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What does a wedding planner do?

Erin Morrison Photography www.erinmorrisonphotography.com

At my first bridal show the #1 question I was asked is “What do you do?” Now 10 years later I am still asked “What do you do?” The term wedding planner has been used so many times in different wedding scenarios it is hard to tell what a bride & groom do, and what a wedding planner does. So I am here to lay it out for you;  Wedding Planner vs. Wedding Designer vs. Wedding Coordinator.

Kelli Boyd Photography

WEDDING PLANNER:

Jennifer Lopez first set a standard for what a wedding planner does. Everyone remembers the rescue kit strapped to her abs, and her feeding the best man a beautiful toast thru an ear piece. She was amazing, but Hollywood made her that way. Lets face facts most weddings don’t have a $100,000 wedding budget, and most weddings don’t need a 30,000 sq foot tent. Most weddings need to be planned, organized, orchestrated, set-up, directed, and finalized. This where a wedding planner thrives.

A wedding planner is someone there to help you plan your wedding. We help you select vendors best for your wedding needs; we tour venues with you to help see conflicts and benefits of each location; We help you choose the right number of tables for your guest count; We tell florists and rentals companies how many centerpieces, or linens are needed; We work with a cake bakers to make sure your cake will feed everyone and look amazing; we speak to your DJ about what kind of music you like and what should be played during the right moments; we make sure all mothers and grandmothers have a corsage and your bridesmaids have bouquets; we make endless timelines for your planning, your invitations, your vendor deliveries, and your wedding day; We help select a well balanced flavorful meal for your and your guests; we double check bartenders are licenses and insurance; we make sure someone will cut the cake; we even make you eat and drink the day of your wedding. A wedding planner’s list is endless. If I actually listed everything I have planned for my clients this blog post would never end.

I think of being hired as a wedding planner in 3 ways:

  1. to plan anything and everything for the bride & groom- for those who just want to show up at their wedding
  2. to plan help the bride and groom plan all aspects of the wedding- for those wanting to be a part of the wedding planning
  3. to plan details of the wedding with vendors which have already been hired- for those who thought they could do the wedding planning, and then life happened.

Wedding planners are great for any planning you need. Most will focus on specific tasks you need help planning. Choosing a wedding planner means choosing someone who you trust with your wedding. Who will make the best choices for you?

By the Way, the best movie wedding planner will and always be “Hanz” from Father of the Bride.

   Jennifer Crook Photography

WEDDING COORDINATOR:

A wedding coordinator has one of the most important jobs, executing all the wedding plans on the wedding day. Whether you had a wedding planner or not, a wedding coordinator is the best investment you can make. Who wants to set-up 20+ tables, put linens on, set-up 200+ chairs for a wedding ceremony and another 200+ chairs for the wedding reception, then get dressed, slather on make-up and look perfect in photographs? Not many. A wedding Coordinator takes your plans, takes your vendors contracts and oversees all of it: Setting up tables, chairs, linens, cake displays, guest card displays; communicating transportation, following a timeline; fluffing a bridal gown about 50 times; dispersing last vendor payments; go over reception events with DJ or MC; making sure the band is comfortable and fed; directing the wedding processional; making sure the mother of the bride  has tissues; knowing which song is played for whom; filling champagne flutes; transporting ceremony decor to reception; triple checking the bride & groom have food readily available; cueing the DJ/MC for all announcements: triple checking the vegetarians receive their veggie entree; packing up guest books and photos; lining up guests and lighting sparklers; breaking down tables & chairs; stuffing tablecloths into a linen bag; saran wrapping left over cake….and it goes on and on and on. A wedding coordinator is there to be your voice on your wedding day. To make sure your plans actually happen they way you planned them to.  The job of a wedding coordinator is sweaty, back aching, foot swelling, adrenaline pumped, passionate love that we adore.

Waldorf Photographic Art/ Kelli Boyd Photography

WEDDING DESIGNER:

A wedding designer is the most modern term you will hear. Not all wedding designers are planners and not all wedding planners are designers. A wedding designer creates the environment for your wedding. Think of an interior designer for your wedding. Will those linens coordinate with those chairs? Is it best to spend the money on centerpieces or on chandeliers? Where should the bar and buffet go? A wedding designer can go as far as selecting furniture for a lounge area to arranging the flowers laid on the head table. They are there to make sure the location your guests will walk into looks amazing!

Floor plans are one of the best ways to use a wedding designer. How do you want your wedding to feel? Make your self at home, mingle & dance, or a formal dinner? Arranging the tables, chairs, and furniture within your wedding location can immediately change how your guests feel. Also using certain items can change the floor plan: farm tables or linen tables, Bench seating or dining chair seating, assigned seating or just find a seat? All can change the way your floor plan is constructed.

Pinterest has contributed alot to wedding design. Some brides find exactly what they want, but have no clue what it costs. Some brides love what they see as wedding trends, but want to add their own personality. A wedding designer is able to understand what you want and like thru pinterest, but then adjust it to your location, your budget, and your personality.

I am fortunate to call myself a wedding planner/designer/and coordinator. I love making weddings happen. I love designing a wedding that expresses the bride & groom’s personalities, traditions, favorites. I love planning weddings  and bringing the wedding design to life, and I love being trusted with coordinating the wedding day, making every plan actually happen.

For more about what I do check out my website livelaughloveweddings.com and schedule a coffee date!

 

Home Improvement; Using Lowes for your wedding

I love home improvement. I adore painting hand me down furniture, arranging inspirational image walls, building craft tables, and discovering how to build anything I need for weddings!! Just this fall I am building game inspired centerpieces, ceremony pedestals, and light fixtures. More on those details later. My husband and I love to build, fix, and improve our home on our own as much as we can. Lowes is our Target. We go in for one item, and exit with a buggy full!

My love for home improvement paired with everyone’s obsession with Fixer Upper  inspired me to do a Lowe’s meets wedding design. I can just picture a simple bride with a tea length wedding dress and a high ponytail with her groom  in simple slacks with a bow tie and suspenders. Their closest family and friends having a brunch or an afternoon at-home, reception. The more I think about it the more I want to do it with my own husband!

In the middle of putting this design together, a dear family friend hired me to design her wedding. It was simple, classic, and amazing. She and her new husband were still in college, and trying to put together their first home. She received some items from her family; researched other items in yard sales; and when all else failed, knew to go to IKEA. Her setting up house reminded me of so many newlyweds. All you want is to make your own home but you yet to have your dream job (or paycheck!). So, you get a couch from your friend, a bookcase from goodwill to makeover, and a basic drill to help you along the way. You are also surrounded with brand new pots & pans, fine china, that coffee maker you’ve always wanted, and a memorable monogram wall hanging. Half your house is 2nd hand and worn; the other half if shiny, pretty, and oh so brand new!

This is the aspect that completed my design. I can only imagine a couple making multiple trips to Lowes to prepare their house, and make the most of it for as little $$ as possible. While loving all the pretty fine new things sitting in their dining room.

So what does this all look like?

At home wedding

Some of the details I love: First, the tile chargers. I found some great faux marble tiles on sale for $.45 each and added some copper and rose gold brush strokes to each. All Occasion Party Rentals finished everything with simple white plates, and their Sheraton style flatware.

At Home Wedding

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As a His & her touch we used antique cut crystals glassware with moscow mule mugs. Second: The clever and copper styling.  The copper paint cans added a great touch and were practical for cake stands and holding utensils.  Plus how cute is that little colander!!! If you look closely you can even see my little nodd to Penny tile!

Third: styling with food and drink. I love seeing the drink and food options. Having the food right out ready for guest to dive into and really adds to the look. No catering chafer dishes, no bar menu needed. Put the growlers, the whiskey, the wine bottles right out there. Let the products become the decoration. Plus, imagine trifle dishes filled with homemade banana pudding, platters of fresh fried funnel cakes, plates of moist apple cake with rum sauce. Makes you want to curl up on a couch with a mug of Cafe DuMonde coffee, huh?

The finishing touch is the sign. I handed painted the saying “This is us” on to a walnut stained board. I believe this saying sums up what weddings/marriages/homes should be about. You should be able to walk into your wedding look around and say “this is us.”  Make your guests feel a part of your life. Make your wedding the start of your marriage. Simple is always beautiful. Comfort and hospitality is always timeless.

So, next time you are at Lowes get inspired. Next time you are at a wedding look around and see what the wedding says about the couple. Some start off with a brand new house, some renovate a family home, and some just rent a simple one bedroom loft. Whatever your wedding is make it feel home to your guests.

Thank you to all the vendors:

Samuel Franklin Florist

All Occasion Party Rentals

Kincaid House

Bradford Catered Events

JoPhoto

Bill Waldorf Photography

Design, Styling, Signage, by Live Laugh Love Weddings

Imagine Pinterest

“Come with me, and you’ll be in a world of pure imagination. Take a look and you’ll see into your imagination.”

-Willy Wonka

I find myself staring at a wall or table, and wondering “There must be something I could do with that.” I reach for a tech device, click my Pinterest button, and get lost in a world where wooden pallets become chairs, chairs become night stands, and a night stand becomes  a kitchen. It is a world that can stretch, deepen, and enhance your imaginative mind; or it can be a world that consumes you and you lose your own imagination.

As a wedding designer it is my job to take a person’s style, interests, ideas and make them into an environment that reflects one of the most important days in their life, a wedding. When I started as a wedding designer there was no Pinterest. You flipped through magazines or watched reality TV to find the latest trends. Big trends beginning in NYC or LA didn’t reach little Knoxville til 2 years later. It always fun to design for bridal shows. You could make your booth/display completely out of your imagination, and get brides to think “huh! Thats different.” It could be purple, yellow, all black or all white. It was always exciting to see what people would dream up. Now we have pinterest to filter to us the latest trends, and we get them as quick as we can. The pantone color of the year” greenery, the latest dress style: grace kelley/lace;  the trend of weddings; copper. It is all at your fingertips, no imagination required. Weddings seem to be more about replicating a photo, and less about expressing personality.

Now don’t get me wrong. I who hold a Bachelor’s in Art find myself searching Pinterest many times a day for various projects. I too have lost a since of imagination. My goal now is to awaken my old imagination. I urge you to do the same. Find the latest trends and ideas, and apply them to your wedding. Just remember you are not like everyone else, you want your wedding to be special, set apart. Use Pinterest as a taking off point. So, copper is the latest trend, how you use it is key. Are you a bride who serves a cocktail  in a moscow mule mug, or are you a bride with a sweet tooth who will fill it with krispy kreme bread pudding? Are you a spreadsheet type person who will use copper geometric lanterns for centerpeices; or will you be adventurous and copper spray paint your grandmothers teapot as a memory to her.

I urge you to use Pinterest, and discover a world of imagination. I also urge you to deepen your imagination and go one step further than Pinterest. The world of weddings can be endless, it is important not to lose you and your imagination in such a giant world.

Pinterest Wedding Trends

Wedding Imagination

bright pops of yellow wedding

My Perfect Day; inspiration, design, build, invent, create

Create and Invent; it is the lesson I took away from today. Today Tara Geurard introduced me to her life as a wedding designer. I entered the room full of glee, butterflies, and amazement. I sat in my seat and thought “I finally get to hear and understand this woman who does these amazing, customized weddings. She will be incredible.” As I heard her speak,  I found myself engulfed in every word she spoke. She shops at Lowe’s; She spray paints; She hates round tables! Shes a lot like me. All this time I envisioned Tara as a rich designer, who travels, and has everything at her disposal to make these incredible wedding environments.  Within 10 minutes of her talking I found she is humble, tireless, inventing, and dedicated. Everything I strive to be in this business.

I launched my business at the January Pink Bride Show 2009. I wanted to conquer everything. I had 10,000 ideas to put into a wedding. I was constantly trying to invent new displays of place cards, or collaborate crazy colors and make them work. I had inspiration from my own imagination. I had a passion to invent, build, and create. I wanted to do it all.  Then one by one life piled up. I became “mom”; Pinterest infected every wedding; and white became the trendy theme. My inspiration was getting lost, and my ideas were random.

Today Tara brought  a spark back to me. She reminded why I started this business, why my whole heart and mind should be in every wedding I design. She inspired me to create trends. My favorite was ” Can’t find it? build it!” Early in my career I was on fire, and I’m on fire again. Color is coming, patterns will make a statement, personal style will be reinvented, and F-U-N is coming back to weddings.

Thank you Tara for reminding me of the joy of this job. We are creating an experience, an environment that should be intimate, joyous, and the least of all random. We create weddings.

Tara Guerard Signature. Weddings by Tara Guerard; Southern Weddings by Tara Guerard

 

PINK Bridal Show January 2017

Sunday started yet another year for me planning and designing weddings. I kicked off my 8th year at the PINK bridal show. It was exciting, yet calming. I enjoy talking to new brides. I love pitching ideas making people think outside the box and our booth design did just that. Samuel Franklin Florist and I partnered up for the show, and created a spectacular booth filled with gold flatware, and lots of white! We felt the brides and everyone loved every detail, and we didn’t skimp on those! Plates filled with stacked pancakes, a full dessert bar in the back with polished gold goblets. Some mothers of the bride even had eyes for the comfy white leather lounge seating. I love creating and displaying a booth of original design. I take into account some trends, but go with what I feel brides what to see, and what is realistic for most. Brides what to see what can be created within the resources available, but also see ideas of how to make their wedding theirs. I cooked every pancake in the booth, polished each gold goblet, and custom covered each pillow. I hope you enjoyed it. My favorite comment was from a lady who stood in front of our booth, pondered, then said “yep, you win!”

Chairs, tables, fabric backdrop, tableware. lounge furniture provided by All Occasion Party Rentals

navy and white cake by Heather Grubb of Knox Provisions

All flowers by Samuel Franklin Florist

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PINK bridal show Knoxville January 2017 Live Laugh Love Weddings  with Samuel Franklin Florist All Occasion Party Rentals Knox Provision Catering The Pink Bride

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brunch wedding ideas; a little but of everything

PINK bridal show Knoxville January 2017; Samuel Franklin Florist; Live Laugh Love Weddings

Cake and gold drinkware

 

 

 

Color Scheme Ideas

After saying “Yes!” to your prince charming, choosing a color scheme should be the first thing that happens when planning a wedding. Color schemes set the tone and style of your wedding, everything is planned around them: the invitations, the flowers, the cake, the linens, the dresses. To some Brides, picking out a color scheme is no task at all, but to some it can be slightly aggravating.

            Here are a few ideas on how to choose a color scheme:

Summer, Spring, Winter, or Fall?

There are a few questions you should ask yourself to help narrow down to a specific color scheme. One suggestion is to take some inspiration from colors that you usually see in a specific season. For example, a Winter wedding could tie from holiday décor with bolder colors like deep reds with accents of whites, icy blues or silver. Design websites like Polyvore, are great because they can help you design beautiful color schemes for your wedding.

Home Improvement

One of the best ways to pick out a color scheme is to head to a home improvement store and walk down the paint isle. Stores like Home Depot and Lowes offer free paint chip samples in a variety of color families. What’s awesome about this is a paint swatch usually has a lighter shade, a darker shade, and a more neutral option all on one sample. You can also go to a fabric store like Jo-Ann or Hobby Lobby and ask for an associate to cut you a fabric swatch; there may or may not be a charge for this but it should be no more than a dollar and some change.

Childhood Flick

Is there a favorite movie you watched over and over growing up? Take some inspiration from a favorite childhood film, and use it as part of your color scheme. It doesn’t necessarily have to be the focus of the design, but it could be used as an accent color. One of my Brides loved the Wizard of Oz growing up, so for her wedding she tied in small accents of red. Florist, Samuel Franklin, added coffee berries to the bouquets, the groomsmen wore red ties, and the groom tied in his sense of style by wearing Red Converse shoes that complimented her Ruby pumps!

Cover art

If you or your fiancé are art lovers, consider taking a favorite painting and using that to design your wedding. Take a close look at what colors and shades the artist used to compliment the main subject in the piece.  Do the same thing with a favorite book jacket or a CD cover.

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