5 Common Things Couples Forget To Do As Their Wedding Day Approaches

Planning a wedding is no joke. Some people go as far as to say that it can feel like a full-time job on top of your regular job and other everyday responsibilities. Wedding planning takes a lot of energy, brainpower, and time.

Even the most organized couples forget things as the day approaches. It’s almost impossible to do everything perfectly – and that’s totally okay! Remember the reason for the celebration and embrace the process all the way to the altar, even when you hit a few bumps (or potholes) along the way.

Here is a list of some common things that couples overlook or forget as they approach their big day:

Hire or Designate a Point of Contact

No, the day-of point of contact cannot be you. I know, I know. You’ve planned the whole wedding, you have all the answers, and you’ll have your phone with you anyway, so you can just answer and handle being the contact for the day.

PLEASE, NO! If we could only give one single piece of advice to couples it would be to have a day-of point of contact. We know it sounds easy to just pick up the phone while you’re getting your curls pinned up, but the reality is when issues arise on your wedding day, it’s not that glamorous.

While a professional, hired wedding coordinator/planner is HIGHLY recommended, if this isn’t a possibility for you, at the very least find a friend or family member who is not in the bridal party to be the point of contact for you. While they may not be able to foresee or handle the day as well as a skilled professional could, they will be able to at least intercept some of the phone calls (and stress) for you.

Select a Family Member Herder for Portraits

We all have that one uncle (or six) who wanders off or the aunt who always seems to find herself first in line at the cocktail hour bar. However, when you have family portraits to take and only a small window of time to do so, it is important to have everyone standing by (or “on deck”) right after the ceremony. This means Aunt Sally will have to wait for that glass of Chardonnay – don’t worry the bar will still be there when photos are done, I promise.

This is where a wedding coordinator/planner would play a huge factor in moving along the photo process – cause let’s be honest, Aunt Sally isn’t the only one who is ready for the party portion of the evening. With or without a coordinator, we highly recommend asking (in advance) a responsible family member or close family friend who knows who everyone is to be available to herd family members who seem to have gone astray (ahem, check the line at the bar). This will help portraits go as quickly and smoothly as possible. Trust me – you, your family, and your photographer will all thank you.

Bring Your Marriage License

The marriage license isn’t exactly as exciting (or as memorable) as the rings, veil, or DIY reception additions you’ve worked on for months, but it is very important. Make sure you have all the necessary documentation and be sure you are aware of any deadlines for applying for your marriage license.

While not as exciting as selecting your centerpieces, wedding cake tasting or trying on your perfect dress, your marriage license is a huge part of making your union official!

Have Special Items Ready for Photos

Your photographer will most likely ask you for various items to be in the bridal suite for easy access when they arrive so they can get right to capturing the details of your day. A few items that couples sometimes forget are the ones not necessarily needed for the big day, like an invitation set.

When packing for your big day, go ahead and put an invitation set, the rings, bride’s shoes, bride’s jewelry, veil, and any unique/special items (photos of someone who you want to remember, a Bible, etc) in one box/area so the photography team can grab them all at once and get working to get them perfectly documented. Make sure you inform your photography team of any and all specific items and photos you would like from your big day.

Determine Who is Responsible for Your Personal Items

Again, a wedding coordinator is helpful in collecting and packing all of your personal items, décor, etc at the end of your event, however once they collect and pack everything up, they need to know who to give it to.

Make sure to select a responsible friend or family member to collect all your items and get them back to you at a later date. Make sure this person knows of their responsibility in advance, so they know to stick around for the coordinator to give them all of your items. This should eliminate the confusion of where your gifts and personal items end up at the end of the night so you don’t wake up the next morning wondering if someone grabbed your card box or remembered to collect the guest book.

Looking for a wedding planner or day-of coordinator for your big day? We’re here to help! Fill out our contact form HERE to get in touch with us.

How To Make Wedding Portrait Photos Easy

Family photos can be one of the most exhausting parts of a wedding day. You’ve just gone through months of planning and a day of prepping to get down the aisle. Now you have a bunch of portraits to take before you can get to the celebration. Here are some tips to make portrait photos go as smoothly (and quickly!) as possible.


Prepare a list of all desired photo combinations

This is so, so important to not only make sure that the photo process goes as smoothly as possible, but also to ensure you get all of the photos that are important to you. Your wedding day is such a whirlwind, filled with a myriad of emotions and so many things going on around you. Don’t rely on your memory to remember all of the different combinations of people you would like photos of on such a big day.

Make sure you create your photo shot list at least a few weeks out from your big day to give yourself time to remember any combination you may have forgotten. This shot list should have all combinations with the first names of the people in the photos so that your day-of coordinator can call out names to quickly get people into position. Every family dynamic is different, so every portrait list is different. Be sure to give this photo shot list to both your photography team and your wedding coordinator/planner before your big day.

Pro Tip: Arrange the photo combinations in order so that there is the least amount of shuffling of people. Click HERE for an example photo combinations order list.


Make sure everyone involved is aware

There’s nothing worse when taking portraits than having everyone set up and ready to go for a photo and having to wait 10 minutes for Uncle Kurt to be retrieved from cocktail hour. 10 minutes may not sound like a long time, but when you have multiple portraits to get through and have just gotten married, 10 minutes can seem like an eternity. Make sure that everyone who is in any of the portraits knows where to be and when to be there to avoid any unnecessary delays.

Pro Tip: If your family portrait photos are after your ceremony, once the bridal party has made their exit from the ceremony, have your officiant announce that cocktail hour is beginning and for immediate family members to remain in the ceremony space for photos.


Hire a day-of coordinator

A day-of wedding coordinator is invaluable on your wedding day – just ask anyone who has decided to forgo one for their day and has had a venue coordinator no show, the photo booth get in a car accident on their way to the event, or have vendors calling with questions. No matter how big or small your wedding is, every couple should have a day-of coordinator. With all the planning and money you’ve put into this day, I promise it is worth a few extra dollars for your peace of mind on your big day.

Still not convinced you need a day-of coordinator? Read our blog on why you definitely do by clicking HERE.

One of the many ways your day-of coordinator will help with your wedding day is by orchestrating your portrait photos. Your day-of coordinator will call out the names of needed family members/friends in the photos and help arrange them so that your photographer can focus on getting the perfect shot. This helps the process go by much faster and smoother while allowing you and your guests to get back to celebrating as soon as possible!

Example Portrait Shot List

A photo shot list is SO important to ensure you get all the photos you want from your big day. This list will also help the portrait photo process go as smoothly as possible so you can get back to the celebration! The shot list should have all combinations (with the first names of the people in the photos) so that your day-of coordinator can call out names to quickly get people into position for your photographer. Every family dynamic is different, so every portrait list is different. Be sure to give this photo shot list to both your photography team and your wedding coordinator/planner before your big day.

Do your best to arrange the photo combinations in an order so that there is the least amount of shuffling of people. Your wedding planner should be able to help you put your combinations in the best order depending on your particular combinations.

Below is an example photo shot list. Of course, not all of these combinations will apply to every couple and there may be additional combinations you would like to add.
——————————————-
“B” = Bride
“G” = Groom
ie – “B. Mother” = Bride’s Mother
——————————————-

Having trouble viewing the example? CLICK HERE

 After these portrait photos have been taken, the photography team should take photos of the bridal party and bride & groom. If these photos were taken before the ceremony, take the remaining cocktail hour time as an opportunity to soak in a few moments as husband & wife (perhaps take a quick stroll) and possibly have your photography team take a few more candid style shots while you do so.

Need help with your photo shot list or a recommendation for an awesome photography vendor? We’re here to help! Fill out our contact form HERE to get in touch with us.

What Will My Wedding Flowers Cost?

One of the most variable wedding costs is one that surprises many of our couples. It’s an aspect of a wedding that most couples think will be one of the cheaper vendors, but quite often it ends up being the opposite. We’re talking flowers.

Couples typically expect to spend a chunk of their wedding budget on venue, food, and photography/videography. However, beyond that there is often a misconception that the remaining vendors will be smaller in cost. This is generally not the case with flowers. Let’s talk about why.

Flowers are one of the most variable wedding costs you have for your big day. Many people are surprised by this, and often ask for an estimated budget they should expect to spend on flowers. The reality is there are so many factors to consider that floral cost can range drastically. These factors include: flower types, arrangement style, wedding party size, guest count, and more.

Popular flower types (I’m looking at you, peonies) hold a much heftier price tag that others, such as a traditional rose. The arrangement style you choose will determine how many flowers will be needed to achieve the look, which inevitably impacts cost. The wedding party size and guest count also affects your total floral cost. Needing 3 bridesmaids bouquets is more budget friendly than needing 7, as is having 6 reception centerpieces verses 15.

So many factors affect floral cost, so when a couple asks for an estimate on what they should expect to spend on their wedding day flowers, there is no one size fits all answer.

In the age of Pinterest, DIY tutorials, and what I like to call “the simplicity façade,” it is easy to fall under the misconception that flowers will be relatively inexpensive for your wedding day.

PINTEREST

Let’s start with the wonder that is Pinterest. Pinterest is an amazing tool that provides near endless inspiration. I love Pinterest as much as anyone, but be careful not to fall into what we call “The Pinterest Trap.”

In short, “The Pinterest Trap” is when a couple gets so attached to a specific photo that they insist on having it exactly recreated for their big day. This can lead to a few problems, but one of them is the misconception that because it’s on Pinterest means its achievable for everyone. The reality is quite a few of the images showcased on Pinterest come at a high price tag – one that isn’t friendly to those on a budget.

So before you get your heart set on the dramatic arch with drapery, cascading greenery, and large amounts of unique flower varieties, keep in mind that an exact replica could take up a large chunk of budget, and greatly increase your floral cost for the big day.

Click here to read our full blog post on “The Pinterest Trap” to learn what it is and how it could affect your big day.

Do-It-Yourself

Okay, I want to quickly preface this by saying that I don’t recommend doing your own floral arrangements for your big day. There are a few reasons for this, but the main (and most important) one is that this is YOUR day. This is one of the biggest days of your life. You don’t want to spend the days leading up to it overwhelmed and stressed with a long list of to-dos that include creating 10 centerpieces, 5 bouquets, etc, etc. There will be minor things that come up in the days before the wedding, you want to have your to-do list as clear as possible to accommodate for any unforeseen things that arise and more importantly to enjoy every moment – you’ve earned it!

DIY has become increasingly popular for many reasons. One reason is that its just plain fun to do certain projects, especially for creative, artsy personalities. DIY wedding favors? YES! Invite the girls over, grab a bottle of Rose, and get to filling burlap bags with coffee beans. DIY floral arrangements for your big day? Trade in the stress and thorn pokes for a pre-wedding brunch, spa day or a chill hang out with your friends and family who are in town to celebrate with you!

There is often a strong belief that because you do-it-yourself that it saves money. This is not always true! My husband and sister can both attest to this -with many, many examples to back them up. Is it possible to save money by DIY-ing? Yes, of course. But it is best to get quotes from professional vendors and then look up all the costs of product you will spend to do it yourself to compare.

With DIY, it is important to remember to consider your time and stress! There have been so many times where brides have taken on DIY projects in an attempt to save a few hundred dollars-, and they end up with unforeseen costs, spending hours of their time, and overwhelmed with stress to save a small amount. Make sure to remember your time is valuable, and you don’t want to end up so stressed that the planning of your big day becomes something you look back on in disdain.

The Simplicity Facade

Ahh “the simplicity façade.” The popularity of the barn and farmhouse style wedding has been at a peak over the last few years. Mason jars, burlap, and baby’s breath – Oh my! Here are some debunks for three of the most common misconceptions couples have about keeping costs low for their flowers.

Misconception #1: “We don’t want to spend a lot of money on flowers, and since we like the simple style it’s perfect.”

Reality: Very few flower arrangements are actually considered “simple.” Often times brides say they want simple flowers, but their inspiration photos are anything but simple. Unless you are wanting baby’s breath bouquets and mason jars filled with a few stems and sprigs of baby’s breath as your centerpieces, the style you are wanting is most likely not as simple as you think.

Misconception #2: “We don’t need a ton of flowers. We want mostly greenery so it should lower flower costs.”

Reality: Greenery has increased in popularity as the garden style has hit a peak in the wedding industry. Couples often feel that because greenery is often cheaper to purchase means that using greenery will be cheaper than using flowers. While this can be true, when using greenery to create centerpieces or an arch embellishment, you need more greenery to achieve a look than you would need in flowers. Also, greenery styles typically include a cascading element, which requires a decent amount of product and skilled labor to create. While greenery can be more cost effective than using large amounts of flowers, this generally doesn’t apply to the more popular images you most likely are inspired by on social media and Pinterest.

Misconception #3: “We’re just going to use silk flowers to cut down on costs since flowers will wilt and die anyway. This will keep it simple.”

Reality: This is a very popular misconception. Silk or faux flowers do not typically provide any savings in cost. I know what you’re thinking – that can’t be right! We’re getting fake flowers, giving up having real flowers, AND not saving any money? That makes no sense. What is the benefit of purchasing silk flowers then? Why would anyone use them?

While you may save some on labor costs since you will be creating the faux flower arrangements on your own, silk or faux flowers still don’t typically offer significant savings. The benefit to using these alternatives to fresh flowers is the value of the faux flowers post event. Since they don’t wilt or die, you can either save them as mementos or sell them on a resale group or site to make some of your money back. So while you don’t receive an immediate savings, if you put in the effort and are able to sell them to another bride or interested buyer, you could recoup some of the money through reselling them.

Flowers are one of the most complex components of a wedding day, and pricing can (and typically does!) reflect this. However, there are so many amazing florists in the industry who will work with you on creating gorgeous florals for your big day while respecting your budget.

Need recommendations for awesome florists or other vendors? We’re here to help!

Fill out the contact form HERE to chat with us

The Pinterest Trap

Ahh Pinterest – is there anything greater than seemingly endless inspiration on one, easy-to-use platform?

I mean where else can I find wedding inspiration, how to organize my kitchen cabinets, AND how to make 20 freezer to crockpot meals in under an hour all in one convenient location– Am I right?! I love Pinterest as much as anyone, but be careful to not fall into what I call “The Pinterest Trap.”

“What’s the Pinterest trap?” – Glad you asked!

The Pinterest Trap is when you get so attached to a specific picture (or fifteen) that you want it (or them) exactly recreated for your big day.

Inspiration is essential for wedding planning. It makes it fun and exciting and helps you visualize the different components of your big day. But when you get too attached to a very specific photo or idea it can pose a few problems.

Problem #1: On a Budget

Okay, so I hope I’m not ruining the magic of Pinterest for anyone here (like touring Disney underground and seeing the characters walking around), but wedding ideas you see on Pinterest are generally not cost effective to someone on a budget.

I know it’s disappointing, but that grand, cascading ceremony arch covered in lush greenery, garden roses, and peonies may not be in your budget ballpark (I know it certainly wasn’t in mine). So when brides get their hearts set on an exact photo, it can lead to disappointment when they discover that single arch would forfeit their entire floral and videography budget for their big day.

I never want a couple to be disappointed with any aspect of their big day. Sometimes this is inevitable, but when it’s not I like to make sure we can avoid it. Budget often leads to disappointment – no bride wants to be daydreaming about her big day to be shocked back to reality by the high price tag. A big way to avoid this is to make sure to not get your heart set on exact images or items from a wedding you’ve seen photos of on social media or Pinterest. You most likely don’t have the same exact budget as the Pinterest wedding you’re drooling over– but good news! You don’t have the same exact personality, family or fiancé either. You are unique and your wedding day should be too!

Problem #2: Lack of Uniqueness

Every single person on earth has a unique fingerprint, iris, and DNA code. That’s one of the things that makes the world such an adventure! There is so much variety among us, and with it so many different personalities, styles, and ways of doing things. I’m constantly amazed when I think that no two wedding days are exactly the same – It is my absolute favorite part of my job!

I can tell you from experience that the best weddings are the ones that stay true to the couple being celebrated. As a couple you are unique, so your wedding should be too!

Don’t get trapped into specific styles simply because they are trending. Similarly, try not to get wrapped up in having aspects of your wedding perfectly match a photo you saved to your phone from your favorite Instagram personality. Let the photos you love inspire you, but make it your own in some way by adding in special touches that are specific to you two as a couple. After all, your big day is to celebrate the two of you – the unique, wonderful, one-of-a-kind couple you are!

Problem #3: Stifles Vendor Creativity

As the strong Type A personality and slight micromanager that I am, (I just know my sweet husband is chuckling at my usage of “slight” right there – just go with it honey), it pains me slightly to say this, but giving exact photos to vendors and wanting them to execute the same image exactly can often stifle creativity.

When I planned my wedding over 5 years ago, I was so nervous and had everything so planned out that I told each vendor exactly what I was looking for, including extensive emails, mock up drawings and all. This was a mistake (cue husband laughing, again). Now don’t get me wrong, you need to be thorough in your vendor choices and style selection for your big day. Having a wedding planner can help ensure expectations between you and your vendors are clear so everyone is on the same page without going over the top with micromanaging the awesome professionals you have hired.

It’s one thing to provide inspiration photos to show your vendors the style you like and the overall vision you have for your big day. It’s a totally different thing to insist vendors recreate someone else’s work entirely.

Think of vendors as artists (which we are)! Each vendor has a unique work method and style. You would never ask a professional artist to recreate a different artist’s masterpiece exactly, so why would you ask a vendor you’ve hired to recreate someone else’s work down to the last detail.

Be sure to do extensive research before selecting and booking your specific vendors to make sure their style blends with the specific style and feel you want for your big day, then talk with them about what you like (and dislike), and show them photos for inspiration – not recreation.

I can almost guarantee that any good vendor will do better work when given room for their creativity and unique style to shine through, than when they are attempting to recreate someone else’s work.

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Looking for a planner to help with your big day? Need help finding some amazing vendors to bring your vision to life? We’re here to help!
Fill out the contact form HERE to chat with us


*I want to be clear, Pinterest is absolutely amazing – It is hands down my favorite source for inspiration and endless scrolling. I mean, who needs sleep at 2am – right?

This article is to simply express that Pinterest is best used as inspiration to help you discover your wedding day style so that you can design a one-of-a-kind day that is true to who you and your fiancé are together. Stick to who you are and I have no doubt your day will be absolutely amazing – and unique!

 

 

Do I really need a wedding coordinator?

Weddings are expensive – I get it. The budget can spiral out of control so quickly that hiring another vendor automatically translates to dollar signs in your head. I totally understand.

While I would love to tell you that you don’t actually need a wedding coordinator for your big day and save you the extra money, let me debunk the top 3 most common arguments I am given by couples who think a wedding coordinator is unnecessary or not worth the extra expense.

Argument Number One

I planned my whole wedding already so why would I hire a wedding planner?”

Answer: Okay, so there is a big difference between having a wedding planner and a wedding coordinator for your big day. Most vendors provide both options, however the service that it entails is very different, so lets break down the differences really quick:

A wedding planner helps you make vendor decisions, tour venues, helps with your budget allocation, and helps you for a longer period of time before your big day. A wedding planner is typically hired closer to the start of your wedding planning journey.

A wedding coordinator is typically hired closer to your actual wedding date (many vendors do not start the process until 2 months or less before the event). With a wedding coordinator, you plan your entire wedding, make every decision, research and select your vendors, and communicate with vendors in regards to their services, timeline, etc. Then, on the day of your wedding the wedding coordinator applies all the decisions you’ve made and make sure every vendor is appropriately performing their duties as you have contracted them.

Now that we’ve briefly gone over the difference between the two, let’s go back to the original question. If you’ve already planned your wedding and selected all your vendors, you would most likely be looking at hiring a wedding coordinator to execute the beautiful day you’ve designed.

Argument Number Two

Why would I pay someone to make sure my vendors do what I’ve already paid each of them to do?”

Answer: As much as I wish this wasn’t true, the reality is that people don’t always do what they say they are going to do and mistakes often happen. So while I’d love to be able to tell you that you should save the money and everything will work out fine, I wouldn’t feel right recommending that on such a significant day.

The best way I have found to explain this is that you need to consider your wedding coordinator as your wedding day insurance. You’ve spent so much time and money on your big day that it would be disappointing for something(s) to go wrong and it not be fixed because you didn’t spend the extra money to have someone there to watch out for and protect your day.

When you have a coordinator, you have someone on site throughout the day watching out for your best interest while you (and your loved ones) enjoy getting ready and preparing for one of the biggest days of your life. So when the photo booth vendor gets into a car accident or the table linens are wrinkled or when the florist is running late you don’t get a phone call from them and then are frantic trying to find a solution (or find out upon entering your reception). Instead, you have someone who is looking out for you and solving problems before you even know they exist. So while your coordinator is rearranging the timeline with the photo booth company, sending back the linens to be ironed, and calling the florist when they are running behind to confirm they are on their way, you’re having your hair curled, laughing with your bridesmaids and sipping your mimosa.

 

Argument Number Three

My venue comes with a day-of coordinator so why would I waste money and hire another one?”

Answer: Again, I wish I could say, “If your venue comes with a coordinator you are good to go!” But I can’t. While it is great to have a venue that comes with a coordinator, a venue coordinator and a personal coordinator typically take on very different roles on the day of your wedding.

While there are some exceptions, a venue coordinator typically watches out for the venue’s responsibilities, such as setup, wait staff, and catering. A personal coordinator takes care of all your vendors, creates and follows your timeline for the day, watches out for you personal style and vision, and handles any issues that arrive in regards to style, vendors, or changes. A good personal coordinator is only worried about making sure your vision comes to life – so if the centerpieces show up and are the wrong ones or there is something about the reception space that feels empty, your personal coordinator will step in and make the decision he/she feels you would make if you were there to make it. With a personal coordinator you have someone who will stand up for and vouch for you so you don’t have to have a single worry about whether your day will come together as you hoped – you have a guarantee.

Have more questions about wedding planning or coordinating services? Feel free to reach out by emailing us at christine@oliveandivoryevents.com or filling out a message form on our contact page. We’d love to chat with you!

 

5 Favors You Can Buy on Amazon

Okay, planning a wedding can be overwhelming. There are so many decisions to make – from what flavor cake to order, what style dress is right for you, where Aunt Judy should be seated for the reception…the decisions you have to make never seem to end!

Wedding favors are a great way to say thank you to your guests for taking the time to celebrate with you on such a special day. We love wedding favors that can be used beyond the night and don’t end up at the bottom of a purse or the floor of the car a few days later (I’m talking about you – old fashioned mini bubbles).

When you feel like you can’t make any more decisions, choosing what favors to order isn’t always a fun task. Let us help with these 5 wedding favors you can purchase on Amazon (combining our love of weddings and Amazon purchasing in one)!

 

These beautiful gold bottle openers look gorgeous placed on top of a folded napkin on each of your guest’s plates.
Cheers!

Cheers Antique Gold Bottle Openers

 

These heart wine bottle stoppers are favors that make
a beautiful accent to your guest tables and can be used by
guests long after you run through your sparkler exit!

Heart Wine Bottle Stoppers

 

Having a photo booth at your reception?
Place these photo booth frame magnets at each guest’s seat filled with a sweet thank you note that they can
replace with a photo of them to remember the night!

Photo Booth Frame Magnets

These key bottle openers are beautiful, and have a
romantic, vintage style. These can be used in place
of place cards and also as favors!
Bonus: these can create a stunning favor/place card display!

Vintage Key Bottle Openers

These wood slices have a simple, rustic feel and can be used as place cards and photo holders. Pair with a polaroid picture station for guests to replace their name with a photo for a perfect
gift and memento of the night!

Rustic Wood Tree Slice Place Card Holders

Click on the link to purchase through Amazon

All-Inclusive or DIY

One of the first questions you should answer (of course, after answering “Yes!” to your (now) fiance), is the question of whether or not you want to have your wedding at an all-inclusive venue or not.

There are pros and cons to both options and a lot to consider. Here are a few points to consider when trying to choose which style venue will fit you best.

  • Are you a bride that would prefer a more traditional venue, such as a hotel ballroom?
  • Are you a bride that does not have a preference on details such as silverware color, plate color, linens, etc?
  • Do you consider yourself a “go with the flow” bride when it comes to the specific decor details of your big day?

If you answered yes to the questions above, an all-inclusive venue seems to be a good fit for your big day!

  • Do you want to have control over every aspect of your wedding, including color of linens, style of chairs, type of silverware, etc?
  • Do you have a very specific style and vision that you do not want to stray from down to the smallest details?
  • Are you willing to work and coordinate with many different vendors in order to achieve the specific vision for your big day?

If you responded “yes” to any one of these questions above, a venue that allows for complete personalization would be best for you.

 

Need some more help to decide? Take a look at the pros and cons list below!

Still not sure what to do? We’re here to help!

Call us at (561) 613-3456 or shoot us an e-mail at christine@oliveandivoryevents.com
to let us know how we can help you plan your big day!

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