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From the Desk of Desirae: Honeymoon Planning

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As a couple, my fiancé and I decided we wanted to have a super relaxing honeymoon. Nothing sounded better than sitting on the beach, drink in hand, with my HUSBAND by my side! I will be completely honest – I did not plan our honeymoon. Here’s why –

We wanted all aspects of our honeymoon to be relaxing so when we went to book our all-inclusive honeymoon at Sandals Negril we went through Kate & Company. Kate is a complete destination guru! My fiancé and I narrowed down that we wanted to go to Jamaica and Kate gave us all of our options. From there we looked at pictures and all the information and decided which resort we wanted to go to, we told Kate where and when we wanted to go and it was booked!

Just wait – it gets better! Kate even booked our airfare! We didn’t need to find time to sit and find the best flight and figure out connections or what the best way to do this was – it was just done. And Sandals will pick us up from the airport!

Here is a breakdown of everything we did to plan our honeymoon:

  1. Decided on a resort company and a county
  2. Picked a resort based on Kate’s suggestions
  3. Gave the dates we wanted to go and preferred flight times
  4. Picked tours and activities
  5. Got our passports
  6. Now we just needed to pack!

It was seriously that easy. I won’t lie, we did spend a lot of time researching which resort we wanted to go to and spent time drooling over all the menu options – but that’s the fun stuff, right? Kate took care of all the details for us and made sure we are set to go.

Even if I wasn’t a Kate & Company planner, I would recommend honeymoon planning to every bride! This is a small thing, but it really does let you focus on the fun and takes a few things off your pre-wedding to-do list.

From the Desk of Desirae: Vendor Dream Team

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When planning a wedding, the first thing I always suggest is to pick your venue and dress, select the rest of your vendors and then work on the fun details! So once you have your dream venue, what next?

Many venues will have vendors you are required to use, and if so, great! If not, ask them about who they’ve worked with – a vendor that already knows the space could be a huge advantage!

As I plan, I’ve found myself in a different situation: my venue isn’t a typical wedding venue. This is good because I’m looking forward to designing and planning something really unique, but I also have very little to reference (i.e. preferred vendors, layouts, how weddings flow there). Plus, I decided to bring most of my vendors up from Phoenix to Flagstaff. While there are many good choices in Flagstaff, I had to go with my favorites from the valley!

The most important thing when selecting vendors is to make sure you have a good team and you get along with them. Remember, some of these people are going to be with you all day long! If you don’t think you could be best friends with your florist, or cake designer though, that’s okay! They will be dropping off and leaving for the most part on wedding day. However, your photographer, DJ, and videographer should be people you enjoy spending time with and whose personalities match yours and the feel of your wedding.

When you hire a vendor, you aren’t just hiring a DJ, photographer, videographer, caterer, etc. You are putting together a team – so think smart and go plan your dream team!

From the Desk of Desirae: Picking Your Venue

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Choosing your venue is one of the first big decisions you will make while planning your wedding. For this post I’m going to share my experience and the top tips I give when looking for a venue.

My fiancé and I decided to get married in our hometown of Flagstaff, AZ – it made sense after all, that’s where we grew up and met. However, finding a venue was more difficult than I had hoped it would be. When we were first looking we had some specific criteria: we wanted it to be outside, with a weather back-up, and we didn’t want it to be too far from hotels. This seemed like it would be easy! But then things got a little more difficult.

The first venue was too small and too far from town.

The second venue couldn’t provide an outside space.

The third venue was too… rustic.

Five venues later, we found what we thought would be THE PERFECT VENUE. We were so excited and planned a weekend to go up and see it – we were ready to sign a contract! When we met with the sales woman of the brand new venue, not only did she seem less than thrilled to be giving us a tour, she didn’t seem to want to answer our questions. The venue was offering an “All-Inclusive” package that included the ceremony space, tented reception, food, décor, flowers, and linens. Throughout our conversation a few red flags popped up: 1. She wouldn’t give us a discount if we weren’t using the ceremony space. 2. We couldn’t bring in outside florals (That’s not a real rule anywhere else!). 3. She wouldn’t say where she rented the tent or the linens. And 4. She wouldn’t break down the All-Inclusive cost. Needless to say, I was UNHAPPY.

In the end it worked out, we re-thought our plans and are ending up with a venue that is perfect for us, even though it is nowhere near what we thought we wanted!

Here are my top tips:

  1. Ask a lot of questions. If your sales person is withholding information, that is a huge red flag. Why won’t they tell you? What else aren’t they telling you? Any great venue should be willing to answer all of your questions.
  2. You should get a warm-fuzzy feeling from your venue staff. They will be a big part of your day – they should be excited for you!
  3. Look at the bathrooms. I know this sounds silly, but a gross bathroom can ruin a guest’s experience.
  4. Shop Around. Even if you have a venue you love, look at a few others to compare what others are offering and how the price compares.
  5. Ask about catering. Do you have to use their in-house caterer? If so, see if you can do a tasting before you sign the venue contract. After all, wouldn’t you taste the caterer’s food before signing a contract with them directly?
  6. Ask about timing. How long do you have the space? Are you the only event in the space? When can you get there to set up?
  7. What’s included? Are tables, chairs, and linens provided? Do they provide staffing to help with the wedding or will they just have someone onsite (remember, that may mean they sit in their office all night)?
  8. What if the wedding lasts longer than expected? Does that impact pricing?
  9. Is there a limit to how late you can play music?
  10. Are bar services provided in-house? Ask about drink packages vs. drinks on consumption. The packages are usually much more affordable and in the case of some venues you can bring in your own liquor which can be very favorable!

Don’t be overwhelmed and don’t feel like you are asking too many questions – these are important things for you to know. You should love your venue!

Happy venue hunting!

From the Desk of Desirae: All the Questions

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It all starts with one question: Will you Marry Me?

When my high school sweetheart proposed to me a year ago on the beach, little did I know that my parents were there ready to congratulate us! They were just the beginning of the many hugs, congratulations, and hand grabs to see the ring. After all of the initial excitement, there comes another question: Have you set a date? My first thought? “NO! I’ve been engaged 5 minutes!” But until you set a date, you will hear this question at every family gathering, every work meeting, and anytime anyone hears you are engaged.

What most people don’t realize is how much goes in to the date. Unless you have a date that is sentimental to you, I would start looking for venues first. There is nothing worse than falling in love with a venue and finding out that they are booked for the date you have in mind. So, my advice, think of a month or season you want to get married, find a venue and then set a date. If you are set on a date, in most cases you won’t have any issue, but as you get closer to the date or if your date is in the peak of wedding season – be ready to keep your venue options open!

After that, don’t expect the questions to stop. “Have you picked your wedding party? Have you found a dress? What are your colors?” Just take it one question at a time and don’t be overwhelmed when the questions lead to more questions!

From the Desk of Desirae: Meet Desirae

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I am Desirae, a Personal Planner at Kate & Company. I grew up in Flagstaff, AZ and travelled down to the Phoenix area to attend Arizona State University (Go Devils!). I got my degree in Supply Chain Management and a certificate in Special Event Management. Lucky for me, after graduation I got a job I LOVE! I get to work on a wide range of events including graduation parties, anniversary celebrations, birthday parties, and weddings – and I have to admit, I really love the wedding planning. I love to work with brides, grooms, and families to make wedding-day dreams come true; whether that be planning the perfect décor, tackling a DIY project, or being there the day-of a wedding to make sure everything runs smoothly! One of my favorite things about weddings is that each one is unique and always tells the story of the couple. I adore seeing their personalities shine through on their wedding day. It doesn’t matter if I’ve known a couple for an hour or years, I am guaranteed to cry at a wedding!

With all the busy wedding planning I do on a daily basis, I have to admit, I’ve put one of my brides on the back burner – Me! Yes, I am engaged and under a year away from my own wedding. As I spend this year planning my Kate & Company weddings at work, I will be planning my wedding at home. As a planner planning my own wedding (no pressure, right?), I’m hoping to share tips/tricks and stories to help fellow brides along the way.

I completely understand what all couples go through from the moment they say ‘Yes!’ I can’t wait to share my story with you!

Meet Kate & Company

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Life is full of special moments filled with people you love. When you have a big event whether it be a birthday, graduation, honeymoon, wedding, or anything in between, you could take the time to enjoy the celebration and let Kate & Company worry about the rest!

Kate & Company’s events have two things in common: it is exactly what you dreamed it would be, and it is stress free. Let us take all the “To-Dos” off of your plate before your event and our team will be there until the last piece of décor is boxed up.

Our Kate & Company team is full of professionals who can handle the logistics and budget of an event then switch gears and create stunning décor that will WOW your guests. Give us a call – We’d love to meet you!

480.403.4611

Top 2012 Trend Thirteen: A Mismatched Wedding

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From bridesmaid dresses to boutonnieres, the trend for a 2012 wedding is to have less symmetry than ever before! Standing at the altar with carbon copy bridesmaids is out, while letting your bridesmaid choose dresses in different colors, styles, lengths, and patterns is in. Let your bridesmaids wear a dress that fits their own unique figure, style, and personality. And, that they will wear again!
Although mismatching is the trend, we suggest keeping a central theme in order to keep the entire ceremony unified, polished, and stylish. The possibilities of how to pull this trend off are endless! Here are a few tips: 
  • Pick the exact same dress in the different tones of your wedding color palette. This creates a stylish look and gives your bridal party a pop of color.
  • For the groomsmen, let them choose from different colored boutonnieres or ties.
  • Use the same color, but different shades. This idea works great for both the bridesmaids and groomsmen. Pantone color books or paint fan books from your local hardware store make great sources of inspiration to start. 
  • Give your bridesmaids the exact color and fabric you would like them to wear and let them come up with their own dress. 
  • Want to keep it simple? Have the same dress for all of your bridesmaids and mismatch the accessories. From necklaces, shoes, bouquets, and earrings, you have an endless amount of possibilities! 

    ~Cathy H.