WEDDING PLANNING TOOLS

It's a planner's job to make designing and planning a wedding a smooth and easy process.  Autumn has been planning weddings + events for nearly a decade, and created each of these products to alleviate many stresses that come along with it.  The tools listed below are meant to organize all the moving parts of the wedding plans, while keeping you on budget.  This is what sets Events by Autumn apart from other planners.  When you hire Events by Autumn to plan your wedding, these documents are included (depending on the package).  We find that some clients are visual, and others are analytical, so there will be some tools that works better for each client's individual personality, but offering this variety is what makes us successful!

CLIENT PORTAL

This portal is a brand new communication tool we're using with our clients.  This online system keeps everything organized in one place, and simplifies the planning process.  We LOVE it!!!!

 

WHAT IT DOES:   

  • You'll continually access the portal throughout the planning, it's our information hub!

  • We set up manageable bi-monthly checklists, which are interactive + easy to use through the portal system.  It communicates both what you need to accomplish, as well as what Events by Autumn is working on.

  • We can upload all your vendor contracts, for easy access + storage

  • It sends simple questionnaires, which help you communicate your plans for hair, makeup, photography, music, etc.

  • Most planning docs are managed through this system as well:  maps, table scapes, mood boards, and all important links - including items like the budget guide, your guest list spreadsheet, your Pinterest board, and inventory list, for example.

This workbook has been developed and used by hundreds of weddings over our past 10 years of planning.  It  covers everything you need to know for the wedding weekend.

 

WHAT IT DOES:   

  • Defines your wedding style

  • Layout, design & logistics of ceremony & reception

  • Food + beverage plan for the entire wedding weekend

  • Vendor organization

  • Guest management

  • Checklists from engagement day, to day after the wedding

  • Timelines for wedding day

THE WORKBOOK

GUEST LIST TEMPLATE

This spreadsheet was developed after Autumn saw one wedding after another using multiple pieces of paper or unorganized excel spreadsheets to manage guest lists.  Neither of these methods create an easy solution to send invitations, track RVSPs , manage wedding gifts and more.  So we have created a simple-to-use spreadsheet that links through iCloud, so everyone can view updates as they occur.

WHAT IT DOES:

  • Uses a complete, but simple format for you to enter guest's names + address information

  • Helps you calculate paper product quantities + final guest list numbers

  • Allows you to print or easily format invitation and thank you note address lists

  • Track RSVPs, menu selections, and wedding gifts in a simple format

  • Use it to organize seating arrangements + a reference for photography needs

  • Simple, sort-able columns allow for printable reports for a variety of guest list management needs

THE BUDGET GUIDE

Trust us.  This is what happens.  You make a budget before you have any idea what each part of a wedding should cost.  You budget "X" amount of dollars to towards your dress, only to find that your dream gown is double that price.  Do you not get the dream gown?  Do you cut back in other areas? Or do you make a decision to spend more than what you budgeted?  Most don't have the luxury to go over budget.  This will help you stay on track!

 

WHAT IT DOES:

  • Simply plug in your total budget

  • It calculates, based on average percentages, what each aspect of your wedding would then cost

  • Shows a breakdown of all typical wedding costs

  • Helps you set "spending goals" and account for minor details that add up at the last minute

  • Allows you to enter actual amounts spent

  • Tracks what you've actually spent and what is left in your budget

CEREMONY DIAGRAM

Autumn is a visual person, therefore, all clients will get a diagram of their ceremony.

 

WHAT IT DOES:

  • Allows you to visualize how your wedding party will stand at the front of the ceremony

  • Maps out your reserved seats in the front row

  • Helps communicate where ceremony decor will be placed

  • Visualize how the wedding processional + recessional will take place

RECEPTION DIAGRAM

One of the most stressful parts of planning can be mapping out where your guests will sit, and getting that diagram correct + to scale.  Let us take care of that for you!

 

WHAT IT DOES:

  • We will send you a variety of options regarding table shapes + styles, so you have choices!

  • Our diagrams are accurate + to-scale, so you can be sure of tenting needs

  • It also helps visualize decor placement + decor counts

  • You can assign guest seating easily

  • The diagrams are simple to update, in the event of a lower or higher headcount

VENUE LAYOUT

Another tool we use for weddings is an aerial view of your ceremony + reception layout. 

 

WHAT IT DOES:

  • This makes sure we're on the same page with where your wedding activities will take place

  • Rental vendors are also on board with the layout for setup + drop off

  • It also states the address of the venue, so your vendors can find it!

TABLE-SCAPES

We understand how difficult it can be to have this idea in your mind, but not know how it will translate in reality.  Our graphic design table-scapes offer a solution!  

 

WHAT IT DOES:

  • We typically send 3-4 different designs to get your creative juices flowing

  • Helps you see your wedding day design, and ensures you love it, before it becomes a reality

  • We hand draw each table-scape digitally, so they are simple to edit

  • Ensures we've got the proper chairs, tables, linens, centerpieces planned

PINTEREST BOARD

Oh Pinterest, how we love/hate you!  We start a private Pinterest board for each of our full service + Signature Event by Autumn clients.  We love how it can visually communicate what we're thinking! But we always suggest once we get through the initial planning stage, wean yourself off of Pinterest before the ideas become overwhelming, or you're tempted to keep adding more to a finished plan!

 

WHAT IT DOES:

  • We begin by pinning images based on what you communicated you liked + wanted

  • This helps you see what the table-scape options we're suggesting look like in real life

  • Pinterest then becomes a communication tool, where you can "like" and give feedback on what we've pinned - this is helpful to us, to understand your style

  • Your wedding Pinterest board begins to really help form your wedding design

MOOD BOARDS

Once you've made comments on your Pinterest board, and I have a good understanding of what you like, I then prepare Mood Boards!

WHAT IT DOES:

  • It narrows down your Pinterest board to manageable sections

  • We create 4 mood boards:  Ceremony, Cocktail Hour, Reception + Flowers

  • These are a great tool for your vendors, so they understand your style at a glimpse

  • This avoids the need to go back through Pinterest and delete hundreds of pins

WEDDING CAKE

We don't believe in telling professional vendors HOW to do their jobs.  If you're hiring true wedding pros, you merely need to communicate your inspiration + the facts.  That's your recipe for success!  Therefore, we create communication tools that help these vendors do their jobs to the best of their ability.

 

WHAT IT DOES:

  • Communicates inspiration, sizes, styles, colors, flavors, cake stands + decor

  • Reviews the total cost + delivery

STATIONERY

This is the final layout approval process we go through with Happy Huckleberry Studios, if you choose the Signature Event by Autumn package.  This process saves YOU money by ordering at the wholesale rate, and also minimizes shipping.

 

WHAT IT DOES:

  • Double checks the color, size + quantity of your order

  • Verifies that we're on the same page with your invitation style

  • Gives you a grand total for ALL you wedding paper products upfront (printing, paper + postage)

"FAM" TRIP

Whether you're a local Montana client, or from out of state, we highly recommend visiting your vendors face to face!  But we also recognize that our clients are very busy people.  Our solution has become the "FAM" (or familiarization) trip!  Give us one day of your time, and we'll escort you to all your vendors!

 

WHAT IT DOES:

  • We schedule up to 6 meetings in a day, taking into account locations + time needed at each location

  • Touch + see rentals and get a visual of your wedding decor

  • Taste your suggested menu, specialty beverages + try cake flavors

  • It gives you a comfort level with your vendors + builds trust

  • It also allows us to tie up loose ends with contract signing + deposits to be paid

  • By doing this over the course of one day, you really see how the details work together

EVENT ORDER

The Banquet Event Order is the single most important document for your wedding day.  Think of this as the instruction manual for your wedding day.  This is sent to vendors about  2 weeks - 1 month prior to your wedding day, and this document is the wedding day lifesaver!  Any vendor questions or issues are addressed in advance, allowing a much narrower margin for error on the wedding day!

 

WHAT IT DOES:

  • Written instructions for setting up the wedding day:  ceremony, cocktail hour + reception

  • Food + beverage selections + setup notes

  • The wedding day timeline

  • Contact information for your vendors + vital family members

  • Audio visual  + power needs

ITINERARY

We tell our clients this over and over, but you can't over-communicate with your wedding party members.  If you email them in advance, they can forget.  We've found a great solution.

WHAT IT DOES:

  • We take your wedding day schedule and convert it in a way that applies to your wedding party

  • It lists: hair + makeup times, dressed + ready times, wedding day responsibilities, when photos begin, etc.

  • This is distributed to both family members + wedding party members at the rehearsal

  • We distribute to everyone in attendance - this has been our best method of communicating the next day's plan

INVENTORY LIST

This is the packing list for all vendors.  This is the most valuable tool when coming in from out of state!

WHAT IT DOES:

  • Provides you with a checklist of what to bring to your wedding

  • Also provides a shopping list + decor list for Events by Autumn

  • It is also a double check of quantities of rental items + other vendor supplies

  • A packing list for when Events by Autumn is cleaning up after the wedding celebration is complete

EMERGENCY KIT

We always come prepared!  Although we want our clients to be fully prepared for the we ding day, we also ready in the event of an "emergency."  In our minds, emergency is forgetting a pair of socks, breaking a nail, getting a stain on your dress, or popping a seam.  We can turn these emergencies into "no big deal" in a moment's notice.

WHAT IT DOES:

  • Provides you with a backup in the event of an "emergency"

  • It includes over 300 items, ranging from first aid kit materials, to stain fighters, sewing kits, beauty supplies, floral arranging supplies, and more!

  • We come prepared so you don't have to worry!

Photo courtesy of Cake Knife Photography

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Events by Autumn

PO Box 491 Stevensville, MT 59870

406.880.0592   

 EventsbyAutumn@gmail.com

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