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DC Wedding Planning: 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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DC Wedding Planning: I'm Engaged! Now What?

Happy Wedding Wednesday! 

For all of my newly engaged and perhaps soon to be engaged couples, today's post is just for you! :) 

First off, congrats on your engagement! How exciting?! Planning a wedding is an amazing experience, but even more amazing is spending the rest of your life with your soulmate. I celebrate with you in your decision to make your love last a lifetime.

So you're engaged...now what? If you're in the phase of not knowing what to do next, I'm happy to share my top 3 tips for what you may want to consider doing.

Photo Credit: SC Stockshop

Photo Credit: SC Stockshop

 

ENJOY THE MOMENT

Now that you've said "YES", it's a great idea to just enjoy your engagement for a few weeks or more before you hit the ground running with wedding planning. This time will allow you and your love the opportunity to enjoy each other, think about your future together, and share the news with loved ones.

Whether you plan to get hitched shortly after the engagement or perhaps will wed in a year or two to give you more time to iron out the wedding details (and your budget), be sure to enjoy the wedding planning process and preparing for marriage!

Photo Credit: Dave McIntosh Photographics

Photo Credit: Dave McIntosh Photographics

DISCUSS INITIAL PLANS

Now that you've taken the time to enjoy the initial engagement excitement, it's time to get down to the business of wedding planning! I strongly suggest sitting down with your fiancé to discuss your collective vision and desires for the wedding. Think about the important planning topics, such as date options, intimate versus large wedding, location, wedding style and more. 

Wedding blogs, magazines and Pinterest are great resources to begin determining the things that appeal to you; however, be careful not to overload on these resources if you find that you get easily overwhelmed with everything in "wedding world".

As you discuss initial plans, considering your budget and how you will or can realistically invest in your wedding is extremely important. Your budget can drive several factors such as date, guest count, venue and design. The current average cost of a wedding is $35,329, reported by The Knot, so as you dream up your wedding vision also keep your budget in mind and discuss with parents that may be contributing.

Photo Credit: Rekita Nicole

Photo Credit: Rekita Nicole

HIRE A PLANNER

I know what you're probably thinking - shameless plug for Sensational Soirees. But I PROMISE this isn't. I too was once a bride, and when I went through the planning process there was no way I could've done it without the help of a planner.


Whether you plan to be very hands-on or somewhat hands-off with the wedding details, it's important to hire a wedding planner for many reasons. to include but not limited to: 

1. Our wedding industry expertise, as we help you navigate through important wedding planning decisions, which can help save you time and money.
2. Our experience to guide you through the planning process, while making sure nothing is forgotten along the way.
3. Our partnership in being dedicated to you, your vision and management on wedding day, so you can enjoy yourself stress-free.
 

Additionally, a planner who is also a designer, like myself, brings added value to the table in being able to design the beauty and details of your day, and provides expert insight on the cost to bring your vision to life. Designers have great vendor relationships, so that you have a team working together, while you relax, to make your day all you wish for and more.

While parents and the bridal party are of great support to a couple, nothing can replace the true value of a wedding planner right there on your side, helping to bring your wedding day dreams to life!

Photo Credit: Rhea Whitney Photography

Photo Credit: Rhea Whitney Photography

I hope you find these tips to be helpful! If you'd like a copy of my guide "I'm Engaged, Now What?" you can download it here, and feel free to tell an engaged friend! And if you're newly engaged, share in the comments below, so I can congratulate you!

Sensationally yours,

Shalyce

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Sensational Couples: Barbara and Marc

Happy Valentine's Day! 

Since today is all about celebrating love, I'm so happy to share the love story of one of my sensational couples, Barbara and Marc. Their love for one another and chemistry was evident from the moment I met them last year. Our initial planning consultation was filled not only with conversation about their wedding day plans, but also laughs, which is reflective of their great personalities and energy. #TeamTwix, as they are affectionately called by everyone, are the cutest, and these photos from their Redskins themed engagement session are sure to make you smile.

Photo Credit: Rhea Whitney Photography

Photo Credit: Rhea Whitney Photography

How and when did you meet?

We met on Twitter back in 2012! We had mutual friends and Marc saw me and decided to hit follow! I followed back and eventually mentions turned into subtweets which turned into DMs and....here we are! 

What about marriage are you looking forward to most?

Marc is looking forward to learning more of my quirky habits. The types of quirky habits that one can only learn by living with each other, the parts of me that people don't know. I am most looking forward to seeing him every day! We don't live together yet, so I am looking forward to being married and seeing him on a daily basis.

What do you love most about your relationship?

Authenticity and reciprocity! We are always honest with each other. We are able to be our true selves with each other! Also, we are big believers in reciprocity. Never one person giving all and the other giving only a little...we both give and show love, affection, and compassion.

Photo Credit: Rhea Whitney Photography

Photo Credit: Rhea Whitney Photography

What song would you dedicate to him/her?

Marc- Love Star (Common), Bobbi- Your Love Is My Love (Whitney Houston)

Share more about the name #TeamTwix.

Marc created the #TeamTwix name! When we first started dating, before I even moved back to MD from Florida, he said that if we were together, I would be the caramel to his chocolate...like Twix! And just like that, #TeamTwix was born.

Photo Credit: Rhea Whitney Photography

Photo Credit: Rhea Whitney Photography

For fun...of the following who is your favorite TV/Movie couple? a) Martin and Gina (Martin), b) Darius and Nina (Love Jones), c) Claire and Cliff (The Cosby Show), d) Ross and Rachel (Friends), e) Whitley and Dwayne (A Different World), f) Akeem and Lisa (Coming to America), g) Lucy and Ricky (I Love Lucy), h) Choose a couple not listed.

Simba and Nala from The Lion King. Simba is a lion and Marc is definitely the ultimate Leo! And Nala is his best friend and the love of his life. We love them! 

Photo Credit: Rhea Whitney Photography

Photo Credit: Rhea Whitney Photography

I told you they were the cutest! I'm so looking forward to their big day this July in National Harbor. Feel free to share well wishes for Barbara and Marc in the comments section.

I hope you all enjoy your Valentine's Day!

Sensationally yours,

Shalyce

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Meet Sensational Couple, Jennell and Brad

Happy Wedding Wednesday! This month, as we continue to celebrate love and marriage, we are featuring a few sensational couples who have become apart of the Sensational Soirees family. Today, we would like you to meet sensational couple, Jennell and Brad, who are getting hitched next year. The beautiful couple plans to host a sensational wedding that exudes romance and non-stop celebration!  Read on to see what we learned about these two love birds... "Computer Love"

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How did you meet? We met on the social site MySpace. Brad commented on a picture of my friends and I at a cookout, asking if he could come to the next one. We began to message one another daily and had our first date soon after.

When did you know you were meant to be? After 8 years of dating, it is hard to identify that defining "moment." While writing this feature, I asked Brad to choose a moment, and he says "I knew you were the one when I started doing things I had never done before." I asked like what and he states "when I gave you a foot massage and you know I hate feet."

Describe the proposal. Brad proposed at our son's 2nd birthday party and I was in complete "shock!" I never knew it would happen just 2 weeks after going ring shopping. Brad says "that occasion was chosen because it is one of the few moments that both our family and friends would be in attendance and I would least expect it."

What do you believe is the key to a successful relationship? We believe communication, date nights, compromising and friendship are the keys to a successful relationship.

FullSizeRenderjennellbrad

Love is truly such a beautiful thing! We are so excited for these two, and are enjoying being apart of their journey to the aisle.

Sensationally yours,

Shalyce

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Meet Sensational Couple, Ryan and Brian

Happy Wedding Wednesday! During February, as we celebrate love and marriage, we are so happy to feature a few sensational couples who have become apart of the Sensational Soirees family. On the blog this month, we will include love stories from some of our engaged couples, and interviews with some pretty amazing wedding vendors. Today, we would like you to meet sensational couple, Ryan and Brian, who are getting hitched this June in Fort Washington, Maryland. They are planning for a sensational wedding that truly reflects their love story, which can be summed up as beautiful and fun. Read on to see what we learned about these two love birds...

"RBLovestory"

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Engagement Photography by Labyrinth Photography

How did you meet? We met at Thurgood Marshall Middle School when we were in the 7th (Ryan) and 8th (Brian) grade. We both liked each other but didn't tell the other, just our friends.

What was your most romantic date? In our beginning months of dating, we would alternate who would plan a date. The most romantic date was when we went on a sightseeing tour boat ride on the Potomac River from Georgetown to Alexandria and back. The sun was setting, there weren't too many people on the boat so it was just overall a romantic ride. rb2

Describe the proposal. January 7, 2014 I (Ryan) graduated with my Masters degree and we planned a graduation dinner to celebrate at Grace Mandarin's at the National Harbor. A lot of people couldn't make it to the graduation because there were not enough tickets so I expected more people to show up at the dinner. As the night when on more people starting to show up to the dinner, people I didn't even invite. But I just assumed Brian, my best friends or my Mom had invited them. As the night went on, everyone wanted me to give a speech so I just said thank you to everyone for coming and always supporting me. Two of our friends got up and spoke and then Brian's best friend Lance introduced Brian to speak. Brian isn't a talker so I was a little confused. He spoke, then gave me a Georgetown cupcake box with a ring box inside, that turned out to be empty! After everyone laughed, including me, Brian got down on his knee with the real box and proposed!

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What makes your love story so special? The thing that makes our love story so special is that it sometimes feels as though this story has been in the making since middle school. Although our lives took so many different turns and we went down different paths, we never lost contact with one another. The similarities in our names, and the fact that we've known each other since middle school, is just a true sign that soul mates do exist. We truly are each others best friends and biggest supporters.

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Don't you just love, love?! These two are such a joy to work with, and we can't wait to witness them say "I Do" in June.

Sensationally yours,

Shalyce

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