How To Use Storytelling for Your Wedding

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Before I tell you how to use storytelling for your wedding, I want you to ask yourselves a few questions: where did the two of you meet? What are your favorite things to do together? Where are the two of you from (ie. alma mater, hometown, etc.)? What are the things that make your relationship tick? For instance in the below image, our clients were big supporters of the Labor Union and therefore, big Steinbeck fans – they gave Steinbeck books as favors and used custom bookmarks as escort cards.

Storytelling isn’t about finding the next trend on Pinterest, it’s incredibly personal and it’s my absolute favorite way to design a wedding for my clients. One of things you’ll notice about our weddings is that we may not have a distinct signature style. We are flexible and malleable when it comes to design because we need to meet the design aesthetic of our clients varied and variable tastes. The details are so incredibly important to us because they offer ample opportunity to tell your story as an individual, a couple and as a family.

Image by Stout Studios

With that said, take just one of those questions above – where did the two of you meet? We’ve had a client meet their fiancé over craft cocktails and it became a part of their story when they began hunting down the most fabulous beverages to imbibe together. In fact, the couple above even did a “cocktail mixing” as a part of their ceremony. It was hilariously called, “The Last Word” and they took turns pouring each ingredient into a shaker before sharing their first sip as a married couple. Can you also tell that they were HUGE Rock n Roll fans? They were married a velvet draped stage set with a LOVE marquee. So fun!

Sometimes we come from significantly diverse backgrounds – and those backgrounds still individually exist in their lives, like families from different states. These clients had family in both California and Ohio, many who were traveling to their Wine Country wedding and in honor of this, they created California and Ohio corn hole boards for guests to enjoy during their cocktail hour. The best part? They now have their own custom corn hole boards to enjoy in their own newlywed backyard.

Image by Sarah Maren Photography

In other cases, it’s not just a hobby, but a part of ones childhood. Our other clients grew up in a local art museum, as their mom often volunteered in its galleries as a docent. In choosing a venue, an art gallery seemed like an obvious choice for this bride and groom, as they frequented many together in their spare time – and when it came time to choosing the right one, the bride warmly remembered her hometown museum. The family still held friendships with many local artists and as a gift to their guests, each received a mini canvas of some of the couple’s favorite landmarks in their history as a couple.

Image by Rebecca Gosselin, Late Night Snacks by In-n-Out Burger

The easiest way to use storytelling in your wedding is to hire a professional to draw out these details and translate them into your wedding – from your favorite foods, music, hobbies and more, all of this can be infused into your wedding day. These unique details make your wedding so much more personal and memorable to you and your guests.


Recently Engaged? Where to Begin!

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Image by Weddings by Scott and Dana
Image by Weddings by Scott and Dana

Congratulations on your engagement! This is a fun and exciting time of your life that should be enjoyed and cherished. This period can easily be overshadowed with stress, be it from communicating with family, finances or an overwhelming to do list! The Team at Kate Whelan Events has three easy steps for those at the very beginning stages of planning their wedding:

  1. Discuss Your Budget
  2. Develop Your Guest List
  3. Do Your Research
  1. Discuss Your Budget
    Dresses are fun to try on and cake tastings are pretty sweet – need I say more? All of this is a part of the joy of planning a wedding, but starting with your budget really makes the planning soon much easier! We consider a budget to be like a business plan for your wedding and it makes it easier to know what you can afford or if you can splurge early on, so that you don’t break the bank right off the bat. Separation anxiety from the frothy Vera Wang concoction you fell head-over-heels with before you spotted it’s price tag can easily be avoided if you know your budget going in. Trust me, this is the toughest conversation to have – and getting it out of the way early means more time to delight in all things frosting and fun. Getting a broad idea of your budget before booking your venue, hiring your photographer or buying a dress will avoid tough budgeting situations later down the line and save you tons of stress! If you spend $20k of your $40k budget on a fabulous photographer what are they going to capture if you don’t have a venue, cake, catering, dress, DJ, and more?Having a tough time figuring out the market and local costs of each line item? Hire a wedding planner! They can match you up to the right vendors for your unique style, budget and needs. It will save you loads of time making phone calls and doing research.

  2. Develop Your Guest List
    Let’s be honest, $40,000 doesn’t go far for a guest list of 500, chockfull of everyone you and your fiance know. Paying for delivery pizza could easily cost you $2,000 alone. However, an elegant soiree for your 25 closest of friends and family? $10,000 seems a bit more bright on the budget scale! Starting out by developing your guest list will give you the bigger picture. After all, several items in your budget are multiplied by that guest count – catering, centerpieces, stationery – just to name a few! Once your parents see the bottom line, it’s much easier for them to say, “Well, I guess we don’t have to invite the Smiths.”

  3. Do Your Research
    When I say research, I mean: find out what you love.  Find out what your fiancé loves. Pin photos, save blog posts, take pictures and store it all somewhere (we have an area in our Online Planning Tools just for that). Of course, if you’re having a tough time with finding your succinct style, hiring a wedding designer can help sort it all out and find the consistency within. However, having a strong sense of what you love ensures that Aunt Mildred’s sudden distaste for cupcakes will not send you into a shocking distress, before you realize that while your guests’ enjoyment is important, this wedding is about you and your fiancé. Aunt Mildred can bear the taste of a Red Velvet cupcake for one day. In fact, for this reason alone (so long as no severely hurt feelings will result), we usually recommend that you find your least opinionated friend to bring with you to at least one venture out to try on wedding dresses. Your next appointment? Bring your Moms, your opinionated BFFs – whoever! At least you already got to try on that crazy amazing Lhuillier before they stopped you!

    Optional: Hire a Wedding Planner or Coordinator
    I completely understand that a wedding planner isn’t for everyone. However, hiring a Month of Coordinator is becoming more and more common. After all, no Bride wants to be lighting candles and hanging lanterns on their wedding day, no matter their budget!

    A Wedding Planner will take you from point A to B and ensure that the decisions you make are sound, be your liaison if you are too busy to take it all on yourself and connect you with the best of the best in your area.

    A Wedding Coordinator will step in about one to two months prior to tie up all your loose ends, coordinate with your vendors, create a meticulous timeline and assist with the setup of your day.

If you’d like to schedule a Complimentary Initial Meeting with a Kate Whelan Events Team Member, click here. You n also try searching where to find the best event planner in South Carolina.