You're Engaged! Now What?! series ep. 3

Episode 3 - Crafting & Designing Your Vision

Hiya! Welcome back! If you haven’t had the chance yet, make sure to check the beginning of our “You’re Engaged! Now What?!” series. Today is when we get in to the fun stuff….Crafting and Designing the Vision for your dream day! Time to set up your Pinterest board! Yup! Tell the fiancé your wedding planner told you to. ;) The introduction of Pinterest has been an amazing piece to designing a wedding. There are so many wonderful inspiration images and ideas out on the worldwide web!

First things first, let’s decide on a color palette. As unimportant as this might seem, crafting your color theme makes the rest of the design piece that much smoother. Search for images with visual cues – a lush green, candle lit, fairytale forest? Or even a rocky seascape! Look for images that match the vision you have in your mind. Choose 1-2 main colors to build from, with 3-4 additional neutrals, patterns, textures, materials or metals. For example, a Grecian minimalist theme might feature a palette of white, dove grey, copper, marble and acrylic. Once your color palette is set to place, the rest of your décor elements will fall right in line!

Second, let’s talk about a general feel for your wedding. Classy and elegant? Boho and relaxed? Rustic and laid back? Your feel can help narrow down and define some of the more important details – venue, ceremony start time, catering menu, attire, and more. If you’re looking for more of that classy, elegant atmosphere, consider choosing a grand hall or ballroom, black tie event with plated meal. For a bohemian free-spirit wedding, how about an outdoor space with an early afternoon ceremony time and heavy hor d'oeuvres.

Next, time to add in those décor elements! This event is all about the two of you, and a reflection of your lives and love together. So what items tell your story? What elements are unique to the two of you? Did the two of you meet over coffee? Maybe choose to have a coffee bar at your wedding, or incorporating coffee scented candles! Fall in love while hiking in the desert? Think about choosing cacti and terra cotta pots to add to your table tops! Your family and friends will love to see details that speak to who the two of you are, so don’t be afraid to add them in!

Pinterest can definitely be overwhelming while designing your dream vision. *Pinterest wasn’t even a thing when I was planning my wedding! Or else I DEFINITELY would have spent hours upon hours looking for inspiration* But utilizing these tips, can really help narrow down your dream designs and make bringing your wedding day to life a walk in the park! Questions? Suggestions? Comments? Let me know below!

xoxo – Rachael


 Photographer - Sarah Dean Photography

Photographer - Sarah Dean Photography


Episode 2 – All About That Budget

I know what you’re thinking…. “Wedding budget? UGH”. I get it! That’s a completely acceptable response when you hear that it’s time to put your wedding budget together. It is literally the worst *Ok. I’m maybe being a bit overdramatic. But still…it’s not fun.* Don’t worry! Today we will break down exactly what a budget is, how to start one, and how to stick to it.

Budget in a nutshell is simply – “This is how much money I have to spend, so this is all that I’m going to spend!” *I mean, who didn’t snicker a little while reading that?!* Budgeting can be difficult, but my goal today is to help simplify this process for you and make it slightly more enjoyable *again with the snickering, y'all!*.


1. First things first—think about the wedding you WANT to have. What items are non-negotiable for you and your fiancé? If flowers are your jam and you can’t imagine getting married without that amazing flower wall backdrop, make sure to dedicate additional money to your floral line to ensure you’ll get the look you’ve always dreamed of. Are those gorgeous photos and that stunning video your number one priority? Make sure to pull out those funds from your budget first. What’s most important to you is the first thing you should dedicate those dollars to. Next, you’ll want to do a bit of digging in to your local wedding market and find average price points. It’s so easy to say, “I only want to spend $1,000 on photography” but how achievable is that, honestly? *This is where a wedding coordinator comes in handy! They generally know your local market best and can provide an average price point for each vendor*

Setting a realistic amount for each vendor from the start will save you so much stress as you begin searching for the perfect partners to bring your dream day to life.


2. Now that you have an idea of how much you want to spend, what your priorities are, and what the average is in your neck of the woods, it’s time to dedicate specific amounts to each category. Pop open that Excel doc, pour that glass of vino and let’s get to work! I start with a percentage system, and fine tune from there. My typical break out looks something like:

Planner/Coordinator – 10%

Paperie – 2%

Venues – 11%

Photography/Cinematography – 10%

Catering – 22%

Cake – 2%

Bar – 2%

Entertainment – 10%

Florals – 10%

Extras (Beauty, Attire, Trasnportation, etc)/Misc – 20%

*This is based on an average $25,000 budget.*

 This is just a guide, and is in no way required for a perfect, stress-free wedding. I have generally found this to be the best way to break out the wedding budget.


3. And finally, how to actually stick to your budget. *you know, like how I stuck to that diet I started in January. Ok…maybe not quite like that...* The biggest tip I can give you would be to track your spending. Download an app like Evernote that you can scan and upload receipts and contracts to. Build a spreadsheet that lists your dedicated dollar amounts for each line item and what you spend on it. If you go over budget on one line item, make sure to subtract it from another. Understand that items like insurance, fees and gratuities may be added on to final costs so be up front in asking what additional fees should be anticipated and work that in to your total. Tracking and updating your budget on the weekly, and after each consultation, will make the process less overwhelming and more manageable. Don’t let those receipts or little items pile up! Deduct those as soon as you spend it!


One last little freebie tip - Manage your expectations. It’s perfect to have dream boards and inspiration vision. Having those is what really crafts your event and brings your wedding to life! But make sure to be prepared and to recognize the time, cost and labor that goes in to create those inspiration weddings. That flower wall? Don’t be surprised if that quote comes back for a few thousand plus. Filet mignon dinner at $75 a head? Yup! It’s ok to spend a little money and have exactly what you want on your dream day, and it’s ok to plan your event for the budget you have available *mmm, especially if it involves a little KC bbq!* Your wedding will be BEAUTIFUL and a reflection of you, no matter the budget or extras. So just have fun! Enjoy the process. Let it go! *Yup, I did have to bust in to song after that one. Probably a good thing you can’t hear it. You’re welcome*




You're Engaged! Now What?!

Episode 1 –First Things First

Hiya! And CONGRATULATIONS! Your sweetheart has asked to spend forever with you and you've said *Um, Duh!*. But now what? Where do you even start with all this planning-a-wedding-business?! I remember getting engaged and thinking “Oh, yeah! This will be a breeze!” And then, just like that, *BOOM* feeling smacked in the face when I tried to ‘get to getting’ on the actual planning piece. As a now-wedding coordinator and designer (Hey oh!), I am always looking to simplify and perfect the planning process for my brides. Below are a few tips and recommendations on where I’ve found is the best place to begin in stress-free planning for your dream day.

1. First things first, take a few days just the two of you to relax and enjoy this new status change. My fiancée and I waited a WEEK before posting anything to social media, and didn’t even tell our families until 2-3 days after he proposed. Trust me, it was killer. I wanted to shout it from the rooftops! But really, this quiet time together was SO special to us in the long run. A few days that we could enjoy together celebrating this new step in our relationship before sharing with the world. I highly recommend you begin with this step, as it really starts the wedding planning process off on a good foot.  

2. Second thing is BUDGET. This and only this should be your first to-do (after celebrating your engagement with family and friends, of course!). Pulling together your budget will truly make planning a wedding go so much smoother. Trust me! When building your budget, consider a few things: (1)How much can we reasonably afford? (2)How much do we really want to spend on this event? (3)Which family members will be contributing or assisting? (Side note - It may be a difficult conversation, asking family if they plan to contribute to your dream day. But don’t wait! Ask those key family members from the beginning if they want to consider hosting your wedding, so you know exactly what you will be working with.)

Once you have the total dollar amount you’ll be supplying, we can talk about allocating those funds. Check out next week for the next episode - All About That Budget!

3. Next item to check mark off is the Guest List. Now that you have your total budget amount, you can start working on your first draft guest list. If you are looking to cut costs for your wedding, this is the first place I recommend you start. This also gives you a good base guide line as you begin shopping for your vendors. Many vendors (venue, caterer, baker, etc) work off a guest count, so making this the third step will make connecting and reaching out to those vendors a piece of cake *pun intended.*

4. And finally, the Venue. Once you know how much you have available to spend on your venue and what size you’ll need to prepare for to accommodate your guest list, you can finally start the hunt for your perfect venue! Hand in hand with this step is choosing your dream date. Sit down, the two of you, and choose a handful of optional dates prior to going venue shopping. This way, when you find your dream spot, you have a few dates that could work for your wedding and won’t have to leave disappointed that they’re already booked the only day you’d originally prepared for.

This little checklist is definitely just a recommendation, and is in no way required for you to plan a stress-free, perfect wedding. I have just found that when these steps are followed from the beginning, it has made the wedding planning process so much more enjoyable in the long run. Questions? Suggestions? Comments? Let me know below!

Keep an eye out as the series continues next week with All About That Budget!


XO - 


A Lovely Beginning...

The idea for Whatever Is Lovely Events started taking shape about five years ago, the night before my own wedding. My mom and I were still awake at 3 a.m. pulling together the final touches on the flowers and cake we DIY’d. (But really, putting the final touches on the top layer of the cake, because the bottom layers were all Styrofoam – more on that later!) There in the wee hours of the morning, downing my sixth cup of coffee I thought, “There just HAS to be a better way!” And here we are!


My family and I literally did most the entire wedding ourselves: linens, floral, invitations, baking, coordinating and decorating…you name it! So the evening before, instead of relaxing with my ladies and getting a good night’s sleep, my family and I were at the venue laying tablecloths, tying chair sashes, and setting up centerpieces. Once we got home began the real work! We started baking my three tiered, polka dotted cake (Fun fact…I love EVERYTHING polka-dotted!) By 2 am, we had finished favors and programs, and were wrapping up the last of the floral. The cake had cooled and it was time to decorate. (Personal side note…my mother and I are so accident prone, especially together. She has an extensive background in baking, and I in food service, so this cake should have been easy-peasy.) Nope! No way! Murphy’s Law was in full effect here. Fondant wouldn’t wrap, the bottom layers began crumbling, and we dropped a layer to the floor. So here we are, 3 am wedding morning COVERED in flour and fondant with one single top tier of cake left, wondering, “Now what?” Thankfully, my mother – the craftiest wizard there ever was! – found some leftover Styrofoam from a past project and decided to decorate it as a ‘faux cake.’ Within 3 minutes, she was already on the phone with Hy-vee brokering a deal for sheet cakes to compensate for the crumbled layers of deliciousness on the floor. She sent me on to bed as she worked to manage the last few pieces coming together. While it was an AMAZING day that I will always cherish and remember, the one memory I can’t seem to shake is that I have no pictures of my mother zipping me in to my wedding dress. I have no memories of our families mingling together, relaxing and enjoying the day, since they were all going above and beyond the day of to help create and bring together my perfect day.


It was then that I realized no bride should have to experience the same. And so, Whatever Is Lovely Events was brought to life. You should never have to feel overworked or underwhelmed on your wedding day! Take confidence in the fact that we are here to support you, as much or little as you need. We’ve been right where you are, so we get it! Whether you have a vision for your perfect day, or you’d like to collaborate and create one together, we are here to bring your dreams to reality. Your Love is Our Inspiration!




A beautiful wedding

KC Weddings

Welcome to Whatever Is Lovely Events, we are so excited to meet you!

Are you the type of bride who wants to completely relax throughout the planning process, and wake up on your Wedding Day morning feeling confident that everything is perfectly tailored to you? We can take care of that! Or maybe you are LOVING every minute of wedding planning, but just need that go to person to step in on your wedding day and manage bringing your details to life. Hey, right here! From full planning, to wedding day management, design planning and décor set-up/tear-down, we’ve got you covered.

KC Weddings