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How to Create a Styled Wedding, No Matter the Budget

Randi Fracassi

You’re inundated on Pinterest, at bridal shows, and through Instagram of lush flowers and glittering tablecloths, or of visions containing farmhouse tables with string and candlelight. Some of these weddings are 100% real, while others are stylized to show how you can pull different design elements together to create a cohesive look. And while some of these ideas and inspiration can be out of budget (say, cascading peonies from candelabras in the fall, when they’re at their most expensive), you can without a doubt be just as skilled yourself in creating a cohesive and flawless design, and having your budgetary cake too.

1)      Start with your venue, and then the time of year. Your venue is going to act as the canvas for the rest of your wedding, and whether your using print outs of images and putting into a binder or using Pinterest, always start with a few images of your venue to start giving you a feel of what the setting of your wedding will be like. In Louisiana, the weather can play a huge factor into the formality and style of an event, so making sure you keep a track on what the averages for the time of year you’ll be married at (and if you can, the temperature for the time of day) will help in the long run. This will help with formality of guests and the bridal party’s attire too!

2)      If you can get a fabric swatch, get it! How a dress or linens look online can be completely different in person, especially if you’re looking to combine colors and tones. Obtaining swatches and samples of what you can potentially have is critical, and well worth the couple of  dollars to get in order to achieve the look you want (and it’s always great to have some on hand for vendor appointments).

3)      Make sure to look at vendors, and save samples of their work. Having a few samples of your vendor’s work is important, not only in having to assess who you would to have, but knowing that they have done the style you’re looking to achieve in the past. Examples of a photographer’s editing style, the different styles of a stationer, a planner’s published works, or having examples of menus (or what the food will look like) from a prospective caterer can all reflect on the overall look of your wedding.

4)      Be sure to also have floor plan options (like if you prefer round tables or rectangle, where buffets will be, etc), different lighting, and poses you would like for your photos. The little things will add up and can make a big impact on the overall look of your wedding. Also include pictures of how you would like your groom and his party to look, and where they can get their attire from.

5)      Include all parts relating to your wedding day. Often on wedding boards you’ll see dresses, hair styles, flowers, and how to break down budgets, and rarely will you find readings, prayers, or timelines you can follow or build off of. Include that in your materials, because the timing of when events take place will effect set up, breakdown, the hours of photography and videography, and can further tailored around how long you have your venue.

Want to see a board showcasing all these elements, and give you a starting point to curating? Check out our sample Louisiana Saturday Night | A Curated Look on Pinterest. We created this board specifically in how to show clients what it means to have a cohesive, final look, and make sure of such boards when working to create customized events. If you would like your own board or want help styling, feel free to contact us! We’d love to help!

Happy planning,

Randi

Plan with Me: Picking Your Wedding Venue

Randi Fracassi

Picking your wedding venue is one of the first items you should cross off you wedding planning list (you can see the list we made here!). But how does one go about selecting a venue? What factors go into the decision? What should you focus on when looking and touring? Let me tell you here in this quick guide.

First, look at what time of year you want to get married. In South Louisiana, the most popular months to get married are from late January to April, and then again in October and November. The biggest tip to follow when booking and touring venues is to make sure it’s not during a large sports event, because believe it or not, the LSU/Alabama football game will upstage your wedding, especially if you have a lot of football fans.

Another reason to assess what time of year you want your wedding is to see what venues have air conditioning and heat. For example, I would not recommend a couple to get married at the LSU Botanical Gardens in July as their facilities are not air conditioned, and you would have to bring in fans to keep your guests cool. I would also ask about backup generators and what rain plans they have (which is a good idea to ask regardless of the time of year, because you never know with Louisiana weather). Other things to take note of and ask about would be parking, travel to and from local hotels (especially if you have a lot of out of town guests), and if there is a preferred vendor list that the venue exclusively works with.

Assessing the style of wedding you want will also go a long way in what kind of venue you will be needing. Like the rustic, but more Joanna Gaines than Pioneer Woman? Check out the White Magnolia, which lends itself to be more formal than casual. Options like the Berry Barn or the Cedar Post Barn are certainly more casual venues.  More classic and formal venues to look at would include The Hilton Hotel or the Watermark Hotel, both in Downtown Baton Rouge. For that Old South, grand Plantation aesthetic you cannot go wrong with Nottoway Planation and Resort or White Oak Planation, as well as the numerous historic homes and mansions that are in St. Francisville, Louisiana.

White Oak Plantation's gorgeous front, photographed by  Rachel Erin Photography

White Oak Plantation's gorgeous front, photographed by Rachel Erin Photography

The White Magnolia, photo by  Angela Janette Photography

The White Magnolia, photo by Angela Janette Photography

The HIlton, Downtown Baton Rouge

The HIlton, Downtown Baton Rouge

Besides the appearance of the venue, ask yourself how do you want your guests to dress and the level of formality? Some venues tend to lend themselves to be more black tie appropriate rather than business casual or summer cocktail, so as your researching options I would keep apparel in mind.

One of the best tips though in regards to picking a venue: be realistic of what would fit your budget. Don’t be afraid to ask about pricing before going for a tour, and be upfront with what your budget is when talking to prospective venues. I like to think of it in terms of wedding dress shopping: don’t go trying on things if you know they are out of budget, and don’t convince yourself that you can trim other parts of your budget to accommodate another item.  It is always better to err on the side of caution when you are looking at a part of your wedding that will eat up a large portion of your budget.

Lastly, however, is my biggest and most important word of advice in regards to not just your venue, but your wedding…stay true to yourself and who you are as a couple. Being unhappy with your venue can cause a damper on every aspect of your wedding, and create stress and unhappiness throughout the planning process because you went with something that you didn’t quite love. Choose with care and consideration; don’t just pick a venue because it’s cheaper, but know that you’re investing in your wedding experience and setting a precedent for the rest of your planning.

Friends, if you ever have any questions, please feel free to reach out! I’d be happy to lend you some advice in regards of what to do or what to look for when selecting your venue for the big day!

Happy planning,

Randi

Pinterest: Good or Bad for Your Wedding Planning?

Randi Fracassi

Firstly, happy November, Poppies! It's the official start for us here in the office of the holiday and engagement season, and we're picking up speed for the Spring 2017 weddings and events. Clients whose dates are approaching are asking questions, vendors are being contacted, and details are all coming together. Not to mention, our families and friends are gathering together to celebrate and plan for their own parties and shenanigans. All in all, it's our favorite time of year!

Today as I was browsing Pinterest with my grandmother-in-law on the phone talking about Thanksgiving plans, I couldn't help but be a little overwhelmed by the suggestions; from table settings to menus, looking through it all was starting to make me become mentally claustrophobic (but that could also be because I didn't have my handy boss mug by my side filled with God's own sweet nectar: coffee). 

This lead me to thinking of my clients and recent consultations and their use of Pinterest to create mood boards for their weddings (as well as crafts, clothes, food, decor, child rearing...literally, everything can be categorized these days!). Most often than not, they are filled with elaborate styled shoots, costly fabrics and floral arrangements, and locations that are generally not available in their area. And as someone who loves to please people, this breaks my heart because I always want to make my client's dream a reality.

I've also noticed that more and more clients are referring to a variety of info-graphics to help in creating their budgets. Some are breakdowns per the budget range, and some are percentages. And don't get me wrong, it's great that there is an increased awareness in regards to budgeting, money, and how and what you should be spending your wedding fund on, but there also needs to be a consideration of your location and what you feel are important aspects to your day. (You can check out more about budgets and funding your dream wedding in upcoming blog posts, which I will be sure to link back here.)

On a positive note, once the budget and expectations are set, and there's an open dialogue about what is important to the couple for their wedding, Pinterest becomes my greatest tool in designing. I find that it's often not the whole element of an image or and idea that's desired -- it's really a little piece here and there, and it becomes a matter of connecting all the pieces together to make an event or wedding go from I-just-copied-my-Pinterest to something totally unique and customized for your wedding day. And with the ability to track back to vendors who produced the items or easily find where a location is, it takes a few steps out of the research and evaluation phase of event planning and design. 

So, all in all, I feel that in aspects to collecting elements, Pinterest is a great tool for wedding planning. However, with respect to determining your budget and funding, there's more to be desired. And that's the beauty of doing what we do here at Poppy Lane Events: we get to make it personal and custom to each couple, and endeavor to make sure that regardless of budgets, we achieve make sure the vision becomes a reality.