Laurel & Elm Ranked Among Top Philadelphia Wedding Planners

We have been having an extremely busy fall wedding season around here so our blog has been a bit silent lately! However, last Thursday we found out that Laurel & Elm was rated as one of the top 20 wedding planners in Philadelphia (out of 274 Philadelphia wedding planners!) and had to take a minute to share! 

This is such a huge honor considering all of the talented planner friends we were ranked along with! I am extremely grateful for all of our Laurel & Elm couples that took the time to write us glowing reviews that helped with our ranking! 

Check out the list HERE! 

New Website Sneak Peek

Tomorrow is an exciting day! I've been hard at work updating the Laurel & Elm website to reflect the work we've done over the last year and how we've grown and changed! I'll be going more in depth on this tomorrow but for now, here's a little sneak peek mood board of what's to come! 

Can't wait to show you the finished version! Check back tomorrow to see! 

5 Sparkler Exit Tips for Your Big Send Off!

With Fourth of July just behind us, I thought I'd share my 5 expert tips for those of you thinking of doing a sparkler exit at your wedding! 

SIZE MATTERS

With all of the budget planning that goes into making a wedding beautiful, it's so easy to look for little ways to save money that aren't obvious to your guests. This is NOT the time to do that.

Different than the Fourth of July sparklers you are probably used to, wedding sparklers are usually sold in 3 different sizes - somewhere around 12 inches, 24 inches and 36 inches. The 12 inch sparklers are by FAR the cheapest and initially the most appealing however sparklers burn at a rate of 1 foot per minute - so 3 minutes total for even the longest sparkler. Unless you have an extremely small, intimate wedding, you're going to need every second you can get to have all of those sparklers lit and guests lined up and ready to go!

I always suggest the 36 inch sparkers for my clients. To create that Pinterest picture you've seen time and time again, the sparklers need to be somewhat close to the newlyweds. The 36" sparklers allow both the guest and the happy couple to be a safe distance from the fire in addition to that extra time it allows for more photos!

venue agreement

As you can imagine, there are venues don't feel 100% comfortable with guests who have been drinking for hours waving around sticks with fire on the end of them. Who could blame them? 

Before you buy anything, make sure to check your venue guidelines on open flames and ask which areas of the venue (if any) you can have your grand exit! Some venues located within or close to a forrest or another highly flammable area might not permit this at all, unfortunately! 

Photo by Autumn Kern Photography

Photo by Autumn Kern Photography

PLAN WITH YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER

This is a HUGE photo opportunity! As soon as you know you'd like to have a sparkler exit, tell your photographer. Your photography contract outlines exactly how many hours of service your photo package includes, so you'll either want to adjust that timeframe with them so that they are there until the very end or preferably add additional hours so that they don't miss any of your getting ready details! This also allows your photographer to scope out the venue for the best spot to exit!

Photo by Autumn Kern Photography

Photo by Autumn Kern Photography

let your guests know!

To create that exit you've envisioned, you want to make sure as many of your guests as possible are there at the very end of your wedding! Some of your older guests, especially, who might otherwise leave a little earlier might decide to stick around if they know how important this is to you! A sign displayed at the reception AND a little timeline in their welcome bag never hurts so that your guests can plan their transportation accordingly! 

Photo by Autumn Kern Photography

Photo by Autumn Kern Photography

Photo by Tina Jay Photography

Photo by Tina Jay Photography

pack the supplies

This is the most important. Not having the right materials to execute this can cause huge problems! I usually suggest bringing along at least 1 lighter for every 20 guests - we pack a bunch with us too to help out! Check out Eric, my right hand husband/helper lighting 3 at a time! We take this seriously ;) 

Photo by Autumn Kern Photography

Photo by Autumn Kern Photography

The sparklers actually do a better job of lighting themselves from other sparklers than they do catching fire from matches, so designating a person (or hiring a wedding planner!) to be there to communicate this to your guests once they've got a few going can really help to speed the process along! 

One of the cutest sparkler packaging I've seen is from For Your Party. They sell these adorable sparkler sleeves with matches attached and allow you to customize your information, wedding font and colors to match! Just slip a sparkler in the slots at the top and bottom of the sleeve and everyone is informed and supplied! 

 

This cute little tag gives everyone with a sparkler an immediate way to light their sparkler and be ready for you! 

Last but certainly not least, have multiple water stations located a good distance apart from each other for your guests to put their sparklers out after you leave! Placing these in the general direction of the parking lot allows for your guests to give each other room so that nobody is turning around and surprising anyone! I usually suggest a metal pail of some sort so as not to create another fire with a plastic container of water. 

Keeping these tips in mind as you plan your grand exit can save you a lot of stress in the long run and allow you to achieve those memorable photos you've been wanting! 

Don't Forget These Wedding Day Details!

After months and months of planning, hundreds of invitations and hotel welcome bags stuffed and countless purchases leading up to your wedding day, what is the best way to get the biggest return on all of your investments? By having it professionally photographed of course!

When you look back on your wedding photos in 20 years, these details will be the ones that tell the story of the day, and remind you of all of the personal touches that were a part of the romance! Today I'm sharing the Laurel & Elm checklist for what our couples should pack to have at their getting ready locations! 

1. Shoes

Pat Furey Photography

Pat Furey Photography

2.Wedding dress

Brianna Wilbur Photography

Brianna Wilbur Photography

3.suit or tux

Brianna Wilbur Photography

Brianna Wilbur Photography

4. Rings

Autumn Kern Photo

Autumn Kern Photo

5. Love notes to each other

Pat Furey Photography

Pat Furey Photography

6. Save the Dates + Invitations

Tina Jay Photography

Tina Jay Photography

7. veil or headpiece

Autumn Kern Photo

Autumn Kern Photo

8. Pocket square 

Tina Jay Photography

Tina Jay Photography

9. Getting ready outfits

Pat Furey Photography

Pat Furey Photography

10. Hotel welcome bags

Pat Furey Photography

Pat Furey Photography

11. Perfume or cologne

Tina Jay Photography

Tina Jay Photography

12. Special Hanger

Pat Furey Photography

Pat Furey Photography

13. Other Jewelry

Autumn Kern Photo

Autumn Kern Photo

14. Bridal Party Gifts

AGP Collective

AGP Collective

15. Tie + belt

Pat Furey Photography

Pat Furey Photography

16. Cufflinks

Tina Jay Photography

Tina Jay Photography

17. Garter

Autumn Kern Photo

Autumn Kern Photo

18. Socks

Tina Jay Photography

Tina Jay Photography

19. Handbag 

Autumn Kern Photo

Autumn Kern Photo

20. vows 

Tina Jay Photography

Tina Jay Photography

Happy packing! 

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