Wedding planning can be fun but also really stressful. To help alleviate the stress, some couples turn to a planner for assistance. There are, however, two misconceptions that I hear most often as a planner, so I want to touch on them.
Misconception #1: “I won’t be involved with the planning if I hire a planner.”
That is not true in the least bit! In fact, often times you’ll find that planners’ packages vary widely so we can be as involved as much or as little as you want us to be. We know this is YOUR day and we simply act as an advocate for and assistant to you to make your dream wedding come to life.
Misconception #2: “My venue comes with a coordinator, so I don’t need an outside planner.”
A venue coordinator and a wedding planner or coordinator are not one and the same and do not have the same responsibilities. The venue coordinators handle things that have to do specifically with the venue. For example, they may manage the venue’s staff, ensure that all rules for the venue are being followed, and help guide vendor load-in and load-out.
On the other hand, wedding planners have a broader responsibility. Weeks and even months before the wedding, a planner may be involved with setting up a budget; organizing contracts and payments; and creating a master timeline for the rehearsal, the ceremony, and the reception, all which may be at different locations. During the ceremony and reception, a planner keeps vendors informed and on track with what’s coming next, and they handle any issue that arises. For example, a wedding planner may help pin the bustle of your dress back together if a guest steps on it or make sure your parents are present when the cake is being cut.
I’ve heard someone put it this way before: A venue coordinator’s priority is the venue (as it should be), and a wedding planner’s priority is the bride and groom.
Article by Amanda Davis, Owner & Lead Wedding Planner at Embrace the Day Events, a wedding & event planning company based in Dallas, TX. Embrace the Day Events knows first-hand how special and important your wedding day is, so we work hard to ensure that the planning process are not only stress-free, but fun so that you can embrace each and every moment!
Photo by Allen Tsai Photography
Kristin and Blake got married at Mitas Hill Vineyard in McKinney on March 14. We worked with a great team of vendors including Haute Floral, Each & Every Detail, Makeup by Wendy Zerrudo and Sweet Art Bakery. They are a fun couple who truly love each other, which is so evident in these awesome photos by Christina Truelove Photography.
Where should I show my slideshow?
On your wedding weekend, there will probably be a few different opportunities to share your favorite photos, such as:
- at the rehearsal dinner
- during the reception cocktail hour (looped)
- during dinner (played once)
- during your special dances
A few side notes: Showing it at the rehearsal dinner is nice; however, keep in mind that many restaurants may not have a screen and projector available (or sound equipment). Also, if you have a lot of pictures to show (more than 25-50), you will probably want to consider letting the slideshow play in the background while people are mingling and having cocktails. I’ll talk about this more later.
What about a slideshow to go with my first dance?
This is a great idea, and it also works for other special dances, too, like a father/daughter dance. What’s nice about these is that you only need 2-3 dozen pictures to accompany your song, and you don’t need to include the music with the slideshow. Your DJ can play the song from his sound system while the slideshow plays, which is much easier than trying to connect the video player to the sound system.
How long should my slideshow be?
Keep it short! If you’ve ever had to sit through a very long slideshow, I’m sure you found yourself getting bored after the first few minutes. As a guideline, try to go no longer than 3-5 minutes to keep people’s attention. If the slideshow will be playing in the background during cocktails or dinner, the length isn’t as important, since you aren’t trying to get everyone to watch it from start to finish.
How many pictures will I need?
On average, you’ll probably want to keep each picture on the screen for about five seconds, which means you can show 12 pictures each minute. Windows Movie Maker, for example, by default will display a photo for five seconds after dragging it onto your video timeline.
How do I create a slideshow?
If you don’t have someone creating it for you, I have posted links to some simple tutorials for both Windows and Mac users on this page.
Get started on yours today!
Slideshows can really add a lot to the enjoyment of your rehearsal dinner or reception, yet often times they are the last thing on the “to do” list. If you keep it simple and short (as you should), creating one shouldn’t be too difficult or time consuming. But don’t leave it until the very end, because I’ve often times seen them get “scrapped.”
Get started by making a folder on your computer labeled “Wedding Slideshow,” and start copying your special pictures into the folder today. In fact, you probably already have a bunch on your hard drive right now. Then when you are ready to put it together, your photos will all be in one place, making it easy and fast to create the perfect slideshow.
McKinney has some great, historical spots for weddings, and this was the first time I had played at Heard Craig Hall. One of my favorite features is the large white pillars around the room, which looked incredible with uplighting. Austin wedding photographer Geoff Duncan did an outstanding job with the photos!
Jason & Meredith had originally planned on having their reception outdoors at Chestnut Square, which is also a really neat spot; however, their guest count had gotten larger than they anticipated, and the weather was forecasted to be pretty warm. They still had the ceremony in the chapel at Chestnut Square, but then everyone headed to Heard Craig for the party!
Another unique feature of the hall is the large stage, which is what they usually use for the dance floor. In one of our early meetings, Meredith had reservations about whether people would want to walk up the steps and onto the stage for dancing, and admittedly, I did, too. Thankfully her friends and family were not shy at all, and they had no problem making their way onto the large stage, which is where I set up the speakers and dance floor lighting, as well as a few uplights along the back curtains. The rest of the DJ equipment was set up on the main floor next to the stage.
Musically, Jason & Meredith asked me to mix in some of their favorite indie pop & rock, along with some mainstream favorites and classics. Below is their wedding playlist, which includes several requests from their guests, too. Please note that this is what was actually played at their wedding.
* from Jason & Meredith’s request list
** requested by one of their guests
Norah Jones - Come Away With Me 
Dave Matthews Band - You And Me (Radio Edit) 
Weepies - Somebody Loved 
Ray LaMontagne - You Are The Best Thing 
David Gray - This Years Love (Strings Remix) 
Goo Goo Dolls - Iris (Edit) 
John Mayer - 3x5 
Ingrid Michaelson - The Way I Am 
Coldplay - Clocks (Edit) 
Lifehouse - You And Me 
Norah Jones - Don't Know Why 
Jason Mraz & Colbie Caillat - Lucky 
Feist - Mushaboom *
Beatles - All You Need Is Love (mono single version) 
Fisher - L-O-V-E 
Coldplay - Til Kingdom Come 
Cat Power - Sea of Love *
Barry Louis Polisar - All I Want Is You (from “Juno”) *
Mae - The Ocean *
Amy Winehouse - Someone to Watch Over *
Death Cab For Cutie - I Will Follow You Into The Dark *
Ella Fitzgerald - Blue Skies *
Passion Pit - Sleepyhead *
Goo Goo Dolls - Black Balloon (Radio Remix) *
Black Keys - You’re the One *
Billie Holiday - Blue Moon *
Imogen Heap - Can’t Take It In *
Feist - 1234 (Radio Version) 
Spill Canvas - Valiant *
Copeland - Priceless *
Ella Fitzgerald - Tea For Two *
Mae - Somewhere *
Iron & Wine - Such Great Heights *
David Gray - Babylon (Radio Mix) 
Beatles - In My Life (first dance edit) *
Norah Jones - Seven Years (father-daughter edit) *
Open Dancing Begins
Etta James - At Last **
Louis Armstrong - What A Wonderful World 
Mr C The Slide Man - Cha Cha Slide (Radio Edit) **
Temptations - Ain't Too Proud To Beg (mono) 
Beatles - Twist And Shout (mono) 
Michael Jackson - Thriller (promo single version) **
Bob Kames - The Chicken Dance *
(I don’t normally play this song, but there was a special story behind it for Meredith and her parents.)
Frankie Yankovic & His Yanks - Beer Barrel Polka**
George Strait - Amarillo By Morning 
Why Don't We Just Dance - Josh Turner 
Just for Fun
Texas Tech - Fight Raiders, Fight (groom’s school)
The University of Texas Longhorn Band - The Eyes of Texas (bride’s school)
(There were two groom’s cakes: one with the Texas Tech logo and one with the UT logo.)
James Taylor - How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) *
Average White Band - Cut The Cake (single version) **
George Strait - I Cross My Heart 
Cupid - Cupid Shuffle (extended) **
Van Morrison - Brown Eyed Girl **
LMFAO - Party Rock Anthem (Updated Radio Edit) 
Flo Rida - Low (New Radio Mix) 
Dixie Cups - Chapel Of Love (mono) *
Flo Rida - Right Round (Single Version) *
Eric Clapton - Wonderful Tonight (single version) 
Michael Jackson - Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough (promo single version) 
Tone Loc - Wild Thing 
Black Eyed Peas - I Gotta Feeling (Radio Edit) **
Neil Diamond - Sweet Caroline **
Randy Travis - Forever And Ever, Amen 
Roy Orbison - Oh, Pretty Woman (mono single version) 
KC & The Sunshine Band - Boogie Shoes **
Run-DMC - It’s Tricky 
Taio Cruz - Dynamite 
Natalie Cole with Nat King Cole - Unforgettable **
Imogen Heap - Goodnight and Go *