Decide Whom to Invite

If you are like most couples and are paying for your wedding yourself the guest list becomes very challenging. You want to invite all of your family, friends and co workers but can you afford it?  Here is a great tool to get you started on who to invite and who to add to the maybe list! 


Contact me for a free consultation! 

Happy Planning! 

House of Diamonds Bridal Show

On March 14, 2013 I was honored to host a beautiful bridal show at House of Diamonds jewelry store in Phoenix.  House of Diamonds opened in October of 2012 and once I saw their store I knew it would be a perfect fit for a bridal show! They have wonderful outdoor patio for guests to mingle with talented vendors. 

Thank you to Brent at House of Diamonds for giving away a diamond pendent necklace!    The lucky winner was Chrissie of C.Lacey Design!  

The big box bridal shows are always very difficult for the couple to attend. They don’t get one on one time with the vendors and they are dealing with hundreds of other brides . We created a bridal show where it is the best of the best wedding vendors in Phoenix! We had everything from a caterer to groomsman gifts! 

Thank you to all of the vendors that attended:

Classic Party Rentals

Straight to the Plate Catering

Sue Jacobs Cakes

Curtis Whipple (DJ, MC, Piano Player) 

Memories Through Time Photography 

A2Z Photo Booth/ Jill Lauren Photography

My Wedding MasterPiece

C.Lacey Design

Dana Railey Makeup Artist

Byrd Watches

Sweet I Do’s 

Cocktail Couture

Floral Design by Nikki Robbins of Nicole Arend Weddings & Events


We hope all that attended had a wonderful time and were able to enjoy a night out with their fiancé!

Please conctact me for a free consultation!  Ask us about our floral design packages!

Happy Planning! 

The Average Cost of a Wedding

As a wedding planner, I receive a number of calls asking how much the newly engaged couple should expect to pay for the cost of their wedding in the current market. The number may surprise you. Brides and Grooms paid more last year than they have since the beginning of the economic downturn. 

According to, In 2008, couples reportedly spent 29,334 on their big day. From DJs to flowers, they had spent less over the years, as the economy as a whole struggled. However, along with other signs of the economy uprise, in 2012, newlyweds spent $28,427 on average. Couples are in a better place and are able to splurge a little more on the things that are important to them.
Saying 'I do' is getting pricier
The average amount U.S. couples spent last year, broken down by category.
Category2012 Average spent2011 Average spent
Overall wedding (excluding honeymoon) $28,427 $27,021
Venue (reception hall) $12,905 $12,116
Photographer $2,379 $2,299
Wedding/event planner $1,847 $1,753
Reception band $3,084 $3,122
Reception DJ $988 $929
Florist/décor $1,997 $1,894
Videographer $1,619 $1,486
Wedding dress $1,211 $1,121
Groom's tuxedo $230 $215
Wedding cake $560 $535
Ceremony site $1,711 $1,599
Ceremony musicians $554 $536
Invitations $453 $440
Limousine $708 $669
Favors $289 $285
Rehearsal dinner $1,135 $1,078
Engagement ring $5,431 $5,130
Catering (price per person) $63 $61
Source: TheKnot; Figures based on survey respondents who hired a professional vendor for the service. 
Although the price of the modern day wedding may seem high, one way that many couples find they save money is by hiring a wedding coordinator. Doing so allows the couples to get the lowest negotiated price and leaves the hassle to the planner to get the best deals on the vendors you both have your hearts set on!  
Happy Planning!

Arizona Wedding Venues

Many brides ask me where my top three ceremony and reception venues are in the valley. These three are by far my favorite locations and you can see why! 


First, we will highlight Noah's of Chandler. With the rise of the Pinterest boards and brides, many brides enjoy feeling that her vision really shines through at her wedding. As it should! If this is you, then Noah's is the perfect place for your special day. Noah's hosts the space, which you can make your place. Not only are you able to bring your own caterer, decor, and vision, Noah's can actually alter their ceiling to "top" off your event. So if you are looking for the custom draped look or prefer paper lanterns, the venue can actually change the ceiling grid to accommodate your style.


"At Noah's you can treat the space as if it were a blank canvas that can be painted however you would like. 

This freedom allows you to create the wedding you have always dreamed about." 

The Blackstone Country Club

Our second locations provides so much beauty that you hardly need any decor at all. The Blackstone Country Club provides an exquisite backdrop where you do not need to be a member to host an event, but they will treat you as if you were one. Say I do, with an amazing view! With the feature panoramic views of the White Tank and Bradshaw Mountains, your guests will be wowed even before they see the beautiful bride. With the executive chef ensuring the menu is unique and delicious and a pastry chef on site to assist you with desserts, the Blackstone offers a one stop shop for many of your wedding to dos, making it easier to say I do.  

The Palomar Hotel

If you pride yourself in being a city couple, than can you possibly envision a better venue than a rooftop ceremony overlooking the beautiful city skyline. With an elegant yet relaxed atmosphere you  can host your creaming and rehearsal on the rooftop patio or in their dazzling ballroom. Chef Stephen Jones creates a menu that is custom made for you and will have your guests talking for weeks. Ask about their complimentary wedding cake to assist in the planning process! An extra highlight for the venue, your out of town guests and those that do not want to drive home can simply walk downstairs to their beautiful room! 


This hotel offers the perfect venue for the hip, elegant, and fun bride and groom.


If any of these venues strike your eye, we know why! Ask the many brides and grooms who have shared their vows in these incredible locations and they will tell you that they are sure they chose the perfect location. If you need more information on any of the venues or any of our wedding packages, please feel free to contact me! 


Happy Planning!

Do you regret not hiring a wedding planner?

Were you the bride that said “I can’t afford a Wedding Planner” or “I can do it myself”? I recently had the opportunity to speak with a bride that wishes she would have hired a wedding planner. 

In Kim’s own words: 

I didn’t think I needed a wedding planner because, I thought like any other bride, oh I can do all this by myself.  Set up tables, chairs and decorate the reception. Well I was really wrong I was stressed out and running around like a crazy person. I wish I would have at least considered a wedding planner.  I didn’t know that you could hire a one day coordinator that could come in a put everything together for you. If I would have known that then I would have hired a wedding planner in a heartbeat. It would have been nice to have someone come in and make everything perfect on my big day and not having to worry about a thing, also trying not to forget anything as well. Because you have so much on your plate already. If I could do my wedding over then yes I would have hired a wedding planner no question asked. I tell all my friends who are getting married that they should at least consider talking to a wedding planner. It would make everything less stressful  for me. -- Kim, R 

I understand that many brides want to plan their wedding on their own or say they cannot afford a wedding planner. Are you aware that many vendors offer wedding planners discounts?  Most of the time with my discounts I can save a bride and groom over $3000! Now why wouldn’t you even consider talking with a wedding planner! 

I offer different packages and can also customize my services to fit what you are looking for. I would love to set up a consultation to go over what I can offer and how to make your wedding day go smoothly! 

Happy Planning!

Wedding Planner vs On Site Coordinator- Why You Need Both

I have talked with many brides who are stressed out when they find out their on site coordinator either quit or was let go from the venue and the bride is now in panic! Unfortunately, this happens more and more often during the summer months due to the slow season in Phoenix.  Most venues will bring on a new coordinator to get them trained for wedding season in October. 

On Site Coordinator:

The on site coordinator is there to manager the larger details of your wedding such as the venue itself, the food being served and sometimes will be there to facilitate your rehearsal. The on site coordinator is there to represent the property and is not always giving full attention to the bride and groom.  

Wedding Planner:

A wedding planner will be there every step of the way, making sure the bride and groom and wedding party are dressed and where they need to be on time. The wedding planner will make sure you are getting everything you paid for.  Wedding planners are there to make your day go as smooth and possible and to make sure every detail that you asked and paid for is there.

Venue coordinators are great at what they do and they know best about the venue since  that is their main priority. But Wedding Planners are loyal to you, the Bride!  We are their for you every step of the way. From vendor selection to invitation design to the other thousands of little details you might have forgot because your on site coordinator was not hired to be your wedding planner. 

See, both an on site coordinator and wedding planner are very important. A successful wedding relies on wedding professionals that work together to fulfill the wishes of the client and create a stress free environment for everyone.


I would love set up a free consultation with you to discuss your option. 
Happy Planning! 

Planning a Wedding on a Budget

We all know weddings are expensive!  Thousands of dollars are easily spent on food, flowers, photographers and all of those “Pinterest” ideas you have seen. I believe every bride deserves to have the wedding of her dreams and this can be done on any budget.  Here are some tips to help you stay in your budget and actually have that wedding everyone is talking about! 

Create a budget

  Yes this may seems obvious, but in most cases overspending is the main result of stress while wedding planning. Think about how much you can actually afford then break it down per vendor. 

Most importantly do your research! Talk to friends about how much their wedding cost, contact the vendors you are interested in and get quotes. This will help you start with your budget.  Once you have the budget, stick to it!!  Keep everything organized in a spreadsheet to stay on track. 

 Set Priorities 

It’s only natural that you want your wedding to be perfect but sometimes what your imagining can be pricey.  Decide as a couple what is most important for you to have at your wedding by putting the following values in a list from most important to least important. The higher the importance the more you can go with your initial choice, the lower the importance the more you should be open to finding an alternative option. 

  • Dress & Attire 
  • Venue
  • Music
  • Photographer 
  • Stationary 
  • Event design 
  • Food
  • Honeymoon
  • Makeup/hair
  • Other details 


Be Createive with your Wedding Venue 

Don’t be afraid to think outside the wedding venue box. Before you give a deposit on the first place you fall in love with, take sometime to find other venues that are not necessary the normal wedding venues. Look at parks, restaurants, lounges, art galleries. You are likely to find a spot that’s perfect for the both of you that is unique and personal. 

 Consider Hiring a Wedding Planner 

 If you are thinking “If I’m on a budget, how could I ever afford a wedding planner? Won’t that be an extra cost?" You are partially correct. There are many wedding planners out there that can work themselves into your budget. Also remember wedding planners have built relationships with vendors that give them discounts on their services. Which in the long run will be a huge savings for you. 

 Keep it small 

Big weddings cost big money. While some weddings have no choice but to be big due to larger families. If you have the option to have a small wedding it is a great way to keep costs down. While your venue options will decrease, small weddings have the option of being in alternative venues that don’t have wedding price tags, and “per person” costs. 


You don’t have to be to be an artist to incorporate DIY elements in your wedding. The key to DIY is planning and having realistic expectations. For example, if you or a friend has experience with photoshop consider making your own wedding invitations. If you don’t feel comfortable with that considering purchasing inexpensive stationary from ETSY, Vista Print or event Staples offer pretty invitations you can print yourself. 

Other low risk DIY elements can be:

Party favors

Centerpieces (I recommend making these in advance just in case they don’t turn out and you are not spending time the week or even the day of the wedding worrying about the centerpieces) 

Guest Book (These can be as simple printing a photo book of your engagement pictures and leaving some pages blank for your guests to sign) 

DIY elements to leave to the professionals:

Wedding Cake 





I offer many different packages to fit in every brides budget. If you are just starting out I can help create a budget and keep you from falling off track. 


Nicole Arend

Event Coordinator 




Weeding Favor Etiquette

Wedding Favor's are they necessary? 

I get asked by many brides if wedding favors are necessary and what the etiquette is. I go back and forth on this tradition. You don’t want to waste money on gifts your guests will just throw away or even leave them on the table. Giving wedding favors such as mints and bottle openers are an older tradition but todays couples are being more creative with their wedding favors. 

Favors do not need to be extravagant or expensive, it is really the thought that counts. When choosing a favor, be original and pick a favor that is meaningful to you and your family. Or if you have a theme, favors are a great way to compliment your theme. One of my favorite wedding favors was a jar of homemade jam. The mother of the bride made one for each guest with a note about the family tradition. That favor meant more to me than a personalized cookie that you may or may not even take home with you. 

Look at your budget, figure out what you can afford and then what you want to potentially present to your guests.  If your budget is small and you want to be creative try a candy buffet. If you have a budget that allows, photo booths are very popular and most allow you take those pictures home. 

If you are having difficulty thinking of something creative I would be happy to help find a wedding favor that fits in every budget.

 Please contact me for a free consultation. 



Phoenix Bridal Show

Sunday March 4, 2012 was the Phoenix Bridal Show. I met some very talented new vendors who I would love to share with my upcoming weddings and events. First, I would like to thank you Courtney with the Pink Petal Shop for creating the most beauftiful flowers! When I think of something Courtney is always there to take my ideas and turn them into reality! If you are looking for a florist please contact her at the Pink Petal Shop - 480-684-0516 or I also need to thank Christal's Cupcakes for providing me with some sweet treats to give away. The cake pops and mini cupcakes were a huge success. If you are looking for some delicious and creative cupcakes please contact Christal's Cupcakes at 623-322-1392 or


Tips On Attending a Bridal Show

Planning a wedding is overwhelming  on its own, attending a bridal show can take that stress to the next level. I have a few tips to help make attending a bridal show less stressful and worth every minute you are there! 


  • Register online! Save time and money at the door by purchasing your tickets in advance. 
  • Create a wedding email address. This email address should be given to all vendors you meet. The amount of emails you will receive at first may seem overwhelming, but take the time to read each of them or you may miss out on some very good deals. 
  • Bring pre printed address labels. This will save you a lot of time when you register for prices at individual booths. Most exhibitors will want to know your wedding date so make sure that is on the label, as well as your email address and phone number. 
  • Walk down every aisle and collect any information you are interested in. Most bridal shows will give you a large bag to collect all the information. 
  • Bring your check book or credit card just in case you want to book any services or hold a date. Some of the best discounts will be given at the show. 
  • Ask questions! All vendors are there because they want to help you and you are not under any pressure to buy anything from them. 


Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, I would love to schedule a consultation with you to answer any questions you may have. 


Happy Planning!

Nicole Arend

Event Coordintor 


Wedding Planning on Pinterest.

We all know Pinterest is now the most talked about website. Pinterest is a social networking platform with a vitural pinboard. When planning a wedding you can quickly become overwhelmed by all the ideas you can gain from using this website. Here is a great website that offers some great tips for organizing your Pinterest account for your wedding.

Remember wedding planning can be fun, it pays to be organized that's where I come in. I do all the organizing for you! Contact me for a free consultation today! 


Happy Planning! 

Wedding Flower Trends

Vintage and Ultra romantic bridal bouquets are the new upcomng trend for 2012,  pairing beautifully with a vintage or victorian style dress.  The use of feminine, soft colors such as cream, ivory, light pink and lavender will be seen in many flower arrangements.  Addding textures such as pearls, lace or broaches will be a nice pop to your bouquet. 

Another trend will be the use of unconventional bouquet plants and natural earthy greens, sich as feathers, grasses and herbs, creating an English garden style.

Of course the choice of flowers will depend on the season so don't get your heart set on a certain flower, find out from your florist if its available for your wedding. 

Day of Wedding Coordinator

If you're getting married ask yourself these questions. If the answer to  ANY of them is YOU, the Groom, your family, or your bridal party then you needa Day-Of Coordinator! You work very hard for months, to plan this day. Not to mention the money you spend to make sure it is perfect. Allow me to help you enjoy your special day. 


  • WHO will create the timeline for the day/night?
  • WHO will greet every vendor? This is at the same time you will be getting ready and most likely be doing pre-ceremony photos?
  • WHO tells the vendors where to place their delivery?
  • WHO will monitor the vendors to make sure everything is set up correctly?
  • WHO will make sure the cake cutting set and toasting flutes are set up correctly?
  • WHO will hand out the bouquets, pin the boutonnieres and/or corsages?
  • WHO will make sure the bridal party is ready and where they need to be for pre-ceremony photos?
  • WHO will make sure the ceremony is set up? The Unity Candle, Sand Ceremony, Wine Ceremony, Programs, Tissues, Bubbles, maps to the reception, etc.
  • WHO will make sure the reception tables are setup? This includes place cards, favors, menu cards, disposable cameras).
  • WHO will set out the Guest Book, the Signature Frame, the Wishing Tree, etc.?
  • WHO will give the programs to the ushers, make sure the ushers are in place at the time the need to be, and help them if they have questions about seating?
  • WHO will make sure the groom and his party are accounted for and dressed?
  • WHO will make sure the parents know where they should be and what they should be doing before, during and after the ceremony?
  • WHO will monitor the flow of people to make sure you and your fiancé don’t see each other before you’re ready?
  • WHO will tell you the status of your guest’s arrival and let you know when everyone is ready to line up?
  • WHO will make sure everyone lines up as they should if they forget from the rehearsal?
  • WHO will cue the musician?
  • WHO will guide your bridal party as to where they should go after the recessional to sign the marriage licenses and prepare for formal photos?
  • WHO will hold the marriage license before the signing and after?
  • WHO will make sure your guests are moved to the cocktail hour or reception?
  • WHO will make sure your bridal party is lined up for the Grand Entrance?
  • WHO will the caterer or site manager check with to make sure you are still on schedule for dinner, toasts and cake cutting?
  • WHO will make sure that you and your new groom always have a drink in hand?
  • WHO will make sure your photographer eats at the same time you do so they can take photos when you are done eating and not stuck eating for two minutes before going back to work for another 4 hours?
  • WHO will make sure you stay on track for your time line and make decisions on your behalf if something goes off track?
  • WHO will deal with issues that arise with the caterer, DJ or Bar Service?
  • WHO will distribute sparklers, bubbles, rice bags, or rose petals for your Grand Exit?
  • WHO will make sure your personal items get boxed up safely and given to someone you assigned?
  • WHO will take home items that are left behind for you to pick up in the next couple days?


If you don't have the answer to any of these questions, please contact me. 

You Dream It, I Create It!

Over the last few years I was lucky enough to meet some people who would lead me in the direction of starting my own company.  Satisfied Weddings will now be known as Nicole Arend Weddings & Events. I would like to thank everyone who has been there to support me on my journey of planning wonderful events and I look forward to planning many more.  If you know anyone that is looking for a wedding or event planner please send them my way. I promise to do some extra special for those who send referrals!