The Best Advice From a Wedding Planner


As wedding season picks up, we thought it would be great to share some of Kelly's favorite tips and event planning advice. With over ten years of wedding and events under her belt, it's safe to say, she's your go to gal for tips and tricks. Saving money, achieving your look, and some of the industry's best resources, learn from what she has to say below:

Great advice from one of wine country's top wedding planners | [photo by KT Merry]

What are some of your favorite apps and technological resources for wedding planning?

I love AllSeated, because it allows event planners to easily create diagrams for event spaces. I also love EventBrite; it's great for non-profit and corporate events. It takes out the process of money handling, and deposits the money into your account after the event is over, which is a huge headache saver. Their event management page is a great resource, I love its customization platform. Dropbox and Google Docs are also a great way to stay organized and share information with everyone involved. One of my favorite pieces of technology is my phone, but where would I be without it? I hate when it dies - I love my mophie, which lets me charge my phone at hyperspeed and up to 8 times in one day. It's amazing!

Great advice from one of wine country's top wedding planners | [photo by KT Merry]

What are some of your favorite tips for selecting color schemes? 

If someone doesn't have any idea of their color palette, I ask them a set of questions about what appeals to them and how they live their life; I show them photos of outfits and home interiors to get an idea of their design aesthetic. I also take the venue into account, because sometimes certain colors won't look appropriate at the venue, so we have to come up with a great palette that works for the venue. 

Can you give us some budgeting advice? 

I think it's so important to have a planner because they will analyze your budget, and make recommendations on how to disperse & prioritize your budget to maximize your money. Favors are such a money waster - I advise my clients to stay away from them. You can also always repurpose things like florals or decor from one space to the next. If people really want an amazing or over the top wedding, but need to widen their budget, I will have them knock out 50 people from the guest list, which will give the couple more money to make the day special and memorable. 

Speaking of, what can couples do to make their day special?

Great advice from one of wine country's top wedding planners | [photo by Kevin Chin]

Thoughtful details! You want your wedding to be effortless for guests, especially if they've traveled to get there! Getting to someone's wedding is a chore, so allowing guests to have an effortless experience where they're being surprised and delighted along the way, makes for a memorable wedding weekend. Being greeted at the hotel with a nice welcome gift including a letter explaining the weekend's events, or providing transportation for them (especially in a rural location). Taking the time to ask guests' food preferences prior to the wedding; such as, allergies, are a great way to give guests a personalized experience. Lastly, personal touches throughout the weekend, like handwritten notes or using their names at the events, will make a memorable and special weekend that your guests will cherish. 

If we were to ask you for your best advice, what would it be?

Planning your wedding should be fun, it shouldn't be stressful, and if it starts to become stressful or overwhelming, go on vacation from your wedding, and come back to it when you have a clearer mind, and are ready to have fun again. It's your wedding planner's job to make sure everything is on track, you're allowed to take a break, that's what they are there for!

Photos provided by KT Merry & Kevin Chin