Tuesday, July 24, 2012

How Can You Afford Not to Have a Wedding Planner?

Image Courtesy of Jasmine Amber Photography www.jasmineamberblog.com

There is a stigma that couples cannot afford a wedding planner or coordinator for their special day, but the reality is, how can you afford not to hire a wedding planner and coordinator? Booking a planner can save you time, money, and a lot of hair pulling that can distract from what is supposed to be the happiest day of your life. Professional planners make their living off of ensuring that their clients get the perfect event within in their budget. Planners like us at Celebrations by Amy Bacon spend hours planning, organizing, and arranging details so that when you arrive to your wedding, shower, or any other event, you are able to enjoy the day as much as your guests. 

Image Courtesy of Jasmine Amber Photography www.jasmineamberblog.com

According to AOL Jobs, “90 percent of soon-to-be brides plan their weddings while at work” and TheKnot.com shows that “women spend about 10 hours a week planning their wedding.” Finding what vendors to use, keeping track of who’s available when, and lining up who will take care of what on your special day can turn into another job all its own so why not save yourself that time and hassle by hiring someone to do it for you?  We can save you all that time you spend researching and negotiating with vendors because we have many connections with professional and successful vendors that you’ll want at your event. Additionally, we know vendors to avoid and can therefore save you potential mishaps on a day that should be free of worry or drama. Many vendors are perfect for not only the day’s style but for a specific budget as well.

Image Courtesy of Jasmine Amber Photography www.jasmineamberblog.com
We can help you decide where to splurge and where to save so that your budget stays balanced. It’s not easy staying in line of what you want to spend so why not hire on someone to make sure you do this, in addition to countless other things? Whether it’s tips on how to recycle décor from ceremony to reception, suggestions on whether to go with several cocktail menu options or a hearty meal, or if you really need that pink limo for your bridesmaids, we’ll help you make smart decisions on where to spend your money (and where not to spend it).
Image Courtesy of Jasmine Amber Photography www.jasmineamberblog.com

Negotiating contracts can tend to become worrisome due to all of the line items and details that occur. We negotiate contracts and review them for details that brides and grooms don’t know to look for so that you aren’t caught off guard if a vendor mentions a detail you don’t remember agreeing to. Contracts themselves can be especially tricky but at Celebrations by Amy Bacon, we have a lawyer on our team who reviews contracts in special circumstances when there are detailed questions or if issues arrive. This is just one more way that we try to ensure you know exactly what you’re paying for and to guarantee that you understand the plans for your wedding.

Image Courtesy of Jasmine Amber Photography www.jasmineamberblog.com

This all being said, we should be the first company hired for the wedding so that we can make sure you get exactly what you are envisioning for the day you become husband and wife. However, we are more than happy, willing, and able to step in at any point of the planning process to help organize your vendors and to take the weight off of your shoulders of organizing the day! We serve as not only your logistical organizer but your “creative partner” as well. You’ll never find a team of professionals that loves to talk about décor and details more than the Celebrations by Amy Bacon team! We’ll recommend color schemes, flower arrangements, special elements, and any other aspect that makes up the style and aesthetic appeal of the day. Don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss options for your special day. Even if it’s in a week, Celebrations by Amy Bacon will make your wedding day one that you will never forget! Visit www.CelebrationsbyAmyBacon.com to see a sampling of previous work, favored vendors, and our packages/services.

Image Courtesy of Jasmine Amber Photography www.jasmineamberblog.com
Image Courtesy of Jasmine Amber Photography www.jasmineamberblog.com

Image Courtesy of Jasmine Amber Photography www.jasmineamberblog.com
                                                                              Blog written by Patrice Klaum

Vendors from Nicole and Haris's Wedding listed below ....
Planning & Coordination Celebrations by Amy Bacon | 602.762.1174
Photography  Jasmine Amber Photography | 480.600.4018 
Florist |  Ever After Florals | 480.234.3935 
Officiate | Bill Erwin | I Do I Do Arizona Weddings |602.717.3239
Entertainment | All America DJ | 602.697.7226
Photobooth | Snapbooth | 480.540.6238 
Wedding Dress Uptown Bridal & Boutique | 480-242-9408 
Venue | Inspirador | 480.855.5033                 

Monday, July 16, 2012

How long do you need to plan a wedding?

Image courtesy of Leland Gebhardt. www.lelandg.com
For some, the ideas of what a person would like at their wedding starts in childhood but the actual concrete planning will not start until around the time of a couple’s engagement. While some laid-back engagements can be rather short, the average length of an engagement in the US is currently 15 months. TheKnot.com states that “Northeast brides have the longest engagements (15.5 months), while brides from Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky and Mississippi have the shortest (12 months), on average.” This being said, the length of time to plan a wedding can be estimated based on when you plan to get married, and how long each aspect takes to plan:

The right season/weather will make for fabulous photos. 
Image courtesy of Leland Gebhardt. www.lelandg.com
 -Wedding Season: In Arizona specifically, the event season tends to run from October until early June due to the extreme heat of summer. Spring weather in this state is ideal for indoor and outdoor weddings alike so keep in mind if a weekend is perfect for your special day, it may be perfect for multiple other couples as well so make sure to plan well enough ahead that you don’t miss out on the date you had in mind.

Image courtesy of Leland Gebhardt. www.lelandg.com
 -Wedding Dress: Your search for THE dress can take one day (being the first dress you try on) or months so this amount of time is difficult to estimate, but should you have to order a dress, you need to leave room for at least 6 months for the dress to come in and at least 8 weeks for alterations. (Total = > 8 months)

Image courtesy of Leland Gebhardt. www.lelandg.com
 -Renting a Tux: Most men don’t have a perfectly sized tuxedo hanging in their closet so you will need one to three months to find one that works best and fits well. (Total = < 3 months)

The Venue - Encanto Park Clubhouse. 
Image courtesy of Leland Gebhardt. www.lelandg.com
 -Venue: Many venues are booked a year in advance so if you want to get married on a popular weekend (Memorial Day, weekends surrounding Valentines’ Day, etc.), you’ll want to search around for multiple venues you like in case the one you love is already taken. Some do not allow you to book more than 17 months in advance so if you have your heart set on a specific location, make sure you know their policies on reserving the space. (Total = 1 year)

DJ - Sean Wallace of Rattle and Roll. 
Image courtesy of Leland Gebhardt. www.lelandg.com
-Entertainment: DJs and other forms of entertainment in the events industry which have been open and popular for a number of seasons can have their calendars all booked up at least a year in advance, and some companies choose not to book until they are less than a year out from the wedding date so that they aren’t promising a price that’s lower than their new year totals. It’s all a matter of who you happen to choose. To be safe, assume that you need around a year if you are hoping to get married in peak season. (Total = 1 year)

Image courtesy of Leland Gebhardt. www.lelandg.com

Hiring a wedding planner can take the stress of planning and allow you to enjoy your day like these two love birds. 
Image courtesy of Leland Gebhardt. www.lelandg.com
-Wedding Planner/Coordinator: Many wedding planners have events in their books at least a year and a half out so don’t assume that your weekend will be available, no matter when you plan to say your ‘I Do’s. However, if you want to start planning your wedding and getting your major details together, the planner should be the first company that you want to sign a contract with. Professional wedding planners and coordinators’ job is to find top-notch event specialists that they trust to be there for their clients’ special day. They know which companies to trust, which have proven to be less than desirable, and which need to be booked as soon as you have a ring on your finger. Planners make their living off of making sure every single detail is perfect and prepared for your event so if you’re worried about everything being in its place and don’t want to have to settle for a vendor who just happened to be available last minute, why wouldn’t you hire a company like Celebrations forAmy Bacon to plan and coordinate your event?

Taking a moment, just the two of them after the ceremony. 
It was the grooms idea and a surprise for the bride.
Image courtesy of Leland Gebhardt. www.lelandg.com
Image courtesy of Leland Gebhardt. www.lelandg.com

Image courtesy of Leland Gebhardt. www.lelandg.com
Image courtesy of Leland Gebhardt. www.lelandg.com

 It’s never too late to find a great professional for your event so all you have to do is set your date and start looking!

                                                            Blog written by Patrice Klaum

Planning and Coordination | www.celebrationsbyamybacon.com | info@celebrationsbyamybacon.com
Photographer | Leland Gebhardt Photography | www.lelandg.com | info@lelandg.com
Entertainment | Rattle and Roll | www.rattleandroll.com | sw@rattleandroll.com
Make up | Salon Estique | 602.248.0077
Hair | Lisa Richardson | 602.625.0475
Photobooth | Snapbooth Entertainment | www.snapbooth.com | mike@snapbooth.com
Linens | WOW Linens | 623.242.3715 | 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

How to avoid getting emotional during your speech/toast

Your best friend is getting married and throughout the midst of all the preparation and To-Do lists you’ve been recruited to help with, you realize one scary thought: YOU’RE EXPECTED TO GIVE A SPEECH AT THE RECEPTION. Cancel that order for the oxygen tank and bring your breathing back down to a normal level; you CAN get through this. You don’t have to be a professional public speaker to give a great speech that your buddy will love. 

Some people can pull off “winging it” during their toasts but let’s face it, that group doesn’t include the majority of us in their ranks. Preparation is a requirement that the rest of us can take advantage of to come off as effortlessly brilliant speech-givers that love our best friends. Preparing for your speech even if it’s only for a day can help calm your nerves to make it through those 3-5 minutes of the wedding when all eyes are on you.

1) Decide on the feeling you hope to get across. Who says your toast has to be formal and proper? If you and your toastee constantly joke with one another, feel free to make your special time one that draws laughs from the crowd, just avoid making fun of the newlyweds if you hope to stay friends with them in the future.  Don’t be scared of going to the opposite side of the spectrum either! Weddings are events when tears of joy are bound to show up at so if you want to pour your heart out, go for it. You’re best friends for a reason so being emotional on such a special day is expected and you have nothing to be scared of if your stories make people in the crowd dab at their eyes with their napkins.

2) Write out what you’d like to say. By getting your jumbled thoughts onto paper, you can sort through stories you want to include, memories you probably shouldn’t, and special dedications you’ve been storing up since you deemed the bride or groom your best friend. If you write out what you want to say, you can read it over multiple times and start to remember what you wanted to say. No one is going to think any less of you if you’re reading your speech off of a paper or your iPad. If anything it would show how much you care by being so prepared so grab a pen and get reminiscing. 

3) Practice your speech out loud to someone you trust. Don’t make the mistake many bridal party members have made in the past by having the first time you say your speech is when the microphone is in your hand. You may find yourself taking twice as long to get your words out because you’re crying between each line (no really, it happens)! If a wedding planner (such as Celebrations by Amy Bacon) is coordinating the wedding, it couldn’t hurt to ask them to give you some suggestions on your speech. After all, wedding planners have heard dozens of successful (and not so successful) toasts and have been getting to know the newlyweds for months so they are the perfect people to give feedback on your speech. Get used to how your speech sounds, get those emotions out, and get ready for your special moment.

In the end, who’s going to know if you do a Google search for “best friend wedding speech” and just throw in personal touches? They worked in the past so they’re nearly guaranteed to work again. Just remember how much you love your best friend and how you love to see them happy, and your toast will be perfect. Cheers!

                                                       Blog written by Patrice Klaum

Evee and Anthony Married 5.14.11

Thank you to all the professionals listed below that worked to make the day so special ... 
Photography - Cameron & Kelly Studios www.cameronkellystudio.com
Wedding Coordinating - Amy Bacon www.celebrationsbyamybacon.com
Video - Serendipity - www.serendipitycinema.com
Catering - LeFox www.lefoxcatering.com
Bartender - Arizona Bartenders  http://www.arizonabartenders.com/
Live Music - Sarah Vanell http://www.sarahsmuse.com/events/
DJ - SKM  http://www.skmentertainment.com/
Linens - PROEM http://www.proem.org/
Hair - Lily Delgado
Makeup - Jessica Adarme