Wedding Planning Tips

Wellness and Wedding Planning

It’s no secret that stress is a part of our lives. From our jobs to our relationships, stress can seem unavoidable. Add wedding planning into the mix and our internal stress-meter can reach capacity.

So the question is, how do we respond? How do we cope? And how can we equip ourselves to be strong enough to handle it? For some, the answer can be fitness! Thank you to our friends at Harness Cycle (especially instructor Katie Spies) for the expertise and advice in this blog post!

Harness Cycle Bike Wedding Day Wellness

How does fitness help relieve stress? 

One of the most studied ways to relieve stress and anxiety is the practice of physical activity. According to Harvard Medical School’s Health Watch*, stress doesn’t just have an effect on our minds, it affects our bodies, too. I’m sure you’re familiar with the iconic line from Legally Blonde, where Elle Woods so boldly declares, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people don’t kill their husbands. They just don’t!” Well, Elle was right. Exercise does release endorphins, and it reduces the levels of stress hormones in your body including cortisol and adrenaline which contribute to the heart beating fast, sweaty palm feeling associated with stress. Exercising regularly also helps us look and feel our best, leading to an increase in self-confidence and self-worth.

Let’s face it, though. One of the toughest parts about deciding to add fitness into your daily routine is actually taking the first step. Is it easier to sink into your sectional with a glass of wine after a rough day? 100%. But if that’s your usual coping mechanism and you still feel stressed and anxious afterward, it might be time to switch things up! We fall into comfortable habits because that’s all we know, and it’s what feels safe to us. So while working out may feel like a chore at first and may push you out of your comfort zone, take a chance on yourself. Exercise your power. It’s in there, you may just have to sweat a little to feel it. And after one class- whether it’s yoga, spinning, running, boxing, lifting weights, or Zumba, you will feel a difference. I hope that difference becomes a habit. And I hope that habit becomes your new routine. So it’s not just something you do to feel good, it’s something you do because you look forward to it.

Beyond helping you to look + feel your best, how can a regular fitness routine benefit you pre-wedding?

I’ve seen it, you’ve seen it. Shedding before the wedding. That mindset can go one of two ways. One, you look forward to your regular fitness routine because it keeps you balanced and helps you relieve some wedding planning stress. Or, you see this fitness not as a routine that helps keep you anchored and grounded, but as something you have to do in order to look good for your wedding. The problem is, not allowing yourself to enjoy exercise can be a stressor all on its own. Instead of allowing for internal healing, you view exercise as the only way to achieve outward confidence on your wedding day. You’re placing the value of exercise solely on the physical appearance it provides. But it is so much more than that!

Having a routine that you genuinely enjoy takes the guesswork out of things. By using fitness as a way to prep for your wedding day, you will benefit from physical changes. But more importantly, you will show up in this next phase of your life grounded, self-confident, and empowered to grow. Because it’s not just about looking your best, it’s about feeling your best. Harness Cycle, for many of our riders and team, has become a constant in our lives, a space that is uplifting and energizing. Creating your routine pre-wedding will not only help you to look and feel your best, but it will be an anchor as you experience a major life change. 

How does a regular fitness routine impact a relationship? What is an easy way for couples to implement a routine together?

Ultimately, when you feel your best, it’s not just you who feels those good vibes – those around you can sense it as well! I’m not saying people who exercise are better people, partners, or friends, but I think whenever you take time for yourself to reset, recharge and stay grounded, it can have a positive impact on your relationships. It comes down to you feeling your best, not for your significant other, but for yourself. That kind of “me time” is not selfish; it’s one of the most important things you can do for yourself. How can you give love when you lack self-love? How can you give time to others when you can’t give time to yourself? You have to refill your cup first. If your cup is full of stress, you’ll spill stress on those around you. If your cup is full of doubt and self-loathing, those will run over and affect anyone who is a significant part of your life. But when you fill your cup with good things – gratitude, love, compassion, balance – you can share those good things with those around you. That not only strengthens your relationship with yourself but with those around you, especially those you love. It may only take forty-five minutes on a stationary bike to fill up that cup, but if you can look forward to that as part of your routine, it can change your entire perspective.

When it comes to implementing a fitness routine with your significant other, focus less on doing something together and more on encouraging each other to find something that works for each of you. Your partner might want to get swole and you might want to hit up the treadmill, but that doesn’t mean you can’t meet up at the gym together. Or at Harness, we cross train with other groups in the area, especially with our own Running the Bridges every Wednesday. So you can hit up a Harness ride while your partner runs. Even getting involved in Cleveland Plays, where the workout is less about the actual workout and more about having fun and being part of a team. Most importantly though, it’s about supporting and respecting each other. And as age old saying goes… ‘til sweat do us part.


With two locations in Cleveland (Ohio City + DowntownHarness Cycle offers over 50 classes per week to incorporate into your weekly schedule. A great add-on to any wedding weekend is our signature b(ride) event. The private reservation includes a private house ride for up to 40 guests, shoe rentals and 15% off retail after the ride. To learn more visit: https://www.harnesscycle.com/private 

*SOURCE: HTTPS://WWW.HEALTH.HARVARD.EDU/STAYING-HEALTHY/EXERCISING-TO-RELAX



MELANIE'S FAVORITE LOCAL & ECO-FRIENDLY HOLIDAY PICKS FOR HER

bjwedding-28 The holiday season is one of our favorite times of the year not only for the decorations but also because we get a chance to give gifts to our friends and family. Melanie, Founder of Oak & Honey Events and Katelyn, Associate Event Planner, will be sharing some of our favorite local and sustainable products over the next couple weeks to guide you along the way this holiday season.

We hope our posts will not only help you find the perfect gift that the special ones in your life will enjoy but also help you support local businesses and reduce your impact on the environment. Making someone’s day and doing good – What could be better?

Today on the blog, Melanie shares with you her favorite gift picks for the special lady in your life.

Ellie Jane Bags Waxed Canvas Totes

I was lucky enough to receive one of Sarah’s fabulous purses for a birthday gift from the hubby last year. I am loving everything about this purse! It is made from waxed canvas which makes it super durable, waxed canvas wears over time similar to leather. There are all different sizes for the special lady in your life.

Revival Body Care - Coffee and Rose Hip Scrub

Revival Body Care offers products that are free of toxins, chemicals and preservatives that are bound to leave her skin soft and smooth. I highly suggest the Coffee and Rose Hip made with fair trade coffee grounds, brown sugar, sea salt, among other good-for-you ingredients. The smell of the coffee wakes you up in the morning and the rose hip is relaxing.

Kukuli Market Manta Slippers 

Purchase some comfy slippers from Kukuli Market. These slippers are made in small production in Lima, Peru. Kukuli Market curates Peruvian goods for the Modern Bohemian. Two-thirds of their team is based in Peru and all their products are crafted by local artisans. Not only will you be purchasing comfy, unique slippers you'll be giving back and help ensure artisans receive fair pay for their work.

Wanderlust Jewelers - Customized Jewelry

Add some sparkle to her life and surprise her with something one-of-a-kind from Wanderlust Jewelers. Every single one of their pieces is hand-crafted from start to finish and bound to leave her speechless.

Lush & Lovely Floristry - Gift Certificate for floral workshop!

What girl doesn't love flowers? Lush & Lovely is a Cleveland-based retail flower shop in the historic neighborhood of Ohio City. They offer a number of fun and informative workshops at their location. Purchase a gift certificate for a floral workshop and a night out with one of her girlfriends.

Mel Signature

Tips for Selecting a Venue

This week we're thrilled to turn the keyboard over to Katie Marotta with the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park! She will be sharing some valuable tips for couples who are in the venue selection stage of planning, and also provide a list of helpful questions to ask venues of interest.

Katie has worked with the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park for 4.5 years. The Conservancy is an organization that supports and encourages those to connect to the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, and by hosting weddings here, they are able to preserve the park for future generations. She started as an event host in 2012 and was promoted to Sales & Guest Services Manager in 2015. Currently, Katie manages both the Hines Hill Campus for special events as well as Stanford House for overnight use. She loves working in such a beautiful park, and especially loves working with brides to help make their dream weddings happen! She says the best part of her job is greeting guests and seeing their faces light up as they enter the completed wedding day setup.

View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris

View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris

Photo Credit: Janelle Putrich Photography

Always schedule a site visit

Scheduling a site visit with the facility manager gives you a chance to walk through each part of the wedding day and gain inspiration from the manager's past experiences at that particular venue.

Be flexible

Know that every venue's available dates are constantly changing, so it helps to be open to what's available.

Disclose important details

Having an estimated guest count and disclosing any other important details are going to help the facility manager give you better options for your wedding needs.

Come prepared

I think it's beneficial for brides to come prepared with an open mind, a tape measure, and a camera.

View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris

View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris

Photo Credit: Janelle Putrich Photography

Questions to ask:

What are the rules and regulations particular to the venue and outside property?

What are the out of season dates and deals available?

What is the venue capacity, amenities, and any restrictions?

What furniture and decor items are provided?

What additional furniture will be needed, outside of what the venue provides?

What is the earliest time that setup can begin?

Is there a set time that cleanup needs to begin and is there a cutoff time where guests need to vacate the site?

What is the alcohol policy?

Exclusive vendors and catering options

Who are your recommended vendors? These vendors are ones to take with great consideration and have experience working with the venue.

Does the venue have decoration inspiration or suggestions?

Is there lodging nearby and/or any overnight bridal specials?

Is security required?

How much parking is available to guests?

What outside lighting does the venue provide and what are some additional lighting options, if needed?

Are there any outside noise ordinances?

What is required in order to reserve a date?

What is the cancellation policy?

Bottom line - remember, this is your special day, and when you find the right venue, the rest will be a walk in the park!

We hope these questions and tips will help all the newly engaged couples out there with their venue search! Thank you for the wonderful tips, Katie!

Tips for Planning a Proposal

We thought it would be fun this week to focus on a different aspect of the planning process - the proposal! Some people don't know where to begin when figuring out how to pop the question. Whether you want to propose with a public display of affection, or in a small, intimate setting, the tips below can help you take the first few steps to get the ball rolling and plan the perfect proposal!

proposal-1-of-1

proposal-1-of-1

Talk to a planner to see if they offer proposal planning services

Some wedding and event planners offer their services to people that need help planning their proposal. By talking to a planner ahead of time, you can have peace of mind in knowing that you will have someone by your side during the process to take some of the stress away. They can assist you with vendor selection, help to narrow down location choices and secure any vendors you would like to include in the proposal (a photographer, videographer, musician, etc). They can also help to execute your vision (or help you create a vision, if you're stuck!).

Determine what style you want the proposal to be

You know your significant other best, so you should ask yourself - would they appreciate a grand gesture and a big, showy proposal? Or would they prefer an intimate setting with just the two of you? Once you know what style proposal fits you and your soon-to-be fiancé best, you can start planning out the details.

Choose your vendors

If you decide to hire a planner to assist you with the coordination of the proposal, they will be able to help secure any vendors that you would like to include. For instance, if you want to hire a photographer to capture the moment, a planner can help narrow down your choices based on your budget and the style of the photographer.

If you choose to plan the proposal on your own, you will want to do your research to see what vendors fit the style you've chosen, whether it's the type of videography, photography, or music. Keep in mind - you do not have to include all of these aspects in your proposal, but if any of these are of interest to you, make sure you book them in advance.

Decide what unique details you want to include

Once you have the overall plan for the proposal, you can get down to the details. What do you want to say? Do you want to include any sentimental pieces from your relationship? Is there a certain song that you want to play in the background? All of these pieces should be unique to you and your significant other. It's your proposal, so you can include anything you want! You want it to be something that you both will remember forever, and something that is special for both you and your soon-to-be fiancé.

Just remember - no two proposals are the same because no two couples are the same! Don't feel like you have to propose a certain way just because of how you've seen it in the movies or because of how anyone else has done it. You know what your significant other would appreciate most. Trust your instincts and you're sure to have a memorable, unique, and successful proposal!

Finding the Right Bakery

Today's blog post features Kim Coryea with Hummingbird Bake Shop!

Hummingbird Bake Shop is a small bake shop with no retail storefront that operates from a licensed kitchen in Cleveland Heights. They specialize in custom cakes, cookies, mini pastries, cake toppers, favors, and other hand-crafted details. Hummingbird also works with their clients to style their cake stable, craft cake toppers, make decorations, and creatively present their dessert. They also use quality, responsible ingredients and source locally whenever possible.

For this week's post, Kim shared her insights about new wedding dessert trends, as well as information about ordering, and advice for choosing not only the right bake shop, but also choosing the rest of the vendors for your big day.

Hummingbird Profile Picture Dovetale Photography 2.10.16

Hummingbird Profile Picture Dovetale Photography 2.10.16

Photo Credit: Dovetale Photography

How did you get started?

Unofficially, making wedding cakes started ten years ago, when together a friend and I made another friend’s wedding cake. I have always enjoyed baking, entertaining and being in the kitchen. My family sat down for a home cooked meal every night. As far back as I can remember, I looked forward to holidays like Halloween or Christmas because it meant decorating cookies, which I would spend hours doing.

In 2007, I quit my corporate job in the television industry, attended the French Pastry School and started over doing something that excited me and felt purposeful. It sounds very cliché, but it’s true. I was living in Chicago and was scared out of my mind to start over, but knew I would always regret it if I didn’t try. I had tremendous respect for the craft, so it was important to me to learn to make pastry using classic methods. Chicago had one of the best French pastry schools in the country.

After school, I staged and then worked at a few different bakeries in Chicago. I realized that although I loved the camaraderie in the kitchen, I emotionally connected way too much to everything I was making to be successful at high production work like what was expected at a hotel or restaurant. My goal was to start a small, relationship-driven business specializing in custom cakes, but still keeping my hands in some of the other pastries and candy I enjoyed making.

Starting a new business presents a tremendous amount of financial realities. My husband and I researched (extensively) affordable markets where we could realistically start over. We wanted to move somewhere that made sense for my husband’s job, the type of food business I wanted run and a place where we could both see ourselves living. Once we chose Cleveland and made the decision to move to here, it was over a two-year process getting here: selling our home, continuing to work while trying to find new jobs, finding a community, creating a business plan, and continuing to hone my pastry skills.

I intentionally started gradually in Cleveland in 2010 making cakes and desserts for friends as well as friends of friends. I did events for free to get my name out there and just did a ton of baking. It was important for me to get to know the market and how much volume I could handle. I would do an event and then connect with other like-minded small business vendors who liked what I was making and would refer me. That’s really how it happened. Vendors, friends and past clients refer me and that’s mainly how I continue to get work. Hummingbird became an official business in 2011.

I honestly never anticipated how much weddings would become the core of my business. For the type of custom work I like to do, and knowing my personality, it has been a great fit. Getting to know families at this intimate moment and time in their lives, then using their story to create a cake that uses quality ingredients, tastes great, looks great and is structurally sound is something that is both an exciting challenge and a privilege. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a ton of work and can be very stressful and scary, but it’s also a lot fun. Wedding cakes can have a bad reputation when it comes to the quality and flavor, so I continue to work very hard to make something that I’m proud to serve and clients enjoy both looking at and eating.

As with any small business, there have been great peaks and valleys, growth challenges, and business plan rewrites, it seems, daily, but I’m so incredibly excited and grateful to have the opportunity to do this and proud to see how much this tiny little bake shop grows each year.

View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris

View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris

View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris

View More: http://janelleputrichphotography.pass.us/wedding-submission-ashley-chris

Photo Credit: Janelle Putrich Photography

What wedding trends have you noticed popping up recently?

Cakes are going more classic and simple with more of a focus on seasonal and local ingredients. Couples are definitely doing much more than cake, or finding alternatives to cake (i.e. dessert tables, smaller bites). There is definitely not as much ceremonial tradition and more personalization. I’m all for getting creative, but when it comes to trends, I encourage couples to think about what they really want at their wedding. If it happens to be trendy and you want to do it, that’s great. But if you are reading that dessert tables filled with endless options are the “it” thing, but you want a traditional cake, then have a traditional cake. If you really want donuts, then you should have donuts and go to a baker who specializes in donuts. Listen to your baker and caterer, however, to make sure whatever you choose is within the confines of the venue, weather and season.

Hummingbird BBB Lauren Gabrielle 2.10.16

Hummingbird BBB Lauren Gabrielle 2.10.16

Photo Credit: Lauren Gabrielle Photography

How far in advance should cakes and/or desserts be ordered?

Hummingbird doesn’t take consultations more than 12 months from the day. I think securing your date 8 to 12 months out with a smaller bakery is pretty typical.

The venue can often determine the type of dessert you go with. If you are getting your desserts through your caterer or venue, then you might lock into a contract earlier than 8 to 12 months.

I find that if couples do a cake tasting outside of 12 months from the day, or do too many of them, they can forget what they tasted or second guess their choice by the time the wedding gets close. Over the course of a year, menus change, ingredient prices can fluctuate and circumstances like the weather can affect the crop of some produce, which affects the overall cost of some flavors as well.

I ask that we lock into a guaranteed minimum when you reserve the day and sign the contract, have the flavors finalized within 30 days of the day, and then add on any additional cake or desserts needed at that time.

If people have general questions about cake or desserts more than 12 months from the day, I am happy to email or set up a time to talk on the phone to answer their questions.

Jon+Michael-Ann-0459

Jon+Michael-Ann-0459

Photo Credit: Addison Jones Photography

How do you determine how much cake or dessert to order?

It really depends on the wedding and the type of cake and/or dessert you are having, so I ask a lot of questions. How many guests are you inviting? Are most guests local or out-of-town? If most your guests are local, then the 20 percent decline rule is a good place to start. If most guests are coming from out of town then it may be more like 30 percent declines. For a 200-person invitation list, I start building a dessert plan for 150 guests. I like to start conservatively and add more cake and desserts if needed when the final count is in.

If you are ordering a tiered cake that will be the dessert for each guest, it is appropriate to have a slice for everyone with a few extra servings to give the caterer cutting the cake some leeway and account for those rare “what-if” circumstances. I am happy to go over some of those with clients.  I try to educate clients about the structure of the cake as well. There are dowels and structural supports in a cake that may affect some servings.

Wedding cake servings are typically 1” x 2” and generally that’s how caterers cut them. I prefer to account for a 1.5” x 2” serving, which gives some flexibility and a little larger slice. Obviously cake is not measured with a ruler when it is cut or the caterer would be there all night doing it.  I always have serving charts available for caterers who may want them, but most caterers are really experienced at cutting cake. The cake is food, the person who made the cake is rarely the one who cuts it and your wedding is an important day that can have unforeseen circumstances. To account for these things, bakeries provide a range of cake servings per tier.

In my experience, bakers and pastry chefs do not want you to run out of cake, nor do they want you to pay for a ton of cake that you aren’t going to eat. They really have the best interest of your wedding at heart. If you get the impression that your baker is trying to make you pay for cake that won’t be eaten, then he or she may not be the best person to make your cake. If you do have some extra, I typically bring a box. If the caterer does not have to cut into the smallest tier of your cake, then you can take it home and enjoy it the next day or freeze it for your anniversary.

If you are not doing a cake and just having a dessert table of mini desserts (i.e. cookies, macarons, tartlets) then I tell clients to account for four minis/petit fours per person.

If you are doing a mix of cake and dessert table minis/petit fours, but aren’t serving the cake to each guest, it can become difficult to estimate how much people will eat. Will the desserts be available to guests at the time reception begins? Will they come out later on? Will there be other late night snacks? How many different options do you want on the table?

When having both cake and dessert table options, I suggest that you have a serving of cake per person and then enough minis for three per person. Generally, the more options you have on the dessert table, the more per person you should order. If you are trying to be more economical, but want more choice, then filling in with some smaller cookies or candy bowls may make sense. Other people may do it differently; this is what I suggest from my experience.

While I love a good dessert table, mini dessert options can add up quickly and the overall price can be higher because they can be more labor intensive to make. If you are looking to save money, this is something to keep in mind.

If you are having standard cupcakes, then 1.5 per person is a good estimate. Typically, cupcakes are not served, so people graze and so you should account for more than one per person.

Jon+Michael-Ann-0460

Jon+Michael-Ann-0460

Photo Credit: Addison Jones Photography

Do you have any other advice for newly engaged couples?

Whatever vendor you are seeking or choosing, be honest with them about what you want and what you want to spend. It’s important to be realistic too. If you know a baker’s (or other vendor’s) prices start at a place that’s not within your budget, please do not go to that vendor and expect or demand a deal. You won’t end up being happy and neither will the vendor. Cakes and desserts take a great deal of time to recipe test, design, bake and construct. If dessert isn’t something you care too much about or want to spend your money on, it doesn’t mean the baker or pastry chef will spend any less time or effort making it.

It’s your wedding and you should feel a connection with your baker, your caterer, your florist, your photographer… Do your research and get referrals from people who you trust. This is where hiring a wedding coordinator is really helpful. They work with so many vendors and can make those recommendations and connections for you.

When it comes to bakers specifically, I recommend tasting the cake.  Again, do your research prior and determine what’s important to you. Choose just a few bakeries you want to try based on those you think fit with what you want for your day versus just trying a bunch of cake, to try cake. I think you’ll be much more satisfied with the end product if this is the approach you take.

Be open to your baker’s suggestions and opinions, but be wary of someone who will do anything at any venue at any time of year. While I love to work with clients on custom designs and flavors, not all cakes and desserts are suitable for every venue or situation.

Thank you, Kim, for your thoughtful responses! We hope these answers will help point newly engaged couples in the right direction for choosing the right vendor to fit their wedding dessert needs!

5 Tips for Newly Engaged Couples

Here at Oak & Honey Events, we know that planning a wedding can be overwhelming, and sometimes couples don't know where to begin. To make things easier, we've compiled a short list of tips to get you started with the planning process.

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111115BBS26

Photo Credit: Full Bloom Photography

1. Do your research on pricing in your area for weddings before creating a budget

You need to first figure out the average wedding budget for your area. Most vendors cater their pricing to the area's average (while some can be higher or lower), but this will give you an idea of how much you should be looking to spend on quality vendors in your area. If it is your first time planning a wedding, you may not know how much any of these services run (catering, venues, florists, etc). Doing your research first will better prepare you for what you will be looking at spending in each category.

2. Set a budget

One of the first things you need to figure out at the beginning of the planning process is your budget. Knowing how much you plan to spend in each category will narrow down your list of vendors that you can choose from. Almost every decision you make will depend on your budget.

Once you have your budget set, we'd also advise starting to browse around for a wedding dress. Some brides-to-be spend months looking for the perfect dress, while others find it in a matter of weeks. Starting your search early will at least help you get an idea of what you're looking for, even if you don't purchase right away.

111115BBS27

111115BBS27

Photo Credit: Full Bloom Photography

3. Create a guest list

The guest list and budget go hand in hand. The larger the guest list, the more you will probably be spending on your reception. This cost includes the amount of food provided by the caterer, the amount of alcohol being served at the bar, the size of the wedding cake, and much more.

Creating your guest list will also help you decide on a venue. If you plan to have a 200-guest wedding, any venue that holds up to 150 people or less will not be an option. Even if you don't have your guest list set in stone, you can at least get a ballpark figure, and it'll help you make some of the big decisions early on.

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111115BBS37

Photo Credit: Full Bloom Photography

4. Consider hiring a planner before you hire other vendors

One of the greatest resources that a wedding planner can provide a couple with is their preferred vendor list. Planners know who to recommend based on the couple's style and budget, as well as previous experience working with these vendors. They will only recommend vendors that they believe will do a good job and are within your price range. Hiring a planner first ensures that you will be provided with the top vendor options, so you know that you are putting your wedding services into good hands.

5. Search for socially conscious vendors on sites like Black Sheep Bride

Black Sheep Bride is a great resource for finding vendors that cater to the socially conscious bride. Whether these vendors source their materials from environmentally conscious companies or donate part of their earnings to a worthy cause, Black Sheep Bride can help you find the socially conscious vendors that are right for you.

We hope this list will help point you in the right direction as far as where to begin the planning process. Planning a wedding is a lot of work, but it is well worth it in the end! Happy planning!

Wedding Decor - Renting vs. Buying

Photo credit: Emily Millay Photography

Photo credit: Emily Millay Photography

You’ve booked the perfect venue. Your pinterest board is overflowing with ideas for the decor of your wedding day. Now it’s time to figure out how you are going to translate these inspiration images into tangible items to give your wedding the look you desire. Whether you’re going for a more modern, sleek look or a vintage vibe, you probably have a long list of items you need to acquire to create your ideal decor. These items can range anywhere from vintage teacups, to large metal candleholders, to furniture and linens and everything in between. Let’s compare the pros and cons of renting versus buying these items.

Renting

Pros:

  • You reduce the carbon footprint of your wedding since you won’t be driving around to multiple stores to find the items you desire.

  • The rental company will be in charge of delivering and picking up the items. This means you don’t have to worry about renting a larger vehicle to get the items to the venue. It also means you don’t have to pack them to ensure they don’t break on the way.

  • The rental company may have more items available than you could even imagine.

  • You won’t have to wash and iron loads of linens.

Cons:

  • Once the wedding is over, you’ve put out all of that money and you don’t have any of the items.

  • The labor expenses could make renting more than the item is worth, in some cases.

Photo credit: Emily Millay Photography

Photo credit: Emily Millay Photography

Buying

Pros:

  • You can purchase items from other brides at events like the Recycled Wedding Boutique.

  • Finding unique items at a discount at vintage thrift shops can feel like an adventure and will definitely keep your wedding from looking like a cookie-cutter wedding.

  • You can incorporate these items as a gift for your guests by leaving a note on the table to take any elements of the table decor with them when they go.

  • Items can be sold after the wedding either to a consignment store or at a bridal resale event, as mentioned above.

  • If you’ve fallen in love with the decor you’ve collected, you can incorporate it into your home decor. Vases can be turned into planters or terrariums, china can be used for your meals together as a happy couple or displayed in open shelving, with a little DIY, you can transform your wedding accents to items you can see and love everyday.

Cons:

  • The buying route will almost always be more time consuming, especially if you’ll be hunting for vintage finds.

  • If you have a large wedding, you may have more stock than you’d ever be able to reuse in your home.

  • More coordination is required to get items to the event. Who will transport them and coordinate that effort if you don’t have a wedding planner?

  • If you’re going to resell them you have to plan for storage until the event or drop off, depending on where you are selling them.

We hope this article has given you some insight and helped you decide if renting or buying wedding decor is better for you. We'd love for you to share your stories and photos with us for your wedding decor or other weddings you've attended.

What to Expect From Your Wedding Planner

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Planning your own wedding is a stressful undertaking. Once you select a date, you start searching for a venue. Then the questions start racing: Do they have in house catering, preferred vendors, or can I select my own? Does the fee include tables, chairs, linens, etc or do I need to find a separate rental company? Even if they do provide these items, is it the look I envisioned? Is there a hotel nearby that will comfortably and safely accommodate my family and friends? How much cake do I need for 150 people? How much is this all going to cost me?

All of these questions make even the most organized person feel overwhelmed. This is where a wedding planner can step in and relieve a lot of stress, but what exactly does a wedding planner do? Today, we’re breaking down the typical services offered by a wedding planner.

First, and arguably most importantly, you should sit down and have a conversation with your potential wedding planner. You want to look for a planner that is willing to meet with you before you commit to their services to ensure that he or she understands your vision and budget and is willing to stick to both. Packages vary from planner to planner, but some will even create a custom package with all of your needs. Some of the services offered by wedding planners include:

Timeline and Checklist - This is where the planner will talk to you about everything you want incorporated into your wedding and develop a practical plan to make it all happen. The planner's expertise is invaluable because they know the best way to approach the schedule and also the proper times to send save the dates, invitations, etc. They also can develop the timeline for the wedding day so that everything flows smoothly.

Photo Credit: Andrew Smith Photography

Photo Credit: Andrew Smith Photography

Creating a Budget - The planners involvement in your budget planning and tracking is dependent upon your needs. This can range from providing you a template for you to complete with typical wedding expenses to your planner developing a comprehensive budget based on your needs and priorities and tracking your spending during the entire planning process.

Designing the Event - This is a special service available when the planner is also a designer. Your designer/planner will work with you and your theme to design the day you’ve dreamed of. This includes customized venue research and selection, identifying unique details for the couple, and creating a color palette with you.

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Vendor Coordination - If you’re only seeking minimal support, your planner would assist you by insuring that all contracts are received by vendors and that they are confirmed for your event. However, if you would like more comprehensive vendor coordination, your planner can provide customized vendor referrals to match you with the very best wedding professionals for your budget, style, and personality. He or she can also be the main point of contact for all vendors, negotiate and review contracts, assist with catering negotiations and menu coordination, and manage rental orders and deliveries. Additionally, assistance with guest accommodations and transportation can be provided.

Day of Coordination - There is a lot of coordination required to get everything perfectly in place for a wedding. Leave that coordination to someone else so you can get ready stress free and enjoy the event with your friends, family, and new spouse! Your planner will be the point of contact for all arriving vendors, wedding party, and guests. They can also manage the setup and teardown of the event. Some planners will only stay 8 hours on the day of your wedding while some stay from start to finish. Be sure to confirm that your planner will meet your day of needs.

Photo Credit: Andrew Smith Photography

Photo Credit: Andrew Smith Photography

Additional Activities - A wedding planner can provide many many valuable resources that you might not have considered including a custom planning checklist, how you can incorporate sustainability into your event, invitation and program guidance, assistance with wedding etiquette questions, and an emergency kit for the day of so you can be prepared for common wedding mishaps.

Photo Credit: Andrew Smith Photography

Photo Credit: Andrew Smith Photography

We hope this answered a few questions you may have had about what you can expect from your wedding planner. If you have any more questions, please reach out to us either in the comments or via email. We look forward to hearing from you!