5 Tips to Ensure Your Wedding Decor is Set Up the Way You Envision

To ensure your wedding decor is set up the way you envision it, you need a clear picture of what you want. Your wedding decor sets the stage, the atmosphere, if you will, for the entire experience. Whether you envision every single detail or just have a general feeling of what you want, get clear on it and then communicate it to whoever is doing the setup for you. You can’t have your wedding decor setup the way you want if you can’t communicate your vision.

Wedding decor setup tips by Naturally Chic | www.naturallychic.ca

Five Tips to Ensure Your Wedding Decor is Set Up the Way You Want

Whether you’re setting up the decor for yourself or have helpers setting it up for you (or a professional wedding coordinator), these 5 tips will help ensure that everything is set up the way you envision it!

  1. Practice setting up on your wedding decor. Set out all the decor you have for a single area (e.g. the cake table, the card table etc.). Working on one vignette at a time, practice setting up your decor. To ensure accuracy, get the measurements of tables, consoles, mantles, or anything you will be using for set up on the actual wedding day.
  2. Take a photograph of how you want your decor setup to look. Once you’ve practiced setting up your decor and are satisfied with how it looks, take a photo of the decor. You can print up the photo and tape it onto your wedding bins. This visual representation of your setup will make it super easy for others to duplicate your setup.
  3. Use a “Decor Setup Checklist”. Make a decor checklist detailing every single piece of decor that you have. It’s helpful if you divide your checklist into the various setups (e.g. ceremony, cocktail hour, dinner reception, etc.). Once you have the different setup areas, you can break the list down even further (e.g. ceremony – ceremony altar, ceremony aisle, aisle, signing table guest chairs etc.). List all the decor that you have for each area. Print up copies of the checklist and distribute it to your helpers.
  4. Carefully pack and label your decor. Use your decor checklist when packing your decor items to ensure that you have packed everything. It is a good idea to try and pack items that you will be using in one area in the same bin(s). For example, if you’re having a sweets table, try and pack everything for the sweets table in one or two bins. You don’t want to sort through every bin you have to find the items you need. Label your bin for the specific area (e.g. sweets table). You can even list all the contents of each bin on the label so that nothing gets misplaced.
  5. Designate a trust-worthy point person for setup. Whether this person is a friend or your wedding coordinator, you want one person who understands your wedding vision. Ideally, it’s best to sit down with this person in person and go over every single detail of the setup. You can show them your setup photos and your decor checklist. Then, if any of your other helpers have questions on the wedding day, they can go to the point person for clarification.

Bonus Tip

Discuss your wedding decor setup with your venue coordinator. Let them know what you have planned for your decor. Be sure to ask what time you can get into the room to set up your decor and any setup restrictions that they have. For example, does the venue require time to “flip” the room from your ceremony setup to your dinner reception (knowing this can help you determine how much time you will have for setup and how many helpers you’ll need for the time available)? You can also ensure you have all the right tools for the job (e.g. if your venue doesn’t allow nail holes in the wall, ask them what is acceptable and bring that instead).

Once you have all your decor organized and have communicated your decor vision to the key people involved with your setup, you should be good to go! It’s time to relax and enjoy your wedding day!

Expert Wedding Planner: Naturally Chic

Naturally Chic is a Canmore-based, mountain wedding specialist known for their natural aesthetic and innovative wedding design. They focus on creating meaningful experiences that are a reflection of the couples they work with.

Photo Credit:

Photography: Sarah Vaughan Photography; Design and Styling: Naturally Chic; Flowers: Willow Flower Co.

  

Do You Have Wedding Backup Plans?

If you are planning an outdoor wedding, you may want to consider having a backup plan. As a wedding planner in Calgary, AB, the one thing out of my control is the weather! In this city it could be raining one minute, sunny the next and snowing after that. Do you have a Plan B?

Having a Weather Backup Plan for Outdoor weddings from Shannon Valente Weddings, Corrina Walker Photography

My advice? Hope for the best and prepare for the worst!

1. Location – If mother nature chooses to bless you with rain on your big day (it’s considered good luck) have an alternative location for your ceremony. Your reception area can be a great option for this. Ideally, your reception location can use the same chairs for both ceremony and reception. If the ceremony plan B and reception will be in the same area, ask the venue about a room divider to keep the reception reveal a surprise!

2. Communicate – Make sure your guests know that if it is raining they are to go to the plan B location. You don’t want to leave your guests in limbo and have them miss the ceremony? If possible, have someone stay at the original ceremony location to direct guests.

3. Time – Allow extra time for any back and forth that comes along with moving locations. If you choose to wait out a rain cloud you may also need extra time to….well, wait!  Or time to dry off the guests’ chairs so they don’t get wet. Make sure your timeline isn’t too tight so you will still have plenty of time for pictures, dinner, dancing, or whatever follows.

4 . Relax – No one can control the weather. Life is full of surprises (and this will surely NOT be the last one you and your new partner encounter), don’t let a little silly rain spoil your special day.

5 . Supplies – Bring supplies to combat the weather, waterproof makeup, towels, umbrellas for pictures (smooching under an umbrella in the rain makes for a great photo opp!) and for running to and from the car/limo.

There are a lot of things you can control on your wedding day, rain is not one of them. So don’t fret about things that are out of your control. By having a wedding backup plan you can roll with it and at the end of the day, rain or no rain, you will still be married to your perfect match.

Wedding Backup Plan Credits:

Corrina Walker Photography

EXPERT WEDDING PLANNER: Shannon Valente Weddings

Shannon Valente Weddings is a Calgary, Alberta wedding planning and design studio known for their simple, classic designs. They believe in innovation over extravagance. Creating personalized, fun weddings that celebrate YOU!

 

  

How to Plan a Wedding

Congratulations! You’re newly engaged and ready to plan your wedding. Now, what? How do you plan a wedding, exactly?

There are numerous steps that go into planning a wedding and many decisions to make. Here are the main things you need to do to get to “wedded bliss”!

How to Plan a Wedding - Basic tips for the newly engaged couple from Naturally Chic | www.naturallychic.caMain wedding planning tasks

  1. Decide when you want to get married. One of the first questions couples often get asked after becoming engaged, is “when are you getting married”? Choosing your wedding date hinges on many factors such as your wedding budget, your guest list size and the availability of your wedding venue. It’s good to have a general idea, though, of when you want to get married. The average engagement lasts about 14 months. There are no rules to how long you should be engaged for, but it can take some time to book your wedding venue and other professionals and to plan the wedding you want. Once you have an idea of when you want to get married, you can move forward with the wedding plans.
  2. Discuss your wedding vision. Sit down with your partner and discuss the type of wedding you both envision. Discuss openly and honestly, what you want for your wedding. The end goal is to come up with a shared vision for your wedding day.
  3. Set your budget. What do you want to spend on your wedding? What is realistic? Discuss your budget with your partner and with your families to determine what you have to spend and who will contribute to your wedding. Will you need to make any adjustments to your wedding vision based on budget? Do you need to set a longer timeline to plan (and finance) your wedding?
  4. Decide on your guest list. Now that you have a wedding budget, decide on your guest list. Keep in mind that the more guests you have, the more your total costs will be. Start with a list of everyone you ideally want to invite to your wedding. Then, be prepared to trim the list in order to work within your budget.
  5. Book your wedding venue. Once you have an idea of your wedding vision, have your wedding budget and have an idea of your guest list size, it’s time to book your wedding venue and set your wedding date.
  6. Choose your wedding party. Choosing who will stand up for you on your wedding day is an exciting task. It’s a good idea to choose your wedding party after you discussed your wedding budget and booked your wedding venue. A wedding party often means more expense (more bouquets and boutonnieres, more gifts, etc.).
  7. Hire your wedding professionals (vendors). It’s best to determine what your wedding priorities are. Do you want a certain band or photographer? Use your wedding vision as a guideline to help you determine how to allocate your wedding funds and then begin the hiring process. Some wedding vendors, such as your marriage commissioner, are a must. After that, the vendors you hire are optional.
  8. Invite your guests. Whether you send out formal invitations, electronic invites, or call each guest personally, you need to let guests know where and when your wedding is!
  9. Shop for your wedding attire. Whether you are wanting a beautiful gown or a tailored suit, consider the season of your wedding, and as always have your budget in mind.
  10. Decide on your wedding decor. You may want a simple wedding or something more elaborate. Whatever your decision, you need to determine what your wedding will look like. What will the ceremony be like? What will your floor plan for your reception be (round tables, long tables, or a combination of both?). Do you require linens, flowers or decor?
  11. Plan your wedding menu for your guests. Whether you are wanting a casual stand-up reception or a fully plated dinner, you will work with your wedding venue and/or caterers to plan meals for your guests.  As always, keep in mind your budget. Food and beverage can often account for 40% or more of your wedding budget.
  12. Plan your wedding day timeline. What is this exactly? In the most basic sense, your wedding day timeline is what happens on your wedding day and when. What time is your ceremony? What time will you have cocktails and dinner? A basic timeline will include all the major wedding day events. When will you be getting ready? What time do your wedding vendors need to show up? If you want to be more detailed, you can plan exactly what time to have photographs taken, what time speeches will be at, when you have to leave to the church etc.
  13. Confirm your wedding day plans with your wedding “team”. Once you’ve made all your decisions, booked your venue, hired your wedding pros, decided on your decor and meals, and planned your wedding day timeline, you need to confirm your plans. Communicate your plans to your family and friends, and to your wedding team (the wedding pros) who will execute your plans on your wedding day. Confirm your final guest count with your wedding venue and make sure everyone knows where to be and at what time.

There you have it! “How to Plan a Wedding” in a nutshell! Obviously, the process is more detailed then we’ve outlined here, but hopefully, this gives you a basic framework to plan your wedding.

 

Expert Wedding Planner: Naturally Chic

Naturally Chic is a Canmore-based, mountain wedding specialist known for their natural aesthetic and innovative wedding design. They focus on creating meaningful experiences that are a reflection of the couples they work with.

 

  

Lake Louise Engagement Session from Calgary Wedding Photography RARAA Photography

 

We are crushing on this Lake Louise engagement session from RARAA Photography! Every image is a treat for the eyes! Not only is the scenery and light gorgeous, but Emily and Alan are adorable! I love how RARAA Photography has captured beautifully their personality and love for each other.

Lake Louise Engagement Session from RARAA Photography

 From Lake Louise Photographer| RARAA Photography

 “I was in Lake Louise, shooting the engagement session of Emily and Alan, who came all the way from Toronto and New York respectively.  Emily had lived in Japan for 10 years prior to moving to Toronto, and Alan has been living in various cities from the west coast to the east coast.  I have admiration and great respect for people who live in different places (as I’ve moved around continents myself, and can relate to how as a person the experience changes you.  People from your home town may stay the same, but when you go back and meet them again, you know you’ve changed).

My heart always sings with joy whenever I get to capture the love of such a kind-hearted couple.  Superbly cooperative and delightfully friendly; I could not ask for a better cute couple to shoot!  And did we have luck with the weather!  The day before the shooting, it had been raining, and right after our session, the snow started to fall down hard and it got gloomy quickly.  Emily and Alan, thank you for trusting me to photograph your love.”

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Lake Louise Engagement Session from RARAA PhotographyLake Louise Engagement Session from RARAA PhotographyLake Louise Engagement Session from RARAA PhotographyLake Louise Engagement Session from RARAA Photography

Lake Louise Engagement Session from RARAA PhotographyLake Louise Engagement Session from RARAA PhotographyLake Louise Engagement Session from RARAA PhotographyLake Louise Engagement Session from RARAA Photography

Lake Louise Engagement Session from RARAA PhotographyLake Louise Engagement Session from RARAA PhotographyLake Louise Engagement Session from RARAA PhotographyLake Louise Engagement Session from RARAA PhotographyLake Louise Engagement Session from RARAA PhotographyLake Louise Engagement Session from RARAA PhotographyLake Louise Engagement Session from RARAA PhotographyLake Louise Engagement Session from RARAA PhotographyLake Louise Engagement Session from RARAA PhotographyLake Louise Engagement Session from RARAA PhotographyLake Louise Engagement Session from RARAA PhotographyLake Louise Engagement Session from RARAA PhotographyLake Louise Engagement Session from RARAA PhotographyLake Louise Engagement Session from RARAA PhotographyLake Louise Engagement Session from RARAA PhotographyLake Louise Engagement Session from RARAA PhotographyLake Louise Engagement Session from RARAA PhotographyLake Louise Engagement Session from RARAA PhotographyLake Louise Engagement Session from RARAA PhotographyEmily and Alan’s Engagement Story

“We got engaged in April, right before our trip to Europe. I totally thought it would happen there but Alan wanted to make sure my parents were there to see the moment. In hindsight that was such a sweet act, I saw the happiness and joy on my parents’ face seeing their daughter engaged. They decorated the basement of our house together with candle lights stating “Marry Me?”, and hid in the basement until I got back from work and Alan proposed! I was totally surprised but managed to say “yes!” I am so happy I am marrying the man of my dreams!”

Lake Louise Engagement Credits

Photography: RARAA Photography; Couple: Emily and Alan.

Thank you so much for sending us this very special engagement session RARAA Photography. Thank you, Emily and Alan! We wish you much love and happiness as you embark on your future!

  

3 Wedding Planning Tips for Getting Started

“There is so much to do…where do I start?”

Expert Wedding Planning Tips \ Getting Started with Wedding Planning | from Shannon Valente Weddings and Photo by Corrina Walker Photography

Photo credit: Corrina Walker Photography

Where to Start

You are probably feeling overwhelmed by the looming to-do list or worse…..you don’t even have a list! The question I receive the most is definitely “where do I start”? After all, you have never done this before and a wedding is a HUGE undertaking. There are a few key things you can do at the beginning of the planning process to ensure you and your sanity remains intact.

1. Checklist – don’t start checking things off the list until you actually have a list! There is a natural progression to planning a wedding. You can’t send out the save the dates until you have a venue, you can’t book a venue until you have an approximate guest count, you can’t book the ceremony music until you have a ceremony location, you get the idea. If you start randomly booking vendors and then fall in love with a venue that isn’t available for the date you have booked music, entertainment, and so on, you may be in some BIG trouble. Caution: the venue may dictate your wedding date, so if you have your heart set on a certain date and a certain venue, call early to avoid disappointment.

2. Budget – set one!  Although the budget for certain items may change as you find out how much things actually cost, set an overall budget for the wedding and then you can move things around within it. More importantly, find out how you will be paying for everything and where the money will be coming from. You want to make sure if you find a vendor you love that you are ready with a deposit to avoid losing them. Will you and your fiancé be contributing the bulk of the funds? Will your parents be chipping in? If so, you need to know how much you can count on before you get too deep in the planning process. So have the difficult conversation if you must, otherwise, assume everything will be coming out of your pocket.

3. Color Scheme – I have seen the color scheme for so many weddings change drastically once the bridesmaid’s dresses are purchased. A gorgeous purple wedding could turn black, pink or blue when you can’t find the perfect purple bridesmaid’s dress. Depending on how bold your colors are you might want to get the dress shopping out of the way before going overboard on the linens, stationery and flowers.

My advice? Get yourself a good checklist, a budget, and a vision. Any professional wedding planner should hold the mother of all checklists and budget calculators, complete with a chronological order and timelines when everything should be done. Even if you don’t plan on hiring a wedding planner, you might want to consider booking a consultation at the beginning of your planning process to get you started on the right foot.

Expert Wedding Planner: Shannon Valente Weddings

Shannon Valente Weddings is a Calgary, Alberta wedding planning and design studio known for their simple, classic designs. They believe in innovation over extravagance. Creating personalized, fun weddings that celebrate YOU!