We know that planning a wedding is a challenge – the budget, the vendors, the details – which is why we are pleased to announce a new book from in-demand wedding planner Alison Hotchkiss. Titled “All the Essentials
,” it is a book and binder combined and is the perfect way for engaged couples to keep all of their ideas and to-do lists in one place.
Just recently we caught up with Alison and picked her brain for wedding planning tips and tricks. Here’s what she had to say:
What is your biggest piece of advice for planning a wedding?
You should have the tough conversations first! Setting up a budget and where the money is coming from. You want to make sure you stay organized and, if you don’t have the means to hire full planning help, make sure you do get month-of-planning services so that your special day is just that…special…and not work. It’s very helpful to have resources with you at all times, which is why we designed this planning binder. The binder is meant to be used as a tool for advice, to keep you organized with timing, and also to have one place to keep all your contracts and inspiration.
Tell us 5 things you love about weddings.
What I personally love about planning weddings is starting to see a couple figure out a style together. They start making big decisions together and compromise comes into play. There is also an effort to represent both individuals but also to express the couple as a unit. As far as the actual day, it’s pretty much all fun! Even the behind-the-scenes setting up for the most part is a blast. As planners, we’re in full execution mode. It’s such a thrill to start seeing your work come together so quickly after months of work. It goes by in the blink of an eye for the couple and the same goes for us! We also come to know the families and close friends and it’s so great to see everyone having a good time and getting involved on such a special day. The bride getting ready with bridesmaids and her mother is one of my favorite moments. The ultimate dress-up day – it gets me every time! The first kiss never gets old. I also personally love when couples exchange their own vows or have someone close to them officiate. It’s highly touching and so personal.
What events have you planned that still stand out in your mind and why?
So many great Sperry weddings actually!
There was the wedding at a private estate in New Buffalo, Michigan, that will always stand out for me! The tented reception was on the 5th hole of a golf course, – super pretty and inspired by the roaring ’20s. Classic!
This beautiful Maine wedding overlooking Bar Harbor! Such a fun, free-flowing event with rainbow color scheme, cool lanterns, and fireworks.
Favorite wedding trend of the moment?
Wedding trend you’d love to see disappear forever?
Some of my favorite design elements are letterpress invites and personalized escort card displays that speak to the event and its guests. Anything customized and personal. As long as something comes off as authentic to the couple, it won’t feel overly trendy. It should make sense. A graphic designer marries a chef…I can’t wait to see a menu designed by him with her influence on the food.
I wouldn’t shed a tear if I never saw typewriters or vintage suitcases again. There are better ways to represent a vintage-like feel without heading to the attic.
If you weren’t a _______________, what would you be?
I would be a photographer, hands down. I love love love love love taking photos. When I travel, my SDLR Cannon 5D is always by my side. I max out my iPhone every couple months with pictures.