Getting Married Locally? Here's How to Prep Your Home for the Big Day

You've spent the better part of a year planning, and the big day is almost here. The décor is ready to go, you've checked in with your vendors, and your dress fits like a dream. Everything is perfect for your wedding day … almost. Unless everyone is staying at a hotel throughout the festivities, you'll want to take these steps to get your home ready for the big event, too.

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1. Set Up the Guest Rooms

It's not uncommon to host relatives at your home when getting married locally. Older parents and grandparents appreciate a home-like environment over holing up at a hotel and eating meals out. Ensure your home is comfortable for guests by putting fresh bedding and towels in bedrooms, clearing out closet space for guests to use and decluttering the coat closet so everyone's items can fit. Apartment Therapy suggests a few more things you can do to make houseguests more comfortable and your life easier.

2. Stock the Kitchen

You'll want to eat well the week of your wedding so you feel your best the day of the nuptials, but with the chaos of wedding prep you may not find time to cook. Stock your refrigerator with healthy snacks like cut vegetables and hummus, raw nuts, and fresh fruit. If you'll be hosting guests, ask about dietary restrictions and preferences and shop accordingly. Don't forget to purchase coffee and tea, cocktail supplies and finger snacks for mingling the day your guests arrive (Food52 names the essentials).

3. Streamline Your Housekeeping

In the days leading up to your wedding, your focus should be on the big event, not keeping your house clean with guests. If family is staying with you, delegate chores to ease the burden. If one person washes the bath towels while another loads the dishwasher daily, you can focus on quick and easy tasks like wiping down kitchen and bathroom counters once per day. With people walking in and out constantly, the floors will the hardest to keep clean. You could vacuum daily, or you could spend a little bit on a robotic vacuum cleaner and not worry about it. While some robotic vacuum cleaners are costly, there are some great, affordable options on the market that are worth checking out.

4. Glam Out Your Bed and Bath

From the moment you wake up on your wedding day, you should feel like royalty. If you're staying at home before the wedding, give your sleeping quarters the bridal treatment. Replace your quilt with a fluffy white comforter and pillowcases to match, hang romantic curtains in the windows, and replace surface clutter with bouquets, candles and other charming touches. In the bathroom, clear the counters and lay out your wedding day beauty essentials.

5. Establish a Gift Drop Area

You probably won't touch the mountain of wedding gifts until you're back from the honeymoon. Keep gifts from taking over your house by establishing a drop zone ahead of time. However, you shouldn't hide them in a spare closet — if a gift-giver sees, it could hurt some feelings. Prepare a table or area of your living room where gifts can be arranged nicely until your return.

 

Your home may not be the center of your wedding festivities, but that doesn't mean your guests won't see it. You may be hosting family, getting dressed for the wedding at home, or just running back and forth preparing for the big event. In any case, your home should help set the mood for your nuptials, not be yet another thing to worry about.

 

 

It's Your Day Events Guest Writer: Alice Robertson

Image via Unsplash

Intern Call! Seeking awesome intern for Summer!

Hello and Happy Spring! We are currently in search of an awesome summer intern to work with us Mid-June through Mid-October.

School credit is available if applicable.

Photo by Aubrey Joy

 

The details:

The Intern will be responsible for assisting with weddings and events on weekends. Additional learning opportunities are available, such as blogging and social media contribution. 

The ideal candidate must be polished, self-motivated, loves weddings, enthusiastic, detail oriented and comfortable being on their feet/active most of the day. They must be able to self-manage and work independently. Growth opportunities are available if the candidate is a right fit to join the event planning team as an Assistant Coordinator. This is a Woman, Best Friend, Co-Owned business. All three of our regular employees started as interns.

This is an extremely part-time position with potential to grow. Currently, we are looking for someone to start as an off-season intern, pay is stipend DOE and time commitment. You would be able to work from home on any assigned tasks, such as blogging or vendor research. The time commitment is approx 1-2 hours a week for non-wedding day work. Occasional attendance at staff meetings required, approximately monthly. On weeks we have weddings the time commitment is approx 12 hours. 

Responsibilities: 

- Assist Lead Planner at weddings (this is a multi-hats position and can include everything from placing table numbers to setting up chairs, getting the DJ a plate of food, to floofing the bride's dress before she walks down the aisle)
- Client and vendor communication
- Vendor research & networking
- Submit real weddings and styled shoots for publication
- Assist in planning market events, such as industry open houses

Desired Skills:
- Excellent written and oral communication skills
- Must have own vehicle, cell phone, and laptop.
- Demonstrated ability to work well under pressure with limited time frame
- Detail oriented with exceptional level of accuracy and follow-through
- Demonstrated ability to exercise good judgment
- Works well within a team oriented environment
- Flexibility to work from home, some weekend availability required. 
- Ability to prepare written reports and correspondences, and presentations as required
- Agile at prioritizing and managing multiple projects
- Must possess strong communication, time management and collaboration skills; confident, self-starter, independent thinker
{Extra bonus point for candidates with previous event or wedding planning experience!!!}

*You MUST be available 7/14,  7/21, 7/27, 7/28, 8/25, 9/1, 9/15

Compensation:
-Small stipend only of approximately $350 + meals, drinks, parking etc paid for when working. Estimated assistance at 7-8 weddings in the later season.
-Position opportunity to become our lead set-up & take-down coordinator or more.

Please send your cover letter, resume and portfolio {if applicable} by email. Deadline is 7/2. We will contact if you if we would like to schedule an interview. info@itsyourdayevents.com

Planning advice

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It's engagement season and couples are beginning their journey towards the wedding of their dreams. Here are the 10 most commonly made wedding planning mistakes and how to avoid them:

10. Waiting to start your planning.

You get engaged in September, and you want to get married next August, you have almost a whole year to get the planning done s you can take your time, right? Not necessarily. if you're getting married in peak season (May through September), remember so is almost everyone else and you're now competing with other couples for the best local vendors. For instance, in the Seattle market, venues will often book over a year in advance. Once engaged, take a couple weeks to relish and rejoice, but then get started. 

9. Not leaving enough time to order your wedding dress.

Wedding dresses from shops that don't sell off the rack can sometimes take up to 8 months to get your dress in once the order is placed. The average amount of time is 4-6 months, but we recommend you leave yourself plenty of time just in case. We understand you'd like to maybe lose 5 more lbs before trying on dresses but honestly, paying for alterations to make it fit like a glove are much cheaper than paying for a rush order on a gown.

8Not working off a budget.

A typical couple making this mistake will book their venue, caterer, photographer, and then buy a dress and realize they've exhausted their financial resources. To avoid this mistake we recommend you sit down with a professional event coordinator at the beginning of planning and allocate roughly where you will be spending your money. For example, you'll find that if you have a 200 person guest count you may be spending close to half your budget on catering alone! It's Your Day Events can create your dream wedding by focusing on the things most important to you; while keeping you in budget with leveraging our extensive vendor relationships, knowledge, and discounts.

7. Number of invitations to order.

This one happens all too often. You are inviting 1oo guests, so order 100 invitations, right? No! Unless all 100 of your guests are single and live alone, that is way too many. Most likely you'll need about half of that. This is why getting your guest list together early on is so important. You'll want to order enough invitations for each household your are inviting. Pro Tip- Order a few extra to be safe, as well as one for your photographer- they can take pictures of it on your wedding day.  

6.  Copying a design trend you saw on Pinterest.

Ahh the Pinterest worm hole- it gets us every-time. Pinterest hosts a wealth of images, and beautiful ones at that! However, there are a couple things to watch out for when searching for that wedding inspo.

1. Most of the pictures you see on Pinterest are not new-  the majority are at least 4-6 months old, or even a year +. By the time your wedding rolls around that trend could be completely out or you will have seen it a million more times.  When pinning things you find on Pinterest for your wedding, keep that in mind. Burlap and lace anyone? 

2. A lot of what you see are STAGED weddings (styled shoots). Meaning that the picture perfectness is not truly obtainable without some major planning and coordination-- and this can be limited by budget. 

5.  DIY projects. 

Speaking of Pinterest....Brides will often miscalculate how much time & effort goes into a DIY/Pinterest project and often end up with a fail or unfinished project resulting in stress or even more time and money with last minute trips to the store to purchase something like you originally wanted with an even higher price tag. Make sure you really carve out the time & effort before you start a DIY project. You might find that in the end, purchasing the completed items instead of buying piece-meal materials that add up and eat up your time & money are a better choice from the get-go. 

4. Not asking your vendors the right questions when interviewing them.

Make sure you get to know your vendors a bit before you book them. Besides the obvious questions such as their cancellation policy or asking for references, get to know them a bit and make sure you like them. (Depending on which vendor) you'll be spending your entire wedding day with them. One of the biggest days of your life. Make sure your personalities are a good fit. Just because a friend highly recommends someone, doesn't necessarily mean they are a great fit for you. Of course there is also the old saying "you get what you pay for," which can often be true. Be wary of budget vendors.

3. Not confirming with your vendors the week of the wedding.

You booked most of your vendors 11 months ago and have exchanged a few emails. Don't leave it to guess work for them to know what time they can or can't show up or that they know what the game plan is. Make certain they know what time to be there and what is happening and when, which leads us to #2.

2. Not having a day-of timeline. 

Weddings typically only last 5 or 6 hours. To get the most out of your day, requires a lot of coordination. If you don't provide your vendors a day-of timeline, they may come up with one for themselves but then the DJ, caterer, photographer etc. may all be going off their own timelines that do not match up, which leads to an organized and sometimes stressful day and without utilizing the whole of your venue rental. Making an effective day of timeline seem overwhelming, or you simply just don't want to? See #1 ;)

1. Not hiring a day-of coordinator. 

Day-of coordinators take so much stress off your wedding day so you don't have to worry about a thing besides looking fabulous and getting hitched. Coordinators not only create your day-of timeline and confirm your vendors, but also set up and take down all your decor, get you lined up and down the aisle, answer random vendor questions and help put out any tiny fires that may arise (that you likely will never find out about!)

So there you have it! Make sure to not 'miss' these items! Or better yet, hire a coordinator to ensure it's all covered! Happy Planning

 

Ashley & Christina

It's Your Day Events

Seattle, Washington

Save a little for yourself this weekend....

 Photo by Mary Kahlor

Photo by Mary Kahlor

Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday...One of them involves heavily gorging yourself with delicious food, the other 3 are about shopping and sales! But they just so happen to be all coming up back to back. We know you may be scrambling, looking at ads, trying to figure out what to buy everyone on your list. But!...Don't forget about yourself. If you (or someone you know) are currently planning a wedding, we have got a wonderful little sale for YOU!

Now through Monday 11/27 at 11:59pm, Save 25% OFF all of our packages! Do you have to decide quick and book us by Monday night? NO! As long as you inquire with us and set up a free consultation in the next few weeks, we will honor the pricing through the end of 2017! 

BONUS: If you do decide to book with us before the sale ends, we will not only give you $25 credit towards anything from our expressions studio, but we will also donate $25 to Northwest Harvest! That is enough to provide a family of three 37 nutritious meals!

All you have to do, is inquire with us and mention our Black Friday Sale! 

Until we meet again, Happy Thanksgiving from our entire team to you and yours!

Real Wedding: Sara & Blair 4/8/17

Sara & Blair had a beautiful intimate wedding in a cherry blossom wonderland, at Maplehurst Farm. In Skagit Valley with the view of Mount Baker, the venue was fitting for Sara and Blair's wedding! Their brewery themed wedding had so many highlights and I'm excited to share these photos with you!


The week before their wedding, we were expecting a huge wind storm but we were blessed with accommodating weather! Despite the hurdles,our awesome team members and vendors worked through because of the rain, and their day still ended up perfect!

Venue Highlight: The Lodge at Trinity Tree Farm

Ft. Real Wedding: Missy & Clark - September 24, 2016

The Lodge at Trinity Tree Farm is one of our favorite venues! There are two words that comes to my mind when someone mentions the venue Trinity Tree Farm: Classy Serenity.

Trinity Tree Farm is the perfect venue if you're looking for a PNW (Pacific Northwest) vibe with a touch of class. This venue located on a 40 acre hilltop in Issaquah, Washington. We had the greatest pleasure of helping our couples, Missy and Clark, tie knots at this gorgeous venue! 


There are many areas around The Lodge for a good photoshoot opportunity. The lodge is nestled in between Tiger and Squak Mountains filled with Dogulas Firs, Grand Firs, Noble Firs, and Fraser Firs. and there is a beautiful view of Mt. Rainier. Missy and Clark looks so peaceful forlicking through the trees!! I can just smell the trees ... :-)


I remember walking into The Lodge while they were still in the middle of construction and to see the end result, this 3,800 square feet of space it really left me breathless! The interior is just filled with light that just bouncing of the new fresh white paint coat walls and it also has vaulted ceilings, and floor-to-ceiling windows so you can catch a glimpse at the beautiful scenery. 


This venue also includes the bridal suite with built in hair and makeup stations, a private decks and restrooms. This is something that the grooms might enjoy. In their area, there is a poll table, shuffle board, a TV, in the dressing room, so they have some time to relax and drink some beers.


If you have any other questions, feel free to contact The Lodge at Trinity Tree Farm. They'd be more than happy to help and answer your questions. Take a tour! Breathe in the fresh pine needles Enjoy the scenery! 

Venue: The Lodge at Trinity Tree Farm

Photographer: Tonie Christine Photography

Wedding Planners: It's Your Day Events & Expressions

Band: Blue Wave Band

Flowers: Kendra Nicholas

Cake/ Dessert: Cakes of Paradise Bakery

Catering-  Sunshines All Natural

Hair & Make-up: Urbanista Weddings

 

 

Real Wedding: Ken & Lydia 8/25/16

This wedding was a real challenge: we had to plan a wedding from scratch in three months! We knew we were up for the task! Ken and Lydia are such a sweet couple and we loved working with them. Ken and Lydia had a vision of what their wedding would look like and it was basically a dream come true! Their fairytale themed wedding looked like it came straight out of a movie! 

The wedding took place at the breathtaking Thornewood Castle, a 500-year-old Tudor Gothic historic site known as “the house that love built.” The castle has a huge backyard and a beautiful garden with a fountain. There is something enchanting about this place and it was the perfect location for Ken and Lydia's fairytale themed wedding. A huge thank you to Alex Studio for capturing these beautiful moments!

Who said brides could only have one dress? Lydia had four!

The cake, made by Mike's Amazing Cakes, was four layers tall and had little intricate sugar flower petals and gold detailing. It looked too good to eat! 

Backyard Wedding Bliss

This was one of my favorite weddings we had the pleasure to plan this summer! Truthfully, hanging out with this couple was always a joyous occasion...even though they make me feel so short! Jess and Eric got engaged in Disneyland, surrounded by family. I encourage you to take a look through this wedding album and see that their engagement carried into their wedding without a single misstep. Subtle Disney details come through from the table names to the cake topper, but mostly you see the love, family, and friends. This June wedding was my first rehearsal I worked in a backyard...and in the pouring rain. As you'll see in the photos though, the Wedding Day was flawless. Cheers to you Jess and Eric (Rheya too!), we wish you many years of happiness.

Everybody.... HEAD TO THE BAR!

One thing that I love about weddings is... the BAR (open bars are obviously the best) ;-)  Anyways, the bar is  where the start of your fun night begins. No matter if you get a Mai Tai or if you get a Coke, you will always be on the dance floor giving it all you've got. 

Every wedding that we plan, we love to decorate the bar with lots of greenery, floral arrangements, lights, votives, you name it! Here are some of our favorite bars from real weddings that we've done! 

At our real weddings, the photographers didn't take a picture of the whole set up of the bar but took pictures of some of the intricate parts that completes the bar, for example, chalk board signs, display of drinks, floral arrangements in votives, etc...

Now if you're a pinterest lover like I am, you will see a variety of ways of how you can decorate your wedding bar! Some are sweet and simple, some are elegant and classy, and the really cool ones are very extravagant with a lot of crystals and wine glasses!!! There are so many different ways to decorate your bar at your wedding it's really hard to choose the design!

Check out my favorite pins in my CHEERS album on Pinterest! Enjoy! Comment down below what your favorite drink is and have a drink for me! 

Tips for Shopping for that Perfect Wedding Gown!

Congratulations on your engagement! Now is the time for you to celebrate being a bride. One of the most exciting parts of this time is shopping for your wedding dress. While I know this process may seem a bit daunting, it’s nothing a well informed bride can’t handle. As a part time bridal stylist I’ve picked up a few tips to help you make dress shopping a breeze!

 

The Timeline

Make sure to start shopping early! It can take up to eight months to order a gown, so the sooner the better. There are also always options like off the rack for the more laid back bride. If you’re planning to look at several stores, try to pace out your shopping. I wouldn’t recommend more than two appointments a day. As tempting as it may be to visit every shop in one day, you can only try on so many lovely white dresses before they all blend together. So start early and spread out those appointments.

 

The Entourage

While shopping can be a blast and you may want to bring everyone you love along with you, it’s important to consider whom you ask to help out. Try to pick no more than four people to be your support as you shop. Any more than that and there can be too many opinions. Make sure that everyone you bring with you is someone whose opinions you value. More importantly, make sure they value yours. The people you surround yourself with in an appointment can have a large effect on how it goes.

 

It’s Not Like TV

I love ‘Say Yes to the Dress’ as much as the next girl, but dress shopping in real life is rarely like the show. You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on the dress of your dreams. There’s no magic number of dresses; yours could be the first or the thirtieth. Don’t wait for tears to be the signal to say yes. So rarely do brides cry when they find the one.  Instead focus on your initial reaction. This of course will be different for each bride, but it’s often the dress you can’t stop smiling in, or the one you just want to boogie or twirl in, or the dress that you just don’t want to take off because you look and feel so gorgeous in it.

 

 

Your First Appointment

When it comes to your first appointment, try to come in with some ideas of dresses that you could picture wearing. Pinterest can be a great tool for this and being able to show your consultant pictures is extremely helpful. Since it can be hard to tell what you truly love without trying anything on though, make sure to pull some dresses in different shapes to see how they look on your body. You may be surprised by what you find! So often brides will come in with a vision in mind and end up leaving the shop with the dress of their dreams in a completely different style.

I hope that these tips can help make shopping for your dress an easy and memorable experience. Have fun ladies!

-Sarah the intern (and part time bridal consultant!)

Real Wedding: Kristine and Tim

At It's Your Day Events & Expressions, we love nothing more than to travel with you on your journey in binding your love! Ashley and I (Kailin) took a mini road trip up to Oak Harbour and wow was it such a pretty sight to see but it was really hot! Ashley's driver sides window wasn't working but we cooled off with a blended mocha and made the best of it.

Now.. Back to the wedding!!! St. Mary's Church was so beautiful! The Ceremony was beautiful! The bridesmaids and the bride, Kristine were extra beautiful!! Everything just looked so perfect. You'll have to look for yourself. :-) Here are the pictures that were taken during the ceremony and the reception! 

It was just such a lovely time with the most lovely couple!!! Congratulations again! 

 

 

Real Wedding: Kari and Dave 2/27/16

If I could only choose one word for our wonderful couple, Kari and Dave, it would have to be candid. Nothing is more beautiful than candidness, and the fun that the both of them have together, makes them the perfect couple in life. 

 

While going through these photos, I couldn't help but notice my smile growing bigger and bigger as I go through each picture. Some pictures made me laugh because the picture captures Kari and Dave's expressions so well, it is like I can hear them saying silly things and laughing right at that moment. You will understand what I mean as you take a look at these photos. Laughter and happiness is contagious!

Here are some of my favorite shots from that awesome day! 

Thanks to Jeff and Amanda Photography! You guys did a phenomenal job! 

How Much Should I Tip My Wedding Vendors?

It’s Wedding Season again, which means lots of upcoming meetings with clients for us and other wedding industry professionals, and plenty of help and advice to be given. One question that we get asked very often as wedding planners is, how much should I tip each of my vendors? And even, should I tip this vendor?

This is a great question but can be very complex to answer. Often times we have given our opinion that we have based on what's written in the “etiquette guides” yet tried to balance it out what we have more commonly seen, whilst taking into account what the vendor is charging, what the contract says and checking for any built-in fees.

What you want to do first is check your contracts. Some vendors may already have gratuity built in such as the caterer (usually 15-22%) or the shuttle or limo driver.  Read through carefully to avoid unnecessary double tipping.

The Knot had an interesting note about not needing to tip owners of businesses. “If your photographer owns the studio, there’s no need to tip him. The same goes for bands not booked through an agency and the beauty-shop owner who does your hair.” To us, this seems a bit odd. Most wedding businesses in the Seattle area are run by owner-operators who work hard and wouldn’t mind feeling the love too.

Just remember that tipping is not obligatory; tip those vendors that offer exceptional service. Thank you notes are always a nice added touch! For a breakdown of each vendor, read on:

 

Wedding Planner: Optional

According to the Knot about 50% of couples tip their planner. If you do tip, Real Simple suggests 15% of the fee or a personal gift. With a $4k planning fee that could be a hefty tip of $600. Trust us, that is not required. If you want to do cash, likely closer to 10% or slightly less would work. Speaking frankly, as planners ourselves, we never expect a tip but are always honored when we do receive one. A few times we have gotten gifts from valued clients such as glassy babies or our favorite make-up. It was totally unexpected but we were thrilled and felt appreciated. What really touches us the most are indeed thank you cards or huge hugs and words of thanks. The gratitude is what keeps us going in this business and it is the feeling that leaves us buzzed at the end of a fabulous wedding event.

 

Hair & Make-Up Stylists: Typically Expected

Usually, between 15-20% works best here and maybe a little extra if they went above and beyond or had to deal with your picky mother-in-law, etc. We asked Hannah Bush, owner of Urbanista Weddings Makeup and Hair how often they get tips from clients, she said “We never expect gratuity, but it's always a wonderful surprise when we receive them! About 80% of our clients tip and about 5% give us a little gift. It is usually a bag of snacks and candies.” The best gift she has ever received? Homemade plum jam and Kahlua! She also added that “ I feel that if a Vendor does a great job or goes above and beyond what is expected, monetary gifts are obviously very appreciated, but the best gift is a good review on a popular reviewing site.”

 

Delivery or Set-Up Staff: Typically Expected

This would include people like the cake delivery person, florist set up team, ice sculpture crew, special rental set up team etc. This can depend on the size of the crew but typically $10-20 a person is good. If it is just one person doing a lot of work (like a florist) you can even go bigger, like $50+ (if you want!) You can prepare for the multiple tips by having labeled envelopes ready to hand out. Assign the task of handing out to your planner or Best Man.

 

Ceremony Officiant: Depends (and I’ll explain why!)

If your officiant is tied to a church or synagogue, you would most likely be expected to make a donation to the organization. According to the Knot, “If you're a member you'll probably want to give a larger amount than if you're not. However, if you're getting married there and they're charging you to use the space, feel free to give a smaller amount.” Often a donation of about $500 (give or take) to the church is expected, with an optional $50-200 to the officiant. However, if you are not affiliated with a church, no donation would be required but the $50-100 tip is still appreciated. If your best friend from childhood, Joe Beaujangles is marrying you, he may be offended if you offer him a tip. When you hire one of your peoples, opt for a personal gift instead.

 

Ceremony Musicians: Optional

If you’ve set up a great team of musicians that helped you pull off that perfect score to your wedding, consider giving them a little monetary reward to thank them for their musical talent. And as stated from The Knot, “However, you probably don't have to tip the solo church organist who was required to play.” The standard is about $15-20 per musician and can be given after the ceremony is over.

 

Wedding Reception Band or DJ: Optional

Music is such a huge part of your reception! If your band or DJ does an amazing job setting the tone (pun intended) of your event, you may want to consider a tip, although it’s not required. DJ Craig Slater of Bugsie Productions reported receiving a tip about 75% of the time. His advice on the subject to couples is “It’s important to know that you are not obligated to give any DJ gratuity.  If you're giving someone a tip to perform on your wedding day any amount of gratuity is appreciated.  Most people ask if they do tip a DJ how much should we tip?  My best answer is it’s completely up to you, on average our tips range from  $50-$100.” DJ Tony Schwartz stated that “ I would say roughly 20-25% of the time I would receive a gratuity or gift from my clients. 50% of the time I receive a thank you card. And 100% of the time, I receive a heartfelt thank you hug at the end of the night. To the brides and grooms reading this, if you opt to generously give, a gift will always be more meaningful than a gratuity every single time.”

 

Wedding Photographer & Videographer: Optional

Photographers Stefan & Audrey (owners of their self-titled photography business) stated that they receive a gratuity or gift every 15 or so weddings, so not too often. They went on to say “Thank you cards/notes are more than enough though and we receive those fairly often! Cue the cheese. But honestly, friendship. We've met some awesome people and some authentic friendships have come from it.” Photographer Courtney Bowlden also mentioned thank you cards or words of thanks were greatly appreciated and that getting tips weren’t too common, maybe once or twice a year, and when asked what the best gift she has received, she replied  “I got a cute scarf from a bride and it was totally unexpected. I was so blown away by her thoughtfulness.” So there you have it, a lovely gift or thanks is preferred at a minimum, but if you would like to tip, $50-$200 each is the standard.

 

Transportation: Expected

This one is fairly straightforward. This is often built into your contract so check there first. If it is not, the usual 15-20% tip is expected. Just like taking a taxi! When to tip? At the end of the night or after the last ride. If you have shuttles or buses running you can give it to the Bus Captain to split among drivers or if it's a simple getaway car, you can give this duty to the Best Man or the Groom can do it upon exiting the car as a final option.

 

Wedding Reception Staff/Catering: Required/Expected

Okay, here it is, the big one. First of all, a service fee is almost always built into the contract, so again, check there first. If you are unsure what the service fee covers, feel free to ask your catering manager. If there happens to not be a service fee or gratuity built into your contract then plan to tip about 15-20% of the food and beverage labor fee, NOT the cost of the actual food and drink. This confuses some couples as you may be used to looking at your food and beverage total like going to a restaurant. But no, you aren’t expected to tip $3-4 k extra on that $20k total catering bill. Seattle company City Catering has an 18% gratuity line on their contract however it has a note stating “An 18% gratuity line has been included with this proposal for budgeting purposes. Gratuities for our servers are left to your discretion.” For giving out gratuity, you are more than welcome to break the amount out for each staff member (again look at the contract to see how many staff is expected), but the easiest way to do it is to give an envelope to the Banquet Manager and specify it is to be split among the staff. Feel free of course to include a note of thanks inside and an indication of a certain amount going to the Banquet Caption or Bartender etc. with the rest being split among the waitstaff.

 

So there you have it! That is our guide to tipping your wedding vendors. Just do what feels right to you, and remember, a big THANK YOU goes a long way!

Bride and Bridesmaids To Be!

You can't get married without your ladies by your side! 

Men come and go but friends are forever.... even when you already find the man of your dreams, you're girls have to be there to be by your side to support and most importantly: TO CELEBRATE WITH YOU! 

NOW, this is the store that I swear by. I love everything about Francesca's Boutique: their great quality product, the atmosphere of every boutique I go in, and the employees are always so cheerful and loving! They have very unique clothing, jewelry, and my favorite, the miscellaneous accessories!! And when I found out about all these wedding goodies that they have, I just had to make a post about it! You never know what you will find on that little table. Here are some fun little goodies for you, a soon to be bride, or for your brides maids! 

JUST SAY YES, BRIDESMAIDS! 

I just think this is so adorable! If your man already popped the question and you said yes, it's your turn to pop the question to your bridesmaid. The brides maid proposal doesn't have to be out of this world. A small little gesture for your ladies would do the trick. Sweet and simple! These earring would make a perfect gift and its something that your bridesmaid will most likely use and its so sweet and simple that it'll match with everything that they wear! 

 Francesca's Boutique in Alderwood Mall! 

Francesca's Boutique in Alderwood Mall! 

 

YOU'RE A BOMBSHELL BRIDE!

This little cute scrumptious bath bomb smells so good and it makes your skin glow! If you think LUSH only sells awesome bath bombs, think again! Drop this baby in your bathtub, get your new hubby, pop some champagne, and relax ALL night long! 

There are so many other cute little things at Francesca that are wedding related. If you're still stumped on gifts for the bride or brides maids. Come check it out at Francesca's Boutique. You will fall in LOVE just like I did! Here just some of the other bachelorette/bride products that I love! 

Enjoy online shopping till you're dropping! :) 


Real Wedding: Wendi & Mo 7.18.15 Lord Hill Farms, Snohomish, WA

We met Wendi & Mo way back in February 2014, back when Top Pot Donuts in Bothell was still “Lady Latte”. Over a cup of coffee, we got to know this amazing couple. We loved hearing the story of how they first started dating. They worked together, and one day Mo got up the courage to ask Wendi out, by asking “so, do you eat?” She replied “of course I eat!” and from there Mo proceeded to properly ask her out to dinner and the rest is history.

We loved working with Wendi and Mo on their July 2015 wedding as their vision brought us a new, exciting challenge. They both wanted to have their cultures represented and with Wendi being from Hawaii with Japanese heritage and Mo being from The Gambia, we knew amazing bright colors would come into play. Mo got his groomsmen these unique cuff links in the shape of Gambia. These were way too cute. All of the groomsmen loved them! 

They had already chosen Lord Hill Farms as their venue, so we went to work booking them some amazing vendors (see below)! We of course were most excited when it came time to plan the design. We created them a custom color palette of a beautiful fuschia, persimmon, turquoise, sage, sunshine and a dash of gold for fun.

This wedding is a true representation of what it means to include the couple's personality, background and love story. The table runners are handmade fabric from the Gambia! There were also a few custom art pieces flown in from Hawaii and plenty of orchids to represent. The bride's dress was a beautiful design made from Kimono fabric. We took polaroid photos of guests in fun props and hung them from a string of clothespins (which had a significant inside joke type meaning to them).  Even the table numbers represented favorite places and things of this wonderful couple!

It was one of the hottest days of the year and although a groomsmen may have been stung by a bee during the ceremony, it turned out to be a truly amazing day. There is only a lifetime of happiness ahead for Wendi & Mo!

VENDORS

Venue & Catering: Lord Hill Farms

Wedding Planner: It’s Your Day Events & Expressions

Mini Cheesecakes: The Confectional

Photography: Courtney Bowlden

Videography: Bogle Productions

Flowers: Fena Flowers

DJ: Bugsie Productions

 

 

Engagement Season Began already?!

Some of you may have noticed, that as soon as the summer wedding season comes to a halt…engagement season begins! If you haven’t noticed…no biggie- maybe it’s just my observation! Either way, you may have a new favorite season to look forward to! What I’m actually talking about is the time of year between Halloween and Valentines Day, when social media and your mailbox are riddled with engagement announcements. From a Wedding Coordinators perspective, we love everything about this season! Plus it is great, rational thinking by our significant others…strategically giving the brides plenty of time to plan their dream day! My point here is that a decent portion of our readers haven’t been engaged before… so how are you supposed to know what to do with yourself now that you’ve said ‘YES’? That’s what I’m here for! There are thousands of places you can look up the nitty gritty checklist of ‘what nexts’, but here are some perspectives of those who have gone before us!  I asked some of my dear pals over wine and via email what…if anything…would they have done differently during their engagement? Below are the top 4 responses. Whether you are already engaged, or just hope to be there soon, these should shed a little light on the subject! Feel free to comment below with any questions or comments!

~ HIRE A WEDDING PLANNER ~

 OK… seriously, this was a non-coached answer! Of course we love to hear it, but we have it listed because it’s the truth! So many of our clients are working full time, juggling everyday obligations, kids, pets, houses, etc. etc. etc., that planning the wedding they have waited for quickly becomes overwhelming. The gals that I spoke to said that they almost felt guilty asking friends and family to help out. And that on the day of the wedding, you really want ALL your guests to be able to relax and enjoy the festivities without trying to oversee the whole operation. It can be a lot of pressure for a family member to try and uphold everything in your ‘vision’- sometimes it’s easier to communicate with someone that you have a professional relationship versus a personal one.  Also, in hindsight, they noted that the discounts they would’ve received when booking through an event planner would’ve sweetened the deal even more. Long story short, the extra money spent on a planner is worth it!

 

~ DON'T HAVE A DREADFULLY LONG ENGAGEMENT ~

Some of my friends were engaged for the 14-18 month range. From our conversations, I gathered that essentially as soon as you are engaged, you pretty much just want it to be your wedding day. Thus, waiting 18 months for that day can become taxing…and fast. From a coordinators perspective, we prefer engagements in the neighborhood of 10 or more months. That gives ample time for all the decisions that need to be made. Yet…we have planned our fair share of weddings with 4-6 month engagements! Honestly, set the time for what works for you and your guests will make it happen. Since we are sort of talking about a pre-wedding timeline here, another tip I will roll into this one, is to go ahead and have an engagement party. Several of my friends mentioned that they wished that they had had even a small barbeque so that the groomsmen and bridesmaids would have met each other in an informal setting before the chaos of bachelorette, bachelor, wedding shower and of course wedding day comes raining down on them. Just a little added tidbit!

 

START A WEDDING ACCOUNT… NOW! 

This may be a bit of a DUH… for some of you that are already incurring the cost of your wedding plans. But for those of you who are not yet engaged, the consensus was that everyone had wished they started a wedding fund sooner than later. If you don’t have a ring or a date yet- but you know it’s going to happen with your significant other, it’s not too early to start saving. 

 

 

 

~ EYE ON THE PRIZE ~ 

This was the hands down, most recorded response. Make sure you remember that at the end of the day, you get to marry your person. If you have followed the advice in #1 (above), nothing will go wrong- BUT even if it did, remember to enjoy the day. You have at least thought about the ‘big day’ a few times throughout your life, and undoubtedly spent a good portion of the last year honing down every last detail…ENJOY YOURSELF! One of my friends said that her flowers were completely wrong, and that her Maid-Of-Honor had a bit of a wardrobe malfunction, and she didn’t even bat an eye- because she still got to say ‘I Do’. Although this is a big event for your friends and families to come together, essentially it’s about celebrating your commitment to each other. Don’t get lost in a sea of Pinterest and lose sight of the real reasons behind your celebration. 







That’s all for now- I hope that you have a little something you can take away before the pending arrival of engagement season.

Cheers!

It’s Your Day Events & Expressions Crew





#ThemeTuesday - Marsala and Pink

Any color that is on the dark color spectrum, I will fall in love with. My favorite color is maroon. so this theme, Marsala and Pink is such a great combination. Think of it this way. The 'pink' is the strawberry and the color 'marsala' is either the cup of red wine or the chocolate fondue. Once you mix these colors together, it is just so delicious and fitting. This theme just screams romance, seductiveness, and oozing love. 

 

 

7 Unique Guest Book Ideas

Looking back on your wedding day, do you remember all of the people that attended and celebrated with you at your wedding? Probably not without a memory book or a guest book! A book with signatures is such a little thing but with a big meaning. Here are some idea of how to make it a big special thing with a big meaning! These are my top favorite 7 guest book alternatives! Spice it up! Have a litte fun! :) 


Bhavna & Kevin's Wedding Video!

Hello all! Hope you're all having a great hump day! We're preparing for a storm here in the PNW and it has been so rainy and windy for the past few days! I just got my power back on and the first thing I wanted to do so badly is to upload this wedding video made by TSP Video Production. Thanks you TSP Video Production, especially Edward Calabig for this video!

Bhavna and Kevin were one of our clients a few months ago and they had their wedding in the summer on the most perfect day; not too hot and not too cold! I loved working with this couple and they had two different wedding ceremonies which was really awesome! Just watching this video again warmed me right up and took me back to that magical day! Enjoy this video; it'll make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Congrats to these cute newlyweds! :) Enjoy this video!