Working with our fabulous LBBers is my favorite. They are all so talented and I love to see what they are working on. We’ve been tapping into their talented brains with our Ask the Expert Series, and we’re back today with your planning questions answered by our talented LBB planner, Stacey Sainato of Peony Events. Get out your pen and paper, because you’ll want to take notes on this expert advice!

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I love my venue, but I hate the carpet/drapes. How can decorate around such a large piece of the venue and draw attention away from it?

For venues that have not updated their décor, we strongly suggest incorporating additional lighting for your room. Lighting can do wonders to any room (with or without ugly décor). Accent lighting alone can make a huge statement and turn not-so-pretty carpet and drapery into can’t-really-see-it-anyways! Picking a color that is in your color palette will heighten the ambiance and add drama to your room.

Pipe and drape is another option; many rental companies and some venues offer this service. By draping the perimeter of the room, you create an elegant, soft look while beautifully covering up those window treatments from 1985.

Specialty linens for your tables can spruce up any décor, but you will want to make sure that they do not clash with the issues you are having with the room. If it’s the patterns that bother you, opt for something simple with a bit of sparkle or sheen.

Lastly, create focal points in the room – tall centerpieces, drapery behind the sweetheart table, decorations on a fireplace mantle, beautiful tall floral arrangements with spot lighting, or floral pieces hanging from the chandeliers. Anything that will draw your guest’s attention up and away from the unattractive carpet and drapes.

I don’t have a huge budget, but I really want to make sure my guests feel like they are at a special affair. Do you have any tips for me? What is the one thing I won’t regret splurging on?

Personalize, personalize, and personalize! It’s the little things and small details that truly make a wedding extra special. These three little letters, DIY (Do-It-Yourself), are crucial for those on a budget! You can add many creative and unique elements to your wedding without having to go over budget when you DIY. Look on Etsy and Pinterest for a plethora of endless ideas and inspiration.

Food and entertainment/music are both areas that we say splurge away! Eat, Drink and Be Merry is a famous saying for a reason! Guests will always remember what they ate at your wedding and what music was played (and if it was good). ALWAYS do a tasting to try the food being served and do your research on your band or DJ. Read reviews, listen to them live, or have them send you a sample of their work. If you want your guests to bring their dancing shoes, give them something to work with!

What can I do to spruce up the dessert table or other vignettes?

Dressing up a dessert table or any other special table is just as important as styling any outfit. It also offers another focal point in the room and certainly raises the FUN factor.

We are BIG fans of using specialty table linens – sequins, lace, chevron, or another fun print! Spruce it up with hanging poms, lanterns, or strings of lights. Add accents with extra floral in varying heights and cylinders, unique serving trays, cute patterned labels or chalkboards, to create an amazing and eye-catching display of TLD’s (tasty little devils)!

I’ve found the most beautiful outdoor venue… what backup plans can I make for weather that won’t make me feel like all my plans are ruined?

Although a gorgeous wedding outside is a perfect idea for summer, sometimes the weather isn’t always on your side. Preparing to shield your guests from the natural elements while keeping your event outside requires a tent that is large enough to accommodate all of your outdoor wedding festivities. If you are having both your ceremony and reception outdoors, you will definitely need two tents. Heaters are always nice to have on hand depending on the time of year and the chill factor.

If your venue offers indoor space, be prepared to bring the outdoors in. Implementing trees into your décor can be a tremendous asset to decorating an indoor space—people don’t quite expect them. Not to say that you should have a big maple or blossoming apple tree in the middle of the dance floor, but a few trees lined in an entryway or in the corners of the room will have a beautiful effect. Especially if you embellish them with white lights and floral!

Is transportation for guests a must? What about an open bar?

In my opinion, transportation is a must, IF your ceremony or reception requires guests to leave the hotel, resort, or B&B. Your bridal party, family, and friends are coming from all over (in most cases) to celebrate the union of your love; the least you can do is pamper them a little, right?

The hotels we work with either offer shuttle service to your guests, or they outsource discounted transportation services for larger party buses, shuttles, etc. Be sure to see a picture of the vehicle promised to you or visit the company before signing that contract (and make sure your contract states the specific type of transportation/color, etc.). You want to make sure it’s not a restored yellow school bus—unless that’s the vintage look you are going for. Do not forget to include a shuttle service schedule in your welcome box (especially if there will be more than one pick up).

An open bar is a definite Y-E-S! Again, you are inviting your friends, family, and co-workers to be a “guest” at your event. Do you really want them to feel like they are at a restaurant or bar, ordering and paying for drinks? Absolutely not—you want them to feel special; they are honoring you with their presence and sharing in one of the most memorable days of your life.

If you are on a tight budget, it’s ok to only offer beer, wine, and champagne, along with a few specialty drinks.

So on top of the fact that Stacey is a total genius and absolute sweetheart, isn’t she gorg? These pictures were all from her wedding, and I for one can’t get over that dress. Thank you so much Stacey for answering our questions. And lovelies, if you have a question for Stacey, feel free to leave it in the comments! I’m sure she’d love to answer a few more.

Photographer: Images by Berit | Dress: Monique Lhuillier, The Wedding Shoppe | Tuxedos: Cozy Formalwear | Event Planner: Stacey Sainato, Peony Events | Day of planner: Sarah Mugavero | Junior Bridesmaids dresses: Dessy Group, Rita Rosa Bridal Boutique | Flower girl dress: Bella Bridesmaid | Bridesmaids Dresses: Jenny Yoo | Band: The Blaire Reinhard Band | Venue: Crystal Springs Resort | Favors: Fondant Wedding Cake Cookies, Leslie Ruth Sweets, Treats & Events | Make up Artist: Kathy Genchi | Hair: Gina Imperati, Ciao Bella | Florist: Dale Kiroff | Letterpress Wedding Invitations: Smock, Cambridge Street Papers | Calligrapher: Belles Lettres Calligraphy | Brides Jewelry & clutch: Model Bride | Bridesmaid Jewelry: Nordstrom

Alfred Sung, Dessy Collection, Dessy Flower Girls, Jenny Yoo and Monique Lhuillier are members of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here. Images by Berit, Jenny Yoo, Belles Lettres Calligraphy and Peony Events are members of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
Images by Berit

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Jenny Yoo

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