Ten wedding planner secrets for a fantastic barn wedding
Planning a wedding in a barn or at other alternative venues isn’t as easy as you might think. I’ve had many brides come to me with dreams of their rustic chic barn wedding day, and zero idea how to do it or what the cost would be. You might know the basics, and you might even know that these types of weddings are more expensive than those banquet hall ones. There’s so much more to understand, which is why I’m sharing my ten wedding planner secrets for a fantastic barn wedding that you need to know before you plan. Looking for the Best Wedding Venue in Melbourne? Boutique events group is Melbourne’s Iconic
Inside the wedding planner-couple relationship from the perspective of a wedding planner. An authentic look at how emotions play a lead role in this career. Have you ever wondered what it’s like to have a job in an industry mainly based on how people feel? Is it ever possible to care too much?
You’re ready to blog, but you need some inspiration. Wedding topics are right up your alley, but when you sit down to start your post, wedding blog ideas aren’t coming to your mind.
It’s OK. It happens to all of us.
Here are 50 wedding planner blog ideas for wedding planners — just like you — to get you started. Use the wedding topics as is or use it as a jumping-off point for your creating your wedding topics. You can also use a blog ideas generator.
Our 2019 wedding planning year was exceptional! This has been the most challenging year to date, but also our most successful. We experienced a lot of roadblocks with the venues we worked at as many were logistically challenging. We also experienced a lot of personal barriers with our clients as they embarked on new careers, made cross-country moves, had overly involved parents, and of course, we always deal with cultural issues as we plan with our cross artistic couples.
The first steps you take on the path to becoming a professional wedding planner can feel uncertain. There are questions galore, what can feel like a million to-dos, and more people to meet than there are hours in the day. So today, we wanted to talk about what it is like to be starting as a new planner from a couple of different perspectives. Read on to learn about the experiences of these three ladies and how they are approaching the challenge. And remember, everybody starts somewhere!
So you’re planning a big wedding, or other noble social or business event. If you have the budget, you’re in luck; you can hire a pro to do all the heavy lifting for you! Your chances of having an impressive event rise dramatically when you have professional help to get things done.
Whether this is a route you can take or not, as the owner of the event, you still have a tremendous influence on how your event unfolds, and what kind of style and program you’re going to have.
This wedding blog isn’t just about barn weddings though. I mentioned the phrase “alternative venues”, and that includes pretty much everything outside your standard wedding hall. A lot of the same marriage planning ideas apply whether your wedding is inside a barn, at a winery, on the farm or at a beach. Those backyard wedding receptions also follow similar rules, whether it’s your house or someone else’s.
I’m often asked about what it’s like to be a wedding planner. Usually, people want to hear the crazy bride stories or anything worthy of a reality show. My career is frequently seen as “luxurious” and “fun”. From the outside looking in, it appears I have somewhat of a dream job. But that’s because not only do most people have no idea what I do (especially when I’m not physically at a wedding), but they also only see the finished product in pictures. That product is a happy couple at a beautiful wedding.
Ways to Honor Lost Loved Ones on Your Wedding Day
Some loved ones have moved on to a different world + cannot share the wedding day with the wedding couple. Write a post that reveals your creativity + shares 5-10 examples of ways the couple can honour their loved one(s).
The unique part was that we got to partner with the loveliest clients that we could have ever asked for this year. I couldn’t have done it without my incredible team and the talented vendors that we partnered with to make our clients’ dreams come true.
I recently discovered how important it is for me to find some sort of personal fulfilment through my work. After serious thought and self-reflection, I found that I could achieve the self-fulfilment that I sought by pursuing a career that allowed me to make others happy – this would be my “joie de vivre,” so to speak.
The more ideas and preferences you have, the more you can influence and direct with high-quality advice, and the more likely you’re going to be pleased with the outcome, along with all of your guests.
If you’re thinking about hosting your wedding day in any setting that wasn’t built for weddings and events, this blog is for you.
What happens Monday-Thursday and on the weekends when I don’t have a wedding or event? Why do I consider being a wedding planner, a heartbreaking job?
In my email signature line and throughout my website, it says, “An event planner is a mother, sister, friend, drill sergeant and psychologist,” and in this blog, I’ll tell you why.
Top Ways to Recycle Wedding Items
Tons of articles exist on how to host an eco-friendly wedding, but what about all of the items you have when the big day is over.
Suggest ways wedding couples can regain some of their money from gently used or leftover (+ unused) wedding items. It can benefit them + it can help new wedding couples that are following in their path.
We kicked off the year in Palm Springs a the historic Cree Estate for Alexandria and Daniel- the most ingenious and hilariously funny couple I’ve ever met. What I loved the most is incredible support, Ally, and Danny’s parents gave them throughout the entire process. PLUS, there was an epic dive into the pool
at the end of their wedding night.
After a series of pro/con lists, conversations with friends and colleagues, and (admittedly) some serious Pinterest-ing, a career as a wedding planner is something that I want to do! And, despite being entirely enthralled at the prospect of having identified a potentially fulfilling career, I also knew that educating myself about the nuances of wedding planning would be necessary if I intended to succeed in this industry – especially as a complete newbie.
Best Blogs For Wedding and Event Planners
There is a tremendous amount of free advice out there, and resources to turn to help inspire and shape your event. In this blog, we’ll take a look at several quality websites/blogs that can help steer you in the right direction.
100 Layer Wedding Cake
100 Layer Cake is a stylish blog that highlights the best of real weddings, including advice on recommended vendors. With their vendor guide, the marketplace, DIY resource and Pop Up Shop, they are making great support available to prospective brides.
As a wedding planner, I’ve been planning and designing weddings in all sorts of out of the box wedding venues for years now. The trend isn’t going anywhere, but damn there is a ton of misinformation out there! While wedding planner secrets are certainly no substitute for hiring a professional wedding planner (*cough cough*) anymore than Cliff’s Notes is the same as reading the actual book, these ten tips will get you off on the right foot.
There are countless careers a person can choose from that won’t require emotional investment, but being a wedding planner isn’t one of them. Plenty of you is reading this blog right now from a desk at your job that you don’t even like. I have friends that tell me they get paid just enough to keep them from quitting. Money can be a great motivator, especially when it’s the only thing you care about your job.
Winter, Spring, Summer + Fall…all you have to do is call. Most states have four seasons, which means four glorious seasons of weddings. Share some of this year’s + this season’s trends that they can infuse into their marriage.
Picking the Right Wedding Attire
Not all bodies are created equal. It doesn’t mean they can’t look fabulous on their big day. Help brides choose the right style of dress for their organisations.
Help grooms choose the right style of tux, suit or attire for their big day.
This can also apply to the wedding party. Look at that–3 blog posts from one bullet point!
We took a break for the summer while Meghan was on maternity leave and then started our season back up in October for Erica and Patrick’s wedding at South Coast Botanic Gardens. Given their busy lives as they are both dentists and Patrick owning his practice, and while opening another, they did it alongside their cute pug, Butters! He was the MVP.
I didn’t realize just how lucky I was when Jasmine Star connected me with Heather from LVL Academy. Heather was excited to speak with me and share her insight into the industry. I was overwhelmed by her kindness and willingness to talk to me – a young woman from Canada with absolutely zero formal experience.
Green Wedding Shoes
This blog is an excellent inspiration for fashion-forward brides. Comes with a beautiful Southern California style, laid back but stylish too. Features lots of great photos from real weddings and lots of advice for DIY projects and unique stylings for personalized weddings.
Another great site with plenty of fashion inspiration, DIY giveaways, ideas and even relationship advice to boot. Lots of vibe and personality too.
Am I dating myself with the “Cliff’s Notes” thing?
Anyway, read this blog before you even start the wedding venue search. You’ll be glad you did! I should also mention that this is a pretty detailed list of secrets, so I’ve broken it up into two separate blogs. Don’t worry; you can jump to the next one right at the bottom of this blog, or use this link.
Don’t forget to grab my list of everything you’ll need to know when searching for your non-traditional wedding venue right here. More on that below, so let’s get started with the first five secrets for a fantastic barn wedding now!
Except studies have shown that money is in fact, not the best way to motivate people at their jobs. One study, in particular, Frederick Herzberg’s Motivational Theory, goes into detail about what workers consider satisfying and dissatisfying in the workplace. If you’ve got the time, you can get lost reading up on all the scholarly articles that cite this theory. However, since this is a blog and not a thesis paper, you’ll just have to trust me when I say that it’s been proven that money is not the ultimate motivator to get people to do their job.
Wedding Website 4-1-1
Wedding websites can be an excellent way for couples to share info with wedding guests — especially in real-time + with up-to-date info.
Share some of the top resources with them for building free wedding websites + the information they should share on the site.
Wedding Theme Pickin’
Even if it is a colour scheme, weddings tend to have a theme. Advise couples how they can pick a topic that fits their personality + all of the innovative ways they can weave their idea into their wedding.
November was the BUSIEST month we’ve ever had as a company. We started the month back in Palm Springs at the Frederick Loewe Estate for Sarah and Drew’s wedding bash that ended up at the ACE Hotel for an epic after-party. What I loved about Sarah and Drew is their unwavering support for each other and their commitment to host their nearest and dearest friends well. The support of their family was invaluable as we navigated the intensity of the estate’s restrictions. It was an event that we’ll NEVER forget.
My conversation with Heather went better than I could have ever imagined. Heather identified the traits she looks for in upcoming planners, how to manage clients’ expectations (including those tricky situations), and what steps I could take to get some hands-on experience.
Check out our ultimate list of Wedding Planners in Melbourne to help you organise a stress free wedding.
A Tumblr based blog, this site comes with fantastic visuals, lots of high-quality photos and wedding styles and details. This is an all visual blog, with no text. Just for your visual delights, and inspiration!
This one gets my vote for some of the most unusual and far out wedding designs and themes (include a skull patterned wedding cake AND a waffle wedding cake!) Great for alternative weddings.
Please note that most of the links of this page are affiliate links. This means if you click on a link and purchase, you will receive the same price, but I will receive a referral fee. This helps keep my blog free and allows me to share wedding planning tips with you. Thanks for your support!
The reason I bring up all of that will become evident throughout this blog. Starting with the difference between having any number of other jobs versus having a career as a wedding planner. Even though we’re all motivated by money at some level (because bills), we’re also all motivated by our emotions at some level. Those emotions could cause a person to stay late to finish a project or go the extra mile because they’ll feel amazing with the approval of their superior.
Feature one of your weddings. Reveal details, share photos (preferably pro ones from the photog). Share with couples how you came up with each of the ideas, the significance it had to the wedding/couple + how you pulled it all off.
You can do a series of these blog posts, using different themes, colour schemes, etc.
Signature Wedding Cocktail
Explain what a signature cocktail is + how they can use it at their wedding. You can even share some ideas + recipes if you are so inclined. Mid-November we planned the most challenging wedding that Michelle Isabel & Co has ever faced. We planned and designed an event at the Dodger Stadium for Ilana and Cody. Their patience and grace throughout the whole process made their wedding a night to remember forever. Their guests got to stand in an empty stadium to witness them vow forever to each other.
I learned how crucial interning with event planners and networking with vendors in my area would be for my career. If I was going to be an excellent planner, then I needed to be familiar with the vendors I (and my prospective clients) would be working with.
This is another personal favourite, with a very eclectic mix of something different and something familiar. A must stop for the bride who doesn’t want her wedding to look like everyone else’s. Site features many free, pastoral, rustic and off-beat themes!
Grey Likes Weddings
This blog is a good one for the stylish bride! Lots of great options presented for a sleek and modern bride. One of the fascinating aspects of this blog is their online group called the Ladies Society of Matrimonial Finery, where they invite all comers to join in the latest news about fashion and design as it impacts the bridal marketplace.
If you’ve made it this far, I’m glad I haven’t scared the bejeezus out of you…yet. I find that a lot of engaged couples hire wedding planners because they’re scared. Maybe they don’t realize it, but they’re terrified to put together this huge event all by themselves.
When you’re a wedding planner, your emotions can get the best of you, though. This is all because of the unique relationship between a wedding planner and the couple. That relationship is unique because it is unlike the one you have with your boss while working in a different industry.
The Cost of it All
Share with them the average cost of a wedding. Then, help them compile their wedding budget with your favourite wedding budget calculator or tool. Don’t use a unique tool? Share with them tips and tricks to organise their budget.
Dance Song Lists
Create one big list of weddings songs, from the first dance to ones that get guests out on to the dance floor + boogie-woogie-ing. You can also share different list categories as various posts, so you wind up with a series of posts rather than just one blog post.
We started by planning their wedding even though Dodger Stadium wouldn’t confirm their date with a contract until two months before our preferred partner. With everything prepared, you can only imagine how many grey hairs I got in that season. Ilana and Cody then moved across the country for Ilana’s dream job. Along the way, we found out that Dodger Stadium would undergo a 100 million dollar renovation, which would potentially alter our plans. It was a whirlwind for sure, but it indeed was the most magical night.
I feel an essential part of my (very initial) education process has been this – network, don’t be afraid to
ask the experts questions, learn your market, and get as much hands-on experience as you can. This, combined with some sort of formal event planning education, will most certainly equip any new event planner with the skills they need to be successful.
Lots of great photos and ideas here. Also, gain daily inspiration from pictures of real weddings. What amazing me about this site is the fact that there is no end to the creativity in this field! There are so many unique visions and artful wedding planners out there; there’s just no reason to have a plain old wedding with so much advice available.
The Bride’s Guide
This is Martha Stewart’s wedding blog! Need we say more?! We can. As can be expected, this is a terrific website with lots of great ideas and high-quality contributors. A definite must-read for future brides!
Wedding planning isn’t this glamorous job filled with flowers and fun every single day. When I meet people, and they find out I’m a wedding planner, everyone pretty much has the same reaction. It’s all positive and filled with statements about how cool that is and how much I must love my job.
Completely ignoring the whole money as a motivator (or not) thing, and pretending no one goes to a job they hate everything about, everyone cares about their job. People naturally care about the quality of their work. Why they care is irrelevant because there are hundreds of different reasons.
The Dog Days of Weddings
When the couple shares a pet or one has a special four-legged friend, they often want to include their dog (or pet) in their wedding. Share some unique + innovative ways they can consist of their fur-baby in the big day. You can even drop in a few names of local venues that welcome furry friends with open arms.
We ended our crazy month in one of the most romantic cities in California. We headed to Santa Barbara for a three-day event at the Ritz Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara for Johana and Mario’s beautiful weddings in the Old Mission Santa Barbara. We feared rain for our outdoor event plus Southern California Edison shut off the power in the church, so we faced some challenges. In the end, their day went PERFECTLY with their fur baby Olivia along their side.
Planner. I knew I had the drive, experience and personality in me to have my own wedding planning business. This only became so clear to me after a real-talk-less-than-stellar experience working for someone else and my 7+ years of working in the catering/events/bridal industries. A word of advice, if I may?
The Perfect Palette
This blog is your colour guide to all things weddings! Occupying a unique niche, this website focuses rather narrowly on colour design but highlights a vital issue in the process. Colour is the key to unlocking your wedding design because once you’ve decided upon your palette, all of your other choices can flow from that decision and make your planning a lot easier!
Don’t get me wrong; I do love my job. I don’t know what I would do if I weren’t a wedding planner. That doesn’t mean it’s easy or that everyone can just wake up one morning and do it. There are plenty of wanna-be pop-up planners that learn fast just how difficult the work is, then crash and burn within six months of creating their website.
As a wedding planner, I too care about the quality of my work. It’s important to me that my work is organized, my weddings are produced well, and my clients are happy. I have all the egotistical reasons that people outside my industry have for caring about the quality of my work. Where I differ is my other reason to care, which is, the people I work with.
Wedding Planning Timeline
Sure, there are tons of planning timelines floating around the Internet, but it is not your planning timeline. Giving them a comprehensive view of what it takes to plan a wedding. Sharing this information can work in your favour. They can quickly see how complex it is + how much they need you.
And last but not least, I had the absolute pleasure of helping Vallabh and Jasmine plan their Italian and Gujrati Indian Mehendi social, ceremony and reception at Hotel Irvine. Jasmine and Vallabh were extremely busy as he’s in his residency and Jasmine’s a lawyer with her tax firm in Dallas, Texas, which she inherited by her late mother.
If you want to be a wedding planner, start assisting in one of the industries related – bridal salon, florist, photographer, etc. Not only does it make you a more well-rounded planner, but you’ll also look like an expert in your field to others.
Here’s more great DIY ideas and smart solutions to putting on a unique ceremony. I like the way the website is simply designed with easy to figure out categories leading to creative solutions. Tons of DIY ideas and plenty of inspiration for the bridal couple who are looking for a unique and stylish look, whether they have professional help or not.
It’s not always their fault though…after all, being a wedding planner is not that old of career, and you don’t need any degrees to do it. Just like most people don’t quite understand what I do (including my mom…hi mom!), most engaged couples have no idea how complicated wedding planning is. Well, it wasn’t always this cumbersome, and that’s why wedding planners weren’t still a thing.
Step-Parent Involvement in Weddings
It can be a sticky situation when step-parents are involved (as you well know). Share some tips + advice on maneuvering the case, including ways they can include their stepparents in the wedding (if they choose to do that).
Let me be clear that not every wedding planner is the same. I’ve been around long enough to know that there are wedding planners that care about the quality of their work for dozens of reasons that have nothing to do with how the client perceives them.
So Vallabh’s mother and I planned every detail together to make the most spectacular day with live performers and a groom escorted in a carriage by a white horse. It was our favourite experience to date.
Wedding planning businesses look like all fun and flowers, but it is still a business, so there are some not as fun things to do when starting and in the first year. Before I began my business and began taking clients.
Amazing barn weddings weren’t always a thing either. Backyard weddings were reserved for movies like Father of the Bride and farm weddings didn’t start showing up in wedding magazines until about eight years ago. Parents of couples getting married today likely got married in a religious house and then had their cocktail hour and reception in a building that was created solely for weddings and events.
Too busy with life to really plan your wedding in detail? Have someone else do it for you and check out our list of Wedding Planners in Melbourne to help take the stress away.
Wedding Emergency Kit Assembly
This is a service you likely provide as part of your planning + coordinating duties, BUT, give them a list of the top items (or all of the things) they need to create a wedding day emergency kit. If you don’t want to share a comprehensive list, pick some of the off-the-wall items that they won’t think of on their own + explain why they should include these items in their kit.
Some wedding planners can go through the motions of planning a wedding while never connecting with the couple. They meet, they plan, the wedding happens, and then they move on. Maybe they smiled during the first dance or even choked up while listening to a toast at the wedding reception. In the end, it’s just another wedding for them. It’s just another job.
This has to be my favourite year yet, and I can’t WAIT for what 2020 has to offer. As a cross-cultural planner, we’re happy to be planning a Columbian/Filipino wedding, a Chinese/Indian wedding, and a Persian/Lebanese wedding, to name a few.
One thing I felt like I was missing out on when I first started my business was marketing on The Knot and Wedding Wire because they are EXPENSIVE! When you early begin your business you aren’t going to have the marketing budget to advertise there yet – I didn’t get a Wedding Wire account until last month, also because I wanted to have reviews up on there too.
Those places still exist today and in abundance. You show up, they’ve got everything, and you’re pretty much set. The choices are few, and the wedding venue supplies everything. If you take all of that away though and place the ceremony and reception in an alternative wedding space, then what? This brings me to my first wedding planner secret.
Wedding Hair Styling
Talk about how brides are wearing their hair this year. Coordinate hairstyles with dress styles or facial features. Discuss what brides are wearing in their hair — veil or not, flowers, decorative barrettes, etc.
You can do a similar post for grooms. You can even include facial hairstyles as part of the article.
Not for me.
When I work with a couple and plan their wedding, I care about my job because I care about them. There have been times when I struggled with just how much I cared. I’m not talking about the “caring about the job” level of care. It’s how I care about and more importantly for my couples. I have questioned if I care too much and, in some instances, wondered what would happen if I cared less.
We would love to welcome you to our planning family. This time next year you can be relaxing in the comfort of your own married life reminiscing on the perfectly planned and relaxing wedding experience you had. While we did experience challenges, we do our best to shield our couples from the Plan B’s, C’s and Z’s that we sometimes have to employ to make the wedding day be the best experience for our couples and their guests.
(It looks much better when you have substance to back your Wedding Wire profile.) With that being said, the other thing I am continually doing was letting people know about my business. Whether they were in the wedding industry or not, brides, the people in my gym or doctor’s office…they were going to know about my business! There’s a way to casually bring it up in conversation without it being salesy or pushy. Two of the best clients in my first year of business were people that knew I had been doing weddings since high school and remembered me!
Let’s say you’re taking the ceremony and the reception to the barn, farm, beach, winery…whatever. If you were to host your wedding ceremony at a religious house like a church or synagogue, what do you lose by hosting at the venue instead?
Take Them Behind-the-Scenes
Give them a glimpse of what it is like to plan a wedding + pull it off on the big day. Share the disasters you fix or can avert. Take them with you (by story or video) as you meet with the vendor after vendor to put the entire event together. Show them why they need you rather than tell them that they need you.
At the beginning of this blog, I stated that lots of people have no idea what I do. This includes couples that I have worked with, as well as couples that I never got the chance to work with. Many grooms have sat in my office and flat out told me they have no idea what I do or why a wedding planner was even necessary. Given a chance to explain what I do as a wedding planner always turned those couples into my couples. When I wasn’t given that chance, the couple never understood the value of working with me because they walked away with no knowledge of what I do.
We have six more dates available in 2020 and would love to chat with you about your upcoming cross-cultural or multi-event wedding.
Thinking about a destination, contact us to chat about your big plans we’re experts in that field.
It’s all about who you know” says…everyone. Overwhelmed? Don’t be! Building a business requires relationship, an inevitable factor. It’s necessary for the health and success of your new endeavour. Chances are since you have already leapt to start your own wedding planning business, that relationship-building gene is already raring to go!
The biggest mistake I see couples make when planning a barn wedding is not considering the necessities. They take everything that the traditional wedding venue would’ve given them for total granted. This includes the seats the guests will sit on during the ceremony. If you jump right to worrying about flowers, you’ve already dug yourself into a hole.
Wedding Photos Around Town
Provide some of the most beautiful, best-kept secrets, or insert adjective here, places around your town or city where they can take wedding photos.
Wedding Vendor Spotlight
Choose one (or more) of your favourite vendors + showcase their business. Talk about what they do + your experience working with them. You can also choose an interview format, where you ask the vendor questions + then they answer them.
Generally, I start planning with couples early on, helping them secure the venue and vendors, designing their day, handling logistics you get the idea. This puts me in my office Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday and has me communicating with my couples every other day, on average. Doing the math and given the average engagement length of 1.5 years, this means I connect with my couples over 270 times while wedding planning.
While they aren’t totally off base in saying “it’s all about who you know,” I’m a firm believer that is building relationships in the wedding industry are far more about being genuine and making an effort to connect with people than it is getting your name out there to anyone and everyone. Throughout my time in the industry, I’ve found it so valuable (and encouraging) to connect with vendors beyond working a wedding together; vendors you can grab coffee with on a random weekday afternoon.
When you plan a wedding in a creative space, you are, quite literally, building your wedding day. I don’t mean break out the ply-boards and hammers, but you don’t want to get to the wedding day and have an OMG moment because you didn’t consider things like electricity. Put together a list of everything you will need once you take your wedding ceremony to your alternative venue.
Anything DIY is usually a hot topic with wedding couples. You can share DIY projects for each facet of the wedding in a series of blog posts, or pick one category (such as DIY favours or DIY flowers) + write one blog post about it.
The Wedding Reception Bar
Not the liquor bar, but share instead how they can set up a dessert bar, candy buffet, sundae bar, popcorn bar, doughnut bar, or insert your favourite type of bar here.
Two hundred seventy times doesn’t break down evenly, of course. My office is closed on Mondays, and if I have a wedding on the weekend, that’s the only couple that gets my attention. Factor in holidays, vacations I take and the ones my clients make, weekends with my family, and everything else, sometimes I connect with a couple 20 times in one day or go three days without hearing a thing. The breakdown of when the communication happens doesn’t matter though, and the path to 270-ish will vary from couple to couple.
Whether you are new to the area (home of your budding business), a life-long resident, or somewhere in between; your business is going to be better off thrive because of the relationships you build, now and throughout the next few years. Now, that doesn’t mean that you can only or should only seek out those with the highest following on Instagram or the coveted one, two or three spots on Google and force a friendship on them (or yourself!).
Once the ceremony basics are figured out, create another list for cocktail hour and reception items you’ll be responsible for. Every venue is different regarding what they provide, so it’s essential to find out what is available at each site before you start creating this list which, yes, that means you will create a listing for every single space you are interested in.
Keep the Wedding Guests Busy
Mom, grandma + auntie — you love them, but boy can they strike a nerve when you’re planning your wedding. Share with them some ideas on how they can keep the “helping meddlers” busy (+ off their backs), in a friendly way, of course.
You can compile one blog post or several all about wedding etiquette. Hit on categories like invitations, who pays for what, writing thank you cards + whatever else you can think of class wise.
The point is, it’s a lot of time connecting. It’s more time than I spend with most people I know, aside from my husband and children. If you spend that much time connecting with someone, how does a more profound relationship not develop? The thing with me is, I only have one personality. My couples meet the same person that my friends know. Sometimes that’s a good thing, and sometimes it gets me in trouble. More on that later.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m positive that they are incredible vendors with lovely personalities to match. Still, often we think that the “all about who you know” part means that we can only associate ourselves (and our business) with those that hold the number one, two or three spot. So not the case! Reach out to vendors that align with your style or aesthetic; you are more likely to refer those vendors to your target bride anyways! And if those happen to be vendors from those top spots on Google, then get em’!
How are you supposed to know what you would need when you’ve never done this before? You can grab my comprehensive list of everything you need for your wedding ceremony, cocktail hour and reception in a non-traditional space and all the questions to ask on tours right here. Use that list on venue tours as a checklist for each place.
Pick apart a recent celeb wedding. Share with them how they can recreate the look + feel of the wedding without writing the big fat check, of course.
Twist in Wedding Tradition
Pick a non-traditional way couples are planning their wedding (men wearing engagement rings or men taking their wives’ last names) + discuss it.
What happens during those 270 or so connections? I see how the couple laughs together and more often than not, how they fight together. Some of those connections are private one-on-one emails with me, and some links are random afternoon calls from brides that just need to vent.
I quickly become “a mother, sister, friend, drill sergeant and psychologist.”
There is an end date on the relationship between a wedding planner and the couple. The difference between this relationship and one with a friend, though, is that you know what the end date is in advance.
Any good business (in my opinion) started with relationship; a business partner, a first bride, a vendor team that meshed well. It all started somewhere. Give yourself grace and time to make those connections. Sometimes you make ten at once at an industry event, and sometimes it’s a shot in the dark and an Instagram message to that photographer whose work you’ve admired forever! Reach out, because you never know what friendship might come out of it!
Everything that is included with the venue is just as necessary as everything that you’ll have to bring in on your own. Odds are, the location is either totally outside, or the ceremony is at the very least. You would always ask a wedding hall what their rain plan is, and you need to ask the alternative venues the same question.
Sign of the Times
Tell couples how they can use social media for their wedding or use a webcam so guests can attend virtually that cannot physically attend the wedding. Give them an idea on how to use technology to their advantage.
Your Favorite ________ (Bouquet, Dress, Invitation) You’ve Ever Worked On
Blog about one of your fave client projects to inspire other wedding couples for this aspect of their wedding. Sure, they might copy the idea for their wedding, or it might just be a jumping-off point for their design.
All of the work that has been done, and that final product that is produced, comes down to one day. No matter how emotional things got during the wedding planning process, the actual wedding day is filled with more emotion than all of those preceding days combined. Even more challenging? It’s not just the couple’s emotions anymore. Now it’s the emotions of the parents, the immediate family, the wedding party.
In a reception hall, one of the common ways to deal with inclement weather is to use space more than once. For instance, the ceremony gets rained out and is then pushed inside to where the reception will take place later. During the cocktail hour, the room is “flipped”, and the ceremony set-up is broken down while the reception space is put together.
Your Favorite Wedding Blogs
Create a list of 5, 7 or even 10 of your favourite wedding blogs. You might want to feature some different blogs that cover various aspects of the wedding (photography, attire, planning, etc.) but you certainly don’t have to. Looking for the Top Wedding Planner in Melbourne? Look no further and check out our ultimate list of Wedding Planners here.
The people in the couple’s life that don’t have an end date stamped on their relationship (at least, not one they know about).
It’s so important to find out what this plan is in general, but especially at a non-traditional wedding venue. Do they have a tent on-site and available at the last minute? Are there multiple locations to choose from? Does each site have a different maximum guest count? I expand on that more in this guide to help you get all the details for each position and every set-up so there are no surprises on the day of.
How-to Post your Wedding Blog
Write an in-depth, step-by-step post on how to do something. If you’re a wedding photographer, maybe it’s How to Make a List of Your Top 25 Wedding Pictures. If you’re a hairstylist, perhaps it’s How to do an Up-Do.
List of Fave Books
Create a list of your top 10 books. Generally speaking, these should somehow relate to planning a wedding or be about wedding professionals but could be life-related, such as topics on stress management or married life.
I watch emotions run high on wedding days, and truth be told, I’m working so hard it’s pretty easy keeping mine in check. Total transparency, though? I don’t like people seeing me cry. It’s not for any particular reason, and I’m pretty good at psycho-analyzing myself. I just don’t like crying in front of people, what can I say?
Some basic things that might not be missing are water and electricity. I told you…we’re going basic here. Not necessary like unicorn frappuccinos from Starbucks basic; actual essential.
You’ll need to know where the water source is and how to access it. This will be necessary for your caterers, trailer bathrooms, and your florist, just to name a few vendors. Get the electricity information you need for each space, including how much power is available, the number of separate outlets, and the location of all of them.
Do a Post Wedding Post
Interview wedding couples after the wedding to find out what they would have done differently or what mistakes they made when planning their wedding.
Bride + Groom Panel
Have your readers or current clients submit questions. Have your real-life wedding couples that have already wed answer the questions + then turn it all into a blog post.
Interview A Wedding Guest
Interview a member of your staff + post it on your blog. Maybe it’s an assistant planner, or perhaps it’s the receptionist. Oh, the stories they can probably tell!
People cry at weddings though. Even if they’ve been to 100 weddings, people cry at weddings. Somehow, people think that I won’t yell at marriage because this is my job, and I see this all the time. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it) this has never been just a job to me. Aside from a handful of couples, I have been unsuccessful in stopping myself from forming a relationship and caring about my couples.
Two hundred seventy interactions over less than two years will do that to you.
Figuring out the basics of what you have and what you don’t have is essential to planning a fantastic barn wedding.
Create an Ultimate Guide Post
This is what they refer to as a long blog post. Pick a wedding topic + write a post that covers everything a wedding couple needs to know about it. The Ultimate Guide to choosing your wedding flowers or the Ultimate Guide to assembling your wedding guest list.
Create a Huge List Post
Make a list of 50 things, such as 50 Wedding Cake Ideas, 50 First Dance Songs or 50 Wedding Day Make-Up Looks.
So, I tend to cry at weddings. I cry when I see my bride in her gown for the first time because it’s real then. I cry when she goes down the aisle because it’s real to her later. I cry when my couple is announced into the reception as Mr. and Mrs., and I have to close the doors behind them and let them go. Because that’s the end date, that’s when it’s over.
How do you even find a barn wedding venue, or anything other than a traditional wedding location? By now, the trend to get married outside of a cookie-cutter place has a firm hold on the wedding planning world. I am continually searching for new locations I can show to my couples that want something creative and original.
Yes, that was another passive way for me to mention how essential a wedding planner is my bad.
Myths + Truths Post
Create a list of the top wedding myths + tell the real story about each of the tales. This is a great way to educate wedding couples so use your words wisely 🙂
Mistakes to Avoid
Create a post that covers some of the top mistakes that wedding couples make + how wedding couples can avoid making them.
Do a Round-Up
You can go to a couple of different ways with a round-up post. You can do a round-up of your top-rated blog posts or you can round-up other wedding pros’ posts.
While I stay for the duration of the reception, my work is mostly finished once that married entrance is made. Without a wedding to plan, future emails, phone calls, texts, or in-person visits, will never come from the couple that is now having their first dance together. It is at that moment when I have battled the idea of whether or not I care too much. Does it do the job or just make the job harder?
Risks of Not Hiring a Wedding Planner
Let’s say you’re not hiring a wedding planner because of YOLO or something. Finding an alternative wedding venue is a challenge that I think most couples are aware of. The big and even the small wedding websites all have ways of searching for wedding venues. The problem is that those search results only include places that are advertising to be on those sites and generally, that’s limited to the banquet halls.
Not having a “business” personality has pros and cons. A significant advantage is that my couples know they can trust me and everything that comes out of my mouth. I will never tell them something is possible when it isn’t. A big negative? I will never tell them they are right when they are wrong. That, right there, is why I’m never the right wedding planner for couples that want someone to work for them instead of with them.
While I’m not going to go into the whole step by step process of how to find every single type of creative wedding venue out there, there are a few ways to make your search a little easier.
Talk about mistakes you’ve to see vendors make or disasters that you’ve diverted at weddings. Describe how having a professional wedding planner like yourself uses their superhero powers to keep the mistakes from happening in the first place or fixes them once they do so that the wedding couples never know anything went wrong.
It also causes problems if there is a disagreement and a couple pulls the “we’re paying you” card. There was a bride I planned with that when told what she was asking for (it was ridiculous, believe me) was not feasible, informed one of my team members (and this is a direct quote): “I’m paying you, so you have to do what I tell you to.” Suddenly, it’s a power game, and mutual respect goes out of the window. Not only will our relationship never be the same but, to deal with the hurt I feel, I have no choice but to treat the wedding as a job.
First things first, certain types of out of the box venues are more comfortable to search for than others. Wineries have been hosting weddings since long before this non-traditional wedding venue trend started, so a fair amount of them will advertise. If you can’t find them by searching wedding websites, a simple Google search of the wineries in your area will turn up plenty of options. Then, it’s the right old fashion way of calling to get more information.
Tackling the Wedding Planning Process
Provide a list of simple + easy ways to tackle one aspect of the planning process, such as choosing flowers, setting a budget, etc. This type of blog post could become an entire series of blog posts where you tackle one planning subject at a time.
A common misconception is that since I own my business, I don’t have a boss to answer to. That’s partly true. I don’t have a boss to answer to; my brides, grooms, and sometimes parents are the people I respond to. At any given time, I have over a dozen bosses. These people are my bosses, and I do understand that, which is part of the reason I extend such respect and work so hard. The difference between my boss and your boss, though is the relationship is more profound than boss-employee.
Yes, call, not email or use the contact form on the website. Why? Because these are non-traditional wedding venues and you’ll get better answers in a shorter amount of time by picking up the phone.
Are you scared yet?
Put a number in front of it + list out the little known ways they can do something for the wedding. Think, save money on their ceremony, find the perfect bridesmaids dresses for every body type, etc. This too, could become a series of blog posts, also.
My couples can open up to me about absolutely anything. There is never any judgement, and there is always a shoulder to cry on or a sounding board to vent to. I have kept secrets my couples have entrusted me with, and I have created an atmosphere where my couples can feel safe.
For other spaces like farms and beaches, Instagram is a great way to supplement your Google search. Break out the hashtag lists to narrow down the type of wedding venue you want, and use Google to get location details and more. Will you have heartbreak once you find out specific sites you love are on the other side of the world? Yeah, but you didn’t hire a planner, so you have to take the pain.
Be careful how much information you give out here. For example, I wouldn’t create a list of your favourite vendors (Your preferred vendor list is GOLD.) but list out some of your favourite resources. You could list your top 7 ideal wedding planning books or apps or online tools, for example.
There have been times when I have misjudged my relationship with a couple; I have thought we were closer than we were. Those scenarios, though few and far between, always made me question if I care too much. When talking to friends about those brides, I would still be told something like,
“Whatever…you’ll never have to deal with her again after the wedding.” I’m sure you can imagine how unsatisfactory of an answer that would be to me.
Something couples hear about but rarely consider how important their guest count is. Many couples have come to me to plan their fantastic barn wedding and told me their guest count was 200 or more people.
Those barns hosting weddings weren’t built to host weddings. That charm you’re so in love with is the same charm that will restrict your guest list count. Farm weddings and all the rest of them are ideal for counts of 150 or less.
While some wedding traditions are tried + true, others are trends that are in one minute + out the next. Share some of the current trends with wedding couples that they should not fall prey to.
Another con when you only have one personality? When that personality includes being sarcastic and blunt. If I’m close to you, I’m very both of those. Dishing it and taking it is a commonplace with the couples I plan with, and just another example of how my boss is different than yours. I get a lot of “I can’t believe you said that to your bride,” because who speaks to their boss like that? Me. I do. Almost always, it strengthens our relationship.
Barn Wedding Guest Numbers
Is that every non-traditional wedding venue? No (so don’t light up my comments section with location examples please). There are exceptions to the rule, but they are just that: exceptions. Most barns will fit about 150 guests in addition to the music set-up and a dance floor.
My general wedding planner rule of thumb is to take whatever maximum guest count the venue gives you and take away 20. If you don’t, you’re looking at a cramped space.
On the flip side, you can also share a list of trends that they might want to consider for their wedding. You’re the pro, so you know that if it is likely to go out of style this year.
So, why do I label it a “con” and not a “pro”? Because it’s either not noticed by my couple (because they’re also sarcastic and blunt with me) or it is seen and not appreciated. This becomes heartbreaking when I find out my couple has been offended, and I never even knew about it. It’s sad because I care. As quickly as I can bust chops, I can just as quickly become that shoulder my bride needs to cry on.
Check out our Top Wedding Planners here to help make your special day as smooth as possible.
You also need to plan for the number of guests you invite. None of this guessing who will and won’t show up, because you will be wrong every single time. When you ask 200 people, don’t just assume that 50 won’t come to mentally allow yourself to book the barn with the 150 guest count maximum.
Make a list of wedding planning do’s
Things that brides + grooms should do when planning a wedding — + don’ts — something that brides + grooms should avoid doing when planning their wedding.
Being blunt with my couples not only includes telling them they’re wrong when they are wrong but also giving tough love when it’s needed. The dream wedding doesn’t just come together on its own (otherwise, I would be out of a job) and I said earlier that I plan with my couples, not for them. If my emails go unanswered, deadlines are missed, or they are finding ways to self-sabotage the wedding details, I’ll let them know nicely firmly, but carefully. I consider this a pro since most of the time, and my couples express how grateful they are to have a wedding planner who keeps them in check; again, nicely.
What happens when every venue you come across requires a smaller guest count than you will have?
How are so many couples doing these amazing barn weddings?
They can’t all possibly have less than 150 people coming to the wedding, right?
Give an insider perspective of the wedding industry. Tell brides + grooms what the industry is really like.
Reveal some insider secrets.
If it were just a job, it wouldn’t be heartbreaking to find out when my personality traits upset my couple; it would be something I would attempt to improve on and fix. But then, how do you “fix” your personality? You can’t change who you are. So what’s the answer? It’s obvious: You create that business personality.
When you’re searching for wedding venues, it’s essential to find out their maximum guest count number and the details that go along with it. It’s never just 150 periods, end of the story. Maybe it’s 150 people for a seated dinner, but 175 for a buffet. Perhaps there is a tent you can add onto the outside of the barn to create a larger wedding reception space.
Share special touches wedding couples can add to their wedding based on the season they’re marrying. Most places have four seasons but even places that only have one or two seasons works.
That is an answer I have been faced with. A solution I have ignored time and time again. Because, if I become a different person when I am a wedding planner for a couple, then the person I am with those I care about, then what the Hell am I doing planning weddings? I should quit right now and focus solely on planning holiday parties for the 9 billion pharmaceutical companies based in New Jersey. No emotions there and plenty of drugs to keep those pesky emotions away should they happen to show up.
Before you start filleting your guest list, discuss all of the available options with the venues. Get more ideas and suggestions for making your excellent guest count work right here.
Make a list of your favourite Instagram accounts that brides + grooms can use for wedding inspiration.
Anytime I hurt a client, I spend a great deal of time reflecting. I will never tell someone that they can’t feel a certain way, because how people think is how they believe. I’m sarcastic and blunt, but I am not mean. You will never hear me say “I’m sorry you feel that way”, even if I believe my couple is being irrational. It’s important to me that a client, someone I care about, knows that any hurt I caused was unintentional, which is why I believe in apologizing when my actions (which come from the right place) hurt my couples or any of my bosses.
Name places in your city that out-of-town guests or the wedding party can visit while in town for the wedding. Even the locals can enjoy being a tourist in their town.
BAM! There you have it — at least 50 blog post ideas to get you started. You can also use a blog ideas generator tool like the one Hubspot offers.