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Five Tips for Successful Wedding and Event Planning


san diego san marcos outdoor wedding
Rustic barn outdoor wedding in San Marcos. Photo credit: Ian Shivers

The thought of planning an event or wedding can be exciting from the start. You get to pick out inspiration images, your Instagram feed is flooded with newly followed event planners and venues and you see the big picture: a fun day surrounded by family and friends. Then reality sets in and you hit the ground running with rental contracts, catering menus, who is going to manage everything the day of...it can be a lot!


As a certified wedding and event planner, I want to share with you my top five tips to keeping your wedding and event planning organized and most importantly, fun by the time you get to the big day.

  1. Know your budget before you start

    1. The most common mistake I see in planning is gathering pricing from different vendors and then deciding on what can be spent. Sticker shock happens and leads to backing off from your planning.

    2. What to do:

      1. Ask your friends what they spent on their birthday or the most recent weddings you attended with similar set-ups you’d like to mimic.

      2. Don’t feel comfortable asking? Check out WeddingPro articles or Google. It’s common for each city to have an average listed price for the type of event you are looking to host, especially weddings.

  2. Book your big-ticket items: Vendors

    1. Don’t get blindsided by beautiful inspiration photos, how your tables will look or where your photo booth will go. Focus on where the majority of your money is being allocated so you can lock in your ideal vendors.

    2. What to do:

      1. Book your venue. From here you’ve confirmed your event date and you know what’s included in your venue booking.

      2. Book your next big-ticket vendors like food, entertainment and more.

      3. Do you struggle with staying organized and afraid you might overlook something important? Book a planner to help guide you through the process. It’s a fact that most successful and fun events involve a planner and coordination team.

  3. Details

    1. This is the fun part! And can cause your planning to become scattered. A great tip is to leave the table design to your catering company and florist. A trusted full-service florist can usually provide candles and other tabletop décor for rent. On a budget? Forgo booking a designer for your signage and other print needs. There are great online resources to keep this cohesive, easy, and beautiful.

    2. What to do:

      1. Speak to your catering and florist teams and see what they can offer to design your event. From here you’ll know if you need to DIY anything additional.

      2. Check out Etsy for all of your printed and signage needs. Send your print jobs to a printer like UPS or FedEx for best pricing.

  4. Timeline and Event Layout

    1. If you didn’t book a planner, you’ll be on your own doing these items.

    2. What to do:

      1. Head to Google and search sample timelines for your type of event. You may not need this, but your vendors do.

      2. Ask your venue to share any event layouts from past events. Search wedding and event magazines online for layout inspiration.

  5. 30 Day Wrap Up

    1. 30 days out of your event is when your vendors are going to be contacting you with questions about your event details. If you follow Steps 1-4, this wrap up will be a breeze and set you up for an enjoyable month prior to your event.

    2. What to do:

      1. Vendor contact list is complete.

      2. Timeline is complete.

      3. Balances are paid and inventory is confirmed.

      4. Anyone from your personal circle who is involved in the event is aware and reminded of their duties.

I hope this list helps set you up for a great planning experience. Did you know, a perk to booking your event with us here at the TERI Campus of Life is receiving feedback from a Certified Wedding MBA Event Planner. All events require a 30 day wrap up call to ensure we are executing your event properly as a venue. It’s like an added bonus to your booking!




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