Posts in Pro Planning Tips
How To Prepare For Rain On Your Wedding Day
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Let’s face it…no one wants for it to rain on their wedding day. But let’s also be real, weather is the one unpredictable variable when it comes to planning a wedding.

As a planner, I’m hard wired to prepare for all types of scenarios and situations. I can take one simple action and visualize the ripple effect of changes that will happen as a result. Rain is no exception!

Often times with the weddings I plan, there’s a portion of the evening that happens outdoors. Whether this be the couples ceremony, cocktail hour, or reception 9/10 times my couples love those open air vibes. So, naturally, during our planning, we’re envisioning the most perfect Plan A day! We have the sun shining, the breeze ever so slight, and the temperature mild and comfortable so that no one breaks a sweat.

Sounds great, right?

Of course it does! But in reality, my job as a planner is to set realistic expectations with my couples. So while we’re all aiming for a perfect Plan A day, it’s my job to walk them through how we’re going to handle Plan B…just in case.

For me, it all comes down to a few things: your mindset, your mood, and your full trust.

  1. Your Mindset
    It’s one thing for it to be raining on your wedding day. It’s another for it to be raining on your wedding day and you having no clue what to do next. This is where setting expectations comes in handy!

    With my couples, it all starts with a simple conversation. It’s important for me to gauge their priorities and figure out their different levels of comforts and discomforts when it comes down to it.


    Asking the right questions to help re-train their original way of thinking is my planner trick. It’s my job to make it seem like the rain isn’t so scary after all! It’s just a part of their story that we’re needing to figure out the ending to together.

    Once they feel comfortable that I have a clear understanding of their “do's” and “don’ts” they feel much more confident moving forward that no amount of rain will drown out their love come wedding day.

    After our discussion, we’ll create a whole new set of diagrams and logistics that match the plan we all feel confident with moving forward. This will be in our back pockets in case Mother Nature decides to play games with us. All of your vendors will have been briefed with Plan B and all that’s left to do is execute— just like in a perfect Plan A scenario!

  2. Your Mood
    As extra cheesy as it may sound…attitude really is everything!

    Now that we’ve shifted your mindset on rain into a more calm and comfortable one, there aren’t any surprises. Since you know and have approved of the plan, all that’s left to do is play storm watcher and wait until it’s “go time”.

    There’s always a tinge of disappointment when it comes to a rainy wedding day— and that’s completely normal. But remembering that the end goal remains the same should wipe away any negative feelings you may have about a little water in the skies.

    After all, you’re marrying your best friend! What could be better than that?

  3. Your Full Trust
    As a planner, I am a firm believe in decency, honesty, and trust. I will treat your wedding as if it were my own and, in turn, I will always tell my couples what I would do if I were in their shoes and allow them to make the best decision for them from there.

    At this point in our planning, my couples and I have gotten extremely close. I know what they eat for lunch of Tuesdays and I know what their go to drinks are after a hard day. It’s an absolutely beautiful thing.

    So, with that being said, their full trust is all I ask. I ask that they allow me to take on the burdens of their stress and let me work my planner magic knowing that I have the best intentions, their priorities, and their vision close to my heart.

Transportation: Is It Necessary?
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Transportation…it’s a tricky one! Depending on the location of your wedding venue it’s either a no-brainer YES or one of those items you really just aren’t sure about. When it comes to transportation, there always seems to be grey area.

My goal for this blog is to break it down for you while keeping three things in mind—- your venue’s location/accessibility, budget, and your guests safety.

Let’s get started!

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Venue Location & Accessibility

I serve two main markets as a wedding planner, those being the DC metro area and Charlottesville, Virginia. Both have two very different vibes and very different venue styles.

The DC metro area has most things readily accessible. There are plenty of prime attractions, bars and restaurants within walking distance of most venues/hotels and, for the sake of this blog, many convenient public transportation options available. There are endless Lyfts, Uber’s, and Taxi’s for all of your guests to grab within minutes; it’s an affordable option for your guests to consider when planning for your wedding weekend.

Charlottesville, on the other hand, doesn’t have it so lucky when it comes to convenience and accessibility. Most venues in Charlottesville are in remote locations on top of a mountain you have to travel down windy and unlit dirt roads to get to. (Though I promise, they’re always worth the trips!) When you take into consideration venues like these, your guests face two challenges: cell service (there often is none) and transportation availability (many Lyfts, Uber’s, and taxi services won’t go to such remote locations—- so your guests end of stuck and stranded!) Not the best way to end and otherwise perfect wedding day.

Budget

Though many of my couples are often surprised by this, transportation can be pricey! As a planner, I try to be as transparent with my couples as possible. Setting expectations up front is key!

Regardless of your market, transportation prices can add up quickly. Some companies charge by the hour, while others will charge based on the total number of trips.

Pro tip: Find a company who charges by the hour! Through my years of planning I’ve found the hourly rates more reasonable than the per trip rates. Why? Typically you can squeeze multiple shuttle runs within your allotted hours. This eliminates the need for more shuttle buses, which cuts down on your costs, and transports more of your guests!

Your Guests Safety

Weddings are fun…we all know this! The weekend is full of celebrating with the ones you love the most; and with celebrating comes the drinking! (Nothing wrong with it!) But when your guests are indulging and having a great time, it’s nice to take the pressure off of them in some capacity by offering them a safe ride home.

If your wedding venue is in a well populated location like the DC metro area, there are plenty of public transportation options nearby for them to call within minutes. But if you’ve chosen a more remote location like the ones in Charlottesville, the worst feeling for your guests after an awesome night of celebrations would be being stranded, on top of a mountain…intoxicated.

In this scenario, help them out by pre-planning safe shuttles home! They’ll be well worth the dollars you spend by ending the night on a happy high!

Photo Credit: Nikki Santerre (top), Molly Lichten (bottom)

First Looks: To Look? Or Not to Look?
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To look? Or not to look? I often find that being a big question for my couples.

With some, the choice is easy. “YES! Let’s do all of the looks!” While others are the “They’ll first see me when he/she walks down the aisle” type. Trust me, I get both sides (and will insert my opinion later…keep reading!)

When it comes down to it, first looks are a matter of one of two things to me: nerves/feelings or timing. Why? Let’s break it down.

Nerves/Feelings

If you’re anything like me, you’re a naturally anxious human being. Yes, I may be cool, calm and collected on the outside, but when it comes to anything formal or serious I actually start to build a nervous sweat. Even with weddings! No matter how many I have under my belt, the feeling is all the same— as wedding weekend approaches (as it all too quickly does) I start doing this excited, overly analytical, anxious little wiggle. (Everything’s gotta be perfect, right? Pressure’s on!)

The same can be said for couples, I’m sure!

Imagine this…you’ve been planning your wedding for the better part of a year. All the while, during the making of your biggest decisions, you’ve had your person to lean on. You’ve discussed, you’ve consulted together, and you’ve come to mutual agreements on (_________insert topic).; and just like that, the decision is made. Your fears are forgotten and your mind is at ease. You both are confident that you’ve done the right thing…together.

Now, what about on wedding day? It’s the biggest moment in your relationship to date. In the past, you’ve been through everything as a couple. You’ve made the hard decisions and you’ve worked through your anxieties as one. So, what now? Your nerves are getting the best of you, your sweat (if you’re me) is beginning to build and before the madness hits you’d rather find comfort in your person than in that last sip of champagne.

But, do you give in to your comforts and see your person then or wait until “the one moment” finally arrives? The struggle is real.

Timing

Depending on what season you get married, this may change you view on a first look as well.

Weddings in the warmer months have longer days; while weddings in the winter are out of luck when it comes to long hours in the sun. The longer you have those beautiful daylight hours, the more photo opts are at your disposal (both before and after ceremony). For winter weddings, unless your ceremony is is the early afternoon, you run the risk of it being completely dark after your ceremony for any outdoor photos you may have in mind.

My Thoughts?

I am a pro first look planner. The way I see it, first looks allow for you to spend more actual time together on your wedding day. Yes, you also get the added bonus of calming your nerves and taking more photos; but to me the quality time is what really matters the most.

The way I set up first looks as a planner is with the couple’s privacy fully in mind. I will be there to stage, setup and support you both, but after that it’s important for you to take the 30-45 minutes together solo (with photography silently shooting away).

This will be one of the only moments you’ll have privately together to just enjoy one another before the rush of guests and “congratulations, we love you so much!”’s start to flow!

But who am I? This is your wedding. Do it your way!

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Wedding Planning 101: From A Bride's Eye
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One of my sweet, sweet brides wrote a post I just had to share. Her and I go way back to our high school days and after a decade apart and away we've reconnected byway of planning!

Oh, how the times have changed!

In honor of her upcoming wedding (THIS WEEKEND!!) I wanted to share her 5 takeaways from her planning journey and add my commentary and thoughts into the mix. 

 

 

Step 1: Hire a Planner

One of the most common misconceptions about wedding planners is that they are a luxury service and expense added to your already stretched out budget. In reality, planners are an essential part of your budget that will help you make wise and informed decisions along the way.

We're a necessary part of your planning journey that, when hiring the right planner, can potentially save you thousands

 

Step 2: Get Organized

Are you paper or digitally motivated? Whatever your method, stick to it! Being organized is one of the key parts of successful planning. With so many people and details involved it's easy to get lost. 

Creating a separate email account specifically for planning purposes is a good way to streamline your communication. (It's also helps to keep your lives separate from constantly being in wedding planning mode! Check your emails when intended, but turn off your notifications otherwise. Everyone needs to check out every now and then.) 

A binder with tabbed dividers is another helpful trick! Create a category for each of your vendors. Print all of your vendor contracts and proposals to have them all conveniently in one place.

Fun Fact: When you hire Angelica & Co. we keep organized for you as one less planning hassle! We utilize our online planning platform to keep all of your details organized and accessible remotely, and keep hard copies in our files (just in case)!

 

Step 3: Remember Your Reasons

One of the very first questions I ask my couples is "how are you at a point in your lives where you've come to having a conversation with a wedding planner?" ...Seems pretty simple, right?

Often times, it takes my couples by surprise. They're wrapped up in the idea of the wedding, what it'll look like, and how it'll be, that when we go back to basics and talk about them and their relationship its refreshing. 

I mean, that's why we're both here right? To celebrate your love and get you married!

So when the going gets tough, remember your reasons. Your end goal remains the same, regardless of the steps and outcomes in between. At the end of this all, you will be married to the love of your life.

 

Step 4: Take Advantage of Credit Card Perks!

Pesky little things like budgets don't always have to bring you down. They can actually get you further ahead and on the right foot after you're married!

Signing up for a credit card with perks is the way to go! Prioritize what's important to you both and chose a card that let's you reap all of those benefits. 

My Recommendation: Get a travel card and use the points spent on your wedding towards your honeymoon! 

 

Step 5: Be Mindful of Your Budget

Keeping yourself in check in harder than you think. If you've hired a planner, they'll help you back off the ledge!

With my couples, I let them start big and tell me all of their wildest wedding dreams. It's a great brainstorming session to see where their mind naturally is going. From there, depending on their budget, I'm able to recommend alternatives (if needed) to give them to same visual/effect that's within their budget's means.

Pro Tip: Never underestimate the power of asking questions! Don't be afraid to speak your mind and say if something is either too much or less than what you're hoping for. Planning is all about open communication, with the best of it being done with clients that turn into best friends!