Easy Wedding Ideas to Help Elevate Your Reception Design

You spend months (sometimes years) planning the perfect wedding day, trying to think of every last detail.  From the perfect menu to beautifully curated florals, you’ve hit all the high points, but have you considered the lasting impression attention to design details can leave?  I’ve teamed up with Roots Floral Design to share easy wedding ideas to elevate your reception.

“I truly believe that flowers are one of the best and easiest ways to elevate your wedding.”


Kaytee from Roots Floral Design, a wedding florist in Cincinnati, shared that while she might be biased, “I truly believe that flowers are one of the best and easiest ways to elevate your wedding. Flowers bring color, texture, and an overall theme to your event. The best way to tie in your wedding colors will be through flowers. Flowers help fill in empty spaces (think about the center of your tables!) and can really bring to life a wedding venue.” 

As a flower-lover myself, I couldn’t agree more that flowers help elevate any space!  Centerpieces in general are a necessary aspect of your dinner table and are often a huge design statement piece for couples.  Suspend it, drape it, elevate it. 


Kaytee says, “Linens are another design element that can add color and texture to your wedding. Some may say that linens aren’t necessary to have for your wedding day, but I would have to disagree. I would say that linens are the one easy wedding idea that can completely alter a design and space.”

Your choice of table linens – a lot of times a quick decision for many couples – can completely transform the entire look of a tablescape.  I encourage you to give thought to your linen selection and don’t be afraid of color, texture or making a statement!  Even if you choose a few key tables, such as a head table and cake table, this easy design element can have a big impact.

Accent Décor

I completely agree with Kaytee about using accent décor to elevate your design!  She says, “One of my favorite arrangements to design are accent decor pieces. Accent decor is an added and luxury expense, but if you have the means it can really change up your wedding space.”

Many couples want guests to experience that ‘wow’ factor when entering the reception space. Consider going big with your seating chart or suspending a floral focal piece above the dance floor to enhance the ambience of your venue space.  While accent décor is an added expense, bringing in a dramatic detail practically guarantees a breathtaking effect.

Paper Goods

From signage to menus, paper goods are an easy element to add to your wedding design.  Are you showcasing unique ‘his & her’ cocktails?  Do you want something unique in place of the typical seating chart?  If so, use custom or unique signage in these places.  Another great option is to commission a custom monogram or crest to use throughout your paper suite and design.  Use this detail on signs, menus, wax seals, napkins and so much more!

No matter how you choose to elevate your wedding décor, it is always a great idea to have a fantastic florist on your vendor team to help bring your vision to life!  Check out Roots Floral Design if you’re looking for a Cincinnati-based florist.


12 Things to Do After You Get Engaged

You’re recently engaged – first off, a huge congrats! – and the moment you’ve been waiting for is here.  There’s a new sparkly ring on your hand and it’s (maybe) starting to sink in that you’re getting married!  This moment is so surreal, yet so real, and the moments ahead are sure to fly by in a flash.  The next year or so will be filled with bridal magazines, Pinterest boards, dress shopping and all things planning. This is such an exciting time in your relationship, but where do you even start?  Here’s my best list of just-engaged advice!

Take a Moment to Celebrate Just the Two of You

Whether it’s grabbing a cocktail together after the big moment, or possibly waiting the weekend, you won’t regret taking some time to soak in this exciting moment just the two of you. It might feel second nature to jump straight to social media, or shouting your exciting news from the rooftops, but I promise you won’t regret taking a moment to soak in that newly engaged bliss.

Call Your People (AKA: Parents, Grandparents, Sibling, ect.)

We live in an age where parents and grandparents alike are on social media and chances are you won’t want the people closest to you finding out you’re engaged via the internet.  Pick up the phone and call (or Facetime) the people closest to you.  It’s likely your parents already know what’s happening and are patiently waiting by the phone for the big news!

Announce to The World

You might want to announce your engagement right away, or maybe you’d rather sit on the news a little longer.  Either way, once you’ve shared the excitement with those closest to you it’s fair game to tell the rest of the world.  Take a ring selfie and post it to Instagram, Facebook and any other social media network that might exist. #JustEngaged

Insure Your Ring and Get It Sized

Is your ring way too big? Or maybe even slightly big and could slip off anytime the temperature drops below 65? (Yes, most people’s hand change size with the weather… it’s a thing!) Either way, return it to the jeweler from which it came, and have it fit properly.  Depending on the extent of the resizing, it could be as short as a couple days, or as long as a few weeks.  Either way, the original jeweler should resize it for free and you’ll be happy you got it taken care of!

While it’s not the most glamorous part of getting engaged, it’s so important you get your new ring insured!  Typically, you’ll have two options – add a policy as a rider to your homeowner or renter’s insurance or go through a third party (such as Jewelers Mutual) to purchase a policy solely for your ring.  You’ll be surprised how affordable it is, plus the peace of mind is invaluable.

Plan an Engagement Party (If You Want One)

It’s totally okay for the newly engaged couple to plan their own engagement party or hand off the planning to parents or friends.  Either way, start thinking about what fits your relationship – Renting out a space, a backyard BBQ, or maybe drinks out with your closest crew.

Take a Breather

The stress of wedding planning will come soon enough.  Before diving in, take a moment to relax – after all, this is one of the most exciting times in your relationship.  Do something you both love, whether it’s a trip to the beach, a staycation at home, or your favorite date night.

Think About a Date

When I got engaged, I had no idea how many people, or how soon, would ask if we had set a date yet.  Aside from the general curiosity of your family and friends, the most desired wedding dates and venues book up quickly.  The shorter your engagement, the sooner a date needs to be a priority.

Start by deciding on a season, then narrow it down to your month of choice.  Find out what works for your families and if there are any conflicts for certain dates.  Once you have a general idea, you can begin looking at venues and checking their availability with your preferences.

Draft a Guest List

From budget to venue choice, your guest list will determine just about everything wedding planning related.  If your families are footing the bill, get their input. Once you’ve agreed on a guest count and budget (that’s next), you can commit to a venue and a wedding date.

Discuss a Budget

Before you can start laying any real plan, you’ll need to determine how much money you’ll have to spend and who’s providing it.  If you and your fiancé are footing the bill, then this is can stay between the two of you, but if parents are chipping in, you’ll want to include them in the conversation.

Get Inspiration & Hire a Pro

If you’re considering bringing a professional wedding planner on board to help with logistics and décor, ask friends for references or take to the internet for some online research.  I talk all about different types of planners and when to hire your wedding pro in this post.  (Spoiler: Sooner is always better than later, regardless of the type of planner you’re hiring.)

Whether you plan to hire a wedding planner or not, take this time to deep dive into Pinterest, wedding magazines and all the other exciting things that only come with wedding planning!

Choose Your Bridal Party

Chances are if you’ve been together for a while, you have a pretty good idea who will make up your bridal party.  But there are still some questions to ask each other: How many bridesmaids or groomsmen will you have?  Are you cool with uneven numbers?  Will you have a Maid of Honor or a Best Man?  If so, are you okay with more than one?  No matter what, make sure to have this conversation before either of you starts popping the question to your besties!

Build a Wedding Website

There are so many wedding website platforms out there now days, but each has its own benefits.  Personally, I’m using The Knot website builder, but almost went with Zola. Each has its own pros and cons, so do your research to decide which is best for you and your wedding.

And that’s a wrap!  I hope this post was helpful and has you feeling confident (and oh so excited!!) as you bask in this newly engaged phase of your relationship.  Wedding planning can seem overwhelming, but I’m always here to lighten the load and answer your questions. 

If you’re interested in bringing Ivory Couture on board for your own wedding, contact me here!


The Type of Wedding Planner You Need & When to Hire Them

You’re newly engaged – Congrats, by the way! – and you’re beginning to think about all the things you need to do to kick off your wedding planning journey. You’ve toyed with the thought of bringing a wedding planner on board, but you don’t really know the first thing about what they do, or the differences between the varying types of planners (day-of, partial, or full-service planners). No worries, you’re in the right place! I’m here to break down the type of planner that fits your wedding (and budget) best, along with when to hire your pro to get the most bang for your buck!

As I mentioned above, there are three main types of wedding planners and a lot (enter: the majority) of planners offer at least a couple, if not all three, of these services in the form of packages or a la carte services. Here at Ivory Couture we offer full-service planning, partial planning and day-of planning packages for our clients. While packages are a great place to start, I recognize that every wedding is different, so our packages can be customized to fit your specific needs.

Full-Service Planning & Design

When to hire: As soon as you’re engaged, or 12-18 months out from the anticipated wedding date

I get it, taking a few moments (or months) after your engagement to soak up the bliss is ideal, but in order to get the most out of your full planning experience, I always recommend hiring your full-service wedding planner as soon as thoughts of wedding plans start entering your mind. Your planner will walk the entirety of your wedding planning journey with you – from scouting venues and hiring your dream team of vendors, to choosing a color palette and designing décor. The services they’ll provide are start to finish.

Partial Planning

When to hire: 8 -12 months out from the wedding

A partial wedding planner might be best for you if you want (or already have) to plan some of the details, but need help bringing together your vision. When you hire a partial planner, you’ve typically already booked your venue, set a date, and have half or more of your vendors already scouted and booked. Your planner will step in to assess where you stand in the planning process, then provide budget guidance and a checklist of remaining tasks to get you to the finish line. While every partial planner’s services differ, most will provide design inspiration and help bring together your wedding day vision. And of course, this is all in addition to the day-of coordination duties they already offer.

Partial planners often charge based on the number of months you’ll be working together and the number of tasks you want them to take care of. The Ivory Couture partial planning experience starts with light help at booking, then my team and I take over at the 6-month mark. (Check out the full list of services here) But like most planners, you can always add-on extra tasks or months of service if needed.

Day-of Planning

When to hire: 4 – 10 months from the wedding

I’m of the belief that it’s never too soon to hire your wedding planner, regardless of the type of planning services you need. It’s never really ‘too late’ to book a day-of planner either (well, the week of your wedding might be cutting it *close*). But where’s the sweet spot you ask? Generally, I say 4 to 10 months from your wedding date is the best time to hire a day-of planner. At this point you most likely have a date set and venue booked. Your day-of planner will meet with you, get a feel for where you’re at in the process, and provide you with information to set you up for success. Think along the lines of a preferred vendor list, budget breakdown and checklist. While they won’t be directly handling these tasks for you, your planner is there to support you through the process and make sure your wedding planning journey is a successful one. Think about it this way: The more support they can provide you from the beginning, the better put together the details are likely to be when they take over. And speaking of them taking over… Your day-of planner will typically step in around 4-8 weeks out from your wedding day. (Here at Ivory Couture, we start managing the details at around 8 weeks out from the wedding.) Head over to our services page to view the full list of day-of planning services we handle.

So, there you have it! I hope after reading this post you have a better idea of the different types of wedding planning services most planners offer, along with when to hire your wedding pro! If you only take away one thing, though, just keep in mind that sooner is always better than later when it comes to booking your wedding planner, regardless of the services you intend to book them for.

If you have any questions or you’re interested in booking Ivory Couture for your wedding, head on over to our contact page and shoot me an email. I’d be happy to answer any of your questions. In the meantime, learning more about the Ivory Couture planning experience here.


Day-of Wedding Coordinator: What It Is and Why You Need One

Have you ever wonder what exactly a day-of wedding coordinator is, let alone what services one actually provides? If so, you’re in the right spot.

When it comes to your wedding, chances are you want to be in control.  You and your fiancé have spent countless hours dreaming about this moment in your relationship, so how could you possibly trust someone else with all the details?  Think about this: Do you want to be the point of contact for all of your vendors, family and friends on your wedding day?  Or would you rather relax and enjoy this exciting moment, leaving the worrying and problem-solving (spoiler alert: something always goes wrong) to a day-of wedding coordinator?

What’s the difference between a day-of coordinator and a traditional wedding planner?

Chances are, when you think of a wedding planner, you think of a full-service planner who helps create your wedding design, manage your budget, and plans all the details from beginning to end. I get it- you might not want or need that level of help.  A day-of coordinator will typically step in the month or two before your wedding, taking care of the smaller details, fixing any issues before they happen, and managing the details on your wedding day.

Did you catch the “month or two before your wedding” part?  That’s right, the list of services offered by a day-of planner typically goes well beyond your wedding day itself.  In reality, a coordinator works with you anywhere from 4 to 12 weeks out from your big day.  Here at Ivory Couture, we start working with our day-of clients at 12 weeks out from the wedding.  This gives us time to contact your vendors, arrange for a site visit to create a layout for both the ceremony and reception, along with identifying any potential issues before they have a chance to happen.  You’ll also get detailed timelines for your vendors, bridal party and family, as well as rehearsal coordination.  And then, most importantly, the Ivory Couture team will be there to coordinate your wedding day so that you and your families can relax and enjoy the moment.

 Your wedding coordinator’s services don’t stop once you’ve made it down the aisle, either.  Once you hop in your getaway car and head off to your honeymoon suite, your coordinator will get to work packing up your gifts, making sure your vendor tips made it to the right hands, gather any mementos you left behind and resolve any of the breakdown details that need taken care of after a long day.  Trust your day-of coordinator to run the show so you and your family can relax and take in your special day.

Looking for a day-of coordinator to manage your wedding day?  Email ivorycouturebridal@gmail.com to learn more about Ivory Couture and our services!