Friday, September 2, 2016

A Walk Down The Aisle

A Walk Down The Aisle

 #YWEshow Philadelphia 2016
Image by Simple Elegance Event Planning

I’m still on cloud nine from meeting David Tutera at the "Your Wedding Experience" wedding expo in Philadelphia this past Sunday! Not only was this the first celebrity I've ever met, but Mr. Tutera is someone whom I admire greatly as a wedding professional. His classy, creative approach to events and business savvy with branding multiple products and services, is everything that I aspire to! Needless to say, I’m still on a “wedding high” from attending the show.

Ok, so meeting the guru wasn’t the only reason we attended the Philadelphia show. It was our ever constant quest to bring you DIY wedding ideas and tips to help you plan the day of your dreams, on a budget you can afford. That being said, there was soo many ideas and tips jammed packed into the #YWE show, that we couldn’t possibly share everything we viewed as we walked down the expo aisles. But I’ve definitely got some great info that we KNOW you’re going to love.

In order to get to-the-point info from the people that DIY brides want to hear from most, I developed four questions to ask planning, decoration, and entertainment vendors. My questions:

  • What products/services were being sought after most by your 2016 clients? By brides at the expo?

  • What seems to be the maximum dollar amount couples are willing to spend on that product/service?

  • Any tips/recommendations for couples shopping for these products/services?

  • What do you forecast as trends for 2017?

Hold onto your wedding planner ladies, here’s a quick guide to what’s hot and what’s not!

If you’re a “wed-head” and doing your research on all things wedding, you might know that the hiring of full service wedding planners have dwindled. In most part because in recent years, high end venues offer an on-site wedding coordinator to help couples plan their reception. So some brides think they do not need a planner if they’re automatically getting one by booking the venue. But what about all the other elements of the wedding? Those venue coordinators have nothing to do with budget planning, décor planning, invitations, booking vendors, ceremony details, and on and on.

So in 2016, brides are seeking help most with Day Of Services and pre-wedding details. Brides want assistance with the thousands of small tasks that are done months in advance to help create the big day.

 Stationary by Raspberry Creative; hire a planner to help you 
with pre-wedding details like these Save The Dates, Invitations, & Seating Arrangements
Image by Simple Elegance Event Planning

Most brides aren’t spending what they used to on planners, if they are hiring them at all. But the maximum amount they’re willing to spend is no more than $2,000 or less.

Professional planners recommend couples who are planning a destination wedding, to still find a planner to help. With the popularity of destination weddings on the rise, couples need planners to act as a liaison between them and the resort concierge at the exotic location they chose. The planner makes sure the couple has all the required paperwork and legal documents in order to have a legal wedding in that country, or even in that state; since other states and countries have different laws involved. And planners also make sure that the couples receive all the amenities they’ve paid for.

With the up rise in DIY wedding planning and online tools for couples to plan their own wedding, Planners forecast the trend in 2017 will continue to be couples seeking Day Of services. After all that planning on your own, the DIY bride has no one to execute all of the details. You want your mother and your girls by your side and not working that day, right? But you want everything to run smoothly. So ladies, you still need a planner! Budget accordingly!!

If you follow us on social media, you already know I absolutely adore wedding décor. I started as a planner but my passion is to create décor! So I must admit, I focused a little too much on all the stunning florals and linens at the expo. So when I spoke to a few decorators and a florist, they all said the same thing: Most 2016 brides are seeking WOW factor!

Brides want that extra special, custom piece that sets their wedding apart from the rest. Or that one unique area of the wedding that will be unforgettable to their guests. Brides are seeking gorgeous sweetheart table set ups, fabric backdrops, and lighting.

Brides with a great budget are willing to spend anywhere from $3,000 to $15,000 on décor for the entire wedding; and between $5,000 and $6,500 on flowers alone.

I was stunned at the dollar amounts being spent! So I went the extra step to ask ok, what is a DIY bride to do with her small budget? They can’t afford those prices! Have no fear, the decorators recommend to go for the “little WOWs” at your wedding.

If you can’t afford expensive décor all around, “centralize the WOW”. For example, do a simple centerpiece on your guest tables, but make your sweetheart table over the top. You can also select tablecloths or overlays to make your wedding color pop, instead of using standard white or ivory linens provided by the venue. And use bright colors to make certain tables stand out. Hire a decorator or lighting specialist to do a monogram or uplighting to create ambience. Concentrate on one area of your ceremony or reception where you spend the most money on, and then skimp on everything else. That’s the key to WOW on a budget! And I agree!!!

 WOW factor by Soiree,etc, using this year's trending pink and gold color scheme, 
luxury lounge seating, and fab floral backdrop
Image by Simple Elegance Event Planning

As for trends in 2017, you’ll be seeing a lot more:

  • Pink and Gold as wedding colors…Silver is #dead

  • Vintage decor style is on the rise

  • Ghost (clear acrylic or Lucite) floral bases, chairs, tables are all the rage

  • Mirrored surfaces and centerpiece bases

  • Rentals of lounge furniture to create a lux seating area

  • Drapery to create eye candy or rooms within a room

 Over the top Sweetheart Table by Carl Alan Floral Designs; 
using Lucite candle holders, a mirrored table, & vintage florals
 Image by Simple Elegance Event Planning

When it comes to entertainment at weddings, everyone knows you need a fabulous DJ or kick ass band, to get your guests out of their chairs and onto the dance floor. And unless you’ve been on the planet Mars the last year or so, you know that offering a photo booth is also a huge hit at weddings. I mean, folks are going to take picture anyway, might as well make it a part of the festivities.

So I made it a point to speak with a few DJs and a few vendors that rent photo booths at the expo. And both vendors agree that most brides have sought out a kicked up DJ or photo booth package. This year couples aren’t looking for the same old musical experience. For example, one vendor said their best-selling package this year was a DJ, saxophonist and percussionist combo. Couples also want DJs who can do lighting and drapery as well. When it comes to photo booths, savvy brides are looking for “extras” that are included with the rental package, such as favors, scrapbooks, and customized pictures. 

 RhythMix Entertainment, specializing in DJs, videos, and Drapery
Image by Simple Elegance Event Planning

The average price being spent on all of these amped up entertainment options is between $900 to $1,100 for 4 hours of service; with an absolute max of $4,000. 

Entertainment vendors recommend communicating with your vendors more. Giving your vendors more information, so they can give you the best service possible using that info. They also said, if you’re working with a small budget, be upfront about it in the beginning. Don’t waste your time or theirs by asking about a high end service package knowing you can’t afford it. Be honest about what you want to pay, and they’ll work with you to create a bare bones package or offer you a special discount, such as mentioning that you attended the expo and you’ll receive a percentage off your price.

Moving forward, 2017 trends in entertainment seem to be:

  • Video Package add ons to your DJ service. DJs are offering TV monitors to showcase pre-wedding pics or video of the couple throughout the reception.

  • Hiring a DJ for the After Party! With reception venues cutting the party off at 11pm or 12am, couples are looking to keep the party going wee into the night. So they’re booking venues or arranging a party elsewhere and contracting their DJs for additional hours.

  • Next Gen photo booths. The latest photo booths to hit the market are smaller, compact, and very high tech. They have mirrored surfaces, touch screens, green screen virtual backdrops, and can upload your photos directly to your social media accounts.

 TapSnap - Philly, the next generation of Photo Booths
 Image by Simple Elegance Event Planning

So, in a nutshell, if you took a quick walk down the #YWE expo aisle like I did, you would have seen fab pops of color, intriguing ideas, and whole lot of WOW! Simple Elegance was so excited to have been in the building along with all that greatness. And we’re definitely happy to share all the juicy info we walked away with. 

And now that you’ve got the info, walk on over to our website, fb page or Instagram account! Our services seem to be on point with all of the wedding trends! NICE!!! We offer ala carte planning services, we create décor on a budget, our DJ is CT’s best kept secret, and our photo booth packages are crazy affordable! Hire Simple Elegance and you’ll be one happy bride walking down the aisle!

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