Ask the Expert – Q&A with Houston Wedding Planner Epoch Co+
by Jennifer Mathis July 5
Whether you’re intending to hire a wedding planner or not, you absolutely MUST read the advice local Houston wedding planner, Heather Alana of Epoch Co+, is sharing with us today! Handy tips ranging from what to ask when choosing a venue to how to personalize your wedding decor, are sprinkled throughout our Q&A with the industry pro. Keep reading for some major motivation to jumpstart the planning process for sure!
Photo // Century Tree Productions
What wedding trends do you foresee in 2019?
Couples stepping outside the box and really understanding why they are doing something. It is no longer because someone else did it one way or another, it is because it means something to them. I also love the thought going into various elements and the guest experience as a whole. Our clients are really wanting to throw a party with surprise elements other than just ceremony, cocktail hour, reception and exit. They are bringing in custom touches start to finish from simple caricaturists as favors or escort cards to folk bands for cocktail hour, strolling receptions with food stations or their favorite late night treat food truck.
What is the best way to achieve a cohesive look throughout a wedding?
Define a theme or color scheme from the beginning. This will help guide the decisions you make from stationery, linens, decor, attire, food, drinks, venue and more. Everything should go back to the original theme. If it is colors, bring swatches to help match them. If it is around a mutual love of something such as craft brew beer, infuse that into your appetizers and food. Don’t limit yourself to the decor, and be sure to embrace it from start to finish. The invitation your guests receive will set the tone for the wedding they will experience.
Share your favorite ways to personalize a wedding.
This varies from couple to couple, but I like to take the hobbies they enjoy doing together to incorporate into the wedding. Most of our couples are adventurous and enjoy activities outdoors. For example, one of our couples love the beach and surfing, so the decor will incorporate palms and pampas, loose flowing dresses and linen attire, margaritas and rum cocktails for the bar, linens in shades of the ocean, muted florals incorporating colors of the sand and seashells, and their personal surfboards will serve as tables for the guest book, appetizers and gifts.
What is your number one piece of advice for couples preparing for their big day?
Establish a solid budget before booking anything, especially the venue. I find most couples blow their budget on the venue. Look at the budget in terms of per person – a $60,000 budget looks a lot different for 100 people than it does for 300 people when you take into account food, bar, rentals, tables, centerpieces, etc. Be honest with yourselves and those helping contribute financially – you may have to sacrifice on certain areas or have a hard conversation about who is truly necessary to invite.
What should a couple consider when selecting their venue?
First is their budget. Do not blow your budget on a venue! They also need to consider their guest count, theme and time of year. Being in Texas, an all outdoor, open-air venue can mean a hot and sweaty experience unless you are willing to bring in additional cooling elements, if your guest count is 500 or 100, you want to make sure the venue can accommodate large weddings or won’t swallow your guest count up in an expansive space. What amenities are included, such as tables, chairs, restrooms, prep kitchen, rain plan options, etc.? What additional fees or services are required, such as liability insurance, security/damage deposits, security officers, wedding coordinator, in-house services you are required to use but aren’t in the initial quoted cost?
Any additional tips you have for a couple planning their big day?
Don’t forget the purpose of this day – you two getting married and becoming husband and wife! The planning season will be a great experience for you both, teaching you how to compromise, negotiate and simplify. But after it is all said and done, at the end of the day, you are getting married, no matter what else happens.