How to choose a Wedding Planner

The greatest part of the wedding industry is that everyone you work with has a common goal, to make your day spectacular! They go out and put their best foot forward to help your day be as beautiful as you imagined.

So how do you choose which wedding planner to work with? You should choose them based on how well you trust them, can they meet all of your needs (as well as your budget) and most importantly, do you mesh well with them. Let’s break these 3 items apart.

First, the trust factor. You should feel comfortable enough with your wedding planner to trust their advice, processes and decisions. Ask as many wedding related questions as you can. The planner you are inquiring with, will happily answer all of them. If you feel the trust is there, book them!

Second, meeting all of your needs. You may receive recommendations for a planner but realize they don’t offer the services you really need. If they only offer full planning services and you’re looking for wedding day management, that’s ok! Explain this to them and they may even be able to recommend a planner that can help with what you are looking for! You’ll also need to take your budget into consideration. A seasoned planner may have higher prices. This is not to rip you off, but rather because they are well sought after and have a limit on how many couples they take on each year. Comparing two planners based off of pricing is extremely difficult. They will both have different personalities, processes and experience.

Lastly, Meshing well. This is important! In some instances, especially with full wedding planning packages, you and your planner will be communicating very often. If you prefer a more professional approach, and that helps your trust factor, choose a planner that makes you feel like you will build an amazing professional relationship. If you’re looking for a planner who is more casual and you want your interactions with them to be more on a friend level, then find that person! Choose someone who can give you that “we just became best friends” feel!

I hope this helps!

Best Wishes,


Announcing Your Engagement


By Jessica Pope and Erin Kametz

Photo Credit: Billy Cress

Congratulations! He liked it and he put a ring on it. Now you anxiously want to share your news and shout your love from the rooftops, but you are not quite sure how to go about it. Don’t fret; EMK Events is here to help. Here are a few ways to share your special announcement:

Kickin’ It Old School

Lovebirds have been announcing their engagements in the newspaper since Jane Austen’s day. Typically announcements in the newspaper are made by someone other than the bride and groom. Traditionally if the parents of the bride and groom are hosting the wedding, the announcement is made from their point of you. The announcement can include information about your education, career, etc. and the same for your groom. If you know the date of your wedding, you can mention it as well. For example, you could write: “A June wedding is planned”.

Instagram Worthy

With the age of social media, pictures seem to be worth even more than a thousand words. If you would like professional pictures of you and your hubby-to-be basking in your post-engagement romantic glow, you can hire a photographer to do an engagement photo session with you. You can use this as an opportunity to test out a photographer you may be considering for your wedding day. Feel free to make it fun and reflect your personalities. You can even re enact the swoon worthy moment in which he got down on one knee. Once you have purchased the pictures (and the rights), you can post them on social media as a way to announce your engagement to your friends and family in the cyber world.

If you would prefer not to go the professional photo route, you can always share your own photos. If you had someone on hand to snag a photo of your fiance proposing in the moment or to capture photos of you both afterwards, these would be perfect snapshots to use in your engagement announcement. There are other clever ways you could spread the news, such as taking a picture drinking out of a mug (held by your hand wearing your new bling, of course) which says “Does this ring make me look engaged?”. You could also pose with a sign that says “I am going to be a [insert future last name here]”, “She said yes”, etc. or pick something completely unique to you and your fiance.

Be There or Be Square

Save-the-date cards are a great way to announce your engagement and your wedding date at the same time. Once you pick your wedding date (check out EMK Events Blog Series Part 2 coming soon for more information), you can design save-the-date cards to send out to the people you intend to invite to your wedding. Many sites have save-the-date magnets available too, because who wouldn’t want to see your smiling face every morning when they reach for the coffee creamer? If you had engagement pictures taken, they would be perfect for the design of the save-the-date announcement. If you do not have engagement photos, look for a website which has pre-made templates and designs to choose from when ordering.

Keep in mind, there may be loved ones who know about the engagement before anyone else. Don’t be afraid to ask them not to share the news before you get a chance to do it. It would be a bit disappointing if they stole your thunder while you were planning the perfect way to announce your big news. Congratulations again on your engagement. We hope you come back to read more of our blog series which will take you step-by-step from engagement to “I do”. Happy planning!

Bridesmaid Responsibilities

Picture blog 1By Erin Kametz and Jessica Pope

As a bridesmaid you play a huge role in the bride’s big day. She picked you, out of all the people she knows, to stand by her side. You may be wondering, what exactly does a bridesmaid’s job include? Let’s break it down into two categories: The Requirements and The Recommendations.

The Requirements:

Party Time

Bridal showers and bachelorette parties are primarily planned and hosted by the bridesmaids. They do not have to be extremely expensive, but they do cost money. You are required to pitch in and assist with all aspects of these events. Luckily, there are many sites, such as Pinterest, that offer design ideas as well as recommendations on how to keep these events budget friendly. Something may come up which causes you to miss an important function, but you should at least try your best to be there. If you can’t attend, make sure you are still offering your assistance and contributing to the cost.

Say Yes to the Dress

When it comes time to shopping for the bridesmaid dress, the bride may either choose to pick out the dress herself or enlist the help of the bridal party. Either way, the final decision belongs to the bride and complaining will only stress her out. You should be open to the dress that is chosen, even if it is not your style or something you would have picked out. The bride most likely has a vision and the dress she will choose matches that. Paying for the dress is also a financial responsibility of the bridesmaids. This includes the timing of the purchase. Some bridal shops only keep a particular style on the racks, or available to order, for a short amount of time. This means you should be prepared to purchase the dress as soon as it is chosen.

Show up and Have Fun

This is a given. A bridesmaid needs to be there on the day of the wedding. You should also have fun and if needed, initiate the fun. If the dance floor is looking empty, grab a partner and get out there and dance. If the photo booth doesn’t have many people jumping in to get their picture taken, head on over and recruit others along the way.

Make Accommodations

If at all possible, the bridesmaids should try to make hotel accommodations. You will most likely be partying hard all night and if alcohol is served, you may have a few drinks. This is a safe option as you should not be worrying about how you are going to get home. It will also help out the bride if the newly married couple are staying at the same hotel. The bride will need help transporting her belongings, left over food, gifts, etc. all while wearing her wedding dress! This is a big task and your help would be greatly appreciated.

Let’s Vent

Most brides need someone they can vent to. Whether it’s over a difference of opinion when it comes to flowers (her mom wants roses and she wants lilies) or her partner is driving her crazy. As a bridesmaid, you should be there for the bride and offer her support.

The Recommendations:

Get Dolled up

If the bride is not paying for hair, makeup and nails, the bridesmaid can still choose to get their hair, makeup and nails done. You are getting all dolled up to not only attend a special event, but to look good in pictures that the bride will cherish forever. If you are tight on cash, you can always opt to have your hair done and apply your makeup and nail polish yourself.

Help Her Say Yes to the Dress

Some brides want to shop alone, with just their mother, or with the whole bridal party. Either way, try to be available and offer your honest opinion, while still keeping the bride as your first priority. This may not be the dress of your dreams, but if she is in love with it, try to support her as much as possible.

Speech Time

This is an optional but fun item. It’s always great to reflect on your friendship with the bride in front of close friends and family. If there is an appropriate time during the rehearsal (not while you’re doing the ceremony run-through) or rehearsal dinner, tell a story about how you two met and add words of encouragement, as she is probably starting to get a little nervous for her big day.

The Final Stretch

The week leading up to the wedding is always hectic. There are so many last minute items that need to take place and the bride may need the help of her bridesmaids.  Try to be available as much as possible and offer your assistance. Whether it’s dropping off bows at the ceremony location or holding onto the officiant’s final payment, assisting the bride will only make her wedding less stressful.

Now that you are aware of the responsibilities of a bridesmaid, we hope you will feel more comfortable by knowing what to expect when you accept the role. Although being a bridesmaid comes with a significant commitment of both time and money, many consider it worth it to share this special moment with the bride and crew. Enjoy it!

Photo Credit:

EMK Events Presents: Best Wedding Advice

By: Jessica Pope and Erin Kametz

After your engagement, everyone seems to have advice for, or an opinion about, the planning of your wedding. Some of the tidbits shared may put you in the position to do the fake smile and nod routine but others could be valuable words of wisdom to keep in the back of your mind during your planning adventure. We polled past brides to find out what the best advice was they received while planning their weddings. Here is our top five list:

Best Wedding Advice #1

If something does not go as planned, it will be okay. Regardless of how much you plan (and you will plan, a lot, probably even in your sleep), there may be details of your day, which do not go as you planned it. If this occurs remember one thing: play along. If you don’t react, no one will know. Only you and those who assisted with the planning will know if something is not quite right.

If the caterers serve the wrong soup, your guests will most likely not notice and will assume the lobster bisque was the one you ordered. They may even enjoy it. Don’t let it ruin your mood or your day. Your guests will be too busy looking at the beautiful bride to notice, unless you draw attention to the issue. Mention any mishaps to your Wedding Planner and they can handle it discreetly. Otherwise, smile and move on. It is your day to shine!

Best Wedding Advice #2

Plan for yourself and not others. You are inviting your friends, family and guests to celebrate your wedding with you (keyword: your). Of course you want them to have a good time, however, you may regret it if you sacrifice your own dreams for your wedding to appease everyone else. Also, do not feel pressured to follow with the same type of weddings you have attended for others. This day is yours to create.

Your guests may have an expectation that your wedding will be a glamorous and formal event, but you and your fiancé are dreaming an informal country style wedding. Try to stick to your vision. It may be difficult but if your friends and family want to see you blissful on your special day, they will hopefully accept your vision graciously. Keep in mind, you are only asking for a few hours of their time, not the sacrifice of their first-born child.

Best Wedding Advice #3

Do not let others bully you into making decisions. This may come into play if you decide to have a big bridal party of 10 girls, but your mother thinks that 5 is the perfect number or if you want to wear a dress with a red sash but your mother-in-law thinks a solid white dress is best. It is nice to acknowledge their wishes and traditions when you can but your day should represent what is special and unique to you and your significant other.

We tend to regret the things we did not do more than those that we did. While planning your wedding, make decisions based on what you and your future spouse want. Otherwise, you may look back on memories of your wedding and regret that you didn’t. Your Wedding planner can also act as a soundboard and can discuss how important your choices are to your family. This may elevate some of your stress, as you know you have someone who is willing to assist in making sure your wishes come true.

Best Wedding Advice #4

Create a wedding budget. You can have a classy and glamorous wedding without going bankrupt. If you plan your budget right, you may have finances left over to save for a home or use towards your dream honeymoon. Plan an incentive for yourself if you stay within your budget. If you have money left over after all expenses of your wedding are paid you can use it to upgrade your honeymoon plane tickets to first class or use it towards a special experience while on your trip. It is not recommended to start your marriage in debt, possibly causing arguments or stress over money. If you find that you are having a difficult time sticking to your budget, definitely sit down with your Wedding Planner and discuss options to get you back on track.

Best Wedding Advice #5

If you need help, ask for it. This could mean enlisting the help of your mom, sister, bridal party, etc. Their assistance is perfect for attending dress fittings, picking up ordered items or even decorating the church. Asking for help could also include the expert guidance of your Wedding Planner. Many people enter their engagement with no prior event planning experience and are faced with the task of planning a formal event for over 100 people. Your Wedding Planner will help you with the daunting task of planning this large event and bring your vision for your wedding to life. The experience they have gained from planning weddings for a living can only benefit you.

Photo Credit:

Wedding Coordinator vs. Venue Coordinator: Wedding Planning Roles Simplified

By: Jessica Pope and Erin Kametz

If you are newly engaged the scene may go a little like this: hugs, congratulations, friends and family oohing over your gorgeous ring. Then the questions begin: Have you decided on a date yet? Where will you have your wedding? What is your theme? And the list goes on. You may feel your excitement wane and your panic increase tenfold. A day which is supposed to be joyful soon becomes overwhelmingly stressful. The wedding industry has many professionals who are available to help. If you are unsure what type of help you need, EMK Events is here to simplify it for you.

After you set a wedding date, it is best to book your venue as soon as possible. If the venue you select offers a Venue Coordinator, their services can be a great help to you but please be aware they will come with limitations. If there are vendors you choose who are not associated with the venue or details of your day you need to plan outside of the event at the venue, this will be outside of the scope of a Venue Coordinator’s responsibilities. The same goes for your ceremony. If you choose to have your ceremony at a different location than the reception venue, the Venue Coordinator would not be involved in that part of your planning. Please remember, they are employed by the venue and although they will work with you to ensure your requests are met at the venue, they will not offer you everything a Wedding Coordinator would.

A Venue Coordinator will be beneficial when it comes to planning room layout, coordinating the catering if offered onsite and making the venue employees aware of your plans including set up and clean up. Venue Coordinators typically stay until the food has been served or the cake has been cut. If you want someone who will support you from the start of your day until the end, you may want to look into hiring a Wedding Coordinator.

A Wedding Coordinator is chosen by you and will put your best interests first. Their services include assistance with details both related and not related to the venue. This will especially come in handy if you select vendors such as a photographer or DJ who may not be associated with the venue. A Wedding Coordinator will be there for you through the entire planning process and when your big day arrives, he or she will be by your side from morning till night ensuring your special day is everything you dreamed it would be (and more).

If the idea of having this type of assistance makes you breathe a sigh of relief, a Wedding Coordinator may be just what you need to make your wedding as beautiful and charming as you. Your Wedding Coordinator and Venue Coordinator will work together while planning your special day to make sure every aspect of your wedding is perfect. They are truly the superheroes of the wedding world. Congratulations on your engagement; let the planning commence!