Ready to take the walk down the aisle? Before you say “I do,” make sure you are doing everything you can to make that day special. In this guide, you will find tips and advice from the region’s most experienced wedding planners and coordinators.
Why not! Couples across the Mid-Atlantic region choose this region for their destination wedding here in Lancaster, York, Hershey, and throughout Central PA.
Everyone has a reason for holding their wedding here: the quaint charm of our cities & towns, the gorgeous venues, and the ease of traveling from anywhere in the eastern United States.
Whether you choose to get married in a rustic barn, preserved historical building, or outdoors with a sweeping countryside vista, you are making a good choice by holding your wedding here.
We interviewed some of the top wedding and event planners in the region to get their little-known tips and secrets to planning your wedding.
This might be a no-brainer for some, but creating – and sticking to – a budget is crucial for planning your wedding. According to Renee from Events by Renee,
“Have a budget in mind when you start planning. It is your roadmap and will keep you on track financially”
The team from Your Perfect Day also recommends tracking your spending for the added benefit of feeling good after your wedding because you stuck to your budget. According to them,
“Track your event finances in a spreadsheet and budget out intended spending. Every single purchase that goes towards your event should be documented in that file. At the end of your event, you’ll be able to know exactly how much you spent and find comfort in knowing that you stayed on budget.”
While budgeting is crucial, don’t make every decision on price alone. For example, if you are comparing two vendors, what they are offering may not be the same; don’t fall in to the trap of just choosing the lowest price, but rather include other factors such as ease to work with, customer service, and time to set up or tear down.
Lori from The Perfect Plan by Lori Hemphill gives an example when it comes to choosing a caterer:
“When hiring a caterer, know the difference between just providing the buffet and a ‘full-service’ caterer. The former just comes in and sets up the buffet with minimal clearing of tables if any and leaves as soon as buffet is done and cleared off. May possibly help with cake cutting. You or someone you hire are responsible to set your tables and clean up. That is all fine if you have help and to meet your budget.
A full-service caterer does it all: sets your tables with linens, water glasses, china & flatware, usually not disposable but can be. They stay for full food service, cutting and serving your cake, pouring champagne, provides bartenders, clearing of tables to full clean up at the end of the night and take trash if not permitted to discard at the venue.
So, in the quoted price per person for food, you are not always comparing apples to apples. Folks think they are getting a great price, but they need to realize what is included or not.”
If the last few years have taught us anything, it is that we need to plan for anything – especially when it comes to your wedding. Not only do you need to plan for the day, you need to be prepared for weather, cancellations, and other things that can threaten or even cancel the wedding.
That’s why the team at Simple Soiree suggest investing in wedding insurance. This small investment can give you peace of mind that you are financially protected against many unforeseen circumstances.
Depending on where you hold your ceremony or reception, you may need to plan for even more things – like where guests will wash hands or use the restroom. A popular option for outdoor weddings in Lancaster County is luxury restroom trailers – providing comfortable, elegant restroom facilities to match the importance of the day.
One of the beautiful things of working in the wedding industry is seeing how each couple shapes the ceremony and festivities. Gillian from Events by Gillian encourages couples to create a unique, memorable day that matches your personality, style, and dreams:
“A wedding day should reflect the couple. Whether it’s their favorite food, drinks, music, etc, it should feel like it is them. A couple’s wedding should not feel like it is something they are not. If a couple’s favorite food is tacos and margaritas, then they should have a taco bar and margaritas! Not a sit-down traditional meal.”
There are a lot of benefits in hiring a professional wedding planner. For starters, they come with years (or even decades) of hard-earned experience, while this might be your very first time planning a wedding. This experience is invaluable in knowing who to call, how much something should cost, or what to do when something goes wrong.
Second, they can shoulder the burden of planning. Depending on your wedding’s location, size, and grandeur, planning it might amount to a full-time job. If you don’t have time available to dedicate to planning, work with someone who does.
Third, they can be the go-to person on your wedding day, so you can simply be present and enjoy your day. According to WanderLust Weddings and Events,
“Hire a professional to help with set up and execution on the day of the event. It’s always helpful to have a day-of coordinator on-site to put out any behind-the-scenes fires and keep the event running smooth and seamless.”
The team at Simple Soiree echoes the advice to delegate so you can better enjoy your day:
“Be fully present on your wedding day. Soak up every minute with your family and friends.”
Thank you to all the wedding coordinators and planners who contributed. Want to provide a tip? Contact us to find out how.