Niagara Wedding Planning: Why I choose to take on fewer clients

Hi friends! This is kind of a two-in-one post here to let you know our availbility for Niagara Wedding Planning in 2018 and also to talk about why I choose to limit the availability we open for clients.

Niagara Wedding PlanningAbove you can see the availability we have open. Dates available means I am fairly open for specific dates, I may have a floral-only or a smaller event already booked but the rest of the month is flexible. Ideally, I only take on 1-2 full planning contracts per month. If you’re looking for floral-only service I have more avaialbiltiy in the month for those. If you see a month that has only specific dates left, it’s because I am already booked for full planning in that month and are only available for the dates listed. If you are looking for floral-only and you don’t see your date, please do send an inquiry so I can let you know if we have a date we can sneak you in for!

Here’s why I limit the amount of full contracts we take on in a year and even each month:

  • My main goal, or mission if you will, is to serve my clients in the best way possible. In order to focus on each client I have, I have to limit the amount of work I take on. I want my clients to feel like they are my only clients and it’s impossible for me to do that in the way I want if I have too many projects happening at the same time.
  • Another big reason is to avoid burn-out. There is this thing in the wedding industry called a wedding hangover (not kidding, look it up). After a wedding day, vendors wake up feeling like they’ve been hit by a bus and for me at least, it takes a couple days to recouperate from that. I typically work a 14-16 hour day for my clients, running non-stop for 10-11 hours of that day + the 4 days of floral and planning work leading up to the wedding day. I need to take care of my body and only do that a couple times a month.
  • Being burnt out and over worked stifles creativity and makes us less passionate about something we actually love. I know that I do my best work when I get to take a break to breathe.

Essentially, I choose to work with a smaller group of clients so I can spend more time dedicated to each couple. Because it is my goal to create such an intimate, curated and boutique experience for my clients, I take the quality over quantity approach when choosing dates and clients to work with.

If you are a 2018 bride (or groom!) and you’re looking for a highly curated approach and attentive wedding planner, designer and florist and you see availability above, please do send an email! I would truly love to chat with you about all things wedding and to see if we are a good fit! If you’re looking for florals-only, know that I have more flexibility with dates!

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When a Wedding Planner Weds: Choosing The Madhatters

When we revisit our adjectives to describe our wedding (you can see them here), intimate and fun really stand out to us. We want our guests to feel like they are at an exclusive event where they are treated like VIPS. Because of this, we knew we wanted to showcase a live band that would add to the atmosphere of the night.

Being local to Niagara, of course that means we decided to book The Madhatters! I’ve worked with The Madhatters at a lot of my previous clients weddings and I know they always do a wonderful job. I have the utmost confidence in them.

the madhatters

Why we chose a Live Band Vs a DJ

Let me start off by saying that there are a ton of great DJ’s in Niagara and the majority of my clients do choose to have a DJ vs. A Live Band. Without a doubt we could host a great party with a DJ.

We chose a band because of the tone it sets for our guests. As I mentioned above, we wanted our guests to feel like they were at an intimate, exclusive event. We felt a live band would really capture that. It’s also more casual in a way, and can be easier to dance to if you haven’t yet had too much to drink( and since our entertainment ends at 11 pm due to noise restrictions we want to get the most people we can on the dance floor before they leave). A live band also provides great listening music for people who would rather mingle than dance. I’m sure the dancing guests who have been drinking all night love when “Turn Down for What” comes on, but Grandma and Aunt Betsy are probably not so into it. We want a band that gets young people and old ladies alike up on the dance floor.

It’s been my experience that with the 11:00 pm sound curfew at outdoor weddings, most DJ’s feel like the party is only just getting started by the time it takes to get people out on the dance floor. With a band, I’ve always found the dance floor to be full the moment they play their first note.

It really just came down to the feeling and interaction we wanted our guests to have during the night and for us a live band, specifically The Madhatters was the answer hands down, no questions asked.

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When a Wedding Planner Weds: Finding a Wedding Dress

If you haven’t been following along with the series, so far I’ve talked about how we developed our wedding design and stayed within our budget. Today I wanted to talk about how I found my wedding dress.

wedding dress niagara^ Not my wedding dress, but how beautiful was Kimberley’s?

Finding my Wedding Dress

Confession, I didn’t try on a single wedding dress. What? I didn’t even step into a wedding dress store. I know! I was actually walking around Saks Off 5th when I saw this beautiful dress that I will not yet describe to you because Jordan doesn’t know what it looks like! I pointed it out to his sister and she told me I should buy it for weddings. While it was way too fancy to wear for working, I did want to buy it. In store, the dress had these ugly thick black straps that someone, somewhere thought would be a good idea. Me, not so much. However, I did see the potential in the rest of the dress, with a few alterations.

So this dress is a designer dress, originally listed for $2500. I purchased it for $180! Guys, I know! The best part is, I didn’t purchase it because it was cheap, I am in LOVE with it. It perfectly suits me and I saved a ton. Again, I was thinking outside of the box, at what could be and now I not only have a dress that literally no other bride will have (as it wasn’t marketed as a wedding dress and will be custom altered), but I saved a ton on what I had originally budgeted.

Not everyone will be able to come across a dress like that just sitting in-store, but don’t rule out looking in alternate places just in case!

So tell me, where did you purchase your dress from? Was it in budget or did you go over finding the perfect dress?

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Wedding Design: How to Develop Your Vision on Budget

Earlier this week I wrote the first post of my new series “A Wedding Planner Weds” which talked about how Jordan and I have developed our own wedding design and how we are staying on budget. Today I want to share how you can design your overall theme and tone and ways to implement the details without sacrificing your budget or your ideals. (Or you could just send me a message and I can work with you one-on-one- shameless plug).

 

Wedding design

Developing your ideal wedding design vision.

The first thing I have clients do, is to pick 5 adjectives that describe how they want their wedding to look and feel. I have a list we go through together to really get down to the heart of my clients wants and needs. On your own, you can pick 5 adjectives you can reflect back to throughout your planning process to ensure you’re staying true to your vision.

Examples: Romantic, fun, upbeat, slow, large, lively, etc.

 

What are your hobbies? What does your home decor look like? How can you incorporate “you” into your wedding?

 

Think about what details you can incorporate based on how you currently live your lives together. I know this isn’t always easy for non-visual people, and some find it hard to translate those details into wedding design. (That’s where I come in!) My advice is to think simply. Do you love to be outside in nature or do you prefer to be inside and cozy? Maybe you prefer inside and cozy and therefore a late fall or winter wedding would be well suited for you. What are ‘cozy’ elements you could add in to the wedding? I think of blankets, and warm drinks. Wood burning fires (maybe you can light some incense to create that scent). Candles would mimic the flames of a fire. What textures can you use? A heavier linen would be perfect for later in the season.  Do you see how one small piece of something you love can inspire a whole lot of inspiration?

Staying on Budget

Deciding what your priorities are is the first step to ensuring you don’t have to make sacrifices with your budget. If your heart is set on a 5 course meal with wine pairings, but you aren’t able to afford that for a 200 person wedding, invite less people or have a dinner with just your immediate family and wedding party and the next day throw a wedding brunch. If you really want to invite 300 people, but you can’t afford a sit down meal, throw a cocktail event with canapes and charcuterie. Think about what you want and then don’t be afraid to break “the rules” when it comes to your wedding. In fact, there are no rules when it comes to planning a wedding because quite frankly, it’s your wedding and you can do what you wish with it.

What do you plan on incorporating into your wedding design to make it feel like “you”? Are you having trouble with your budget? Are you able to think outside of the box and welcome the untraditional? Let me know in the comments below! If you need help with your planning and making your vision come to life, send us a message with the contact form below!

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When a Wedding Planner Weds: How we developed our theme, on budget.

The other day I was sitting around thinking about what I could share on my blog that would be helpful and interesting to my readers. It’s been a while since I’ve blogged last, which is mainly because it was high peak wedding season and as a wedding planner and florist, I really just didn’t have the time to create great content, but also because I don’t want to rewrite posts I’ve essentially already written or write something non-useful and boring just for the sake of creating content. As I was brainstorming, I thought about writing a series not just through the eyes of a wedding planner, but also myself as to-be bride. With that being said, I’m going to openly share our (myself & Jordan’s) journey of planning our own wedding.

It makes sense to start from the beginning with how we decided on our overall theme, what we’ve been doing to develop it and how we’ve managed to stay on budget.

wedding planner niagara

Atmosphere: Intimate, warm, dinner-partyesque, romantic, fun

Above are the 5 adjectives we chose to describe the way we want our wedding to feel, look and be. As we choose each of our vendors and details, we will reflect back to these words to ensure our original design is upheld.

Details we love: Wood, bohemian, rustic elements, greenery, flowers

We love the outdoors and hiking. Jordan makes reclaimed wood furniture and decor pieces and I of course am a florist and wedding planner. We also love hosting dinner parties when we have free time. Our home is filled with wood pieces and green plants. We wanted our wedding to reflect all of this so it would reflect us as a couple.

Staying on budget:

 I’ll start by saying we are incredibly lucky to be immersed in the world of weddings and have made an abundance of great friends who have so graciously given us great pricing for our wedding. I will also be doing my own floral design for the wedding. I know- it’s overzealous of me but I have a vision and I like to be in control – ha! It also means we are only paying for wholesale florals and the labor is of course free.

The bottom line is, neither Jordan and I, nor our parents are in the position to host a 300 person wedding AND have our priorities and wants shine through. Think about that for a minute though. The budget we have decided on could absolutely feed and dethirst 300 people no problem. Our priority is not to mearly feed 300 people with mediocre food. Our priority is to create an experience for our guests. Top notch food, a highly curated design, photography and entertainment are our priorities. In order to get those bang on, we had to think outside the box.

We actually wanted to skip a lot of the traditional elements of a wedding, so we are going straight to the party by inviting our guests to a locally sourced charcuterie and wine (& beer!) party. We’re talking farm to table, from Niagara or surrounding area meats and artisan cheeses. No one will go hungry or feel like they couldn’t get enough to drink- that’s important to us. We wanted to keep the atompshere lively and intimate so we chose a band for our entertainment so it would truly feel like a party for our guests. By choosing to have a non-traditional wedding, we are not only keeping our budget down, but we’re doing so without sacrificing our overall ideals for the wedding.

You don’t have to be a wedding planner to feel “allowed” to do something outside of the norm. I’ll follow up this post with ideas on how you can develop your own wedding ideals while staying within your budget later this week, and I’ll post more information on the specific details we have chosen to incorporate as well as my dress shopping experience etc. throughout this blog series which will be posted every Monday, as long as I have new information to share with you!

Until then, I’d love to hear your thoughts on thinking outside of the box. Would you personally rather attend a traditional seated dinner with no thrills, or a party that celebrates the couple with unique touches and special thought? Let me know if the comments! If you need help planning your own wedding on budget without sacrificing details, send me a message in the form below for information on how I can help!

 

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