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Wedding Planners, Wedding Designers & Wedding Coordinators: What’s the Difference?

Posted by on Apr 15, 2016 in Wedding Tips | 0 comments

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So many titles and different job descriptions… what is the difference between the three?

Wedding planners are all about planning the logistics of your wedding. They start with you at the beginning of planning your big day. They help you select your venue, work on your budget, handle all your vendor contract negotiations, and execute your wedding vision on the day of your event.

Wedding designers work specifically with you on your floor plans, flowers, linens, wedding attire, lighting, furniture, and décor. Their job is all about the aesthetics.

Wedding coordinators specialize in day-of or month-of service. They come in after you have secured your venue and vendors. They create a detailed wedding day timeline; confirm all your vendor contracts; and coordinate with all your vendors, the venue(s), and the entire bridal party to ensure a flawless, smooth wedding event. They focus on all the details to make sure everyone is on the same page and on schedule. A wedding coordinator gives brides and grooms the opportunity to sit back, relax, and enjoy their wedding day stress-free.

Photo by Ben Rosett

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Blocking Hotel Rooms for Your Out-of-Town Guests

Posted by on Feb 19, 2016 in Wedding Tips | 0 comments

IMG_4650If you are planning a wedding, you most likely will need to block hotel rooms for your out-of-town guests. I’ve found a company that has created a highly customized no-cost service that oversees the hotel room block process on your behalf. WhereWillTheyStay offers two types of services, as follows:

Their Signature Service is a free service. They will identify and negotiate rates at up to 5 hotels for clients, and these options can include your requested properties or ones they identify based on given parameters.

They  also have a Premium Service for $149. This service level includes looking into up to 15 hotel options, in multiple rounds if needed.

You would need to block at least 10 rooms per night to qualify for the discount pricing that they would offer.

They will do all the research and work for you, and they will send you a customized proposal. Once your hotel agreement is signed, you will receive a complete “Where Will They Stay” packet with specialized booking instructions that you can send to all of your out-of-town guests.

To get started, go to their website and fill out their Request-ionnaire. Please let them know that Kathy Kepler, Wedding Planner, from Weddings By Kathleen referred you. My email address is weddingsbykathleen@gmail.com and my phone number is (954) 434-9029. They will take good care of you!

Here is their link: http://wherewilltheystay.com

Happy Planning! :)

Photo by Markus Spike

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11 Tips from a Pro Wedding Planner

Posted by on Jan 18, 2016 in Wedding Tips | 0 comments

IMG_4429Planning a wedding is expensive. You want everything to go perfectly, and you want your guests to have a great time. Here is a list of tips from a seasoned wedding planning pro to help you during the process.

1. When selecting your wedding date, think of your guests. Planning your wedding on a holiday weekend might seem like a great idea, but your guests might think the date was inconvenient.

2. Hire professional vendors. Keep your friends and family as guests at your wedding, not as your vendors.

3. Don’t use your ceremony chairs for your reception or spend money to hire people to move the chairs, just rent a second set of chairs. You don’t want your reception to start late because the chairs have not been set up in time.

4. Try to avoid a cash bar at your wedding. If your funds are limited, offer a signature drink, champagne or prosecco for toasts, and wine and beer for the reception. Your guests should not have to pay for anything (including bar tips) at your wedding.

5. When creating your seating chart, it is important to try to sit guests with people they know or have something in common with if at all possible.

6. Limit the number of toasts to a maximum of three or four. Ask that toasts be no longer than three minutes. Wedding toasts are a special part of your wedding, but too many toasts that seem to never end will quickly bore your guests.

7. Find a videographer you can afford and book one. Once your wedding is over, you will have the memories and the photos, but there isn’t anything to replace a video of the entire event, you saying your wedding vows, your first dance, etc. The wedding will go by quickly, and you will be able to relive it all over again with a wedding video and see things you may have missed on your wedding day.

8. Make an effort to say hello to each of your guests and thank them for coming to your wedding. People have traveled far and spent a lot of money to attend your wedding; they deserve a personal hello and thank-you from the bride and groom. Just don’t get held up with one guest for too long so that you have time to greet everyone.

9. Hire a professional for your hair and makeup. If there is one day in your life to do this, it is on your wedding day. Don’t forget to include a trial run to make sure you get the look you want.

10. Make sure you hire enough staff. For example, if your caterer or wedding planner suggests hiring two servers per 10 guests, then hire two servers. You need enough staff to serve food and drinks, as well as handle clearing the tables, making sure glasses are full, etc. If you want your wedding to run smoothly, then make sure you hire enough staff to help make that possible.

11. Hire a wedding planner. Okay, I may be biased on this, but trust me, not hiring at least a Day of/Month of Coordinator is a bad idea. A wedding planner will work with you and your vendors very closely to design a detailed time line from beginning to end. They will be on-site for the entire day to make sure everything you planned for your wedding will go off without a hitch. Word to the wise: do not hire anyone who offers to be there only on the day of the wedding. A true Day of/Month of Coordinator needs to be involved months before the wedding so that they can be useful on your wedding day. Anyone who just shows up on the wedding day will have no idea what is going on. Also, don’t confuse a venue coordinator with a wedding planner, but that’s a topic for another blog post.

The success of your wedding depends largely on whom you decide to hire as your vendors and keeping in mind your guests to ensure everyone has a great time. If you have questions or need help planning your South Florida wedding, contact Kathy.

Photo by Ben Rosett

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Weddings by Kathleen Wins a WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Award® 2016

Posted by on Jan 10, 2016 in News | 0 comments

January 6, 2016 – WeddingWire, the leading global online wedding marketplace, named Weddings by Kathleen as a winner of the prestigious WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards® 2016 for Wedding Planners in Fort Lauderdale, Florida!

The WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards® 2016 recognizes the top five percent of wedding professionals in the WeddingWire Network who demonstrate excellence in quality, service, responsiveness and professionalism. The esteemed awards are given to the top local wedding vendors in more than 20 service categories, from wedding venues to wedding florists, based on their professional achievements from the previous year.

While many industry award winners are selected by the host organization, the WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards® winners are determined solely based on reviews from real newlyweds and their experiences working with Weddings by Kathleen. Award-winning vendors are distinguished for the quality, quantity, consistency and timeliness of the reviews they have received from their past clients.

“We are thrilled to celebrate such a high-caliber, committed group of professionals for the Couples’ Choice Awards’® eighth year,” said Timothy Chi, CEO, WeddingWire. “We are proud to continue to serve as the industry leader, with over 2.5 million consumer and peer reviews, and feature award-winning merchants such as Weddings by Kathleen who understands the impact reviews have on their successful businesses.”

As a Couples’ Choice Awards® winner, Weddings by Kathleen is highlighted within the WeddingWire Network, which is comprised of more than 400,000 wedding professionals globally.

Weddings by Kathleen is proud to be one of the top Wedding Planners in Fort Lauderdale, FL in the WeddingWire Network. We would like to thank our past clients for taking the time to review our business on WeddingWire. We value all of our clients and truly appreciate the positive feedback that helped us earn the WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards® 2016.

For more information about Weddings by Kathleen, please visit our WeddingWire Storefront today at http://www.weddingwire.com/biz/weddings-by-kathleen-fort-lauderdale/fa941114bd9a378c.html.

To learn more about the Couples’ Choice Awards®, please visit www.weddingwire.com/couples-choice-awards.

About WeddingWire, Inc.
WeddingWire, Inc. is the leading global online marketplace connecting consumers with event and creative professionals. Operating within a $200 billion industry, WeddingWire, Inc. hosts 10 million monthly unique users across its mobile and web platforms. Consumers are able to read over 2.5 million vendor reviews and search, compare and book from a database of over 400,000 businesses. Globally, it provides these businesses the technology they need to serve their clients through advertising, marketing and business management tools such as websites, payment processing, invoicing and contracts. Founded in 2007, the WeddingWire portfolio of sites serves couples and businesses across 14 countries in North America, Latin America and Europe, making it the worldwide leader in weddings with brands including Bodas.net, Casamentos.com.br, Matrimonio.com and more. The company employs more than 650 and maintains global headquarters in Washington, DC and international headquarters in Barcelona, Spain.

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Wedding Vendor Contracts

Posted by on Nov 21, 2015 in Events | 0 comments

It is absolutely critical that you read and understand completely all of your contracts with your wedding vendors. Make sure you read the fine print.

Every contract should have the following information:

Confirm the date, time and location(s) of the wedding event. It is also good to make sure the day (i.e. Sunday) is written in the contract, just so that there is no confusion about the day of the wedding. You don’t want your vendor assuming your wedding is a certain day!

You will want to make sure that your contract contains important contact information for your vendors. Wedding Vendors will NOT be in their offices during events, so you MUST have an EMERGENCY/CELL number for your vendor for the day of the event. Make sure the contract contains company name, address, email address, office and cell phone numbers, and website address. I cannot tell you how many times I have been furnished with contracts from wedding vendors and NONE of this information is included in their contracts!

Fees – make sure all overtime pricing is included in the contract. In the event you want to extend a vendor’s time the day of the wedding/event, you want to know what that overtime rate will be with that vendor ahead of time.

Make sure all details about your contract are spelled out and included in the contract. If you make any changes to the initial contract, make sure to get a revised contract or an addendum to the original contract. Make sure you have everything in writing on your final contract, no verbal orders!!

Method of Payment – make sure it is clearly written on the contract the method of payment, payment due dates, etc. A lot of wedding vendors do not accept credit cards and others do not take checks on the wedding day. You don’t want to have to run to the bank on the day of your wedding to get a cashier’s check or cash at the last minute.

Happy Planning!

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Wedding Planner vs. Venue Coordinator

Posted by on Nov 12, 2015 in Events | 0 comments

There is a big difference between a Wedding Planner and a Venue Coordinator.

A Wedding Planner will answer your questions, assist you with vendor and venue contracts, help you with event décor/design, create a very detailed time line of the wedding day events, assist the Bride and Groom, the Bridal Party and Family on the day of the wedding. They will ensure that you aren’t forgetting anything (material or detail), set up your decor, keep you on your timeline, collect your wedding party and family for photos, toasts, entrances, dances, etc. They will make sure that your wedding flows smoothly the entire day.

A venue coordinator ensures that everything taking place at the venue is in order. The venue coordinator usually enjoys organizing weddings, but does not have the responsibility of handling all matters for the Bride and Groom. A venue coordinator is going to be busy supervising the kitchen and wait staff, managing the food and beverage provided by the venue, moving furniture, setting up linens, putting up signs, assisting vendors with finding outlets, tables and chairs, keeping your bridal suites and bathrooms stocked and clean, coordinate placement of wedding items with the wedding planner, handle venue parking logistics, manage the venue staff, etc.

Both professionals are imperative and work closely together with open communication. You’ve spent a lot of time and money planning your wedding. If you want to do it the best way so you can enjoy your wedding day, you need both a Wedding Planner and a Venue Coordinator on your Team!!

Weddings by Kathleen specializes in “Day of Coordination,” which we prefer to call “Month of Coordination” because we don’t just show up the day of the wedding. There are many hours put into your wedding event before your wedding day arrives! Call us today for a free consultation at (954) 434-9029 or (954) 249-1200. We do Weddings in South Florida. Happy Planning!! Happy Wedding Day!!

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Quick Guide to Tipping Your Wedding Vendors

Posted by on Sep 10, 2015 in Events | 0 comments

As a wedding planner, I get asked this question quite often: “Who do I have to tip, and how much do I have to tip them?”

A tip is a voluntary amount of money given in exchange for a service performed. Gratuity is solely at your discretion. While giving gratuities is not required, it is good etiquette to do so.

Here are some guidelines for tipping your wedding vendors.

Vendors Who Should Be Tipped

• Your hair stylist
• Your makeup artist
• Your limo driver
• Musicians
• DJ
• Valet parking attendants
• Caterer/waitstaff
• Bartender
• Wedding planner

Unless your vendor has been a complete nightmare throughout the planning of your wedding, it’s courteous to present each of your vendors with a tip, a gift, or a thank-you. Don’t forget your photographer and videographer, too. A handwritten thank-you note, a review, or a testimonial can be invaluable to your wedding vendors.

General Rule of Thumb for Tipping Vendors

Have your tip money (cash only) in an envelope for each vendor, and assign someone to disperse the envelopes to vendors at the end of your wedding, such as the father of the bride or the best man. As a wedding planner, I don’t like to handle this task because I am so busy during the event, and I do not have a secure place to keep the envelopes.

Always put cash in the envelopes. You can adjust the tip money at the end of the evening depending on the service provided.

How Much to Tip

The standard percentage for a tip is 15% of the total cost; however, you can adjust this to 10% if you were not happy with the service, or to 20% if you feel you had exceptional service.

Be Careful of Double Tipping

Read your contracts carefully. Sometimes the tip or gratuity is already worked into your contract. You do not want to end up tipping someone twice!

In conclusion, there is a lot of information out there about tipping wedding vendors. I hope this post has helped simplify the tipping process for you.

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Weddings by Kathleen Receives Bronze WeddingWire Rated™ Badge

Posted by on Aug 29, 2015 in News | 0 comments

South Florida – August 29, 2015 – WeddingWire, the nation’s leading online wedding marketplace, is thrilled to announce that Weddings by Kathleen has received the WeddingWire Rated™ Bronze badge for excellence in Wedding Planning Services.

The esteemed WeddingWire Rated™ program recognizes wedding professionals who have received positive newlywed reviews about their business on WeddingWire. The program recognizes businesses across more than 20 service categories, from wedding venues to wedding photographers, and requires a minimum of three wedding reviews and an average rating of 3.5 stars or higher.

Within the WeddingWire Rated™ program, there are five different levels that wedding professionals can reach based on the number of wedding reviews they have received (Blue, Bronze, Silver, Gold and Black). The WeddingWire Rated™ Bronze badge is awarded when a business receives ten or more quality reviews.

As a member of WeddingWire, the world’s largest wedding review site with over one million reviews, Weddings by Kathleen’s achievement of Rated™ is an impressive milestone and an indication of the positive experiences expressed by their past clients. As a recipient of the Bronze badge, Weddings by Kathleen is highlighted on WeddingWire, which is comprised of over 200,000 wedding professionals throughout the United States and Canada.

“With the growing importance of online reviews, WeddingWire is pleased to celebrate the successes of the wedding professionals who have received positive reviews on WeddingWire,” said Sonny Ganguly, CMO, WeddingWire. “We are honored to recognize Weddings by Kathleen for their impressive work within the wedding industry.”

Weddings by Kathleen is thrilled to have achieved the WeddingWire Rated™ Bronze badge for Wedding Planning in South Florida. We would like to thank our past clients for taking the time to review our business on WeddingWire; it means so much to us and our business to have received the positive feedback that helped us earn this badge. We are dedicated to providing excellent service to our clients and look forward to increasing to the next Rated™ level in the near future.”

For more information about Weddings by Kathleen please visit our WeddingWire Storefront at http://www.weddingwire.com/biz/weddings-by-kathleen-fort-lauderdale/fa941114bd9a378c.html

To learn more about the WeddingWire Rated™ program, please visit http://wed.li/ratedinfo

About WeddingWire, Inc.
WeddingWire®, the nation’s leading marketplace serving the $70 billion wedding industry, is the only online wedding planning resource designed to empower both engaged couples and wedding professionals. For engaged couples, WeddingWire offers the ability to search, compare and book over 200,000 reviewed wedding vendors, from wedding venues to wedding photographers. WeddingWire also offers a comprehensive suite of online planning tools for weddings, including wedding websites and wedding checklists, all at no charge. For wedding professionals, WeddingWire is the only all-in-one marketing platform for businesses online and on-the-go. WeddingWire offers one simple solution to build a professional network, improve search visibility, manage social media and reach mobile consumers. Businesses that advertise with WeddingWire appear on WeddingWire.com, ProjectWedding.com and other leading sites, including MarthaStewartWeddings.com, Brides.com and Weddingbee.com.

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How Much Do Wedding Vendors Charge?

Posted by on Aug 9, 2015 in Events | 0 comments

This is just an average of what you can expect to pay for Wedding Vendors. Please keep in mind, your geographical area can have a lot to do with the prices you will pay for a Wedding Vendor.

Wedding Planners:

Full service wedding planners will charge anywhere from $3,000 to $7,000, while month-of-coordinators will likely charge between $1,500 to 3,000. It all depends on the scope of the work involved, number of guests, budget of wedding, etc.

Stationer:

You can expect to pay between $4.00 to $8.00 per invitation. You can go on-line and order invitations for less.  The more you customize an invitation, the more costly it will be.

Caterer:

Caterers can run you between $35.00 to $125.00 per person. Keep in mind, this does not include any alcohol, linens or decor upgrades.

Cake Baker:

A wedding cake will most likely cost you anywhere between $4.00 to $7.00 per slice. The complexity of the design will have a lot to do with the final cost of your wedding cake.

Band, DJ:

You can expect to pay anywhere upwards of $1,000 to $2,500 for a professional DJ. A live band can range anywhere from $4,000 to $25,000 depending on size and demand.

Musicians:

Musician prices will vary greatly, but you can expect to pay up to $200/$250 per hour for a musician.

Photographers:

A professional wedding photographer will most likely charge between $3,000 and $6,000. It all depends on the experience level and the packages that they offer.

Florist and Decor:

Your flowers and decor will depend much on what you are doing. It can vary so much, so I will leave it at that…

Cinematography:

Professional Wedding cinematographers will likely charge anywhere from $800 to $5,000. It can be costly, but if you are spending a lot of money on your wedding, I would definitely find a cinematographer to capture your wedding day so you not only have your photos, but you have everything on film to last a lifetime!

Hope this helps!! Happy Planning!!

 

 

 

 

 

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4 Ways to Save Money When Planning a Wedding

Posted by on May 23, 2015 in Events | 0 comments

1) Limit your guest list. And remember uninvited guests should NOT be invited to any bridal showers, etc.

2) Consider holding your wedding on a Friday or Sunday. Rates are usually less on these off days.

3) Don’t schedule your wedding prior to a big holiday. Prices for flowers can be significantly higher a few weeks before a holiday, (Mother’s Day, Valentines Day, etc.).

4) Don’t hold your wedding on a busy weekend. Know what events are going to be held in your town when you want to have your wedding. Hotel rooms will be at a premium and hard to come by for your out-of-town guests, etc.

Happy planning!!

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