Wedding Planner VS. Venue Coordinator

Often planners run into the assumption that they aren’t needed if a venue has an on-site coordinator. The truth is, a venue coordinator is a great asset, but they primarily focus on venue-oriented tasks, and often couples need more than that!

Here is a handy chart to help you understand what tasks are covered by each professional (please keep in mind each coordinator and planner have unique duties):

TaskPlannerVenue
Communicating with other vendorsx
Coordinating venue detailsxx
Budgeting helpx
Experience troubleshooting at venuex
Oversee day of eventxx
Attend vendor meetingsx
Provide vendor recommendationsxx
Help with overall theme and atmospherex
Advocate for YOU as their number 1 priorityx

Getting Married During COVID-19: How to Pare Down Your Guest List

It isn’t a reality any nearlywed wants to face, but the truth is many couples have been opting for smaller weddings due to provincial restrictions and overall safety. The good thing is- weddings are to celebrate YOU, and no amount of guests or lack thereof can change that.

If you’re here, you’re probably looking for ways to cut down that guest list, so here are my best tips:

  1. Prioritize your lists. It may seem harsh to have to categorize your loved ones, but chances are you already have a good idea of who you absolutely couldn’t have your event without. A good place to start is making a list of loved ones you Need To Attend (10 guests or less), Want to Attend (50 guests or less), and Wish Could Attend (50+ guests).
  2. From there, categorize each list further by how you know people. For example, you could have a list of work friends, school friends, immediate family, extended family, sports groups, and so on. This makes it easier to cut down your list if you need to without offending individual people, because it will make more sense to your co-workers if none of them are invited rather than if you just pick-and choose your favourites. There are exceptions to this, however, if you have very close friends in certain groups and it would make sense to others that they attend your event alone.
  3. Get rid of plus-ones. This is one of the easiest ways to pare down a guest list. Since your event will be more intimate, it is more likely that many of your loved ones will already know each other, which will curb some of that awkwardness of a guest not knowing anyone at your event.
  4. Opt for virtual invites. This can be decided from the beginning or guests can be invited to the in-person event with a caveat that if restrictions do not allow for enough guests, they will be able to view virtually. This can sound something like, “Pending local guidelines, we may have to reduce our in person guest count and offer virtual viewing instead”. This lets your loved ones be involved regardless of where they may be watching from.

Times are changing and it is leading more couples towards intimate celebrations. Remember, this isn’t permanent, and someday down the line we truly believe you can have the big wedding of your dreams. If you want to be married in the meantime, though, I hope this list helps you find a way to make it happen.

Eco-Friendly Wedding Tips

It’s not something most people think about, but events, especially weddings, tend to create a huge excess of waste. Obviously, your events are special and not an everyday occurrence, so for some people, knowing that is enough to justify the extra waste. That being said, every little bit counts, so if you are looking for ways to reduce waste or have a more environmentally friendly event, here a few good places to start:

Avoid disposables where you can

  1. rent or buy dishes and cutlery
  2. rent or buy linens
  3. use fresh flowers unless you will reuse or resell

Buy preowned

  1. d├ęcor
  2. dress
  3. flowers (faux or fresh from a wedding near your date)

Choose ethically made products

  1. rings (find a Canadian or lab-made diamond)
  2. attire
  3. any gifts or products being purchased

Support local

  1. vendors (photographer, rentals, etc)
  2. choose a caterer that also sources locally
  3. find gifts and supplies locally to reduce shipping

Have a daytime wedding

  1. less lighting needed
  2. less music and overall energy use
  3. generally less formal event-requires less supplies

Save the stationery

  1. use a large menu sign instead of menu cards
  2. use a seating chart and ditch place cards
  3. use compostable or electronic invites

Ditch aspects you don’t need

  1. save-the-dates
  2. send-off supplies (sparklers, rice)
  3. favors

Use in season supplies

  1. florals
  2. catering

Opt for less

  1. guests
  2. stationery
  3. linens (don’t have tablecloths, just choose nicer tables!)

Think about gifts

  1. ask for charity donations if you don’t need anything
  2. ask for experiences
  3. ask for good quality products that won’t need to be replaced as often

Choose and reuse (ceremony to reception, wedding to home decor)

  1. decor can be transfered froom your ceremony to reception to use less
  2. choose decor that can be reused as household decor for yourself or family afterwards

Reduce travel

  1. less guests
  2. local vendors
  3. have a shuttle from ceremony to reception or have a venue that offers both
  4. have a staycation honeymoon

Planning Your Own Wedding: When Your Heart Is Too In It

Planning your own wedding IS possible.

I know, it is wild for me to say that as I run a planning business, but here’s the thing: I did it. I planned my own wedding, before I ventured into my event schooling, when I was as inexperienced as most people who try to plan their own event (not that that is the case for everyone planning their wedding).

So, I get it! You want your day to reflect your wishes and you are confident that you can make that happen yourself. Logistically, maybe you can (See: Should you hire a planner?). So, we’ve talked about the logistics before, but there is a whole other side to think about before you decide to plan your own wedding: Your emotions.

Even if you have the skillset to plan your own wedding, sometimes you need someone who is unbiased to help you focus and hone in on the practical, less-dreamy side of things.

In simpler terms:

You may not be the best person to plan your best day.

In my own experience, there are mistakes I made for my wedding that were not huge errors in planning, but rather errors in my own judgement because I was clouded by my vision for my “perfect day”.

I bought two wedding dresses- not because I wanted to do a dress switch, but because I didn’t think through my venue, my personality, and my comfort level before I purchased the first one.

Our wedding was freezing, and yet I went ahead with my fully outdoor ceremony with no heaters because I visually liked it better than my backup plan. I wanted to keep my reception outside, too, and we had to do a last minute switch indoors that was only made possible by SO many friends and family members that helped us literally move things around.

Those are the biggest ones, but there were mistakes here and there that also could have been avoided by having an impartial sounding board for my big decisions.

Now, I also realize that admitting these things probably doesn’t make me sound like the most competent planner. But again, we had backup plans and things set up to run perfectly in the first place, I just didn’t want to admit that my day couldn’t go how I had envisioned it and give the go ahead for the switched to be made, because my heart was too involved in the planning process to give up my vision.

At the end of the day, your wedding will be perfect for you. Mistakes and all, it will be a day that you remember going exactly how it was meant to go. My hope for you is that you will know that it is not a process meant to be done alone, whether that means you enlist someone for partial planning or full service planning.

You can see my services here, and I am always open to chatting through your plans to see if we are a good fit for each other. Your wedding should reflect YOU, my job is to make sure it does that without sacrificing any of the more practical details.