Posts Tagged ‘wedding planning’

October 20, 2013 2:08 pm

The Very Latest Fall Wedding Trends

Fall weddings can be wonderful. The colors of nature make a beautiful backdrop for photos, and the food is amazing. To top it all off, we’re seeing some truly lovely trends emerging this fall that we wanted to share with you. We really hope these ones stick around for a while!

Colors: Jewel and earth tones

Fall color scheme

We can’t stress this enough – just because you’re planning a fall wedding doesn’t mean you need to decorate in the colors of autumn leaves! This season is all about pairing rich, saturated jewel tones with the more traditional earthy shades. Emerald green continues to be the it color, as well as deep magenta, rich oranges and reds, and deep purples. Combine these dark colors with subtler tones like cream, ivory, or beige to create some depth in your color scheme.

Flowers: Full blooms

Wedding flowers for fall

This summer, wildflowers were a big trend. Where that focused on creating a bouquet or arrangement filled with smaller, wispy flowers, this fall is all about the big blooms. The look is fresh from the garden, and many of summer’s most popular flowers are sticking around to fill these bouquets, too (we’re looking at you, garden roses!). Other popular flowers are dahlias, peonies, and chrysanthemums. In addition, a lot of non-floral elements are being used to fill the gaps, like feathers, wheat, barley, and gems.

Decor: Fruit and greenery

Decor trends for fall weddings

Outside, the fall harvest is in full swing. Why not bring some of that goodness in to decorate the space? This season, decorating with seasonal fruit and greenery is getting popular. You can use so much more than just pumpkins! Use fresh, hearty fruits and vegetables like fig, persimmon, kale, and artichoke to add richness to the decor. Add garland swags to the chair backs, or table runners made from moss.

Play off the natural beauty of this decor with soft candles in mercury glass. Choose flameless candles to make sure they last the night! Vintage accessories will keep the whole scene looking rustic and autumnal.

Cakes: Bare and elegant

Try a bare cake for your fall wedding

This season, cakes are getting simplified. We’ve been seeing a lot of fondant-less ivory cakes decorated only with textured buttercream, and maybe some fresh flowers. Gold accents are also making an appearance for that extra touch of glam. To push it even further, some cakes are being left completely bare, like the one above without any icing at all! The traditional round shape is also giving way to the oval, or more geometric shapes like hexagons.

Food: Fresh from the farm

Farm fresh food for an autumn wedding

Autumn is harvest time, and that means a wide range of fresh, local foods are readily available. Wedding planners are taking advantage of that – a big trend this season is local, organic food. This fall is all about miniature versions of comfort food (like gourmet sliders). That means more courses and more variety, a trend that we are totally okay with. When it comes to drinks, the fruity summer cocktails are out in favor of ciders and pumpkin beer.

What’s your favorite fall wedding trend? Let us know in a comment!



October 3, 2013 3:36 pm

How to Plan An Event on A Budget

As an event or wedding planner, you probably dream about planning big-budget, extravagant events. However, chances are you’ll have to plan several events with a modest budget, and you’ll be expected to make them look great. This will be especially true at the beginning of your career. Thankfully there are some easy ways to cut costs without cutting quality. Read on for our top five ways to keep costs down at your weddings and events.

There's a lot of opportunity to cut costs in event planning

1. Start Early

This is necessary whether or not you’re trying to stick to a budget, but by looking for a venue well in advance you’ll be able to be more flexible about dates – which can potentially save a lot of money. If your client isn’t picky about which day of the week the event will be held, that just leaves you even more room for savings. As well, some venues offer early booking discounts for those early birds. The earlier you start, the more you’ll be able to shop around and compare prices, making sure you find the best pricing. That leads into the next point…

2. Get Quotes

This is especially important when you’re starting out, before you’ve developed solid relationships with your vendors. The rule of thumb is usually to get two or three quotes from different vendors. That way, you can create competition and keep costs low. A few months ago, we posted a story from wedding planner Lynn Lee, where she talks about learning how to get quotes from vendors in the early days of her business. Read her advice here.

3. Look for discounts

Depending on the event, the venue, and the suppliers, you could qualify for special pricing. Some venues offer discounts to large groups, or events booked well in advance. Many suppliers will drop their pricing when you order a certain number of items. Make sure when dealing with venues or suppliers, you always ask about special pricing options. Don’t be shy to negotiate a better price!

4. Go Buffet!

If your clients are open to it, a buffet style dinner can save a lot of money. With DIY weddings and events gaining popularity, it’s becoming trendier to do a buffet dinner instead of the traditional sit-down. Plus, it will give your guests such a variety of food options to choose from.

5. Skip the Paper

You can save a lot of money simply by cutting out as much paper as you can from your event. And thanks to online programs and apps, you can still offer guests all the information they need.  Your budget-conscious clients might be open to sending e-vites instead of stationery. In corporate events especially, you can put nearly everything online – from programs and schedules, to maps and agendas.

QC offers at-home courses in both event and wedding planning. To learn more, visit


September 16, 2013 6:43 am

Graduate Feature – Michelle Panton

Michelle Panton, wedding plannerMeet QC Event School graduate Michelle Panton. Michelle was able to turn a passion into a career in 2010 after completing QC’s Wedding Planning course. She is now the owner of Belle Weddings and Events, a thriving Australian wedding planning and styling business. She now lives her passion each and every day by creating personalized, unique, and memorable experiences for her clients. Read on for Michelle’s story, and to take a look at some beautiful photos of her work.

Company Name: Belle Weddings and Events
Description: Wedding planning and wedding styling specialists
Region: Melbourne, Australia


What motivated you to start your career as a professional event and wedding planner?

I have always loved hosting and creating special events. I am passionate about design and decoration, food and ambiance, organizing and creating memorable occasions. I was looking for a career that brought all of my passions together. After completing the QC Wedding Planning course I realized that wedding planning and styling was exactly right for me! I was so motivated and confident once I graduated that I could not wait to start my career in wedding planning.

What are some highlights of your career so far?

Definitely the friendships and close bonds that have developed from working with our couples. There is nothing more special than a couple contacting me after their wedding day expressing their gratitude for creating the wedding day of their dreams! This is so rewarding and makes all of the organizing and planning worthwhile.

I’m also happy to have the opportunity to work with amazing and talented people in our industry and the chance to work in completely different and unique wedding locations and venues. From a converted country convent to a glamorous city venue, beach locations, and historic homes and gardens – every day is different.

How did your course prepare you for working in the field?

The course has been invaluable to my career in the wedding and event planning industry. It gave me the confidence to start my business and also gave me the support of the tutors when needed. It also gave me knowledge and understanding of so many aspects of what it takes to organize a successful and flawless event, such as a wedding.

Do you have any advice for anyone starting out with their training or career?

The QC course is so helpful in gaining knowledge on all aspects of wedding and event planning and preparing you for all issues that can and will arise! Do your research and meet with other wedding professionals in your area. Have confidence in your own abilities; if you love what you do it will show in your work.

Be patient and understanding with your couples, and always listen carefully to their wedding day ideas. Remember that it is an honor to be involved and work with couples who are embarking on such a special day in their lives!

A look at Michelle’s work…


Michelle Panton of Belle Weddings and Events

Wedding styling by Michelle Panton

Wedding styling by Michelle Panton

Belle Weddings and Events

An outdoor wedding by Belle Weddings

A classicly decorated ceremony by Belle Weddings and Events

Michelle Panton mixes trends and traditions in her designs

Unique wedding favors by Michelle Panton

A bright, tented reception by Belle Weddings

Photography by Wheelhouse Studios, where watermarked


Wedding hangers have been trending for a few years now, especially since the popularity of DIY wedding decor. We’re talking about the hangers that say things in the wire, like “bride”, “groom”, or “bridesmaid”. They look great in the “getting ready” photos, and can be made for everyone in the bridal party, from the bride and groom to the mother of the bride. If you’re a wedding planner, they also make great gifts for your client; another way for you to add your personal touch. You can get them custom ordered, but they’re actually quite simple to DIY, and very inexpensive. If you want to learn about even more special wedding touches, take a look at QC Event School’s Wedding Planning course.


What You’ll Need:

14 gauge galvanized wire
Wire cutters
Needle nose pliers
Wooden hangers
Drill (choose a drill bit the size of your wire)
Strong glue
Pencil and paper

Step 1

Cut your wire to size. On average, you’ll need at least 10 to 12 inches of wire per letter. For example, if you’re making the word “Bride”, you’ll need about 60 inches of wire. More is always better!

Step 2

Determine how you want your letters to look using a pencil and paper. Look online for some inspiration, especially on etsy or Pinterest.

Step 3

Use your template as a guide to begin forming your letters. You can use your hands and the pliers as needed. Here’s a tip: Cover the needle nose pliers in masking tape to prevent them from scratching the wire. It can take a bit of practise to get it right, but as you go you’ll find a method that works for you. If you make a mistake or get a kink in the wire, toss it and start over – it’s not worth the effort.

Step 4

Drill two holes on the inside of the hanger, about half an inch in. Don’t go all the way through. Trim your wire to fit, if necessary.

Step 5

Put some glue in the holes and on your wire, then stick the wire in and give it plenty of time to dry. Voila!


Have you tried out this DIY? Let us know how you did in a comment below!




August 14, 2013 2:04 pm

Student Feature: Athena DeVonne

QC Event School student Athena DeVonneToday, we’d like to share yet another story of student success. Meet wedding planner Athena DeVonne. She took a chance on a career change that would give her more time with her young children, as well as more financial freedom. She chose QC’s Wedding Planning course to help take her there, and it paid off. Read her inspiring story below.

Company Name:  Coalesce Creations Wedding Designs
Description: “Making your memories grand on a modest plan.” Coalesce Creations Wedding Designs understands that your day should be a reflection of you. Your goals paired with our experience will create an endless memory. Through listening, executed detail and unique custom design … your wedding will always be remembered as the coalesced expression of two hearts into one love.
Region: Dallas, Texas
Phone: 888-406-0816


What motivated you to start your career as a professional event and wedding planner?

I didn’t start the way most wedding planners started. I didn’t catch the planning bug after helping a friend or family member or from planning of my own wedding. It literally started with a simple conversation. I needed change.

I am a single mother of two precious daughters, Alaithia (5) and Aarionna (4). Alaithia has a condition called Bilateral Perisylvian Polymicrogyria. In short it means she is totally dependent on me. She currently cannot speak, crawl, or walk. As you can imagine, a special needs child grows such a love in you as a parent. I grew tired of missing her therapies, school functions and opportunities for special programs due to having to clock into a full-time job. I was also tired of trying to balance my younger daughter Aarionna’s activities, which were often held back because of her sister’s condition.

QC Event School student Athena DeVonne is now a professional wedding planner

One afternoon I expressed these feelings to my significant other and stated I need more time, flexibility and financial freedom to be there for my daughters. We discussed my talents, skills and abilities and narrowed it down to something in social networking, design, events or public speaking. We somehow brought up weddings, and I was smiling the whole time we were talking about it. It was he who suggested I research being a wedding planner. It would allow me the chance to work from home, schedule my own hours and expand my passion for design. It entails lots of networking, sales, negotiating, talking, creativity and social media to stay on top of trends. So I jumped on the internet, found QC Event School and … well here I am now.

I find joy in the challenge of turning a client’s ideas or dreams into a visual reality. The celebration of love is special and delicate. I want to enhance and tell the stories of couples everywhere. I have a strong passion for creating more then one function out of anything, pushing my creativity outside the box and making a new blueprint. My goal is to be sure every bride who wants a wedding has one, no matter the size of the budget. Creativity and strong resources solve all obstacles.

Wedding planner Athena DeVonne

What are some highlights of your career so far? 

Wow, I have been blessed! I just launched Coalesce Creations Wedding Designs January 15, 2013. Since that date we have:

– Contracted seven brides (all who signed during the initial consultation)
– Become the preferred wedding planner to two local wedding venues (Frisco Heritage Center & Aristide Event and Conference Center)
– Become the exclusive wedding coordinator and designer to The Gallery Event Room
– Built a partnership with esthetician Lorina Coleman of More Than Makeup. Together, we created a bridal package for my clients including skin care, body massage and the wedding day look
– Built a partnership with Kevin Gaddis Jr. of Epic Event Photo Booths. He provides unlimited photo booth shots for my wedding couples at an awesome special price
– Been interviewed by wedding planner trainer Debbie Quain of Weddings for A Living. I am one of her Wedding Business Guide members. It was great to be asked to share our story. This was our first press release (in just 6 months of launching)
– Been invited to be the first guest speaker on Sophisticated Events by Shatasha’s blog, The Trendy Bride’s Lounge

Most currently I am working with another wedding planner to create a bridal magazine. (Visit my website for the launch details) I am also publishing a how-to book for D.I.Y brides to help with the process of planning your own wedding. Wish me luck!

Coalesce Creations Wedding Designs

How did your course prepare you for working in the field?

Oh my goodness, how could I have my career or success without this course? The course has enabled me to go into a consultation with a prospective bride, speak confidently and express knowledge. With the experience I gained from the assignments and conversations with my tutors I can currently say I have signed with every bride I have met with. The course has prepared me to be highly organized, aware, and helped me find my own identity in this industry.

Do you have any advice for anyone starting out with their training or career? 

My advice would be start and don’t wait to have it all together. Remember, the word “impossible” spells out “I’m possible!” Go into your business with a business mindset. My mother always says, “Treat a business as a hobby and you will receive hobby results. Treat a business as a business and you will receive business results.”  Don’t miss the opportunities presented to you just because you don’t have everything. Confidence and self-trust are vital, so get going! Experience is just as powerful as knowledge … so grow both!Coalesce Creations

Athena DeVonne is a wedding planner and QC student

 Athena’s portrait by Kevin Gaddis Jr. Photography
Photos 1-3 by Dee Portilla Photography
Photos 4-5 by Ezell Photography


For some reason, many brides have trouble when it comes to choosing a veil. I think it’s because it’s not something we’ve ever worn before, so it can feel a bit awkward to put one on for the first time. If you’re helping your bride choose her veil you must be sensitive to the fact that a veil might make her feel self-conscious, and help her choose the length that’s right for her personality, her gown, and the style of her wedding. Here are a few of our very favorite types of wedding veils to help you get started.

The Birdcage

A birdcage veil adds instant glam to any bride, and have been super trendy in recent wedding seasons. They’re also really good for breezy outdoor weddings – no blowing in the wind! They come in nearly endless varieties: with or without a fascinator, covering just the eyes or the whole face, and so much more. Every bride is sure to find the one that’s right for her.

The Blusher

The blusher gives you the traditional “lifting of the veil” option. Because of this, it’s one of the most romantic veils available and would fit best in a traditional church wedding. It involves a shorter piece in front that covers the face which will be flipped back over the head for the “kiss the bride” moment. It also offers great versatility – it can be any length in the back.

The Flyaway

Don’t let your veil hide your gown! This variation on the shoulder-length veil is the perfect way to show off detailing in the back of the dress while still keeping a traditional look. The flyaway is often multi-layered, adding extra weight and dimension to the bride’s look.

The Elbow-Length Veil

This is a great figure-flattering option to balance out a fuller skirt. It’s a perfect choice for the bride who’s looking to add elegance without the bulk of a too-long veil. It can be paired with nearly any gown, making it great for the modern bride. Take the veil just a little bit longer for the always pretty ballet-length veil.

Cathedral-Length Veil

The cathedral veil is definitely not for everyone, but it’s sure to always make a statement. The train on this veil can extend for several yards. The bride who wears a cathedral veil will definitely need some help moving around from her bridesmaids – and won’t be able to keep it on at the reception.

The Mantilla

I could have included so many more veils in this post, but I decided to stop at the mantilla because it’s just so special. It drapes delicately over the bride’s head and shoulders and often includes heavy lace trimming framing the face. It’s flowy, delicate, and so very pretty. A lot of brides probably wouldn’t think they could pull this one off, but those who do will certainly achieve a unique, romantic look.

What’s your favorite type of veil? Let us know in a comment below!

June 2, 2013 1:25 pm

Flowers for Every Occasion

flowers for every occassion

Have you ever heard of the language of flowers? It’s an old belief that each flower has a certain meaning, and there’s an appropriate time and place to use them. People used to use flowers to express feeling that they weren’t able to say. Today we often pick flowers based on color or personal preference, but we wanted to explore how you can use different flowers symbolically for different events you’re planning. After all, there are flowers for every occasion! Let’s take a look…

Wedding Flowers

For the wedding, choose bouquets and arrangements that signify love, devotion, and hope for the future. Colors tend to be either all white, or deep, saturated colors. The baby’s breath, lilac, red tulip, and aster are all great choices for weddings, as seen below. They might not be your typical wedding flowers, but they look great, they have meaning, and they’re a bit surprising!

Baby Shower Flowers

A shower (whether a baby shower or bridal shower) is all about spreading hope for the future. For a shower, choose arrangements that symbolize happiness and good luck. These flowers tend to be white, and are more delicate than they are dramatic. Great examples are the daisy, gardenia, Casablanca lily, and bells of Ireland.

Graduation Flowers

The graduation arrangements are our favorites of the bunch, because they’re all so full of hope and well-wishes – they’re also all colorful and a bit different. Some great flower choices are the black-eyed Susan, iris, stargazer lily, and jasmine.

What types of flowers do you absolutely love to use for events and weddings? Let us know in a comment below!


May 31, 2013 10:00 am

Pinterest For Wedding Planners


Pinterest is all the rage these days. It’s quickly become a part of our daily vocabulary, and has changed the way we do a lot of things. We find ourselves saying “Hey, I think I saw that on Pinterest!” more and more, and it’s now our one-stop shop for recipe, DIY, décor, event, style and travel inspiration.

As a wedding planner myself, I’ve watched as the site has quickly made itself an invaluable resource to professionals in the event industry. And for good reason. Aside from finding inspiration there, I find it’s also an incredible way to connect with my clients.

Gone are the days of magazine clippings. A picture might paint a thousand words, but a Pinterest board filled with a bride’s wedding inspiration can save a thousand words. It’s now easier than ever to communicate concepts, which makes the whole wedding planning process much more efficient.

Now, one of the first things I do with my new clients is create a secret pin board. In the past this would have been a physical folder full of magazine clippings; oh how the times have changed!

My only tip? Recommend to the bride that she not look at Pinterest starting at least one month from the wedding. Pinterest bombards us with new and inspiring images every day, which makes it so easy to second guess those table centerpieces we were so sure of a few months before. I promise, getting your bride to commit to banning Pinterest for that last month will save you both a lot of hair pulling stress!

The possibilities are endless, so let the pinning begin!


Kim is an experienced wedding planner, a cultivator of ideas with the resourcefulness to make creative dreams a reality. From concept to completion she is a detail oriented, creative out of the box thinker whose experience and knowledge are second to none. She takes great pride in assisting others to achieve their dreams beyond expectations. She has had opportunity to live in many locations including Europe, Quebec City, Montreal and even rural Ontario; her travels have deeply influenced her creative flair making her an invaluable resource to her clients. Connect with Kim via LinkedIn and Pinterest!


May 13, 2013 10:54 am

Featuring QC Grad Jo Davies

We want to offer a big congratulations to QC Event School graduate Jo Davies! She recently won the “Best New Wedding Planner” (Devon) award from Wedding Industry Experts. Jo graduated from the Wedding Planner course only two months ago, and we’re so proud of how far she’s come in such a short amount of time. That’s why we wanted to feature her story and her business today. Make sure you scroll all the way to view some photos of her work!

Featuring QC grad Jo Davies


Company Name: Jo Davies Weddings
Region: South West England, UK
Twitter: @JoDaviesWedding
Phone: 07902540033 or 01823 602839

What motivated you to start your career as a professional event and wedding planner?

My lovely sister in law asked me to organise her wedding soon after she got engaged last year. She told me that she was so impressed with the way my own wedding turned in out in 2011 she wanted me to help plan hers! I was completely over the moon that she felt I could create her dream day and I thought to myself, What if I can do this for other people too?

What are some highlights of your career so far?

My wedding planning business is still in the very early stages but I have already received a huge amount of support from other vendors in the wedding industry. I was recently voted the Best New Wedding Planner in Devon and ranked number 7 in England!

How did your course prepare you for working in the field?

From start to finish the IWPP course with QC provided me with all the knowledge needed to start my own business in wedding planning. The course taught me how to successfully complete all the stages required to plan various different wedding styles and provided brilliant support all the way through!

Do you have any advice for anyone starting out with their training or career?

The only thing I can say at this point is to never give up! I have experienced many knocks and downfalls on the way but the important thing is that you pick yourself up and carry on. If your dream is to be a wedding planner, go for it!

Some photos of Jo’s work…

Featuring QC grad Jo Davies

Featuring QC grad Jo Davies

Featuring QC grad Jo Davies

Featuring QC grad Jo Davies

Featuring QC grad Jo Davies

Photo credit (Jo’s portrait): Andy Whale
All other photos: Mark Waldron