become a wedding planner

I recently discovered Planner’s Lounge, a great resource for wedding planners and coordinators. If you’re already a wedding planner or you want to become a wedding planner, Planner’s Lounge is seriously full of great advice — recent topics include, “7 Strategies to Recover from Burn Out“, “Tips for Creating Your Event Planning Portfolio“, and other great tips and tricks.

The creator, Debbie Orwat, is also a wedding planner and her company, Save the Date Events, is listed on WeddingPlannerLove. Why did she start Planner’s Lounge? In her own words:

When I started my planning business just over six years ago, I knew that I would love planning weddings and events. I had already worked in corporate planning and did some business consulting in the tech field. I couldn’t wait to work on weddings, design events and have my own clients. Little did I know that I would love running a business as much as I love planning weddings.

When I started, I was desperate to find any and all information on how to be a wedding planner. This was before social media really happened and there was not much information online about how to get started. After planning more than 100+ weddings and having met so many of my business goals, I was still craving a community and resource to learn more and to share my hard-earned knowledge. There are so many people interested in breaking into the wedding industry and looking to grow their business. At the Planner’s Lounge, I will be sharing practical information and business tips written by me and other professionals in the industry. Planner’s Lounge will also feature news about upcoming wedding industry events, business resources, conferences and speakers.

I’d recommend that every wedding planner and coordinator should check out her intro posts, and join the Planner’s Lounge email list. It’s really great information, and I’m personally looking forward to working with Debbie!


This week’s featured invitation has really inspired me! I absolutely L-O-V-E backyard weddings. From the intimacy, to the charm to the feeling they evoke – I can’t get enough of them. So this week, I pulled a bunch of WeddingInviteLove designs that would be great for a backyard/garden wedding. Enjoy!


em papers designer WeddingInviteLoveem Papers


Hip Ink Designer WeddingInviteLoveHip Ink


Anticipate Invitations Designer WeddingInviteLoveAnticipate Invitations


Girl Metro Designer WeddingInviteLoveGirl Metro, Inc.


Whimsical Prints Designer WeddingInviteLoveWhimsical Prints


Akimbo designer WeddingInviteLoveAkimbo


The Occasional Hello Designer WeddingInviteLoveThe Occasional Hello


Greet Designer WeddingInviteLoveGreet


Darling & Dear Designer WeddingInviteLoveDarling & Dear


ALH Designs Designer WeddingInviteLoveALH Designs

Backyard weddings are a great way to go NUTS with details. Because you generally save on the cost of a venue, you have more money to use on the extra stuff. I put together a Pinterest board that’s full of great ideas for you!

2011 has definitely been the year of the mason jar! They’ve been all over the wedding scene, and to be honest…I can’t get enough of them. Today’s featured invitation comes from Tina from WeddingInviteLove’s Tabibi Press. Love, love, love!

Tabibi Design WeddingInviteLove

I was super thrilled when Lauren contacted me to design her wedding invitation and paper goods. She’s a small business creative and nontraditional…like me. I knew we’d hit it off after our initial consultation. Lauren and John married at Stevenson Ridge in Fredericksburg, VA at a gorgeous bed and breakfast with an amazing view overlooking a pond.

Tabibi Design WeddingInviteLove

Lauren came to me with a concept in mind. She wanted her reception to be adorned with fresh flowers, mason jars and candles. She loved the idea of having an outdoor ceremony in early Fall. Sunset. Fireflies. Colorful foliage. Can you picture it?

I immediately tossed around a few ideas and sketches. I illustrated the firefly but it was missing something…it was missing a glow. I used the feather and outer glow effect in Photoshop to create the “glow.”

Tabibi Design WeddingInviteLove

I incorporate the dotted line to create movement and give it a whimsical tone. The design really set off the theme “We are glowing about our big day.”

Tabibi Design WeddingInviteLove

The final invitation design was incorporated into other paper goods and stationery including the ceremony program, thank you cards, gift tags, escort cards, a signature drink card for the bar and a poster design.

Thank you, Tina for sharing Lauren and John’s stationery! I love how you carried the theme flawlessly throughout all the paper goods. You did a wonderful job, the couple had to be thrilled with your work.

Visit Tabibi Press on WeddingInviteLove or check out more on Tina’s website!


This week was a whirlwind, as they always seem to be! I think the highlight of the week was a lobster dinner on Tuesday night. I think the cute bibs added to the enjoyment. Because really, what else can you eat that requires a goofy plastic bib (unless you are under the age of two)? Now, onto the weekly review…

Photo from Hankzby via Flickr

Links and news from the week:

New to join us on WeddingInviteLove this week were:

WeddingPhotoLove would like to announce a new photographer:

WeddingPlannerLove is getting bigger and bigger…and we’re thrilled about that!

Have a great weekend everyone! I plan on spending mine with a little rest + relaxation. And maybe a little bit of work.

Image by Henry Zbyszynski via Flickr

Last week I got to head up to see The Aerialist Press‘s gorgeous studio (and to check up on a secret project bwahaha that we’ve been working on!) I am absolutely in awe of their amazing work/live loft, but I’ll let the pictures do the talking…

aerialist press letterpress studio tour

aerialist press studio

They have an amazing two story loft. From left: Craig and Alexandra, the owners of The Aerialist Press, and then yours truly. 

aerialist press letterpress studio tour

the aerialist press studio tour

the aerialist press studio tour

The loft had such amazing light.the aerialist press studio tour

the aerialist press studio tour

Continue reading

This week, I decided to peruse WeddingInviteLove for vintage designs – stationery that looks classic. I think I was inspired by the illustrations from Monday’s featured invitation design. Here’s what I found:

The Pink Orange Designer WeddingInviteLove

The Pink Orange


Merrymint Designs Designer WeddingInviteLove

Merrymint Designs


Lisa Samartino Atelier Designer WeddingInviteLove

Lisa Samartino Atelier


Plum Blossom Press WeddingInviteLove

Plum Blossom Press


The White Aisle WeddingInviteLove

The White Aisle


Chauhie Invitation Designer WeddingInviteLove



Little Bit Heart Designer WeddingInviteLove

Little Bit Heart


Wrapsody Designer WeddingInviteLove



Calligraphy is a wonderful way to class up an invitation and give it vintage appeal. If I could go back and splurge on one thing for my wedding, this might have been it!

Margaret Li Calligraphy WeddingInviteLoveMargaret Li Calligraphy


Head over to Pinterest to see the board I created with vintage wedding goodness!

The wonderful Utterly Engaged has posted a very lovely interview about WeddingInviteLove and the Lookbook today — and even more exciting, five lucky commentators can win a WeddingInviteLove Lookbook! Many thanks for Henny and Utterly Engaged for featuring me!

Read the interview on Utterly Engaged and enter to win a WeddingInviteLove Lookbook!

I absolutely love the color combination of this invitation from WeddingInviteLove designer Odd Duck Press! The vintage style illustrations and the selection of typefaces work so well together. I’ll let Jessica, from Odd Duck Press, take it from here!

Odd Duck Designer WeddingInviteLove

I was recently contacted by a bride-to-be who had already decided to handle the printing and assembly of  her invitations, but wanted help with the design.  Of course, I said yes!  This was a departure for Odd Duck Press, as all of our previous wedding invitation projects were for custom letterpress work.

Odd Duck Press Designer WeddingInviteLove

As much as I love letterpress, I realize that it is often cost prohibitive, so the idea of offering custom design to couples on a more modest budget was very appealing. DIY meets Haute Couture, if you will.

Odd Duck Press Designer WeddingInviteLove

The couple was planning a rustic, yet whimsical wedding.  I created a floral motif based on the paper that would be used as a band around the invitation.

Odd Duck Press Designer WeddingInviteLove

Rendering the flowers in pointillism was a fun way to give the images depth.  A variation of the motif appears on each piece.  I especially love the cascading effect on the enclosure cards. This was such a fun collaboration!

Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful invitation suite with us!

Have we mentioned how much we are enjoying these WeddingPhotoLove photographer interviews? Because they are SO MUCH fun. We were able to get some time for an interview from Dee with Shutterdee (such a cute business name, don’t you think?). Thank you so much for answering all of our questions, Dee.

Shutterdee Photographer WeddingPhotoLove

1. Tell us a bit about yourself and your company.

Oh the dreaded question…I don’t like to talk about myself, but if you insist! :D I’m a lover.  I’m truly interested in people…and what makes their world go round. I’m shy yet outgoing. I love food, culture, and chocolate is my weakness. I’m indecisive because there’s so much I want to experience. My company, well, it changes from time to time, BUT what doesn’t change is what I love to capture and how I shoot…it’s the raw, organic, photojournalistic, natural light, sort of way. I love to see people laugh and to see what makes a couple and family tick. The moments that go unnoticed…well that’s what tells the story. The NOW.


Shutterdee Photographer WeddingPhotoLove

2. . How did you get into wedding photography?

I was encouraging a very artistic friend of mine years ago to pursue something artsy. Photography came up. As I went over all the wonderful possibilities, it stirred things up and a light went off (I was that teenager whose walls were covered from top to bottom of photo prints). “Wait…I want to do this!” So I started looking into what I needed to do, made some phone calls, and a wedding photographer took me under his wing. He literally threw me in there. (kind of like our grandparents, grandparents, taught their children how to swim…know what I’m talking about?!! I was scared but learned A LOT. Fast forward a couple of years and here I am!

3. What is your favorite part of the wedding day to capture?

My FAVORITE is the first look. (that’s if a couple chooses to do so) The first look is where the bride and groom opt to see each other before the wedding. I love this so much because it’s the most private and intimate moment of the day. I get to capture the moment he lays eyes on her and when he holds her and tells her how beautiful she looks. You just don’t get all that at the altar. It’s wonderful for me too, because it relieves so much stress and nervousness for the bride and groom. I get to connect  with them, while taking the time to capture, to me, the most important part of the day, the two of them. By time the ceremony starts, we are so comfortable and everything just falls into place.


Shutterdee Photographer WeddingPhotoLove

4. What is the most awkward moment you’ve experienced while on the job?

I’m totally embarrassed to admit this, BUT I’m gonna keep it real. While I was shooting a wedding once, my camera stopped working. MID PHOTOS. Right in front of the groom and his family. The shutter button was stuck. The LCD screen went black and would not let me view my photos. The groom nervously looked at me everything ok? After a few moments of “changing the camera settings” while I talked about…who knows what..I figured out that I literally had to keep turning on and off the camera after about 5 snaps to get it to work. I had to try my best to guess exposure settings. I was then shooting with my Canon 20D, and I had just worn that thing out. Back up camera? What’s that? Oh, and my assistant was a friend helping me out with a very amateur camera; and she was off taking guest photos. Talk about praying for the ground to open up and swallow me up.

5. What’s the best thing you ever ate at a wedding?

My brides take good care of me. I’ll start with deesert. I was shooting at a country club and they literally had the BEST tiramisu I have ever tasted in the world. My assistant and I almost fell out of our chairs. I don’t even LIKE tiramisu. It’s true. Meal…probably this vegetarian orzo pasta with feta, I was served. It’s hard, I’m a vegetarian that eats fish on occasion and my brides make sure I have vegetarian options…so most of the time it’s marvelous. Did I say my brides take care of me…some even have place cards for my assistant and I! A-mazing. I’m happy with bread (I eat lots of bread) and a fabulous Caesar salad.

6. What is your favorite venue and why?

Honestly I’m a sucker for backyard weddings. Or garden weddings. Because they’re usually so intimate, and, so detailed oriented. I love the natural light too. Makes for best of pics.


Shutterdee Photographer WeddingPhotoLove

7. Nikon or Canon?

Nikon who? Canon all the way!

8. What is your dream location to shoot a wedding?

I have too many but definitely someplace in Europe. Probably Venice or Capri. Wait no Morocco! Actually…I would be so happy to shoot in Greece. I also really want to shoot a wedding in the snow. Did I mention I’m indecisive?


Shutterdee Photographer WeddingPhotoLove

9. If you could shoot any celebrity wedding (past, present or future), who would be the lucky couple?

This is a fabulous question (my husband and friends are shaking their head at me right now)! There are many. I want to make a list starting with, my gals like: Kate Hudson, Jennifer Aniston, Zoe Saldana, and Drew Barrymore. But I’ll spare you and will narrow it down to two. I really would have loved to shoot Reese Witherspoon’s recent wedding. Sigh. She’s just so classy. But over all I think Russell Brand and Katy Perry’s Wedding in India would have been an amazing experience.

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned, and would pass along to other new wedding photographers just getting started?

1. Be realistic. Things aren’t going to be perfect, “regrets and mistakes, they’re memories made,” Adele says. Lol. It’s true. Learn from the mistakes you’ve done. Don’t let that make you feel like you’re not good at what you love to do. Just keep ‘swimming’. 2. Always..ALWAYS, check your camera while you’re shooting. Sometimes your lighting changes so fast..your settings need to also. Glance at your screen every few shots just to make sure you’re doing great. 3. Stop doubting yourself and don’t give up. I’m still kind of, from time to time, doing that, but getting further away from feeling inadequate. It’ll only ruin your ‘vision’ and you won’t be your best on a shoot. 4. Put yourself out there, the worse people can say is no. 5. I’m a big rooter for others, be a peer and a support to your fellow photographers…competing is harsh. 6. Try not to let your work swallow you neck deep…you’ll lose your joy.


Shutterdee Photographer WeddingPhotoLove

Thank you again, Dee! Check out Shutterdee on WeddingPhotoLove or visit her website for more beautiful photos.

Another week gone by…and another week that I failed to do holiday shopping. Whoops. Perhaps I will get that moving this weekend. Or maybe I’ll stay in and bake some cookies. Decisions, decisions!

Seabamirum on Flickr

Lots went on this week – if you missed out, have no fear because I’m about to recap it all for you!

Links and news from the week:

Newest vendors on WeddingInviteLove

WeddingPlannerLove added these great vendors this week:

In other news:

Join Wiley Valentine for a Pop Up Shop in their studio on Saturday, December 10 from 9am -1pm. There, you can Snag some of limited edition paper delights, exclusive discounts and other special offers. And while you’re there, enjoy some tasty libations and treats! Their shop is located at: 17891 Sky Park Circle, Suite B, Irvine, California 92614

Have a great weekend everyone!

Image by Seabamirum via Flickr