Wish me luck!!
Holy smokes, am I ever behind on this blog. I had so many good intentions for last year but working from home with a toddler is no joke! Now that Griffin is a year older and much more independent (maybe too independent!) hopefully I can get caught up. I'd love to be able to share some stories behind the photos of the weddings as well as the great vendors that I get to work with.
Wish me luck!!
It's hard to believe but yes, there is less than four months to go until my wedding (108 days according to our wedding website). The last few weeks have been dealing with the smaller tasks. We went and chose our wedding bands a few weeks ago.
Tonight, Jason, Griffin and I went and picked up our wedding invitations. It's very exciting and I can't wait to get them all mailed out this weekend. We chose to have ours custom made from Hesha at Cornwall Stationery. I love knowing that our invitations, place cards, menus and seating chart will all have the same colors and theme (and more importantly, that I don't have to be the one spending hours putting them together... I'm far from crafty!). Invitations play an important role in the overall feeling of your wedding. For most of your guests, the invitations are the first piece of your wedding that they see and it gives them clues as to what to expect. They can help convey if it's a laid back wedding or a formal, black tie affair depending on the materials they are made out of and even the wording used. They also indicate the color theme (I know that there will be many of my guests who are surprised that there won't be any purple!). Overall, have fun with your invitations whether you are crafty enough to do them yourself or have them custom made! Here's a sneak peek at ours...
Here we are in 2016! Almost halfway through January as a matter of fact and it's a little scary how fast it is going already!
December can be so busy for most people that wedding planning ends up taking a back seat. By the time I added in Griffin's first birthday party on December 27th I barely looked at anything in regards to my own wedding. Once the calendar flipped to 2016 though a bit of panic slipped in. There is something about knowing that you are getting married THIS year that really makes you want to get everything completed! Even though we have the "big" things booked it really is the details that make a wedding and that is what can take up the most time in wedding planning.
Business definitely picks up this time of year as well. Between the busy engagement season due to the holidays and leading up to Valentine's Day and again the realization that this is the year of your wedding a lot of couples start looking for a wedding planner, either for full planning or day of coordination. I know that I am biased of course, but I really do believe that a wedding planner or coordinator is a fantastic investment Knowing that someone is there to put together everything you have planned and take care of the details will really allow you to enjoy your day with your friends and family. It's going to be hard for me to turn off the "planner" part of my brain for my wedding but I know my coordinators will take great care of me!
In the last week and a half I have been in contact with 10+ brides and a common thread of the conversations is the slight panic that is setting in after taking a some time off from the planning. My best advice (after hiring a planner!) is to take a deep breath and set goals for each week. Look at what you have booked already and what needs to be completed and split it up. Also remember that you have a partner in this and get your fiance involved! Rather than trying to work on all of the outstanding details at once, work on a few, complete them, check them off your list and you will feel better almost instantly!
Now, I need to go take my own advice and get some of the details checked off my to-do list...
On Tuesday night, Jason and I (along with Griffin) took part in perhaps the best part of wedding planning... the taste testing for our menu! We went up to Forage, the restaurant that will be doing the catering at our venue which happens to be only two blocks from were we live, up on the corner of Robson and Jervis. If you are in the neighborhood, I highly suggest you check it out. They use all local BC ingredients and all I can say is WOW! I'm so happy with our choice to use them and I'm betting that our guests will be happy too.
The top two pictures are our salad choices... tomatoes and roasted beets with goat feta, hot pepper jelly and chick peas and a grilled kale salad with hazelnuts, caramelized apples with a brie and honey dressing. They both were so good and even Jason liked the grilled kale which blew my mind (a lot!) because he is not normally a fan of green vegetables!
The next two photos are two of our entree choices. There is a lentil curry veggie option as well that I forgot to take a photo of. I probably was in a bit of a food coma by that time after trying both the roasted turkey with mashed potatoes and grilled brussel sprouts and the New York steak with grilled veggies and a potato pave.
Again, I forgot to take a photo of dessert but it was mouthwatering as well. A strawberry rhubarb crumble with lemon curd. Such a perfect ending to a great meal. I can't wait until June when I get to eat it again!
So, if you are still looking for a caterer for your wedding or event, enjoy the tastings! I don't want to promote just contacting caterers for free food if you have no intention on booking them (it's time and money for them as well) but you should definitely get a chance to taste the food that will be served to your guests. You should also get a chance to tweak the menu a bit to your liking and to what you think would suit your guests the most. Jason loves turkey so we took that over a chicken option and I knew that beef over salmon would be a bigger hit. Plus, because we have a number of guests with Celiac disease or a wheat intolerance, everything on our menu is already gluten free.
A tip that could save some money as well as increase the odds of your food tasting amazing is asking your caterer what will be in season at the time of your wedding. Sticking to in season veggies has a way of enhancing whatever they are paired with and we in BC, are so lucky to have a lot of options from local farms!
Well, it's taken some time for me to update you all on the planning of my own wedding. Not surprisingly, my plans seem to take the back seat most of the time! The last two weeks though I've made it a priority (especially, when I realize that it's only just over seven months away!).
A few weeks ago, I met with my florist and we talked about what I want (I'm not going to give everything away yet... you'll have to wait for the photos). We have found a marriage commissioner to marry us (pretty important!) and we met with and booked a fantastic photographer who I am VERY excited about! Our invitations will be ordered in a few weeks and we have discussed the menu with our caterer and have a tasting on December 8th (having someone cook you great food to try is always one of the best parts of wedding planning!).
On the weekend, we went back to the venue to take a look at it again. We last saw it in May when we were still searching and I wanted to go back and look at it knowing that this is definitely where we will be hosting our friends and families. I came armed with lots of questions and got some good answers and a few that I didn't want! I found out that due to regulations I wouldn't be able to have the DJ and dance floor where I had initially thought. It was too close to the doors and since there are houses and apartments nearby they have to be careful of the noise bylaws. A little disappointing but the good thing is that I have seven months to figure out a new plan rather than finding out the day of the wedding!
When looking at venues, whether you have already booked one or are in the process of trying to find your dream reception area, ask LOTS of questions... even the ones that may sound obvious. Are tables and chairs included in the rental cost? How many of each and what size? Make sure that you know what kind of chairs they have if you plan on using chair covers. Is the lighting just "on" and "off" or can the lights be dimmed for later in the night (if you can't dim them make sure you have enough other lighting-- more than just tea lights-- for when the sun goes down). Is clean up provided or do you need to take out recycling and the garbage? And, definitely find out if there are any restrictions on where the DJ or other entertainment can or can't be set up!
Until next time!
So perhaps attempting to start a blog during wedding season and with a new baby was a bit of a long shot! But, now that most of my weddings are completed and the baby is napping (yay!) I thought I better sit down and write something.
I thought I would tell you all about a difficult bride that I'm dealing with right now. One who is very opinionated, knows exactly what she wants and isn't good at listening to the thoughts of anyone else. Her and her fiance have been engaged since 2013 and they have only just recently decided on a venue and a date. It took some searching but they finally found what they were looking for, Here's to hoping that now we can get started on the rest of the plans. This will probably be my biggest wedding planning challenge yet but I can't get rid of her. This bride... well, she's me!
When Jason proposed on Christmas Day in 2013, he did a fantastic job of surprising me. I'm not exaggerating when I say that I had NO clue what was about to happen. Of course, we had talked about marriage but the engagement part had never been discussed. When we told everyone, the first question was "When?" and the second question was usually "Are you going to hire a wedding planner?",. I know people asked that as a joke but in all seriousness, I will definitely have a day of coordinator. I know how busy I am the day of weddings behind the scenes and I don't want to be doing all of that running around in between photos, the ceremony, having fun with my guests and in a wedding dress to boot!
As mentioned, we just recently got around to deciding on a date and booking a venue... I'm looking at you June 4, 2016! When we first got engaged, I was working on 15+ other weddings so naturally mine got pushed to the bottom of the pile. Then about three months after, I got pregnant and we decided to wait to do anything until after the baby was born (and for those of you who don't know, Griffin Jagger Jones was born on December 27, 2014! He will be one adorable ring bearer if I do say so myself.).
Being a wedding planner and planning my own wedding has brought on it's own set of challenges. When I am hired by a couple and I'm working for them, it is very important to me that they feel I am planning their wedding... not mine. I want them to have what they want and not feel pressured into something that someone else likes. This is the same for my own wedding. I really want to feel like this is mine (and Jason's of course!) and not a wedding that I have already planned. It's amazing how much my vision of my wedding day has changed since I started in this business in 2011. To be totally honest, another challenge I'm having is which vendors to hire. It's not like I am lacking in knowledge of who is great in their respective fields but it seems like I have too many fantastic options. I've made some really great connections and friendships with some of these people and, for lack of a better way to explain it, I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings since I can't hire them all!
So, to end this post I will apologize in advance to anyone who has to deal with my very certain ways that I want things... I will do my best to listen to opinions! I hear Griffin starting to wake up as well but please watch for most posts on how a wedding planner plans her own wedding!
Talk to you later,
Well, here I go! I've been talking about starting a blog for a while now and today is the day! I realized it's one thing to just post pictures of all the great weddings I get to be part of but there is also so many fantastic back stories that I want to be able to share with you as well. I'm also going to start posting on what it's like for me, a wedding planner, to plan my own wedding! Look out for that coming soon! Can't wait to show you some behind the scenes fun!
Creating more that just a party. Planning celebrations for a lifetime. Wedding and event planner in Vancouver, BC .