184 episodes

2 fun-loving, wildly experienced Wedding Consultants share their deepest, darkest secrets to help you plan your wedding. You'll learn a lot. Laugh even more. And most importantly get the inside scoop on how to make the most of your big day. Inclusivity is of the utmost importance to us, so this podcast is for EVERYONE.
This is not your traditional wedding blog. Trust us. You can't make this stuff up. Email us your questions and we will answer! thebigweddingplanningpodcast@gmail.com
If you love our show, please call us and leave a message! You might hear yourself on the show. (415) 723-1625

The Big Wedding Planning Podcast Michelle Martinez & Christy Matthews

    • Society & Culture

2 fun-loving, wildly experienced Wedding Consultants share their deepest, darkest secrets to help you plan your wedding. You'll learn a lot. Laugh even more. And most importantly get the inside scoop on how to make the most of your big day. Inclusivity is of the utmost importance to us, so this podcast is for EVERYONE.
This is not your traditional wedding blog. Trust us. You can't make this stuff up. Email us your questions and we will answer! thebigweddingplanningpodcast@gmail.com
If you love our show, please call us and leave a message! You might hear yourself on the show. (415) 723-1625

    # 183 - Wedding Weekend Planning

    # 183 - Wedding Weekend Planning

    Jennifer and Kimberly both come to the event world from creative industries. Jennifer studied fashion in NYC at the Fashion Institute of NY, freelanced in Miami doing film and television and eventually returned to Michigan to join Kimberly in launching a company for someone else. When that didn’t quite pan out, the two sisters started their own event firm.

    Kimberly studied technical theatre design and production. After college she toured for several seasons with the Big Apple Circus as well as Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey in various roles from electrician and spotlight operator to props master and rigger. After leaving the road she came back to Detroit and fell into the event industry.

    She and Jennifer started their business in 2002 with a heavy focus on corporate events. They reinvented their business in 2004 and Something Fabulous was born as a Boutique Event Management & Design with Your Moment In Mind. They join us today to talk about all the events surrounding the wedding!

    Big Takeaways
    Consider what memory you want to make, what your wishes are for the events, what your timeline is and what your budget it is. All these are important factors in designing the experiences.
    Rehearsal dinners don’t have to be in a restaurant. It’s more about the connection and the celebration of the couple. Big ideas that don’t get to make it into the wedding can be done in the rehearsal.
    Keep the rehearsal simple, anyone involved in the wedding ceremony. The rehearsal dinner can have more people, but you definitely don’t have to invite every out of town guest. It’s a personal choice and a budget choice. Though an invitation is not required, you can send one. You can invite digitally! It’s a great way to save money.

    Welcome drinks should be considered more of a happy hour and less of a party. There are options for how it’s paid for. Some couples choose to contribute a certain amount of money, or give an optional itinerary and have guests meet at a bar, or they sometimes to choose to pay for the whole thing. Really there is no right away to do the welcome drinks.
    When it comes to brunch, determine, first, who is coming! Some people want to pack up and head straight home the next day, and some are staying. They are usually very casual, and relaxed. And can be a rolling event, like the food is out and the guests can pop in and out when they want to within the hours of the brunch.

    Question: I do have a question about after-wedding brunch! We have set up 2 hotel wedding blocks, under a 10-minute drive from each other. One is a historic hotel downtown, and the other is a newer Marriott on the edge of town (we live in Roanoke, VA so traffic isn't really a concern). My family is staying in the historic hotel, and my fiancé’s family is staying at the Marriott. How do we decide where to have brunch the day after? The historic hotel has a nicer restaurant, but you have to pay for parking. Would it be better to arrange brunch at a third location that's more "neutral"? Plus, we're not even sure where my fiancé and I are staying yet. My parents have offered to pay for brunch and recommended we do whatever is simpler for us, but I'm really not sure what that is. I would love any advice you can give! Thanks for everything!!

    Answer: This is a matter of personal preference, but we would ask - what do you hope to experience at this brunch? Is it for guest convenience and hospitality after the big day? Who will actually attend? You may find that one family will be leaving and only have a couple of guests actually show up at the brunch. This could help you determine which location is best.

    We find that many times the after wedding brunch is a chance for the bride and groom to visit with guests in a way that the pre-wedding events don’t allow. Think about what the actual needs and requirements of the guest and couples e

    • 58 min
    #182 Venue Owner Tell's All

    #182 Venue Owner Tell's All

    Dixie Bagley is owner of The Farm in Rome, Georgia, a European farm estate set in the north west Georgia mountains. The venue focuses on working with couples who want to give their guests a relaxed but thoughtful countryside weekend wedding experience. In addition to The Sweet Bar Bakery, Dixie Events, and Venue Coach with The Bridal Society.

    Having previously been in the wedding industry for 10 years, Dixie has experienced a lot when it comes to weddings – from the highs of seeing a surprise proposal to the lows of no-show vendors and fighting wedding parties. She can pin a boutonniere in record time, believes that the wedding planning process should be both fun and stress-free! She loves the educational aspect of wedding planning and aims to make you and your guests feel both comfortable and welcome. She is a master of multi tasking and wants to do a cartwheel every time a couple days I Do!

    Dixie holds a degree in exercise science from the American Council of Exercise and is Certified Wedding Planner & Venue Coach for The Bridal Society. When sheʼs not hosting weddings at The Farm she and her husband, Lee, an avid flyer, and dogs can be found flying in their plane, bouncing from Montana to Mexico. Dixie joins us today to tell us, as a wedding vendor, what she wishes couples knew.

    Big Takeaways
    Remember your vendors are running a business. Just because you are there for only a weekend doesnʼt mean you can ignore the space you are staying in. Leave it cleaner than you found it.
    Read your contracts! There is fine print and itʼs super important to understand before signing on the line.

    Good wedding planners make a big difference! They know how to communicate and work with venues and vendors in a skilled and helpful way.
    Every single wedding professional needs a certificate of insurance! It may even be required through the venue. This is important to sort through, and figure out way before day of. Pick vendors who are actually insured. Children need to be with an adult at all times. In general, keep an eye on all kids, the rules might not be as clear to them as it is to you.

    When the crew is setting up, having the wedding party is raiding the bar itʼs super disruptive. Bring a bottle of champagne or something like that, and then wait until the partyʼs started before doing that.
    Dixie has a clause in her contracts about being respectful. Her property, her work are very important to her. She wants your day to be special. And in order for that to happen, both sides must respect the boundaries and rules and the day will be

    In a venue contract, before itʼs signed, there is some flexibility. All you have to do is ask, worst case scenario they just say no. Also iʼs important to read your contract about things like emergencies, contact times, etc. communicate, ask questions, clarify.

    Links We Referenced

    “Not reading your contract is not an excuse for getting out of your contract.” - Dixie
    “Being nice really goes a long way.” - Dixie “Just be courteous and respectful.” - Michelle
    “Everyone that is providing your wedding services wants you to have the best day ever.” - Dixie

    Get In Touch
    EMAIL: thebigweddingplanningpodcast@gmail.com
    FACEBOOK: @TBWPpodcast
    INSTAGRAM: @thebigweddingplanningpodcast
    BE SURE TO USE THE HASHTAG: #planthatwedding TWITTER: @TBWPpodcast
    PHONE: (415) 723-1625 Leave us a message and you might hear your voice on the show!
    PATREON: www.patreon.com/thebigweddingplanningpodcast
    Special Guest: Dixie Bagley.

    • 1 hr 3 min
    #181 The Wedding is Over. Now What?

    #181 The Wedding is Over. Now What?

    About This Episode
    Leah Weinberg is the Owner & Creative Director of Color Pop Events -- a New York City-based wedding planning company that focuses on the details and lives in the logistics. Now in her seventh year of business, Leah leverages skills like organization, attention to detail, and client service from her prior career as a commercial real estate attorney to excel at event production. Her colorful work and party planning tips have been published online and in print with Vogue, Bravo, Martha Stewart, The Knot, Buzzfeed and more.

    In this episode, Leah joins Christy to share about the after wedding emotions, how to get through the engagement to the come down process, and introduces the new book she is working on, The Psychology of Weddings (The Weird S*** That Happens When You Get Engaged).

    Big Takeaways
    Understanding what others are going through can really allow ease in the wedding planning process. A common topic that is brought up is that friends might be feeling some pain in response to your engagement and marriage. The best idea is to show some grace.

    Try not to pick apart everything after the wedding. You want to have the memory of your day in a good spot. It feels nice to carry an amazing, glowing feeling. With obvious exceptions, like needing to deal with bad reviews, and customer service issues, let the rest go.

    A good mindset going in to the wedding goes a long way! It really helps the ability for you to enjoy it. The best decisions will be made when you can compare options, and sleep on it, and really spend time figuring things out. This is where a planner can come in handy too.

    Reviews mean a lot. It is important to think critically about what you are saying. Most issues can be handled interpersonally. The best way to insure a great wedding day is to meet with the vendors, talk to them, ask questions, and go from there.

    *Links We Referenced *

    @colorpopevents on Twitter and Pinterest

    “I try not to say that the wedding is the best and most important day of your whole life.” -Christy
    “Try to reflect on the really great moments.” - Leah
    "We all just have to remember that people are humans, and cheesy golden rule, treat people the way that you want to be treated.” - Leah

    Get In Touch
    EMAIL: thebigweddingplanningpodcast@gmail.com
    FACEBOOK: @TBWPpodcast
    INSTAGRAM: @thebigweddingplanningpodcast
    BE SURE TO USE THE HASHTAG: #planthatwedding
    TWITTER: @TBWPpodcast
    PHONE: (415) 723-1625 Leave us a message and you might hear your voice on the show!
    PATREON: www.patreon.com/thebigweddingplanningpodcast
    Special Guest: Leah Weinberg.

    • 1 hr 12 min
    #180 You Ask, We Answer - 26

    #180 You Ask, We Answer - 26

    Our monthly installment of You Ask, We Answer. Where we answer all sorts of questions from our listeners.

    Ask #1 - First Look - I don’t wanna!
    We have already booked a photographer that we really like and I am sure he will be flexible, but I know he has to advocate for his needs in order to do his job well. I want to be respectful and make sure the request I am making is somewhat reasonable before I meet with him.

    I also want to emphasize that while we, of course, value having photographs of our wedding, the photos are not really a priority of ours. […] I have ALWAYS pictured myself not having a first look. However silly, the romantic in me wants the two of us to see each other for the first time as I walk down the aisle. […]

    If it is completely unavoidable, we will do a first look, but I really don't want to. So tell me, is it unreasonable to ask a photographer to take all of the photos needed after the wedding? And if it is reasonable, could we do outdoor photos of the two of us right after the wedding at a nearby location and then come back and do the rest of the portraits indoors. I want to be respectful of his craft (and most of his photos on his website are outdoors) but I also don't want to arrange my whole day around an aspect that is lower on our priority list than others.

    Answer #1
    100% you do not have to do a first look. The photographer is going to photograph your day - he will may input and thoughts about how it runs...but they will second to your plans. He will work with the day as you want it to be, and as you make the plans for it. Lots of people don't want to do the first look! Totally fine. Create an organized, logical wedding day timeline and give it to your vendors - all of them should have some version of the same timeline.

    He probably prefers outside photos, but any professional wedding photographer is going to be adept at indoor photos and lighting as well. Usually it's just not what they show off on their websites.
    I suggest you create the timeline by first deciding when you want the ceremony to start. Then work backwards and forwards from there. Here's a basic example - including when the photos can be.

    3:30 - photographer starts - he can get some 'getting ready' shots with you at this time, if you want those. Probably has time to do a few minutes with you and your partner - if you will be at the same place in different rooms at this point.
    4:00 - guests arriving, photographer taking photos of venue, some with bride and groom separately (maybe with wedding party or parents), maybe some of guests as they arrive
    4:30 - 5:00 Ceremony
    5:00 - 5:25 Photos with you and partner, parents, and wedding party. These are 'formal' posed photos. They can be done right outside the church - wherever the photographer wants, or in the church. Either

    way - they need to start right after the ceremony - which means it will be helpful if all involved are aware of the plan and if there is someone else who can encourage all the other guests to go to the cocktail reception at this point. Remember to leave some buffer time between this and when you want to join the cocktail hour. Or if you want to skip the cocktail hour, you can spend more time on photos and have some alone time with your partner (recommended!)

    5:15 - 6:15 - cocktail reception - you can join this whenever you want, just put a time limit on the post-ceremony photos and make it clear to your photographer. If you want him to get photos of the reception room or details, he will need to get there to do that by 5:45 in this case.
    6:15 - end (9:30? 10?) - dinner and reception. Photographer will leave after his hourly contracted time.

    Keep in mind that you don't have to travel far to get nice outdoor photos. I've seen couples literally pose for formals next to a dumpster behind the church, or in a grassy area by a parking lot because

    • 1 hr 3 min
    #179 Celebrate With Impact

    #179 Celebrate With Impact

    A nuptial maestro for a decade, José Rolon specializes in bringing comfort to a process that’s famously filled with tough decisions and mounting stress. After his time at the Foundry, a luxury wedding venue in NYC, José went out on his own with the goal of leveraging his storytelling and relationship building abilities to create emotional and visual experiences for his clients. His work has been celebrated with the Best of The Knot, New York Times, Essence Magazine, BRIDES, and New York Weddings. José lives in Brooklyn Heights with his three children, and as a single dad, has learned how to keep his cool under pressure.

    He is also the host of The Wedding Buzz, a video podcast that has people’s attention keeping his finger on the pulse of the wedding industry.

    Just this year, he launched Impact with Choice, a new initiative in sustainability, and today, he joins Christy to do a deep dive.

    Big Takeaways
    Donating parts of your wedding can make a huge difference in the waste you are putting out. All those flowers that are used for a few hours could really make all the people at the nursing home’s day.

    Impact with Choice takes away a lot of the logistic stress of donating and making an impact. José understands that more work and more money is not necessarily the most appealing thing, but when it can be taken care of before hand, it becomes a gift instead of a stressor.

    You don’t have to change your entire wedding to make an impact. If any of this resonated with you, the resources are available to help you make your wedding a more sustainable day. Taking even just one of the tips would make such a difference.

    If this important to you, build it into your planning. Ask your vendors questions!

    Links we referenced

    “Anything is better than nothing.” - Christy

    “I want my clients to donate to something they believe in. Not feeling like the money they’re giving me is going to a cause I believe in.” - José

    “To me, what better way to start by thinking about how you as a unit, as a couple, want to make an impact, big or small, to the world.” - José

    “Something people don’t think about is - make sure you order things in bulk. If you order things in bulk ahead of time, there is less packaging to throw away.” - José

    “Don’t do it because it’s trending, do it because you’re moved to do it.” - José

    Get In Touch
    EMAIL: thebigweddingplanningpodcast@gmail.com
    FACEBOOK: @TBWPpodcast
    INSTAGRAM: @thebigweddingplanningpodcast
    BE SURE TO USE THE HASHTAG: #planthatwedding
    TWITTER: @TBWPpodcast
    PHONE: (415) 723-1625 Leave us a message and you might hear your voice on the show!
    PATREON: www.patreon.com/thebigweddingplanningpodcast
    Special Guest: Jose Rolon.

    • 1 hr 4 min
    #178 Wedding Etiquette and Protocol

    #178 Wedding Etiquette and Protocol

    Julian Leaver joins us today to talk wedding etiquette and answer some burning questions about the best way to plan, budget, and more.
    Wedding couples usually face their biggest challenge immediately after the excitement of their actual engagement wears off. They now know what needs to be done, but the how is not as certain. Julian Leaver’s expertise is in applying practical techniques to the basic tasks laid out for most couples on their standard wedding checklist.

    Julian’s background in the wedding world gives him the perfect breadth of experience.

    Hosted by The Dapper Diplomat is Julian’s medium for providing the skills that wedding couples need in-between the checklist and the chapel. He also speaks to the event community and conducts workshops for some of the nation’s finest brands to elevate communication, dining, business and social skills.

    Big Takeaways
    Most of the time, people overthink the guest list! There are so many factors that play into the guest list, there is no 100% right answer. When things are getting crazy and confusing, return to the two of you (couple). It is your wedding, no one else’s.

    You should tip. Julian’s advice is you should only tip vendors who are present on the day and remain the entire time. The drivers should be tipped if they are not already tipped. Hair and make-up should be tipped. You can use tipping to be proactive. Tipping the wait staff on the front side can be quite a different experience than tipping them at the end. For the hotel staff, gratuity is typically already included.

    To invite children or to not invite them? This is a spot where everyone has an opinion. The standard, with children vs none, is the invitation. If you are planning to not invite children, you should preemptively tell your guests so they understand where you’re coming from. You’ll have an opportunity to explain the factors to them. Always do this in person!

    Don’t overthink the registry. It’s your wedding. Make the decision, move on, and don’t worry.

    When it comes to seating charts with divorced parents, complicated situations, have an in person conversation. It’s hard, but it will relieve the stress that can easily build when it goes untouched. Remember your guests are adults. Your parents are grown adults. It’s easy to revert to the role of child parent. But remember it is an adult to adult conversation.

    Make sure that you build in buffer time. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the timeline, and then you can miss the real magical moments in the in betweens.

    Q: How bad does it look to show up with pre-cut cake and disposable plates/forks, if bad at all?

    A: It comes back to communication. Let your venue know you are bringing cake, ahead of time! Get clarity. If you have to pay a little extra to have them cut and plate it in the back, it is totally worth it! If you want it served, you will get charged for it. Which is also okay. Ultimately you are saving money. Just make sure you are clear about what the policy is, who is going to cut the cake, where it will be plated, etc.

    Q: Can you touch on dress codes? No tuxes, but we would love dark suits and long/fancy cocktail dresses?

    A: Highest level of etiquette says there are two levels of dress code for the evening. Black tie, and cocktail. This one is cocktail. The only dress code that should really go on an official invite is black tie. But, you can absolutely put this on the website. A separate card in the envelope with the invitation can also state that its cocktail.

    Q: Two of my friends who were dating for several years recently split up. Though I was HIS friend first, she became someone I ended up even closer with. However the bulk of my pals are “team him” and I don’t think I can invite her without a HUGE pile of drama. Any advice on how to tell her she’s important to me but I don’t want to r

    • 1 hr 16 min

Customer Reviews

Lulu368956 ,

Relationship Saving Podcast!

Do your friends and family want to hear you talk about your wedding for the millionth time? No? Well you've found the perfect podcast to save your relationships and redirect your wedding planning enthusiasm. Christy and Michelle are the best thing to happen to the wedding planning process. Their wedding wisdom feels like a warm hug and a guiding hand that helps you through the wedding planning process. I love their humor, inclusivity, and commitment to helping engaged couples #PlanThatWedding.


bneate ,

Best Lighthearted Advice!!

These ladies are great! M & C are knowledgeable wedding planners with so much experience. They bring on relevant topics, guests, and great Q&A (YAWA) episodes! I’ve been engaged since Sept 29th and will be married 11/7/20 and even though I DO have a wedding planner for our destination wedding, these ladies give me a completely different perspective & food for thought!! Thanks for helping to make the planning process more lighthearted!

bk26505 ,

Best Wedding Podcast

Leaving another review! Because why not! I have truly enjoyed every episode that has been put out. My fiancé even started listening to them with me on long car rides. This has made a huge difference in motivating him to plan with me. I cannot say enough wonderful things about this podcast! I never want to stop listening...thank goodness I still have another year and half until we get married!

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