Kaella Lynn Events - Event Planning and Design

wedding and event planning boutique based in San Francisco, combining
artistic design with meticulous planning to produce unforgettable experiences.

How to Word Your Wedding Invitations with Aerialist Press (Pretty Infographic Inside!)

Modern couples have so many options and etiquette rules to consider when it comes to wording their invitations that it can feel overwhelming. It’s no wonder one of the most common questions I am asked by my clients is, “how in the world do we word our invitation?” Well, my good friend Alexandra of Aerialist Press & Foiled Invitations is here to take out all the guessing. Don’t miss the pretty infographic she provides, making it all really simple!

Invitation Wording Guide with a pretty infographic by Aerialist Press

Happy engagement! It’s Alexandra from Aerialist Press & Foiled Invitations here.  A big thank you to Kaella and the Kaella Lynn Events team for having us guest post today.

If you’re reading along here, you’re probably at least in the beginning stages of your wedding planning, or maybe you’ve even gotten to the point of selecting a color palette and considering invitation styles. While the fun, design-related to dos are easy to check off the top of your list, nailing down final invitation wording is probably not a priority – especially when you aren’t sure about all those etiquette rules you’ve never had to think about before. Sound about right?

If you’re like most couples, you’ll find yourself asking all of the usual questions regarding proper wedding invitation verbiage but without a great starting place for answers. That’s where we like to make our grand entrance! To ease the strain of figuring out what invitation wording to use, we’ve created an informative (and pretty to look at) info-graphic and guide helping you to understand the different elements of an invitation and how to best word yours. We’ve included some pro tips and tricks about the different attire options, where to include your registry link and our top four wording picks for both traditional and more casual celebrations.

Invitation Wording Guide with a pretty infographic by Aerialist Press

 

Looking for more? We also created a comprehensive list of 21 wording examples for every celebration style you can think of. You can visit the full post of our guide on the best wedding invitation wording options up on our blog.

Haven’t seen what you’re looking for? We would love to answer any specific questions below in the comments. Happy planning!

Bridesmaid Selection: How to Pick a Foolproof Bridal Party

Let’s get serious for a minute, brides: there are very few people as important to your wedding planning process (and big day!) as your groom. But one group of people that might affect your happiness and sanity more when planning a wedding are your bridesmaids. I know what you’re thinking: a few matching dresses, a tea party here and an invitation there, and you’re off to the races with a ready-made girl squad designed to make your wedding day and all preceding events a breeze – right? WRONG.

Not that the above scenario never happens, but in our experience on both sides (as both brides and planners), it’s critically important to choose the right bridesmaids to support you – to listen to your ideas on floral inspiration for months on end, to help you pick the right accessories for your wedding look, and even to lend a helping hand when that one wacky relative is throwing off the balance of your wedding night. You need to choose the people (or person) you know will support you in all circumstances, limit the drama that surrounds you, and commit to help out in what can be an involved process.

Finances are also a very real part of participating in a bridal party – your bridesmaids can be asked to chip in for everything from matching outfits, shoes, hair/makeup services, and your shower to the bachelorette party – be respectful of your friends’ time and finances. If you are concerned that a friend who was just laid off, in the midst of planning their own wedding, or having their first baby, for instance, won’t be able to participate fully, just ask. Make sure your friend feels comfortable with what is expected as your bridesmaid and allow the space for your friend to be honest about what is achievable in terms of participation and financial obligations.

Our best tip for selecting your bridal party: keep it to your most tried and true friends that you trust, your cheerleading squad, and those that beyond a shadow of a doubt will support you on your wedding day (and leading up to it). These people will make your wedding experience happy and memorable for years to come.

 

KLE Bride Series: Choosing Your Planner & Design

When people ask what I like best about working in the wedding industry, lots of ideas come to mind, and it can be difficult to pinpoint a solitary favorite thing. I’ve been really lucky and blessed to work with some of the smartest and most creative people on the planet – and my absolute favorite part of this job has been working collaboratively with people who inspire me, feed my energy, and open my eyes to creative possibilities that I would never have thought of on my own. So when it came time to kick off the planning of my own wedding, I marched into our engagement armed with a Rolodex of the best of the best – and a keen idea of who I wanted to work with to make our dreams come true.

I may be partial in this regard, but it’s my feeling that hiring a wedding planner is the smartest thing you can do for your wedding, your sanity, and your life. You will want to be able to completely immerse yourself in your big day and enjoy it with every ounce of your energy and focus, and you can only do that if you have someone you fully trust on your side – someone you can hand the reins to, and be comfortable with while they execute all of your plans and design dreams. I knew that the only person I could do that with was Kaella – my longtime mentor, manager, and muse. And since we had been talking about my wedding design vision for years (in its many forms), we were completely ready to begin our planning and dreaming straight away!

Luckily for us, working together came easily – we’d been collaborating and discussing wedding designs for so long, it was just like planning a fabulous client event. Except in this case, we got to call the design shots and choose all the details and vendors from top to bottom – which has been incredibly fun! One of our earliest design inspirations came from the desert location and  Teepee Lounge featured above – and even though we moved away from the rad ‘wanderlust’ feel it embodies, we love it for its California-cool and bohemian styling: two things we wanted to incorporate into my final wedding design. Our wedding is designed to strike a harmony between the east and west coasts, traditional and irreverently awesome, and masculine vs. feminine. My fiancé Ned and I are total opposites, but the blend of the two of us works really well in real life – so we wanted to capture that, and celebrate it throughout the event styling. Here are a few more of our favorite wedding design inspirations – none of which would have been possible without Kaella’s vision, guidance, and flawless taste.

KLE Blogger Bride: Choosing a Wedding Planner

Photo via Ira + Lucy

KLE Blogger Bride: Choosing a Wedding Planner

Photo via I Take You

KLE Blogger Bride: Choosing a Wedding Planner

Photo by Ali Harper Photography

5 Tips for Choosing Your Wedding Vendors

When you think about your upcoming wedding day, what single element do you expect to have the largest impact on the outcome? Over the years, we’ve seen weddings that fall all over the spectrum: and we’re confident in asserting that choosing the right vendors (for your location, budget, look+feel, and aesthetic) is the single determining factor in how a wedding turns out. Fabulous vendors can take an average wedding design and elevate it to be spectacular – while issues with poorly chosen vendors can drag down even the most perfectly planned event. “Vendors” here is a broad category, but should encompass all of the people you choose to plan, orchestrate, set up, run, and break down the physical elements of your wedding. Some of the most important vendors to your wedding day include your planner or coordinator, caterer, photographer or videographer, florist, musicians or DJ, rentals company, and venue staff. Here are our top 5 tips on choosing fantastic ones:

5 Tips for Choosing Your Wedding Vendors

Photo by Jose Villa

1. Start with your venue

Your venue is a perfect place to start with selection, since it will be the backdrop to the entire affair. Many people choose to host their ceremony and reception at two different sites, and others opt to have both portions of the wedding day take place in the same spot. Whichever you choose, be sure to ask a lot of questions of your venue regarding details like charges and fees outside of the main site fee, power accessibility, restrooms, onsite kitchen accessibility, parking, etc. Do they include an onsite coordinator to ensure that the day runs smoothly from the venue’s point of view? Be sure to get a very direct line of clear communication going with the venue representative quickly, so you can make an informed decision. Once you’ve selected a venue, be sure to ask about their ‘preferred vendor list’ (if they have one) – many times, it makes the most logistical sense to choose other vendors from their list, since they are tried and true, and will have experience working there.

2. Shop around, and ask for a few proposals: Options are good

Don’t feel the need to book the first florist you speak to: if you have concerns around ambiguous costs or uncertainties around her vision, ask for a proposal and compare it with other florists you have spoken with. Shopping around is healthy, and will ultimately help you match up with the perfect florist for you and your day. In addition, proposal comparisons will help you get a baseline understanding for how much your wedding florals should cost, based on your taste and requirements for the wedding day. If you find a vendor you cannot live without, however, don’t shop around: many vendors book up a year or more in advance, so if you can’t live without the photographer you just spoke with, book them as quickly as possible.  Most vendors will reserve your date with a signed agreement and paid deposit at the time of booking.

3. Understand creative value, and don’t over-negotiate

Nothing takes the wind out of a creative’s sails quite like an endless haggling negotiation over price. I’ve sat through a few consultations where the bridal party is less interested in creative vision, and purely interested in how low they can whittle our investment price for a given wedding package down. Don’t be that bride – your vendors are in creative professions because of their talent and passion. Many of us eat, sleep, and breathe weddings, purely for the beauty and creative potential that comes with each new client and booking. If you think a proposed price for a given service (such as an 8 hour photography package) is too high, ask about what’s included before asking for a discount. Perhaps this isn’t the right photographer for your needs, or maybe you could stand to go with a less inclusive package. Think of the services you’re paying for (floral set up, design creation AND execution, etc) as the highly specialized tasks that they are, and understand the inherent value in each one. If you have a set budget for each vendor, like a $2,000 floral budget, let the florist know ahead of time, so they can cater to your needs. Above all, never offend a vendor over her pricing: the industry is very small and tight knit, and it’s best to be honest by saying “I think you may be a bit out of our price range, but we love your work. Please let us know if you can point us in the direction of someone who may be closer to our budget.”

4. Specific Experience is key

If your caterer has never worked at your venue, and is unprepared, your wedding day is in for a wild ride. Similarly, if you select a hairdresser who does not have experience working with wedding timelines (even if they’re a world famous stylist!), you’re going to run into timing issues and possibly be late for your own ceremony. Specific experience working with both weddings and the venue you have selected should be two of your top qualification criteria for vendor selection. Experience working with the venue is invaluable, because a caterer who knows a property well can then properly instruct his serving staff on how things are done, as well as venue expectations. A planner who is familiar with a particular site or has worked there previously will know the in’s and out’s of a logistically challenging set up, or be able to point the photographer in the right direction when they’re searching for a photo opportunity. Past experience matters, and vendors who have it should be highly considered. If possible, work with your wedding planner to choose vendors who have worked with your venue and each other before, and have a positive track record of success with past weddings.

5. Go with your gut

This one is a little less about tangible elements of a vendor, and more about how you feel about them. Did you personally connect with your florist’s artistic vision, even though she’s slightly out of your price range? Did that world-famous photographer with a beautiful website seem snotty and stand offish in person, or make your fiancé slightly uncomfortable? Take these elements into consideration when making your selection. On your big day, you want to be surrounded by an exceptional team behind the scenes, making the day spectacular and making you feel comfortable and happy. The peace of mind that comes with booking vendors that you actually like and want to work with is priceless.

 

Bridal Best Practices: What to bring to your planner consultation

Many engaged couples walk into the wedding planning process knowing a lot about what they want in a wedding – colors, venues, destination location, and bridal party attire included. Some have no idea, and are shopping around for ideas to inspire their event. Whichever category you fit into, booking a planner can be a positive and productive experience – and you may learn something new, or realize what you want, in the process!

Here are five things to never leave at home for a planner consultation:

1. Your Support System – whether its your fiancé, your sister, your mom, or your best friend, your support system is there to give you emotional encouragement, and share in the planning process with you. Make sure you bring along the person that you trust, who makes you feel empowered to share your ideas and vision with your prospective planner. As we know, these meetings are a lot of fun with the right attendees!

2. Your budget – many times, engaged couples will have worked out a prospective budget before beginning to look for a planner. Some couples may not have an idea of how much the wedding of their dreams will cost, and are looking to their planner for guidance. The wedding budget provides a blue print for the planning and vendor selection process, and also keeps everyone on the same page. If you’re working with a particular budget, be it tight or extravagant, be sure to share that with your planner, so that they can provide guidance around how to make the best use of that investment. We will review your priorities and needs to provide insight on how to best allocate the budget.

3. Any vendors you have already booked – if you’ve already booked the band, the lighting company, the cake baker, and the venue, that’s great! If you haven’t, that’s also okay. Just be sure your planner has a clear picture of the contracts that are already set in stone, so that they can help you fill in the gaps, as well as watch out for potential pitfalls. Since typically your planner will take over contract management at some point in the process, you want them well aware of all participants on the vendor side.

Kaella Lynn Events // What to bring to your consultation

Photo and recipe by Rikki Snyder via Style Me Pretty

4. Your vision – be it a mood board (why yes, we like Pinterest), paint chips, fabric swatches, or a binder titled ‘The Great Big Book of Everything’, bring it with you! Not only do we LOVE looking at pretty pictures, colors, and ideas, but it will also help you to convey your expectations to your planner in a really visual and clear manner. If you already know what you want your floral arrangements to look like but have yet to select your florist, bring a series of images to your planner – not only can she make recommendations, she can also help you manage cost and other intangibles that you might not think of (for instance, peonies in December would need to be imported, and that would likely provide you with an additional cost).

Kaella Lynn Events // What to bring to your consultation

5. Questions – prepare a list of questions about items you’d like to cover, from the planning process in general to the planner’s particular work style and services. This is the time to discuss any uncertainties you have regarding the planning process and any special needs or requirement you have for your big day. Your planner is there as a major supporter, coach, cheerleader, and organizational maven for your big day – no question is too small or unimportant!

6. A notebook – write EVERYTHING down! You want to be sure you leave your prospective planner meeting with a clear idea of what was discussed, next steps, and whether or not you think a partnership with the planner would be a good fit – and you simply cannot do that unless you keep detailed notes. We love our laptops at KLE, and take vigorous notes on both web apps (like Evernote), as well as in cute notebooks. Whatever your style, make sure you’re keeping a record of your meeting – it’s always great to refer back to your notes as you move forward in the planning process.

Kaella Lynn Events // What to bring to your consultation

We love this Rifle Paper Co. Notepad – something blue!