Building your wedding Dream Team…..

Now that you have started the base of your wedding vision, written out your budget, decided on where to save and where to splurge, picked your date & time & location your in love with… now you need to find the Amazing people who will make it happen!!

If you have the budget for your own wedding army or if you are working with a DIY budget, you are going to need help pulling off a full scale wedding.

How do you pick your dream team?  Who should you hire first…

The art to hiring your wedding dream  team is order! order! order!

This order is simple… it’s based on the importance of the service to your wedding & many wedding pros book up months even a year in advance. So here it is…..

1st Priority~

Planner… you should hire one because they can recommend wedding pros that not only meet your budget, but personality & style.

Officiant… they have such a major role in your union they should be your first call.

Photographer… many independent top photographers book 1 wedding a day & only 1 wedding a weekend for destination weddings, so they will book up fast.

Caterer… They really are limited on their events and Oregon is full of foodies, so the many great caterers book up quickly.

Reception Deejay or Band… a very important part in keeping your party flowing they also book early and remember they also book many other events not just weddings.

2nd Priority~

Videographer… Portland has great video companies and they have multiple cameramen, so they can do a couple of weddings a weekend.

Florist… many florist can handle several events in a weekend, so finding a great florist  within 7 to 8 months before your wedding is good time frame.

Bakery… Specialty cake designers only do so many cakes in a weekend.. Large bakeries can handle more events in a weekend. So decide early on what type of cake you would like to serve your guests.

Hairstylist & Makeup artists… these talented stylists book very early especially the ones that come to you on the wedding date, that being said they are limited on how many weddings they can do a weekend because of travel time.

Transportation… availability of limos, classic cars & other specialty transportation are really based on locale & season here in the NW, so booking early is always a great plan.

3rd Priority~

Invitations designer & Printing… many companies offer design & printing so starting 4-5 months before is a great time to start, for design, print-assemble & mailing.

Ceremony Music… This can be anything from classic strings to a Deejay, so you can take a little longer on booking.. even group together with your reception music package.

Professional lighting… They can handle multiple events during a weekend and this gives you a little more time to finalize your decor details.

Rentals… unless it is the middle of the summer months or it is a big convention season, a few months before to put a deposit on your tents, table , chairs & linens should be enough time.

Remember if you hire the first on the priority list, your wedding planner can give you all the recommendations on the wedding pros- costs, personalities, time frames & can speak from personal experience from working with them.

Of course there are many wedding internet search sites that can be a wonderful resource… but just because a vendor is listed on one of these sites doesn’t mean it passes as a recommendation.

A good rule of thumb when interviewing wedding pros & vendors is a 3 from each category… this way you can have a good comparison but not too may to be confusing!

The wedding business is a very personal one, so choosing the wedding professionals that you connect with personally is the key to having a wedding that truly is your wedding day.

Happy Wedding Planning!!

For more information contact us at


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Top 5 Ways to save money at your wedding

When you start planning your wedding you will soon see that there are many options to choose from in each area of your wedding. So many cool little details you can add to personalize your wedding day experience. Again, every couple has to make decisions about their priorities. A good way to gauge how essential things are: Ask yourself ” Will any of your guests notice if we don’t have…”.

The best 5 ways to save!

There are many ways to do this but knowledge is the key… knowing where to spend & where to save!

1.Trim the guest list: We know this is usually really hard for most couples to do,  but the food & beverage costs per person are the largest wedding expense.

2.Have the wedding earlier in the day: a heavy hors d’ oeuvres reception cost less then a plated dinner, guest may drink less, lowering the liquor cost.

3.Skip expensive favors: write them a personal” Thank You” note instead, or make a donation to a charity close to your heart on behalf of your wedding guests.

4.Cut out the full bar: offer wine, beer & a signature drink. Punch & lemonade are a cost effective non- alcohol options as well.

5.Have a Sunday wedding: Sunday or a weekday wedding really lowers the cost for venues & some vendors.


We hope these 5 tips save you money as well as some time!

Happy Wedding Planning!!

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Wedding Industry Awards 2013!

It is that time again… we are looking for all our Sweet Dreams Weddings & Events family and friends to cast their votes to help tell the rest of the world about how great we are!

We have entered for two categories this year… one is for Best Portland Wedding Planner & Best Portland Event Designer! Please take the time to vote for us, we have till next Tuesday!

Thank you!!!
XO… Tilly & Lisa
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Posted in Hot Weddings, Wedding Tips

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