Why hello there, and C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S! 🥂
You are most likely here because you are a newly engaged Bride, or Groom, or both, and you have just begun the process of planning your big day but you have no idea where to begin. Don't worry, I've got you! Not only am I a Wedding Planner + Designer with over 8 years of experience within the luxury wedding industry, I am actually a fellow Bride myself! That's right, I am on the planning journey to the aisle also! You are not alone! :)
I've created this blog to share my personal journey throughout the planning process as a fellow Bride, but also as a wedding professional going through the process along side of you. I will be sharing insight on my tours of top local wedding venues in the St. Augustine, Jacksonville, Amelia Island and Daytona, FL areas and (eventually) beyond. I will also highlight some of my favorite wedding professionals within the local area, and as an added bonus, I will be sharing valuable tips along the way that only a wedding professional would know (plus you!).
I hope this diary of my own personal planning experience provides you with inspiration, direction + valuable insight for you to include in your own journey to the aisle. Most importantly though, I hope this diary provides you with a place to retreat to when you feel alone during the planning process and are overwhelmed by all of the information, details and decisions that you are met with along the way.
I will be posting on certain days about specific topics so that you have the opportunity to anticipate my posts and follow along the way to access the resources that you need. Here is a breakdown of the days and content that I plan to share with you!
MAKE NOTE MONDAY: I will share valuable planning tips from a wedding planner.
WEDDING WEDNESDAY: I will share my insight on a tour of a local wedding venue.
FAVORITE FRIDAY: I will share recommendations on my favorite local wedding vendors.
CELEBRATE SATURDAY (Coming Soon): I will eventually begin sharing detailed posts of actual weddings!
Photographed by Ashley Steeby Photography
Outside of The White Room, St. Augustine, FL
Before we get started, here are some key terms that are most likely entirely new to you and you will need to know in order to navigate the initial phases of the planning process:
Venue: the location of where an event, or wedding, takes place. This can apply to both the Ceremony and Reception venues if separate.
Vendor: a general term used to describe any supplier of goods or services, for example the Wedding Planner/Coordinator, Florist, Baker, DJ/Band, Officiant, Photographer, Videographer, etc.
Below I have outlined the different types of venues (in my own terms) as they are all different, and what is included:
All-Inclusive: Offers room rental, tables, linens, chairs, Event Manager (venue staff), catering-ware, bar-ware, bartenders, serving staff, food and beverage in-house.
Inclusive: Offers room rental, tables, (linens), chairs, Event Manager (venue staff), bar service/beverage minimum, off-site catering.
Non-Inclusive: Offers room rental only, tables and chairs.
*Items with italics may or may not be included depending on venue.
Finding a venue is typically the first step in the planning process, especially if you decide to do much of the planning yourself. However, if you would like assistance in selecting the venue, and vendors from there, then I would recommend hiring a Wedding Planner prior to selecting your venue as they will be able to assist you with selecting a venue and negotiating rates depending on the package with them that you select. That being said, I would recommend selecting either the venue or Wedding Planner first depending on your personal preference.
Kelsi Elizabeth Events offers day-of, partial and full service planning packages, so please inquire with me for information on available services and I would be happy to help you navigate the planning process!
Below I have outlined the key differences between a Wedding Coordinator, Wedding Planner and an Event Designer, as these terms can often be used interchangeably and be ambiguous:
Wedding Coordinator: the term coordinator typically refers to services offered 4-10 weeks prior to the event date, and is more geared to the logistics of the day-of (i.e. Day-of Coordination) rather than the actual planning. At this point, most everything is planned, and the Wedding Coordinator is then stepping in to assist you with your final walk through, final review of contractual obligations with the venue and vendors, building a timeline for the day-of, and then coordinating the rehearsal, ceremony and reception.
Wedding Planner: the term planner encompasses not only the coordination leading up to the wedding, but the actual planning of venue, vendors and details in the one year+ leading up to the wedding. A Wedding Planner will help attend venue/vendor meetings, assist in determining and sticking to the budget, as well as all of the coordination aspects that a Wedding Coordinator would otherwise do. For discerning clients who have demanding careers or personal lives, a Wedding Planner is preferred to a Wedding Coordinator.
Event Designer: the role of an Event Designer, or Wedding Designer, is purely aesthetic. Their job is to ensure that your event not only looks pretty, but that the overall atmosphere and ambiance of your event is cohesive, stylish, unique, personal and inviting.
Many Wedding and Event Planners specialize in one or two of the above, few specialize in all three. Kelsi Elizabeth Events specializes in all three of the above. Coming from a background and education in interior design, as well as extensive experience working for both a luxury 4-star hotel and also a food and beverage wedding venue, I can confidently offer services in and say that I specialize in all of the above. In my future posts I will be sharing my feedback from my perspective as a Wedding Coordinator, Wedding Planner and a Wedding Designer.
I am SO excited to include you all on this journey, and please do not hesitate to reach out if you are interested in my services or have any questions at all! I am always happy to help! 🤗