event planner

5 Tough Wedding Day Questions Answered

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You’re planning your wedding, minding your own business and then from out of left field you come across something that doesn’t seem quite right. Or even better, you’re asked a question by a well meaning family member or guest and you aren’t sure how to respond. Sweet I Do’s has been doing this wedding thing for almost 10 years and we have the answers to 5 of the toughest wedding day questions, ever!

Can we bring our kids to your wedding (and you don’t want them to be there)?

The answer is simply, no. But nothing is simple in this minefield of a question. You don’t want to be the bad guy and tell everyone, no or get flak from actually daring to say you want an adults only wedding.

It’s okay, just say that due to venue restrictions you just can’t have any children at the reception. No one needs to know that those venue restrictions are coming from your personal preferences.

If you continue to get pressure to allow the kiddos, then state that your event insurance doesn’t allow for children at an event where alcohol will be served (this one only works if your wedding will actually have alcohol served).

If you are having your own kids or immediate family member kids only, then tell inquiring minds just that. The only children at the wedding will be immediate family.

Compromise - If you can swing it in your budget, you can offer to have a licensed and insured sitting service provide on-site care in a different area of the venue.

Is it okay to only serve beer and wine?

The answer is, yes, it is perfectly okay to only serve beer and wine at your wedding. We understand that alcohol can be expensive and having 100+ people drink for a few hours can cost big $$$$. Just don’t try and pull one over on your guests and have a secret stash of a little something for just you and your partner. It tough on the bartenders to have to tell people over and over that that particular thing is only for you.

We want all the money!! Can we just tell guests to bring cold, hard cash for our gift?

No! No, you may not. First, you never get to assume that someone will bring a gift to your wedding (they should, but you know abut that whole assuming thing). Second, while we have changed a lot of traditions with regards to weddings, asking for cash is just rude in any situation. People aren’t stupid. Create a small registry for the die hard gift givers and everyone else will get the idea - no honey fund or cute poem needed.

Plus ones, yay or nay?

This one is really hard for me. I’m of the opinion that no one should get to define another persons relationship status, level of commitment or ability to handle social situations. Trying to draw the line at married or not, number of years in a relationship, playboy or playgirl tendencies or how well they know and will interact with other people at your wedding is stressful and not something I think you should do. Just speaking from the heart here. Plan your guest list to give everyone a plus one. While I know it isn’t ideal to have potential strangers at your wedding, I promise unless it is a super intimate wedding, you won’t have time (or eyes) for anyone but the love of your life.

I’m not really close with my (insert family member here). Do I have to do the traditional wedding “things” with them?

No, you don’t HAVE to do anything. It is your wedding day. If you have talked about it with your partner and you both are on the same page, then do things your way. Having a wedding planner or wedding day manager will help make this situation go smoothly and no one will be the wiser. Our goal is to make sure that your day fits your vision and that you have all the best memories!

Have a question that we missed? Let us know!

4 Wedding Day Emergency Items You'll Forget To Pack

We know it will happen. It has happened before and it will happen again. My team and I are putting the final touches on a beautiful wedding and an embarrassed member of the wedding party comes up and says, do you have __________, we forgot to bring it. While we have yet to be stumped on a request (well there was that one time that the couple wanted special toasting flutes, but forgot to actually order them, but that’s a story for another day) we do want to tell you about the most forgotten items and remind you to put them in the bag, in the car.

Black Socks

We actually have 5 pairs of mens black socks in our wedding day emergency kit because this is the number one item that is forgotten. I know it’s weird, especially since more than likely the guys are renting their shoes with their suit or tux, but socks aren’t included. And no, your white knee high socks just won’t cut it.

Phone Chargers

We have chargers for both Apple and Android phones in our emergency kit because, while you may think about charging your phone at the end of the night, those babies are getting a workout on wedding day and you may need to charge them before the wedding to ensure they last all night long. Remember to pack the cords with the wall plug because finding a USB port is hard and no the DJ won’t let you plug into their laptop for just a few minutes.

Tampons

Yes, we said it. Pack some just in case. Again, we have some in our kit, but our brand may not be your brand. And nerves have a way of wrecking havoc on Mother Nature and her schedule.

Prescriptions

This includes all drugs as well as prescription glasses/sunglasses/contacts. While we do have some over-the-counter medications in our wedding emergency kit, we don’t care prescription anything with us and there are times when we’re in remote locations that don’t have a pharmacy around the corner.

A great wedding day manager will have a pretty extensive wedding emergency kit, but it won’t have everything. If you normally take it with you on an overnight trip, pack it and thank us later!

What Is In Our Wedding Day Emergency Kit

Let’s chat about wedding day emergency kits! So, I know that most couples when planning their wedding use Pinterest to help keep track of all the ideas and visions of things they like or want to have for their wedding. Inevitably there are pins on emergency kits that contain things to make sure your wedding day emergencies are covered. I thought it would be fun to talk about what a wedding day manager includes in her kit and the why behind it.

My kit is huge, for real, it is a four case rolling makeup kit plus side bag full of all the things you can think of (and a few I bet you can’t) that have been needed at a wedding or event. Take a peak…

Huge, right!?!?!

So what’s inside my Mary Poppins bottomless kit of all things wedding?

Typical Stuff

Yes, we have a ton of the typical stuff you’d expect to be in an emergency kit - Tylenol, Advil, Imodium AD, Pepto, Midol, Shout wipes, a Tide pen, tampons, pads, nail glue, eyelash glue, super glue, tape, envelopes, note cards, SO MANY PENS, lighters, scissors and on and on. Probably half of the kit is filled with things that are in your bathroom medicine cabinet and your kitchen junk drawer.

No So Typical Stuff

Then we get into the kinda unusual, but once you think about it it makes sense stuff - zip ties, s-hooks, t-pins, fabric glue, double sided fashion tape, a sewing kit, boutonniere pins, tweezers, hand sanitizer and so many more things. This would be the odds and ends in your laundry room and household repair kits.

Strange and Unusual

Finally we get to those things that just don’t seem to have a rhyme or reason - extra black socks, fake rings, garters, shoelaces, extension cords, umbrellas, bug spray, a cake cutting set, table numbers, batteries (every size imaginable), flashlights, chalk (a wedding dress’ best friend), cash, phone chargers (all brands), bungee cords, a complete tool set, a hatchet, garbage bags, toilet paper and that is just the tip of the kits goodness.

Everything in the kit has been needed at at least one wedding or event. And sometimes the emergencies just keep happening and the kit keeps giving up all its treasures. I can’t remember a time that I was asked for something and was unable to make it happen (thank goodness for over prepared wedding day managers).

If you’re a wedding vendor, what is the most unusual thing in your kit? If you’re getting married, what is the one thing you hope your wedding day manager or wedding planner has in their kit? Just married, what did you need to use from your kit (or your manager or planners kit)

5 Reason You NEED To Plan On Doing A First Look

You’ve met with your photographer for your wedding day and they ask if you want to do a first look (or maybe they don’t ask (sigh), which is another blog post entirely). Before you make up your mind, check out 5 reasons this wedding day manager feels that you NEED a first look.

  1. Timing

This is probably the biggest reason I strongly recommend having a first look. If your wedding day manager or planner has worked your timeline to its fullest advantage, you would be done getting ready at virtually the same time regardless if you were planning on a first look or not. Where timing gets a little sticky is after the ceremony. The sunset waits for no wedding and getting a little behind in taking pictures after you get married means you run the risk of pushing the rest of the night into crunch mode. Having a first look means you have more time after the ceremony for whatever you need it for and you know you have amazing images from earlier in the day.

2. Calm those nerves

This is a big one as well. Even if you’ve been with your partner forever, you will still be nervous on your wedding day - nervous to be getting married, nervous being up in front of all those people, nervous seeing the love of your life on the day you pledge to be together forever. Taking those 15 minutes to just see each other, talk to each other, touch each other will make all the difference in the world. And you will still feel all the butterflies when you see each other at the end of the aisle for the first time.

3. Enjoy cocktail hour

You spent all that time picking out fabulous food and drinks for cocktail hour and then you don’t get to enjoy it. Why? Because you spend the entire cocktail hour taking pictures. Having a first look can cut that picture taking time in half (depending on when you ask your family to arrive for pictures before the ceremony). We see this as a win win situation for everyone. You get to enjoy cocktail hour, your photographer has more time to capture your wedding day and your guests can even sneak in a few extra minutes with you.

4. Photographers love the extra time

Sometimes timing just is against us and things happen - people are late, dresses don’t fit quite right, spills happen and the time that the photographer would have been able to use to capture detail images and cocktail candids gets eaten up capturing wedding portraits, wedding party and family images. By having a first look, you free up your photographer to grab all the detail shots and fun candids that happen during cocktail hour. Plus they can get creative with the time that they do have to take you to fun location and try interesting poses.

5. Venue disadvantages

You may have found a venue that only gives you a certain number of hours for your ceremony and reception and there just aren’t enough hours for everything that you want to do. Or it is a pretty place, but doesn’t have that “wow” location that you’ve always dreamed about for wedding pictures. By having a first look, you can get more bang for your buck. I know, how will scheduling a first look that takes time work in your limited time favor? Hear me out. Scheduling a first look allows you to pick the spot and decide how long you want the session to last - first date location, favorite park, water background, desert back drop, the choices are almost endless. Plus, you can take as much or as little time as you’d like (just let your wedding day manager or planner in on it so they can schedule the timeline accordingly).

I know there are a few things that may cause you to question having a first look.

It’s tradition.

You’re right, it was tradition, back when couples were part of arranged marriages and the parents of the bride didn’t want the groom to run away. All joking aside, if you are truly tied to the tradition of not seeing each other until you walk down the aisle, consider a first touch or blindfolded first look.

I won’t have that “wow” moment/feeling.

You will have that moment, promise. If you have a first look, you get to have that moment twice. Nothing will take away that feeling of seeing your beloved walking down the aisle to pledge themselves to you.

I have limited time with my photographer.

Most photographers have a time limit on their package. If you are already having them capture getting ready moments, then they will be there pre-ceremony anyway. If you are not having them there pre-ceremony because you feel you need them through the end of the reception, work with your wedding day manager or planner and shift all the must have moments to the time period before the photographer leaves for the evening. Doing this will allow your time to begin earlier and you can have that first look.

Real Event - Plancation 2018 - Arizona Planner Girls - Planner Girl Chatter

Imagine in this world full of tech this and on line that that there is still a group of people that are all about the paper. That will spend loads of money and schedule their vacation, that will travel to what has to be the hottest place in the summer to attend one conference for one thing and one thing only – the paper planner. You know the sanity keeper, the appointment book, the paper calendar. But it isn’t your momma’s planner, oh no; there are stickers and washi and pens and accessories galore to make it as gorgeous and personalized as you want it. Planning and coordinating this multi day event was the highlight of last summer!

Plancation

Plancation is a yearly event put on by The Arizona Planner Girls, a group of women that love all things related to paper planners. It is a combination of conference & trade show with a good dose of staycation shenanigans thrown in for good measure! 

Pre-Camp

Leading up to the event were a number of “group” activities for the attendees. Because this year’s event was summer camp themed, we placed the attendees into random teams when they purchased their tickets. Each group of “campers” were given the task of coming up with a name, hashtag, chant, colors & mascot that they would use throughout Camp Plancation. There were 10 teams total, plus “Team Lurkers” - the admins & myself. Points were awarded on the timely completion of the tasks. As the countdown to Camp Plancation continued there were flash competitions varying from finding Easter eggs hidden on participating vendors Etsy sites, to listening to the Spotify song list created by the Games Master, to being the first to post a picture of themselves with their planner on IG with the correct hashtags. Competition was fierce & it was neck and neck between a couple of the teams heading into the Friday reception.

Check-In

At check-in attendees were given their camp ID, their team sash (think Girl Scouts sash), camp shirt & a few other goodies. Final points would be determined by a group scavenger hunt. The goal – take group selfies with various shop vendors & post FB and IG with the correct hashtags. The more people that participated the more points the team received. At the end, the teams needed to take a selfie with Team Lurkers & they received their first camp patch – a cute badge with the logo of the event. 

Camp - Day 1 - Morning Session

Saturday morning began with an amazing breakfast & shopping. The winning team got to enter the session hall 15 minutes prior to the remaining teams. Doors opened & the ladies were welcomed into the room & given the first of many swag items.

We opened up the Make & Take tables (the teams taught attendees how to make planner specific items that they could then take with them). Following breakfast, we started the conference with a Camp Welcome, a hula hoop competition between the teams & then we jumped in with our keynote speakers – two of the three founders of KitLife (www.kitlife.net), a paper planner company that believes life should be more than a to do list. They presented on how we seem to get stuck with harmful habits (without realizing that we are stuck and just how harmful they may be) and that there are ways to change them. They provided items to assist with this process in the Saturday morning swag drop. After the session, attendees were given their second badge - a yellow light bulb patch.

Following the KitLife team was an amazing speaker that taught us how to take our boring handwriting & make it fun & whimsical (attendees got an amazing lettering pen & pencil in their swag drop). 

Right before we broke for lunch the teams from the hula hoop competition got to select a mystery envelope – a song that the team had to perform for Team Lurkers at the end of the sessions. Songs ranged from Backstreet Boys to Shania Twain and everything in between.

Camp - Day 1 - Afternoon Session

After lunch and shopping, the sessions continued with a fun coloring lesson using Copics. Next up was memory keeping in a TN (traveler’s notebook) & using traditional planner items in unconventional ways. Attendees received their third badge– a pink planner.

Following this presentation we had an afternoon break of pretzels with cheese, popcorn, Cracker Jacks & of course S’MORES! Our final presentation of the day was how set up your own simple, but super effective photo corner to take all those amazing IG pictures. The final badge of the night was handed out – a green camera.

Before we finished the formal session, the teams were called up to perform their songs from the morning session. These were absolutely the most hilarious moments of the conference. Team Lurkers were serenaded, danced with & chased around the room. In the end we had to have a dance off & still couldn’t determine a winner. Both of the first place teams won $5.00 gift cards to Starbucks.

We opened up the final set of Make & Takes & did one last round of shopping to end the day. Attendees were on their own for dinner which would then be followed by the annual pool party with the largest floating unicorn ever!

Camp - Day 2 - Morning Session

Sunday began with a continental breakfast & shopping as well as the option to finish any of the Makes & Takes from the previous day. The sessions for Sunday were much more laid back & casual & included open planning, planner show off and we ended the day with an episode of Planner Girl Chatter, Arizona Planner Girls podcast (NSFW). The final badge of the conference was handed out to those that made it through the whole conference – white headphones. We said farewell to our campers & concluded the conference. It was an amazing event that brought loads of laughter, tons of community and friendships galore.