Helpful Wedding Planning Tips from a Charleston-Based Wedding Planner Expert | Rhyme & Reason
How Much Do Weddings Actually Coast? A Charleston Wedding Planner Spills the True Cost of Planning a Wedding | Rhyme & Reason

Helpful Wedding Planning Tips

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Happy Wedding Wednesday loves!

Edwin and I walked down the aisle a year and a half ago and I wish we could get married all over again! I honestly feel this way for three main reasons:

1) Our wedding day and whole wedding weekend were better than I could have ever imagined;

2) I love, love and love celebrating our commitment to each other;

3) Our wedding planner was the absolute best and made the whole weekend beautiful, effortless, stress-free, and an absolute blast!

If you decide to work with a planner, then finding a planner that accomplishes this makes a difference for the brides and grooms, friends and family, bridal party, maid of honor, best man… everyone!

We couldn’t have been more fortunate to find our wedding planner, Lindsey Boyce, to help us build a whole weekend around our wedding date. In order to select a wedding planner, I did research on different local Charleston planners online. I then created google docs for Edwin, my mom, and I to review before setting up phone call interviews with my favorites. After talking with Lindsey for just a few minutes, it was completely clear to us that we found our girl! Lindsey was part of the amazing A Charleston Bride team and we knew we wanted the whole team in our corner. They were phenomenal and I would 100% recommend them to anyone!

In the spirit of summer wedding season kicking off, I wanted to write a series of informative wedding related posts for y’all!

My mom and I had so many questions when we were planning and really relied on Lindsey and the A Charleston Bride team for so much surrounding our big day… marriage licenses, our wedding website, wedding party day-of organizing, everything! Lindsey is an expert in every sense of the word so I thought she’d be way more qualified to talk about these topics than me!

I’m SO excited to have Lindsey as my wedding contributor this summer! To kick these posts off, I wanted Lindsey to share some general but extremely helpful wedding planning tips with y’all! These tips are some of the most helpful tips I received that made a difference throughout the whole planning process and are super important to keep in mind when planning a wedding! I hope you will learn as much from these tips as I did! So, without further ado, here is more on Lindsey and her top tips for the start of the wedding planning process!

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Introducing Lindsey Boyce of Host & Haven

Lindsey has such an eye for putting together a space! For our wedding weekend alone, she designed a handful of spaces including my bridal brunch, our rehearsal dinner + welcome party (both seen here), and our ceremony space + cocktail hour space + reception space (seen here)! She also helped us plan everything from our wedding paper + welcome bags to our hotel room blocks to the groomsmen fishing trip to every single one of our wedding vendors to our wedding venues to 1 million other little details.

Lindsey has done close to 100 weddings! Can you imagine!? So, it’s no surprise that she’s gone on to start her own business that combines projects in events and interior design, which she appropriately named Host & Haven. She currently takes on 3-5 weddings and events as well as 3-5 residential and commercial design projects at a time. Lindsey has done projects all over the place including Charleston, Dallas, Napa, Debordieu, Beaufort, and Round Hill Jamaica! Can you see why I asked her to be my wedding contributor!?

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P.S. If you’re thinking, “I think I need Lindsey in my life! Tell me more!” then keep on reading for the formal rundown on Host & Haven from Lindsey…

Host & Haven is a creative intersection in event & home design. My hope with H&H is to create beautiful moments and material adventures with an equal emphasis on client distinctiveness and design dexterity.

I believe both event and home design are rooted in helping others establish their identity and personal brand. My job is to help reveal and interpret. The more experiences shared with me, the more concrete the design story develops, and ultimately the more unique the overall finished product becomes.

Please reach out with your thoughts and needs. I’d love to help create something with you.

When I’m not busy with design, events, and installations, you can find me at home with my husband and two loving dogs finding joy in the ordinary.

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Helpful Wedding Planning Tips

Lindsey here! So for those of you out there just starting the wedding planning process, I know you are excited and probably a little bit scared. Trust me, even as a seasoned designer, I struggled in those initial steps of my wedding. Of course you are going to feel an immense amount of pressure. It’s something you have dreamed about your whole life and probably a lot more since meeting Mr. Right. While I know it can feel overwhelming, I can see to the other side where it will all work out exactly as it should. Be gracious with yourself in the first few steps until you get your bearings. Trying something new will always be a little hard at first, so accept the little learning curve ahead…. and lean on me for a little help!

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Know Your Numbers!

Starting right where it’s hard I know, but the initial budget and estimated guest count will be very important tools to get you underway. These figures can of course change as you go along, but it will help you to narrow down options based on what you need. You don’t want to fall in love with a venue that is 50% of your budget or visit a quaint church that cannot accommodate the large family your future hubby will have to invite.

Guest Count:

For your estimated guest list, you will typically see a 70%-80% rate of return on an invitation. So if you are inviting 100 people, expect about 75 to be in attendance on the big day. If you don’t want more than 150 people to show up, try to keep the list closer to 200 total.


I think an easy to understand number and a middle range of the market I see is $500 per person. So, a wedding for 150 guests might cost around $75,000. Of course this could be lower or higher, but that should at least help generate the initial conversation with whoever is hosting. I know wedding budgets have certainly grown over the last 25 years since our parents were married, but I think the role of weddings has also changed a little bit as well. People are moving farther from home and living across country from one another. A wedding becomes an opportunity to unite and gather everyone you love sometimes for the first time. It’s understandable to want to host something that feels beautiful and also enjoying for everyone. 

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Ranked Top 3

Marriage is built on compromise and communication, so a great first step for newly engaged couples (and their families) will be to identify the most important aspects to include on the big day. Is it the food? Band? The design? The guest experience? The answers might differ from person to person, but you will find a way to comprise on a few that appeal to all. From there, let that be your guide. Meaning, you can probably spend the money you want on the top 3, but you might have to scale back on the rest.

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Condition Your Mindset

I promise you anyone that has any type of budget is making a few concessions. So go ahead and condition yourself to accept that mindset. I say that because I think it’s important to soften the way to talk with yourself about these things. You have thought about this day for a long time and having to let go of the way you thought some things would look is an adjustment. You know what? That’s perfectly okay! In my eyes, I’d rather be prepared to accept that and then nestle into the bigger picture!

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Be Informed but Not the Informant

The amount of minute knowledge a planner/designer has on what is ahead of you is unfathomable at this point. It is years of clients, vendor knowledge, and experiences all wrapped into one. I promise you, it’s worth every penny. If you are able to hire a planner, find someone that can navigate the terrain for you and with you. Your designer/planner will help you with the venue search, fine tune the budget, select great vendors, and execute the logistics with ease. If you are unable to do so for budgetary reasons, try and give your vendors the confidence they deserve. As important as the day is for you, it’s equally important to them. It is their livelihood, so they will take it seriously.

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Let the Process Organically Unfold

The best example I can give here is my own wedding (as seen in this post). Our most important aspects were 1. to be able to invite all the people that mattered most 2. have a venue(s) that was significant to us 3. have beautiful design elements. We chose a church we attend here in town for the ceremony with a reception at a restaurant/inn where we had our first date. To accommodate the larger guest count we wanted into the broken up old home, we chose to have the wedding in the afternoon with a small band and chef stations for more room and guest ease.

Once those pieces fell into place, I got really excited about the idea of a day time wedding. I chose a cotton lace dress with floral appliqué detail by Rue de Siene and designed the wedding with a garden party motif full of spring time colors and pattern. If you had asked me how I saw my wedding four years ago, I would have told you I wanted a black tie sit down dinner with a long sleeved dress and buttoned up hair. Now, I cannot imagine loving our actual wedding day any more than I already do, because we created it together as a couple.

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To end…

So,, let the process unfold naturally from the things that matter most. Be open to it looking a little different than it did when you were 10 years old playing dress up. Approach it with grace and gratitude. Find time to enjoy!

XO, Lindsey

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I hope this post was helpful! Don’t forget to keep checking back all summer long for more Wedding Wednesday posts from Lindsey! Feel free to pass this post on to a girlfriend or family member going through the wedding planning process! xx, Jillian

Photography by Sean Money + Elizabeth Fay for Lindsey Boyce’s Wedding

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