Planning a wedding is essentially the axis to which you can compare other stressful life events. That is to say, the experience is unique in its ability to generate crippling anxiety. Translating your vision into reality is tough enough—but many people don’t understand all the work that happens behind the scenes to ensure the event runs smoothly. That’s where a production company, like Best Events, comes in.
Since knowledge is power, we got in touch with some of Best Events’ favorite vendors and asked them for their tips on how to plan the perfect wedding. Here’s what they said.
Homepage photo: BFA
"First, we determine the budget. From that point, we can decide what is viable and what is not. It's that relationship and trust with clients that ultimately determines how we achieve an impactful tablescape. The importance of a container to achieve a style or a meaning of a favorite flower will affect where you can save and where you must splurge. It requires compromise on both sides."
—Chris Matsumoto, florist, CJ Matsumoto & Sons
"The paper goods for your wedding should reflect you as a couple and help tell the story of your event. The invitations are the first thing guests will see, and they're the perfect way to get them excited for what's to come.
There are a few things to keep in mind. First, you want to communicate your vision. We always ask our clients to share their inspiration images with us to get an idea for design direction. We try to inject thoughtful decisions into everything we do, so while the inspiration helps pave the road, getting to know our clients is what really sets the project apart. So don't be shy when talking to your team of designers. The more they know about you, the more of you will come through in the products they create.
Make sure you work with somebody who can help brand your event. This begins with a monogram or logo that can be used across the board at the wedding—but it doesn't stop there. We develop color palettes, textures, materials and other graphic elements, and we carry these things throughout the event from custom napkins and menus to backdrops and lighting. Everything should have a cohesive look that makes your guests feel like they're having a unique and meaningful experience."
"Event lighting is one of the most important mediums that bring the surroundings to life. Setting an atmosphere and creating a dramatic first impression is so vital. It can capture the guests’ feelings and take them on a positive journey throughout the night. Special concepts of lighting can be used to transform any empty space into an elegant and visually appealing room."
"Budgets for good sound equipment and labor should run about $20 per person. Budget a speaker for every 20 people attending. (A small wedding with only 40 guests will only need two speakers, where a larger group of 100 to 120 guests will need six.)
Processional music should always be twice as long as you think. Music ending or starting again is distracting.
Cables over grass should be spiked down. Only use green or black cables, no orange or yellow power cables."
"It's very important for me to guide clients through the event flow so they understand the process."
"Including fabric drapings in your event is like dressing your body. It's important to consider the shape and architecture, complexion, color palette and even flaws, which can be seen in new light when draped properly. Every theme needs fabric and we drape it—bring on the polyester, corduroy, silk and sequins!"
"You don't have to break the bank to make a beautiful statement! To maximize bang for your buck, deck out your tabletop with pre-set items such as chargers, flatware and glassware. If you're able to do specialty china for food service, even better!
Consider the other decor elements you are looking to use—are you leaning toward silver, gold or rose-gold metallics? Is your vibe modern or rustic? Clean and minimalistic or romantic and luxurious? Indoor or outdoor locations, color palettes—all of these are elements you can use to inform your tabletop design."
"Guests rarely RSVP on time, so always plan to book extras when renting items. It's usually worth the extra few dollars to book five to ten additional plates, flatware and chairs, as the alternative is having your rental company sell out at the last minute.
Most events are planned around design boards that include tables, chairs, floral elements and other big-ticket items. While those products play a major role in event inspiration and planning, it's the little pieces that tend to get overlooked. Accessories like coffee service items, salt and pepper shakers and trash cans are often the last to be rented yet the first to cause last-minute unwanted stress."
"A back-of-house rental company can provide canopies, chairs, tables and catering, but also things that make the special day have that something extra. We have makeup tables and makeup mirrors for the bridal party, director's chairs to give you that about-to-be-on-camera feel, pipe and drape setups to turn any space into a clean and classy area and small items that may normally be overlooked, like coolers for drinks, umbrellas for shade and portable stages to give the band or DJ that little extra pop."
"Our staging system has a wide variety of applications and can be used to tackle any design. If you're looking to cover a pool, level out an existing space or have your wedding on the side of a mountain—we can do it."
"Linens transform your table. If you're planning to use a wood farm table, think about adding a table runner for texture. If you're using round or banquet tables, there are thousands of options that range from an informal garden party to formal black-tie affair.
We highly suggest the rental route for the majority of your needs. People forget how expensive it is to make a linen. Most require a minimum of ten yards of fabric. If you were to make this yourself, you'd spend $100 to $500 just in fabric. This doesn't take into consideration what it costs to sew it as well as the dry cleaning bill after your event! Rentals range from $15 to $175 each. However, there are items that are worth buying—i.e., monogrammed napkins to add a personal touch.
When renting linens, make sure you order the correct size! There's nothing worse than seeing folding-table legs exposed."
"As with everything bridal, there is no right style. I suggest that all wedding choices, along with choice of calligraphy, be a reflection of the bride's personal style.
Anything hand-done is more costly than machine-done. But hand-done elevates the tone of the event and adds immeasurably to the ambience. Hand-done also allows you to use unconventional materials."
"Carpet is the cheapest floor covering you can use for an event. It can change an ugly hotel ballroom carpet into a beautiful look for a wedding."