Friday, May 17, 2013

What is A Wedding Planner: One Month Before the Wedding

  Around one month before the wedding, the real work gets started.  This is when we start doing the stuff that every bride needs help with...the backbone of coordinating the wedding.   At this time, we will visit the venue and put all the eliminates that we've been spending months preparing together.  The first thing we'll do is go over your vendors and make sure I have the correct contact information.  The next item on the list is to create a wedding day agenda.  I have an example of one below.  It typically begins the day before the wedding, we'll then go through your pre-wedding beauty preparations, your vendor arrival times, pre-ceremony photography schedule, your ceremony details, and finally the flow of your reception.
   We then will take a little walk around the venue and discuss set-up and floor plan.  A week after this meeting takes place, I will send over a tentative copy of your agenda, your floor plan, and your set-up checklist.  It is then the bride's task to make sure that I have a completed copy of these documents one week from the wedding date at the latest.

Vela/Pence Final Agenda
Friday, May 10, 2013: 
10:00am-         Bridal Party arrives at Allure for mani’s and pedi’s
                        Afterwards they head to The Grove for lunch
12:00pm-         Rentals arrive at Stonewall Ranch by this time
3:30pm-           Participants arrive at Driftwood Estates Winery (4001 Elder Hill Road, 78619)
                        Chris collects final vendor payments
4:00pm-          Rehearsal begins
5:00pm-           Rehearsal is complete
                        The Fairytale Effect staff set-up for rehearsal dinner at Stonewall Ranch (Rachel
collects rentals and décor for wedding)
6:00pm-          Salt Lick catering arrives at Stonewall Ranch to set-up food
7:00pm-          Guests arrive for the rehearsal dinner at Stonewall Ranch (10301 Wagon Road
West, 78736)

Saturday, May11, 2013:
2:30pm-           Bride and bridesmaids arrive at Driftwood Estates to relax and get ready for the
2:45pm-           Cassie Speck arrives at the venue to fix the bride’s hair
3:00pm-           The Fairytale Effect staff arrive at the venue and check in with bridal party before
setting-up.  Set-up begins with cake table.
                        DJ RJ with Music for Life arrives on site and begins setting-up sound for
ceremony music
3:30pm-           Sweet Treats arrives and sets-up the cupcakes
4:00pm-          Groom and groomsmen arrive and begin getting ready
Becky with Bouquets of Austin arrives to set-up florals
Tyler Schmidtt arrives
4:30pm-           The Fairytale Effect staff begins pinning boutonnières
                        Bride Sarah is dressed and ready for first glance
4:45pm-           Bride and Groom first glance in the vineyard
5:00pm-           Bridesmaids are dressed and ready for photos
5:15pm-            Family members arrive at the venue and The Fairytale Effect staff pins flowers
5:20pm-           Bridal party photos
5:40pm-           Family photos
6:00pm-          Full wedding photos
                        Flores arrives and sets-up the buffet
6:10pm-           Grooms party photos
                        Sarah returns to the bridal suite to relax before the ceremony
6:15pm             Cody Vela and Regi Huber arrive at the ceremony site to run through sound
check and set-up for ceremony music
6:30pm-           Photos are complete
                        Prelude music begins for early guests
                        Rick and Anderson are stationed at the ceremony entrance to escort guests
and handout programs.  Amanda Reedy is stationed at the sign-in table.
                        Judge Rex Baker arrives at the venue
                        Flores arrives to set-up the buffet
6:50pm-           Participants line-up for the processional in this order:
1)    Grandmother of the Groom, Margie Anderson ushered by Dana Smith
2)    Step Mother of the Groom, Sonya Pence ushered by Dana Smith
                                      Followed by Father of the Groom, Bert Pence
3)    Mother of the Groom, Serene ushered by Rick Shirley
4)   Grandmother of the Bride, Erica Vela ushered by Justin Hillhouse
5)    Judge Rex Baker followed by Groom, Hunter Pence
6)   Bridal Party
Chelsea Wilson escorted by Zac Morgan
Lindsey Orlando escorted by Justin Hillhouse
Lenae Shirley escorted by Rick Shirley
Royale Price escorted by Anderson Price
Laura Nienkerk escorted by Dana Smith
Maid of Honor, Sara Betts escorted by Best Man, Chris Betts
7)   Flower Girl, Sienna Shirley
8)   Bride, Sarah escorted by Grandfather of the Bride, Eddie and Father
of the Bride, Harry
7:00pm-          Processional begins:
                                    ___________________________________ plays for the wedding party
                                    ___________________________________ plays for the entrance of the bride
7:30pm-           Ceremony is complete
                        “Walking on Sunshine/Halo” plays for the recessional
                        Guest are invited into the reception area for drinks and hors d'oeuvres
                        The Fairytale Effect staff moves chairs over to the reception area
                        The Fairytale Effect Staff delivers bride and groom meals for the private dinner
Couple eats dinner
7:45pm-           Guests are invited to buffet
8:00pm-          Bride and Groom are in place and ready to be introduced
8:05pm-           Guests are directed their attention to the tasting room as Bride and
Groom are introduced to the dance floor as:
Mr. and Mrs. Hunter Pence
                   “Can’t Help Falling in Love” (Ingrid Michaelson) is played for the first dance
                        “What a Wonderful World” is played for the father/daughter dance:
                                    Sarah dances with Harry
                                    Sarah dances with Eddie
                        _______________________________________________ is played for the mother/son dance:
                                    Hunter dances with Serene
                                    Hunter dances with Sonya
8:30pm            Hunter and Sarah thank the guests
                        Toasts are given by Bert, Chris and Sara
                        “The Way I am Plays” plays for the cake cutting
8:40pm            Anniversary dance
                        “I Gotta Feelin’” plays for the wedding party dance
                        Open Dancing- Hunter and Sarah greet the tables
10:15pm-          Bouquet and Garter toss
10:45pm-         “Don’t Stop Believing” plays for last dance
10:50pm-         Line-up for the send-off.  Bird seed is passed out by Sara Betts, Laura Nienkerk
and Lindsey Olsen 
11:00pm-          Send-off with birdseed
                        Clean up begins
12:00am           All vendors are off site

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

As Seen On Thumbtack

Since I've finished this semester at school, I've been taking a little time to launch The Fairytale Effect.  One of the sites I've just registered for is Thumbtack.  Go ahead and clink on the link to check the site out.  Former brides, while your there, you can leave a review.  Seems like a pretty cool site to get some honest reviews.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Sarah and Hunter

This weekend, we were out at the beautiful Driftwood Estates Winery managing an equally beautiful wedding.  Sarah and Hunter were truly one of the sweetest couples I have had the pleasure to work with.  Sarah was such a laid back bride and she created a fun festive atmosphere for her special day.

Wedding Ingredients:

Venue- Driftwood Estates Winery
Photography- Tyler Schmitt, The Mill Photography Studio
Cupcakes- Sweet Treet Bakery
Flowers- Bouquets of Austin, Becky
DJ- Music 4 Life, DJ RJ
Rentals- Austin's World of Rentals
Catering- Flores
Coordinator- The Fairytale Effect, Rachel Stepanov

Sunday, April 21, 2013

What is a Wedding Planner: The Details Part Three

Now Excepting Candidates for FREE Wedding Planninsg Services.  Please call or email: 512.657.7209 or

Today we're going to continue our look at planning services provided by your wedding planner.  

1)     Delivery of Welcome Baskets

When there are many out of town guest, its nice for them to receive a little welcome gift waiting for them in their hotel rooms.  Seeing as a lot of the guests will be arriving when the bride and the families are their busiest, its logical for the wedding planner to deliver these to the hotels.  I will deliver to up to three hotels.  For an additional fee, your wedding planner can assemble the welcome baskets for you as long as you provide what all the basket entails.  

2)    Complete Planning of the Subsequent Parties

Your wedding planner can also plan the other parties associated with your wedding.  This includes engagement parties, bridal showers, and the rehearsal dinner.  A planner would do the same services that she would preform for a wedding; assistants with hiring vendors, assistants with rentals, creating a party agenda, and executing that agenda, set-up and clean-up. 

3)     Arrangement of Group Transportation

Not one of my favorite add-on services, but it is popular. Group transportation is needed particularly when their are a lot of out of town guests and when the wedding venue is in a more remote location.  Your wedding planner can arrange all of the group transportation for you, making sure to find a company that meets all your requirements and is in your price range.

4)     Wedding Gown Shopping

Your wedding planner can help you find that perfect dress.  I have a little bit of an insight on this particular add-on, seeing as I got my start in the wedding industry as a wedding gown consultant for David's Bridal.  For three separate bridal gown boutiques, your wedding planner will schedule shopping appointments, help you select your gowns to try on, help you get dressed in your gowns (if you would like), teach you the proper way to wear the gown (yes there is a proper way), and help to pick out accessories to complement the look you are trying to achieve.

Lavender to throw at wedding send off

5)     Assembling Wedding Items

There is a lot of assembly required to pull off a wedding.  If you need someone to put together your send-off items, your guest favors, your invitations, your welcome baskets, your programs, or anything else, your wedding planner can accomplish this task.  She can also address your invitations for you.

The Fairytale Effect can add any of these services to your wedding planning package and if you have something specific in mind that isn't listed, just ask....we can probably do it for you!  

Saturday, April 20, 2013

What is a Wedding Planner: The Details Part Two

 Now accepting candidates for free wedding planning services.  Please call or email: 512.657.7209,

 A wedding planner might be a little bit more involved in the planning process depending on the bride.  There are many different reasons why a bride would hire a planner for more detailed services, but there are two main reasons that I've come across; 1) the bride is from out of town and she is doing the planning remotely and 2) the bride is too busy to do the planning on her own.  Either way, all of the final decisions are made by the bride, the planner is just executing and adding to the bride's vision of her wedding day.
  Below you will find some of the other services a wedding planner can provide followed by a brief description of those services:

1)    Vendor Meetings

For this service, your wedding planner will  act as your secretary and will book your vendor meetings.  I include meetings with three of the same vendor, so if you were to hire me for your photographer meetings I would book three photographers for us to meet with.  Once at the meeting I would take notes, offer feedback, and negotiate pricing.  After the meeting I would type and send you the notes.  Once we've met with all the photographers, I would type up and give you a comparison of all three and then I would tell the vendors of your selection so that you would not have to have an awkward conversation with those that you did not select.
I offer a different option for my brides, as well.  Its kind of an in-between option in which I do all the leg work for the bride.  I research all vendors in a particular category to find which vendors meet the bride's specific needs and I then call to make sure that they are available for the wedding date.  After that, I present the bride with my research (along with reviews of wedding professionals that have used this particular vendor) and from there the bride will tell me which vendors she would like to meet.  I would setup the appointments, but I would not attend the meetings.  Afterwards, I would let the vendor know of the bride's decision.

2)     Additional Consultant Meetings

Some examples of these meetings would be to order rentals, visit venues, work on the budget, arrange transportation, attend a tasting, or to attend another vendor's meeting.

3)     Budget Tracking

This is a continuous budget that begins when the planner is hired.  The budgeted amount is determined by what a bride is willing to spend extra on and what a bride is wanting to save on.  Once the vendor is hired the planner will adjust the entire budget to reflect the costs.  If more is spent than what is budgeted, costs will be taken from another vendor to offset the amount.

4)     Returning of Rentals

This a popular add on service.  After the wedding is complete, there are many items that need to be returned.  First there is the obvious; the items from the rental company (which includes tables, linens, place settings, etc), but there are also less obvious rentals such as the cake stand and (even though is not a rental) the left over alcohol.  Instead of finding a friend or family member to do this, your wedding planner can do this for you.

5)     Maintenance of RSVPs

This is nice little add-on.  Instead of having RSVPs sent to the bride (or family) they can be sent to the wedding planner.  She will then keep track of all the RSVPs on a spreadsheet, update the bride with the guest count and then before the head count is due she will call non-responsive guests (if provided with the guest list and contact information).

Stay tuned for details of services provided by a wedding planner.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

What is a Wedding Planner: The Details Part One

Now Taking Candidates for Free Wedding Planning Services.
Call 512.657.7209 or email


After you hire a wedding planner, the planning begins.  How involved your wedding planner is in planning is dependent upon you, the services you've decided to purchase, and how much of the wedding you've already planned.  No matter what, all Fairytale brides do receive a little bit of help with the planning that is remaining after we've been hired.  Each bride receives a personalized preferred vendors list with suggestions on what particular vendors they should hire.  When going through the initial consultation, the planner will ask preferences on different vendors; do you like rich or light and fluffy cakes, what type photography style do you prefer?  The way you answer these questions along with your budget are how your preferred vendors are determined.  This information is golden!  Because of a wedding planner's experience with multiple vendors, she will be able to provide with you a perfect match effortlessly, saving you time and money.
  Another tool all Fairytale brides receive is a personalized checklist.  This helps to keep the bride on task and get all the planning details taken care of in a timely manner.  Depending on how much help is needed, the bride can also ask for monthly reminders.
  The last thing that all Fairytale brides receive no matter how much planning services they require is access to the wedding planner.  If there is ever any issues or questions, your planner is there for you.  This is another experience perk.  Most people don't have the luxury of planning hundreds of wedding, but your wedding planner does.  Through experience, she is able to help you with logistics, etiquette, traditions, trouble shooting, you name it, she's probably seen it.  All Fairytale brides have access to their wedding planner from 8am until 8pm without any other limitations.  If your planner doesn't answer right away, she will get back to you within twenty-four hours (most of the time sooner).
  These are just the minimal planning details that your wedding planner preforms.  Stay tuned next time for The Details Part Two, in which we will talk about specialized planning services.