Northern California Wedding Planner | Wedding Day Roles & Responsibilities

So who does what on your wedding day?  This can be confusing, and sometimes you just don't know what needs to be done in the first place..read on for just 5 of the many roles that are essential for a seamless wedding day!

It's scientifically proven that you can't be in two places at once so how can you reduce the stress of making sure that everything is done according to plan on your wedding day? This question should be considered long before you hire your wedding vendors, because if you select a venue, caterer or rental company who does not set-up the tables & chairs or handle any of the labor - you'll need a small army to take on the task.  Want the short version? -- > Meet with a wedding planner who can help you book full service professionals! 

1) Tables and chairs - This is one that seems to sneak up on people because you may have only considered that you need 150 chairs for your guest count, but will you need to rent two sets (ceremony + reception) or have one set that needs to be moved over during cocktail hour? Table set-up is straightforward in theory but you do want to ensure that all of the tables are spaced evenly and leave enough room for chairs/guest movement. A full service caterer is well equipped with an efficient staff to handle the set-up and break-down of tables, chairs and food service areas for your event. 

2) Centerpieces & Decor - We love when couples personalize their wedding by incorporating design elements that are authentic to them as well as photos and signage. As wedding planners we assist with overseeing the placement of your rentals and putting the final touches & personal decor together for your welcome table, ceremony area, guest tables etc. 
Tip: Try to hold back the temptation to go crazy on Etsy, Amazon, Pinterest and other rabbit holes so that you won't need a U-Haul just for all of your decor.  We recommend finding focal points that have an impact and being conservative with extra items - sometimes less is more! 

3) Guest tables - You probably have an idea where we are going with this by now - but it is imperative that you have a catering staff on board who is prepared with the correct event details, brings adequate staffing, and will handle bussing/clearing plates & garbage etc.  Don't get left with plates piled high at your guest tables and dishes to wash for 150 guests, that's not cool.

4) Pop Fizz Clink - Thinking of your wedding has you reaching for the champagne bottle - but hold that thought! What will your guests be drinking out of (glassware or disposables?) and who will be providing/delivering/stocking/serving and last but not least - cleaning up your bar? 
Be sure to double check with your venue about required license/insurance requirements for the bartender

5) Order of events - A wedding day goes by so fast and there is only so much lighting to go around, having an organized timeline including all of the photos that you are planning to incorporate is important.  Your wedding planner and photographer will work together on the timeline details along with your DJ and caterer to ensure that everyone is on the same page.  Your wedding planner will be there to cue each element (ceremony processional, wedding party introductions, toasts etc) while your DJ will be the emcee to keep guests informed throughout the evening. 

We hope these 5 wedding day responsibilities are helpful for you, and that you have a rockstar team to handle the details! If you have questions about tasks or need more information to organize your vendors feel free to reach out or leave a comment below! 
~ Happy Planning!~ 

Northern California Wedding Planner | Choosing Your Wedding Photographer

Hey there Spring! It's been an exciting last few weeks of wedding prep for our spring weddings and now that we are in full on wedding mode we also have planning sessions for our fall 2018 weddings and our 2019 couples.  So what that means is we are working on finding the perfect event partners for our couples from caterers, florists, bakers, DJ's and everything in between.  

If you've been reading our blog you know that we feel strongly about connecting with your wedding team, and that when you are making these decisions it truly is not just a matter of price.  Photo and video teams are going to spend a significant amount of time with you on your wedding day so it's important to vibe with them.  

Regardless of how many months or even year(s) out you are from your wedding day, you may start hearing this phrase quite often "it is your day" or "whatever you like" because it's true we can't simply pick a list of people that we like and expect it to match all of your specific preferences.  However if the process of making all of these decisions feels overwhelming than by all means ask your wedding planner to give you their narrowed down preferred vendor list.

For this example, we will assume you are starting from scratch in the photographer search and we will take you through our process for finding the right photographer for your wedding!
 

Photography Style/Editing 

When our couples are looking for photographers we send them a list of several styles of photography to see which direction they are leaning towards, that could be a natural light photographer who has a lot of light/bright and colorful photos or a photographer who does a darker moodier edit. 

Photo by  Petr Ovralov  on  Unsplash

Photo by Petr Ovralov on Unsplash

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Sometimes we find that couple's aren't set on a specific type of edit but rather the style in which the photographer shoots portraits (posed vs more candid shots) etc.  If you love that one photographer gets really unique angles and uses dramatic lighting and editing techniques then we know your list of photographers to meet with will be much different than a couple who really prefers soft natural light photos with minimal editing. 

Coverage

Now that you have narrowed down the style of photography that you are interested in, it is time to start thinking about your wedding day coverage and what your priorities are for photos.  This is important when you are comparing the number of hours included in wedding collections that you are considering. 

For example if you are looking at photographer A who you really love but are thinking of a 7 hour package, you will need to decide when their coverage would begin.  If sunset portraits are important to you then you can also look up with when the sunset is on your date and assume you will do sunset portraits 15-20 minutes before the sun actually sets.  Then work your way backward for the coverage start time.

If you ask us, we always recommend having at least 8 hours of coverage on your wedding day.  This allows you to plan your reception without feeling like you are rushing through all of the formalities to squeeze everything into a 6 or 7 hour photography timeline.

Pricing

We understand that your wedding budget is a real thing, and we want to provide you with options that make sense for your specific needs.  We help you narrow down the options to then reach out to the photographers and schedule a consultation or phone session so that you get to know them and understand more about the value they provide.  

If you have questions about choosing your wedding photographer feel free to reach out to us, we're always happy to help out!

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Timeline Tips | Part Three ~ Order of Events

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Your wedding day timeline isn't just a piece of paper, it is a compilation of all of the details that you have selected throughout your planning process all rolled into one.  Everything from where you are getting ready in the morning, who is bringing you coffee, what time the flowers are getting delivered, the ceremony processional order and much more.  

You can easily google a wedding day timeline, that's the easy part.  But to personalize the timeline so that it not only flows smoothly but for you to also get to maximize the hours in your day.  If you have selected a 6 hour photography package you will need to really streamline those six hours.  

In order to make your day truly memorable for you, try to see the big picture.  How many hours will you be getting ready? Are you making time to see your mom, your sister? Are you getting photos of these intimate moments before you put your dress on?  

Catch Part One: Contracts and Two: Photography Coverage of our Timeline Series!

Build in enough time into your day to be able to reasonably have time to take it all in! We can't emphasize enough how quickly your day will go by, and if you don't allow yourself to have a few moments alone together to just breathe it won't happen on it's own.  You will have 100+ guests wanting your attention (rightfully so, since they came there for you!)   We put a very basic order of events here for you, you can download the free pdf here.

The-530-Bride-Sample Timeline

Have you heard of a First Look? This is somewhat of a newer trend but has become popular for a few different reasons.  If you aren't overly traditional about not seeing your future other half before the wedding, the first look photos give you a little more flexibility in your timeline because you are getting to ensure you have ample time for your formal portraits which will also help reduce the amount of time you are in photos during the cocktail hour (that means you get to actually hang out with your guests longer!)

Rather than re-create the wheel, we wanted to show you a great comparison of a timeline with and without a first look. Check out Stephanie's blog post on Pinterest:

Have timeline questions: You know you can always speed date with a wedding planner and shoot us an email

~ Happy Planning!~