Viewing entries tagged
wedding planner orlando


A few tips for planning your honeymoon

Congratulations, you are getting married!  You must be so excited to become MR and MRS. You should be! Marriage is such a beautiful union. If you are like me, you smile when you see an older couple holding hands and walking, or lovingly sharing a moment and think “ I hope to be like that someday”. You know, that kind of love that stuck through the ages. Ah, bliss…or it is it?

 A lot of times people talk about the “honeymoon phase” when you are all, "I love you and No I love you, but I love you more".. Most older couples that made it,  talk about their honeymoon phase never ending. Now there is something to think about. For that honeymoon phase to never end you do need to make the effort to understand each other (sorry for preaching this in This understanding and communicating each other’s needs is essential to having your  marriage be the ultimate honeymoon.

So, where are you going for your honeymoon?  Have you two decided on a place that interests the both of you? Maybe you are a camping or outdoors type of person. Maybe he likes to swim with dolphins. The perfect honeymoon is something that the two of you can enjoy.... See what I did there? It was a lay up (that is as much of a basketball reference that I would ever be able to give, sports guru I am not).  If I’ve lost you, let’s recap, understanding each other and communicating each other’s needs is the key to a honeymoon like marriage. So an ideal honeymoon that you both will enjoy should be one that encompasses both of your tastes and favorite activities for rest and relaxation.  Always start like you mean to finish, and yes, this includes where you honeymoon too. You are both equal in marriage and one person’s needs should never overshadow the other.

Thailand (1).png

There is a vast array of choices out there. The Caribbean offers a lot of variety, and being  the “Caribbean” it is like the best place ever for diving or boating or yes, swimming with the dolphins. I am sure most of you have heard of the Sandals and Beaches resorts chain. There is so much to offer when you book a Sandals or Beaches resort as a honeymoon destination. And oh, about that camping thing? They do a program that can sometimes include a group around a camp fire.  Wouldn’t that be nice? Or what about you taking yourself away from the world for a bit and spend your vacation in an over the water bungalow or villa? Checking it out is as easy as clicking here. Maybe the Caribbean is not your style. Maybe you do want to camp out in a dense forest and have more of an adventurous spirit for your honeymoon. Guess what? We can help you find that too (here).

We want to assist you in every area of your lives together. Our lives are better together. Things learnt along the way can only be beneficial if they are shared. Start your marriage off right, plan your marriage with the intention of forever being the  goal. So, plan your wedding day, and plan a banging honeymoon that you both would share secret smiles with each other about because you created memories that will withstand the tests of time.






We all have regrets - three mistakes that brides can sometimes make

Dress - $$$.png

Oh man, I regret…

 How many times have you said that? Hindsight being twenty/twenty and all that, we end up saying this too many times. And sometimes it is something simple that we can just brush off and mark it in our “never to repeat” experiences. But how destructive this would be when planning a wedding?

Expounding on last week’s blog about the importance of learning about your financial mindset and creating a budget, we will talk about certain experiences that real brides have had planning their wedding and things that they ended up saying “I regret” about. If you’re wondering how this links with budgeting and finance, stay with me.

Overspending on the wedding dress

Here is one that is heard a lot – “I shouldn’t have spent so much on my dress. I only wore it once and now that is money I’m not able to use (insert monthly expense here)”. Think about it. Now, disclaimer. I’m a firm believer of you finding your dream dress that will make a statement. It is your day, why not make several statements? Just consider that if you’re going to splurge on your dress, having a budget is a great visual reminder. What is that reminder saying? If you are going to spend nearly $3,000 on a dress, then you have to cut funding from another category to be able to afford it.

Not hiring a wedding planner

Another that brides have said that they regretted is not allocating funds to hire a wedding planner. A lot of times venues provide venue coordinators. Let me be the first to let you know unless they say “wedding coordinator”, expect to only receive help with areas that pertain to the wedding venue. Some venue coordinators are really helpful and do liaise with vendors that will be involved with the wedding. However, (the majority of the time) it is primarily with their preferred vendors (which you could be paying a premium price for).

There’s a marked difference between and venue coordinator and a wedding planner or day of wedding coordinator.  These brides have said that they regretted not hiring a coordinator because they were not able to enjoy their wedding day, having to manage vendors, contracts and guests. So essentially, they spent most of their wedding day in a blur. 

A wedding planner or coordinator is there to manage the background chaos that occurs on the wedding day. More like a mediator and personal adviser that navigates you through the day, ensuring that you are present in every moment. This again should be budgeted, because think about it, do you really want to spend your day managing and worrying about everything that can go wrong? Or do you want to be in the moment when you’re pronounced husband and wife so you can be excited about your first kiss as Mr and Mrs?

Not making enough time for each other

The final regret I’d like to share today is “not setting enough time aside before the wedding for each other”. Planning a wedding is stressful. With help, it can be less so. Although sometimes relationships have been known to be ruined during the wedding planning process. It is very important to set aside time for yourself and your soon to be fiancé before the wedding. This time will allow you to collect your thoughts and have a safe space that does not involve any wedding planning anything. Don’t become caught up in the phase, because the wedding day is only the first stop on the journey to forever. Budgeting is essential here too because if everything is locked into the wedding, where is the “get to grow with each other” time? You used to date each other before the proposal and the talks of marriage. Maybe it wasn’t always the fancy restaurants, maybe sometimes it was an apple pie from McDonalds, or maybe it was ice cream in the park. Budgeting a miscellaneous expense would compensate for the times when you both just need a break from the crazy, and to be able to take the time and just love on each other. Maybe this calls for a weekend where you get away or a stay-cation involving Netflix and some popcorn. Make time for fun with each other.

Hope these tidbits encourages you to try to live with no regrets and to set you up for success. Every decision that you make always has a consequence, and that applies to weddings too. There are lots more regrets that various brides have, what advice or thoughts have you come up against that you would like to share?




Hey everyone!  We're blessed with another day Y'all. We have another opportunity to do great things and be our awesome selves. So today, I want to continue our discussion on details involved in the wedding planning process. I am excited, are you?

The topic today is finances and budgeting. Okay, I know some of you mentally said “ugh” followed by "boring" - or your brain immediately started going into sleep mode. Because really, who thinks about finances as a fun topic other than accountants (and me on the d/l)? Well, hate to be the bearer of boring news, but finances when planning a wedding are important, so we have to talk about it.

Are you ready? Here we go.

Did you know that the number one reason for divorce today in the United States of America, is listed as financial reasons?  This is because each person has a different money mindset. I found out just yesterday that I am a financial dreamer (the dreamer part I knew because I already have franchises in my head for Unique Elements, a story for a later time). Who knew that it wasn’t just practical to have a financial advisor, it was imperative for who I am as a person/businesswoman?  It is these things that we need to know and understand before we say “I do” in order to better equip us for marriage.

You may be wondering how that applies to you.

Let’s talk about two very opposite experiences I’ve had planning weddings.

Wedding planning scenario one: the bride was very much dedicated to the wedding planning process and understood that deposits and subsequent payments had to be made to secure the vendors needed for the wedding day. The groom, on the other hand, refused to cooperate or allow her to release any payments until the vendors were basically threatening to not provide their service (a recipe for financial disaster if not corrected soon).

In the second scenario, the bride and groom had budgeted their wedding (the first scenario had a budget and due dates as well) and created a separate account to pay for all of their wedding-related expenses. Due dates were discussed and vendors that could be paid off before the wedding day were paid (e.g. florists, wedding planner, cake). Which do you think was easier to work with?

It comes back to what we spoke about last week, about premarital counseling and discovering who you are and what love languages you speak. This week I’d like to take it a step further and press you to figure out your money mindsets, one partner is always the Nerd (apologies to all who may feel some way about the use of this term) or the Free Spirit. This categorization is brought to you courtesy of Dave Ramsey, who does an awesome financial course called Financial Peace University. Check it out here. You may not agree with all of his theories, but 80% of what is taught makes a lot of sense, and I encourage every couple to take the class. At the least, it helps you to view yourselves and categorize your spending habits. This will save you tons and tons and tons, and did I say tons? Of arguments in the future. It can save you many arguments during the planning process.

Finances are important, and as every wise woman who’s ever been married before has repeatedly told me, I share this with you, "start like you mean to finish". Talk about everything. Finances, especially. Talk about who is going to pay what. Separate accounts or joint? Or as a beautiful couple who taught us about financial peace said, three accounts – one joint for billing, and two separate for pleasure - now let’s not get crazy and think 90% of the paycheck goes to pleasure and 10% in bills. Or even that it will be skewed with one person saving more than contributing to bills. This would have to be discussed at length, and a plan formulated based on your budget and to have an equal payout.

However you decide to sort it out, it is very beneficial to your marriage and mental health to know where you are financially as a couple. After all, your guy may want to have some drinks with his friends or catch a game and some drinks. And we know, us ladies want hair and nails done. It just needs to be budgeted so everyone can have some breathing room and not feel choked.  

That is why as a planner asking about your budget and helping you to formulate one if you do not have one is so important. It is like the analogy from last week — compasses and starting points. Knowing where you are and where you need to go makes it easier to chart a way to your destination. Your destination right now is marriage, with the hope of forever. The destination is not the wedding day, that is the first stop on the journey. I love planning weddings, and sharing with you helpful traits to avoid or to implement. But the ultimate goal is to succeed. Better together remember? Let’s become more aware of who we are and become more successful in our marriages. We are more than just the wedding day.    

And go here...and beyond (2).png



PREMARITAL COUNSELING. Is it really worth it?

Start here.png

We’ve been talking about little details that can help with the wedding process. These are things that as a planner I’d wanted to share with you because we all need a little help along the way. Another exciting topic we are going to talk about (and it is a good one) is premarital counseling.

It is so easy to get caught up in planning the wedding. We create vision boards, have color schemes and financial plans of how to achieve the perfect wedding day. We hire wedding planners to ensure that the day goes smoothly, we track budgets and screen vendors to ensure that they are the right fit for us as individuals and that our personalities agree. Can I tell you that the wedding day is only the beginning? We put so much effort in the day, shouldn’t we think about the rest of our lives as well?

We get caught up in the excitement of wearing the ring. And we are supposed to. As humans, we crave relationships. We are our best selves when we have right relationships. When it comes to marriage though, we should have our best efforts plugged into to making our marriages successful. Now, you may be thinking, wow, she is a wedding planner, why is she talking like this?

Let me tell you why.

From experience, couples have gone from really close and in love (my fiancée or fiancé is my best friend) to the brink of calling it off because coming into agreement on a decision became difficult.The planning process is often when the first signs of how couples handle conflict come to light. In a healthy marriage, conflicts will happen. How conflict is handled determines whether love will remain or resentment will start. Looking at statistics in America today, half of the marriages (meticulously planned and executed) end in divorce. As your planner, I want us to win in life, so I feel it is my duty to equip you for the new venture that you about to embark on.

As such, I feel that sharing about premarital counseling is imperative for the survival of our marriages.  After the honeymoon phase, it is little things that can derail what was a beautiful relationship. The little things that you thought were cute, become annoying real fast when you realize it isn’t a quirk. What if it is your partner’s thought process?  You cannot change a person’s thought process. Only them can change it.

Counseling opens our eyes to the mindset that our partner has and helps us to learn to deal accordingly. We have to learn our partner’s love language and how to deal with situations in a language that us and our partners can understand. Now, I will be honest with you. There are always red flags of things that can become a problem later. If we pay attention to them and deal with them early, it will not grow into a problem.   If you are like me, I ignored counseling and later desperately clung to “love covers a multitude of sins” (I grew up in church).

Can I tell you that love isn’t enough?  A friend of mine (he passed away earlier this year, God rest his soul) always said, love, is a verb. It is funny that we tend to get high on the euphoria being in love brings. But love is. It is action. That lesson is a hard one to learn because we believe love is only a feeling. There will be days when you don’t feel in love (sorry to peel back the curtain on marriage, I want you to succeed) but you have to purposefully commit yourself because love is action, not just feeling.

 A compass is needed to travail territory that had not been travailed before. Counseling is like the compass for marriage. It provokes thought which provokes conversations that were probably glossed over in the creation of a dream life together. Do you know that marriage should be purposeful just like every other dream that you have?   For instance, do you have a vision for your marriage? What about conversations about the steps that will get you to that dream?

Without planning for your future together, there will be lots of days in the fetal position. There will be things that you don’t feel equipped to deal with. Having premarital counseling though?  You have that compass that will point you in the direction of where to start so that you can chart a way through your situation.  After all, we can’t wait to begin our lives as husband and wife. So, let’s create vision boards for our marriages, even as we create the vision for wedding days. Let’s win at life together. We are our best selves when we have healthy relationships - always better, together.

What are your thoughts?



Invitation Drama – Part 3 (final) – Should you have back-up invitations for a back-up guest list?

It’s been awhile family. The years are catching up to me. I saw an interesting post on Facebook the other day about how different your body responds when you are in your twenties than in your thirties. Listen, I fell in the shower (more like bust my ass in the shower) and I am in my thirties. I can remember the times I fell over my bicycle head first and were not affected. There was also a time I fell out of a tree face first (very long story) and was up and going in less than 10 mins. But, a fall in the shower in my thirties… I now have weekly scheduled visits with my chiropractor to realign my spine. So I was out of commission for a bit – seriously, it was like I was the poster girl for Khia’s song, without the pleasurable bits… my neck, my back..

But, here we are again, and I am so sorry for leaving you hanging without closing this series on invitations. So let’s get into it.  We had a lot to say about deciding who we are going invite and knowing when to draw the line with mom. We talked about what to include and what not to include on the invitation. But we haven’t actually talked about sending out the invitation. Now, why should there be any drama about that?

You would think that sending out an invitation is simple. The number of guests was decided long ago, and invitations ordered either via online do-it-yourself invitation builders or an invitation company. Now it is two to four months before the wedding and it’s time to send out the actual invitation. So, it is simple - write the guest name and address and post – what’s so hard about that?

No drama to speak of right? Well, a bride forum that I follow (written by real brides-to-be) opened my eyes to this new system. Many brides track their invitations using a numbered RSVP card system. I thought wow, this can be pretty efficient. Imagine it for a minute, you already have your guests numbered anyway, why not the number the RSVP card in the invitation? This number corresponds to the guest name. When RSVP cards come in, you already know who sent the cards. Trust me, there is always that special somebody, that one person who is so excited to accept your invite that they check the “yes we will attend” box without filling out the Mr /Mrs/Miss line to say who they are.

However, some brides take it a step further and have two lists, one that they call an “A” list and “B” list. Now, as I alluded to before, this can lead to DRAMA (please read as if I am snapping my fingers and twirling my neck). Can you imagine the fallout?

Copy of Henry Ford (9).png

The comments about the fallout when this was first introduced were astronomical. “I was number 122 on your list? Out of 150? I thought we were closer than that! Sorry I won’t be attending.” Not only that, but, now the friendship is affected or if it was family, a rift in the family. Not to mention the persons with the numbers on the “B” list. Even worse.

Luckily, as this idea developed and took root. Most brides state that they found it to be most helpful when managing their guest list and invitations. And this is how. They used, wait for it… invisible ink (available at a Walmart or Target near you). Now, this is not some episode of science fiction. Even I (wedding planner extraordinaire) was skeptical. Who knew that they sold pens that can to do this?

Totally awesome because, if you are not aware that this ink is on a card, you wouldn’t be able to know where to look. And let’s think of the list now. The number of invitations ordered would have included a few extras to make allowances for list “B”. Once the responses start to come in, it is easy to track who will be able to come and who will not, allowing for the next wave of invitations to be sent out. The “B” listers that didn’t make the cut for the “A” list (first invitation wave), now get a chance to be invited. 

That sounds so daunting. Let’s say instead, the persons whom the bride and groom really want to attend from the second list can now get the second wave of invitations. But this is only for the scenario when there is a lot of people to choose from. As a wedding planner (and please pardon me if I made it sound icky), I can see the advantage to this system. Coming from a big family myself, there are still family members who are upset about my wedding (seven years later). It is hard to choose who comes and who doesn’t, so it can be a huge relief to know that some other persons who you feel close to can now come. I am also concerned about the two lists though. If is it just a few friends then I understand, but a whole other list?

What are your thoughts? How are you handling your invitations and RSVPs? Please discuss…inquiring minds want to know 😉


Invitation Drama - Part 2 – Don’t be tacky!

Today’s issue is about being classy with your invites. We already know that there are so many things out there that we may want for the wedding or for our futures. Sometimes the traditional gift is not what we want. Who wants another toaster, or another set of towels. You already have two households that you are combining into one. That’s already two different color schemes and towels, a compromise can surely be found with the towels or sofas. Everything will surely not be thrown out when you move into one house (although ladies, sometimes the majority of the stuff that they bring, surely should not only be thrown in the trash but actually burnt. Live fire, Melissa McCarthy in Life of the Party style). 

The solution that has been the latest trend is, “keep your gift, just give me the money', (thanks Pink!). The sad fact is, many brides want to include this on the invitation. A big NO NO. Not only is it tacky, it makes you look like a beggar. In a recent article on, it highlighted a bride that took it an extra step and canceled her wedding because she asked each of the attendees for a whopping $1500 per person. Like, she seriously wanted the guests to pay for her wedding because her dream wedding cost upwards of $60,000 CAD. She and the intended groom had a son. After a while even he thought that the request was insane, and when he agreed with the guests that invitees that basically said “Hell-to-the-NO” (and that she was insane), she got mad and literally called off the wedding ladies (read the full article here). Bear in mind, they have a son together. Maybe it was for the best...who knows?

I digress, but you see how it would seem like, (in the terms of my grandmother) “you are helping up yourself” with things you can’t afford. Basically asking for them to pay your way through your wedding. Especially when there are stipulations on the amounts that will be accepted. So back to my original reason for this piece. It is acceptable to want monetary gifts, or that you have a gift registry or maybe you’ve even scored coupons that will save guests some funds. Never, ever, include this on your invitations. There are so many beautiful types of invitations and weddings are usually classy, emulating your style. The whole excitement and perception of receiving the invitation is changed when we start asking for monetary gifts in the very same thing that we say “you are cordially invited to”. It is like we are saying, you are invited and by the way, we want some of your money. Not your gift, because we may not like your taste.  Or, you can come, but make sure you bring some money. You get what I mean right?

Invitation No No.JPG


Of course, there are ways to be cute and clean about it. Some of the masters of wedding planning in The Association of Bridal Consultants suggest that it is better to have a specified space where your invitees can get additional information about the wedding. If you haven’t a website, maybe you have the emails of all your attendees. Create a nice single sheet and send them what you can call a wedding newsletter. It would be so fun for them because here, you can include places where your out of towners can stay, coupons for hotels, your gift registry (if you do have one), and of course, your preference of money over gifts. Your guest would enjoy this because they are invited and feel like this is something only the persons who have agreed to come are privileged to obtain. It also leaves the choice of bringing a gift or giving money completely up to them. Check out this wonderful list of places where you can create a monetary donation wedding/honeymoon registry compiled by here.



Invitation Drama - Part 1 - Telling your mom "NO"

Here it is Y’all. The drama surrounding the invitations. Invitations shouldn’t be a big problem because generally, you have an idea of how many people you want at your wedding. This most often comes as a result of knowing how much you want to spend, because, let’s face it, the cost per plate can run up really fast. So, the idea is sometimes that there will be, let’s say, one hundred guests at the wedding, yet to be safe you will send out one hundred and ten invitations, because, some people wouldn’t be able to make it anyway.

Then, you tell your mom about your plans.  This is where you find out that she wants you to invite all of her friends. The reason being, they followed you and stood by her through all of your growing up years. And don’t forget Aunt Susan, who really isn’t your aunt at all, but she was somehow attached to one of your Uncles years and years ago. She has to be at the wedding because she always sent you the sweetest gifts whenever your achieved something ---kindergarten graduation, first tooth came out, middle and high school. Doesn’t matter that you hadn’t seen her since you spent your summer looking toward college. The years don’t seem to signify with your mom, Aunt Susan absolutely has to be there.

The question then becomes, how is this combatted?  In my experience, this is as much mom’s wedding as it is yours, yet, there is a line that has to be drawn. This is generally not easy and I often envision it being something like Bugs Bunny drawing a line with Elmer Fudd and saying that that is his side, and this is his, but with a happier ending.

So how do you “draw the line” and come to a solution? The most helpful solution is to talk to your mom and express your feelings about the cost and see if there are some of her friends that you feel closer to. Then ask her if she is okay with you only invited those friends. This way you both meet with a happy medium, some of her best ladies are there, and you don’t have the extras, the ones that you only be nice to because they are your mom’s friends.  Of course, a conversation like this would take some reflection. You would have to think back and ask yourself, whom did you feel helped you the most, and with whom you felt you have the best relationship with. And as for Aunt Susan, if it was years since you had spoken to her, she is not a priority invitee. Create a nice card once you have the wedding photos and write her a special note stating how much you appreciated her throughout the years, and as a thank you, you wanted to share a few pictures of your wedding celebration with her.  She would then still be included, and you have only the people that you enjoy, helping you to celebrate your wedding day. What is more fun than speding time with the persons you love the most?

1920s 8.JPG



A little detail often forgotten.. or a MAJOR factor?

Ladies, you may be wondering what “little” wedding detail today’s post is going to be about. Guess what, it is little. It is something that is often forgotten to be exact. What is it?  The “reserved” sign.

Okay, so I made this big lead up and came to you with a “reserved” sign. You might be wondering, where is she going with this. Why such drama around a reserved sign? Let me tell you a little story of a wedding we worked.

There were eighty invited guests including the bridal party. Seems very straightforward and simple right? Wrong. The original guest list was one hundred fifty and due to unforeseen circumstances, the guest list had to be cut. This was no easy fete. With large families on both sides, it was very hard to come to eighty guests. After much work and evaluation, eighty guests were selected and notified that they were the chosen lucky ones. Hooray, all is well in the world.

But, disaster was on the horizon. Come wedding day, one hundred guests were invited to the ceremony, of which one hundred and fifteen showed up. Now, you may think I am exaggerating – as this would be a planner’s nightmare, after all. But, I kid you not. There were one hundred fifteen guests. Yes, you might have guessed, some of said one hundred invitees, brought a plus one (which was not allowed per the invitation, but that is for another time – stay tuned for “Invitation drama”).

ummer in the Hamptons.png

We are not allowed to panic, we are planners, the stress handlers for the day. No worries at all, we got this. We formulated a plan and stuck to it. Several of the guests got angry (a planner’s nightmare, because guests are to always be happy at a wedding, right? That is our main goal, right?)

A planner’s job is quite tough because the main priority is to adhere to the bride and groom’s wishes. Those wishes, (I am coming full circle, stay with me), were to have eighty guests attend the reception. So,  guests being upset that they are not able to bring the plus one, and deciding to leave was what ended up happening. We had a checklist to go by, and if you weren’t on the list, you had to go -

*Hasta Luego, See ya, Bye-Bye*.

Sad, but true. We made it through the list with a few special guests that the bride or groom really wanted to stay. But Y'all. And here is my full circle. The tables were not numbered. And there were NO reserved signs.

CHAOS everywhere. Where will the family sit? Who is to be near to the bridal party? Where will the persons who are about going to sit?

*Hair pulling, Frantic, Breathless*

 At least, that was what was in my head. Outside I was the picture of serenity. A wedding planner never loses her cool *HELLO*

 Several guests had decided to seat themselves as we were sorting out the checklists and had to be asked to move to accommodate the family, and were later seated after the bridal party and the important persons that were giving the toasts were seated.


Okay, so that was the story, but, Y'all. Long story short. A lot of that drama and headache could have been avoided with a few table numbers and some reserved cards. Early during the planning process, this was all there. A seating chart, table numbers, and a designated family table. Planning can be so hectic that this can sometimes get lost, and it seems like no small matter. The sad truth is that it can be a big issue.

 As of that day, reserved signs are one of the first things that go in my emergency kit. We now know how to prevent chaos from happening by reserving the family’s seats and asking the maid of honor of all the important persons that should be seated close to the family. They are all now seated before the remaining guests, who can then choose their own seating.

Reserved signs Y'all. A small but mighty planning tool that can help the wedding reception be absolutely amazing or utterly chaotic. A lesson well learned, and now we are always prepared, and you should be too. Don’t push the seating chart to the last week of the wedding, if you feel that you are running out of time, have a designated friend that is good at organizing to help you. But if you absolutely ran out of time…With us?  No seating chart? NO problem.

*Pulls out reserved signs*

Fall is here!.png