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Tips For Planning Your Wedding

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Our Boutique Bridal Showcase is coming soon, and to get you ready, we're sharing wedding trend tips from some of our top vendors who you'll meet at the show! Today's blog is from Julie Conley of Warren Country Events in Warren, New Jersey. Enjoy!

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I have been planning weddings for over 25 years. I started as a floral designer and the evolution to wedding planner was effortless. I instinctively knew how to synchronize design with planning because I realized that most of my clients needed help pulling it all together and orchestrating all the details and best of all, I Ioved it.

Pick your Palette

Finding the perfect palette for each bride is the driving force behind a successfully designed wedding. I spend a lot of time finding the perfect way to execute the personal color direction of every bride.  Whether it is in the flowers, the lighting, or attire, you have to execute the color direction the way the bride has envisioned it, in order to make it her perfect day.table-closeup

Make the Guest List First

The first thing I tell anyone who is getting married is to make the guest list. You can’t plan a wedding until you know how many people are coming. That one number denotes every choice and budget that will come your way.

Planner Actually Help the Budget

It’s a misconception that hiring a wedding planner is expensive. In fact, the main reason a wedding planner should be consulted is to make sure all of your wishes are executed within the budget you have set. A good planner will educate you immediately on whether your budget meets your wish list.

Planning Consultation

The best thing you can do to educate yourself is to consult an expert.  Once you are educated and are in control of your own wedding, it is so much more fun!

Many couples come to me looking for a planner, but they have already done all the work and hired everyone. They don’t need a planner, what they need at that point is some guidance.

I am happy to simply consult with a couple, go over a simple check list, ie; venue, ceremony, timing, photographer, entertainment, transportation, lodging, invites, etc. Most of my consultation clients just need to be validated that their choices are good ones. They want the assurance that what they are doing is right.

Picture7Creative Ideas

The details are what distinguishes the ultimate success of your wedding. I have seen much more attention given to creative table top designs such as a lot less large florals and a lot more candlelight. We have created design elements such as lamps, accents of crystal, lace and bark covered items, and simple things like mason jars have been become very popular. More eclectic ideas have become the trend and represent a more current client.

Loving what I do keeps me always reaching for a new and unique look for that special day. The joy comes from finding the perfect dress, creating the tastiest menu, discovering the ideal location, and educating my clients so that they are not afraid to realize their vision.  The best part is the big day…and I never tire of watching it all unfold into a dream come true.

 

If you're going it on your own ... here are some quick tips.

  • First, figure out what your budget is.
  • Next, make your guest list.
  • Look on the Internet for reviews of venues. Don't judge the venue from their website, visit them!
  • If you don't want to miss out on your favorite venue, book it as soon as you get engaged. Then book your ceremony location. Next, book your entertainment.
  • Want a deal? Wait until 4 months before your date to do everything!
  • Casinos are a great place to find bands and dj's. 
  • The average 4 hour reception will need about 80 songs (average 3 minutes. Pick your songs and supply them to the band or dj, they will appreciate the direction.)
  • Make sure your photographer knows if there are specific shots you would like to have taken. One of my favorites is the wedding dress hanging in a window.
  • If you want to splurge ... Offer transportation for your guests.
  • Get a photo booth.
  • Maybe add an extra performer like a sax or singer with the dj.
  • Create your own signature accents... some of my favorites—Hot chocolate chip cookies with ice cold milk shots — Mini lobster salad sandwich appetizers —A waffle truck outside handing out hot “to go” treats.

 

Julie Conley has perfected the art of wedding planning as evidenced by her many achievements.  She was asked to represent the Style Network on CNN for comment on Chelsea Clinton’s wedding. She was the Celebrity Wedding Planner Judge for the Cake Boss’s hit reality spin-off, “The Next Great Baker”, but is mostly widely recognized as a featured planner on The Style Network reality show, “Whose Wedding Is It Anyway?”  She went on television with a quest to educate the public on how to realistically cost out their weddings, because most of the event planners on television at the time were budgeted so unrealistically high.  The public ate it up. She was so warmly received that Julie was asked to host 22 shows over 6 years, the most of any of their planners. One of Julie's episodes, now simply referred to as "The Purple Episode", was the highest syndicated Neilson Rated show for The Style Network.

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Guest Monday, December 22 2014