Achieving Your Dream Wedding

Are you feeling very overwhelmed while you are planning your wedding? Does eloping seem like a better solution? You can make your wedding less stressful by following a few simple tips. There is information contained in this article that will ease some of the wedding frustration.

Keep in mind this is your day and not anyone else’s, so do what you want to do and don’t be forced to do any family traditions you aren’t comfortable doing. Thank your relatives for their suggestions and ideas, but make it clear to them that the events of the wedding day will ultimately be planned by you and your partner. This way, your wedding day will have good memories for you, and not one filled with regrets on things you wish you had done.

Perhaps you could borrow something from a friend. This can give you the look you want to achieve and make the wedding even more special.

Your wedding day can be very stressful, so plan it a little later in the day. This gives you plenty of time to get ready in the morning without the chore of waking up early. If your time allows, do something for yourself that is relaxing and calms your nerves.

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There’s nothing more important in a wedding than the person who you are marrying. There is not need to hurry this important choice. You should consider the things you enjoy in your companion, as well as the things that irritate you.

If your mother, bridesmaids, or other special people are going to assist you with your wedding gown, have them be dressed and ready to go well in advance of when you expect to be dressing. In the last bit of time before your wedding, all focus should be on your preparations. If they are worried about getting themselves ready, they’re not focused on assisting you.

It’s important to buy a dress which is appealing to your eye, but it should also fit you in a flattering way. If you are short, stay away from altering normal length dresses and opt for the petite section. You will notice the difference and your guests will too!

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Despite what you might have been told, you can put on a excellent wedding without spending six figures. Remember to follow these tips for a great wedding without any financial stress.

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Wedding 101: 10 Things No One Tells You About Your Wedding Day

All right ladies.  Cupcakes and sparkles aside, you will most likely experience a bit of stress on your wedding day.  As I’ve mentioned multiple times, there is no such thing as “perfection” and your wedding day is no exception.  This post is intended to lessen the blow of wedding-day blunders.  I promise I’m not a cynic, just trying to keep it real.  Loosen up a little bit and laugh thru the stress.  After all, memories are created from the quirky, unplanned incidents in life.

1. Keep a cash reserve and blank envelopes on your wedding day for vendor tips.  

You will most definitely incur unforeseen costs on your wedding day.  Whether you need to enlist a last minute harp player because your previously hired musician goes into labor or your rental company has to scramble to move your rain-soaked ceremony to an indoor spot, it is always important to keep cold hard cash on hand.  Tipping your vendors is extremely important and, as always, cash is king.  Save yourself the embarrassment of coming up short at the end of the night by preparing ahead of time.

2. Children will most definitely disobey your wedding wishes.

Your adorable niece and nephew are stepping in as flower girl and ring bearer.  Awesome.  Your ring bearer walks down the aisle picking his nose and your flower girl runs close behind, screaming and crying at the top of her lungs.  Double awesome.  The best advice with kids at weddings is to plan for the worst and hope for the best.  Mother-approved candy bribes never hurt either.

3. You can’t make a deal with higher powers to achieve  perfect weather.

Try as you might, a rain dance ain’t gonna cut it!  Embrace rain, sleet, snow, and wind and go with the flow.  Weather is completely out of your control, no matter what the price you try to pay to keep the weather sunny.  You can, however, create a contingency plan in the case of inclement weather.  Draped tents, anyone?

4. Going to the bathroom in your wedding dress will become a team sport.

Bustles and built-in bras and corsets, oh-my!  Modern wedding dresses can be as difficult to navigate as the ancient Greek labyrinth.  Use some common sense and enlist your buds to help make trips to the bathroom easier.  Your wedding day is the one day you shouldn’t feel guilty  about piling in to the handicapped stall.

5. You will most likely experience a sense of post-wedding depression. 

The past year of your engagement has been nothing short of pure bliss.  You are rocking some serious bling on your finger and had an opportunity to plan a lavish event centered around you and your fiancé.  The day after your wedcding can be compared to the depression that sets in after all of the presents have been opened on Christmas Day or the awful, sinking feeling that you have far exceeded your daily caloric limit on Thanksgiving Eve.  Buck up, buttercup!  This is only the beginning of a fun-filled adventure with your main squeeze.  Enjoy the ride!

6. Just because you’re having the best day of your life doesn’t mean that all of your guests will be sharing in the sentiment.

Whether it’s bitter single girlfriends who are having trouble being happy for you or cranky great-aunts who complain that the reception temperature is too cold, there will always be someone who appears to be having a less than stellar time at your soiree.  Don’t sweat it.  Enjoy your day and ignore the naysayers.

7. You’re going to feel the effects of alcohol much quicker than usual.

Let’s face it, ladies.  You’ve been working out like a maniac, dieting to fit into your gorgeous gown and running around like a chicken with your head cut off to tie up last minute loose ends with vendors.  Eating substantial meals is probably the last thing on your mind during the days leading up to your wedding.  Regardless of whether you’re a teetotaler or only enjoy a glass of champagne on special occasions, you will get drunk faster at your wedding than any other day.  It’s a proven scientific fact.

8. Keep a close eye on your wedding gift envelope table.

Although I hate having to give a warning that seems to be in such bad taste, when alcohol is involved there are times that goodnatured, honest people do shady things.  If the Father-of-the-Bride is not collecting all wedding gift envelopes, make sure you have a designated, secured spot to keep all envelopes and keep it monitored at all times.

9. Not everyone will want to participate in your wedding games and activities.  Let it go!

Yes, we know you spent months poring over Pinterest pins, wedding magazines and blogs to come up with the perfect wedding activities.  You’re a wedding diva, through-and-through.  If your girlfriends don’t want to dress up in funny accessories for your photo booth or your groomsmen don’t feel like blowing bubbles for your ceremony send off, don’t sweat it.  You still get an “A” for effort.

10. Guests are coming to your wedding ready to party.  Hard.

We’ve all seen “Wedding Crashers.”  Don’t feel guilty if you have to tell a guest to take a chill pill for inappropriate alcohol induced behavior or sneak a vodka soda sans vodka into a friend’s hand.  He or she will most likely thank you in their post-wedding haze (or when they see photos posted on Facebook from the wedding).  Party on, brides!

 

(Reblogged from WedInsider)

Planning with Pinterest: Pros & Cons

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We all, meaning I, have spent hours browsing the endless eye candy that Pinterest has to offer. When I first joined I really didn’t understand what it was, other than I was finding tons of recipes, fashion, fitness and wedding (even though I’d already gotten married) ideas that I wanted or wished I could have to put into action. Pinterest can be a great tool to use to plan many things, and for many brides when they get engaged, they go Pin-crazy. I’ve put together a list of good and bad things about trying to Pinterest plan.

Pros:

-Ideas for pictures: I’ve found countless of picture ideas I never would have thought of if I never got online. I can easily show my photographer some great snapshots I can’t go without on my big day.

YES - Have your family and friends in the background of the first kiss instead of the officiant

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First kiss from behind the preacher

Awesome shot!

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– Ideas for colors/bridesmaids dresses and flowers: I can easily show a florist and look for bridesmaids dresses that go along with a shot I’ve seen and easily Pinned.

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-Easy organization. When visit a vendor or go to the bridal salon to buy bridesmaids dresses, I can easily whip out my phone and show colors, ideas and my vision. I don’t have to print out endless amounts of pictures and remember to bring them with me when I meet with a vendor. It’s all right there!

Cons:

-Idea and Information Overload: One could possibly spend countless hours looking at ALL of the great ideas for favors, pictures, colors, decorations, extra fun activities, etc. But you can easily get overwhelmed with all of the ideas, trying to do all of these great ideas that sounded good at the time but make you lose track of the purpose of the day- marrying the love of your life. I was talking to a friend of mine whose friend recently got married, and commented that she got so caught up in doing all of the ideas she saw on Pinterest, it became too stressful.  You don’t want to spend your wedding day stressing over whether the photographer is going to still be there at the end to snap that awesome ‘sparkler picture’.

-Will I be able to afford that?: As many start to actually plan their wedding, they quickly realize that:

True!!!

Things you think you are definitely going to have at your wedding- like a rustic barn venue and vintage cowboy boots for all of your bridesmaids- might not be a financial reality.  Looking at all the pictures then realizing what you can actually afford can leave you feeling inadequate and unfulfilled. Just remember that you don’t need all the bells and whistles- remember the true meaning of the day!

absolutely amazing

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– Usability of images you find: Again, as you start to plan, you’ll probably realize that some of the stuff you Pinned really isn’t even useful to your actual planning.

 Pinterest can be fun- but try not to get overwhelmed! It’s really easy to get caught up in “I need to do this” and “I must have this”. Don’t lose sight of the point of your day. My advice is pick 2-3 really good ideas that you find and focus on those instead of trying to focus on 15 things you find you want to do.

Blog inspired by Pencil & Pancakes

Wedding 101: 6 Things To Consider With Invitations

There is proper etiquette when it comes to sending out invitations and all sorts of fancy fonts… but you can Google that.  What’s really important, is how to make your life easier for you and your guests by remembering a few key additions:

1) Add a visual timeline

A timeline people can hang onto the day of or post on their fridge is much more beneficial than the invitation that is crowded with calligraphy and fancy words.  Either add this to the top on your formal invitation or include it as a separate card in the envelope… maybe even make it into a magnet.

2) Children or No Children

If you are inviting everyone and their kids, make sure to include a choice of a children’s meal on the reply card.  If you do not want guests to assume their children are invited or only certain children, make sure you DO NOT add a children’s meal choice on ALL the reply cards.  If you address the invite to “Mr. & Mrs. Turner” and not “Mr. & Mrs. Turner and Family”, you will almost certainly get a phone call from them asking, “I see a children’s meal on the reply card…are the kids invited too?”.  AHHHH O NO!  Then you have to explain to them how only certain kids are coming and not theirs…that’s added stress you don’t need.

Avoid most of those inquiries by only adding a children’s meal choice with the invites who have children who are invited.  It might seem like a lot of extra work, but it is well worth it.

3) Include postage on the reply card

Not only would it appear to be tacky, you might not get many replies back.  Make sure to budget for the extra couple hundred dollars in postage for the reply cards because you might be shocked after you spend all that money on your dream invitations.  Most people will assume postage is added and drop it in the mail without even checking.  This creates a chance for reply cards to be lost or returned and never re-sent…then you will have 50 extra people show up who RSVP’d, but you didn’t know.

4) Make meal choices clear, but not too clear

If you decide to offer plated meals, remember to have guests let you know which meal they would like so you can mark the place cards accordingly.  You do not need to tell them you are having “Seared Sirloin with a light demi-glaze and a side of asparagus and twice-baked garlic potatoes”…just tell your guests it is BEEF!  You will avoid endless phone calls asking what you mean by “demi-glaze” and if they can get chicken strips instead.

What you should do is allow for a place to:
-accept or decline your invitation
-initial or circle a meal choice for each guest invited

5) Number the back of your RSVP Cards. 

This is such a good idea and you’ll thank me later for it 😉 because some people write a no where they should put their name and you have no idea who it is! Once you get them back in the mail, go into your excel spreadsheet and mark them coming or not coming. Then you also don’t have to worry about losing the cards and you can easily tell who still owes you one.

6) Most importantly…  DO NOT include registry information with the formal invitations

As much as you would like people to know where they can buy you all sorts of goodies, it is rude.  Call me old fashion, but a wedding is a celebration of love, not gifts and money.  You should be happy to be blessed with your guests’ presence and you do not want them to think anything other.  Registry information should be common knowledge to your bridal party and they can spread the word, posted on your wedding website, or only spoken of if asked.  If people really want to know, they will ask.

 

 

Getting Back RSVP’s

No matter what you do, there will always be family members and friends who will never send back the RSVP…either it was lost, forgotten, or they just didn’t think it is necessary.  They are usually the people who show up without sending in the RSVP or calling the day before in a panic because they just remembered…. Classic!

The best way to avoid as many of those problems as possible is to give your guests more than one option to RSVP.

You do not need to list all the options on your invitations, but you should make if very clear an RSVP is mandatory (give a cut-off date).  You can provide multiple ways to RSVP and list them on your wedding website.  Some websites will allow you take RSVPs on their website. Here are a list of ways you might want to consider using:

*CAUTION* some ways of RSVPing might miss out on critical information like meal choice, so take that into consideration and choose appropriately based on the type of wedding you are having.

1) Mail In

2) Add phone and email to invitations and/or wedding website for fast RSVP

3) Wedding Website – i.e. The Knot, eWedding, mywedding  (*might not accept meal choices)

4) RSVP Online manager (http://www.perfectweddings.sg/free-online-rsvp-and-guest-list-tool)

5) Twitter or Facebook page

6) Give incentive for RSVPing – i.e. every RSVP receives a drink ticket or a special gift

Hopefully this will help you avoid calling up your Aunt Betty and verifying that she will indeed be at your wedding (with her bird cage hat and all).

Reblogged from Wedding 101

Save The Date Etiquette

In today’s world, planning ahead has become a necessity. “Save The Dates” allow your guests to plan for your wedding day well in advance. This is especially important for out-of-town guests, destination weddings, or weddings taking place near a holiday. Remember, this is not an announcement, it’s just a heads up.

Guests
Save the date etiquette is vital. The most important thing to do before sending out a save the date card is to finalize your guest list. The save the date card is a pre-announcement that lets your guests know to expect an invitation to be a guest at your wedding.

Once you sent out a save the date card to a guest, you cannot un-invite them. And I stress CANNOT. If, by chance there is a wedding budget crisis, and you need to make guest cuts, it is good to know this before you send out the cards. You can trim a guest list easier when the guests are not yet pre-invited.

Tracy Ryan

When you send out a save the date card, be sure to list if the person invited can include a guest. There are a couple of ways this can be done. If you know the name of the guest that will be invited, include them when addressing the card. If not, it is acceptable to include “and guest”. Also, if children are to be included, list them on the card as well.

When should save the dates be sent?
Send them as soon as you set your wedding date and have secured your ceremony and reception sites… This can be from 6 months to a year before the wedding. When planning your destination wedding, the more time you can give your guests the better, it can be a year or mom in advance.

Helpful info:
The only guests who will be invited to the wedding should receive a save the date. For wording, keep it shirt and sweet! Your names, wedding date and “Invitation with details to follow.” If it’s a destination wedding, it would be good to include travel agencies along with resort and hotel information.

Your save the dates can be anything from refrigerator magnets to photo postcards, the sky is the limit! Here are some of my favorite that I’ve found on Pinterest … you can find more on my pin board…. SAVE THE DATE.

Wedding 101: Addressing Wedding Invitations

Wedding invitation etiquette has been followed since the ancient times. While in the earlier times, before the use of commercial printers, weddings and events were announced right in the central part of the locality by a town crier. It was a common thing for nobility to give a token to monks for creating hand-crafted wedding invites to be delivered via courier. Today, there are so many beautiful wedding invitation ideas, affordable and formal, most perfect to invite guests.

Wedding invitation etiquette is very important for sending out invitations to guests. It is imperative to follow the golden rules of wedding invitations so that you do not miss out on anything. Because wedding is grand event, much respected in all parts of the world, wedding invitation should bear a semblance with the emotions attached to the event.

 

Source: Pinterest

All Caked Out

Wedding Cakes

I love wedding cake.. it’s the part I look forward to at each wedding… I especially love all the details in the cake’s decoration.  There two websites I have found that have amazing designs and pay so much attention to detail….

Three little blackbirds and The Caketress took my breath away with their remarkable creativity! These two companies really know how to design pretty cakes and their attention to detail especially with their hand-painted cakes and edible flowers is exquisite.

White and cream pearl cake

Image credit: My dream wedding decorations

Cream ruffled wedding cake

Image credit: Yummy wedding food

Aqua and grey wedding cake

Image credit: Venue safari

Modern colourful abstract wedding cake

Black and white modern typography wedding cake

Image credit: Brides.

Purple candy wedding cake

Image credit: Brides.  — A candy decorated cake. Clever and cute! The cake topper is also super cute and a great DIY cake topper idea.

Bride and groom cake pops

Image credit: Arktimes

I like the idea of cake pops but I suggest that you still have a wedding cake even if it is a small one. You don’t have to serve the smaller cake to your guests. At the end of the day you don’t want to regret not having one at your wedding.

pleated blue and coral wedding cake

Image credit: Jens cakes

Lavendar lace wedding cake

Image credit: Three little blackbirds

Vintage colour wedding cake

Image credit: Three little blackbirds

Purple flower wedding cake

Image credit: Three little blackbirds

Pastel pink and blue wedding cake

Image credit: Three little blackbirds

Whimsical trio of cakes

Image credit: The Caketress

White cake with flower details

Image credit: The Caketress

Blue and white elegant

Image credit: The Caketress

Colourful abstract wedding cake art

Image credit: The Caketress

Blog Inspired by TOAST

“Off-Season” Weddings

As we near the end of the year and the beginning of another, seems like wedding season is finally slowing down. October has defiantly become the new “it” season to get married. Last month alone, I personally know about 14 people who got married. That’s a lot more than the people I know who got married back in May.

So with that being said, is there an “off-season” for weddings? I believe so, but it depends on the area. During the holidays, I believe you find fewer people saying “I Do” as this time of year so many of us are in the hustle and bustle between Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years.

Here in South Carolina, busy season is March-June and then September-November. Clearly, that’s when the weather is the best here. Up north, I can tell you it’s very much the opposite. So let’s say that YES, wedding seasons do indeed exist for each market. And now on to part 2 of this discussion, what you really want to know…

Do “off season” discounts exist?

This is a tough one. It’s not quite as definitive as a season being determined by the weather and time of year. From my experience, it just totally depends on the person you’re dealing with. It also depends on the TYPE of vendor you’re dealing with. A photographer or a service-based professional may be less likely to offer an “off season” discount because they’re doing the same amount of work no matter when and where your wedding takes place. On the other hand, a venue or someone providing a rental product might be more apt to give a discount because of the “off season”. (I think it’s safe to say that these statements also apply to the whole Friday wedding discount thing.)

As a wedding coordinator, my own answer in regards to giving an off season discount? That would be a big fat NO. Because service is service. A wedding is a wedding (YOUR wedding at that!) and I’m not going to work any differently just because I don’t have a wedding every weekend of that month. Yes, I know the argument of, “Oh well if they don’t have anything booked, they want to make money don’t they?” But the reality is that wedding professionals know that there are busy seasons and slow seasons. And if they’re experienced professionals, they plan and prepare for that. Most actually take their family vacations, attend conferences, or work on personal projects during “off season”.

Whenever speaking in terms of money for weddings, I always like to put things in context of another “normal” situation (Since for some strange reason weddings are often seen as being “outside” of normal situations).

If you decided to go to the movies on a weeknight and it’s empty, do you ask for a discount on your ticket or concession stand food? 

Probably not, right? So in all honesty, why would it be okay to do that for your wedding?

I’m sure some of you have experienced special discounts for “off season”- I’m not saying they don’t exist. I’m just saying don’t count on it. Don’t choose a wedding date just because it’s during what is said to be the “off season”. Choose your date because that’s when you want- and if it happens to be during off season, then I guess you’ll get to test the theory!

At The Center…

wedding centerpiece ideas A centerpiece may be the focal point on a table but it does not have to be too extreme or cost you the earth. Many brides have created something special with a few flowers and a mason jar. Just because you choose something that is DIY or looks DIY does not mean you have to do it yourself, it could however land up saving you a lot of money at the end of the day if you did.

7 tips on how to have/make a fabulous centerpiece on a DIY budget.

1. Buy some of the items yourself. If you choose to have a glass jar or book in the centerpiece ask the decor company if you can supply your own and get a discount on the centerpieces for doing so. If you are doing the centerpiece yourself buy books from a second-hand store or use some of your own. Buy the glass jars and jugs directly from the supplier if you can.

2. Be aware of things when you shop or page through magazines.
You will often find the item you are looking for, for cheaper when shopping around or reading the captions below the images in bridal magazines. You might even find an idea that is similar and equally beautiful but is less effort and less expensive.

3. When doing a centerpiece yourself ALWAYS go straight to suppliers or factory stores first. Smaller stores have to put a further mark-up on products, which might be convenient but it will be more expensive. You will also be exposed to a wider range of items at the supplier.

4. Choose flowers that are in season or buy fresh bunches. Buy bunches of fresh flowers from your local flower shop and arranging those in jars or vases. This will save you a fortune.  When you find a bunch you like be sure to take a photo,  and ask if it will be available at the time of your wedding.

5. Practice makes perfect. If you plan on doing it yourself, the flower arranging can be a bit tricky so practice as many times as you need to. Don’t get frustrated as having something on the table you designed or created from scratch will be worthwhile. It gives your wedding that extra personal touch. Take photos so that the day before the wedding the person arranging it for you knows exactly how you want it arranged.

6. A little bit of ribbon and lace can go a long way. Spice things up with some ribbon, twine or lace to give your centerpiece that finished look. If you’ve chosen a colourful or vintage tin then you might want to skip the ribbon or lace, see what works and go with it.

7. Make sure to place your table number on or close to your centerpiece. If your table number is fairly plain this will bring it to life and complement the centerpiece.

Have a look at the lovely images below for inspiration and centerpiece ideas.

Centerpiece book pastel shades wedding

Image credit: The High Life Suite

Table setting centerpiece with books and mason jarsImage credit: Fanantique

Elegant vintage centerpiece tin

Image credit: Heart Love Weddings

Centerpiece and table setting Rustic

Image credit: Miss to Missus

White flower centerpiece in silver vase

Image credit: Tipsy Bride

Yellow modern centerpiece

Wine bottle centerpiece rustic

Image credit: My Wedding

Wine bottle centerpiece table number

Image credit:  Martha Stewart

Modern colourful flower centerpiece

Image credit: Brides

Colourful Vintage centerpiece DIY

Image credit: Sour Cherry

Rustic vintage colourful tin centerpiece

Image credit: Martha Stewart

Modern rustic vintage centerpiece

Image credit: Aileen Tran

Vintage rustic bowl centerpiece

Rustic wood centerpiece DIY

Image credit: HWTM

Please click on Hwtm link to see the full tutorial.

Rustic flower wood centerpiece

Image credit: One Wed

Colourful flower centerpiece wood

Image credit: Brides

DIY Jar centerpiece

Image credit: Heather Spriggs

Centerpiece birdcage vintage

Image credit: Sawdust and Cream

Vintage jar centerpiece

Image credit: Ruffled Blog

White flower wood rustic centerpiece

Rustic colourful centerpiece

Image credit: Bravo Bride

White jug centerpiece vintageImage credit: Knots and Kisses

Milk jug centerpiece vintage rustic

Image credit: Rock My Wedding

Colourful flowers and jar centerpiece

Image credit: Elizabeth Anne Designs

Blue Mason jar centerpiece

Image credit: Magnet Street

Centerpiece purple books and jarImage credit: Celebration

So many pretty ideas to choose from! Remember to never underestimate your creativity when creating a centerpiece.

 

Blog Inspired by TOAST