magazine | Weddings | Tips + Advice

These Event Pros Want You to Forget What You Know About Wedding Planning

In March, WED – a first-of-its-kind wedding planning workshop – was hosted in Boston at the Artists For Humanity center to teach couples real, concrete ways to build a realistic budget based on what services cost, understand their personal wedding style and get creative ideas for how to impress their guests.

Wedding planning: you can create all the Pinterest boards in the world, have everything designed to a tee on paper, and know exactly how you envision the day to go, until it's time to make it all a reality. Weddings are expensive, very expensive and it's easy to get caught in the crosshairs of expecations vs. reality. Suddenly, wedding planning may not be what you envisioned and you need help. That's exactly the reason Natalie Pinney and Moira Thompson of Whim Events started WED: they saw couple after couple experience the misguided information that surrounds wedding planning.

We recently sat down with Natalie and Moira to get all the details about why couples should be empowered by real planning information, and got wedding planning tips from several of the event professionals who spoke at WED
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Wedding Planning: Reality vs. Expectations

The vast majority of couples spend upwards of 200 hours planning their wedding and underestimate their realistic budget by nearly 40%. That’s something we - as professionals - simply can’t ignore! Nothing replaces real experiences to learn, so we wanted to develop something that would provide couples with real, transparent information that would actually help them make more informed choices during the planning process and enjoy the journey. - Natalie Pinney and Moira Thompson
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Don’t Trust Everything You Read Online

Online resources have little context as to where you may be marrying - weddings near a major city typically cost much more than the ‘national averages’ you may see online. This sets couples up for failure from the start. Or, most online timelines say to send invitations out 8 weeks before the big day. Well, the ‘pro’ standard is 10-12 weeks so then you can have adequate time to map out the floorplan and seating (rather than scrambling the week before). - ​Natalie Pinney and Moira Thompson
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Don’t Spend on Non-Essentials

Prioritizing is key to making sure you allocate your budget appropriately, to avoid spending on things that aren’t essential and won’t contribute to that wow-factor guests will remember. - ​Natalie Pinney and Moira Thompson
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Where to Spend, Where to Save

Teissia Treynet and Alia Wilson of Firefly Events shared their ultimate budget planning and timeline tools from The Firefly Method for Couples but also great recommendations for how to balance budget with beauty. Like, how semi-custom paper suites are on the rise and why they would never, ever skimp on photography. An easy way to combat overspending? Limit your guestlist to VIPs and you’ll have more flexibility to treat them well.
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Consider the Logistics of Your Venue

Molly Hartman of Rye Workshop shared why your venue is the strongest thread that will dictate the wedding style and vision. But also the logistical side - where will you set up a bar? How will tables be set up so that it has the best flow? Will guests enter the space in a unique way? Also, avoid ‘cost-sucking’ elements like if you really like the space but hate the wallpaper and feel the need to cover it with large floral installs. Pick the venue for its existing features that you’ll build the vision around!
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Always, Always Buffer Your Timeline

Lauren Fremont of Loli Events focused on how couples can alleviate those final stressors by getting things checked off your to-do list ahead of time, so they can enjoy the final few weeks as well as the wedding day to the fullest. How important is proper day-of timeline planning? Essential. Lauren shared how buffer time can save headaches about arriving to the ceremony late if you hit unexpected traffic or hair/makeup runs overtime. Or, how to make sure you’re not surprised by last-minute costs like guest welcome bags, gratuity for select vendors, lunch for your bridal party as you’re getting ready.
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Small Details Lead to Big Guest Experiences

Our keynote, Aleah and Nick Valley of Valley & Company Events shared how couples can envision the guest experience and how small details can make a big impact. For instance, on a journey from the ceremony location across a large open field to the tented reception, they created a simple display with farmers boxes of fresh cherries that delighted guests - they couldn’t stop talking about them! Check out their newest book, Storied Weddings for more.
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