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6 Tips For Creating a Wedding Guest List

Happy Wedding Wednesday!

We're still in the thick of engagement season, and today I'm touching on a hot topic! I'm here to the rescue, giving help to the newly engaged couples who are scratching their heads trying to come up with a guest list for the big day. I know it can be hard - I've been on both sides as a planner and a bride, so I sympathize with you. But no need to fret, today's tips should send some relief and insight.

Photo Credit: SC Stockshop

Photo Credit: SC Stockshop

Here are 6 things to consider when creating your wedding guest list:

1. CONSIDER YOUR WEDDING VISION AND VENUE

How do you envision your big day? For some, the answer may be sharing with a few of our closest family members and friends in a romantic, intimate setting.  For others that may mean, a large celebration of love, in a gorgeous and festive setting. Whatever your vision may be, be sure to let that guide you in creating your guest list, instead of letting your vision be drowned out by guest list guilt

Additionally, your venue has to be considered, as well. If you've fell in love with and booked a beautiful estate that comfortably accommodates 75 guests, don't try to squeeze 100 guests in there because of again, guest list guilt. Furthermore, before booking your venue, having a preliminary guest count is key, and sticking in and around that is important. If you know in advance you want a large wedding, don't waste time considering small venues. Again, let your vision (and budget covered next), be your guide! 

2. CRUNCH THE NUMBERS

Let's face it, budget really is a huge part of creating a guest list that must be tackled early on in the planning. You may have tons of family and friends that you'd love to share your day with, but can you realistic afford catering and bar services for 300 people? Maybe yes, maybe no. Here's a pro tip, your reception will likely be the biggest expense of your wedding.

As a planner, one of the first steps I take with my sensational couples is creating their itemized wedding budget, with their wedding style and the guest count they are considering in mind. This is so valuable to do at the onset because in some cases a couple's guest count doesn't match their budget. For example, you want to invite 200 guests and the venue you love provides catering and bar services, which are $200 per person. However, you were hoping to spend $40,000 on the entire wedding, so there's a problem. Thus, crunching the numbers with your planner is crucial.

3. CREATE THE LIST WITH YOUR FIANCE

You and your love are preparing to join together as one, and a great way to start learning how to make decisions together is with the guest list. It's your big day, so come to a consensus together on who you two would like to share it with. Decide how you two want to handle the guest list, whether that means 75 guests for you and 75 for your fiancé, or your fiancé may want less guests on his side because you have the larger family, or simply you two list each guest together. Do whatever feels right to you two.

Now some of you might be saying, our parents aren't going for that, in the event that they are financing the wedding. I get it, sometimes money equates to decision making. However, that doesn't have to put a monkey wrench in the two of you calling the guest list shots. In many cases, some of the guests your parents want to invite, you were already planning to invite anyway. In other cases, it may call for a heart to heart with mom and dad, and letting them down easy, while assuring them you've carefully considered everyone YOU really want there. Outside of your parents, I would strongly encourage you to limit outside involvement with your guest list for the sake of your sanity. Thank me later :) 

4. A LIST, B LIST, AND GUEST CATEGORIES

Creating your guest list doesn't have to be a headache, with the a and b list option. This is especially helpful for couples who struggle with large guest counts. Instead of stressing yourself and considering an elopement, after you've done the tips above, create an A list based on the must invite guests that add up to the guest count you set. Another pro tip is you can add a few extra guests to this list to account for guests who may not be able to come - but a few, not 50 :) Now, for those 50 extra guests that you're thinking of, those folks can go to the B list. Once you've sent out save the dates to the A list, you'll likely get insight from guests who know they can't attend, in which case some B list guests can move up to the A list. 

Another tip is to arrange guests in categories, based on their relationship with you. This is helpful in organizing your guest list, and limits the chance of forgetting a VIP. Here are some guest categories to consider, and rank them in order of priority:

  • Parents, Siblings, Grandparents, Godparents
  • First Aunts, Uncles, Cousins
  • Closest Friends
  • Family - not listed above
  • Co-Workers, Fraternity Brothers/Sorority Sisters, Church Family - Group 1
  • Friends and Friends of Family - not listed above
  • Co-Workers, Fraternity Brothers/Sorority Sisters, Church Family - Group 2
  • Children (if they are invited)
  • Other

When doing the category exercise, you may find that certain categories won't make the cut based on your guest count, such as children or some college friends, which is why ranking in order or priority will help to determine the essential guests.

5. TO EXTEND OR NOT EXTEND A PLUS ONE

Plus ones is another important item to consider when creating your guest list, and really deserves it's own post (coming soon), but I will break it down simply for now. First and foremost, your married guests' husbands or wives SHOULD be invited. Whether you've met that co-worker's spouse or not, it's proper etiquette to invite the spouses of your guests. Therefore, if you already started your guest list, but didn't include spouses, be prepared to up your numbers.

You don't have to extend a plus one for all unmarried guests. However, it's recommended to be strategic and fair if allowing some, but not all unmarried guests to have a plus one. For example, you may want your double date night crew who are not married to attend, which makes sense. On the other hand, you may have a friend who just got into a new relationship and you don't know her significant other yet, in which case it's fine if you don't want to extend a plus one. Also, it's important to consider unmarried couples who have been in a long-term committed relationship and/or live together, in which case it would be challenging to invite 1 person in a household and not the other (with the exception of children, who don't have to be invited to a wedding, unless you want them, too). In short, be wise and fair with plus ones.

6. CONSIDER HISTORY AND YOUR RELATIONSHIP TODAY

When working with couples who are trying to cut down their guest list, I recommend that they consider their history and current state with those particular guests. Here are some great questions to ask yourself when contemplating if you want to invite a particular guest or not:

  • Are we really close or have we grown apart?
  • When was the last time I spoke to or saw him/her?
  • Has this person ever met my fiancé or know anything about us as a couple?
  • Was I invited to his/her wedding?
  • Has this person attended or declined the last 3 events I hosted?

Remember this is a big and special day, that realistically can't be shared with every single person you know, so choose your guest list wisely.


Tell me what you think about these tips, and share you guest list questions below!

Sensationally yours,

Shalyce

 

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8 Tips For Being An Amazing Wedding Guest

Happy Wedding Wednesday! I'm so happy to share today's post, which I hope you find to be very insightful from a couple's and wedding planner's perspective.

A wedding is such a joyous, celebratory event. It joins together family and friends, all in the name of love. Couples, planners and vendors work diligently to produce beautiful, enjoyable and well executed weddings. One of the things I love as a planner is education - whether it's going to trainings or coaching my couples and peers. Well today, I'm happy to share some tips for wedding guests! 

Photo Credit: Mandi Mitchell Photography

Photo Credit: Mandi Mitchell Photography

Whether these are tips you already know or perhaps some you've never considered, I hope they equip or refresh wedding guests on ways to help the couple during the planning process and to show up in love and support on wedding day. There are so many great tips to be shared on this topic, but here are my top eight:

1. Be timely with rsvps and arriving to the wedding

In this busy, on the go world we live in, returning a rsvp card might unintentionally fall to the bottom of your to do list. However, wedding guests are encouraged to make this a priority. Why? It's essential for the couple, caterer, wedding planner and other vendors in accurately accounting for meals, seating, and many of the wedding day details. Whether you can attend or not, do the couple (and vendors) a favor and respond with your gladly accepts or regretfully  declines by the requested deadline. Also, don't forget to write your name on the line allotted for you on the rsvp card.

Also, on-time arrival to the wedding is so important. Here's a tip - plan to arrive 15-20 minutes prior to the ceremony start time. This will give you plenty of time to sign the guest book, locate the gift table, freshen up your lipstick and find a seat before the processional begins. If you arrive 30 minutes or more early, kindly understand it's unlikely that you will be able to seated, as doors generally are not opened until 15-30 minutes prior to the ceremony. On the flipside, should you arrive late, also kindly understand that you will not be able to be seated until the wedding party and couple has processed in or you may be unable to be seated for the ceremony (based on the couple's preference for late arrivals). So in short, plan for traffic and make every effort to be there on time to joyfully celebrate with the couple. 

Photo Credit: LaJoy Photography

Photo Credit: LaJoy Photography

2. Notify of any food allergies/dietary restrictions

Along with sending in your rsvp, there may be an option for you to select an entree choice, depending on the couple's catering options. If by chance the couple has opted to serve guests the same meal, caterers can of course still accommodate those with food allergies and dietary restrictions. Should you be vegan, vegetarian, allergic to nuts, or have any other accommodations that need to be made for your meal, kindly notify the couple or wedding planner when you rsvp. The last thing we want is for any guests to have a reaction or become ill at the reception. If you don't have food allergies or dietary restrictions, it is recommended to refrain from requesting special meals or changing the entree you selected on the day of. Additionally, please be understanding that caterers typically do not box up uneaten or leftover food for guests to take home, like a restaurant, so it's recommended not to make this request.

Photo Credit: Rhea Whitney

Photo Credit: Rhea Whitney

3. Refrain from bring uninvited guests

Ok folks, if you want to be an amazing wedding guest, you will shoot to the top of the list by only bringing invited guests. I get it, sometimes you may want to bring a date but you weren't given the plus one option, or perhaps you were unable to secure childcare for your child...regardless of the scenario, it's so important that the number of guest(s) for your invitation be adhered to.

In addition, it's important not to assume that a plus one or other family members were invited just because you were (with the exception of your spouse who the invitation should already be addressed to). The general rule is whomever the outer envelope of the invitation was addressed to are the only invited person(s). For example, if an invitation was addressed Mr. and Mrs. Sean Carter, they wouldn't assume that Blue Ivy, Sir and Rumi can attend, otherwise their names would have been listed, too. For unmarried guests, if you are extended a plus one it should say for example Mr. John Doe and Guest (or the invited guest's name). 

Let's show the couple love and support by respecting their guest list wishes and not requesting to be invited or taking it upon yourself to invite others to come with you. Additionally, swapping out invited guests for uninvited guests is also highly discouraged. Save yourself the hassle of having an uninvited guest turned away at the reception because the wedding planner will respect the couple's wishes.

4. Be mindful of the hired pros

When the couple has hired quality professional wedding vendors, rest assured that you are in for a treat at the wedding, but also that the couple is in good hands and their wedding wishes will be executed. To that end, it is important to be mindful of the couple's hired pros. A few ways you can do this are:

  • Avoid blocking the photographers and cinematographers view. The couple has likely invested in top notch vendors (they have if they are a sensational couple), so the last thing they want is Aunt Jane, Uncle John and Cousin Joe standing in the aisle taking photos and going live on Instagram obstructing the vendors view and worse being in the vendors shots. We get it, you want to capture memories of your loved ones day too, but please know that it's first most important for the vendors to do their job without obstruction. If it is not an unplugged wedding, feel free to take photos in your seat, at your table, and with the couple and guests at an appropriate time.
  • Avoid suggesting changes or additions to the flow of the wedding day. Perhaps there are family traditions you would love to see at the wedding or maybe you've attended many weddings and have great ideas that you think could be utilized. While the ideas may be great, understand the planner can not implement changes or additions to the wedding. We have worked hard to gather all of the couple's wishes and the couple has entrusted us to execute that vision alone.
  • Avoid asking the DJ for song requests. I'm a huge music lover, and many wedding guests are too, so naturally you want to hear your song! And that's totally fine. However, understand that the couple has provided the DJ with the genres of music they like and in many cases specific songs and artists they want to hear. Therefore, allow the DJ the opportunity to not only fulfill the couple's wishes, but also to display their talent and skill.

5. Consider the wedding style in terms of attire

The only attire rule that used to apply was never wear white to a wedding. However, with so many new wedding trends, in some instances guests are actually invited to wear white or all black, when couples suggest color codes. In other instances, couples have black tie formal weddings or the opposite rustic weddings. In terms of attire, my tip is to consider the style of the wedding in an effort to determine what to wear.

Generally, jeans and super casual attire is a no-no, unless it is specifically requested for guests to come that casual. My personal rule of thumb when no style is inferred, is to A) consider the couple's style, venue(s) and invitation for guidance - if it's a super formal venue or invitation then I dress up a bit more, B) generally defer to a dress, and C) my husband generally defers to a suit (if it's not a beach wedding).

Photo Credit: Rhea Whitney

Photo Credit: Rhea Whitney

6. Get out on the dance floor

Don't be a party pooper, get out on the dance floor (of course if you have a health issue this doesn't apply)! Now if you're not the dancing type, no worries. My recommendation is to at least get out there for 1 song, and enjoy cake and conversing with other guests in the meantime. Additionally, if it's an evening wedding, and perhaps you are unable to stay until the end, try to hang around for as long as you can. After all, if everyone leaves early, that would be no fun for the couple, right?! Most of my sensational couples look forward to having a great time on the dance floor with their guests, so don't disappoint them :)

Photo Credit: Rhea Whitney

Photo Credit: Rhea Whitney

7. Show the love

After working for nearly a year or more on their wedding, couples are excited for the culmination of the wedding planning. Show them your love and support for their new life together, by not only showing up to the wedding, but extending personal congrats to the couple. The most common way to do this is to bring a card and wedding gift from their wedding registry or a monetary gift. Additionally, when the opportunity presents itself, tell the couple how happy you are for them, how nice the wedding is/was, and how amazing they look. After all, who doesn't love well wishes and compliments right?!

Photo Credit: LaJoy Photography

Photo Credit: LaJoy Photography

8. Enjoy yourself

Last but not least, all couples want their wedding guests to have an amazing time, so enjoy yourself! Soak up the moments celebrating your loved ones, seeing friends and family, eating a delicious meal, hopping in the photobooth and hitting the dance floor. Many couples work hard to personalize their weddings and create an amazing guest experience, so enjoy it all! When I'm not planning a wedding, I fully enjoy being a wedding guest, as it's a 2 for 1 deal - celebrating people I love and date night with hubby :)


Alright folks, that's my top eight, and I hope you enjoyed them! In the comments section, tell me what you think, and any other tips you would add to this list.

Sensationally yours,

Shalyce

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10 Reasons to Hire a Wedding Planner - Pt. 2

Happy Wedding Wednesday!

I've received such great feedback on last week's post, and today I'm back with part 2, sharing the last 5 of my top 10 reasons to hire a wedding planner. So let's jump right into it, and you can check out part 1 here, in case you missed it.

Photo Credit: Rhea Whitney

Photo Credit: Rhea Whitney

6. DEVELOPMENT AND EXECUTION OF YOUR VISION

By now, you've got a Pinterest board filled with inspiration, flipped through tons of wedding magazines, and have hit that heart button on all the fabulous wedding photos on Instagram. Whether you've fully determined a wedding vision, style and/or theme or perhaps just have a color scheme in mind, a professional planner, especially one who is also a wedding designer like myself, is equipped to support you in developing and executing your vision. While many of the steps you may have taken like creating a Pinterest board are helpful in identifying your interests, a planner will help to take your interests and build upon that to create a personalized and cohesive vision. From the save the dates, to the wedding website, to the flow of the wedding day, to the florals, linens, and attire, all elements of your wedding should tell a story - your story. Equally important, the elements of your wedding should all be cohesive. 

Once the vision has been developed, a planner also ensures it's executed. From providing floral, rental and lighting vendors, to presenting custom stationery and out of the box personalized details and more, a planner takes the leg work out of the design process for you. We are skilled in creating amazing weddings and have a talented network of professional vendors on hand to assist us bringing any vision to life. Thus, on wedding day, you can walk in wowed by your vision coming to life, and relaxed because you left the job to a professional.

7. LIAISON FOR THE IMPORTANT PARTIES INVOLVED

I've never met a couple that wanted to keep up with all the vendors and parties involved with the wedding. Let's face it, for the couple, planning a wedding is supposed to be fun - rightfully so. A planner is so valuable in managing communication with the venue and wedding vendors, so you don't have to spend your engaged days on the phone and emailing multiple vendors 24/7. We manage the implementation of your wedding wishes with the various vendors and keep you in the loop of important matters and what is needed from you; thus, keeping the process simple and stress-free. Additionally, we keep the wedding party notified of important details, as it's important that they are familiar with the planner prior to the wedding. In short, we streamline the process by serving as the point of contact for the important wedding matters.

8. SKILLED TO CATCH THINGS YOU MAY NOT

While the checklists they provide online and in wedding magazines are a good gauge for some of the things that have to be done when planning a wedding, those lists aren't the end all be all. I can't tell you the amount of times my couples have said the phrase, "Wow, I didn't know that" when I share a task to be done or provide insight on certain wedding questions. A wedding planner can be considered a form of insurance, as we help ensure that everything that needs to be done for your wedding is actually done, and we double check everything.

Tasks like reconciling rsvps to verify the accurate guest count and against the floorplan and seating chart, reviewing vendor contracts for accuracy and so that you are covered, proofing invitation verbiage and proper guests addressing (not to mention verifying the invitation weight before mailing), and so much more are all examples of a wedding planner's skills to ensure all the planning tasks and the wedding day goes off without a hitch. Just like owning a car and not having insurance is risky, likewise, planning a wedding without a planner is a huge gamble on your most special day.

9. EXPERTISE TO RUN THE SHOW ON WEDDING DAY

I'm a huge advocate for couples enjoying their engagement (while the planner manages the big stuff), and especially enjoying their wedding day. The last thing you want to do is be worried about what happens next and who is doing what on your wedding day. It would be difficult to have an enjoyable and stress-free wedding if you a) don't have a professional planner to manage the full wedding day, or b) hire an amateur to coordinate your day, who in turn could be just as detrimental as not having a planner at all.

By having a professional planner manage your wedding day, you can find comfort in having your day well executed and running on time. In addition, your wedding day wishes will be implemented, while you simply celebrate and enjoy joining together as one with the love of your life. Exactly how it should be! 

You can be at ease while getting your hair and makeup done - your planner has confirmed the needed end time with your stylist and makeup artist. You don't have to wrangle the wedding party - your planner has given everyone their marching orders and the timeline, and is ensuring throughout the day that everyone is good to go. You don't have to worry about if the flowers have arrived or where the DJ is - your planner has communicated thoroughly with all vendors and is working on site with them to get the wedding set-up flawlessly. You don't have to worry about the processional, ceremony or reception agenda being executed - you've worked with your planner for quite sometime and they have all of your wishes and the timeline for the day, which will be executed seamlessly. As a planner I'm so invested in my couples and the success of their big day!

10. PROTECT YOUR SANITY AND HAPPINESS

Last but certainly not least, having a planner means having an advocate for your sanity and happiness. After all, this is supposed to be one of the happiest times of your life, right?! A planner's job is first and foremost to get to know you the couple, so we can best serve you. Your happiness is our happiness, so assessing your needs and wishes is paramount, and from there working hard to meet your needs. Professional planners are inventive, organized, creative, critical thinkers, problem solvers, sometimes therapists, passionate, and best of all knowledgeable about your wedding and the business of managing weddings. We are advocates for you and your blissful journey to marriage, and help to ensure that your planning process is enjoyable and your wedding day is exactly how you've planned for it, and in our case, absolutely sensational! So keep calm and hire a planner! It goes without saying, Sensational Soirees is here and would love to serve and support you!


Those are my top 10 reasons for hiring a planner! I hope they were insightful, and shed light on what we offer couples and our passion in doing what we love! Tell me what you think in the comments section. For questions regarding Sensational Soirees planning services, please contact us here, and you can learn about my approach to planning here. I can't wait to support you on your journey to 'I do'!

Sensationally yours,

Shalyce

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10 Reasons to Hire a Wedding Planner - Pt. 1

Engagement season is in full swing, and my timeline was buzzing with beautiful proposals over the holidays! So in honor of the first Wedding Wednesday of 2018, today we're talking about wedding planning.

If you're wondering what you should do after your love pops the question, there are 3 steps I recommend here. Obviously, one of those 3 steps is to hire a planner. Why you ask? I'm so happy to tell you exactly why, hence today's post. Maybe you already know that you will definitely hire a planner for your big day, or perhaps you're questioning if it's worth the investment. There might be others of you who believe your venue, family members and/or friends can help you handle everything. Whether you are in one of these groups or maybe somewhere in the middle, today's post is here to shed light on the role of a wedding planner, why we're irreplaceable and how we add real value to couples. 

Photo Credit: LaJoy Photography

Photo Credit: LaJoy Photography

This is a topic I'm so passionate about and could literally talk about all day, but to save you from excess reading, I'm breaking this up into 2 parts, so here's 5 of 10 reasons to hire a wedding planner: 

1. PROFESSIONALISM AND DEDICATION YOU CAN RELY ON

When you hire a wedding planner, you will in turn receive: a wedding advisor to lend expertise and insight, worker bee committed to you and the execution of ALL the wedding plans, a bridal bestie to share the excitement with, a visionary to deliver concepts to wow you, and an advocate for your wedding day dreams come true and marriage.

Many times newly engaged couples assume that family, friends or a venue appointed coordinator can fulfill the same role of a professional wedding planner. While the support of loved ones and your wedding party is wonderful, they are there to support you while a planner is there to be the source you can depend on to ensure your wedding is everything you hope for and much more. After all, that is not only our job, but our passion. We have so much experience in executing weddings, and we remain educated on all things wedding, which makes us both knowledgeable and reliable.

Many venues and caterers are offering day of coordinators that are sometimes referred to as wedding planners. However, any coordinator or planner from a venue or caterer is not the same as a professional wedding planner. A day of coordinator provided by the venue is an asset to couples and wedding planners in managing logistics from a venue and catering perspective, and I enjoy working with them. Given a planner's wedding logistics expertise and dedication to the couple, we thrive in managing ALL elements of your wedding so that it reflects you and your vision. A venue or caterer appointed coordinator will limit their service to the realm of what impacts the venue or caterer, while a planner will be involved with each aspect of the wedding from beginning to end.

2. MANAGEMENT OF ALL THE WEDDING PLANS AND DETAILS

This point perfectly segways from my first point, as your wedding planner is the one who will happily manage all the details for your wedding. Whether you have a small or large wedding, there are several details that go into planning a wedding such as choosing your color palette, picking out stationery, deciding on special elements to be incorporated, receiving and tracking RSVPs and much more. As the couple, it would be overwhelming for you to handle these details on your own, which is why a planner is there to lead this process and keep things organized along the way.

3. BUDGET INSIGHT

How much do flowers cost? How much should I estimate for catering? What else needs to be factored in the wedding budget? These are questions that couples will ask themselves and not have an answer for without having a planner. Sure, your vendors and venue will provide you with a proposal highlighting their service fees and rates. But only a planner will equip you with a comprehensive budget projection at the very start of the planning process.

It is very risky to begin booking a venue and vendors without an overall wedding budget or knowledge of what goes into a wedding budget to begin with. For example, if you book a venue and caterer that equals up to $30,000, but you later determine that you only want to spend $35,000 on the entire wedding, you will certainly be in a big predicament. Which is why the very first thing I discuss with my couples is their budget.

We will discuss the amount of money you want to spend on the wedding, and then in turn I will offer up average estimates for your wishes (tailored to your wedding style) and all the wedding budget categories - DJ, favors, photography, you name it. Furthermore, if your wishes don't align with the money you intend to invest in the wedding, then we revisit the budget and your wishlist until we are able to find a workable solution. In addition, for full-service wedding clients you get the added benefit of budget management throughout the process to ensure you stay on target with your vision and budget goals. The value of budget insight is truly priceless.

4. STRESS-FREE AND ORGANIZED PLANNING PROCESS

Planners are skilled in our ability to keep things organized, which makes for a stress-free planning experience. Couples find us valuable for so many reasons, and our knowledge of what tasks need to be done during the planning process is one of them. Often times newly engaged couples may only know that they have to secure wedding attire, venue and vendors, and decor. Then their stress comes into play when they don't realize floorpans need to be created, how to secure wedding insurance, how to properly address wedding invitations, how the wedding day will flow from start to finish, and more. However, as planners, we ward off the stress for couples by being knowledgeable of what is needed for a couple's wedding day and leading the planning process to ensure that everything gets done and at the right time. We go beyond those Pinterest checklists, and execute the important planning.

One of the things that my couples love is our online planning portal where the guest list, seating chart, checklist, vendor contacts, inspirational photos, contracts and so much more are housed. Additionally, they love that this is a system that I update frequently, and they can log on at anytime 24/7 to see everything related to their wedding in a clear, concise and orderly format. As a couple, your job is to enjoy the process, not be stressed with managing all the plans - therefore we take care of them for you.

5. ACCESS TO AND INSIGHT ON REPUTABLE VENDORS

In our Internet and social media driven world, it's quite easy to Google or hashtag search for anything or anyone. You could easily Google Washington DC wedding venues and find a long list of places. However, does weeding through a long list of places or vendors sound like fun to you? It doesn't to any of my clients, which is a part of the reason why they hire me. While they may know of some vendors or venues that they are interested in, they want to be sure that these places and companies are reputable and to receive other venue and vendor recommendations that I have.

As planners, we are known for working with amazing vendors and also networking with new vendors. Coupled with that, we are knowledgeable of our clients and the specific needs of their weddings; therefore, we are equipped to make the right venue and vendor recommendations for your event, instead of just a random list based on a generic search. For example, if I know a couple loves water, then I help them to personalize their day by incorporating their love for water by recommending waterfront venues or perhaps just doing a waterfront engagement session with an amazing photographer skilled in that type of scenery.

In addition to providing access to these reputable vendors, as a planner, I also communicate with them on your behalf. I understand couples are busy and want to avoid stress, so reaching out to multiple vendors and venues could be overwhelming for a couple, which is why we establish those initial touch points to gain the vendors availability and more information on their services to further assess if they are a match and available before even sending a couple's way. Again, a planner is there to add value and streamline the process for both our couples and vendors. 


I hope this post helped you understand more of what planners bring to the table, as the glue that helps keep all your wedding plans together. Stay tuned for part 2 on the next 'Wedding Wednesday'! Share below which of my 5 points you find to be most valuable. 

Sensationally yours,

Shalyce

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Christmas Came Early

Happy Monday, and 1 week countdown to Christmas! I don't know about you, but I am full of holiday cheer! After all, it's the most wonderful time of the year, and I'm in full swing setting goals for the new year. Well, this holiday season there are 5 more things I'm loving and celebrating (plus some things you'll love too)!

1. The debut issue of B Inspired The Magazine
I have several reasons to be excited about this epic magazine filled with 300+ pages of stunning weddings, celebrations, styled shoots and expert articles. And 1 of those reasons is yours truly is featured in this magazine! With the help of some of my amazing friendors, a beautiful editorial I planned is gracing the pages of B Inspired. Do yourself a favor and pre-order the magazine today here, and be sure to grab one for a friend when it hits newsstands the day after Christmas!

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2. Christmas Shopping Online (plus cash back!)
I primarily do most of my shopping online, especially when it comes to Christmas gift giving. It saves me so much time, and takes the stress out of shopping. Well, I recently learned of another incentive to shop online - cash back through Ebates! I've already earned $40 in less than a month, simply by shopping where I normally shop and clicking the ebates button when I do! You can sign up for FREE here, and start earning cash back on your purchases from stores/sites like Walmart, Macy's, Amazon, Sak's Fifth Avenue, Ugg, Old Navy, MAC, Expedia, Marriott...need I go on?! You can thank me later :)

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3. I'm loving my mom's 55th birthday photo shoot
I'm trying to find the fountain of youth she drank from! I hope I can slay like this at 55! The one thing my mom wanted for her birthday was some updated photos of herself and our family, and thankfully my good #photograpHER friend, Rhea Whitney, was able to make that happen. Whether for your birthday, wedding or other special event or portrait needs, be sure to call Rhea to get your photos magazine worthy.

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4. Everything Christmas (and these 2 cuties!)
Thanks again to Rhea Whitney because my family can send out season's greetings this year with updated photos! She even has some shots of me and hubby giving engagement shoot vibes! :) I love everything Christmas, and I'm grateful for this season of celebrating the birth of Christ, giving to others, tree trimming, quality time with family and friends and spreading joy!

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5. Engagement Season
Cue the confetti for engagement season! I always look forward to seeing the proposals fill up my timeline after Christmas, the New Year, and Valentine's Day! Likewise, I love welcoming new couples to the Sensational Soirees family, and planning the wedding of their dreams. We have availability for a few more couples for 2018, and already have some couples booked for 2019! So if you or a friend want to check our date availability and pricing, simply reply to this email or email info@sensationalsoirees.com. I'd be happy to send a planning guide your way, too!

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Welp, that's what I'm loving this season! What are some things you are excited about this season and for the new year? Share in the comments section. I hope you and yours have a very Merry Christmas! 

Sensationally yours,

Shalyce

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