The Wedding Planning Process
Advice by Cassy Wood, Wedding Coordinator at Treetops Resort
Approximately ten minutes after getting engaged, people will ask you, “When is the big day?” To which, you will want to reply, “Back off Aunt Susan, I still have to get my ring sized!” I’m kidding of course, but it really will feel that way and that is when the pressure and stress can start. Take a deep breath! Remember that you are in control and can get married on your own terms! When it comes to planning a wedding, it is best to start with one of these four things – picking a season, setting a guest list, determining a budget, or selecting a venue. If you know you want to get married in the winter, that might help narrow your venues down to indoor locations. If you know you want all your friends and family there, make a guest list that will determine how big of a venue you will need. If you are a budget conscious couple and don’t want to spend your life savings on one day, then set a strict budget and stick to it. If you have always had your heart set on a certain venue – like our Fazio Putting Green with a golf theme reception in the Vista room, then that will set your season to summer and your guest list at 120. Starting with these decisions will help set you on the right path for wedding planning.
Once you start planning, try not to get overwhelmed with all the decisions. Take them one at a time and stay organized. Sites like The Knot or Wedding Wire can be extremely helpful by providing timeline tools and check lists. Use them as a guideline on what to focus on that month. They will provide every item you can possibly need for any venue on the check list. Don’t feel like you need to complete every one of them! If you don’t want a calligrapher or six-string quartet, you don’t have to have it. It’s your day!
Pinterest – the Ultimate Frenemy
These days everyone has a Pinterest and most people have a board about your dream wedding or at least a few pins of some creative wedding ideas. Pinterest is an amazing way to gather ideas can even provide some guidelines for setting a budget, who walks first in the processional, and what questions to ask your vendors. Pinterest can also become a monster that makes you fall in love with over-the-top ideas and pressures to do incorporate more DIY projects than you will have time to do. This is what makes Pinterest your frenemy. In the beginning planning stages you will pin so many things that your wedding board will be overloaded. Five hundred pins later you either have a clear wedding vision or you have a mental breakdown. Cry it out and then go back and pick your ultimate favorites – the things you must have.
My advice is to make your wedding personal to you as a couple. Try to think about you and your spouse, what you love to do together, how you met, etc. How can you represent that in your wedding? Do you love to snow board? Maybe have everyone sign a snow board instead of a guest book. Do you love to golf together? Use some golf tees in the groom’s boutonniere. Do you both love books? Incorporate your favorite stories into your centerpieces. After all, your wedding is about the two of you.
The Big Scary Budget Bear
Talking about the wedding budget is one of the hardest parts of wedding planning. Don’t let the budget bear smell your fear. Speak with your parents and your spouse’s parents about what they are willing to contribute. Also ask what they expect. Do they want certain people invited? Do they want you to use a family friend as your florist? This is difficult but asking up front, letting the budget bear show his teeth and roar, will allow you focus on other things down the road. Once you know what they are contributing, work with your better half to create a budget you are both comfortable with and work hard to stick to it.
When determining how much of your budget will be spent on what, focus on what your guests will remember. Think about the last few weddings you have gone to; what do you remember? Do you remember the color of the table clothes? Probably not. Do you remember the venue’s beautiful scenery? Probably. Especially, if the ceremony was held at Treetop’s Lark venue with its stunning mountain-like perspective over the vast untouched greenery below. Do you remember the flowers or centerpieces because you loved the bride’s creative touches? Do you remember how the DJ played way too much Taylor Swift? Focus the budget on what you want your guests to remember and skimp on the other things. If you have an unlimited budget, then let your fairy-tale flag fly! Get that pumpkin carriage or make your grand entrance via hot air balloon! Make your favors personalized macaroons and bottles of Dom Perignon. You can really give your guests something to remember!
Don’t stress! Your wedding day is supposed to be joyful! Here at Treetops, we try to take the stress out of wedding planning. You can have your ceremony and reception in one place! No need to hire transportation! Your guests can stay here so you don’t have to worry about having Designated Drivers. We have a spa and salon on property with a cute bridal suite for your wedding party to hang out in. No need to hire and coordinate with a catering company, our chef has a delicious menu with lots of options to choose from. Plus, our wedding packages are completely stress-free. They are priced per person and include everything in the list below:
- Ceremony Space Rental (and indoor back-up space for outdoor ceremonies)
- Reception Room Rental
- Private Room and Farewell Brunch for 35 guests
- Overnight Accommodations for the newlyweds on the night of the wedding
- Complimentary Menu Tasting
- Elegant floor-length white or ivory linens for all reception tables
- Chairs with fitted white covers
- Parquet Wood Dance Floor (N/A at Wilderness Cabin)
- Ceremony audio equipment if needed
- 2 Hors D’oeuvres
- Three Buffet Entrees or Two Plated Entrees
- Champagne Toast for the Head Table (up to 12)
- Expert Cake Cutting Services
- Beverage Station stocked with Coffee, Tea, Water, and Lemonade
We don’t have hidden fees for these items because we appreciate transparency when planning events. As a wedding coordinator, I am happy to provide an estimated billing up front, so you know what to expect. Plus, you work with me throughout the entire process. From the initial site visit to the tasting to the day of, I am here to help you. Whether that be creating the timeline, floor plan layouts, or wedding hashtag – I’m here to help! Additionally, I can provide discounts on golf and lodging to help plan a weekend full of wedding fun. In the end, remember it’s about the beginning of your marriage. The two most important things are your fiancé and the marriage license.
Best of luck & happy planning!