Paige & Brett {Real Wedding}


April 16, 2016 ~ Islamorada, FL

~The Just Save the Date Girls

When Should I Book My Vendors? {Ask a Wedding Planner}

Stephanie A. Smith Photography

Stephanie A. Smith Photography

It's been a while since we posted an Ask a Wedding Planner post, so we figured we would tackle a question we get asked rather frequently: "When should I be booking my vendors and in what order?"

The simple answer is as soon as you can, given your budget, available funds and planning time frame.  However, it isn't always a simple process.  Before you book any vendor, you should first choose your general location and narrow down a range of dates or the date, depending on what you want.  Some couples are dead-set on a certain venue and will choose their date based on when that venue is available; while others are set on a certain date and will choose the venue based on what's available for their date.  Once the date and location are set, you can begin to book your other vendors and build your vendor team!

We generally recommend that you should book your vendors in order of importance to you, just like you should allocate your budget based on what's important to you.  You can find lots of information on both of these topics, but the most important piece of advice we can give is to do what works best for you and your wedding.  Just like no two weddings are the same, neither are budgets or booking processes!  

Esther Louise Photography

Esther Louise Photography

If hiring a wedding planner is important to you and an absolute must (we definitely think so), then this is one of the first vendors you should book.  We find that many clients will book our services at the onset of planning so that we can really help with the entire planning process, including helping find a venue sometimes.  Some clients wait to book us until after they secure a venue because many venues require a planner.  Regardless of when you book your planner, make sure to utilize them to the fullest by getting their input on vendor recommendations and when you should book said vendors.

While there is no set timeline for booking your remaining vendors, our friends at WeddingWire made this handy infographic that lays out a general booking timeline.  It is important to remember that this is just a general timeline and you should do what works best for you and your fiance.  Things like ordering your wedding dress and invitations will depend on where you are ordering from and may require more customization, so make sure you factor those things into your timeline. 

Courtesy of WeddingWire

Courtesy of WeddingWire

Remember that some vendors only will take one wedding per day (i.e. Photographer, Videographer, DJ/Musician, etc.) unless they have a team of people, while others can take multiple weddings in a day depending on schedule (i.e. Baker, Florist, Hair & Make-Up artist, Officiant).  That being said, it important that if you want a specific photographer or musician for your wedding that you try and book them as early as possible.  Respectable, professional vendors are in high demand just like top venues, so be sure that yo do your homework and find out how far in advance you can book these vendors.  Be sure to utilize your resources when researching venues and vendors.  WeddingWire breaks down popular venues in each state and city to help couples find their ideal locations.  We love the  Florida wedding venues page for obvious reasons, but be sure to check out some of their other popular venue list for inspiration: NYC wedding venues page,.

Like we mentioned, there is no right or wrong answer when it come to so much of the planning process and that definitely applies here, so just do what feels right to you and your fiance.  You can drive yourself crazy researching timelines and when you should be doing things.  We suggest that you sit back, relax and do a little vendor homework (maybe with a glass of wine).

Megan Ellis Photography

Megan Ellis Photography

Best of luck in the planning process!

-The Just Save The Date Girls

 

 

Shauna & Jonathan {Real Wedding}


December 31, 2014 ~ Key West, FL

Officiant: David Holtz

Reception Music: Visualize Entertainment

Floral & Decor: Milan Event

Photographer: White-Klump Photography 

Transportation: Old Town Trolley

Venue: Hemingway House

Ceremony Music: Strings

Caterer: Key West Catering

Rentals: Prestige Party Rentals

Hair & Makeup: Studio Marie-Pierre

~The Just Save the Date Girls

Sarah & Morten {Real Wedding}


October 11, 2014 ~ Islamorada, Florida

Officiant: Pastor Ernie

Caterer: Catered Affairs

Floral: Juli Vaughn

Rentals: Mile Marker Party Rental

Videographer: Cineaverde

 

Venue: Caribbean Resort

Music: Scratch Weddings

Linens: Over the Top

Rentals: Floral Fantasy

Photographer: Once Like a Spark

Hair & Makeup: Bella Luxe

We loved working with Sarah & Morten (and Sarah’s mom Mindy) to plan their romantic, seaside soiree.  These two lovebirds were married at the Caribbean Resort in Islamorada, Florida.  Combining her southern roots and his Norwegian heritage, this wedding was one for the books complete with an original song for the Bride from the groom (a surprise), a convertible dress, lots of details, organic floral swings and lots of love!

The groom, being a true romantic, not only wrote the bride an original song as a surprise, but he also gave her two Louis Vuitton bags, a handwritten scroll, all before whisking her off to a surprise honeymoon, complete with an early morning helicopter ride into the sunrise while family and friends watched.

The overall design and decor of the event was a vintage, romantic feel with a ocean twist, complete with floral swings in the tent, vintage mirrors, wine barrel decor and loose, organic floral arrangements with driftwood and mercury glass.  It was important to infuse the couple’s long distance relationship and love of travel throughout the wedding.  Directional signage with all of the places that guests traveled from and a chalkboard globe as a guestbook were some of the touches that reflected this.

It was also important to celebrate the bride & groom’s heritage.  From the many, many Norwegian traditions that took place (a toast for everyone, including vendors, at the wedding, a homemade, specialty wedding cake made by the groom) to the Photo Booth backdrop and props to the parade of viking and captain’s hats later in the evening to the American & Norwegian flag send off at the end of the night…this wedding did not lack personality!

Click here to check out Sarah & Morten's wedding video and featured publications!

~ The Just Save the Date Girls

Ashley & Joe {Real Wedding}


November 23, 2013 ~ Key West, FL

Officiant: Kellie Niles

Reception Music: Kori Cartwright

Cake: Dorris Arnold

Floral: Sonya Niles

Hair & Makeup: Key West Hair & Makeup

Cigar Roller: Rodriguez Cigars

Venue: Little White House

Ceremony Music: Gerald Adams Steel Pan Band

Caterer: Catered Affairs

Rentals: Florida Keys Party Rentals

Photographer: MEC Images

~The Just Save the Date Girls

Colleen & Seric {Real Wedding}


November 16, 2013 ~ Key West, FL

Officiant: Steve Torrence

Caterer: Great Events

Florist: Love in Bloom

Pie: Blue Heaven

~The Just Save the Date Girls

Lindsay & Raymond {Real Wedding}


November 3, 2013 ~ Key West, FL

Rehearsal Dinner Venue & Wedding Ceremony Venue: Key west Lighthouse

Officiant: Steve Torrence

Music: Visualize Entertainment

Floral & Decor: Milan Event

Cake: Key West Cakes

Rehearsal Dinner Caterer: Great Events Catering

Rentals for Rehearsal Dinner & Wedding Ceremony: Prestige Party Rentals

Wedding Reception Venue: Casa Marina Resort

Photographer: Jessica Lorren

Hair & Makeup: Studio Marie-Pierre

~ The Just Save the Date Girls

Cecilia & Albert {Real Wedding}


 

Officiant: John Wells

Floral: Milan Event

Cake: Key West Cakes

February 27. 2016 ~ Key West, FL

Venue: Ocean Key Resort

Music: Visualize Entertainment

Photographer: White Klump Photography

Hair & Makeup: Marz Makeup & Hair

~The Just Save the Date Girls

Sarah & Hani {Real Wedding}


December 01, 2012 ~ Key West, FL

Ceremony & Reception Music: DJ Chaka

Officiant-Minister: Jeff Mansfield

Caterer: Azur

Rentals: Florida Keys Party Rental

Photographer: MEC Images

Cake: Publix Bakery

Transportation: Old Town Trolley

Cigar Roller: Key West Cigar Club

Venue: Hemingway House

Officiant-Rabbi: Steven Westman

Cocktail Music: Bria Ansara

Linens: Over the Top

Floral: Mama Flowers

Videographer: Marky Pierson

Hair & Makeup: Beauty Boutique

Photobooth: Keys Photo Booth

Check out Sarah & Hani's Wedding video!

~The Just Save the Date Girls

Holly & James {Real Wedding}


November 5, 2015 ~ Key West, FL

Venue, Rentals & Linen: Ocean Key Resort

Music: Visualize Entertainment

Photographer: Blueye Images

Hair & Makeup: Studio Marie-Pierre

~ The Just Save the Date Girls

Jessica & David {Real Wedding}


March 19, 2016 ~ Key West, FL

Reception Venue: Hemingway House

Caterer: Great Events Catering

Rentals: Eventfully Yours

Photographer: Mary Veal Photography

Videographer: Cineaverde

Hair & Makeup: Bella Luxe

Entertainment: Caribbean Queen Junkanoos

 

~ The Just Save the Date Girls

Margo & Matt {Real Wedding}


January 15, 2017 ~ Key West, FL

Music: Visualize Entertainment

Photographer: Megan Ellis

Transportation: Old Town Trolley 

Venue: Ocean Key Resort

Floral: Milan Event

Hair & Makeup: Studio Marie-Pierre

Dress Steaming: Steam Queen

~The Just Save the Date Girls

Erika & Mark {Real Wedding}


December 31, 2016 ~ Key West, FL

Venue: The Reach

Sound: PSAV

Photograoher: Mary Veal Photography

Hair & Makeup: Studio Marie Pierre

~The Just Save the Date Girls

Jenna & Alexi {Real Wedding}


December 17, 2016 ~ Shark Key, FL

Officiant: Michael Halpern

Ceremony & Reception Music: Soundwave

Cake & Dessert: Croissants de France

Rentals & Lighting: Prestige Party Rental

Photographer: Lavryk Photography

Venue: Shark Key

Cocktail Music: Total Recall

Caterer: New York Pasta Garden

Linens: Over the Top

Floral: Mama Flowers Inc.

Hair & Makeup: Bella Luxe

~ The Just Save the Date Girls

Brianne & Sean {Real Wedding}


October 16. 2016 ~ Key West, FL

Officiant: Steve Torrence

Reception Music: Visulaize Entertainment

Floral: Milan Event

Videography: Cineaverde

Dessert: Cupcake Sushi

Welcome Party: Sunset Watersports

Wedding Venue: Ocean Key Resort

Ceremony/Cocktail Music: Rusty Lemmon

Rentals: Prestige Party Rentals

Photography: Studio Julie

Cake: Key West Cakes

Hair & Makeup: Bella Luxe

This past October, we had the pleasure of working with Chicago-based couple Brianne & Sean to help plan their fun, family-centric wedding at the Ocean Key Resort & Spa.  It was a romantic seaside soiree with lots of personal touches and even some surprises.  Brianne knew she wanted the wedding to be elegant and classic, while still maintaining a relaxed, island feel.  Using a palette of aqua, blush, white and gold, we worked with this lovely couple to infuse elements of modern romance and classic elegance with touches of a laid-back island theme running throughout. From a custom-created chandelier draped in greenery and white orchids to the monogrammed fishing shirts the bridesmaids (and friends and even her dad) wore while getting ready to the appearance of a cardboard cutout of her Maid of Honor that could not attend, but worked with the DJ to record her toast as a surprise  and even the bride’s impromptu singing of treasured song dedicated to her late uncle, this wedding had no shortage of personal details that screamed Brianne & Sean!   The party kicked-off with a fun-filled sunset sail the night before the wedding where the steel drummer lead the entire boat in the Ohio State chant several times in preparation for the big game that evening.

Our personal favorite was the tearful vows they shared with each other and her amazing Hayley Page dress.  Family and friends literally danced the night away while enjoying delicious food and drinks and even some Cupcake Sushi.  We couldn’t have asked for a more fun couple to kick-off our wedding season than Brianne & Sean!  We wish you guys lots of happiness in  the years to come.

Check out the highlights from Brianne & Sean's big day!

~The Just Save the Date Girls

Samantha & Taylor {Real Wedding}


December 03, 2016 ~ Islamorada, FL

Music: The Hit Factory

Rentals: Keys Audio

Rentals: Floral Fantasy

Photographer: Still55

Cake: Bob's Bunz

Sunday Brunch: Chef Drew

Venue: The Caribbean Resort

Caterer: Chef Lars

Floral: Marathon Florist

Videographer: Cineaverde

Hair & Make-Up: Blo Bridal

Boat Exit: Bamboo Charters

~The Just Save the Date Girls

Natalie & Andrew {Real Wedding}


December 09, 2016 ~ Key West, FL

Music: DJ Buggy & Rusty Lemmon

Floral: Love in Bloom

Videography: Cineaverde

Hair & Makeup: Bella Luxe

~The Just Save the Date Girls

Best of 2016 Weddings

Today, we are taking a glimpse back at all of weddings and events from 2016!  We hope you enjoy this snapshot of some of our favorites from the past year.

We are looking forward to working with all of our upcoming clients for 2017 and can't wait to kick odd the New Year this weekend with not one, but two fabulous weddings!

-The Just Save The Date Girls

Kelly & Mike {Real Wedding}


September 05, 2010 ~ Billerica, MA

Officiant: Rev. Joseph Britto

Florist: Gregories Florist & Mahoney's

Cake: Konditor Meister

Makeup: Sweet Escape

Venue: Billerica Country Club

Music: Gianni Pagglioco

Photographer: KC Photography

Hair: Jacques Design

~The Just Save the Date Girls

Krista & Brett {Real Wedding}


Key West, FL ~ April 9, 2016

Officiant: Steve Torrence

Reception Music: Flavor

Rentals: Elements & Accents

Videography: Imagealistic

Groom's Cake: Amazing Cakes & Creations

Photobooth: Kiss Me entertainment

Venue: Casa Marina Resort

Cocktail Music: Chris Thomas

Floral: Milan Event

Photography: Madison Hope

Cake: Publix Bakery

Hair & Makeup: Key West Hair & Makeup

Transportation: Conch Train

~The Just Save the Date Girls