BLOGS How to plan a wedding: the ultimate checklist for brides-to-be

May 3, 2020
How to plan a wedding: the ultimate checklist for brides-to-be

By Chloe Best

Source: HelloMagazine

So you’ve just got engaged? Congratulations! Now is an incredibly exciting time, and the coronavirus lockdown means you have plenty of time to plan. Here, our wedding timeline will give you advice on everything from setting the date to finding the perfect wedding venue and deciding on a theme – starting 12 months in advance. (We will assume that you will host your nuptials once the coronavirus pandemic has passed and you are able to invite guests, but of course there is always the option to have a virtual ceremony if you’d rather not wait.)

Budget is a huge factor when wedding planning, and should be one of the first things you think about, so you know roughly how much you can allocate to everything from the venue to the dress and the catering.


Follow our handy wedding planning timeline in the countdown to your big day

Once you’ve found and booked your ceremony and reception venues, you can start booking suppliers, including your DJ or band, photographers, and caterer if there isn’t one at your venue. Writing your guest list and starting to notify invitees about your wedding date should also be high on your agenda, so everybody knows to keep the date free. This will also give your guests something major to look forward to after the isolation period.

After the main things are booked, you can start thinking about wedding outfits for yourselves and the rest of the wedding party. Then enjoy a break from wedding planning by browsing for honeymoon inspiration and decide where you can go to unwind once it’s all over, and once travel restrictions are lifted following the coronavirus pandemic. From hair and makeuptrials to the seating plan and wedding breakfast menu, there will be lots to sort out as your wedding day approaches, but our handy printable checklist will help you to stay organised and prioritise what needs to be done when. Good luck!

12 months to go

  • Announce your engagement!
  • Book the church or civil ceremony venue
  • Book reception venue
  • Book registrar if civil ceremony
  • Start looking around for gown inspirations
  • Think about possible venues and themes

11 months to go

  • Work out your wedding budget
  • Compose your guest list
  • Visit bridal stores to look at and try on gowns
  • Book caterer
  • Book DJ or band
  • Book photographer
  • Book lighting and sound (we recommend Luminaire Events)

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BLOGS Event planning during COVID-19: Remember 4 keys to success

May 3, 2020
Event planning during COVID-19: Remember 4 keys to success

By Anita Feiner

Source: roi-nj

Pivot! A few weeks ago, the only thing the word “pivot” evoked in my mind was a scene from the “Friends” episode where Ross, Chandler and Rachel were moving a couch up a too-tight stairwell.

Today, under cloud of the coronavirus, the term takes on a whole new meaning. In business, as well as our personal lives, we all find ourselves in a series of pivots to a new normal. But, just as Ross learned that his well-laid-out plan wasn’t working as well as he thought it should, so, too, are our business plans and, particularly, our plans for events.

One thing that binds all event planners together is that we are organizers. I don’t know any event planner who doesn’t live by the five P’s — “Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance.” Maybe that is why we are so stymied right now. We are simultaneously planning for every scenario. Maybe we should add that other “P”: pivot.

That’s what many of us who had spring events on the calendar found ourselves doing. It was March 12 when I needed to pivot on an April 4 gala I managed. There was a contract with the venue, invitations were mailed and sponsorships were received. While I couldn’t go forward with an in-person event, I could and did negotiate a credit for 2021 with the venue, I called each contributor to explain the situation and request that they allow my agency to retain the contribution and I went online with a portion of the event.

Planners of summer events are faced with the decision to cancel, reschedule for later in the year … or, many of those with in-person galas, award banquets, marathons and other events will attempt to find ways to maintain the spirit of the event by conducting virtual events via Zoom or other platforms.

In our current environment, planners of fall and winter events may choose to move forward with scheduling, under the assumption that restrictions will be lifted. In the spring, we didn’t have a choice about moving forward once “stay at home” orders went into effect. One thing is certain: These planners will have to get creative to adapt portions of their event to attendance limits, social distancing requirements and whatever other guidelines that may be a part of our future for quite some time to come.

Regardless of the path event planners ultimately take under the veil of COVID-19, be sure to incorporate these four steps in the process:

  1. Develop a plan

Set a timetable of action items to achieve by certain deadlines. Assuming you already have contracts in place, pay close attention to when deposits are due and be hypervigilant of changes in the COVID-19 landscape as they relate to those due dates. If you haven’t entered into contracts yet, consult legal counsel about language to include to protect your organization in case of cancellation. In these changing times, it would be wise to prepare for Plan B and possibly Plan C, as well.

  1. Overcommunicate

Communicate with attendees, prospects, sponsors, stakeholders and community. We are a generation accustomed to the 24-hour news cycle where transparency is expected. Utilize social media, email and even snail mail if that is your traditional means of communication to spread the word about how you are moving forward with your event. While news releases may not be advisable at this time, there are self-publish sites available that are growing in popularity, which may be useful for these efforts.

  1. Define health and safety measures

Regardless of how many events you have planned before, your next one is certain to be different. The health and safety of your guests, staff, constituency and the greater community depend upon getting this right. Events that never utilized preregistration may need to require it to minimize crowds at registration kiosks. The room that comfortably holds 500 at tables of 10 may not be adequate for tables of six, and what about buffets? Will there ever be buffets again?

  1. Demonstrate the importance of your objective

There are reasons why events are held. If you decide to move forward with yours, remind and demonstrate to your constituency why they are there. If you decide to go in another direction, demonstrate why not holding the event is of benefit.

Whatever road you take, it is imperative to move forward with great flexibility. Another often-heard word these days is “fluid.” Let’s face it, none of us can truly predict future stay-at-home guidelines, social distancing pronouncements or the direction of the curve in the coming months. Add to that the even more unpredictable confidence of prospective attendees to venture out and join large groups even when the all-clear is given. Fluidity in planning will be crucial to achieving the goals of any event, because, in the end, the goal is the final destination and the event is only the vehicle by which to reach that destination.

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