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The buzzword in the wedding industry at the moment and one of the biggest trends of 2020, is Micro Weddings! Many couples are seeking alternative ways to celebrate their wedding, giving them more freedom to personalise their ceremony and reception and a micro wedding works perfectly for them. Other couples are finding themselves forced to either postpone or downsize due to the uncertain times that the Coronavirus pandemic has caused, resulting in them having a micro wedding now and planning a big extravagant wedding sometime in the future. While we don’t know how long this will last, it’s clear that weddings are going to look very different, especially in size for a while.

However the pandemic is not going to stop people from falling in love and wanting to celebrate it. Read on to discover what a micro wedding is, the advantages of having a micro wedding, their average costs and ideas to make your micro wedding unique to you and your partner.

Rustic wedding decor bride and groom
Photo credit: Jono Symonds Photography – @jonosymonds – www.jonosymonds.com

What Is A Micro Wedding?

A micro wedding or boutique wedding as it is also know, is a ceremony and/or reception with less than 50 guests. It still features the traditions that make up a wedding including full nuptials but on a smaller scale. Unlike elopements that tend to be spur of the moment secret escapes, micro weddings are planned intimate affairs! They can be categorised in between an elopement and a full-on large wedding. 

Related: The Ultimate Guide To Planning Your Wedding During Covid-19

Fisherman's Bastion wedding photography Budapest
Photo credit: @elizahphotos – elizahphotos.com

Benefits Of A Micro Wedding

  • A large wedding can be a huge undertaking and can mean huge costs. By having fewer guests you can save money, create an intimate ceremony and ensure that it is only your nearest and dearest celebrating with you at your wedding reception.

  • With fewer guests comes less work and ultimately fewer opinions, which results in fewer people to please. How wonderful does that sound!!

  • You can take advantage of the small size and go somewhere you couldn’t go otherwise! Think destination weddings and unique spaces when choosing your Micro Wedding venue.  You’ll have more options due to the reduced guest count, places that wouldn’t be able to accommodate a large wedding. 

  • You may be able to cut costs on your photography package. Ask your photographer to  create a custom package for a shorter amount of time, as a smaller head count means less ‘must have shots’.

  • Micro weddings usually don’t require the same amount of planning, so your wedding planner may cost less than if they were to plan a full-scale wedding wedding for you.

  • Fewer tables will mean less florals. Replicating a centerpiece by 15 tables will cost considerably more than just a handful of tables. Your florist’s duties will be reduced and they probably won’t have the need to call upon a production team to assist with the install.

  • A small wedding however doesn’t mean you have to compromise on style! If you can’t forgo your dream of having a fabulous tablescape you can justify having a big floral budget, as you will ultimately save in other areas.

  • With a smaller group of guests you will have a better chance of spending quality time with each of your loved ones. 

  • Create a real impact with an element (s) that is most important to you! Go all out with a designer wedding dress that makes your heart skip a beat every time you see it. Hire a venue exclusively, especially if privacy is important to you. Why settle for a town car to deliver you to your ceremony when you can be transported in style and enjoy more fantastic views from the seat of a helicopter!

Candlelit wedding in rustic setting dream weddings Budapest blog
Photo credit: @emilyrosehamilton – emilyrosephotography.co.uk/ | Venues Asylum Chapel @maverickprojects & Brunswick House @lasscobrunswickhouse | Catering @brunswick_house | Hair @kathymcleanhair | MUA @tabitharr | Nails @bhambnails | Dress @cathleen_jia from @heart.boutique | Garter @hayze.boutique | Necklace @hardworkjewelry | Wedding Rings @margaretcross | Engagement Rings @annashefield | Suit @paulsmithdesign | Flowers @sage.flowers | Drinks @travellingginco
  • A big event can ultimately create big stress. With much fewer guests and knowing that you have your nearest and dearest won’t be judging you, will immediately make the planning and the day itself less stressful!

  • It can relieve the pressure to include all the components of a traditional wedding. Make your own rules, include the elements that are essential to you and leave out what doesn’t fit in with your values and vision!

  • There is no doubt that a smaller wedding will have fewer expectations. Not only do micro weddings allow you to be flexible with traditions, they also allow for more flexibility with the schedule of events at your celebration. Do things in an order that resonates with you!

  • If your budget allows, you can really create a wonderful guest experience by hosting them at your wedding venue ( a.k.a paying for their accommodation). This is ideal and easy to plan if you want to exclusively book a villa or small hotel. Something that could have complicated logistics with a larger guest count.

micro wedding reception outdoors

How To Personalise Your Micro Wedding

  • Adding personalised touches such as handwriting notes to each of your guests is a lovely way to show your appreciation for the effort they made to come. 

  • If you are artistic and wish to put in more effort into personalizing your celebration, then hand painting your invites is the way to go. You can continue the theme into all your wedding signage.

  • Wedding planning has entered the virtual age, from venue tours to bridal showers, so why not set the scene of your celebration by creating a virtual wedding invitation. Make a personalised video invite, with both of you sitting comfortably at home and request their presence at your celebration. If possible, take it a step further and record it at your wedding destination or the actual setting where you will exchange your vows. The video can be as creative as you wish. Make sure to include the main details of your wedding that would be found in a regular invitation such as names, date, times and location. It is more unique than sending out general invites and it will be something they can cherish forever.

  • Perhaps you would like to personalise the napkins by embroidering your guest’s name or initial on their napkins, like a bride of mine did. 

These special touches will be considerably less time consuming if you have fewer guests.

Couple embracing Dream Weddings Budapest blog

How Much Does A Micro Wedding Cost?

A micro wedding costs anywhere from €2500 for an elopement and reception combination with 10 guests or fewer to €10,000 for a full ceremony and reception with 50 or fewer guests.

Should I Wait To Have My Big Wedding Or Plan A Micro Wedding Instead?

This is entirely up to you! You have to determine what will ultimately make you both the happiest, taking into account the current pandemic conditions and your wedding budget. Whether you have a traditional big wedding or a micro wedding, you will have an incredible celebration and everyone will come away from the day with wonderful memories. If you want to get married as soon as possible but the current pandemic conditions are interfering with your dream of a big wedding, then have both. If your wedding budget can accommodate it, have a micro wedding now with your nearest and dearest and then have a sequel wedding later down the road.

Natural wedding cake frosting table decoration

 

For more information about Micro Weddings in Budapest and to discover the best micro wedding venues in Hungary, please get in contact here. The same elements that you would find in a regular wedding can be included but your Micro Wedding Package can be completely personalised to suit your budget, style and guest count.

Catherine Sakka-Gallagher wedding planner Budapestsignature of Catherine Sakka-Gallagher, wedding blogger Budapest

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When I started wedding planning in Budapest I expected that I may encounter some difficulties along the way, however I never imagined that  I would have to pivot my business and the wedding plans of my couples due a global pandemic. Dealing with couples whose plans have been turned upside down is heartbreaking. Unfortunately the coronavirus epidemic has not disappeared, and as I write this the number of cases are rising here in Hungary and many other countries worldwide.  I’ve created this ultimate guide for planning your wedding in Budapest during Covid to help you navigate these challenging times. With tips to help you get started and move forward with your wedding plans to providing advise on how to plan for a socially distanced wedding, all the way through to a guide on how to deal with postponing your wedding if you are faced with that unfortunate task.

Socially distanced wedding during Covid-19
Photo credit: @kyliecrumpphoto | Venue: @thewhitesparrow | H&MU: @lashesandlacemuah | Floral: @blushingtonblooms | DJ: @djadammorgan with @leforcedj

HOW CAN I PLAN MY WEDDING IN BUDAPEST DURING COVID?

There is no need to put all your Budapest wedding plans on hold. I know a big part of wedding planning is making checklists and the sense of accomplishment you feel when you complete tasks and tick them off your wedding checklist. However you may feel like it is pointless trying to do anything if shops and businesses are closed or if there is no sign when travel restrictions will be lifted again. Despite those headaches, wedding plans are not on a complete pause! There are some aspects of planning your wedding that can start and continue despite the pandemic. You probably do anyway, but make sure you utilise the internet! Everything from researching wedding venues in Budapest to finding Hungarian wedding dress salons can be done via the internet! Here is a list of prep work you can be doing from the comfort of your own home! 

Virtual Wedding Venue Tours

Virtual wedding venue tours may seem like a new trend since Covid made venues and wedding planners need to pivot their wedding planning services. However as a wedding planner in a destination, I’ve been providing the service for a few years now. This way couples can save a lot of time by creating a shortlist of wedding venues to visit when they come to Budapest. However some couples, for one reason or another can’t come to Budapest to visit the venue in person. They end up choosing their wedding venue based on the virtual tour! So you can rest assured that you can find your dream wedding venue in Budapest without ever stepping inside the door!

Despite the fact that many hotels are closed to guests, they are still taking bookings and welcoming viewings of their event spaces. Meeting with event coordinators on a one-to-one basis makes it easy to practise social distancing. Your wedding planner or venue coordinator can provide a prerecorded video tour of the event space or give you a live tour online. One of the  advantages of a live feed is you can request the camera man or woman to zoom in on any details and ask questions accordingly. The best part about it is that you can include anyone in the Zoom call, from your parents to your maid of honor/best man. If you know that your grandparents are not going to be able to make it, it is a great way to include them in the excitement of your planning process!

In the later stages when it comes to planning out your event space, virtual tours will make decisions like choosing where to place your head table, the DJ booth and everything down to your dessert table easier than trying to decide simply from a floor map.

Virtual Wedding Dress Shopping

Currently bridal salons are open in Budapest. They are taking precautions with their staff and clients. However salons may be closed near you but providing virtual wedding dress shopping. What bride ever imagined that they would be trying on or choosing their wedding dress virtually? Well that is a reality for some brides during Covid. Some salons offer video consultation, place dresses on models or mannequins so you can see how the fabric drapes and the dress is in motion. They will also send out fabric swatches so you can feel it and see the colour in person!

If bridal salons are closed and you want to wait until they reopen to get the real wedding dress shopping experience, then use your waiting time to thoroughly research bridal gowns and be prepared for when they do reopen with my Do’s and Don’ts of Wedding Dress Shopping.

Bride slipping into her wedding dress
Photo credit – @andrij_davis andrijdavis.com

 

Research & Design Your Wedding Stationery

You can still send out your save the date and invitations during Covid-19. Look for stationery companies to design your wedding suite or design your own and you’ll just need to find a printing company! 

Create Your Wedding Vision

Many couples contact me without really having any idea of how they would like their wedding to look or the atmosphere they wish to create, they just know they want their destination wedding in Budapest! Part of my job is helping them in this area and through a list of questions and Pinterest boards if necessary, we come up with their wedding vision. If you have a wedding planner, work with them to figure out the style of venue you would like in Budapest.  They will curate a list of the best venues, whether it’s a venue with a view of the Buda castle, a spectacular rooftop setting for your ceremony or a river boat on the Danube for you to enjoy Budapest’s most famous landmarks.

If you don’t have a wedding planner but would like one, start searching on Instagram and Pinterest to help you with the visuals. For help with creating figuring out what you want and don’t want check out 30 Wedding Planning Questions For Engaged! You’ll be well on your way to establishing how you want your wedding to look and the atmosphere you would like to create!

Research & Contact Vendors

From a wedding planner in Budapest to a Dj in Debreceen, they are all still able to send you their offers and wedding packages in Hungary through email! You will find most vendors are adapting their original rigid wedding planning packages and being more flexible with their services to meet the needs of couples during the pandemic. You can check their social proof on Instagram, Facebook & Pinterest etc. and consultations by phone and video chat are possible. Once you’ve chosen desired vendors, contracts can all be scanned and returned by emil, then the design process can get underway.  You or your wedding planner can set up an initial zoom meeting to introduce vendors to each other and continue throughout the planning process with meetings to discuss ideas and collaborate on vision boards. 

Wedding at Corinthia Budapest with feathers and flowers
Photo credit: @corinthiabud

Choose Your Food & Beverage Menus

Choosing a wedding menu without a tasting is not unheard of. For some couples, coming all the way to Budapest to make small decisions like that is not feasible. Choose a menu that you think the majority of your guests will like. If you are not living in Hungary but would like to include some local dishes or Hungarian wines or beers, then ask your venue coordinator, catering manager or wedding planner what they would recommend.

All catering companies and venues have safety measures in place during Covid. If you are experiencing any food and beverage challenges with your venue, then food trucks could be a great option for your wedding.

Choose Your Wedding Playlist

Get working on your wedding playlist. Pick and choose from your dj’s recommendations or make your own list from scratch. Ensure the songs are uplifting, suitable for your guests and make you want to get out on the dance floor! You’re possibly looking at 40 songs to fill a 2 hour set, so multiply that by how many hours you are planning to have your Dj entertain your guests. That will keep you occupied for a while. Don’t forget to choose music for the special events of the day, from your recessional to cutting the cake!

Map Out Your Reception Space

Consider what type of head table you would like first, then plan out the formation of your guest tables. Whether tables are round or rectangular, keep a safe and comfortable distance between them and space out your seating.

The dance floor may be an area of concern for your guests. Consider how many will attend, then make it big enough to provide ample space for them to keep a safe and comfortable distance apart. Having the dance floor outdoors would be great the optimal choice or alternatively place your dance floor near the doors leading out to a terrace/garden!

For all other event areas such as the ceremony, waiting area and cocktail hour, ensure they can accommodate your guests comfortably without overcrowding!

Get A Start On DIY Projects For Your Wedding

DIY items can often take longer than you think! Make your health and safety measures personalised and fun. Design your own signage reminding guests to wash hands and wear gloves if necessary or provide personalised face masks for your guests.

DIY wedding projects, wrapping and packaging giftd

Plan Your Wedding Day Timeline

Once you know details such as the starting time of your ceremony, distance from venues, the location of your wedding photos, whether you are doing a first look or not and the start time of your reception, then you can draw up a rough draught of your wedding day timeline. Just remember to remain flexible with it!

Write Your Vows

These always tend to get left to the last minute, so now is the perfect opportunity to set aside some time to focus on your vows. If you are literally lost for words, then hunt through the internet for samples to inspire you. There’s no excuse for you to end up furiously scribbling down your vows the morning of your wedding!

Write Your Wedding Speech

Create the main body of your speech with details of how you met and your first impressions of your spouse etc. You can always include little anecdotes and the usual ‘thank you’s’ closer to your wedding day.

Research Wedding Live Streaming

When contacting videographers and photographers, enquire if they include live streaming in their wedding package. Be prepared in case things don’t go as you planned. You may have to live stream your ceremony or reception in case some close family or friends can not make it or if you end up needing to downsize at the last minute to meet health & safety or travel regulations.

Think about ways to make the live stream fun for those guests that can’t attend in person. To avoid them dropping off after the reception, encourage your in-person guests to interact with them. If you have a master of ceremonies they can create games, polls and ask them for song requests as simple ways to keep them involved.

Research Wedding And Travel Insurance

Read the small print! Covid should fall under the ‘Force Majeure’ clause, however it may prove difficult to find a company that will cover you for a pandemic now!

Wedding bouquet with Budapest Mathias Church in Background

Research Accommodation

If you or your guests are travelling from out of town then start researching your options for hotels, apartments, guesthouses or Airbnb’s. You’ll have time to thoroughly research the area in Budapest where your venue is or choose the most convenient for visiting tourist attractions. 

Unfortunately the pandemic has impacted the tourist trade in Budapest dramatically. A lot of smaller boutique hotels have been closed for the past couple of months. Facilities such as spas and swimming pools, both public and within hotels may be closed! Call your desired accommodation before booking to ensure they are/will be open and to inquire about their policies during Covid-19. 

Discuss Your Plan B

Couples have always been advised to have a Plan B on their wedding day, usually to avoid bad weather conditions. However now your Plan B and Plan C’s are vital if Covid circumstances force you to change your original plans. Everything from your wedding destination to your venue, vendors guests and travel need to all be considered.

rhinestone face mask and face shield by Victor Gonzales
Photo credit & designer: @victorgonzalesoficial @victorgonzalesperu

CONSIDERATIONS TO TAKE THROUGHOUT YOUR WEDDING PLANNING

 It is normal to get caught up in details, be a little selfish and lose sight of other people’s feelings and situations while wedding planning. Remember however that from your guests to your vendors, they are all trying to pivot these ever changing and uncertain times. Here are a few things you should be extra considerate with!

  • Consider your guests throughout the planning process, avoid leaving anyone in limbo by keeping them updated with any changes.  Set their minds at ease by sending them the list of health measures that your venue is taking during Covid-19. Add it to your wedding website or send a mass email informing them.
  • Your RSVP’s may not be returned in time especially if guests are holding out to see if conditions worsen. 
  • Your best friend may not immediately jump at the chance to be your bridesmaid. Her first thought may be the fear of getting on a flight to Budapest and possibly catching Covid-19!
  • Grandparents or your elderly guests who are more susceptible to catching diseases may not feel comfortable being in a room with many people. After practising social distancing or self isolation for months, they may not want to take the risk!
  • Be compassionate with your vendors, understand that the pandemic is affecting them personally and professionally. Their spouse may have to work from home, they may need to tutor and care for their kids all day. Your wedding vendor could take longer than usual to respond to emails or find it difficult to get a quiet moment to have a video chat with you. Also accept that if you wish to postpone,they may not be available for your new date.
  • Basically you need to be flexible with all your wedding details!

autumn table decor micro wediing

PLAN BEYOND YOUR WEDDING

Many couples get so caught up in the romanticism of wedding planning from the moment they get engaged. It’s easy to lose sight of the fact that they have a whole life to plan together beyond their wedding day. From baby planning to travel plans to where you imagine your forever home to be, if they haven’t been the topic of conversation before, then utilise this time to chat about them. 

SOCIAL DISTANCING WEDDING TIPS

  • Opt for plated meals over buffet options. If you must have a buffet, then provide a couple of pairs of surgical gloves per guest to wear while handling dishes and selecting their food at the buffet table.

 

  • If you can afford it, hire extra waiting staff to provide table service instead of a general bar area and allocate one server per table . As I mentioned before, space out your seating arrangement during your ceremony and reception.

 

  • If possible, have your ceremony and reception outdoors. If that’s not an option, choose the largest room that your venue has to offer.

 

  • Surfaces that everyone will touch such as door handles, are a real trap for germs, place sanitiser where possible; entrances, outside the lavatories, on the tables and at the bar!

 

  • Ensure all your vendors are practising the local health recommendations, from wearing masks, to hand washing and sterilising! They will probably be familiar with the guidelines, but it’s advisable send them and your guests a list of local guidelines in advance of your wedding day!

 

  • Your venue may already have signs around your event space with health guidelines, but if not you can ask them to print out some or do it yourself as I mentioned above.

 

  • Place some flowers near sanitiser dispensers to make them look prettier and more inviting.

 

  • Provide “Comfort” bands, ribbons or pins as way to let everyone know each individuals level of comfort when it comes to being close to others. Create 3 options with different colours to indicate the levels. One for those expressing desire to keep their distance from others, another for a mild level of distance where chatting is possible but no touching and the third for those comfortable with hugs and chatting
Bride standing at Heroes' Square
Photo credit: @weddingsimaginedbysofia

WHAT DO I DO IF MY WEDDING CAN’T GO AHEAD AS PLANNED

POSTPONE YOUR WEDDING INSTEAD OF CANCELLING!!

You could find yourself in the situation where your wedding can’t go ahead or at least how you originally planned it! This is gut wrenching I know but just take a deep breath and begin putting a Plan B together. You have to do what suits you as a couple but there are many reasons why postponing your wedding is a better option than cancelling!

 

  • From your perspective, postponing allows you to utilise the money you’ve already spent, just on a future date. If you cancel, essentially this money will just be lost. 

 

  • From the perspective of your vendors, postponing is essential to allowing their small business to survive!

 

  • It may not be your biggest concern but you are helping to keep your wedding venue and it’s staff stay in business.

Send ‘Change The Date’ Cards

If you do need to change your wedding date, you can send “Change the Date” postcards or email invites! Choose something bright and cheery to bring a little sunshine to the situation.

Reschedule Your Official Ceremony

If you have planned an official wedding ceremony in Budapest, contact the registry office that you originally registered at. They should be able to reschedule your date at no extra cost if your new date is within 1 year of your application. Please contact them as soon as possible however as their policy may change!

floor plan for wedding reception, colour swatches

Read Your Contracts

In these times of uncertainty, it’s essential to read your contracts to make sure you understand your vendors policies around cancellation or rescheduling.

 If you must postpone your wedding but want to keep your legal Ceremony you have two options, either include your guests or have a secret ceremony!

  1. You can include them virtually on Zoom! Invite them through a private link. In keeping with your original vision, ask them to get dressed up.  Take photos, group shots, screenshots and selfies and everyone can upload and share their photos through an online app!  
  2. If you feel some guests will be disappointed by not being at your ceremony in person then do it privately. It can be a close knit small group or just the two of you and your witnesses. When it comes to your main wedding day you can still have a ceremony that will look official!

The upside of having a ceremony on your original date and having your wedding later, is that if you wish you can wear your wedding dress twice. Very few brides get that opportunity!

It’s actually more common than you think! Since I’m based in a destination wedding location, many of my couples choose to get legally married in their own country before hosting their wedding here in Budapest with a ceremony that looks official .

Talk to Your Venue and Vendors

Get in contact with your venue first and then your venues in order of importance. Refer back to your contracts for the cancellation and postponement policies as well as any fees or non-refundable deposits. There will undoubtedly be a varying response but most Hungarian wedding vendors are doing their best to accommodate couples when it comes to changing their wedding date.

New Date Dilemmas

What happens when you need to postpone your wedding and a Saturday isn’t available during your preferred season? You may need to consider a Friday or Sunday wedding, or possibly a midweek wedding in Budapest! Before completely shutting down the idea of having a wedding on a Wednesday or Thursday, check out The Top Advantages Of Having A Midweek Wedding! Regardless of which day of the week you are able to reschedule your Budapest wedding for, guests are still going to do their utmost to come and celebrate with you because they know what you went through.

Your vendors may not be able to commit to your new date! If you find yourself with this dilemma don’t fret, ask them to refer you to another or hire a wedding planner to tie up any loose ends in order to complete your vendor list.

It’s okay to be saddened by loss of the wedding day you imagined. You may feel angry and anxious and these feelings are perfectly normal during wedding planning in a pandemic! These times are tough emotionally but remember you are fortunate to be going through it with your best friend! Take care of each other!

signature of Catherine Sakka-Gallagher, wedding blogger Budapest

If you are planning your wedding in Budapest or another part of Hungary from a distance and find trying to navigate all the details too much, then get in touch! In addition to my main wedding planning services, I offer hourly consulting. I can help with anything from finalising your vendor list to dealing with any setbacks you may encounter!

For up to date information on Covid-19 in Hungary check here

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READ THIS BEFORE HIRING A WEDDING PLANNER!!

How Long Does It Take To Plan A Wedding?

Planning a wedding! How difficult can it be? Just fill your day with the people you love in a place you love and add details that everyone will love! Sounds easy right? Well in reality it’s not so simple! Weddings are exhilarating, emotional and exhausting and it takes approximately 300-500 hours to plan a wedding in a period of 9-18 months! Do you really have the time to plan your own wedding? 

Why Hire A Wedding Planner?

Being a wedding planner is not all cake & confetti, however it is a privilege to work with couples on one of the most important days in their life.  I love being part of a day that celebrates love and happiness, family and unity! Hiring a wedding planner may seem like a big investment, but imagine the relief you will feel knowing you have an expert to manage the planning process, help you make informed decisions, keep track of the hundreds of details, attend vendor consultations with you, or in your place and then pull everything together into a perfectly coordinated wedding day. Between finding the perfect venue, coordinating the caterers, choosing the right photographer, organizing the flowers and styling, and keeping costs within your budget, they will keep on top of all those tasks.

You don’t want to spend your entire engagement trying to navigate all the moving parts of wedding planning, fussing over details and sending countless emails to vendors when you could be enjoying this precious time with your fiancé(e)! You can have peace of mind knowing that you have somebody not just to keep things moving and flowing on the day but also to handle any emergencies that may arise! Put your trust in a wedding planner and they will bring your vision to life!

Wedding planner in Budapest with bouquet

Wedding Planning Packages

Different wedding planners will provide different degrees of wedding planning services and handle the process in their own unique ways. Many planners offer a choice of packages ranging from full or partial planning to wedding design or month of coordination. You may not realise the extent of wedding planner duties, so I have listed them below. I provide most of these services and you will find that other wedding planners will offer variations and combinations of them, depending on the wedding package you choose. 

Before Contacting A Wedding Planner

It’s important to know your estimated budget, approximate date, guest count and your desired venue or at least the style of venue you wish before contacting a wedding planner. They won’t be able to give you an accurate quote for any wedding planning packages without knowing these details. For a more detailed list of questions that a wedding planner will probably ask check 30 Wedding Planning Questions For Engaged Couples.

Get To Know Your Wedding Planner

I like to have an initial get-to-know-you personal meeting or video chat so that I can learn more about the couple and to discuss all aspects of your wedding. It’s important that we are on the same page before signing any contract. There will be so much communication involved between you and your wedding planner throughout the planning process, it’s imperative that you get each other!

What Does A Wedding Planner Do For You?

wedding-timeline-template-wedding-planner-duties
Wedding Timeline Discussion

Budget Projection

You may discover that your wedding expectations are misaligned with your budget, however your wedding planner can set you straight. Once you’ve discussed all the details, your wedding planner can breakdown the wedding costs and create a detailed wedding projection for you. They will set you straight on all the hidden costs and do their best to get you the best value for your financial resources. 

Help With Wedding Venue Selection

Wedding planners spend hours researching, coordinating, list-making, and visiting all the best venues so that you don’t have to. They will provide a shortlist of venue recommendations that fit your style, budget and location. The amount depends on your agreement. They will accompany you on the tours of these venues or provide virtual tours by the way of live video call or prerecorded video. During the planning process they work with your venue to coordinate logistics and all details related to the venue.  

Wedding stationery flat lay by Margo and Bees
Wedding Stationery by Margo and Bees

Design & Distribute Wedding Invitations

Some wedding planners will assist with printing your invitation suite, send out your Save The Dates and invites and deal with RSVP’s. As I deal with couples from abroad, logistically it is better if they do this themselves or hire a professional living close to them for this part of the wedding planning process!

Create A Wedding Timeline

They will assist you in the development of the wedding day itinerary and create a detailed wedding timeline and floor plan for the the contracted vendors. They are the point of contact for your team of wedding professionals. They will communicate all your requests to them, provide them with the schedule and answer any questions they may have.

A wedding planner will assist you and guide you with your timeline of events for the day. Once you are happy with it they will create a timeline for the vendors, coordinate with your venue and make sure everyone arrives in plenty of time, ensuring everything gets completed in time. 

Provide Wedding Dress Shopping Assistance

On the wedding day, everything will be coordinated and set-up without the need for your presence. Each vendor from the florist to the furniture rental agency will know where and when they should set-up. 

Your wedding planner will do her best to ensure that the set up will be seamless and out of view of your guests ( venue permitting ). My biggest pet peeve is when I am a guest at a wedding and I witness the setup, it’s like sitting in your seat at the theatre and being able to see a performer standing in the wings side stage before it’s their time to enter. I always try to ensure that the guests only experience the finished product, not the process!

The wedding planner will oversee all the main events of the day to ensure that everything runs smoothly and that the couple and their guests are having the best experience possible!

Recommend Vendors & Wedding Creatives

Wedding planners offer recommendations for every possible wedding professional you should need, from catering companies to photographers to makeup artists and florists and everything in between.

They liaise between the couple and the wedding vendors/creatives before you book them and after, answer any questions you may have about their process and vice versa by answering their questions about your desires and timeline. They negotiate the fees and ensure they are getting the best deal. Your wedding planner will work with your selected vendors to obtain the contracts, they will review them and check that all details are correct before forwarding to you for signage. 

During the planning process they will continue to work with your selected vendors to answer any questions and coordinate all necessary logistics and details.

Florist giving wedding bouquet to wedding planner

Wedding Styling & Design

When couples hear “wedding planner” they immediately think of coordination and logistics. However, even more than that, a lot of wedding planners offer design services to accompany their full-service wedding planning duties, advising and assisting in the styling of the wedding, if the couple requests it. 

Wedding planners will create floor plans, mood boards, colour palettes and choose all the visuals such as flowers, furniture, draping and lighting. They will design your table decor, style your ceremony aisle and any backgrounds that need to be visually enhanced. They ensure the overall aesthetic carries throughout the event.

Coordinate A Design Mock-up

A wedding planner will schedule, coordinate and attend a mock-up of your table decor and/or any other elements. It’s advisable to do a mock-up if you are not sure about any details, from colours to floral combinations. What is a wedding mock-up you might ask? Well instead of just seeing images of the table wear, vases, swatches of fabric, colour samples or individual flowers , your wedding florist and design team creating your table decor will come together to crete an almost accurate creation of what your table will look like. They will create a guest table and set it as it will look on your wedding day, using all the elements that are required from the cutlery and glass wear to the floral centrepiece and the furniture. You can sit at the table an get a real feel for the atmosphere that the design will create. After you can make any edits you wish to ensure it is just perfect! Your florist or stylist may have a fabulous Instagram feed or have been featured in top wedding publications, however there is no harm in asking them to create a mock-up design for you. Seeing is believing after all!

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Wedding Design Mock-up

Help Create The Wedding Playlist

Wedding planners have the experience to know what can fill a dance floor and what music can have guests lulling back into their seats. You can probably think of 3-5 songs that you often hear at weddings and perhaps another 5-10 of your favourite songs, however that won’t even fill up an hour. Your wedding planner can help curate and complete your wedding playlist.

They Will Vet The Performers

Your wedding planner will recommend the perfect type of entertainment taking into consideration your venue, the atmosphere you wish to create and your guests. They will ensure there is no ‘stop’ in the mood and flow of the day. They will vet the performers, make sure all their professional requirements are met, from staging and sound to dressing rooms and vendor meals.

Wedding car with bouquet at Várkert Bazár, Budpest by Dream Weddings Budapest
Arrive at your wedding venue in style!

Book Transportation To & From Venues

They will recommend transportation companies to suit your style and guest count.  If need be, they assist with the coordination of your guests transport to and from wedding venues. They will coordinate with the chauffeurs on the day to ensure they are in the right place at the right time and keep on top of guest arrivals and departures to ensure the wedding day schedule is adhered to.

They Keep You On Top Of Plans

In addition to the wedding services listed above a wedding planner will help you stay on top of things such as reminders of fees due, any obligations such as required documentation due for the marriage license, appointments, and budget constraints and styling decisions that need to be made. 

There are so many details that go into a wedding day, it’s easy to overlook some and realise when it’s too late. Wedding planners through much practise and experience have checklists for each event of the day and will be able spot any missing elements from your wedding in good time! 

wedding vendor payment reminders, part of wedding planning services
Wedding Planners will remind you of any fees due!

Help Run The Wedding Rehearsal

A wedding planner is usually present at the main wedding rehearsal, advising the couple on wedding ceremony protocol and etiquette. They will oversee the run through of the processional and recessional, ensuring that everyone in your wedding party knows where and when to enter, where to place themselves and when to exit!

Prepare A Backup Plan!

Your wedding planner will create a backup plan, a must if you are planning an outdoor event! What will you do and who will you turn to if your catering company or your photographer doesn’t show up or the generator in your marquee looses power? A wedding planner will solve the problem and ensure you and your guests day is not ruined.

EXTRA WEDDING SERVICES

Some of these may be included in your Full Wedding Planning package, however they are usually offered as A La Carte options in addition to your main wedding package.

Offer Wedding Dress Shopping Assistance

Some wedding planners will assist you with choosing your bridal gown or recommend a wedding stylist for you. You may also be able to consult with them on bridesmaids dresses and other wedding party attire you may need.

We are fortunate in Budapest to have the atelier and showroom of the  world renowned bridal designer Daalarna. It’s a must visit for both local and international modern brides seeking unique gowns.

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Photo credit: Daalarna Couture – www.daalarna.com

Recommend Accommodation Options & Make Reservations

Wedding planners, especially those planning destination weddings will offer a selection of accommodations for you and your guests near your venue to suit different styles and budgets.

Plan Post & Pre Wedding Events

Wedding planners plan and coordinate other wedding related events such as the rehearsal dinner, a welcome party and day-after brunches.

Offer Extra Concierge Assistance

Destination wedding planners will also assist in creating personalised programs for you and your guests before and after the wedding day, anything from excursions to making dinner reservations. They often provide a list of ‘Things To Do’ and the top tourist attractions in the area as well as insider tips for getting around.  

Non Official Duties

You won’t find it among the list of services, but wedding planners can often be a should to cry on, working as part therapist to brides, easing their worries and stresses. As there is an enormous amount of work for wedding planners, some planning companies will offer you a Maid In Waiting to be there for you especially for you during those stressful moments. It’s always best to lay out your expectations to your wedding planner before signing with them.

How Much Does A Wedding Planner Cost?

This varies between wedding planners and depends a lot on where the wedding planner is based. It will also cost more if you have to fly your wedding planner to a destination. Prices are influenced by the amount of wedding guests, the type of service you choose and other logistics such as the amount of work involved. There is no one price fits all! On average, be prepared to allocate 10-15% of your budget to the fee of the wedding planner.

Wedding website on laptop of wedding planners desk

The Main Benefit Of Hiring A Wedding Planner!

It’s beneficial to have a wedding planner in some capacity. It will save you precious hours and a lot of stress. There is a reason why Wedding Planners write books on wedding planning, there is so much detail that goes into planning one. I hope I have left you with a comprehensive look into all the tasks and obligations that a wedding planner has, they will do the hard work for you! You just have to dream up your ultimate celebration, then do your research to find a wedding planner that will make your wedding dreams come true!

signature of Catherine Sakka-Gallagher, wedding blogger Budapest

If you are just new to my website you can read my brief introduction here! To learn more about my approach to wedding planning check out My Services page . If you would like me to help plan your wedding in Hungary, please drop me an email here and let’s create a one-of-kind experience together!

wedding-planning-Hungary-Budapest-Catherine=Gallagher
Wedding planning in Hungary
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