Interview with Anthony Navarro, Wedding and Event Planner at Liven It Up Events

by Katherine Callaghan

Anthony Navarro is one of the leading names in the event planning business. He’s the Founder and Senior Event Planner of Liven It Up Events and author of The Business of Being a Wedding Planner. Navarro’s work is exquisite and we jumped on the opportunity to pick his brain about wedding planning!

While I’m in the midst of planning my own wedding, my go-to place for wedding inspiration is Pinterest. However, how effective is Pinterest in the wedding planning process? We asked Navarro, and here are his thoughts on using Pinterest to help plan your wedding!

Feature image via Anthony Navarro / Liven It Up Events.

BridalPulse: Interview with Anthony Navarro, Wedding and Event Planner at Liven It Up Events | Photo By: Anthony Navarro/ Liven It Up Events | Follow @bridalpulse for more wedding inspiration!
Photo by: Anthony Navarro / Liven It Up Events

Katherine: As a bride-to-be myself, there’s no doubt Pinterest is a great source of wedding inspiration! What are the 3 best practices you often tell brides when using Pinterest to plan their wedding?

Anthony:
A. You want to keep your boards organized by category. For décor, group together your personal flowers on one board and then have a different board for the ceremony and another for the reception. Create a board for stationery, one for attire, etc. Keeping the boards separated and organized by category will make things easier later on.
B. Pin away! Do not try to edit the boards while you are pinning. You should only edit just before you go into a dress shop or into a meeting with your décor company. Remove items that do not speak to you after those meetings.
C. Once you get pinning, start paying attention to what you are drawn to. Is it more of a modern style, rustic, traditional or industrial? What is it that attracts you? That is really the telltale sign of how the wedding will look and how it will, ultimately, come to life.

Katherine: Let’s talk Pinterest organization! How do you recommend newly engaged couples keep their wedding ideas organized?

Anthony: I gave this away above. You want to organize your boards by category—this way you have an easy reference point for the items you are pinning and you can easily look up those items.

BridalPulse: Interview with Anthony Navarro, Wedding and Event Planner at Liven It Up Events | Photo By: Anthony Navarro/ Liven It Up Events | Follow @bridalpulse for more wedding inspiration!
Photo By: Anthony Navarro / Liven It Up Events

Katherine: When a bride reviews her Pinterest boards, what are some tips you recommend for brides when analyzing their Pinterest ideas? How can they determine if an idea is practical and achievable for their own wedding?

Anthony: This is a multi-layered process. First, you have to determine if the idea is a DIY project or requires hiring vendors. If it’s DIY, it should be something that can be completed before the wedding day. No couple should have to do any work on their big day. That is work of the professional wedding team they hired! If it is something that is done by a hired professional, then there has to be a budget for it. Depending on what it the project is, it also has to be approved by the venue, to make sure that it fits (i.e.: flower wall for a photo booth, hanging lanterns, etc.) Also, determine if it is worth the energy and the effort on your end to create those items. Wedding planning can be stressful and taking on too many DIY projects elevates that stress.

Katherine: How can brides mesh their own creativity with some of the extravagant ideas showcased on Pinterest?

Anthony: No matter what, you should always be putting your own spin on the ideas you see on Pinterest. I tell clients all of the time, images and ideas are just a starting point to get the creativity flowing. Once you start choosing the items—place cards, menu cards, table centerpieces and so forth— you have to give them your own personal touch. The best part about my job is that every wedding is different. We will never create the same wedding–it’s a one-time, special event and will be crafted only for that particular couple.

BridalPulse: Interview with Anthony Navarro, Wedding and Event Planner at Liven It Up Events | Photo By: Anthony Navarro/ Liven It Up Events | Follow @bridalpulse for more wedding inspiration!
Photo By: Anthony Navarro / Liven It Up Events

Katherine: How can brides use Pinterest and still keep to their wedding budget?

Anthony: I can honestly say, most of the time, the major re-pins have a high price tag–that is why they are liked and re-pinned so much. Be careful with your budget throughout the planning process and splurge where it is important to you. Big details count: the food, the alcohol, the music and the overall look and feel. I have a couple getting married next year and the ceremony music is really important to them—that was their splurge. For another couple, the videographer was most important, and that was their splurge. Weddings are expensive but, if you spend on what is most important to you and scale back in other areas, you will keep your budget in check. Remember that as you go back and review your Pinterest boards.

Katherine: What are some search mechanisms you recommend to brides when using Pinterest?

Anthony: Doing a keyword search is a trick that I use with clients. If you just go and look at whatever everyone else is pinning, then you are going to have the same wedding everyone else has.

BridalPulse: Interview with Anthony Navarro, Wedding and Event Planner at Liven It Up Events | Photo By: Anthony Navarro/ Liven It Up Events | Follow @bridalpulse for more wedding inspiration!
Photo By: Anthony Navarro / Liven It Up Events

Katherine: What are some of the worst Pinterest trends happening right now?

Anthony: There is nothing that is ever the worst. While something may not be interesting to one couple, it might be meaningful to another. That is the best thing about weddings and events. However, there are certain Pinterest trends that do not translate to all venues and styles of weddings. For example, you may have seen the champagne flute escort card table. This is where a glass of champagne is filled and there is a small name card attached to it that will tell you where you are sitting. That is fine to do in a controlled environment (inside in a venue or hotel) but, outside, where it is windy, one gust and all those name cards will be blowing away in the wind. Just because you like a trend, does not mean it will translate for your venue.

Katherine: What do you believe is a realistic timeline for brides-to-be when it comes to wedding planning and décor?

Anthony: I always say a year is such a great timetable. This gives you plenty of time to configure the wedding to your liking and select the vendor teams you want while keeping the process fun. Sure, it’s going to be a little stressful–weddings are emotional and definitely not always easy to put together, but a year will give you time to enjoy the process.

BridalPulse: Interview with Anthony Navarro, Wedding and Event Planner at Liven It Up Events | Photo By: Anthony Navarro/ Liven It Up Events | Follow @bridalpulse for more wedding inspiration!
Photo By: Anthony Navarro / Liven It Up Events

Katherine: What’s one piece of advice you tell every bride?

Anthony: It is your wedding! Do what you want (within reason and budget) and remember, it’s just one day. It is going to go by very fast. Enjoy the planning process and have fun the day of.

Katherine: Do you think even non-engaged couples should begin creating wedding boards?

Anthony: I am not engaged and I have wedding boards! Honestly, it cannot hurt to look. Of course, you should not be putting the cart before the horse but, today, most couples have a longer courting period and the wedding just makes everything official.

Katherine: Ok, spill! What’s the craziest thing that’s ever happened to you while planning a wedding?

Anthony: When I retire, I am going to write an entire book on all of the craziest things I have seen. Stay tuned!