What Does a Wedding Designer Do?

Wedding Design Is...

The process of telling of your story.

 Beautiful Ceremony Location on the Family Farm

Beautiful Ceremony Location on the Family Farm

Wedding design is the in depth fun analysis of you as a couple. Some of what we look at include: How did you meet?  What is your favorite thing about each other? Where do you like to go together to get away from it all? If you had a choice, where would you live and why?  What are your favorite foods, music, colors? Our goal - to give your wedding a cohesive, stylish look with an atmosphere that transforms the space!

We create with you the overall feel that is reflective of the two of you.  Are you big recyclers and eco-conscious? Perhaps hand-made papers, menu's on "seeded paper' your guests can plant when they get home, saplings as favors.  It takes time chatting, hanging, and picking your brains to get to know what makes you tic as a couple and what is unique about you, your relationship, and those things in life that are important to you. Once the getting to know you is done, then the work for the designer really begins...

How does a designer work?

Influences on the Wedding Design

Each step in the design process provides a building block, to achieve the mood and ambience you desire. Major items that influence the design are:

The Setting - the physical location and/or facilities where the events will take place

 Blue Moon Theme

Blue Moon Theme

The Situation - the circumstances that frame your decisions, budget, number of guests, formal- ity, time of day

The Season of Year - influences your choices of color, texture and menu

Site Inspection - determine the flow of events and guest movements and comfort

Ideas and Inspirations

Based upon the location - begin a collection of photos, ideas and concepts you like for your event. Begin to free associate where you write what you like, adjectives that come to mind, what associations do they evoke...keep a running list, write down all the thoughts of your desired mood and ambiance.

The more restrained your color palette, the more liberated your design. I usually pick three or four colors and do not stray except to variations in tone and shade. The season and setting are the strongest guides in choosing color, and the colors chosen should harmonize with both. Let your imagination flow, then let us create your ideal mood and atmosphere with the perfect combination of color, light and texture.

Example of free association: Trees, green, leaves, vines, orchids, garden flowers, pathways, bark, stone, moss, botanicals, conservatories, berries, lights, lightweight, linen, floaty, deconstructed, organic, natural...Trees and Ferns, Acorns and Daises, Hydrangeas and Blueberries, Snow and Roses, Pink and Chocolate....whatever you fancy!

The Process

  • First - The overall feel, "theme" - your wedding wish list is identified
  • Second - Key areas that are most important to you are identified in accordance with your budget guidelines
  • Third - Vendor Recommendation and selection of those who "FIT" with your vision
 Beautiful Crudite' Display to match wedding Rich plum tones

Beautiful Crudite' Display to match wedding Rich plum tones

 Cigar Bar - Why Not?

Cigar Bar - Why Not?

The Details

It is the simple, yet elegant details that create the unique feel, mood and atmosphere for your event. From the very first piece of stationary your guests receive through the last moment they are a part of your wedding events, you want everything to flow, be coordinated, and be reflective of you as a couple.  Your guests should feel welcomed and that their comfort was paramount in addition to being shown a fabulous time.  The goal is for everyone to feel that the event was all "you" and that all had a comfortable, and memorable experience.  

How is a designer different from a planner?

 Newly Married

Newly Married

As you've seen, a designer gets into the "feel", look and style of your wedding and guides your selections based upon that knowledge.  A planner is primarily about the "logistics" of your wedding -- Vendor referrals, contract negotiations to day of coordination.  Typically, planners are your main point of contact for all vendors; they are invaluable when you have little time to devote to the logistical details of planning your wedding.

What Planners Do For You

A wedding planner is the professional person or team that helps the bride and groom prepare, organize, design and financially manage the wedding. Their services start from a year prior to the wedding and end a few days before.  Planners take the guesswork out of planning a wedding as much as possible.  They help you manage your budget, handle the logistics, and the best planners, with their years of experience will not be affected by the "unexpected". The good planners will negotiate on your behalf, schedule and attend vendor meetings. They typically attend site tours, menu tastings, assist with coordination of travel, hotel accommodations and room blocks. 

They will give the bride and groom the choices and all they have to do is tell them what they want at their wedding, how they want it and which choices they prefer. Wedding planners are also a big help if planning a destination wedding, meaning the bride and groom are planning to marry in another country; all the forms and legal works are usually done by the wedding planners.

The advantage of an Experienced Planner is you have decreased stress leading up to and throughout the wedding festivities, you have greater budget management and ...you don't have to worry about your organization skills and if you have thought of everything, your planner will cover you on all that!  The other major advantage of the Planner is that if your wedding is in an unusual spot, the planner covers you on back up plans, permitting, all the necessary legalities of having a wedding in a non-standard location.

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Before you decide on hiring a wedding planner or wedding coordinator, ask yourself these questions:

  • What is your overall budget? Are you willing to spend at least 10-15% of that budget on a wedding planner? If not, a wedding coordinator could be more cost effective for your needs.

  • How much time do you have to dedicate to planning a wedding? If it’s less than 3-5 hours a week, a wedding planner might be what you want.

  • Is your family or circle of friends giving you input with or conflicting opinions on your wedding? If so, a wedding planner could help deflect all those opinions and advice.

  • Do you feel like you have the vision but don’t know the etiquette or customs of a wedding (planning a seating chart, length of ceremony, order of program?). A wedding coordinator could be a good option for you.

How Does the Coordinator Differ from the Planner?

A wedding planner is the professional person or team that helps the bride and groom prepare, organize, design and financially manage the wedding. On the other hand, a wedding coordinator is responsible for taking care of the details on the day of the wedding.

What Does the Coordinator Do?

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A wedding coordinator is the person behind the scenes, on your wedding day making sure that it goes as smoothly as possible so you don’t have to worry or stress on your wedding day. You typically meet with a wedding coordinator about a month, or so, before your wedding to go over all of the plans you’ve made.  Based on the information you given your coordinator and conversations they’ve had with your vendors, your coordinator will create the wedding day timeline, own the flow of your wedding day, and attend to every last detail on the day.

Your wedding coordinator stays by your side throughout the day and night. They are there to tell you when things will be occurring throughout the night, such as the cake cutting, bouquet toss, toasts, etc. When I was planning, I stayed until the very end of the wedding, until all of the guests were gone. A venue coordinator stays until the meal is served, and the majority of the time, leaves after. Some may stay until the cake is cut and served. He or she will not be by your side throughout the day or night. Although the venue coordinator will do their best to keep you happy, he or she likely will not be involved if your bustle breaks, when it comes time to load up your gifts, or tracking down your lipgloss.

Be cautious of hiring a wedding coordinator that expects to just show-up on the day of your wedding and make it run smoothly. A real pro will start familiarizing themselves with the details of your wedding day at least a month before your wedding day, if not sooner.

What is the Role of the Venue Coordinator?

A venue coordinator represents the venue and ensures everything taking place at the venue (food and beverage prep and service, room set-ups, parking logistics) is in order but does not have the responsibility of handling all matters for the bride and groom.

 If your ceremony is at a location other than the venue, your wedding coordinator will be there with you. A venue coordinator will not be at that offsite ceremony. If the ceremony is at the venue, the venue coordinator may be there to help with the coordination of the ceremony.

The Bottom Line

Whether you will be relying on an on-site coordinator or an event designer or the point-person from your catering team there should be someone who can oversee the details on your wedding day (oh, and this person is not YOU!).  If you hire a professional wedding team that you trust to be in control of all their respective areas (i.e. your florist knows exactly how you want your tables to look, your caterer is checking in all of your rental items, your DJ knows where to set up and access power, your cake maker is familiar with your venue, etc.) then the biggest task you may have to handle could be wrangling groomsmen and bridesmaids.

Bride and her ladies on New Years Eve.jpg

Why Hire a Professional Wedding Photographer?


Featuring: Kris Lenox of K. Lenox Photography

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The Magic of a Wedding

For nearly 25 years we have created magical memories for a diverse set of clients all around the South East and New England.  We strive to create a wedding that is uniquely yours highlighting what is important to you. We develop a picture by creating visual and emotional experiences that resonate powerfully to your guests.  Now how do you capture the true magic of the day!  The answer, having the right photographer! 

As a wedding designer and coordinator I have heard a number of horror stories about wedding disasters. People being let down with the results that a non-professional has produced. Your photos are the only lasting memory you will have of the day, and if they don’t turn out as you want, then your memories will be ruined.

Can't my friend do it?

Often times clients get sticker shock when looking for a photographer.  Then they try to skimp by choosing to let ‘a friend’ do it, or ‘I know someone with a good camera’, or ‘we’re just going to let our guests take the photos’. This is all well and good and you may feel that you are saving money by doing this, but I guarantee you will be disappointed.

I asked a photographer friend of mine, Kris Lenox - owner and wizard of K. Lenox Photography - why she thinks hiring a professional is a good idea...

Why Hire a Professional

You have to trust that the person taking your photos is educated in one way or another.   But what can't be taught is passion, how to "compose" the shot,  how to have a good eye. And, let's not forget, that you actually have to have people skills, be able to communicate, make people comfortable in front of the camera - and how to pose people to make them look their best in a photograph.  

Professional wedding photographers have a passion for what they do, it is a full time career and they put everything into becoming the best they can be.  Clients do not know about all the technical BS: insurance, back up equipment, hard drives in case of failures, software, education and the experience that is all behind the scenes. They just know who feels right!

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The education

A professional photographer will have had years of training and/or schooling in the art of photography. They’ll know their equipment inside and out. They’ll be able to set their camera to the proper exposure intuitively, without having to stop and fumble through a manual. Wedding photographers in particular sometimes have just 2 to 3 seconds to adjust their settings on-the-fly so that they don’t miss a shot.

Think of it this way – the next time you go for a hair cut and you know a pair of scissors only costs $1.50 and you're told the hair style will be $100 - will you gladly pay that to hire a professional to actually do the job, or have your friend do it?.

Lighting Techniques

Lighting is key to successful photography and is a whole topic unto itself. It can take years for a photographer to master lighting techniques both in dimly lit barns or bright sunny ceremony locations . A professional photographer is able to adjust camera settings quickly and fluidly based upon diverse or changing lighting conditions. The professional is also experienced at expertly supplementing the natural lighting with their own professional lighting effects as needed, (think dark reception halls) all while keeping all the photos rendered consistent in look and quality. 

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There’s no shortcut to experience, and you take a tremendous gamble with a first-timer or an inexperienced photographer not knowing what to do at various points during your wedding.  Do you really want to trust all your memories on an amateur?  Blurry photos, inconsistent editing,  non-flattering ,  or even just a flat out stressful experience.

Professionally Invested

A professional photographer is working for you, and they are invested in your satisfaction. You are their client, not their relative or friend, and they will retain a level of professionalism your aunt or brother-in-law may not. They also have the fortitude and commitment to work for long periods without breaks and see the job through so that the best results possible are achieved.

Wedding Photography is a Passion and Art

When it comes to choosing photographers you can't compare apples to oranges. Everything today is done to be in a picture, everything goes into a photo somewhere....all things are documented.  If you are spending shit ton of $$$  on flowers, food, the photos are what you share with generations to come and they have to match your vision.  

Unlike the work of your other wedding vendors photographs aren't things you can hear, smell, taste or even see at first—you don't really know what you're getting until after the fact. That means careful research and selectiveness regarding professional skills, artistic style and personal demeanor are extra important when choosing your photographer.  Take the time to sit down with your photographer, look at their work, feel out their personality and style

I love what I do says Kris, I put my heart and Soul into my work and I think my customers are glad that I do!

The Fruits of Our Efforts

Like Kris, I too adore what I do. I put everything I can into understanding the couples vision for their wedding - what they love, what they want their guests to feel, see and remember.  I can tell you, after almost 25 years of designing amazing looks, the photographs are what last and what show all the love and passion that went into that very special of times - your wedding!

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