On Thursday, April 14, 2015 during my bi-weekly appearance on ABC 24 Local Memphis Live, we discussed how to stay on budget when planning your wedding/event, design ideas for a GLAMOROUS baby shower and an impromptu DIY project that I decided to showcase at the last minute.

CCvH4C4WIAAooJwI am always a nervous wreck when I appear on Local Memphis Live, hosted by Yvette Whiteside and Lauren Raymer; however they make appearing on TV so easy. So I arrive and because I have a familiar face, the producers greet me by my first name; give me the run down, and I automatically proceed to the lobby area in the back. My normal routine is to sit down, take out my phone, check social media (Facebook, IG, twitter, etc.), text…WHY… because I am a nervous wreck! For some particular reason this time, I decided to sit in the green room, ignore my phone and converse with the other guests. All of sudden the butterflies went away and then it was time for my segment.


The topics for the show were budgeting for events, designing a glamorous baby shower, and completing a DIY project. I’ve gotten several questions about the topics for that day, and since I didn’t have time to cover everything, I figured I could share. So here we go, enjoy….


What is the starting point when planning a wedding/event? 

I recommend starting with one simple question – “What’s in Your Pocket?” This is the least exciting part of the planning process because no one wants to talk about the big word, M-O-N-E-Y. To be honest, it takes money to plan that memorable event and without it, you will not get past first base. You have to set a budget so you will not put yourself in a financial bind trying to plan a wedding/social event UNLESS you have unlimited funds. So, go ahead and get it out of the way, and the rest of the process will be FUN, FUN, FUN! I also provide a budget sheet to all of my clients that will keep track of what they are spending and paying for throughout the process.


Are there any other working components other than the bride and groom when determining your budget?

Absolutely, especially for weddings! Gather all of the family members who will financially contribute to your wedding, your parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, brothers, sisters . . . You’ll be surprised by who will help finance your big day. If you don’t ask, then you will never know who will bless you. If they don’t want to actually cut you a check, consider delegating aspects for them to pay for such as venue, invitations, DJ, florals, etc. Once you’ve gathered all of that information, NOW you have a working budget. This method can also work for social events.


The guest list is very important when determining the budget, how does that affect the budget?

On countless occasions, my clients say “OMG! That costs too much”, and I always advise them to trim your guest list. The more guests you have, the more the question “What’s in Your Pocket?” will begin to frustrate you. The average cost of a guest for weddings is about $150 per person. If you invite 150 people and multiply that times $150, you are already a budget of about $30,000 for your wedding. This is just an estimate and of course there are other factors to consider but this just gives you an idea how to think about your event budget.


How can I trim the guest list to fit the budget?

Ideally, you want to invite everyone but in some cases that is not possible. So you have to ask yourself several questions: How long have I known this person? Do I consider this person a friend? Is this a co-worker or boss? When was the last time I talked to this person? Would actually having this person there make or break your wedding/event?

Also, don’t feel pressure to invite people to your wedding just because they invited you to their wedding/event. You may still feel bad about cutting people, but the reality is, it’s one of the surest ways to save lots of money and have the wedding of your dreams.


Baby Shower: “THE PARTY”  that celebrated James and Derichia

I had the opportunity to plan the baby shower of my associate planner/sister-n-law, and let me just say that it was FABULOUS . . . again, FABULOUS! Derichia and James did not want the typical baby shower; instead they wanted a cocktail hour party. This is the last one (so they say), and they wanted to go out with a BANG! The co-ed social event included nice florals, uplighting, champagne, a beer bar and a DJ to get everyone in the mood. It was certainly an evening to remember!


WellsSliderThe estate table in the middle of the room allowed me to create a decorative runner that included using a chevron runner, nice vases filled with roses, hydragenas, stock, babys breath and curly willow (my favorite). This gave the center of the room a whimsical feel that left the guests speechless. Also, the cake table that was draped with pink sequin linen added a little touch of glam to the room.


6G7A8234 The cake was designed by her cousin Charlie and invitation by her husband James.


The guests were greeted at the door by a host who explained the ice breaker for the evening. I thought it was a nice idea!


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Venue: The Children’s Museum Memphis
Decor: WellsConsulting Events and Designs
Photographer: John Hamilton
Invitations designed by: James Wells
Food: Friends and Family Members
Cake: Charlie Miller
DJ: Ricco Cotton