WHAT PROCESS DO YOU TAKE TO GET STARTED IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION?
What is your vision for your wedding? What is the groom’s vision?
What weddings have you attended? What did you love about them and what did you remember the most? What didn’t you like and why?
The style for your wedding is going to represent you as a couple and it is a big decision. What are your favorite colors and sentimental must have traditions or ideas you want to incorporate?
Have you established a budget? It can be a daunting task even knowing where to start. You can jump in and book venues and then worry about the budget, but in the long run you will likely find yourself having to make compromises if your budget has a limit.
Ideally you start with your budget and establish a realistic one that you and your family can live with. You can create a balance sheet that reflects the actual cost vs your budgeted cost. Once you do this then you are in a better position to start researching venues. And “What is your budget?” is the first thing that every venue planner is going to ask you.
It is important to know how venues work so you know what to expect. You have the option of a church or synagogue for your ceremony or an all-in-one venue. There are so many pluses and minuses to consider. An all-inclusive venue simplifies a number of details. You and your guests do not have leave one place for another, thus keeping a tighter schedule. It also gives you more time to relax and is generally less costly.
What amenities does the venue offer? Do they include tables, chairs, linen, lighting, in-house sound system? If they include table linen, be sure to see what it looks like. Are napkins, flatware, serving items included? What do the rooms look like for the wedding party to get ready in? How about catering, is it done in-house or do you bring in an outside caterer and then there is the question of the bar and liquor license.
Some venues will include a few extras, such as:
- Chapel or ceremony room
- Bridal suite or lounge
- Honeymoon suite
- Up-lighting or custom lighting
- Built-in sound equipment
- Wedding champagne toast
- Tableside wine service
- Cake cutting and plating
- Dance floor
- An onsite manager or day-of coordinator
- Hotel room accommodations
If all this seems overwhelming and you want professional help, we are here for you. An experienced wedding planner will take care of all of these details ensuring that you will save yourself a lot of time and stress.
We are helping you create a realistic and workable budget that is based on your wedding priorities. We help you find your ideal venue and thoroughly interview all the prospective vendors to put together your Dream Team.
We strongly believe that the time spent on these first steps in the planning process, set the tone for your perfect wedding and ensures that the rest of the planning is going smoothly and efficiently.
LET THE FUN BEGIN! Let us help you plan your special day.
Ruth Spirer, Certified Wedding Planner
Weddings and Events by Ruth
In my constant search for information for my clients, I come across articles I like to share with you. This is a particularly well timed one and I hope you enjoy it.
We take a look at the latest trends set for 2020-2021, what we are seeing more and more of, and what popular styles will be coming through this year. Taking inspiration from the latest wedding reports and findings from floral trends and dresses to fashion and interior trends, we’ve pulled together the must-have and most exciting wedding trends of the year.
WEDDING TRENDS 2021
Weddings are very personal and there is no wedding that fits all, everyone with want something slightly different be it the dress, catering, styling or flowers. While the latest wedding trends change, so do tastes, and what people wish to spend their money on when it comes to their big day.
RELAXED AND INFORMAL
Top of the wedding trend list is informal gatherings. Inviting all and sundry to your big day is no longer the trend, as couples opt for more intimate, meaningful celebrations with their nearest and dearest. This means couples can spend their budget more lavishly on a smaller group.
One of the big wedding trends of the season is for more intimate ceremonies. Also known as ‘micro weddings’ these occasions tend to have a smaller guest list of around 40 people or fewer. They can be formal or informal, and keep with tradition, or take a more modern approach – however, they tend to be a fusion of both.
Also, since there is more budget per head, they lend themselves perfectly to bespoke soirees, which are remembered for personal touches throughout. This can range from private wine tasting to personalized favors as part of the big day celebrations.
Most importantly of all, they also allow the bride and groom to spend quality time with each and every guest – one of the reasons for its surging popularity.
New wedding reception trends include cutting back on guests doesn’t mean you have to cut back on extravagance. If anything, it’s quite the opposite.
So, it’s no surprise that one of the latest wedding trends right now is for oversize decor and giant statements. Imagine heralding guests in to the reception with smoke flares and fireworks. Think huge balloons and oversize centerpieces that take your breath away when you walk into a room.
Giving your wedding that personal style makes it your own, from giant balloons, floral arches and hanging displays to balloon walls and giant lights.
According to the other bible, Vogue, wedding dresses with pockets are one of the hot bridal trends for this year. From a practical point of view, it’s easy to see why – they are great for storing your mobile phone, order of service, a spare lippy or perhaps a sneaky tissue! As such, online searches for gowns with pockets saw an increase of 83 per cent in the first half of the year.
Another bridal trend we have Meghan Markle to thank for is the unfussy simple wedding bridal gown. Designed by Clare Waight Keller, Meghan’s dress was elegant, chic and modern, with an incredible lengthy veil that any bride would be proud to wear. The Meghan effect has been seen up and down the land in the past year, with this sleek bridal trend set to carry on into the new year too.
On that note, sleeves are also making a comeback. Once resigned to the bygone era of the 50s and 60s, longer elegant gowns are seeing somewhat of a renaissance, as we fall back in love with the romance of weddings. Giving a stylish touch to proceedings, long-sleeved wedding gowns are often paired with backless dressed to balance out the look, and adding a touch of sexiness.
Finally, in a departure from demure weddings, in the year of ‘going big’ flashy red statement lips are one of the makeup trends to look out for too.
GOING SUSTAINABLE / ECO WEDDINGS
In these eco-conscious times we live in, now more than ever, couples are looking at ways to host responsibly. This means cutting back on unnecessary waste and trying to be as eco-friendly as possible. Wedding venues are being greener and becoming more sustainable, many venues that provide in-house catering will use locally sourced produce, as well as other areas within their business to be more eco friendly.
One of the new wedding trends is for couples to upcycle, or to pledge a commitment to zero waste. This can be from offering wedding flowers away to good causes, to going plastic-free on your big day.
Other ways that couples can achieve this wedding trend is to swap out plastic straws for paper ones, sharing wedding day flowers and décor with other couples using the venue, and offering to ‘replant trees’ as a wedding favour.
A defining part of any big day, flower displays provide a visual uplift and can even transform a venue.
The latest trend report from Brides magazine highlights a few floral trends to adopt into your big day this year.
Going local is a big new wedding trend we’ve seen in recent years. Sourcing British flowers from your nearest independent florist is a great way to put your personal stamp on the day.
Bold statement colours are all the rage, as well as those with different textures and shapes. Speak to your florist about how they can layer up displays with an explosion of colour. Go big on scents too – this is going to be a big wedding trend that you’ll smell more of in the coming year!
It’s all about getting creative too. Think about different ways that flowers can add a pop of colour to other parts of the day, from flowers frozen in ice-cubes, to floral hair weaves for the bridal party.
And when it comes to your bridal bouquet, it’s all about understated tidy bouquets with plenty of overflowing greenery for a majestic look.
Great lighting can make your wedding venue glisten in the moonlight and sizzle at sunset. Therefore, it’s no surprise that one of the top wedding trends of the year is for mood lighting. When the sun sets, the lights come on, be it an indoor or outdoor wedding reception, lights can set the tone and mood for your evening.
Think outside of the ‘lightbox’ and look at different ways to integrate lighting in a unique way. From exposed bulbs to mini lampshades and vintage chandeliers to candles on a beach. There’s lots of different ways that you can bring a touch of sparkle to proceedings.
Neon signage and lights continue to be popular and can be customised to suit and makes a great keep sake, just need the space.
2020 wedding trends also include a change to wedding photography, it has always been important, however with more choice and videographers available having your wedding day captured as a film is becoming more popular and a great way to relive your day.
With videography becoming more popular will also see the rise of drones being used, perfect for videographer and stunning group shots of you and your guests as well as your venue from above.
FOOD AND DRINK
We all want to imprint our own stamp on our wedding day. But coming up with original ideas can be challenging.
Areas such as food and drink are becoming more unique and personal, from custom signature cocktails created by the bridge and groom, to unique canapés and desserts that reflect the couple.
With the change in dining and drinking trends we expect to see this reflected too, less wine and champagne, and more gin bars and cocktails.
GRAZING & DESSERT TABLES
The cutting of the wedding cake is over, it’s the biggest non-event, so on a final sweet note, well actually savoury – it’s time to wave goodbye to traditional wedding cakes in place of cheese towers and cheese boards, donuts and grazing tables!
That’s right, tiers of cheese layers with artisan bread and crackers is what all the hipsters will be chowing down this year. Cupcakes and donuts are also popular choices reflecting the couple and what they love. Less cake cutting and more picky bits!
DO IT YOUR WAY
Although these are popular make sure you do things your way, trends are great for ideas and seeing what others are doing, but make sure you do things how you want. Make your own style.
Whatever the trends remember this is your day, so make it your own and make it how you want it, don’t worry about what’s popular and what others are doing. It is great for ideas and inspiration, but make sure you do it your way.
Original Article by Wedinspire.com
I love spending time doing research for my clients. I am continually looking for new or renovated event venues, creative florists, talented photographers, great musicians and other wedding industry professionals, who would make a wedding or special event unique and beautiful. We are very fortunate in the North Texas to have so much to choose from.
For the busy couples that are planning their weddings, it may be overwhelming to do the research on venues and vendors, and this is where a professional planner can step in and help. Having years of experience, we know exactly what to look for and what questions to ask.
We constantly visit venues and learn everything about what they provide and what their costs are, so we can then present a variety of suggestions to our clients and save them a great amount of time and leg work.
Here are a few venues I recently visited or worked with that I want to highlight for you.
On The Levee– a new venue in the Dallas Design District. This a great venue that is actually a blank canvas where you can completely customize to your needs and is very spacious. The location is convenient, tables and chairs are provided, and you can bring in any caterer you desire.
The Mason Dallas– located in Oak Cliff Dallas, constructed in 1920 and in redesigned in 2020 into a beautiful venue with a Parisian flair. It has two spacious ballrooms great for a ceremony and reception, spacious bridal suite and nice groom’s lounge. The Mason is located in Oak Cliff just two miles from downtown Dallas and has over 10,000 square feet of usable event space. Check out the high wainscoting, reclaimed flooring and exposed brick, Gracie wall coverings, Farrow and Ball paint and beautiful décor.
The Omni Mandalay at Las Colinas – located in the midst of Las Colinas bustling urban development. The hotel was recently renovated to a more current modern look. It has a beautiful outdoor waterfront courtyard for ceremonies and 2 flexible space ballrooms. The Omni Mandalay is a nice resort that can also provide a great weekend experience for your out-of-town guests.
Stone Crest Venue McKinney– located on 20 acres in the small town of New Hope, only 5 minutes from Historic McKinney, a lodge-like, modern, industrial venue that is unique and feels as if you are in the Hill country. It is a beautiful and convenient venue for outdoor ceremonies that also has a nice size reception hall.
Virgin Hotels Dallas- Step inside Virgin Hotels Dallas and find your new favorite space where the doors are never closed and the minds are always open. Located in the Dallas Design District with a unique mid mod flair.
We are here to help you find the perfect venue for your next wedding or event. Whether you are looking for something to book in 2020 or 2021, contact us today to start a conversation.
Ruth Spirer, Certified Wedding Planner
Owner and Lead Planner
Weddings and Events by Ruth
For years the average guest list for a wedding has been 150 to 250 people, but the Covid pandemic has changed that. Smaller celebrations are the new normal to keep us safe and follow social distancing rules.
The benefit of a smaller guest list is that it allows for greater flexibility with your budget. It enables you to spend more per person on creative food, alcohol, décor elements, video and photography.
Generally, the venue, food, beverage is about 50% of the overall budget, which makes many couples minimize other expenses for things they may have envisioned, but have to eliminate in order to stay within their budget. In other words, you may have had to give up accent lighting of the room or specialty linen in order to accommodate a larger guest list.
With a small intimate wedding, as opposed to a large guest list, couples have more time to focus on their close family, friends, and people who mean the most to them. As a result, the couple’s union becomes the focal point. Think of it as quality instead of quantity.
We have just recently coordinated a full-service planning “Boutique” (Covid result) wedding and as the planner, I witnessed so much love, joy, and happiness during the entire wedding that it was almost overwhelming. I really cannot adequately describe the joy that was felt by everyone during the entire event. Everyone wore masks and did their best to social distance. The guests were engaged and focused on the celebration of the couple. Because of Covid, the reception was set up with smaller tables for 2, 3, or 4 people (from the same household), which made it feel very intimate elegant.
The décor details were emphasized with beautiful linen, chargers, printed menus, and beautiful floral centerpieces. Before the ceremony our team placed reserved signs for the seating of each guest, as designated by the clients. For the
Jewish Horah dance, where guests dance in circles holding each other’s hands, the mother of the bride provided long colorful ribbons that the guests held between them to help social distance. The couple placed personalized hand sanitizer bottles on each table along with personalized masks for all the guests.
Overall, the day was planned the same way as a larger wedding is planned, with all the expected and anticipated elements. just with a smaller number of guests attending. The couple also hired a media company to live stream the wedding to hundreds of guests around the world, who could not attend due to COVID, and that enabled them to feel part of the wedding celebration wherever they were.
This is all new for every one of us, we had no idea what to expect. However, we are very happy to say it was a great experience. Planning and coordinating this beautiful Boutique wedding brought us great joy in seeing the bride, groom, and their families having so much fun tying the knot to start their new life journey together.
Contact us for help in planning your event in 2020 or beyond!
Weddings, as we have known them, may be very different for a while longer due to the Covid19 situation, but the beauty, romance and love that comes with a wedding remains in our memories for years to come.
This was a lovely wedding that we did at The Hilton Anatole hotel in 2014 and it is still a wonderful reflection of a modern wedding. These beautiful images captured by Sharon Ellman, owner of Ellman Photography, serve as a reminder of everything we love about weddings.
As a professional wedding planning company, we are steadfast in our concern for your health and safety as well as your guests’ safety. We are currently planning our clients’ weddings to take place this fall. We are ready to follow any government guidelines and will work closely with the venues and vendors to ensure that our clients and their guests are healthy and safe while celebrating. It may be on a smaller scale with some regulations to follow, but we will make it happen and will create intimate and meaningful events.
We are here to help you with your wedding plans for the remainder of 2020 and for 2021.
We have a selection of different services to offer and we can also assist you with the process of rescheduling your wedding, if needed.
Let us be a part of your special day!
Weddings and Events by Ruth
Wedding Planners are creative and can transform an idea into something tangible. A good experienced planner can bring your vision to life. We start with your hopes and dreams and come up with a theme that is within your budget guidelines. Creativity helps facilitate problem solving. Thinking creatively to find solutions to issues has a positive impact on the success of your wedding. Having experience and a core group of vendors that you trust is essential to the success of a well-crafted wedding.
Wedding planners are multitaskers. During the stages of the planning process, there are a multitude of tasks that need to be managed. We help you to negotiate vendor contracts, interview respective vendors, and examine your entertainment options. As a boutique wedding planning company, we limit the number of clients we work with and this also allows us to minimize the amount of multi-tasking that needs to be done, thus assuring the best possible outcome for your wedding.
Good communication skills and a talent for listening are essential in wedding planning. Poor communication can culminate in numerous problems for both the client and the planner. That said, we make reviewing contracts a priority. We make sure that everything is stated clearly and precisely with our clients and their selected vendors.
Verbal communication is also important. A planner needs to be a good verbal communicator in order to explain the scope and vision of a plan. A good planner must be able to adequately communicate your vision to a vendor, to address any questions you may have regarding what the vendor is providing and artfully conferring all the details, rates and options.
People skills are crucial. Knowing how to relate to different personalities, how to connect with someone and make a positive impression is a key to success. Being personable is an essential skill for any wedding or event planner. The better relationships a planner builds with the vendors they work with the more the clients may benefit from it and get great results for their event.
Crafting a wedding requires a specific skill set and crafting a beautiful wedding takes experience and talent. We pride ourselves on exceeding our clients’ expectations and nothing gives us greater joy than seeing the smiling happy faces of our clients and their guests at the end of the day!
The tall table pieces were repurposed fro the ceremony with the bridal and bridesmaid bouquets added to this table for special family
The Ballroom of Forty50, Flowers by Lizzie Bees, Linen by Simcha Kosher Catering, Light by LeForce, Photo by Amy Herfurth
Flowers and décor are an important part of a wedding and as a wedding planner, it is one of the many items I help my clients with.
Before we go and visit a florist for a consultation, I like to prepare my clients. The first thing I do to help my clients is discuss their overall vision for their wedding and together we go over pictures for inspiration. We discuss overall style and “feel” of the wedding, what they like or dislike and how high in priority is the décor for them.
I help my client define their style and translate their vison into the right terminology. For example, do they prefer a traditional style – more tailored, rounded shapes of bouquets or centerpieces, no greenery, very classic with more focus on the blooms? Are they drawn more towards a modern style– clean and simple with focus on the greenery, more movement in the design and an organic look?
The next step is to look at their budget and how much they can or are willing to spend on the overall décor, which includes not only flowers, but also other elements, such as linen, chargers, lighting and furniture rentals, it all adds up quickly. Flowers hanging from the ceiling look spectacular but are very costly due to the large amounts of floral required and many hours of labor… so having realistic expectations is important. Guiding my clients and educating them on the costs, prioritizing what is necessary and what is within budget is a valuable experience I provide my clients.
The next step is visiting the florist, go over all the specifics and receive the initial consultation. Together with the florist I help my clients come up with ideas of how to save on the overall floral expense. For example, choosing fillers that will contribute to a fuller look of the design but with less expensive flowers etc. One example are large Lillies or Peonies, they are beautiful but are expensive floral compared to roses or many other blooms. Garden roses are glamorous but do not last as long as regular roses and are typically triple the cost.
We also look at how we can REPURPOSE, using décor for the ceremony and moving it later to the reception, or having the bouquets placed on some of the guest tables surrounded by lots of candles.
At this point the florist will prepare a proposal for my clients and once it’s all agreed they will sign the contract and we will continue developing their vision and tweak the proposal as needed.
One important step I like to suggest to my clients is having the florist prepare a prototype, about 6-8 weeks before the wedding. I like to arrange it, when it is possible, at the time they are having a tasting at the venue or caterer. We can setup a table with the selected linen and have the centerpiece placed on that table. At that point the clients can analyze the prototype and make changes in colors and style. I find this step very helpful to many of my clients, especially when floral and décor are top priority for them. It makes them feel more confident about the end result.
Let Weddings and Events by Ruth help you create the wedding of your dreams!
Ceremony aisle and chuppah with flowering cherry branch, roses, hydrangea, greenery, roses, peony, tulips, stock.
FloralMeth 3Reception centerpiece repurposed from the ceremony aisle with flowering cherry branch, roses, hydrangea, greenery, roses, peony, tulips, stock.
Ceremony chuppah with white hydrangea, soft pink roses, soft champagne roses, white rose and white stock with hints of greenery.
Ceremony Chuppah with white hydrangea, white tulips, white dendrobium orchids, white roses, white calla lily, white peony, greenery and curly willow.
Today’s weddings have become less about tradition and more about choosing your own adventure with the biggest wedding trends being all about individuality. The industry has evolved, and brides are no longer pigeonholed in their decision making. Check out these 2020 wedding trends by category.
If you have been dreaming of wearing a big white gown on your wedding day, you won’t find a shortage of options. The new generation of bridal designers are offering up a world of choices for the bride who doesn’t want to look too “bridal” or wants to wow her guests in multiple looks on her wedding day. Names to have on your radar include Dana Harel, Hermione de Paula, Monica Byrne, Danielle Frankel, just to name a few.
Couples are choosing their rings together – both the engagement ring and wedding bands. There has been a spike in popularity for cushion-cut, hand-mined diamonds (a square cut with rounded corners, like Jessica Biel’s engagement ring) and predicts a rise in yellow-gold rather than platinum bands, alongside Art Deco pieces. “Couples want the rings that tell their story”.
The undone bun or freshly washed and tousled tresses are becoming the new normal for brides keen to avoid traditional or overly coiffed hairstyles.
Brides are looking for ways to reduce the environmental and ethical impact of their weddings. Last year Princess Eugenie made plans for a plastic-free wedding. There are numerous ways to make your wedding sustainable – from using wedding stationery made from recycled paper to selecting a catering company that sources ethical, local and organic produce. In place of favors, ask for a charitable donation to your favorite charity.
Wedding cakes have evolved from the traditional fruit and fondant into towering works of art covered in anything from edible flowers to dripped icing, brush strokes to gin flavoring.
Still remains dramatic with lighting a key focus. Utilizing a mix of table shapes and sizes to create a fun relaxed party atmosphere is still a leading trend.
We strive to keep up on industry trends with continued education opportunities. This enables us to help guide our clients in designing the wedding of their dreams.
Professional associations in the event industry offer an opportunity to collaborate with professionals, who work towards the common goal of promoting and improving the event industry. These organizations champion their members by providing resources, information, and opportunities they might not have had otherwise.
Members are bonded together as they advocate for their peers and share their challenges and triumphs with one another. Joining an association provides members with a competitive advantage because they become active in their industry. They keep up with trends, techniques and advances in their industry as well as any new legislative rulings. Many associations offer multiple levels of certifications. In addition, being a member of good standing in a professional organization credentials their business in professionalism and competency.
Associations provide unparalleled networking opportunities, allowing individuals to connect with their peers, mentors, and other industry leaders. As a member, they are in the unique position to attend conventions, seminars, award dinners and other related events with like-minded professionals in the field. These events are attended by the brightest minds and are a hotbed of ideas and collaborative efforts.
I am proud to me a member in good standing with SWP as well as being on the board of AACWP. My years of experience as a professional have led me to where I am today and being a member of both of these valuable associations has provided me with opportunities and benefits too numerous to list on one page. The main benefit is the abundance of knowledge and continuing education I have received through the years and continue to receive, which also benefits my clients.
Day of Coordination, Partial Planning, or Full-Service Wedding Planning? What service is right for you?
Have you ever wondered about the different levels of services offered by Wedding Planners? In talking to potential clients, I am often asked what is the difference between full service and partial service or day of coordination service? There are some very important differences to be aware of that I would like to shed some light on.
Full-service wedding planning means that we are there for you, every step of the way, from the engagement to the BIG DAY. We handle all the details with you. We start with getting to know you as a couple, what matters to you the most and what your budget is. Then we match you with the right venue and vendors. We help you to make choices from table settings to floral, décor rentals, even your cake or dessert presentation. We don’t take the decisions away from you, we merely make them easier for you.
Partial Service can often depend on where you are in your planning process. Some clients come to us having already chosen several of their vendors. They have selected their venue, have signed contracts, but feel overwhelmed with their myriad remaining to-do list. We then step in and take it from there to complete all wedding tasks and assist our clients during the time leading to the wedding and on the actual wedding day.
Some couples just want “Day Of” service, which is in itself a confusing term. An experienced wedding planner cannot just show up on the day of your wedding and ensure everything will go smoothly. We need to have time to speak to all of the vendors you have hired and become acquainted with how they work and what was contracted with the clients. We review their contracts, so we are fully prepared for all expectations within each vendors contract. We want to get to know your family members, learn about your expectations and any issues that we should be prepared for.
This is why we start working with you 8 weeks before the wedding, which gives us enough time to get familiarized with what you have planned and make sure we execute your wedding day, just as you have dreamt it to be. We take time to learn everything we can about you, the venue and the vendors involved, we develop a timeline for your ceremony and reception and direct the rehearsal and your wedding day.
No matter which service you choose, be assured that on your big day, we will be with you from early in the day until the last wedding gift is tucked away and all the vendors are gone, making sure nothing valuable is left behind.
Needless to say, this is not a short task list, but this is our full-time job.
If you have questions regarding our services and how we can help, please contact us. We would love to have a conversation with you!