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5 Budget-Friendly Secrets from a Wedding Planner

Hi SMP Brides, it’s Ali from A Dash of Details back to talk all things wedding planning. When it comes to organizing the chaos, a wedding planner is a MUST to make sure your big day goes off without a hitch. So without further ado, I want to introduce all of you to my amazing planner, Jen from Imoni Events. Finding someone who truly understands your style, vision and of course, budget is so important. For me, that’s Jen!

Since we’re planning our destination wedding in Scottsdale, Arizona and I’m currently living in Dallas, being organized and having someone keep me on track have been essentials to our zero-stress planning process. We have nailed down all the big details for the day, like the date (that’s a big one!), the venue, the band, and our amazing photographer, Elyse Hall

Jen and I are working to create my dream wedding and wanted to share some top tips and tricks on how you can create your dream wedding without breaking the bank. We stopped by Butterfly Petals to take a look at a few of the creative details and pick Jen’s brain along the way!

ALI: WHEN IT COMES TO WEDDING PLANNING, WHAT’S THE FIRST THING YOU CONSIDER WITH A COUPLE? 

JEN: Without a doubt, the first thing I ask my couples is, “Tell me what’s going on?” This usually relates to why they scheduled the meeting, what they are looking for in a planner and what they envision for their dream wedding. I quickly move on to the more detailed about the couple. How did they meet? What did they do on their first date? How did he propose? What do they do for fun? Really, anything to give me insight as to who they are as individuals and as a couple. It really helps me to know who it is I am working with and how I will relate to them during one the most special months of their life. Most importantly, I am able to use those stories and interactions to create details that we can wrap into the entire wedding design that shares the couples love story.

ALI: WHAT TIPS DO YOU GIVE YOUR COUPLES WHEN DECIDING ON WHERE AND WHEN TO HOST THEIR BIG DAY? 

JEN: As you know the first question when it comes to venue is budget. Most couples do look at style of venue before really considering their overall bottom line. The look of the venue is important, yes, but if you look at venue without establishing a good working budget then most brides either blow their imaginary budget, or go venue poor and can’t really do anything else at a high level. It is so important to establish an estimated number of guests and how much you want to spend. Once the number is set, we look at venues that fit the style the couple is going for, within budget, and can accommodate the guest count. This is quite the puzzle. But once you figure it out, everything else falls into place nicely.

ALI: WHAT ARE SOME TIPS TO GETTING THE MOST OUT OF YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY BUDGET?

JEN: First of all, I think everyone should feel pictures and video are worth spending on. When it is all said they’re all you have left. That being said, you really need to ask your planner for great people within your price point. I have been doing this for twelve years and I have not had one year go by where there wasn’t an amazing photographer that is priced in the “budget range.” For whatever reason, the photographer may be starting out, or they made a conscience choice to keep their prices low, you can always find talented photographers at every price point. This also takes a planner who really keep a pulse on the market, AND can recognize good work.

ALI: ANY IDEAS ON HOW TO MAKE DESIGN DETAILS UNIQUE WITHOUT BURSTING THE BUDGET?

Jen: I try to look at the things that we know we are going to spend on anyway. For example, this past weekend I had a groom whose mom passed away and she grew her favorite flower in their gardens back home. He wanted to use this flower in the wedding, but they were nowhere near in season or available. Instead I had a watercolor made and included it on the invitations, menus, cake, and other details that we were making anyway. To the family that attended the wedding, it meant so much to see that flower everywhere. If there is something meaningful, try and look at what you know you have to have and make those items mean something.

ALI: FLOWERS. EVERYONE LOVES THEM BUT THEY ARE CERTAINLY A PRETTY PENNY. AFTER SPENDING ENDLESS HOURS ON PINTEREST AND THE SMP FLOWER GALLERY, WE DECIDED ON A VERY ORGANIC LOOK AND FELL. SO WHEN IT COMES TO LARGE, LUSH ARRANGEMENTS, HOW CAN YOU KEEP COSTS DOWN WHILE GETTING THAT DREAM LOOK?

JEN: Well some couples see a picture and just can’t imagine anything else except what is right in front of them. So it is hard to bring them into a more budget friendly flower arena, if you are not careful. It’s important to create a style board or design plan that incorporates a specific style, color palette and overall feel of the wedding. Once that happens the actual flowers are irrelevant. We can tweak little things here and there to give the same feel with a different flower or various sizes and scales of such arrangements. Ultimately “the style” of the wedding comes through, not the specifics. This is very similar to style trends in the fashion world. You can create a specific look with many different pieces as long as the colors, style and overall feel are the same. Be open-minded and trust your designer. And if you have all the money in the world, spend it on flowers. It’s worth it!

I hope you these tips and tricks help as you plan you big day! The special details are what make your wedding unique, but remember that your dream wedding does not have to burst your budget. Thanks for following along!

xoxo, Ali

Photography: Elyse Hall Photography | Wedding Planner: Imoni Events | Florist: Butterfly Petals | Florist: Butterfly Petals | Engagement Ring: Tivol | Hair and Makeup: BeGlammed | Black Jeans: Paige Denim | Blogger: A Dash of Details | Bracelets: J.Crew | Heels: Steven by Steve Madden | Heels: Manolo Blahnik | Outfit 1: White Top: Heidi Merrick | Outfit 2- Sweater Dress: Intermix | Paper And Design Studio: Page And Mason | Paper and Design Studio: Page and Mason | Watch: Michele

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Rustic Neutral Colored California Wedding

I’m a firm believer of beauty in simplicity, and this wedding fits that bill to a perfect T. Designed around a spectrum of neutrals and white peonies tucked in every arrangement, Judy Sieber of Emily Joubert brought the al fresco celebration to life. The gallery is overflowing with pin-worthy moment, all photographed by Danielle Poff, and you can get started here.

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From the planner, Judy Sieber of Emily Joubert… Wendy and Mike had a clear idea of what they wanted their wedding to be. Simple and rustic yet elegant. She was obsessed with the details making it the wedding that she envisioned. The site was a historical family farm named The Champagne Paddocks in Woodside. It was a fitting sight as the surrounding areas were champagne colored. It was a late afternoon wedding with the golden color of the light on the straw fields. They were married under a large live oak, by a close friend. The string quartet were graduate students of the Perlman Foundation.

The caterer was Paula LeDuc with a beautiful menu with their favorite foods from restaurants when they were dating, and dinner was buffet style with one long farm table. Centerpieces were filled with white peonies – the last of the season, as was her bouquet! Guests danced until midnight under a full moon and café lights from Got Light. Music was provided by DJ Matteo and the décor around the stable was simple, understated and elegant. Antique kilims were on the floor surrounding a great fountain where the horses uses to drink.

Photography: Danielle Poff Photography | Coordination: Judy Sieber Of Emily Joubert | Florist: Judy Sieber | Wedding Dress: Vera Wang | Catering: Paula LeDuc Fine Catering | DJ: DJ Matteo | Film Scans: Little Film Lab | Venue: Private Estate

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6 Reasons to Love Bella Bridesmaids

From the moment I stepped foot into my first Bella Bridesmaids showroom, I knew it was something special. Imagine chic decor, dreamy gowns from some of the most amazing designers ever and a team of professionals that know a thing or two about making you AND your besties happy.  It’s a dress shopping paradise (seriously) and we’re dedicating an entire slideshow to the pretty party.

Bella Bridesmaids
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Bella Bridesmaids
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Visit Bella Bridesmaids to schedule your personal showroom experience.  And don’t forget to follow them on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest for even more inspiration!

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Bohemian Autumn Wedding Inspiration

Inspired by her local vendors, Marianne Sabado crafted this perfectly rich inspiration filled with Everly Alaine Florals bouquets and rustic fall centerpieces. Accented with sparkling props amongst the Avalon Legacy Ranch, each detail evokes the impending seasonal shift, while earthy tones of purple and subtle shimmers of pink are reminiscent of a golden summer gone too soon. More here!

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From Marianne Sabado PhotographySince Fall has officially started I wanted to put together a styled shoot that transitioned Summer colors into Fall colors. I wanted the shoot to be more earth toned with the the purples and greens as the main color that’s recurring in most of the images from candles, to Kelsey’s (our model) halo, to the flowers, to Ethan’s boutonniere and the paper goods which was all watercolor based made by The Romance Between.

I live in McKinney and our town is very small so I wanted to incorporate some local vendors and highlight their beautiful work. The only vendor who’s work traveled far was the paper goods which came from good ol’ Southern California. McKinney is also surrounded by open land and beautiful ranches and I thought this would be the perfect spot to host the editorial shoot.

Photography: Marianne Sabado Photography | Cake & Dessert: Sugar Bee Sweets | Engagement Ring & Jewelry: Nan Lee Jewelry | Film Processing: Richard Photo Lab | Florals: Everly Alaine Florals | Make Up & Hair: Lisa Arhontidis | Model's Dress: Elizabeth And James | Oxford Shoes: Aldo | Paper Goods: The Romance Between | Rentals: The Prop Marriage | Venue/Location: Avalon Legacy Ranch

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