Having worked in the Makawao event planning industry for almost 7 years there are not many surprises left – but occasionally I still get the, “They did what?” pass my lips! Why am I not surprised anymore – because over the years the number one rule for event planning is putting time into the pre planning of the event, and then planning contingencies for the exceptions that may happen?
So where do you start? As far out from the event date as possible as getting space is the first step. In Makawao, where we do a lot of work, it is not unusual to be booking one year out at some of the venues, as they are booked solidly every week.
The first few decisions are the easiest. What is the budget? What is the event about? A party, corporate seminar, convention, festival, wedding, or an anniversary – the list is endless, but one thing remains constant once the event has a name and the type of event is decided, the next step will be to decide where to hold the event. This is where the real event planners stand out from the crowd. So you have an event – okay lets book a hotel is normally the next answer but why would you miss out on an opportunity to create a unique experience?
Wedding Planning Tips - Budget Wedding Ideas
The wedding is one of the happiest moments in a person's life. When you are planning yours, you just know that it is special. However, unless it stands out in a way or another, for most of the guests it might be just another wedding they attend and they won't remember much of it a few months later.
There are unique wedding ideas that can make yours shine and become a spectacular event not only for the bride and groom, but for each and every guest.
Here are some useful wedding ideas to transform yours from a regular wedding into an unforgettable event for everyone:
1. Pick a theme. Themed weddings are always fun and a great source of unique wedding ideas. Talk with your future spouse and brainstorm together. While your own preferences are always the most important, don't forget to try to take into account the guests as well. For example, you can't go for a new movie if most guests will be elderly persons and won't know what is happening.
The theme can relate to anything within reason so you can be as creative as you wish. If you can afford to splurge a bit, you can include impressive decorations or performances.
If you are mostly interested in outdoor wedding ideas, themes can be even more fun outside as you can include balloons, inflatable cartoons or various games. More space also means a good opportunity to add more decorations such as personalized chalkboards, bouncy castles.
2. Engage the guests. Organise a few activities for them to feel like they are really actively participating to the event. You can get some beautiful memories while you are at it too.
Place a bowl with pens and beautifully designed pieces of paper on each table. Ask your guests to write you a message or to share their favorite memory with one of the newlyweds.
If you have musically gifted guests, you can ask them to sing a song or to play their instruments a bit while your band or DJ is having a break. Also, if you are keen on someone's talents such as dancing, stand-up comedy or gymnastics, you can plan special performances.
No matter what you pick, make sure that no one is forgotten and that everyone gets to participate in an active way, even the elderly persons or the children.
3. Make the guests feel important. Take a while to write personalized notes. Handwritten ones will be the most appreciated. Share your thoughts on this day or just make random comments about your relationship to let them know how much you care about them.
If you are having a hard time opening up and sharing your feelings, you can just write a message that will indicate nice memories. For example 'Alice, thank you for being there with me from rags to riches' or 'Johnny, you will always be my brother from another mother'.
However, if you are running out of time or you simply don't have the inspiration to write a message to everyone, a standard card to thank them for joining the wedding will do the trick. Choose an elegant font and an exquisite design for the card to become a small gift.
4. Customize the entire event. Don't try to copy someone else's wedding, especially if you are on a budget. From engagement rings facts to the tiara, everything should be personal and according to your liking.
If there are wedding ideas that you really enjoy, try to add a personal touch. The event doesn't have to be particularly fancy or pricey. A bit of extra time and effort can make a huge difference.
You can use personal family photos as decorations or tie the napkins with ribbons in your favorite colour. Bring a funny photo stand-in or include mini versions of your favorite foods instead of main dishes.
Get bold and don't stick to eating or dancing the whole evening. Still, whatever you choose to do, make sure that it is fun and that it won't be regarded as offensive or that it won't make any guest remember an unpleasant event.
5. Don't stress out about it. Last but not least, don't transform your special moments into a highly stressful event. You will only end up obsessing over each and every detail. Also, the chances to be disappointed raise significantly if you want everything to be perfect. Admit that you can't control everything and just enjoy yourself.
At the end of the day, no matter how flawless everything might turn out to be, the guests might only remember how stressed out and uncomfortable you have been the whole day. A genuine smile is often worth more than exquisite details.
Event Planning Guide: What Equipment Do You Need for A Successful Event?
You are recently engaged, and now it is time to start researching wedding reception ideas. But where should you start?
All good weddings start with a plan, and listed below are 6 tips that you can use to make sure you plan the wedding of your dreams.
Start looking for a reception location early
The first step is to figure out when you want to get married. Summer and fall weddings open the opportunity for an outdoor wedding reception; however these are also the most popular times to get married.
You need to move fast and start early to make sure you get your first choice of reception location during the busy seasons.
One way to narrow down your choices is to choose either an indoor or outdoor wedding reception. Then, make a list of potential locations and start visiting them as soon as possible.
Think about your budget and only look at options that fit your budget
Your budget will play a big part in deciding where to have your wedding reception. Depending on where you live, the average wedding can cost anywhere from $15,000 to $30,000.
If you are having a large wedding with a limited budget, you may want to stick with indoor wedding facilities that offer reasonable wedding reception packages.
Outdoor tented weddings tend to cost a little more. Things like silverware, chairs and glassware will have to be rented, and you will have to work with a caterer that specializes in tented weddings.
Book wedding vendors early
In addition to booking your wedding reception location early, you should book your other wedding vendors like photographers, bands and florists as early as possible.
Good wedding vendors are booked up more than a year in advance. To ensure you get your first choice, start researching and meeting with your vendors shortly after booking your wedding reception space.
Choose a wedding theme for a unique reception
If you want to stand out a little from the crowd, consider incorporating a wedding theme into your reception. A wedding theme can be as simple as a certain type of flower, like daisy, or a season, like fall harvest.
More elaborate wedding themes include Cinderella or country western.
A popular option with any type of wedding theme is to include a signature drink. Different types of martinis, like apple or blue, are great options.
Ask a family member or good friend to take your gifts home
The last thing you want to be worried about when leaving your reception is the location of your wedding gifts.
Ask a good friend or family member (preferably someone reliable and sober who won't forget) prior to the wedding to be in charge of collecting your wedding gifts and moving them to a secure location after the reception.
Take a few moments to look around and enjoy the reception
Weddings take a lot of time and effort to plan. During your reception, take a few moments to look around and enjoy the results of all of your hard work.
Eat the food from your caterer, have a few signature drinks, admire the floral arrangements and enjoy your family and friends. Wedding receptions only last a few hours, so make sure you step back and soak in the atmosphere.
The above 6 ideas aren't everything you will need for planning your wedding, but it is a good start towards the perfect end result which is a wedding memory that will make you smile for the rest of your life.