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5 Common Misconceptions When Planning Your Wedding

Photo: StepOnMe Photography


1. That you have to please every person.
This is a tough one. It happens to every couple planning a wedding. The moment when you realize that you can’t please everyone, it’s just not possible. This occurs when you’re choosing your date, venue, bridal party, color scheme, wardrobe, and when making plans for your bridal shower & bachelorette parties. It’s always nice to be considerate of your family and friends, but the bottom line is this is your wedding. Make choices that will make you and your spouse happy.


2. Overestimating the size of the ballroom you will need per your guest count.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve walked into venues with couples and discovered that they’ve chosen a space that is way too large for their guest count. Having a room that’s too large can very easily kill the energy and mood of your entire reception. Ever wonder why dance clubs are small? This is why. People want to feel cozy and not on display. A ballroom that has large gaps between the tables, and a giant dance floor leads to very low energy as guests feel intimated and too awkward to converse with other tables or get on the dance floor.

Photo: StepOnMe Photography

 
3. Couples often miscount the number of invitations needed.
Remember every person on your guest list does not receive an invitation. Many of the people on your guest list are couples or families, you only need to order one invitation per household. This is a big money saver.


4. Underestimating the timing of your guests.
This is especially important if you’re planning for your ceremony and reception to be in different locations. For example, if you’re having a church ceremony often the church will require you to have your ceremony early in the day and typically couples don’t want to start their reception until later in the afternoon/early evening. It’s unrealistic to think that your guests will go back home after the ceremony. It’s very common that your guests will go straight to the reception following the ceremony. This can be problematic for the venue, as your guests will be arriving too early and the venue will not be ready to start serving them yet. In these types of circumstances, you’ll need to plan for something for your guests to do during the window of time in between.

Photo: StepOnMe Photography


5. Knowing what you’re doing during the entire planning process.
Couples become overwhelmed very easily. They often think that planning a wedding will be a simple process. They find themselves frustrated when they don’t understand things and have questions. Remember it’s okay not to know everything, it’s a lot of information and a lot of components. That is why it is important to hire professional vendors, they will guide you through this process.
 
Until next time,
Jennifer Starr, J.Starr Stylized Weddings

Choose What Matters Most...First

Photography by Brooke Photography
Floral by Flower Bar
At the JW Marriott Desert Ridge
For Arizona's Finest Wedding Sites & Services Magazine


Happy Wednesday Lovelies!

Alright... Let's talk about what matters most to you.

Planning a Wedding can put an immense amount of pressure on a couple. Many times couple feel like they have to "out do" everything that they've ever seen before. But I'm telling you all... Please do not to put that kind of extra pressure on yourselves because the truth is, if you "out do" everything, nothing will ever stand out.

I would like to encourage you to choose the two things that matter most to you. Is it the venue? Guest count? Is it the photography? Or is it the overall design and style? Is it the culinary experience?

Put some solid thought into it and whatever those two things may be, stick with them and really focus in on making them extra special! Focus on those two things, and be willing to compromise on other areas.

For example, if you know that the most important thing to you is being able to invite everyone then think about about offering your guests a modest dinner, such as a plated chicken dish and perhaps a cash bar instead of an open bar.

If you desire to put a big focus on the catering of your wedding then consider choosing a venue that already offers a beautiful setting. Find one that doesn't require you to add an enormous amount of additional decor.

If entertainment is your number one factor and you want to hire a live band, think about choosing non-floral arrangements for your centerpieces (candles, antique books, lanterns, etc.)

The bottom line is... It's your day. If you truly put your personality into the details, your wedding day will shine and be incredibly unique to all those that attend.

Much Love,

Jennifer Starr, J. Starr Stylized Weddings

Choosing Wedding Vendors

Happy Friday Lovlies!
After the date is set, the venue is selected, your wedding “foundation” is laid… it’s time to choose wedding vendors.  Start with the core vendors, the vendors you must have.
1.) Photographer
2.) Caterer (if the venue does not provide on-site catering)
3.) Entertainment
4.) Florist

Before choosing wedding vendors be sure to consult with your wedding planner. Wedding planners usually have preferred vendor lists of creative professionals they’ve worked with in the past who provide incredible talent and great service to their couples.  When researching each potential vendor, review their online portfolio, reviews and overall online presence… do you like what you see? Do they seem like people that would take great care of you on one of the most expensive days of your life?  Because they certainly should!
After narrowing down the vendors who’s work you admire most, then review pricing. Do not look at pricing first.  Often times couples will allow pricing to interfere with their first impression and by doing so will overlook the vendors personality, style and reviews.  Next, consult with a planner on your wedding budget and the cost of each vendor.  Your planner will educate you on which vendor you should allow more money for depending on your overall wedding day vision.

Your next step will be to meet with your vendors.  When you book my full service collection, I actually attend your meetings with your “core” vendors.  Meeting your vendors face to face is incredibly important.  It’s a chance to get to know their personalities, potentially see their work “in person,” listen to their stories, advice and ideas.

Lastly and most importantly, go with your gut. How did the vendors make your feel?  Did you feel special?  Did you feel welcomed?  Do you feel like you trust these people?  Did this vendor make you feel comfortable?  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve talked to couples who booked vendors that didn’t make them feel these things.  Instead they simply booked them because they were inexpensive, or their friend used them, or the vendor was pushy and you felt obligated to book after meeting with them.

Let’s Recap:
1.) Review Wedding Planner’s Preferred Vendor List
2.) Review Each Companies’ Online Presence (Portfolio, Reviews, Personality)
3.) Review Pricing with Wedding Planner
4.) Meet in Person
5.) Go With Your Gut

I’ll say it again… go with your gut.  These people will be in your lives for a long time during the planning process, they need to make your wedding wlanning experience easier, not more difficult.  You only get to throw one wedding day and it’s the most expensive celebration you will ever host… you deserve to have a vendor team who genuinely cares about your wedding day as much as you do.

Until next time,
Jennifer Starr, J. Starr Stylized Weddings

"Going With Your Gut When Choosing Vendors"

(Photo By: Brie Marie Photographers)
 

After the date is set, the venue is selected, your wedding "foundation" is laid...it's time to select your vendors.  Start with the core vendors, the vendors you must have. 

1.) Photographer
2.) Caterer (if the venue does not provide on-site catering)
3.) Entertainment
4.) Florist

Before doing this be sure to consult with your Wedding Planner (if not myself, then another fabulous planner.) Wedding Planners usually have preferred vendor lists of creative professionals they've worked with in the past who provide incredible talent and great service to their couples.  Review each companies' online portfolio, reviews, online presence.  Do you like what you see?  Do they seem like people that would take great care of you on one of the most expensive days of your life?  Because they certainly should. 

After narrowing down the vendors who's work your admire most, then review pricing. Do not look at pricing first.  Often times couples will allow pricing to interfere with their first impression, and by doing so will overlook the vendors personality, style, and reviews.  Next consult with a planner on your Wedding budget and the cost of each vendor.  Your Planner will educate you on which vendor you should allow more money for depending on your overall Wedding Day vision. 

Next, meet with your vendors.  When you book my full service collection, I actually attend your meetings with your "core" vendors.  Meeting your vendors face to face is incredibly important.  It's a chance to get to know their personalities, potentially see their work "in person", hear their voices, listen to their stories, advice, and ideas.

Lastly and most importantly, go with your gut.  How did the vendors make your feel?  Did you feel special?  Did you feel welcomed?  Do you feel like you trust these people?  Did this vendor make you feel comfortable.  I can't tell you how many times I've talked to couples who booked vendors that didn't make them feel these things.  Instead they simply booked them because they were inexpensive, or their friend used them, or the vendor was pushy and you felt obligated to book after meeting with them. 

Let's Recap:
1.) Review Wedding Planner's Preferred Vendor List
2.) Review Each Companies' Online Presence (Portfolio, Reviews, Personality)
3.) Review Pricing with Wedding Planner
4.) Meet in Person
5.) Go With Your Gut

I'll say it again...go with your gut.  These people will be in your lives for a long time during the planning process, they need to make your Wedding Planning experience easier, not more difficult.  You only get to throw one Wedding Day, and it's the most expensive celebration you will ever host....you deserve to have a vendor team who genuinely cares about your Wedding Day as much as you do. 

 

"After The Engagement"

Getting Engaged is incredibly exciting....but often times can be followed up by much stress and feeling completely overwhelmed.  Today I thought I would share some tips on how to enjoy this time period...specifically the time period between after the engagement and before you book your venue.

1.) Celebrate!  Celebrate your engagement. This is a milestone within itself.  This is important.  Savor this time.  Tell your family and friends.  People love hearing good news, especially in person or over the phone if possible. 


2.) Journal about the Proposal....write down how it happened, what words were said, how you felt, where it took place, what you were wearing...All the details, the funny ones, embarrassing ones, even the "non fairytale like" details...Write about it.  It's life, it's real, it's your story, and it will grow more precious with time.


3.) Announce Your Engagement/Share your Photos.... of the proposal, the ring, anything that contributes to your story.


4.)  Don't Answer Questions....unless they are about the Proposal.  It's normal that you will start getting bombarded with questions (typically by the most random people) when's the date?are we invited? do I have to dress up? you need to let me know the date right away so I can plan ahead! what are your colors?are you going to have a hosted bar? 


5.) Get Your Ring Sized (and Insured)...if needed.  And yes, often times this means you have to part with your brand new sparkly ring for a few days, it's a bummer...but better than it slipping off your finger and losing it permanently.


6.) Ignore the Opinions... It's often at this time that people want to share with you everything that's ever gone wrong at a wedding they've attended.....It's often for them to start telling you what and what not to do. Laugh it off.


7.) Day Dream....Yes, its perfectly fine to buy some bridal magazines, peruse Pinterest, have fun.  This time period is meant to be fun...the hard part comes later...enjoy right now.  Don't succumb to the pressure, there's plenty of time for all the decisions to made soon.


8.) Meet with a Wedding Planner...Most Planners offer a complimentary consultation (myself included) This is a crucial time to meet with a planner as they can begin to direct you.  BIG decisions are ahead of you....establishing a budget, creating a vision, and knowing how many guests you anticipate inviting are key elements that must be discussed before booking your venue.  Booking a professional can save you money, time, and your sanity. 

If at all humanly possible don't try to start planning the wedding the same week you get engaged...give yourself some to time to let everything soak it.  You have big life changes ahead of you....celebrate the beginning stages. 

 

"How to Enjoy Your Wedding Day"

1.) Remove the Word "Perfect" from Your Vocabulary...."I want my Wedding Day to be Perfect"... There will be something that doesn't go perfectly on your wedding day, regardless of how perfectly it's planned. Know this ahead of time, and when it happens, embrace it.  The little hiccups are what makes your story....your story. 
~Your sister is running late....

~Your neighbors brought their KIDS, even though the invite was clearly addressed to Mr. and Mrs
~Your bridesmaid's hair style looks hideous

 When you're mixing over one hundred humans together on a day that is deemed to be "perfect" your setting yourself up for disappointment....be prepared for the unexpected, when it happens laugh it off and go on with your fabulous day.

2.) EAT.  It’s easy not to feel like eating when your stomach is full of butterflies…but you must EAT.  Eat breakfast, lunch, dinner…and PLEASE make sure you get to enjoy a slice of your heavenly Wedding Cake! 
 
3.)  Make Sure Your Timeline for the Day is Realistically Timed.  This is one of the MOST important jobs of a Wedding Planner & Vendor Team is ensuring that the Bride & Groom's Wedding is set up for success by incorporating all the important aspects into a detailed timeline.

4.)  Put the Phone Away...For the exception of a few getting ready "selfies" put the phone away!  Change your outgoing voicemail to list your Wedding Planners phone number....and surrender.  At this point all your planning is DONE.  The last thing you need is pokey relatives calling you the day of the wedding asking you directions to the venue. 

5.)  Take a Moment to Take it All In.... Before walking down the aisle....Your Wedding Planner should take a moment to slip you into the Venue to see all of your stunning details come to life.