Wedding Planning 101 – Hiring Your Wedding Planner

Over the last few years the Junebug team has frequently asked our brides, “What is the best decision you made when planning your wedding?” By far the most popular answer is, hiring a wedding planner! With a substantial financial investment, and between 200 to 400 hours allocated to planning the average size wedding, it’s no wonder so many couples are grateful to wedding planners for helping them navigate the many details of their wedding planning process.

What does a wedding planner provide?
An experienced wedding planner offers you sound budget and management advice, contract negotiation, timeline creation, vetted vendor and location selection, along with stylish design aesthetic and execution. Contrary to popular belief, wedding planners can actually save you substantial amounts of time and money while ensuring you and your guests are delighted with your decisions.

What does a wedding designer provide?
Designers are experts at creating atmospheres that blend complementary decor concepts throughout your entire celebration and they generally work with your planner, lighting crew, decor rental companies, and photographer to transform your venue into an unforgettable experience. Celebrity couples and couples looking to make a one-of-a-kind statement frequently employ wedding designers. The wedding planner you choose may also be an experienced wedding designer, and if not, you may decide to hire a designer separately to create the overall visual aesthetic of your wedding.

Top Tips for Hiring Your Wedding Planner:
Whether you choose to hire a planner, designer, or both, here are five tips for choosing the professional that’s right for you.
  •  Look to your friends, family, co-workers, and highly-vetted resources like Junebug Weddings to create your own list of wedding professionals. Visit their websites and blogs, and read client reviews. Be sure the companies you’re considering have orchestrated numerous weddings from start to finish before you trust them with yours (we ask our members to have at least 50 weddings completed before they join Junebug Weddings).
  •  Choose 3 to 5 planners to interview, and pay attention to how well they listen, and how comfortable you feel with their ideas and responses. Ask them for multiple references and check them. Trust is the most important component of a great working relationship, so choose someone who you believe will keep your best interests at heart, and who you are looking forward to spending time with in the months ahead.
  • Set a budget upfront and let your wedding planner and/or designer make the most of it. Your budget will include your wedding planner so keep in mind that wedding planners charge for their services in several different ways. Some charge by the hour, others charge a percentage of your overall budget (generally 10-20%) and still others charge a flat rate. Be sure the pricing structure you agree to fits your needs and desires best.
  • Share your style, history, and dreams with your planner, and let them know how involved you would like to be in the planning process. After all, you want your wedding to fit you to a tee so the more your planner and designer knows about you and your expectations, the more likely they will be to exceed them.
  • Keep in mind that your wedding will be much more than a party. Chances are your guests will vary in age and interests, (and even dietary restrictions) and the scope of your celebration from the days leading up to your wedding and the days after will be full of details, logistics, and frequently unforeseen changes that can cause you unnecessary stress. If you decide to plan your wedding yourself, or if you’re going to let your friends and family do it, you may want to consider having a day-of coordinator with you on your wedding day; a professional to help you manage logistics and last minute details so you can relax and enjoy your wedding day unencumbered with worry, and overjoyed by the all the little moments that will never come again.

Junebug Weddings has spent years compiling our World’s Best Wedding Planners and Designers Hotlist. Every planner and designer we recommend is highly sought after and trusted for their talent and expertise, and every one of them is ready to make your wedding planning more fun and easier than it could ever be without them. Don’t miss it!

Don’t forget to stop by our coveted World’s Best Wedding Planners and Designers Hotlist to find your planner today!

How to Get the Perfect Bohemian Bride Look with Wedding Dresses and Accessories from BHLDN

Today we are so excited to feature fabulous expert fashion tips on how to achieve the ultimate bohemian bride wedding day look from the stylists behind Anthropologie’s wedding brand BHLDN. With flowing dresses, fabulous bridal shoes, sparkling accessories, crystallized halos and belts, the BHLDN bride is one lucky girl! Check out their take on the boho bride as well as their favorite bohemian selections from the BHLDN bridal collection!

The Bohemian Style: The bohemian wedding look isn’t just about what you wear; it’s about how you feel and the ambiance you create – romantic, unique and free-spirited. The boho bride embraces her individuality and expresses it throughout her wedding day ensemble and the special touches throughout her wedding day. She is calm, cool and all-around confident. 

Check out BHLDN stylists’ favorite selections for a boho bride…
The Bohemian Wedding Dress: When it comes to bohemian wedding gowns, we recommend styles with soft, flowing fabrics and easy, comfortable silhouettes. Rich textures such as crochet, embroidery and vintage-inspired lace create add depth to an airy, ethereal look.  To keep the look fresh and modern, try mixing an open neckline and lace details with delicate layers or choose a gown with subtle beading for a bohemian wedding look that’s still refined. The Aberdeen Gown, the Rosemary Dress, and the Sian Gown are three beautiful choices.

Short wedding dresses are another option for bohemian brides, especially for an outdoor or beach wedding. Look for shorter styles with delicate embellishments that echo your free spirit and mirror the beauty of your surroundings. For a short, casual boho look, the Vienna Dress and the Lilly Dress are just perfect!

Bohemian Wedding Shoes: Rather than a heel, pair a flowing gown with wedding sandals; whether you choose flats or a wedge, sandals maintain the sense of effortlessness that characterizes bohemian wedding style, especially in a more casual or outdoor setting. Another great option for bohemian brides is a non-traditional wedding shoe, such as a glittery pair of heels or vintage inspired wedding booties. We just love the Gigi Wedge, the Vivacious Peep-Toes and the Mint Sprig Booties for the boho bride!

Bohemian Wedding Jewelry: For the true bohemian gal, it’s all about the details and you don’t shy away from bold jewelry. For your wedding day, infuse your one-of-a-kind personality with bohemian bracelets, earrings, and necklaces. We recommend sticking to a more neutral color palette to keep the look sophisticated but go ahead and mix metals and materials for a look that wows. The Fleur-Pearl Bracelet and Mia Chandeliers are both great options.

Bohemian Wedding Accessories: You don’t have to forgo glamour to achieve the perfect boho look. Incorporate a little bit of sparkle into your ensemble with a shimmering sash or beaded bag. The Resplendent Sash and the Golden Pearl Clutch are two gorgeous options for the boho bride.

Bohemian Hair Accessories: Whether you prefer a crystallized halo or fresh flower crown, a bohemian hair accessory is a must for the boho bride. The Buttercup Halo and the Breathless Halo are absolutely stunning!

The Editorial Photo Shoot Team:
Photographer: Diego Uchitel
Location: Merida, Mexico
Makeup Artist: Riku Campo from Jed Root
Hair Stylist: Moiz Alladina from Art Department
Floral Crown: Charlie Welch from Jed Root
A great big thank you to the stylists from BHLDN for sharing their expertise with us all!
Be sure to check out more fabulous selections from BHLDN in our Wedding Dress and Accessories Gallery  cheap ball dresses auckland


Junebug’s New Look, New Features and New Wedding Venues Hotlist!

Notice anything different dear readers? That’s right! Junebug’s got a fresh new look, and some amazing new features we’re incredibly excited to introduce to you. Our site (not to mention the wedding world and the internet) have grown and changed in huge ways since we launched back in 2006, so it was high time for a spring cleaning, a reorganization, and a whole new way to look at the content we have here, and how you, our readers, can interact with it best. With that in mind we’ve been working ridiculously long hours behind the scenes to keep the signature style we’re known for, but come up with something new we think you’ll love…
First up is our brand new World’s Best Wedding Venues Hotlist! Based on our highly-vetted Hotlists of photographersplanners and designers, we’re carefully searching the globe to find the most beautiful, unique, experienced and reliable wedding venues to recommend to you. We have some truly spectacular wedding venues on our Hotlist already, including One&Only Ocean Club in the Bahamas, Great Hall at Union Station in Seattle, Gramercy Park Hotel in New York, Chateau Challain in France, Kenwood Inn and Spa in Napa, and the St. Regis Punta Mita in Mexico to name a few (photos from these properties are seen below) and we’ll be adding many more in the coming months, so be sure the check back often!

Our nav bar at the top of the page has been simplified and reorganized, and our homepage is all new, with easy links to the newest blog posts on What Junebug Loves and Photobug, images in our Inspiration Photo Gallery and special sections and features we don’t want you to miss.
Our new Hotlist pages let you start by choosing where you’re planning your wedding, or by focusing in on finding your wedding planner, designer, venue or photographer. We’re adding fantastic wedding professionals from around the country every day, so soon, no matter what kind of wedding professional you need, Junebug will have just what you’re looking for. You can get to all of these pages from the drop-down menu in our nav bar under “plan your wedding”. (Wedding pros interested in join our community, click here to learn more and apply!)
And we even have new Wedding Planning 101 articles for you, so you can start your planning process off right by making your decisions with confidence and ease.

We’re so grateful for your support and the work we get to do here at Junebug everyday, and so honored to get to be a part of your wedding. We hope that you’ll love our new look and that these new features will help you plan your wedding with minimum stress – maximum fun and a whole lot of personal style. Stay tuned for more to come, explore, and enjoy!


The Wedding Speech Order You Need to Know | Bridalbaike

The Wedding Speech Order You Need to Know | Bridalbaike

Ask the Expert: Wedding Day Preparation

The day is finally here. You’ve been planning for months (perhaps even years!) and you couldn’t be more excited to walk down the aisle and begin your new life with your partner. In order for you to celebrate with minimal stress, you’ll need to make sure you have the tools you need for success. London based wedding & events planner, Matthew Oliver, is here to give us some helpful tips and advice on wedding day preparation.
Matthew: “All the ups and downs are fast approaching, but there is always a vague mist when it comes to what to pack for the big day. You may not be coming home until after the honeymoon, so you really need to have everything prepared, because, if you’re like me, you’ll get grumpy if you forget to pack your favorite shirt or toothbrush.”

“You want your day to be as smooth as ever with no hitches, especially with all the sweat and blood you put into this magical day, so I’ve listed a few essentials of what you will need to pack, along with some important tips too.”

What to pack for the day of your wedding:
1) Pack 2 separate bags, 1 for the wedding and 1 for the honeymoon, unless you’re not going straight on a honeymoon.
2) Pack all the presents that you’re giving people. Make sure they’re wrapped before, as you seriously won’t have time to wrap presents on the day of your wedding!
3) Of course you can’t forget your attire– dress, accessories, suit etc.! Groom, make sure your shirt and trousers are not creased, so maybe pack an iron too. Lovely bride, if your dress is fairly creased, hang it in the shower room, which should help drop the creases.
4) Pack as if there is nothing at the place where you’re going, just in case! Shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, hair dryer, makeup, even toilet paper! You never know.  *great idea if you’re traveling to a new and exotic destination for your honeymoon!
5) Pack all your paperwork – I know that your folder could be the size of the Statue of Liberty, but just in case there are any last minute changes, it’s important to have it with you, unless you have a planner, which I advise of course!
6) If you haven’t got a planner pack all your bits and bobs you’ve collected for decoration etc. Make it easier for yourselves and box them all up for the area you want them, ceremony, table 1, table 2, evening etc.! Also, try and write a list of what is in each box too, seriously this helps people like me massively!
7) Comfort items, if you’re on your own the night before you may want to pack your favorite teddy, film or anything that you love and brings you comfort
8) And, of course, bring your rings!
***We also suggest having a list of your vendors with phone numbers readily available, just in case there are any emergencies.

You want to be sublimely relaxed upon getting ready to walk down the aisle, we suggest doing something relaxing prior to your wedding with your bridesmaids. Perhaps you can all go to the nail salon, get massages, etc.
Last, but not least, enjoy yourself! Delegate any small tasks to others and focus on celebrating your love for one another.
Thanks so much for the great expert advice, Matthew! To see more of Matthew’s work, check out his member portfolio. If you’re wanting more wedding planning advice, check out Wedding Planning 101 – Five Steps to Planning Your Wedding.  cheap ball dresses


How to Choose Your Signature Cocktail – Expert Advice and Recipes from Oregon Bartending Service Mint and Mirth

Choosing the perfect libations to celebrate your big day can be daunting, especially if you’re trying to please a big crowd. Luckily, we spoke with Joni Whitworth from the award-winning Portland, Oregon bartending service, Mint & Mirth, who gave us some insider tips as well as yummy recipes for trendy and tasty cocktails. These summery drinks are all twists on classics and are sure to start your reception off with a kick!

“The Early Picnic” Signature Cocktail:
  • 2 oz tequila
  • 3/4 oz meyer lemon shrub
  • 1/4 oz lime juice

What advice do you have for couples selecting their signature cocktails?
Joni: If your budget is relatively tight, consider selecting just one light (vodka, rum, gin) and one dark (whiskey, bourbon, etc.). You’re sure to please nearly everyone! If you have kids and teen guests, remember that most cocktails can be made into mocktails by substituting juice or soda for alcohol. That way kids and teens can still feel like they are part of the action. Also, check out distilleries in your local area. Tell them you are getting married and want to design cocktails for your wedding, you may be able to get a free tour and tasting! 
“Change Your Clocks” Signature Cocktail:
  • 1 1/2 oz Hendricks gin
  • 3/4 oz mint shrub
  • topped with sparkling limeade
  • add a lime wheel garnish

“Fresh Cut” Signature Cocktail
  • 1 1/2 oz gin
  • 1/4 oz green chartreuse
  • 3/4 oz lemon juice
  • dash of rhubarb bitters
  • tonic
  • add a lemon peel garnish

What are some of the trendiest ingredients in wedding cocktails this season? 
Joni: Last summer I made variations on Meyer lemon drinks, such as Meyer lemon margaritas, Meyer lemon gin and tonics, and Bee’s Knees. This summer, I’m crafting my clients’ wedding menus around herbs, such as our tangerine thyme margarita.
“Miss Margarita” Signature Cocktail:
  • 1 1/2 oz tequila
  • 1/2 oz cointreau
  • 1/2 oz lime juice
  • 1/2 oz peach shrub
  • add a salt rim or dash of jacobsen salt

“Cherry Blossom” Signature Cocktail:
  • 3/4 oz Luxardo
  • 1 oz brandy
  • 1/2 oz green chartreuse
  • garnish with cherry

What advice do you have for couples who are trying to find a wedding bartending service as professional and unique as Mint and Mirth?
Joni: I would advise them to spend an extra 10-20 minutes of up-front research. Reading up about potential cocktail catering companies will answer common questions and give you some insight as to that company’s style and process. The person you work with should have excellent manners, be prompt, communicate clearly, and have a list of references you can contact. Lastly, always put everything in writing!
“Northern Fjord” Signature Cocktail:
  • 1 oz brandy
  • 1/2 oz aquavit
  • 1/2 oz orange juice
  • 1/2 oz lime juice
  • 1/4 oz grenadine
  • add an orange peel garnish

What is a go-to drink that is always a crowd-pleaser at weddings? 
Joni: I love to make a nice Rhubarb Gin and Tonic or a Kentucky Mule. These are simple, fast drinks that are exceptionally easy to make, yet have a big aesthetic impact!

The Photo Shoot Team:
Shoot concept and cocktails by Mint & Mirth
Photography: Myles Katherine
Floral: Bella Bloom Floral
Design: CK Wedding and Event Design
Venue: Commissary Cafe
Hair and Makeup: Gina Campbell
Gowns: Lena Medoyeff