How To Find The Perfect Wedding Planner

Finding your perfect Wedding Planner is key to making all your wedding dreams come true. There are so many overwhelming factors that go into planning a wedding. With all the excitement that comes with this adventure you and your partner are about to embark on, you want to enjoy your day and leave all the stressful, not fun mumbo jumbo to the professionals. Trust me, I am speaking from experience! Since this is my area of expertise, I thought I would share essential tips to use when looking for your perfect planner.

Style

When searching for your planner, make sure you choose someone that fits your style. Check out their website and social media platforms to see photos of past weddings they have worked on and see if they portray the vision you have for your big day. It’s okay to have a few consultations with different planners to make sure your personalities mesh, and you understand each other. You will be spending a lot of time with this person, and they will be a part of important intimate moments.

Testimonials

Hearing from other bride’s experiences is a great way to narrow down your right fit. Most wedding planners have testimonials on their websites or social media platforms. If they don’t have any shown, ask for some. Having confidence in who you are hiring is key.

Venue Recommendations

If you already have the location for your wedding, usually, they will have a list of all types of vendors, including wedding planners that they work with often. Asking the venue could be a place to start, and it’s nice to have someone familiar with the site.

Budget

Being upfront about your overall budget is very important. In your consultation, that should be one of the first questions the planner asks. A good wedding planner will be knowledgeable in all areas of budget planning. They will be able to stretch your budget to get the most out of what you want to spend.

Key Points To Keep In Mind

Keep an eye out for a design style that matches yours, read testimonials from past brides. There are different options when choosing your planning packages.

Popular terms for planning packages:
Full-service– the planner is with you through the entire process from start to finish.
Wedding Management – The planner is only there to help with all the final touches with your planning and coordination on your wedding day.

Now you have the tools to start searching for your wedding planner. This is such an exciting, memorable time, and I hope this helps you pick the PERFECT planner for you!

Happy Planning!

Xo Rebecca Calagna

Owner & Principal Planner- Rebecca Calagna Events

Wedding Glossary Terms

Wedding Glossary Terms

Applique- This is a term while dress shopping. Appliques are pieces of lace or other fabric creating a textured 3D effect.


Black Tie- A Black Tie affair will be indicated on the invitation. A typical Black Tie will take place after 6pm and men dress in tuxedos and women wear formal cocktail dresses or long, formal, evening gowns for the affair.


Black Tie Optional- Black Tie Optional means dressing slightly more casual, as in men wear suits and women can choose between long or short gowns.

Bustle- A tailoring trick, including loops, buttons or ribbons used to pull up and hold the train for easier movement.

Chuppah- A structure consisting of a cloth canopy and four poles used in Jewish wedding ceremonies.

Destination Wedding- A great way to share a favorite place with your guests. Any location that you or your guests will book a hotel at the end of the night. Usually ranging from an hour or two away to a different state or country.

Escort Cards- Cards placed at the entrance of the reception, directing a guest to their assigned table. A single sign with information is also an option to direct guests.

First Look- A chance for you and your significant other to discover your big-day attire and spend time together before the ceremony.

First Look Wedding Photo

Fondant- An edible sugary dough used to give cakes a smooth and sleek exterior.

Golden Hour- A favorite time for photographs is just before sunset according to photographers. The soft lighting is perfect for post-ceremony portraits.

Head Table- This table is larger and reserved for the wedding party including the Bride and groom, and/or their families.

Sweetheart Table- A small table that accommodates the bride and groom only.

In-House Catering- This type of catering is food and beverage handled by the venue versus an outside catering vendor.
Invitation Suite- An invitation suite is everything the guest needs to know about your wedding. This package usually includes a save the date, invitation, and RSVP Card, most times also feature directions to the wedding and reception venue.

Open Bar- A full bar including beer, wine, and liquor is offered to guests. This is the most expensive option to serve liquor, so other budget creativity is welcomed.

Place card- A card with the guest’s name telling them exactly where to sit after arriving at their specific table.

Guest Table Place Cards

Plus One- A plus one give the wedding guest the opportunity to invite a date or another person.

Queen Ann Neckline- A neckline flattering the face. This neckline is supporte3d by a high back with sleeves, showing off the collarbone, a beautiful compromise showing a modest amount of skin.

Rehearsal Dinner- A pre-wedding event taking place after the wedding rehearsal. This dinner includes the wedding couple along with their wedding party, and immediate members of their families. The guest list for this dinner is not closed and the couple often invite other guests too.

Recessional- The music played at the couple’s final exit.

Trial- A chance to visualize your wedding day look. Common trials include hair and makeup, or florists. Often other vendors will offer glances into their services also.

Vendor- A wedding professional who provides a service or product to someone hosting a wedding, such as music DJs, florist, photographer, and make-up/hair stylists.

Yichud (Jewish)- A secluded time the wedding couple spends together immediately following the ceremony. A time to reflect on their upcoming life together, etc., just before joining the guests for the reception and a time to celebrate.

Walk Through- A venue tour. There are two types of walk-throughs; the first is to tour the venue, ask questions before signing a contract, and reserve a date. Before the wedding day, the other tour is an opportunity to fine-tune your space and vision for the day.

Wedding Planner- An individual who coordinates your wedding from start to finish, such as RCA. This individual professionally plans your wedding from pre-planning to running the show on your day.

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So You Want To Be A Wedding Planner?

So you want to become a Wedding Planner? Think long and hard about this decision because it is not glitz and glamour or playing with pretty things and flowers all day long. It is a tough job. You might have just rolled your eyes and thought, “Yah, right, Rebecca!” but let me explain. In reality, planning a wedding takes a ton of time, energy, and stress. Wedding Planning is always on the list of the Top 5 most stressful jobs around the World, and experts say that it takes over 400 hours to plan a Wedding. Now, remember, in order to have a successful business, you are planning MANY, MANY weddings at the same time. 

When someone hires a “wedding planner,” They are hiring an expert who wears many hats—one of them being a counselor or family mediator. You have to be willing to help sort out wedding-related problems while keeping all parties happy, involved, feeling heard, and loved. We are therapists, secretaries, fixers of all things, designers, actors, magicians, accountants, project managers, fashion stylists, mediators, seamstresses, financial advisors, referees, communications directors, general contractors, customer service experts, travel agent, etiquette expert, and extreme multi-tasker. 

Here are some of the duties you might not have considered a Wedding Planner does: 

  • Schedule client meetings for them
  • Vendor communication and liaison
  • Meetings and Consultations
  • Etiquette advisement
  • RSVP tracking
  • Bride/Groom Reminders
  • Managing unruly guests
  • Sending invitations
  • Creating wedding websites
  • Vendor confirmations 
  • Wedding day schedule/timelines
  • Ceremony coordination/rehearsal
  • Overseeing soundcheck
  • Vetting potential vendors
  • Wedding day coordination
  • Reviewing contracts
  • Site tours and tastings
  • Oversee rentals and decor
  • Family mediator
  • Expert advice-giver in all things weddings
  • Pin on boutonnieres 
  • Sew dress mishaps 
  • Coordinate bride, groom, family, guests, and vendors 
  • Coordinate grand exit
  • Load/Unload heavy items 
  • Move items from location to location
  • Steam a dress
  • Make sure everything is set up correctly – be the visionary and the detail person
  • Remain level headed and calm
  • Run errands for forgotten items
  • Always be prepared with a backup plan – think quick on your feet
  • Double-check others work

Is Wedding Planning Your Passion?

The moral of the story here is, do not embark on a Wedding Planning career unless you are absolutely passionate about it. If you are not passionate about it, the job can leave you overwhelmed and burnt out very quickly. I will leave you with this article from Planner’s Lounge: 12 reasons NOT to become a Wedding Planner. 

With all that being said and I didn’t scare you off quite yet, please contact me regarding The RC Plan, Wedding Planning Mentorship program! 

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Venue Coordinator VS Wedding Coordinator

Weddings are a dream come true and one of the most memorable days of your life. With there being so many titles in the industry, couples end up confused about who does what and often thinks they won’t need a wedding coordinator (also called a planner) because their venue has a venue coordinator (also called a venue manager). 

The venue plays a huge part in your wedding day, as does a Wedding Coordinator. To have a well-executed wedding day, you will need both a Wedding Coordinator AND a Venue Coordinator. These two professionals work together to produce a day free of stress and made for pleasant memories. 

            Wedding Coordinators and Venue Coordinators are different positions, and each has separate responsibilities which work together on your perfect day. A Venue Coordinator oversees everything taking place at the venue of choice. They are accountable for seating set-up, management of food and beverage supplied by the venue, electricity up and running, etc., including the venue’s complete cleanliness. They work exclusively for the venue. 

            A Wedding Coordinator works with the entire bridal party and all outside vendors. A Wedding Coordinator takes care of the set-up and clean-up of personal items and does this while focusing on and following a precise timeline of events. The Wedding Coordinator has an allegiance to the Bride and Groom and represents your wishes on the Wedding day. 

             Truth being, there might be some slight overlap in duties, but both jobs work hand in hand to make sure your day runs smoothly. RC Events team loves the venue coordinators we work with and know we could not do our job without them. We hope this diagram provided will help you understand the differences. If you think you would like the benefits and peace of mind that comes with knowing you have a team of professionals on your side, reach out to us.

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The Perfect Wedding Anniversary Gift For Her At Every Decade

The Perfect Wedding Anniversary Gift For Her At Every Decade

Your wedding planner is right by your side during the planning process and your big day. But, after the cake has been cut and the last song has played, we go our separate ways. Husbands, this little piece of wedding anniversary gifting advice is for you!

Your first anniversary gift can be anything from a weekend getaway, to a pair of designer heels. We’re sure you could think of a list of gifts that would make your wife’s heart melt. But, what would set your tenth and twentieth wedding anniversary gifts apart from the rest? All you need to do is think like Nicholas Sparks and take our advice. This list of gift ideas will help you make your wife gush at every decade.

Wedding Anniversary Gift Ideas For Her

10 Years of Marriage

Take her on a dream vacation. Your wife might like hiking or city life… wherever her dream spot is, TAKE HER THERE! After 10 years of marriage you have experienced many firsts as a couple.  There is something to be said about how precious quality time is. The best gift you could give her is one where you spend time alone, experiencing something new. For your tenth anniversary, experience yet another first together.

20 Years of Marriage

Make a statement with jewelry. There are thousands of couples who view their twentieth anniversary as a good time to renew their vows. If you and your wife are considering reliving that powerful and uniting moment, make it extra special by giving her an additional band. Of course, you do not need to renew vows to purchase something sparkly. A necklace and matching earrings or, an eye-catching bracelet are just as special. Statement jewelry that fits your wife’s style will tell her that you pay attention to what she likes!

30 Years of Marriage

Complete a 30 days of gifting challenge! (a gift every day for your entire anniversary month) Start small. By this time, you will have given your loved one nearly every variation of a wedding anniversary gift. Go back to the basics. What little pieces of information about her and your love story are stuck in your memory? If you remember what she was drinking strawberry daiquiris on your honeymoon, take her on a date to get one. Or, if she stole your heart on the dance floor  and you remember the song, buy her that CD. You could even turn that song on at home and share a dance. The 30 days of gifting challenge is a simple way to remind her that you value all of the in-between moments you two have shared.

40 Years of Marriage

Learn something new. It is totally normal for spouses not to share the same passions. One of you might enjoy an art show, while the other would prefer to go boating. Pay attention to what your wife talks about doing but never really does. Or, give her the option to choose an experience that she would like to share with you. Quality time is key!

50 Years of Marriage

Have a party! Invite your family and friends to celebrate the love you have shared for half of a century! Hire a planner and surprise her. Or, let her take the reigns. Whatever the situation, big or small, you two deserve to have a night dedicated to your love. To end it with a bang, go all out and make a toast to your wife. Whatever you say, she’ll love it.

Anniversaries will vary year to year, marriages will face bad days. So, take advantage of the one day out of the year that the two of you gave so much meaning to! It is important to make your person smile and reminisce on your love story together. All clichés aside, a woman loves feeling seen and understood. Give gifts that show her you still know her soul, even after all of life’s changes.

Planning: Rebecca Calagna Events

Photography: Mood Photo and Video 

 

Rebecca Calagna was named a Wedding Wire  ‘Couple’s Choice’ wedding coordinator in 2019. Keep up with the RC Events Team as they celebrate love all over Southern California. Shop Rebecca Calagna Events exclusive event and wedding coordinating must haves on Amazon.