These expert tips will help you plan a perfect Central Florida wedding

Weather, budget among top considerations

By Erin Dobrzyn

ORLANDO, Fla. - Spring has sprung and with the sunny weather and bountiful blooms, wedding bells are also ringing.

News 6’s very own newsroom has quite a few newlyweds-to-be and with so much chatter about the big day, some expert advice seemed necessary. 

Rebekkah Rosado has been planning Central Florida weddings since 2014 and has turned her knack for coordination and precision into her own business, Runway Events. Rosado has planned weddings across the United States, from New York to Los Angeles, but has found that Central Florida is one of the most popular wedding destinations in the world.

Rosado shares some of her best advice and favorite tips for planning a wedding in Central Florida. 

1. Watch out for weather

April showers bring spring flowers, and what does summer bring? Hurricanes. 

If having an outdoor wedding is a must, most couples will find themselves preparing for potential weather risks. This can also come with additional costs for tents and backup rain plans.

Spring and fall tend to be the most comfortable times to enjoy time outside, and also carry less risk of inclement weather. 

Rosado and her team are busiest March through May, and September through November. 

While these seasons tend to carry less risk of inclement weather, Rosado stresses the importance of choosing a venue that you will still love even if you have to make the last-minute decision to set up a tent to shield the wedding from a storm.

“Florida is so unpredictable and although everyone would love to be lucky enough to have a beautiful day, it is a reality that it could possibly rain and you don't want to be completely devastated if you have to use your backup plan,” Rosado said.

2. Know your budget

Having a budget to stick to is important and will set the tone for the entire wedding. It can be tempting to let your Pinterest board run wild with photos of lavish table-scapes and floor-to-ceiling floral walls, but the reality of how much a single bouquet costs will quickly set in. Even the cost of postage for invitations will add up quickly.

One of Rosado’s responsibilities is keeping couples grounded when choosing vendors, venues and wedding details that fit both their style and budget.

“I would say that Central Florida ranges in the mid to high range as far as weddings across the country and the average wedding budget is about $25,000 for 100 guests,” Rosado said.

Venues can play a large role in the affordability of a wedding and the coordination of the event. Rosado recommends choosing a venue that you can host your ceremony, cocktail hour and reception.

“Having multiple locations can make it logistically more difficult and they tend to almost be creating two separate events,” Rosado said. “I always tell my couples to consider all of the elements of a location before they choose it, including if they will need to rent a tent as a backup plan, if they need to rent tables, chairs, and linens or if they will be included and any other elements such as renting bathroom trailers, having required vendors, etc.”

3. Let the land influence your decor

Associated Press

Central Florida is undeniably beautiful, and couples will find venues that will complement just about any wedding style. From traditional churches with walls of stained glass, to posh electric rooftops, to rustic barns nestled among fields of blueberry bushes, couples looking for traditional or completely unique weddings will find a venue.

This variety in landscape and venue type draw couples looking for personalization and creative yet-intimate details that are tailored to their own taste. This is the reason Rosado loves working in Central Florida. 

“We tend to have a lot of couples that want out-of-the-box and nontraditional weddings and we have so much fun creating unique experiences for all types of couples,” Rosado said.

Nature also plays a large role in Florida weddings, and many couples find inspiration for decor among the setting that surrounds them, especially those planning outdoor celebrations. 

“The trends we see most in Florida weddings are utilizing the lush greens and natural elements of what Florida has to offer,” Rosado said. “We tend to see a lot of bohemian weddings and what we call 'romantic garden party' themes with bold greens and pops of neutral toned florals.”

4. Embrace all Central Florida has to offer 

Walt Disney World

Fairy tales become reality at Walt Disney World Resort with Disney's Fairy Tale Weddings.Image courtesy of Walt Disney World. (Amy Smith, photographer)

Central Florida is truly a destination known all over the world for gorgeous beaches, thrilling amusement parks, sparkling nightlife, sprawling nature preserves and crystalline springs. The abundance of fun that can be had here makes this a prime location for weddings, and your guests -- especially those from out of town -- will love it, too.

Rosado has seen firsthand how weddings connect families together in joyous celebration, but with so much to do after the “I do,” couples and guests can keep the festivities going. 

“Orlando is one of the most popular wedding destinations in the world,” Rosado said. “Couples love getting married here because their guests can make the wedding experience a vacation as well and visit Disney, Universal or one of the incredible beaches.”

5. “Go with your gut”

Planning weddings is stressful. Organizing the details of a new life with a new partner is stressful. Balancing family traditions with personal style and taste is stressful. Telling your florist the bouquet they arranged for you makes you itch is stressful. Weddings are a lot of work.

Picking vendors to take care of every detail of your wedding, from baking your wedding cake to DJ-ing the event, is expensive and time consuming. Vendors should be wanting to make your life easier and should treat you like the glowing about-to-be-newlywed that you are. 

Rosado’s advice: “Go with your gut.”

“Your vendor squad is so important and truly will make or break your wedding,” Rosado said. “I always recommend hiring professional vendors that are referred by your venue or planner and would avoid hiring any vendor just because of the price tag or hiring friends … Focus on those vendors that make you feel like they will take your day as seriously and as special as you do.”

It’s important to know how you and your partner handle wedding stress, too. If small details and timelines become overwhelming and to-do deadlines keep slipping down your calendar, it might be time to consider hiring a wedding planner. 

“Hiring a planner -- even if you can hire a day of coordinator -- that fits you the best will guide you in the right direction and point you to the vendors that would fit you best,” Rosado said. “Also, sitting down and talking about your priorities are so important. The numbers add up really fast so it's important to put your priorities in place and know what is most important to you and your fiancé before booking your vendors or venue.”

If you’re looking to host your wedding in Central Florida, your options for venues, vendors and experiences are nearly limitless. Find a team of professionals who can help craft your wedding style, maintain your budget and secure the day of your dreams. 

If you’d like more information about Runway Events or want to drop Rosado a line, visit YourRunwayEvent.com
 

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