Tuesday, January 27, 2015
Regalo Design, a full-service wedding planning company, launched a video series free of charge to help planning brides like myself. For someone on a budget this video series is a life saver! It is divided into 4 themes. They are: the when and where, the who (vendors), "The Wedding Planner's Secret," and the surprise ending "Project Wed."
By offering stories, Sarah Goude owner of Regalo Design, highlights importance lessons. For example, in deciding the when & where she tells the story of a rainy day and how that should be considered when comparing indoor versus outdoor venues and/or seasons. I learned to evaluate whether a venue offers an all inclusive package or allows outside vendors and the pros and cons of these options. Basically, what does your venue offer?
The next video covered the who, as in what to know about selecting vendors. Sarah's best advice is to choose your "supporting actors" (vendors) based on professional history, referrals, and reviews. As she emphasizes, "choose wisely" when it comes to vendors as they influence greatly how your day goes from photographers arriving on time to DJ's playing the right music. In video three, Regalo Design reveals the secret! She shares the value of creating a written plan! This truly helped me understand how much fun my day can be, if I have the help and organization I need. She urges type A personalities like me to delegate and to write it ALL down!
The most exciting part of the series is the huge gift at the end. Regalo Designs is offering a wedding planning academy called Project Wed! In this academy we, planning brides, can learn how to develop a timeline, budget, guest list, vendors list, decor and ceremony options. This course will also offer exclusive vendor deals!
The Regalo Designs video series has truly been the glowing diamond ring I couldn't take my eyes off of as a newly engaged bride! I feel I have gained clarity and more knowledge by listening to an experienced planner like Sarah Goude. Her excitement and calm presentation have boosted my wedding planning confidence and have supported my desire to hire a planner if not for the entity of the planning, at least for the month or day of! This future bride feels a lot wiser, eager, and prepared to plan her special day!
You can learn more about Project Wed here.
Wednesday, January 14, 2015
Ever so often, we get a chance to sit down with experienced Nashville wedding planners who are willing to give us a peak into the latest in wedding trends and finds. This time, I was able to steal a few minutes from Toni Smith, owner and lead planner for Celebrations By Design. I asked one question: What are you loving that Nashville brides should discover? Her answer this time: high fashion bridal portraits by Gregory Byerline Photographer.
- Toni of Celebrations by Design, an event planning boutique -
I've known Gregory for years as a killer wedding photographer. (I know Gregory won't mind me bragging on him for just a bit.) What I didn't know was that he loves to capture beautiful brides and their gorgeous gowns and turning that once-in-a-lifetime bridal moment into art. Toni says, "With his fashion focused eye, he takes art to bridals to another level. He thinks outside the box and adds a modern twist to a traditional concept. He has a keen abilty to get the shot and he works so well with brides. He loves bridals and it shows."
Gregory Byerline is the bridal portrait specialist for the cosmopolitan, sophisticated, and decadent Nashville brides. And with one look at portraits below, you can see why Gregory Byerline is on Toni's list of favorites (and many Nashville brides.)
Gown: Olia Zavozina Couture Designs
Gown: The Dress Theory
Gown: Maggie Sottero
Gown: Betsy Johnson
That's super cool Gregory!
Want a wedding planner who is as good at planning your day as she is at keeping a pulse on what's hot? Contact Toni of Celebrations by Design. For a photographer for your chic bridal portraits, contact Gregory Byerline.
Monday, January 12, 2015
In case you hadn't heard, Regalo Design just released and amazing FREE three-part wedding planning video series last week. This series gives brides some amazing insight into the world of a wedding planner.
The first video in the series discusses the major questions you should be asking when you first get engaged. What date are you going to choose, and where is your wedding going to take place. Those may seem like easy questions to answer, you've probably been thinking about them for a long time. However, before you make that decision, I urge you to watch the first video and I'd be willing to bet you'll walk away with insight you didn't realize you needed.
The beauty of a wedding planner is that they do this every day. And Regalo Design has planned hundreds of weddings. Normally you would have to hire a wedding planner to have someone walk you through these questions, but Sarah from Regalo Design is giving you this information for free.
When I asked her why she was doing this she said, "My husband, Damon, and I had the most amazing wedding day you can imagine. I get to give that gift to our clients on a daily basis. But there are people out there, regardless of the reason, that are going to plan their own wedding. I did! So I wanted to give them some tips while they're in the middle of it."
Planning your own wedding can be a daunting task. The good news is that now, you can have advice from a pro that does it every day. And it's 100% free!
The next two videos in the series (one is releasing today!) are going to cover even more topics. One is a question that every bride faces... who are the vendors you're going to hire to make your day amazing? Sarah has some great questions that you need to make sure you know to ask for everything from photographers to bakers. The final video in the series will reveal the "wedding planner's secrets.
UPDATE: The video series has expired. Starting January 20, you can re-access the videos for a very limited time, here.
Friday, January 2, 2015
I know that many of you will be heading out to your first bridal show this weekend (or some time this month). It’s SOOO exciting. But, before you get lost in the weddingland, here are some tips that I have learned after 7 years of attending bridal shows, as an engaged gal and wedding pro I've become a guru of sorts. Cake and food sampling is a tough job but someone has to do it.
Upcoming Nashville-area bridal shows & events
So, it’s time for my bi-annual, unofficial “rate and round-up” on the upcoming Nashville bridal shows. I say unofficial because I doubt the show producers would endorse my take on their shows. But, because this is a bride’s guide, I strive to provide a bride’s perspective, which is helpful because there are SO many bridal shows.
Don’t get me wrong, having a lot of bridal shows is great because you get to see great ideas in person and have the opportunity to meet several dozens of vendors without driving all over town. BUT, there are so many that often it’s hard to determine which to attend.
So, I will try my best to give you the scoop on the shows based on the local vendor buzz plus my experience at their last show.
1) January 2 & 3 - Brides Against Breast Cancer VIP Event & Gown Sale
Today kicks off the Brides Against Breast Cancer tour!
Brides Against Breast Cancer contributes to programs for cancer patients and their families. Our outreach and educational efforts during our "Nationwide Tour of Gowns" bridal shows around the country help ensure that people impacted by cancer have the resources and information they need in their battle with cancer.
Where: Sheraton Music City
Great for: Purchasing your designer gown at an incredible deal while supporting a great cause
Click here for details
2) January 4 - The Pink Bride
Where: Nashville Music City Center
Great for: Your first bridal show. Check it out. Take family and friends. Let this be your "fun" show. Soak it the whole bride thing! Celebrate your engagement. Beware: this show is a big one; I call it the Walmart for weddings. It's not as intimate as some of the other shows so you many not get much one-on-one interaction with the vendors but it's great for fun and for getting ideas.
What’s neat: The show's size
3) January 15 - DIY Bouquet Class
On your wedding day you want a bouquet that is a reflection of you. Pinterest makes it look easy, but there is a real art to making the perfect bouquet. The good news? Regalo Design has made thousands of them and can show you the basics steps and techniques you need to make your own. In this fun, hands-on class you’ll learn the proper way to care for fresh flowers, best practices for cutting and prepping, and arranging styles.
Click here for details
4) January 18 - Enchanted Brides Bridal Show
Where: Hutton Hotel
Great for: High-end brides seeking luxe bridal vendors
What’s neat: Red-carpet ambiance. Boutique-style show that brides love.
Click here for details
5) January 25 - Clarksville Brides Wedding and Event Showcase
Where: Wilma Rudolph Event Center
Great for: Clarksville, TN / Hopkinsville brides or Nashville-area brides looking for something different; great for all bride budgets
What’s neat: This show is a great find and offers vendors that serve all budgets and the best assortment of all vendor types I’ve ever found. It also has really “nice” vendors. (There is a “snob” factor at some shows that you won’t find here.)
Expect: Optimal ratio of vendors to brides; no waiting in line to speak with vendors; nice glass of champagne/apple cider upon arrival (classy touch last show - hope this year will be the same:); everything you need to plan your Clarksville / Hopkinsville wedding under one roof.
Click here for details
6) February 8 - Here Come The Brides Bridal Show
The Nashville area's most "fun" bridal show. Since 2009, Here Come The Brides Bridal Show has been entertaining brides, grooms and their guests with our signature Bridal War Games, our high energy fashion show, over $20,000 in prize giveaways and most importantly, an array of the best, most passionate wedding vendors.
Where: The Factory at Franklin
Great for: Brides looking for vendors they may not see anywhere else, especially vendors catering to low to mid-sized budgets
Click here for details
7) February 15 - Perfect Wedding Guide
Where: Frist Center for the Visual Arts
Great for: Brides seeking good mix of luxe and moderate options
What’s neat: small, boutique-style bridal show at great venue
Cost: $10 at door
Expect: I anticipate the show will be similar to Enchanted Brides show but with vendors who cater to a larger range of budgets - from bargain to luxe.
Click here for details
Find event details on our Nashville bridal event calendar.
Tuesday, December 30, 2014
Ninety percent of the Nashville brides that I have interviewed who didn't hire planners (hired one late in planning or hired one for limited services) said they regretted that decision. They gave me three reasons for not hiring a planner and I'm sure you've entertained these same thoughts...
3 Reasons Why Brides Don't Hire a Wedding Planner:
1) Money - a planner was just not in the budget. The brides felt that the amount they would have to pay was better spent on other aspects.
2) They just didn't think a planner was worth the investment - some girls felt that what a planner could do, her friends or family members could also do for free.
3) How hard could a wedding be? It's a party isn't it? After all the planning was squared away with every detail confirmed, brides felt they had it all under control and there just wasn't anything left to worry about. What could possibly go wrong?
In hindsight, they realized that a planner's help would have helped them significantly, and that a wedding isn't "just a party."
I'd like to encourage you to take their advice and hire a reputable Nashville wedding planner ASAP! You deserve to enjoy your entire engagement. You deserve to not "work" on your wedding day and to allow your family not to work on your day so everyone can savor every minute, dance, morsel.
3 Reasons Why a Bride Should Hire a Full-Service Wedding Planner:
1) They offer professional help finding quality resources + making sound decisions.
Planning can get really overwhelming with contracts and negotiation, not to mention arrangements you have to make for your guests and yourself. It can start to be too much. Wedding planners and professionals exist so you don't have to give yourself a headache trying to figure it all out on your own.
2) They have years of experience orchestrating wedding days
You have enough to worry about that day, why add on the stress of having to worry where all your vendors are at any given moment?
3) They create plans and back-up plans to handle unexpected challenges (from family discord to floods)!
Things can go wrong. This isn't to say they WILL go wrong but that if there's a bit of a mix up, do you really want to know and do you really want to be the person on the phone that day trying to deal with it? On that note, do you want your mom or aunt or best friend to be that person? Not ideally. This is where your planner comes in. Sharon Campbell brings home the point:
No matter what your budget, I suggest it is a wise investment to have someone who is experienced and is not a family member or friend be the go-to person that can handle some of the mishaps and also help keep your day on track. As a photographer, we have a schedule, but we are there to capture your day and while we help in any way we can, we would not be able to answer questions or make decisions that could in any way alter your day. Do not expect your other vendors (not even the venue manager) to coordinate the day for you.
Make sure you have people that are excited about your wedding, trust them to do the job you hired them to do and then relax on the day your start your family!"
This is key - that you, your groom, your parents, siblings, and friends have fun. You invested in all these professionals, make it worth your while.
If you missed yesterday's advice post for recently engaged couples, click here.