Beat Your Wedding Budget Blues With Waverly Coleman

Weddings from the Pros

Episode 73 with Nathan and Waverly Coleman

One of the biggest aspects that most, if not all, couples have a challenge with in planning a wedding is the budget. On this episode, Waverly Coleman shares her take on working with a wedding budget and effective ways on how to maximize your budget without compromising the quality of your wedding experience.

Take a peek at her website at and feel free to follow her on Instagram @eventsbywaverly.

Check out Nathan’s Wedding Photography Studio

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In This Episode We Cover:

  • Is it okay to spend a lot for your wedding ? 
  • Why having a realistic budget matters when planning a wedding.
  • Identifying the source of your budget whether from a family member or relatives can help relieve your stress.
  • Why consulting your wedding planner is so important to avoid unnecessary expenses.
  • How the location or venue of your wedding affects your budget.
  • Know your guest count so that you can plan for your venue and for your catering service.

Listen to the Full Podcast Here!

Read the Full Transcription Below!

Here at Angled Light photography, we believe marriage is an amazing adventure and your wedding is the jumping off point. We'll explore planning an authentic and meaningful wedding experience as we connect with real life couples and the industry's top professionals. We're here to inspire and encourage you as you begin this journey of a lifetime. Hey, everybody welcome back to another episode of weddings from the pros guys. I'm glad that you're here. We're talking today with Waverly Coleman and she is just a fascinating, fascinating wedding coordinator. Designer planner. Waverly Where are you right now?

I'm in Los Angeles right now, L. A. Yeah, that's so cool. So, I'm excited to have you here. Waverly thank you so much. Everything that I've seen about you and about your company is just been absolutely fantastic. So I'm really excited to talk today with you about one of the biggest things that I think most couples have a challenge with or not most every couple, I mean every couples got to deal with this. Right? So every couple has a challenge with and that's budget and working on the budget for their wedding and sticking to their budget wedding right before we get started.

Just tell us a little bit about yourself, Waverly. How did you get started? How did Waverly Coleman events come about? Well, so Waverly Coleman Events actually was called United. We function first. I started the company with three other people. We were so my best friend and I, we were field marketing reps for Fader magazine back in the day and I never liked doing the hand to hand stuff. So I would take all of whenever we would get a project, I would take all of the marketing materials and I would use them for like to produce essentially my own event, I would pitch it to Fader and you know, they would get some of their sponsors on board and we would do an event.

So the first event that we did was for the weekends trilogy album. And so when I started my company again, it was united, we function and it was my best friend, my boyfriend at the time and then another like associate that we knew. And so for the trilogy album we found a three story loft and so, you know, the first floor was filled with all these balloons to represent his first one, which was house of balloons and then you just keep going up a level. So then another level was like the bar another level was just like kind of where the DJ was set up and like, you know, some gift bags and stuff like that.

But yeah, it was a full party that the label loved. And after that I was like, I could do events full time, you know, I was already, if I backtrack a little bit, I was working for the Weinstein company and I was doing pR for awards season specifically and then I got hired full time, but I always like doing events. I started doing events as a kid and it just kind of has always been a thing my whole life, but when I worked at Weinstein, I knew that I did not want to be a publicist, but I thought publicist through events, you know, and so because we were doing like premieres and junkets and screening, so I was just like okay, you know, all these small to large events, that's just what a publicist does and that's not at all.

And so I quickly learned that that was not what I wanted to do. So then fast forward, what are we at nine years later, we have really Coleman events because everybody fell off with United, we function, I was the only one that sort of took it seriously even though my best friend, she is in full events, she does concert events, Yeah, I started Waverly Coleman events, I would say 2017 weddings, well, I went to a really bad wedding in 2015, so that's what happened, That's the story, that's funny, that's a story for a lot of wedding professionals is that they had, yeah, a lot of people have talked to photographers florists, a lot of them, you know, basically went to a wedding, had a poor experience and thought to themselves, hey, I think I can do this better, you know, and they kind of developed a passion out of something that they enjoy doing and they experienced a couple who had a bad experience and they got started to open up their own business, doing the thing that they loved because they felt like they could, you know, do it better than what they've seen.

This wedding started 3. 5 hours late. So I knew that I gosh, I have so many questions, it was Easter, I hadn't either and I haven't been a guest to a wedding in a while, so I was really excited. It was on Easter, it was really, really hot. I remember it being really hot and after about 30 minutes I was like, oh what's happening here? Right? And so I had to go to the bathroom really bad and I just kept being afraid to like get up because I'm like, oh my gosh, I'm gonna miss the ceremony or I'm gonna like be trying to walk down the aisle while the bride walking down the aisle, It was just a lot of things.

So I kept waiting, but then finally I just couldn't wait anymore. So I went to the bathroom and this was maybe after about an hour at this point. No, like they weren't telling us what was going on. There were no announcements, There were no updates. There still was not a full house yet, so I was kind of confused about that, like, half the guests weren't there, so I'm like, okay, people, someone knows something that I don't know right? I remember going to ask for water because I saw these water bottles at the front and they were like, no, that's for the wedding party only and I'm like, literally not here.

Like I'm still thirsty, so hot. Finally see the officiant walk down the aisle. But it literally like no exaggeration, it was really three hours, like really a three hour delay for that to happen. There has to be so many things to go wrong and I would never know what they were. But I've never had a wedding of mine start three hours late. Like I'm, you know, weddings never start on time, right? Let's be honest. It's always like a 5 to 15 minute delay, right? For whatever reason, makeup ran long traffic, whatever, but three hours.

And then the ceremony was not at the same site as the reception. So we had to then drive an hour to a different location. And I remember just being so hungry, mainly hungry and I was like, I need to go get sushi after this. Like I can't, I can't deal with it. So I really did. I went and got sushi after and then we get to the reception site and this wedding was so bad. Okay, we get to the reception site and it's a dry wedding. Nobody knew it was a dry wedding, which fine because again, I'm talking about budget, right?

That's the way to cut costs, but it was a dry wedding. Nobody knew. And for cocktail hour, it was just like edible arrangements that the bride had received because she was, she's an influencer. And so, and what's funny is she's an influencer, but also she was planning events at the time. So I was really shocked that her wedding was just, yeah, I think we all know that people rarely are who they are online. Like it's, you know, it's not often that especially it feels like it feels like influencers sometimes can be the worst at that.

You know, the personality and the presence that they have online is very different when you actually meet the person in real life. You know, I will say for, in my experience working with influencers a lot of times they're more shy than anything, but usually for the most part, like I've been aligned with really great clients and so for the most part, they're exactly who they say they are, they're just, you know, they're just a little toned down, right? But yeah, this is awful. Well, let's, let's go and dive into the topic, which is a budget because this is something that is huge, right for every couple who is having a wedding and they're throwing really a celebration of, of any size.

It's the first time that they've ever had any experience with trying to put something like this together. And you know, I tell couples all the time that it's hard because you don't know what, you don't know and you know, for the most part, you've never hired a photographer before. For the most part. You've never hired a designer before. You've never put together something where, you know, there's a timeline, there's things that's got to happen at a specific time in order for things to happen. You know, there's so much that goes into planning a wedding.

Typically the hardest thing I think for a lot of couples comes down to figuring out how they're going to budget their money and then how they're going to spend it and where they're going to spend it. Like that's huge, massive challenge. So I want to start by asking you this when it comes to budgets. What advice do you typically give your couples when it comes to actually coming up with a number, you know, like coming up with something that at least gives them a bit of a foundation to work off of?

Well, I always just ask like, what are you comfortable? I mean you just have to be direct, What are you comfortable spending? Because realistically it's 100 and 50 to $250 per person on the low end. So if you have 100 you know, 100 people, you do that math, you're already at a certain number. Do you feel comfortable, you know, spending that, then I ask, you know, do you have anybody contributing? So parents, you know, like Godparents, whatever because if, so then that also, you know, it alleviates a lot of your stress and then you can have them pay for specific things.

I always tell them it's best to have, you know, family members pay for like the big ticket items, right? Which are venue catering, photographer. Also florist florist, it's getting up there these days, especially, you know, since covid flower prices are really, really high and you know, brides have big dreams of what they want everything to look like and don't understand that flowers are very, very expensive and it doesn't matter if you do fake flowers, they're more expensive than real flowers. Sure. Yeah, and it's really funny because first off, I want to pull out something that you said at the beginning, which I think is incredibly important.

That is be upfront and be honest about what you feel like you're comfortable number is and I feel like I got a lot of couples have some trouble with, they kind of walk in and this is when you meet any wedding professional. I feel like for the most part they, a lot of couples feel like they got to play kind of this game where it's like, well we can kind of do this, but in the back of their mind, they kind of have a more real number in their head and and so like I get that, but especially I think with wedding planners, designers, coordinators, it's really important to walk in and be very honest and say this is what we're looking at, this is what we're wanting and this is the budget that we're trying to stay within, right?

I think communication with the wedding professionals is the most important part and and being upfront and honest in the very beginning is the most important part of the whole process because to me, the success of your wedding and a lot of cases comes down to hiring the right people for you and then making sure that you're upfront. And those conversations are very upfront honest in the beginning because that's how you set the expectation both ways, right? We set the expectation with them and they set the expectation with us and that always leads to a more successful working relationship, I think all the time.

So I think I think that was I think that was really, really smart, I wanted to make sure to you know, put a pin in that for people who are listening to this. Yeah, I think probably as far as wedding professionals go or as far as different parts of your budget goes for your wedding, I think it's probably true, it seems like flowers and florals are the wild card, right? Like that, that's one of those things where you could, if it doesn't matter to you a whole lot, then you don't have to spend a whole lot but man, like flowers and florals can great floral design can get expensive quick for sure very quick.

Well also, you know, because I have experience working in flowers now, I'm able to kind of give brides, you know a breakdown of like what it's going to look like, right? So just with having a large wedding party, right? You're already gonna be at $1500 if you have a wedding party, say say six bridesmaids, right? Well each of their bouquets are going to be anywhere between 75 to $100 right? So if that's $100 say it's $100 per bridesmaids and per bridesmaid and you have six, that's $600 not to mention then yours is going to be 152 to 50.

Even just depends on the florist, depends on your design, depends on the flowers that you want and you know, yours is going to be larger than ever. So then you add that on mutineers, mutineers are cheap and it's funny because they're always like, well we don't have to have booty years. I'm like Lumiere's don't matter like they're $20, you know, it's not saving you anything and then just your ceremony piece. So depending on that, what that looks like, do you need to run an arch? You know, do you have a do you, you know want like a acrylic type of, you know, structure and then you have to add flowers to that.

So yeah, it's very easy to spend minimum 1500 but my, for my brides there at a minimum of 3500 for flowers just to start. Yeah. And it's important, like I'm in south Carolina. So it's important also recognize like the numbers that you're throwing out, you might be thinking yourself. No, it's not. But that is a bit dependent on the area. Right? So that's important. She's in Los Angeles right now. The prices for things in Los Angeles might be more or less than wherever the couple who's listening to this right now is, so that's important to keep in mind.

But that also goes to the importance of talking to somebody like you Waverly who knows the market in their area, knows what things should be going for in their area for good quality and can kind of lead the couple through that discussion I think for sure. Well I've been quite surprised because in Dallas, I did a wedding in Dallas recently I was appalled at their flower prices like they were so incredibly high, which I figured I figured that they would be higher than Los Angeles just because, you know, we have all the farms and you know, Dallas uses like a specific type of flower there.

But no, I just, even for like a lizzie have to say right? And if you don't know what it is, it's a beautiful flower. They're mostly used for like filler, but I kind of like to make them the focal point sometimes, but for lizzie and this out here. You know, you can get a bunch of it for anywhere between like eight and $12 right? Especially if you work with like a really good florist who gets discounts in Dallas, It was like triple that and I could not believe it and it wasn't good quality at all.

So interesting. Yeah, carnations, super expensive out there. So yeah, I would say the most expensive flowers tend to be in markets that I'm really not familiar with, that. I don't work in a lot. So Dallas was one that got me Virginia was another one that got me. Yeah, it's surprising. The next question I have is, you know, I think every couple, whether the couple is handing the wedding off to the wedding designer and says, hey, I want you. Like, I'm giving you total control over this and they have a budget.

I mean, let's just say they have an awesome budget of 102 $350,000 for a wedding or they're a couple who's coming and they don't have quite that much, right. They have a much more conservative budget. They're trying to work with that. I think every couple wants to get as much as they possibly can for their budget, right? Like that's just across the board, no matter who they are, they want as much as they possibly can for what they're spending. So can you kind of, what are a couple of ways that you found in your experience?

What are a couple of ways that you can as a wedding coordinator or wedding designer help that couple make that money go just a little bit further. Yeah, great question. So you have a more conservative budget. I definitely recommend your venue being like the star of the show. It'll save you in so many areas, a venue that has, you know, rentals already a venue that has a beautiful backdrop, you know, so that maybe it's super lush and green so you don't need to have that many florals there.

You know, that will save you right there. That's my go to every single time is having a great venue. Don't have a blank space that you have to fill. Right? Just have a space that already speaks for itself. That's so interesting. Yeah. I don't know that. I've ever considered the fact, you know, it's funny you made a comment earlier. You were like the boot near is like, they're like five bucks each. Like it's not well, but it's funny because I think a lot of times couples and I think a lot of people do this in general.

They're like, I don't want to buy that $5 Starbucks. I'm like the $5 Starbucks is not going to make that much of a difference in your monthly budget. Like look at the big things that you're spending money on every month. Like that needs to be where you focus your energy and saving money if you're trying to save money. But I feel like wedding planning is kind of the same way right? Like when it comes to planning a wedding, they people often kind of nitpick the small stuff and they're trying to save money with the small stuff when in reality it really doesn't have that much of an effect on your budget in reality. Right?

What does have an effect on your budget is making smart decisions about the big ticket items like you said. Right so what did you say with the big ticket items in your opinion? Venue photographer and catering awesome. Yeah that's that's awesome. So let's hit catering for a second because I think that one of the biggest drivers when it comes to the amount of money that you're going to spend on your wedding is in the catering right? It typically has to do with how many guests because you said earlier in L. A. It's pretty typical for you said 100 100 $50 a guest.

Is that what you said? Yeah anywhere between 100 and 52 to 50. And this includes bar as well. I just got you. Yeah so 11 52 to 50. So obviously probably the biggest factor to drive or the biggest lever. Maybe there is a better way to say it to like drive costs up or drive costs down is the number of guests you have coming to your wedding. A lot of that has is kind of directly proportional to the catering. So let's kind of talk on catering for just a second. Can you give me just a few examples of how catering can influence budget?

Right? So how can obviously the number of people is a big influence influence the big, it's the biggest honestly. So can you kind of speak to that really quick in your experience? Like what are some decisions that the couple and that can be making with the designer to try to move that number up or move that number down. Maybe they again have a great budget and they're really wanting a just a remarkable experience right? For their guests and for themselves. Maybe they're working on trying to stay within a conservative budget.

So can you kind of just give me some what are some of the things to think about when it comes to catering that really does influence budget the most. It's truly your guest count, that's the long and short of it for cocktail hour. You know, you really want to have a few options for cocktail hour for dinner. You know, I don't have a preference over plated shared buffet. You're not going to really save that much. People think that plate it is more expensive, it's a few dollars more Again, dollars that you know, don't really matter in the long run.

What I found that some of my couples try to do though is they'll try to if their venue allows it, get an outside caterer and they're like, oh well we can just do like a drop off option and then, you know, maybe, you know, your team can set it up and I'm like, no, no, no, no, no, we're not, we're not caterers, we don't set it up, but we can hire service staff, but then you hire service staff and it ends up evening out and you might as well have just had a catering company do all of it right?

Because then you need to hire staff to do the bar. You need to hire busters, You need to hire servers, you need to hire like a manager, right? And by that time you might have spent actually more money than what catering was offering for that staff. Also, catering. I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, keep going, keep going. Also with catering a lot of times they will offer you like say you're doing shared meals, they'll offer you the platters for that. So then you don't have to dig into your rental budget to get those items, it's just kind of included already in there.

If you hire them for bar, if you're doing disposables at the bar, sometimes they'll just throw it in, they'll throw an ice, they'll throw in, you know, water, like spa waters and lemonades and all of that kind of stuff. Coffees and all that for like cocktail hour or like the welcome, I have one catering company that I really love working with and they'll throw in a cake for you if you decide to do their dessert package as well. So yeah but if you can just keep your numbers low you will save so much in the catering department.

I want to touch on what are some ways to keep your numbers low. So we'll touch on that in a minute. I think it's a great question or it's a great point that you made and that a lot of times the things that you'll do to try to save some money ends up costing more because of kind of the hidden things that you didn't know that that you have to spend money on. Right? So like for instance you know when you talk about bringing food in and just having somebody set it up.

There's a lot there. It's not just about presentation right? Which is a big deal like you want it to look good and you want your guests have a great experience. It's not just about presentation but it's also about like what are the sanitary concerns that people who should be serving? No that they should keep in the back of their mind right portion control for people who's going through the line. You know like clean up. Like how do you how do you deal with clean up at the end of the night?

How do you keep the place looking good again it goes back to presentation. How do you keep it looking good? How do you keep the, if you're doing, let's say you're doing a line or a buffet style kind of thing. How do you keep that line moving at an efficient pace to get everybody to stay on track with the time, right? Because you don't want dinner to take an hour longer than normal, and then only have an hour to dance at the end of the night. Like those are things that you gotta think about, right?

So a lot of times by trying to save some money on some of the bigger ticket items, like catering, by making decisions like that could actually steamroll kind of some bad things happening. And then at the end of that, you're still paying as much or more so, again, like, it's important to find yourself, I kind of go back to this a lot and I'm I'm starting to feel a little bit like a broken record on this for like the last few podcast episodes that I've done, but finding somebody who can help you through those decisions, who can say, well, we could do that, but you just need to know this is probably gonna be what you're probably gonna be paying more, and this is the reason why, and that's critically important when you're when you're planning and designing your own wedding, right?

You know, let's talk about the people who have a conservative budget. I mean, we we have listeners, literally, I was looking earlier, which is really cool. We've got listeners in almost every state in the country. So that's where your thank you. So no matter where you're at, Let's say that you have a conservative budget and let's say that you're trying to stay within a certain number and that could be, who knows, 15 2050, 75, I don't know how much money you're spending on your wedding. But again, if guest counts the biggest lever you can pull to save money or spend money.

Uh what are some ways that people can trim their guest count? Like what are some things that they can do to try to figure out like is this person really important to me. I mean it's it's hard, it's very, very hard. I would definitely say don't allow, I mean limit the amount of friends that you allow your parents to invite. Um you know maybe to tell your parents maybe three friends you can invite three, that's it. No distant cousins, plus ones. You know, I feel like if if you're not married or in like, you know a long term relationship, you don't need plus ones, I'm a maid of honor in a wedding coming up and not everybody is getting a plus one, I get one because I have a partner, but I think limiting that as well.

Yeah, those are probably the top ways to do it. But it's hard, especially if you know your family is paying for your wedding. They feel like they have a say in everything and you know, again, they quickly learned that catering budget is gonna go up and not even just catering. It's also, you know, decor budget. It's also, you know, flower budget because you need to put things on the table, all the little things that you need to put on the tables to make it look beautiful chairs, you know, just yeah, plus ones and distant family members.

I would say that's the best way to trim. It's possible. Yeah, that's, that's a great unfortunately coworkers as well. Yeah. Try not to invite coworkers. Yeah. And do you have any advice for, how do you phrase that? You know, when somebody comes up to you is like, hey, so your wedding, I'm so excited and like how would you handle the response if you're like, hey, I'm sorry, I love you to death and I love and I love working with you. But you know, I don't know that you're gonna be getting an invite for our wedding.

How do you handle that? How do you handle? I mean, honestly, just being honest, there's other activities that they can attend. We're just keeping this two family. That's it. I mean, you know, yeah. You know, and it's so funny what I found in talking to a lot of couples is that people understand. They do, they understand understand, right? I don't know why we have to play this game with people where we, you know, weddings are expensive. Everybody knows it. But I don't feel bad if I can't invite you, I can't afford it personally.

And you know, come out, you know, maybe for my bachelorette, you can come to that or you know, I'm having a bridal shower, you can come to that. Even if we're doing like an after party or something, you can come to that. But the wedding, I can't, I can't Yeah. So it's so it's so funny with all the weddings that I've ever documented. There seems to be kind of this sweet spot right in the middle and it's it's on a spectrum, right? There's a sweet spot right in the middle between how much it seems and this is just me guessing, right?

Like I don't, I don't ask couples how much they spend on this or that like I don't really know. But when I go to a wedding and I feel like there's a sweet spot between the number of people that they've invited. So how much they've spent per guest, right? And the level of experience that those that the guests that they did invite, the guests that is there, what the level of experience they received was. There's there's always a sweet spot, right? If you invite too many and your cost per guest is really high and you're having to sacrifice some other things in your wedding in order to just accommodate how many people you've invited.

Well that can be, that's that's not awesome right there there, which is which is great. But you're kind of diluting the experience sometimes for the people that are there, you're diluting that experience because you weren't able to kind of invest in the things that would have made a big difference and you know, for the people that really matter, you aren't able to provide the same level of experience because you've invited so many people, right? It feels like for a lot of the weddings I go to there is kind of this awesome balance right there, kind of like a like a seesaw on a fulcrum, so to speak, if you can get a perfectly balanced you've you've won.

It's like I've invited all the people in my life that really mean the most to me and that I have a strong relationship with and you know, I can see myself having a relationship with going forward, right? Like we're gonna be friends in the future. Like those are the people that you invite and if you can invite those people and and then be able to spend money on an incredible experience for both yourself, your fiance husband, wife, whatever and be able to walk away at the end of the night feeling very fulfilled because you did feel like you had an incredible remarkable experience to me.

That's how you win, right? But a big part of that definitely comes down to making sure that you're not keeping a thumb so to speak on the guest count and making sure that it doesn't get out of hand or doesn't get too high. Yeah, I will say planning destination weddings is a way to obviously trim your guest count, but also when you're trimming for a destination wedding, you know, you start really, really high and then as you trim your like, wow, I made it down to 80 people.

How did I do that? Because if I had it at home it might have been double this or you know, double and a half even so destination weddings, I mean depending on where you're going, they kind of are the same amount of money in the States. You know like I'm planning one in Jamaica Jamaica actually ending up being a bit more expensive just because of like their government tax. So you know when you look at the flowers before tax, it's like, oh that's kind of, you know, similar pricing to L. A. Or you know, Mexico, even the only problem with, you know, obviously the destination weddings is then guests have to pay for you know that, but if you give them enough time, they'll do it.

It's a vacation for them as well, whether it's family vacation, You know, you don't get a plus one. So you're going by yourself a solo trip or you know, a group of people. I love destination weddings and that is a way to also keep your guest count. That's a great point. It's so funny. I often talk with couples who are like, yeah, there's no way I could afford a destination wedding and it's like, no, no, no, you probably could really could, yeah, you probably could. You're not going to have a lot of people there, right?

Like it's not going to be a, you know, in your head, if you've always envisioned being surrounded by, you know, 100 people, then maybe not right, But destination weddings are for the most part, very much in people's budgets, it's just probably gonna be a smaller, smaller wedding, which honestly in a lot of cases is awesome. Like, like it's not a bad thing, you know, to have like 25 of your closest friends and family there, It's amazing. It's so nice. I did a wedding in ST Croix, 50 people and they were so happy.

Whereas if they would have done it here, it would have been 1 75 you know, and they ended up spending just a little bit less and you know, bringing people to another place in the States that, you know, they might not have ever experienced. I had never been to ST Croix and I had no plans on going to ST Croix anytime soon, but when they were like, how do you feel if we move it from here, you know, to ST Croix, How do you feel about that? And I was like, I would, I would love that, I've never been.

So then we were able also to do like weekend activities instead of doing one day, we did a weekend's worth of things, you know, and stayed within budget because of it. Yeah, that's really cool. Yeah, so, and I think what I'd like to finish with, I, I was on a, I was on a, well, I wasn't on it, I guess I was running it, but I was with a panel of wedding professionals this past weekend and we actually field kind of questions from the audience who's there.

Typically their brides and couples and one bride actually texted in and she asked, she said that she's wanting to have a destination wedding, but she's afraid that people won't come right. So she's, I think she's got this kind of internal struggle and we talked a lot about it on the panel, do you have any pieces of advice for that? You know, she's, I think she's trying to figure out like, how do I ensure that the people that I really want to have there at the wedding is going to be able to make it to my destination wedding.

Do you have a few tips? Because you mentioned earlier, like give them enough time, that's definitely give them enough time. Yeah, just say this is the date that we're doing. So for instance going back to my Jamaica wedding, we started planning it this year, New Year's Eve. We started planning last year, but at the top of the year. And so kind of put it in people's ears like, hey, this is when it's going to happen, you know, and then officially did the same the dates on New Year's Eve and then invites go out.

We're actually doing invites in a few weeks and then we're allowing people to R. S. V. P. Also for like their budget. We want the RCP deadline to be six months before versus like to write because again, Jamaica is very expensive. So we want to give them enough time to like save money, no pressure. We have the room blocks already together. And so yeah, as long as you get your flight, the room block is not that the price is not going to change its locked in until november.

So it gives you all this time to handle things. Yeah. That's awesome. That's great. Well thank you so much. This has been really an awesome conversation about budget. And is there anything else that you'd like to say about budget? Anything else that you feel like it would be helpful for couples who are kind of in the midst right now? Maybe they just got engaged or maybe they're kind of in the middle of their journey planning their wedding. So any other piece of advice that you have for for couples.

Uh, definitely, definitely don't need that photo booth. I promise you it's unnecessary cause I will say as beautiful as acrylic invites are if you can't afford it, you know, don't do it or try to do do it yourself, etc. Is a great place. Don't be afraid to use, etc. For finding some vendors to do all of your paper goods for you. Don't be afraid to use canvas to do your paper goods and then just, you know, with your local printer kind of show them like what your idea is and design it on canvas canvas.

I use it for everything. And also just listen to your wedding planner please. We, we know a lot and we know what you want. You have to trust us. We're going to save you money. I know that a lot of times people feel like couples feel like, you know, why do I need a wedding planner? It's just an added expense. But we're saving you a lot of time on research and on phone calls and on site visits and you know, just the back and forth. You know, they end up getting exhausted.

I had a couple the other day. Tell me we actually should have paid you more. So that way you can help us find all of these things. And it's true. It's true because they're now stressed out. You know, and we could have already had that locked in. So listen to your wedding planner, invest in a wedding planner as well. And just be honest about your budgets, we, you know, I I work with a lot of different budgets. You know, I'm not the planner, that's like I only do six figures.

You know, there are some modest budgets that I have worked with and I've just had to be really realistic with them and say, well you cannot have X, Y, Z. So that's what I would say about that. I would encourage couples don't take that honesty as a bad thing. You know, they're they're trying to set expectations with you, right? It's so important. And I think I talked about this maybe a couple episodes ago, but I'll mention it one more time just in case somebody's listening to this and didn't hear the one a couple of episodes ago.

Like I encourage couples all the time to think about the value of time and and it's so important, right? It's so important. What's the value of time now? You might be in a position if you're listening to this right now, you might be in a position where you feel like you've got a lot of time and maybe you really do, right? But it's often that most couples, I feel like underestimate how much time it takes to do the things that you were talking about earlier, right? Research alone takes a lot of time.

And I think the I think the place that a lot of couples get into trouble is that, you know, they think to themselves, man, like I've got a year, like because most, I mean, most couples, Yeah, most couples that book with us are usually 12, 14, 16 months out. So like they think that they've got time and in reality you do if this was your job, right? Like if this was your job and you're able to spend a significant amount of time on it, that's one thing. But there's so many factors that go into planning a wedding, that doing the research alone to make sure that you're doing the right thing with your investment is critically important.

I tell people all the time, it's funny that like, you know, people have no problem if they have a health issue to go see a doctor, they've got no problem. You know, if they think to themselves, hey, I don't know how to manage my money. They go see a financial planner, right? Like they go, they figure out who can help me structure things and ensure that I'm saving money the right way and investing the right way and planning for my future the right way. And yet when it comes to something like a wedding, a lot of times they feel like they can kind of take that on themselves and they're like, I don't need, I don't need a planner because I've done this before, I helped my cousin with their birthday or I did this or you know, there's a sister that wants to help you plan your wedding, but they can't do it on the day of your wedding.

It's literally impossible, especially in the wedding or whatever, but you also don't want your family to do that. You always regret it, they always regret it. It's very rare that I feel like I've worked with couples that walk away from their wedding and if they really planned it themselves, it's so funny, like there's been a few and it feels like that they feel like they just like they're happy, which is awesome, but they're happy, but it feels like they just got done with a project for school, right?

Like, like it feels like, you know, it's like there's a huge weight off their shoulders. They've been planning this thing for a year, they've been in every part of it the thick of it and when they get done with a wedding and a lot of brides are gonna, this is gonna resonate with a lot of brides listen to this right now, like it feels like you're like, hey, I just, you know, took the S. A. T. S. I don't have to do that again. And and in reality like that's not the way you want to feel, you know, I think everybody wants to feel magical, everybody wants it to be something that's special and remarkable and, you know, in a lot of cases, it's worth the money to take the stress off your shoulders and to allow somebody who knows what they're doing and has done it many times before to carry that stress.

So I want to I want to leave the conversation with that. I think it's really important. And and again, you know, Wedding coordinators have experience about how to maximize budgets, like that's really important if there was one reason if there was one reason that my wife and I we've been married now for 12 years, but if there's one thing that if there's one thing about our experience that if we go back and do it again, it would be to have a wedding designer process. No, we didn't, no, we didn't.

We had a we had a day of coordinator for years and I tell people all the time, like, you've got to at least have that, like that's the bare minimum. A lot of venues won't even work with couples if they don't have it. 100% yeah, 100%. And and it's getting more and more like that now, you know, 10, 12 years ago, it was different. I mean, you know, where we are, you get married in a church and it's a very different thing 12 years ago than it is now. But yeah, you're right.

I mean, now it's hard to even find a place that would allow a couple to get married without having a designer or coordinator a day of coordinator, somebody to kind of manage things. So all right, well, thank you. Waverly This has been absolutely incredible. We you really gave some great pieces of advice. You really gave some things I think for couples to think about and for and for couples to know when it comes to working with the designer and having a budget. So Waverly where can couples find you online?

If they have questions or if they want to maybe reach out to uh to potentially work with you in the future, how would people find you? Yeah, so my website is Waverly Coleman dot com. And then for email you can reach out through high at Waverly Coleman dot com. And then for instagram it's events by Waverly. Epic. Yeah, Waverly thank you so much. And it means a lot that you would come on the podcast. I know that you have a newborn, six days old. So yeah, mine's about eight months so we're kind of in the same place in life right now.

So congrats to our family guys, make sure that you reach out to Waverly. She is in L. A. Or just an incredible city out there in California. You know, if you have any questions about anything that she said, I'm sure that she'd be happy to host and feel those questions for you and to work with you. Hopefully you found some value in this and you know, I know that planning a wedding can be a big challenge. You know, you're doing something that you've never done before. And the thing that every couple worries about is making a wrong decision.

So hopefully this has been helpful. And I just want to say thank you, thank you for your time. Thank you for your attention. Thank you for coming and listening to this. It means the world to me. And again, hopefully we gave you just a little piece of advice to help you in your journey. So thanks so much guys. I hope you have a great day, an amazing week, a stupendous month and a fantastical year here, angle life photography, we believe marriage is an amazing adventure and your wedding is the jumping off point.

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Ep. 74 : A Sense Of Luxury Weddings With Elizabeth McKellar

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