“I want a Pinterest wedding but I want it to be unique.” Sounds contradicting, I know, but hear me out.
You’ve been building these boards + dog earring bridal magazines for months… ok let’s be honest, years.
If you are anything like me, you had so much envisioned before you had a fiancé. A song list of first dances, recessionals, cake cutting, heck you even had cocktail hour covered. You knew your bridal party. Your flower girls. Depending on the season, a color palatte and decor theme to match. After all, once you met the person of your dreams, you would give them a few options to choose from right? No shame in that game friend!
So heres the thing. Seasons have come and gone and so have the trends, yet you are still hopelessly devoted to nuetral shades and fluffy cream and blush flowers, accented by mixed metals and loads of candle light (or insert whatever your heart desires here). Amiright?
You’ve attended weddings that had that feel. You’ve been in weddings with that same look. It’s like those couples hijacked your best day ever before you had a chance to make it happen.
There is nothing wrong with wanting something that’s already been done. In fact you drew your inspiration from somewhere and so did they. It’s a sign of flattery that those beautiful designs get to live over and over again.
So how can you take a classic, already done wedding and make it your own? There are plenty of ways to do this. We suggest telling your love story.
Where you met. How long you’ve been together. Your fave foods. Places you’ve traveled. Weekend hobbies.
Starting with your invitations. Be clever. Inject your personalities into them. Carry that feel throughout the day with welcome bags, programs, cocktail napkins, menus, seating charts, signature cocktails, pet themed favors.
Have interactive experiences for your guests. Sundae bars and snowcone stations. Salsa lessons, caricature artists, karaoke, magicians disguised as guests.
Create a menu that screams these are our fave foods: build your own pizzas, fruit sushi, barbecue stuffed ravioli, champagne popsicles. Culinary crews love to customize your menu from flavors to presentation. All you gotta do is ask!
Have unique seating layouts. Long harvest tables, big squares, high ball tables and stools. Incorporate a lounge area with love seats and poofs for your guests to take a break from the dance floor.
Floral and plant installations make a jaw-dropping welcoming impact, not to mention photo op! Whether it’s a ceremony altar, staircase, entrance to your reception, seating chart, dance floor centerpiece or suspended arrangements that hang above guest tables, the sky is the limit (or ceiling rather).
The options are endless. Need some guidance or not sure how to get that wow, that personality, that punch incorporated into your day?
Ask your planner, florist, stationery creative, and/or event designer team how to add some sass, fluff, mod, flash, even drama to your event. Something that will make it memorable and still flow with some of your favorite pins. They’ve got you. They’re picking up what you’re throwing down. And trust me, they have some cool ideas up their sleeves.
So if you want that Pinterest wedding, you get that Pinterest wedding!
On the flip side, if you don’t want a Pinterest wedding and you want something completely out of the ordinary, with a talk of the town guest experience, again, consult your wedding day pros, they love to create the unexpected and they are dang good at it!
The important thing is that you love it. That when you look back on your wedding day, it makes you happy. After all, in 5, 10, 25 years, will it matter to you if you picked a popular or classic or trendy or out of the box wedding? Probably not. I’m 3 years out and let me tell you, proteas are still a showstopper in bouquets, people are still cutting the cake as a traditional event at their reception and hearing my dad’s voice on my wedding film is one of the best parts of having a videographer. Bottom line is, you will look back on this day as the day you said I do forever and ever amen to your best friend. The color of the bridesmaids dresses won’t matter. What will matter is that you are looking back on that day and celebrating your relationship!
Wedding planning is just a hobby for organized girls who like to decorate, right? Maybe for some, but for the countless lady bosses we work with, it’s our living. It’s our passion. It’s our love for people, for service, for celebrations.
So why is it so expensive if we enjoy it so much?
First off, expensive is a perception, + sometimes an uneducated opinion. Not in a bad way uneducated, but legit not knowing all the work + time that goes into our jobs.
In fact, the cost of wedding services for all parts of the industry surprises many of our clients. “The flowers cost what?” Well the flowers are grown in California (or in another part of the world) which means someone takes care of that land, fertilizes it, waters it, carefully picks the flowers + packages them. Then they are flown here. They are picked up at the airport usually on Monday or Tuesday. They are processed at the design studio. Then they become these gorgeous bouquets, centerpieces, installments (not by magical fairies, but by real people mind you- but we think they are pretty magical). Next they are hand delivered carefully + thoughtfully to your event. Unloaded + set up. All the while keeping them alive + pretty! Look how many people played a role in making that beautiful centerpiece you have been eyeing on Pinterest!
Just like anything, time is money honey! And we would like to shed light on the popular topic of why wedding planning services cost what they do.
What made you reach out to us? Was it our portfolio? Our pretty, easy to navigate website? Our social media feed? Someone referred us? We showed up on Google or a wedding planning site?
Those beautiful, super detailed weddings you see in our portfolio took a countless hours creating + coordinating with a team of vendors + plus our own staff to execute that weekend starting with rehearsal + ending when the last vendor leaves the event. (But wedding weekend sometimes starts as early as Monday, depending on when load in begins)
That website cost money to build. That social media feed takes time + thoughtfulness to create. To rank on the first few pages of google starts with SEO (search engine optimization) + most likely paid advertising. Same if you found us on the Knot, Every Last Detail, or The Perfect Wedding Guide. Yup, we paid to be there so you can find us.
If you heard about us from a friend – chances are they can tell you exactly what is was like to work with us, how hands on we are, what a peace of mind we brought, that we know all the right people + how to manage challenging situations so that the couple + their families could be present + enjoy their day.
In addition to our time, here are just a few expenses that come with running a wedding planning business:
Insurance (business and staff)
Attorney to write contracts
Customer Relationship Management systems
Education + training
Printer ink, staples + paper
Domain registration + hosting
Those cute hats + red heart sunnies that are a part of our brand
The scissors, sewing kits, deodorant, breath mints, the blister blocks that save many a tootsie with that fill our wedding day emergency kit along with loads of other things we’ve learned are needed on wedding days
Time to meet you, answer emails, design, edit, work on your behalf communicating with vendors
Office space, internet, phone, electric
Desk + chair
Vehicles to get to your event + gas + insurance
Staff on Wedding Weekend
And on top of all of that, we have to pay for the most un-fun thing ever: taxes which is roughly 25-30% of what the biz brings in.
Let’s talk about hours invested. We typically have 3 team members on-site on wedding weekend. That is approximately 45-50 hours alone.While most of our weddings, are between 100-150 hours, at an absolute minimum we spend 40 hours planning a wedding. So nearly 100 hours of time is invested into one wedding.
“Why so many hours?” “Can’t you cut that down?” “I’ve done all the planning myself, I just need an extra set of hands on my wedding day.”
The easiest way to explain this is: think of your finals in school. They cover a semester or even a year of learning. As your planner, we can’t be responsible for your whole year of planning + be expected to know it front to back, just by showing up on wedding day with a clip board. Although that would totally rule + allow us to book lots more weddings a year! We have to review everything you’ve done, learn your vision, develop your time line, run through your checklist to make sure you aren’t forgetting anything, communicate with your vendors, develop lay outs + get answers to the questions that you haven’t thought of since you haven’t planned a wedding before. All of that takes time.
To break it down even further, you are paying for our experience + service. My 16 years spent learning + working events is worth more than someone who planned their own wedding + started an instagram account for their business. Although I am super happy that they discovered their passion in life + started a business. Live your dream sister! I am merely saying that there is a difference as to why we charge differently.
The countless stellar reviews on the World Wide Web + Wedding p\Planner of the Year awards are why we cost what we cost.
Whew! It all adds up pretty quickly you see.
Keep in mind we are also in business to make money. While we love people + giving back + our work is very joyful, we still want to make a living from it. We have rent + mortgages, car payments + car insurance. We need to feed our families + go on that trip to the Ozarks.
As much as I would like to say we are all millionaires in the wedding industry, we aren’t. Most of us are regular folks, making the magic happen because people + their happiness is our passion. We work through out the week + long hours on the weekends (missing soccer games + family dinners + birthdays + sometimes holidays) because we seriously LOVE what we do so much.
I do know this though, we definitely charge what we are worth, we charge for the value of our service + the time invested in your wedding day. If you don’t believe us, check out our testimonials. Two common lines you will see are: best money spent + worth every penny.
And while we are always so excited when an inquiry comes through or when we schedule consultations, we know that we are not the best fit for everyone. We may not be your style, you may not jive with our overly excited personalities + we may not be in your budget. I suppose that is half the fun: finding our couples, creating + executing their happily ever afters + staying best friends forever. Because if there is anything you have learned about SSD from our website, social media or reputation, it’s that we are all about family + you are stuck with us even after the wedding!
Normally I post a happily ever after anniversary message with loads of my fave pics from their day.
But this year I wasn’t sure how.
You see this beautiful woman’s soul left this earth after an uphill battle with ovarian cancer last month.
I will never forget reading Kyle’s words that he lost the love of his life that day. How much she inspired so many. How he knows she will be with him always.
It was May 11. My birthday. The reason I bring that up is because her wedding day photographer, Shannon shares my birthday as well. So now the 3 of us share that day- earth birthdays + heavenly birthdays.
You know how people say life isn’t fair?
Well I don’t believe our lives play a game of fair vs unfair. But this rocked my faith for sure. At the same time, Kimber + her family’s faith made me want to believe even more that she was truly home + we would meet again some day.
We are still celebrating you today Kimber.
You and Kyle.
Your wonderful families.
On your second wedding anniversary.
Your beautiful soul needs to be celebrated + honored every day, not just on milestones in your life. I am absolutely positively sure it is because you are loved by so so so many.
And I know you are watching over us all, but send an extra dose of love + light down to Kyle + Luna. I know we will.
I won’t lie, I intended to post this on your birthday (May 12th) but I couldn’t find the right words. Nearly a month later, there will never be the right words.
I visited Kimber + Kyle + Luna (that’s their furbabe) in February. We talked about their family vacations, family weddings, missing her students + what cancer is like. We talked about hope, which is fitting because that’s her middle name. That girl is so damn brave. Her husband is so damn brave. Hearing their story + their continuous faith made me love them even harder.
Picking out our favorite photos of the day was so hard. Tears of joy + tears of sadness of what a beautiful life. A beautiful love story.
While we usually focus on all the details of a wedding + include a healthy balance of all the pretties, for Kimber + Kyle, we wanted to show you the heart of them + their family.
Kimber we will remember you always.
Kyle, Carla + Scott, we are sending you the biggest hugs.
Ya’ll know at Signed Sealed Delivered Events, we are addicted to love + we ain’t afraid to show it!
Any + all weddings are our fave!
Especially intimate weddings.
Which brings us to Sam + Warren + their most memorable beach nuptials topping out at 52 guests.
While Sam + Warren’s wedding was intentionally small, our current climate has intimate weddings on the rise.
With the dreaded COVID-19 getting in the way of our party plans, many of our couples are choosing to postpone their receptions + host ceremonies with their parents. While others are choosing to stick with a smaller guest count for the whole shebang!
As your wedding fairy godmothers + besties for the resties, we are here to support either decision (while tossing confetti your way)!
Things might feel downright sucky with a lot of ambiguity, but as your trusted wedding resource, we are not going to let this pandemic take away your planning excitement!
It may not be what you originally envisioned, but it’s still going to be your best day ever because you are marrying your boo!
If you are hosting an intimate wedding this year, here is something to keep in mind: You don’t have to skip on the details just because you have a smaller guest count! We can still create a beautiful day no matter the size.
Plus local wedding pros are still open for business + ready to make magic!
Whether you are having a vow renewal next year or this is your official wedding day, you will want this magical moment documented. Have a professional there to capture this special time in your life! We highly recommend a photographer + a videographer!
One other thing you may consider is having your event live streamed so family + friends can tune in as you say I do!
Have you always imagined the bridal march when you walk down the aisle towards your forever? Or a song that reminds you of how you met, or describes your relationship to a T? Then let’s play it! Hire a DJ or musician. Plus depending on how intimate, you may consider a sound system for all your guests to hear.
Don’t forget personal flowers: bouquet, boutineers, corsages plus altar arrangements, we can make that happen.
Have champagne or a signature drink on standby to toast the moments after you say We Do! Or before! Heck, there’s no wrong way to celebrate when it comes to bubbles!
If you opt out of a sit down meal, having hors d’oeuvres or a variety of desserts will make all bellies in attendance happy. There may be some new procedures in place as far as food service goes, but your professional caterer + planner can share those details based on the county where you are getting hitched.
And let’s be real, you definitely need cake. A party without cake is just a meeting.
Don’t skip on the moments either, because remember, we have professional paparazzi coming so you might as well have an album’s worth of photos to remember this amazing day!
Do a first look or a first touch! Exchange cards! Write your vows! Cut your cake! Dance your first dance! Dance with your mom! Dance with your dad! Have sparklers or bubbles! Remember, SSD has the confetti toss covered! HOORAY!
Now that we have all the fun details in place, let’s also talk a bit about keeping your celebration of love a safe + healthy one.
Remember earlier I mentioned the different phases + regulations by county + state. That will come to play again for a few more things:
Check in with your local courthouses on how to obtain a marriage licence during this time. Some may be closed or have limited hours.
Keep in mind there may be social distancing + max guest counts at venues that incorporate the 6 foot rule between seating – this will effect your lay out + guest counts.
When confirming your invite list, be sure to count your vendors as some county regulations require that wedding pros/ staff be included in that guest count max.
Will your guests be wearing masks? It might be a lovely nod to have some available for your guests upon entry + it wouldn’t hurt if they matched your decor. You guys know I couldn’t help myself.
Sanitation stations will be a necessity at all events moving forward as will new cleaning standards for all venues to ensure the healthiest environment possible.
If you are planning on serving refreshments of any kind be prepared for regulations on food presentations. Some venues/caterers may offer plated entrees only. Additionally disposable place settings might be the safest bet for events moving forward.
Please notice my overuse of “may” + “might” throughout this post. It is intentional as guidelines are changing often. Seek the advice of your local government + venue for most up to date regulations.
If you are ready to jump in to plan your wedding, big or small, hollatcha girls at Signed Sealed Delivered Events + we can walk you through every step of the way… holding hands + skipping at some point.
Side note, we joyfully plan destination weddings + are ready to travel! Just say the word!
Many of you have seen this gorgeous face in + out of the wedding industry.
In the wedding industry she worked at Clarice’s Bridal, 2 Chics + a Photo Booth, TPI, Lost Hill Lake AND ran her own awesome planning company on top of floral design … ps I am sure I am missing something because she is literally so “can’t stop won’t stop” + always willing to lend a helping hand.
A few things I think the world should know: Brittani (Joyce) Miller is a foodie fanatic + an outstanding cook. Secretly we are all hoping she opens a restaurant, publishes a cook book or at least a cooking show one day. Like she’s THAT good.
She is a coffee connoisseur + perhaps a slight addict. You can find her hanging out La Pâtisserie Chouquette because there is nothing a chocolate croissant can’t cure.
Brit has a VOICE + one heck of a stage presence. If you can ever catch her on a Facebook live – it is well worth your time! Brittani actually joined Trixie Delight the night of her wedding to sing out a few tunes!
She is HILARIOUS! Our first meet + greet was after a series of unfortunate events that led us to one another + I couldn’t be more grateful! Brit had just started her wedding planning gig + had a background of event production + a killer work ethic ignited straight from her big ass heart (pardon my French). We met at La Bonne Bouchée (I told you my girl knows what’s up) + we sat there laughing for LITERALLY hours.
I wholeheartedly believe this incredible woman entered my life at the perfect time.
Since that day we became dear friends + she so graciously agreed to help me in a super busy wedding season. And shortly after we dove head first into planning her wedding.
I cannot believe we are FINALLY sharing these gorgeous images on her 4th wedding anniversary as she + Mark snuggle the most perfect baby girl, Maryn. Well, they are worth the wait, just like baby bird!
Brit has assisted + coordinated countless weddings on the SSD Events team. That’s right people, after one season I couldn’t let her go because not only was she super fun to work with, but like I said, she has a heart of gold + that’s a necessity when being a wedding planner!
I am sad + extremely proud (at the same time, I know… talk about commitment issues) to say that Brit is now an honorary SSD team member because she has a stellar career helping people create their happily ever afters…
Say what?!?!?! She continues making happy magic but in a slightly different + super impactful way: by helping couples + families plan for their future financially, showing them possibility + providing a way to get there (because let’s be real, that can be the hardest part).
I can say this because Brit helped me + the hubs get on the right moolah track + it feels soooooo good! Want more info? Or to become besties with Brit? Click here to visit her page.
It is my honor to be friends with this stellar human.
It’s been my honor to work along side of her.
And it was an honor to be a part of her wedding weekend.