By Stephanie Gonzalez
Let’s be honest: Planning a wedding can be fun, but there’s a lot to it—everything from choosing a dress and picking a photographer to managing budgets, vendors and all those other details. So here’s our gift to you: From time to time, we’ll post insider tips from local industry experts about how to plan the Sarasota wedding of your dreams. This week: Five tips from Nicole Kaney—whose boutique wedding planning business, NK Productions, recently celebrated its sixth anniversary—about how brides can plan a beautiful, stress-free wedding.
1. Have a Budget: Too many people research the general expenses of a wedding but don’t take into account the price differences based on geographic location. “That’s something that not everyone starts with. A band might be more expensive in Sarasota than anywhere else,” Kaney says. Make sure you choose a budget that is realistic for your location.
2. Organization is Key: While it may be tempting to jump right into the creativity and glamour of planning the wedding, there’s still business to be done. “Everything has to stay organized in order to have that creative side come forward, and that’s how I run things,” Kaney explains. So take care of your “nitty-gritty” details, such as transportation, catering and hotel accommodations, first; the fun things, like choosing linens and décor, can come later.
3. Make a List: Start with a checklist that highlights what you should be doing each month prior to the wedding. Don’t fall behind! That’s when people start to get stressed and rush the process. The checklist might include how soon to announce your engagement, when to send save the dates and when that final payment is due.
4. Know the Venue: Sarasota has many unique venues, such as the Powel Crosley Estate, Ringling Museum and Phillippi Mansion. Most of these venues have guest capacities, “so find out how many fit in the venue first, and then make your guest list,” Kaney advises. You don’t want to find out that you’ve invited too many people. Also, check into restrictions and permitting for beach weddings and parking.
5. Be Open to Change: It’s great to have your favorite colors picked out, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t branch out when it comes to planning your wedding. “I like the process to happen naturally, taking into consideration what vendors recommend as well. Sometimes even a flower completely changes your thought process,” Kaney says.