5 Budget-Friendly Secrets from a Wedding Planner
March 4, 2015
United States
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!

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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
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