Our Process – Winner Circle Events

Wedding Planning

What We Do For Our WCE Clients

Congratulations! You’re engaged. Now what?  Here is a guide of what to expect for the full or partial planning package. Every couple has different needs and begins planning at various periods of time before the wedding date, therefore the schedule can vary from wedding to wedding. This is simply a guideline.  Each wedding or event is unique based off guest count, location, logistics, and it makes it hard for clients to visualize exactly what planners do for them.  We hope this guide gives you a better idea of what we do for our clients.  Even though this is just the tip of the iceberg.  Overall, our job is to making your wedding or event seem effortless, all while pulling off all the details, and ensure your wedding or event is what you dreamed it to be.

We Take You From Start to Finish & Put You in the Winner Circle!

Upon Booking:

Once your wedding planning contract is signed for full planning and the initial deposit has been received this is what happens next:

  • Schedule a phone call with your lead wedding planner to touch base and determine where you are in the planning process
  • Select a wedding date(s) – in some cases flexibility in date will give you more options
  • Determine the approximate number of guests; if you haven’t already
  • Decide on your wedding budget. MOST IMPORTANT! Does it include wedding gown, rings, or planning services? Let us know and we will create a detailed budget for you
  • Decide on a color scheme and/or theme or general aesthetic for your wedding. This could affect the types of venues we suggest. Having a Pinterest board can be very helpful or even a few inspirational photos. We will often create our own “Mood Board” to nail down a look

12 Months Prior:

  • Winner Circle Events (WCE) will research venues that fit within your aesthetic, theme, and budget. Also, we will be considerate of the specific location you may have in mind. We will gladly travel.  In addition, we will provide you with a detailed proposal outlining all of our suggestions. This document will include: available date, pricing information, pros and cons, and all pertinent information about each venue. Accompanied with this will be a Dropbox folder with each venue’s packages, menus, and photos. Depending on the time of year expect this to take 2-3 weeks
  • After reviewing suggested venues, we need your top three venues. Your lead planner will then set up meetings to go and visit each of your top 3 choices! Don’t think 3 venues is enough? Don’t worry, if you don’t find the perfect venue right away we will determine why you didn’t like the venues and suggest alternatives. We do pride ourselves on listening to our clients needs and delivering great options so a venue can be chosen from the first round of suggestions. Depending on season and your availability, we can usually visit venues, receive proposals and estimates, and sign a contract within 1-2 weeks of visiting

Gorgeous Chapel at the One & Only Palmilla Cabo

Venue is Booked:

  • Yay! Announce your engagement – If you haven’t already
  • Start collecting mail and e-mailing addresses from your guests
  • Decide if you will send out a save- the -date and how? i.e. (e-mail blast, paperless post, word of mouth, physical copy)
  • Let’s start booking appointments with bridal stores to go dress shopping.
  • Once you have a date and venue(s) booked; it’s time to for WCE to choose your vendors.  We will start looking for a photographer and videographer. Good photographers get booked early, so in order to get you the best we will suggest some options upon checking availability and pricing for you. Once you have availability and pricing from our preferred photographers we will set up and attend each meeting with you. Loving your photographer’s images is one thing, but you also have to have a good connection with the person behind the camera

8-10 Months Prior: 

  • We will start to suggest music and entertainment options for you i.e. (musicians for the ceremony/cocktail hour, bands and DJ’s for reception), as well as alternative entertainment ideas i.e (photobooth, dancers, aerialists etc. )We will provide you with options, quotes and set up times for you to preview or meet with entertainers whenever your schedule allows
  • Chose your entertainment? Let’s book your wedding music/entertainment
  • We will suggest wedding officiants for you (if it isn’t a religious ceremony) and set up meetings with them
  • Book your wedding officiant
  • Start on design.  We will suggest and submit a proposal for decor
  • Book your wedding decor
  • Book your engagement photo session with your photographer
  • Decide on the start time for ceremony and reception
  • Finalize guest list and send out save -the -dates
  • Select your bridal party and MC; if you haven’t already (most MC’s come with DJ or Bands)
  • Shop for bridesmaids dresses/attire
  • Start pre-marital classes/counseling (if required by your religious institution)
  • Create a wedding website – If you are planning on offering this to your guests

5-8 Months Prior:

  • If you venue does not offer in-house catering, we will suggest caterers. We will set up the meetings and tastings
  • Book a caterer (if required)
  • We can research accommodations for out of town guests and set up hotel room blocks
  • We help with all transportation needs for you and your bridal party (we are happy to organize shuttles to and from hotels for your guests, as well, for an additional charge)
  • Select bridal accessories i.e (shoes, handbag, hosiery, headpieces to bring to fittings)
  • Schedule fittings
  • Please consider wedding insurance
  • Order wedding rings
  • Plan honeymoon
  • We will work with you to decide what to do for invitations i.e. (work with a “stationer”, order online, e-vites etc.)
  • If using physical invitations, we will recommend stationery companies that fit your aesthetic and budget
  • For a Jewish wedding order Yarmulkes and Ketubah
  • We will provide options for many established hair and make-up stylists for you and your bridal party. We highly suggest doing a trial before deciding. It’s also a great idea to plan this in conjunction with your engagement shoot so you can determine if the HMUA is the right fit
  • We will recommend great options and alternatives for wedding cakes. We will organize some tastings for you and you can book your wedding cake or alternative of choice

2-4 Months Prior:

  • Finalize menu with venue or caterer
  • Organize final menu tasting
  • Order wedding favors. Not sure what to do? Not to worry! We will give you some great ideas and where to buy them, pricing, and information
  • Send out invitations
  • Groom and groomsmen select and order attire
  • Plan a bridal shower (Maid / Matron of Honor or parents?)
  • We work with you on a floor plan, to finalize decor required. We offer floor plans in our software.
  • We set up a final meeting for decor to supply a mock up and make any required changes to decor
  • If your venue requires you to bring your own alcohol, we will help you to obtain a special occasions permit and suggest a licensed bar service.
  • Book wedding rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. We will conduct the rehearsal for you (unless your religious institution requires they conduct)
  • Consider buying gifts to exchange the day of
  • Consider buying gifts for your bridal party
  • Decide who will be giving speeches and toasts and let them know no more than 3 minutes
  • Decide on all wedding music i.e (ceremony processional, signing, recessional, first dance, parental dances, cake cutting etc.) We have lots of experience with this and can offer up some great suggestions if you have difficulty

1-2 Months Prior:

  • We meet to finalize the ceremony and reception itinerary. This includes everything from hair and make- up, to scheduling everything from start to end of the night when the couple departs.
  • We supply a timeline and communicate all timings and logistics with vendors
  • Purchase cake knife, signing book (or alternative), ring pillow, signing pens, flip flops (for your guests to dance in), etc.
  • Finalize ceremony details with officiant and musicians. Select readings, etc.
  • Get marriage license (Be sure to look into the county where you are getting the license to determine whether an appointment is required)
  • Attend final fittings
  • Finalize transportation
  • Collect RSVP’s and start deciding on seating arrangement (not a very fun job so we recommend doing it over a bottle of Champagne). Decide if you are doing place cards, seating chart, or both. Some venues require place cards at each place setting with an indicator for which meal was selected i.e (Chicken, Beef, Fish, Vegetarian ,etc.)

Down to the Last Month Before the Wedding:

  • Track down any missing RSVP’s (Call guests that haven’t responded)
  • Your final guest count is due to the venue or caterer (this is usually due 10-14 days in advance)
  • Have your place cards or seating chart printed or completed
  • We re-confirm all details with vendors and provide all parties involved a detailed itinerary. We don’t usually send this out until 1-2 weeks prior; as there are often last minute changes
  • Groom should get a hair cut a few days before
  • Just like the girls, the guys need to start breaking in their shoes too
  • Bride schedule all beauty appointments i.e (mani/pedi, waxing, etc.)
  • Create a shot list for the photographer of “must have” shots and list family or friends that you want included
  • Make sure you have the marriage license
  • Print wedding program (if desired)
  • We schedule a final walkthrough with you and your venue the month of the wedding to go over everything one last time in great detail
  • Decide on welcome baskets for out of town guests (we are happy to help put these together for you)
  • Confirm groomsmen and bridesmaids all have their attire. Assign someone to return any rented formal wear
  • Write letters to each other to be read on the morning of the wedding (great photo/video op)
  • Write your wedding speech – Don’t forget to thank guests who travelled, acknowledge each other’s families…and most importantly don’t forget about your new spouse

What to Expect From Us on the Day Of:

  • Day of – We always like to stop in and check in on the couple whenever possible to make sure they are doing ok. We know nerves start to set in so we want to make sure we are on top of every detail so they focus on getting married.  We like to make sure that everyone is having fun, but not drinking too much before the Ceremony.  We make sure bridal party is eating.  We sometimes personally deliver your flowers and help pin boutonnieres on the groom and groomsmen. Once you depart to do your photos; the assistant(s) will be with you until you arrive at the ceremony. Simultaneously, the lead planner will go to the ceremony/reception site to oversee the load in and set up of all items. We will set up your place cards/seating charts, table numbers, favors, and any little personal elements you may have
  • Ceremony – At the ceremony we will line up the bridal party, take a look at the bridal party to make sure they look sharp, make sure nobody has their cell phone, is chewing gum, and generally looks their best! We will cue the officiant, photographers, and musicians when to start and will then cue everyone when to walk down the aisle. After the ceremony we like to ensure that there are refreshments and cocktails awaiting the couple in their bridal suite or where they will head to for pictures
  • Cocktail Reception – During the cocktail reception there are sometimes additional photos taken of the bridal party and family. An assistant will be there with the suggested shot list in hand to help ensure that no shots are missed. At the same time the lead planner is making sure that the reception room is set up and ready to go and that the photographers and videographers have captured all of the details before allowing guests to enter. We will also ensure that guests are happy and that there is plenty of food and beverages flowing during cocktails
  • Reception – During the reception we will line up your bridal party for the grand entrance. We cue the band/DJ, MC, photographer/videographer, and venue to prepare for your grand entrance. We will be constantly communicating with the kitchen and all vendors to ensure that service is impeccable. We will cue any and all speakers before their turn to give a speech. We will be personally be checking in on you to make sure you are having nothing but the best time. Do you need a cocktail? We will ensure that we stay on schedule as best as possible. We will be on site to avert any potential issues. If there is an issue; our goal is to draw on our years of experience, to quietly and quickly find a solution, so that you never even knew about it
  • At the End of The Night – We don’t leave until our couple leaves. That means we stay until the very end. We want to make sure you know you have our services the whole night so you have the best time. We don’t want you cleaning up, shlepping boxes and gifts or generally having to worry about anything at all. We make sure all of your gifts and personal belongings make it your designated location.


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