Wedding Planning

  • Salt Plains Styled Elopement

    There’s a lot to love about wedding planning + event design! Working with amazing couples, celebrating love, and creating meaningful wedding-day moments is incredible. I love that this is what I get to do with my life! And, for my team and I, one of our absolute favorite things to do is styled shoots. We get to come alongside other wonderfully talented wedding vendors and create something beautiful.

    For this shoot we headed out to the Great Salt Plains State Park in Jet, Oklahoma. The bold black details set against the stark, white landscape made for a stunning atmosphere. From the black buttercream cake to the picture-perfect fall inspired bouquet, this styled elopement is the stuff dreams are made of.

    What made this shoot even more special was our beautiful couple. Yes, our models are a real couple. Their genuine love radiates from every shot.

     

    Ariana + Jackson from MAIIGO FILMS on Vimeo.

     

    I have to say a huge “thank you” to all the vendors involved! And how about that video? If it didn’t give you *all the feels,* maybe this will. We asked our sweet couple how they fell in love, and our “bride” said, “We fell in love in Jackson’s cozy apartment over lots of dinners he cooked for us (and multiple pints of Halo Top ice cream). He was constantly digging deeper to find out more about my heart, my story and the way my mind worked. He could almost always tell what I was feeling and saw all of my weaknesses as things that could help me bring more people to Christ. He wasn’t like anyone I had ever met, and we connected immediately. I don’t necessarily believe that everyone has just one soulmate in the world, but I think him and I are pretty dang close.”

    Until next time,

    XO – Stacy

  • SEO Tips for Your Wedding Planning Business

    Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can come across as a little scary for first-timers in the website world… which is exactly the category most new wedding planners fall into.  All the technical terms and industry jargon can be confusing and intimidating. That’s why I want to share five simple steps you can take to improve your SEO.

    First things first

    Before we officially jump into the post, you may be thinking, “But what exactly is SEO and why does it matter?” My favorite definition is this:

    Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing a website so that it performs well in organic search. Ranking highly for search terms which are known as keywords increases the visibility of a website and leads to a higher number of visitors to the actual website. — Stellar SEO–

    More visits to your website means more potential clients, which is a very good thing.

    Write posts your potential clients are looking for

    Before writing blog posts for your website, you should take a moment to consider your target audience. What are your brides/grooms searching for? What problems can you solve for them? How can you inspire them? What do they want?

    If you’re not sure what your potential couples are looking for, ask them! It’s easier than ever to throw out a fun poll or survey for your followers on social media. Or, if you’re married, think back to your wedding planning process. What questions did you have? What would you have wanted to read?

    Use keywords in your post titles

    “Keywords” are simply the words people use to find your content via a search engine. As search engines are working their magic, post titles are one of the many places they look to see if your content is right for the potential reader. Having strong, clear, compelling post titles will help your content get noticed.

    Post regularly

    In addition to keeping your website visitors engaged, fresh content helps you rank higher in search engine results. [Google likes a freshly updated website.]

    The good news is that there are so many elements and facets to weddings that there is plenty of blog post inspiration out there!

    Title your photos

    Another good way to sneak keywords into your website is to title your photos with… you guessed it, keywords. If you did an outdoor wedding with beautiful  peony bouquets, rather than leaving the default title of “IMG_112,” on your image, you could title it with the type of flowers you used, the fact that it was outdoors, or you could include the name of the venue or the town it was in. That way couples searching for inspiration along those lines are more likely to find you.

    Utilize Links

    They say, “Google hates a dead end.” This short video briefly hits on why.

    It’s important to include the occasional link to high-quality, reputable websites other than yours. For example if you write a post about bridal showers, you could include a link to a specially curated Pinterest board you made on the topic, or a another website with great resources. You can (and should) occasionally link to your own helpful content that relates to your current post.

    Bonus Tips
    • Post photos to your Google business listing regularly
    • Update your social media regularly (search engines are increasingly indexing social content)
    • Tag your posts
    • If you use WordPress, install the Yoast SEO plugin– it’s designed to help optimize every post

     

  • Is Hiring a Wedding Planner Really Worth It?

    Admittedly, as a wedding planner, I am a little biased. I do think either a wedding planner or a wedding day coordinator is a valuable investment into having a stress-free wedding day. However, I will also tell you that not every wedding planner is right for you. It’s important to find a pro you genuinely connect with and trust.

    All that being said, below are just a few of the reasons a planner is worth it.

    You (and your friends + family) should be celebrating

    Your wedding is, or at least should be, a joyful celebration. You should be creating beautiful memories with your friends and family, not worrying about delivery times and vendor set up. A wedding planner – or wedding day coordinator-  can take care of all those stressful wedding day details so you and your loved ones are free to enjoy yourselves!

    I forgot what? 

    There are so many moving pieces to a wedding, it’s easy to overlook things. A quality wedding planner will help you work through all those minute details and ensure all your bases are covered.

    Your time is precious

    You only get this “engaged” season once. It’s unique. It’s precious. You shouldn’t be stressed out the entire time!

    You may not need a full-service planner, but you may want to consider a few “a la carte” planning options to free up your time. Many planners offer hourly rates or a menu of small tasks they’ll handle for you, so you can outsource projects you hate and focus on the ones you actually have fun doing. Your time is valuable, you don’t want to waste it!

    Vendor Lists

    Wedding planners usually have a list of reliable pros they work with often. This is great because they generally have a groove or rhythm to the way they work together, and it makes things that much smoother on your wedding day.  Most wedding planners are also able to procure vendor discounts for you… And who wants to pay more than they have to?

    Timelines + checklists

    If logistics, timelines, and to-do lists aren’t your thing, a wedding planner can help! Planners are pros at creating timelines and checklists to help the wedding planning process run efficiently.

    I wish…

    Almost every time I meet someone new (who is married) and they find out what I do, they something like, “I wish I’d hired a planner for my wedding!” They then proceed to tell me about some snaffoo, family drama, or crazy situation that happened on their wedding day. It makes me sad because I wish I could go back in time and fix it for them.

    You might be saying, “But, Stacy, I’ve heard horror stories from people who have hired wedding planners, too.” Yes. You’re absolutely right. There’s no denying it. Planners are human too. However, an experienced planner usually has the tools to turn things around or salvage the moment. It’s like I said above, it’s about finding the right planner for you. She or he, should be able to help you avoid those, “I wish” regrets.

    So… Is it worth it? 

    It all depends on you. What do you want your wedding day to be like? Do you stress out easily? Would having a seasoned professional on hand give you the confidence you need to relax and rejoice on your big day? Another thing to consider is your family. Does your family tend to stress? Would a wedding day coordinator help your parents be able to breathe easier?

    It’s up to you. My hope is that whatever you choose, you have a blissful + beautiful wedding planning journey and the best wedding day ever!

  • Is Wedding Planning Right for You?

    I like to think of wedding planning as more of a calling than a job or a business. While most people could execute a “to-do” list, it takes a special kind of person to be calm and caring enough to excel as a wedding planner.

    ARE YOU CREATIVE?

    From designing decor to finding innovative solutions to wedding-day problems, wedding planners have to be creative. You have to be able to think on your feet or look at a room and see numerous layout options. Beyond that, you also have to be able to articulate your creative vision.

    DO YOU HANDLE PRESSURE WELL?

    Everything may be smooth sailing until the wedding weekend, but once the big day rolls around, there are A LOT of moving pieces. You’ll be answering numerous questions and directing dozens of people.  A great wedding planner has to exude grace under pressure.

    DO YOU LOVE PEOPLE?

    I mean do you genuinely, honestly love people? A person’s wedding is a one-of-a-kind experience. They’re entrusting with something precious. While this may be another day at work for you, for them it’s the biggest day of their life. Do you love people enough to respect and honor what they’re trusting you with?

    DOES ORGANIZATION MAKE YOU HAPPY?

    Bringing order to chaos, or better yet, preventing chaos is the name of the game for wedding planners. From coordinating family, vendor, and bridal party schedules on the wedding day, to plotting out table numbers and escort cards, there’s a lot of organizing to do. If checklists, labels, and timelines energize you, wedding planning might be a great fit!

    ARE YOU PERSISTENT?

    There are a lot of questions to ask and details to be worked out. Some clients can be indecisive, some vendors can be difficult to reach.  A solid wedding planner has to be persistent until each item on their to-do list addressed.

    If all that sounds amazing to you, then you’re likely a wedding planner at heart.

  • Five Reasons to Hire a Wedding Planner

    Whether you’re a bride on the fence about hiring a wedding planner, or you’re an aspiring wedding planner, but you’re not sure why someone would hire you, here are five reasons why wedding planners are so valuable.

    SOMEONE NEEDS TO BE SWITZERLAND

    Weddings have a unique way of bringing out strong emotions in people. From family and bridal party member to the occasional vendor. Having an objective third party there to navigate possible sticky situations that may arise is invaluable. Diplomacy and tact is the name of the game for wedding planners and they will always be in your corner helping you through the planning process.

    THERE NEEDS TO BE A “PLAN B” (AND C, AND D….)

    No matter how perfect the planning process was, the wedding day is a whole different ball game. Emergencies happen. From no-show vendors and inclement weather to drunk uncles dancing on tables, there’s a lot that can go wrong on a wedding day. Having a seasoned professional there who can spring into action could mean the difference between disaster and dream day.

    COUPLES SHOULD BE CELEBRATING, NOT STRESSING

    My team’s mantra is that “we help couples plan beautiful, stress-free weddings.” From the bottom of our hearts, we truly believe that every couple, their family, their bridal party, and their friends should be free to celebrate! None of them need to be stressing over escort cards and delivery times. Each couple’s wedding day is a one-of-a-kind experience and they should be soaking it in and having fun!

    MOM DESERVES TO BE MOM

    A significant portion of our clients hire us specifically so their mothers can relax on the wedding day. Moms (and/or Dads) often have their hands full with out-of-town family or hostessing (hosting) duties. The last thing they need is the pressure of being the de facto wedding day coordinator. She should be free to be mom and celebrate her baby’s beautiful union.

    PREFERRED VENDOR DISCOUNTS

    “Weddings are super cheap.” Said no one ever. A well-connected wedding planner can usually save you money by passing along savings from their preferred vendors. With all the money they can save you, they practically pay for themselves

    For a glimpse inside the life of a wedding planner, you can follow me over on Instagram.