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special:

weddings

A PLANNER’S PERSPECTIVE Popular Louisville wedding planner Lauren Chitwood of Lauren Chitwood Events says brides generally engage her services 9-12 months prior to their event – some as many as 18 months. The average wedding she has handled recently: 200 people The largest: 550 (a private tented event at home) The smallest: 100 people

The most atypical sites: mountaintops, beaches, lakeside, Mega Cavern.

Venue she’s most excited about: Ashbourne Farms, which is in the process of renovating the grounds, the show barn and the surrounding areas. “There are multiple spaces, with a large dining room space in the barn capable of seating a Other exciting new venues: few hundred guests,” she says. “They’ve orchestrated a beautiful lawn and great porches. The Pointe, the former They’re already accepting bookings.” leather goods and cotton sash Chitwood says the average general cost is growing. The current range for her clients is $500-$1,000 per head.

manufacturing building in Butchertown The Hangar at Louisville

Biggest growth area: photography/videExecutive Aviation ography. “More and more, it’s a high priority, especially in digital age,” she says. “The days of a wedding album just sitting on a shelf are passing. Video gives the bride and groom their own theatrical production, and they’re investing accordingly. And posting it all on social media makes it live forever.”

Biggest spend: 30-50 percent of the total budget is spent on aesthetics and décor, according to Chitwood. “Presentation is a huge priority,” she says. “Brides have become more proactive with us in picking out china, flatware, glassware, linen, even the skewers used on the hors d’oeuvres.”

$

BREAKING THE BUDGET

The experts say that more couples are going over budget. And parents are taking over most of the expense. The average breakdown of contributions:

Bride’s parents:

44 percent Bride and groom:

42 percent Groom’s parents:

13 percent 72 TOPS LOUISVILLE | January 2018

Who Has The Most— Or Fewest— Guests? The MOST

Nebraska: 230 Iowa: 210

The FEWEST Hawaii: 74 Nevada: 84

PHOTO COURTESY OF WILTSHIRE PANTRY

WHAT GUESTS ARE DRINKING AND EATING Chitwood identifies three strong trends that are on the rise not just at her weddings, but with brides all over town:

1

Craft cocktails, which require savvy bartenders who can mix more than your standard drinks – “Wiltshire Pantry has an incredible bartending staff.”

2 3

Southern food is alive and well – short ribs, grits – “It’s a part of our culture.”

Farm-to-table “We’re working with venues like Ashbourne Farms and Oxmoor Estate and Gardens, which produce farm-to-table ingredients for events.”

PAY IN G FOR MORE FUN The average number of guests decreased in 2016, to 141 from 149 But the cost per guest increased, to $245 from $194

“Couples are amping up the entertainment and personalization to improve the guest experience.” Photo booths, fireworks, cigar-rolling stations, wine and liquor tastings. “Don’t be surprised to see aerialists, acrobats, live painters or gospel choirs.”

TOPS Louisville: January 2018  
TOPS Louisville: January 2018