake.

Make the Most of Your Wedding Appointments | Reidsville North Carolina Wedding Coordinator

Leigh Pearce Weddings, Greensboro North Carolina Wedding Planner

Anna Paschal Photography | Amy + Matt’s Wedding at Revolution Mill Studios, Greensboro, North Carolina

During the wedding planning, vendor appointments are something that you become very accustomed to. Meetings at the florist, venue, bakery, and with countless others involved in your wedding become almost as routine as brushing your teeth. Each meeting should have a purpose and make you feel even better about the event you’re planning. Here are a few tips on how to make sure you vendor appointments are successful:

1. Make an appointment: Vendors, just like you, are busy people. Planning, photographing, styling, and catering weddings and events are what they do every day to make a living. Take this into consideration and make sure to make appointments ahead of time. If something comes up that day, no problem; life happens. Just make sure to let your vendor know as far in advance as possible that you have to reschedule so they can adjust their day accordingly.

2. Know your budget: The wedding budget is something that should be decided on from the very beginning of your planning process. Sit down with whomever will be paying for the wedding and decide how much you plan to spend in each ‘category’. If certain items are super important to you, like that amazing Vera Wang wedding gown you have been eyeing, budget for them!  Just remember, you get what you pay for in the wedding industry. Quality is very important.

3. Bring materials with you: If you have a wedding notebook or folder on your iPad of inspiration photos, bring them along to the appointment. Images of things you like and don’t like serve as inspiration for those working with you. Plus, it always helps to be prepared!

4. Communicate Fully: Sitting down with the vendor in front of you is the best time to ask questions. If you’re not sure about the contract, the packaging or the pricing on an item, ask! You will feel so much better knowing the answer to all of your questions instead of worrying about them once you get home. Put it all out in the open. It also helps to write down questions ahead of time, so you don’t forget once you’re in the moment.

Just remember, finding the perfect vendor is sort of like finding a great relationship. It takes time, communication, and trust in order to make something amazing!

Tips and Tricks to Stay On Schedule on Your Wedding Day | Greensboro North Carolina Wedding Coordinator

Greensboro NC Wedding Photography

Pasha Belman Photography | Ashton + Brandon’s Wedding at Phillips Chapel and Empire Room, Greensboro, North Carolina

Let’s face it, running behind schedule can send even the most put-together gal into crazy-lady status like no other. Now multiply that by 100 when it happens on your wedding day. Running late is frustrating and annoying for not only you, but your bridal party and guests too. So, I’ve put together a few tips to keep your wedding day running on schedule. Follow my advice and you just may be able to check your inner crazy-lady at the door.

1. Have a time line in place. Make sure your vendors have all received a copy of your wedding day time line so that they know when and where they are supposed to be. Schedule specific times for your pre-getting ready lunch, hair and makeup, stepping into your dress, when bridal party photos will start, etc. to ease your mind. If this sounds like a lot of work, don’t worry, your planner will be happy to take of your time line for you!

2. Don’t underestimate the time it will take to have your hair and makeup done. It may take only 10 minutes for you to get all gussied up on a normal day, but trust me ladies, hair and makeup on your wedding day will take longer. It’s a good idea to schedule an appointment with your hair/makeup artist a few weeks before the wedding to select a hairstyle and decide on your makeup. This meeting will let you get an estimate on how long your hair and makeup will take on the big day. Also, don’t forget to factor in time for any of your bridesmaids or other important ladies who will also be getting pampered. Their hair and makeup needs to look great too after all!

3. If you have friends and family who habitually show up late, tell them they need to arrive an hour earlier than your punctual friends.

4. Don’t get carried away with family photos. Corralling Aunt Sue, Uncle Kevin, and their 4 rambunctious kids may sound easy when you write it down, but trying to get all of those people together for a photo can be like herding cats. When you make your photography shot list, keep it simple. Take photos with the people who mean the most to you but save the most time for photos of you and your hubby – he’ll already be by your side and those are the photos you’re going to cherish the most in 10 years.

5. As tempting as it may be to have six glasses of champagne to take the edge off your nerves while you and your girls are getting ready, don’t do it! One or two glasses are okay, but the more the alcohol flows, the more you are going to run behind. The giggles will set in, make-up becomes harder to do, and soon you’ve lost an hour of precious time reminiscing about your high school prom that happened eight years ago.  Also, to quote one of my mother of the brides, “There’s nothing tackier than a drunk bride.”

Of course, the best chance you’ll have to running on time on your wedding day is to hire a wedding planner or even manager.

Wedding Transportation Advice | Greensboro, North Carolina Wedding Coordinator

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Melissa Smith Photography

Figuring out your wedding transportation can sometimes be one of the most complicated wedding decisions.  There is a lot of planning and scheduling involved, and if something is over looked, some of your most important guests could be late.  Here are my top tips to make your wedding transportation run smoothly:

Options:  Your options are really unlimited when it comes to modes of transportation for your wedding day.  There are limos, speciality cars (like a vintage car), trolleys, vans, mini buses, and full on buses/coaches.  I am a big fan of the large 55 passenger charter buses.  They work well if you have big groups, are comfortable, and the drivers are real pros (i.e. if they can handle a group of rambunctious 3rd graders traveling to D.C., they can handle your rowdy wedding guests).

Schedule: Before booking anyone, think through your entire schedule for the day.  Make a list of who needs a ride and where they will be picked up and dropped off.  Also, don’t schedule too many pick up options for your guests to choose from.  They always wait for the later time and your ceremony will run late for sure.  Sometimes its better to book double the transportation for your guests so everyone arrives on time and at the same time.  Save some money and only schedule one for a short amount of time.  The other can deliver guests in a rotation for the rest of the evening.

Communicate: Know your cancellation policy with the transportation company.  You may need to cancel one of your vehicles if you have a lot of declined RSVPs.  Also, make sure to actually inform your guests of the service(s) you are providing them  The best way to do this is via an information/accomodation card in your invitation suite, on wedding website, and in your welcome bag.  Do not rely on word of mouth only unless you have a very, very small guest list.

Coordination: So you planned everyone to a T but what about day of?  You really need a wedding planner/coordinator to help.  They will handle transportation timing, the schedule, coordinating with drivers, and trouble shooting.  I promise you that something will go wrong and you will have to change part of your transportation plans. If you don’t have a coordinator handling this, the drivers will be calling you and your mama.  Not too much fun when you are trying to walk down the aisle.

Tented North Carolina Wedding {Megan + Elliott} | Greensboro NC Wedding Planner

Nothing makes my heart go pitter patter more than a beautiful tented soiree. Pair that with beautiful spring blooms and a blush and bashful color palette and I am in wedding heaven. Megan, Elliott, and their families were so much fun to plan with and it was definitely an evening to remember. From Megan’s pale pink gown to the hand calligraphed paper details to the late night popcorn station, every detail was perfection. So kick back, pop open a Cheerwine, and enjoy this beautiful day!

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Planning + Event Design: Leigh Pearce Weddings | Photography: Michael Moss | Venue: Willow Oaks Plantation | Catering: Painted Plate | Hair + Makeup: Carla White | Floral Design: Amy Lynne Originals | Rentals: Whites’s Rental Company | Tent + Rentals: Party Reflections | Linens: La Tavola | DJ: K2 Productions | Cake: Maxie Bs | Ceremony Music: Rob Massengale Entertainment | Invitations: William Arthur via Swoozies | Wedding Day Paper: Confetti Grey | Calligraphy: Holly Albright | Bridesmaid Dresses: BHLDN | Bridal Gown: Kleinfeld Bridal