Posts Tagged: luxury wedding planner london


31
Oct 12

Wedding Planning Checklist

Ah, the wedding planning checklist! With so much to do, wedding flowers, music, wedding invitations, table plans and so much more it can be tough to remember everything for your wedding. This is the ultimate guide for all couples planning a wedding but where do you find this guide and how do you know if it’s legitimate? There are thousands of wedding planning checklists on the internet, in magazines, and on blogs, but most of these only include the big tasks that must be complete and completely glaze over the smaller yet ever important details.So you ask yourself, “where can I find one of these AMAZING checklists you’re talking about!?”.  I’ve been spending years configuring a comphrehensive wedding planning checklist. But the truth is, every wedding is so different from one another that tasks will need to be tweaked to in order for your wedding to be successful. So please, I beg you, do not plan your wedding from a checklist downloaded on the internet or found in a bridal magazine. These are very generic lists that help you remember to book the big vendors but completely forget about the smaller details that will make or break your wedding.

I’ll let you view a copy of my “final countdown checklist” which is a typical list of tasks that need to be complete in the two months before your wedding.

Since the final countdown wedding planning checklist is lengthy and a bit overwhelming, I’m going to post the tasks that I typically suggest you try to tackle two months before the wedding. Your one month checklist will come in a later post so stay tuned!

 

For further help compiling your wedding checklist or for questions on the final countdown leave a comment below!

wedding planning checklist

2 Months to go, the wedding planning checklist’s final countdown

 

                                                        TWO MONTHS

Finalise ceremony music, hymns, readings and order of service with the officiant
Schedule ceremony rehearsal, if haven’t done so already
Purchase outfit(s) for pre and post wedding events
Order stationery for the wedding day. Order of Service for the ceremony and any other stationery for the wedding reception.  Menus, placecards, escort cards, personalised table names, etc- May be left until 1 month before wedding depending on when final numbers come in. Ask you printer how long it will take to print
Make sure gift list is up to date
Make sure all equipment has been hired.  Poseur tables, linen, salt and pepper shakers, table number holders, tea lights, umbrellas, furniture, dance floor, decorations, etc.
Reserve any parking spaces necessary for pre-wedding events and wedding
Talk to your attendants and anyone else you’d like to give a speech or toast at the reception.  Let them know when they’re going to talk, how long the speech or toast should be, and what the tone should be like. Explain the importance of sticking to timings
Go through budgeting sheet and send payments to vendors that require a payment 6 weeks before wedding (most will send an invoice)
Now that you have more of an accurate head count, order wine, beer and liquor if not provided by the caterer
Discuss wedding flowers in detail with the florist.  Think about every corner in the venue. Entrance, bathroom, stairway, escort card table, cake table, every room. Update them on wedding party numbers and final banqueting table numbers
Double-check the sizing of the wedding bands. If they’ve been sent for engraving, pick them up, if your ring size has changed send them in for re-sizing.
Start mailing thank you cards as you receive gifts.
Check in with the bridesmaids to ensure they have their dress alterations complete. Make sure they’ve all picked up their dresses, shoes and accessories.
Check in with the groomsmen to make sure their formal rentals are booked. Ensure they all have their shoes and accessories in order.
Purchase a guest book and pens. Where will the guest book go?
Purchase any remaining supplies, ribbon, carpet runner, candles, etc.
All gifts for the wedding party, parents and the bride/groom should be purchased by now
Compile a play list for the band, DJ, and iPod.
Select first dance then send to band or DJ. If you have a live band, make sure they will sing the correct version of your first dance song.
Liaise with ceremony musicians and discuss music for ceremony. Do they require armless chairs? Will the church/venue provide this? What will they wear on the day? When will they arrive/depart?
Book transportation to first night hotel if you haven’t done so already
Hire uplighters or a professional lighting technician if required
Decide where the cake will be displayed, when you will cut it, when it will be served, and how it will be served
Arrange a face to face meeting with your wedding planner and reception venue to run through and confirm final details and logistics. Layout of venue, number of guests, food served, dietary requirements, drinks served, where will musicians stand/sit, where will table plan or escort cards be on display, additional tables required for cake, guest book, etc., where can iPod be hooked up, where will speakers stand during speeches, where will cake be, who is the emcee, if required, who will move flowers from one room to the next, is there a cake knife and stand, is there an easel for the table plan, ETC, ETC. Go through all details.

18
Jul 12

Last minute wedding tasks

Your vendors are booked, the payments have been made, now you’re in the final weeks before the wedding. There are some obvious tasks you still need to complete like finalising the guest list, chasing dietary requirements, creating a table plan, sending “must takes” to your photographer, etc, but there are other tasks that aren’t so obvious that are just as important. Below is small selection of the tasks you should complete the week before your wedding:

wedding planner london

 

Last minute tasks

  • Start writing a list of items you need to bring to the venue. Put this list on the refrigerator so you can write something down the moment you think of it. Items may include guest book, pens, table plan, escort cards, gifts, and so on.
  • Ask your venue event coordinator when your vendors have access to the venue on the wedding day. Also ask when they need to clear out equipment. This is essential information for you to pass onto your wedding team
  • Arrange a time to drop off and collect your items from the venue
  • Go through your signed contracts to see which vendors require a meal on the day. Approach each vendor to ask them about their dietary requirements then pass on the information to your caterer.
  • Decide where you want the wedding cake.  Make sure you have a good backdrop for photographs
  • Discuss who will be your MC. Your MC will announce movement of guests, announce the bride and groom into the dining room, announce cutting of the cake and first dance. The MC can be the best man, the wedding planner (me!), the head waiter, or a professional toastmaster.
  • Come up with a detailed ceremony procession. Who’s walking who down the aisle and in what order?
  • Where will your guest book be placed? If a table is required ask your venue or caterer to provide this
  • Decide what you want waiters to do in the event that guests ask for drinks not being served.
  • Tell your caterer if you plan on keeping the top tier of the cake
  • Think about transportation in great detail and make sure no one is left without a ride. Do any of the cars require a reserved parking space?
  • Talk to each person giving a speech to let them know how long the speech should be and what the tone should be like. Your food is prepared based on the timings you provide the chef so if speeches are overrun then your food may come out cold or even overcooked. It’s very important to stick to your timings and make sure each speaker is aware of this.
  • Where will honour attendants and guests sit during the ceremony? Do you want RESERVED signs?

This list is not inclusive of last minute wedding tasks.

Let me know what tasks you’re running into in the countdown to your wedding. I’d love to hear from you!

last minute wedding tasks

Pippa Mackenzie photography


6
Jul 12

10 Tips to Cut Catering Costs

You should budget around 45%-50% of your overall wedding budget on catering. No matter what type of wedding you have or what time of day it’s held at, guests will expect food and beverages.  Most couples opt for a 3-course sit down meal but I’ve also seen buffets, stand up cocktail receptions, and more informal versions of the sit down meal. Most couples are now offering canapes, a main meal, and an evening buffet so this can really blow the budget if you’re trying to spend wisely. Catering is not cheap so see my 10 tips on saving catering fees below.

luxury wedding planner london

Lloyd Dobbie Photography

Top 10

1. Save your meat for the main dish and serve vegetarian canapes and starters. Try risotto served in shot glasses, vegetarian rice rolls, or a trio of asparagus

2. Cut out the starter course by offering more canapes during the drinks reception and this will save on crockery, cutlery, equipment, and staff.

3. Unless you and your guests are champagne connoisseurs, opt for cava, prosecco, or English sparkling wine to add a bit of luxury without the price tag. Most guests won’t know the difference. I personally prefer cava over the other two (when champagne isn’t offered, of course!).

4. Replace the first course with a selection of breads and dipping oils

5. Serve wedding cake as your dessert. You will save so much money doing this, and guests will actually eat your cake! If you serve a dessert and then offer wedding cake, you will have a lot of leftovers.

6. Serve your food “family style” meaning 3-4 dishes come out for the starter in which guests serve themselves, then you see the same for the main course. This allows for a formal seated dinner with an informal service and cheaper price tag.

7. If you’re having an evening buffet, you don’t need to cater to all your guests as only a small percentage will eat at that time. I normally see less than half of guests touch the evening buffet.

8. Serve the expensive drinks (bubbly, specialty cocktails) early in the day so guests can remember them and enjoy the taste. Towards the end of the evening I always see half full glasses being left around the room which always go to waste. Guests leave their glass on a table then forget which one is theirs, or they set it down to use the loo then a waiter picks it up before they return. To avoid waste on expensive items, serve these early on.

9. Add a bit of luxury to your presentation by dropping raspberries into your bubbly, or adding small slices of cucumber and orange into each water glass. Presentation is everything and a small touch makes a major impact.

10. Serve cold canapes and a cold starter. Hot dishes require more equipment which means more cost. Also, if you’re running behind on time, you don’t need to worry about food coming out cold. Win/win!

luxury wedding planner in London

 

Happy planning!

Erika xo

 


17
May 12

Wedding at Claridges, London

Last weekend we had an incredible wedding at Claridges in London. We had one of our favourite videographers take a behind the scenes video of the set up.

You can see from the video (below) that a lot of work goes into a single event. I can give you tips on working with specific vendors, but today I’m giving you a fire round of wedding planning tips for managing vendors in the run up to the wedding and on the wedding day:

Fire Round Wedding Tip

1. Contact all your vendors at least two weeks in advance of the wedding to confirm details, delivery/arrival times, collection/departure times, logistics, meals required and dietary requirements. At this time, provide them with information about venue access time, parking, and collection times.

2. Create a Table in a word document with all your vendor contact details and information. I like to have 5 columns; the first column for the vendor category, the second for arrival time, third for departure time, fourth for details such as what they’re bring and where they’re to be place, and fifth contact name and details. If you don’t have a wedding planner, give this document to a trusted bridesmaid and your venue in case there are problems on the day

3. Send your itinerary to each vendor in advance of the wedding. This will ensure they know what’s happening at what times so they can be in position when required. For an itinerary template, write a comment below and I’ll email you with my professional template

4. Let vendors know who the main contact is on the wedding day. If it’s your wedding planner then make sure they have her/his number. If it’s the venue then give them a mobile number for your contact. Vendors will look to one person for key moments throughout the day and when they have questions. There needs to be one leader

5. Make sure there is a room where vendors can rest and eat. Vendors are working hard to make your day seamless and perfect so providing them with food and sit down space will give you extra smiley vendors!

6. Contact your again two days before the wedding to double check everything is ready to go. Make sure you have the mobile numbers for all vendors as they won’t be reachable on their office phone

Happy Wedding Day!

 

Click on the link below and let me know what you think!

VIDEO: Claridge’s Ballroom 05|05|12. Password, if required: erika

wedding at claridges

wedding at claridges, uk

wedding at claridges, london

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