Fantasy Sports Weddings

Fantasy Isn’t Just For Football.



Now that the Big Game is history, it’s time to turn our attention back to the second most popular contact sport in America: wedding planning.  Just kidding, but occasionally the stress can feel like a blindside hit from Ray Lewis.  So relax, and think about throwing an All-American wedding using your favorite sport as your theme.


It all begins with a proposal on a football field, with a couple in jerseys and tennis shoes. If you’re at a major stadium, you can even arrange to have that special moment displayed on the Jumbotron for all sixty thousand of your new best friends to see.

Then the planning starts. Are you going to schedule the wedding for a game day? Not unless you don’t mind having most of the guests hanging out in the bar, glued to the TV.

If you so choose, your ceremony can begin with the national anthem, and there should be a field nearby so your photographer can take pictures of your wedding party playing football.  I’ve seen it done more than once, but you have to make sure you have enough attendants to make a game of it.


And if you want to go the whole nine yards (sorry), you’ll need football inspired wedding attire. The officiant should be wearing black and white stripes, the bride’s shoes could be sequined cleats and the garter can sport your team’s logo.  The groom will be wearing his lucky game-day socks, the same pair he wears every Sunday afternoon in the fall.

What better way to enter your reception than with a bride and groom touchdown dance? When you hit the dance floor, the DJ will rock classic fight songs.

Kellogg Photography

But there is one big difference.  As a famous NFL running back said when asked about the Super Bowl, “If this is the ultimate game, how come there’s another one next year?”  For you, there really is no next season, so just get out on the floor and dance!

Is A New Year’s Eve Wedding A Good Idea?

We just started 2013, but that doesn’t mean someone out there is looking to plan a New Year’s Eve wedding for this year. But is it a good idea?

new year's eve wedding

A New Year’s Eve wedding can be a blast. It’s hard to imagine anyone not having a good time with all that good cheer going around. Symbolically, what could be better than starting the year off with your new status? On the other hand, it’s not a wholly positive thing. If you’re thinking of having a New Year’s Eve wedding, make sure you consider some of these issues.

Vendors and venues may not be available, and those who are available will probably be more expensive. During most of the year you’re only competing with other brides and grooms for dates, but on New Year’s Eve there are many more opportunities for professionals. They need to charge a premium for their services.

Time of day If you’re getting married on New Year’s Eve your party has to last until after midnight. If you were already planning on having a nighttime wedding, that’s not a big deal. But, if you wanted a more casual, earlier event, you’re out of luck. If you want to start the wedding early enough for older relatives and those with kids to enjoy, then you’re talking about an extra long reception.

Anniversaries You will never in your life be able to celebrate your anniversary with something that’s both special and affordable. On the plus side, you will never forget your anniversary.

Guests This depends on who your friends are. Some may be psyched that you’ve saved them the cost of planning a big New Year’s Eve out. Some may be aggravated that you’ve decided how they should celebrate New Year’s Eve. Some people will already have the time off of work, others may find it impossible to get the time off.

Planning time Depending on your job, you may automatically have the week before your wedding off and not need to take vacation time. At the very least, you’ll have the day after your wedding off. Unless of course, you’re in the service industry, in which case, good luck with that. Keep in mind, too, that if you’re planning a normal sized wedding with the standard fixings it will take longer to plan. That’s because of our first point about vendors and venues. You’ll need to get the date locked in early.

What do you think? Are you a fan of New Year’s Eve weddings? Tell us in the comments.


(Reblooged from

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.

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.

“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!

Sending Save The Dates

This is probably one of the most common things that I’m asked. When is the right time to… <insert your wedding-related thing>? Everything is always going to be unique to your own situation, but in general, there are good time periods for things to be done for your wedding. So, I thought that I would help answer some of those questions…

When is the right time to send out Save The Dates? Save The Dates should be sent out 8-6 months before your wedding. 8 months if you know you’ll be having people travel or if it’s around a holiday time. Really, 8 months is the ideal time-frame to let people know about your wedding. Anything less than 6 months before your wedding, why not just save your money and send your invites a little earlier? 🙂


What to include in your Save The Date:

– The city that your wedding will be occurring in

– Your wedding website (which should have lots more info about your wedding for your guests)

– Your names & the date (duh, but just in case you forgot!)

– That a formal invitation will be following


Source: Pinterst

My best piece of advice for Save The Dates is to work with a designer– preferably the same one you want to work with for your invitations. It’s pretty awesome to have all of your paper products match and go with the style and theme of your wedding! Plus, Save The Dates are the very first glimpse of your wedding- you want them to be awesome so your guests can get excited about your wedding! There are SO many great ideas for Save The Dates out there- just have a look on Pinterest or browse through the ELV Paper Pros if you need inspiration!


If you’ve already sent your Save The Dates, when did you send yours and what did you do? Have you seen any AWESOME Save The Date ideas?!

Wedding 101: 5 Things To Do First!

Now that you’re engaged, what do you do now? Soon after you get engaged, all the excitement sets in! You run to the book store, buy every wedding magazine on the shelf . You look at the checklist, the planning timelines, budget recommendations and you feel that you need to get everything done as quickly as possible! It happens to all of us. That would be the best thing to do if you are planning to get married in the next 6 months. But if you’re not, there’s no rush.

Wedding planning happens kind of like a roller coaster. You do stuff for a few weeks, and then you have a break. A  few weeks/months (depending on how long you have until your wedding) later, you have more things to check off your list, and then you have another break. And there you have it- a really fun, pretty, and happy roller coaster ride known as planning your wedding.

But there are 5 things I believe you need to get done first:

 1: Set a budget

You really shouldn’t do anything before you decided on your budget.  Everything you do planning-wise from here on our reflects your budget.  It’s a tough conversation, but it needs to be discussed and decided on before anything else. Figure out who is contributing, how much they can contribute, and what your total budget will be. Then you can move on…

 2: Choose 2-3 possible dates

To Be safe choose 2-3 possible dates to have your wedding. Think of what time of year you like, the weather, work schedules/vacation time, holidays, and yes, even football (or whatever sport your fiance is crazy about) schedules. Then choose your #1 preferred date, and have a #2 and #3 available in case your preferred date isn’t available. Heads up:  Some venues even book up to a year and half in advance!  (Here are some other tips to keep in mind while picking a date)

 3: Start your guest list

This is another tough item. Of course, you want to invite everyone and their uncles to your wedding. I’m warning you. You’re going to list everyone you know, friends you haven’t seen in years but still “know” thanks to Facebook, coworkers you don’t even like, and I’m sure your mom will want her friends to be on the list too. But in reality, the more people you have, the more you have to spend. This is why you do your budget first.

Example: You want to have 200 guests. Your budget is $30,000. This means that you will have $150 per guest.  And that’s not including flowers, dress, and all your other vendors.

So starting your guest list and knowing your estimated count early on is imperative. And keep in mind- nothing is set in stone. Guest counts normally go down by the time the wedding day comes around anyways. And believe me… it gets really easy to cut those people you haven’t talked to in forever. But it’s crucial to have an estimation of how many people you’re planning on so you can make some decisions! 

 4: Decide on your wedding’s style

Vintage, modern, classic, eclectic, punk, rustic… there are SO many styles. Most styles also coincide with decor and details too. But none of that has to be decided on right away. Just know the general “gist” of the style of how you want your wedding to be. Once you know that, it’ll be easier to decide on your venue. Which brings us to…

 5: Decide on your venue

Once you’ve laid the “foundation” for your wedding, you can start researching and touring venues. When you’re researching and you’ve found one you like, I recommend emailing or calling to find out if they have any of your possible dates available. If they do, then go ahead and schedule a meeting to tour the venue! Give yourself a few weeks to tour all of your possibilities,, crunch numbers, envision and dream of your wedding, and then pull the trigger on your venue! Once you have your venue booked (meaning deposit made) and your date secured…you are well on your way to getting married!

Things You May Not Think Of While Planning

My first wedding anniversary is quickly approaching (my how time is flying). Thinking back to that day last May has me thinking about the things I went through to get there.  I wanted to share some things I learned or heard of from friends. These are things that as a bride, you may not think about right away when planning your wedding, or even might possibly forget about on the day of. Just some tidbits for you to consider!

Setup: So you’ve done a great job planning all the details of your wedding, and everything is ready to go for the big day.  However, have you thought about the plan for setting up your wedding? If you can set everything up the night before, that’s great! That will make things a lot easier and be set up the way you want it.  But what if there’s another event at your venue the night before your wedding? When are you going to have time in between getting your hair and make-up done to arrange some of the awesome DIY projects that you’ve made?  Or arrange your escort cards in that really cool way you planned on? Chances are, you, your mom, nor other family members are going to want to be breaking a sweat setting up for your wedding a few hours before you walk down the aisle. Most venues will often help with the setup, but they aren’t going to know your vision for how you want everything to look. Your best bet is to have an event design company or wedding coordinator do these things for you.

Wedding Day Transportation: This is something that brides often don’t consider until a week or two before their wedding.  It sounds simple, but stop and think about it for a quick second. If your ceremony is somewhere other than your reception site, everyone is going to need to get there. If you have a limo, it picks up you and your bridesmaids, but what about the groomsmen? There are a ton of different situations for handling transportation, and they are all unique to each wedding depending on location, time, and people. All in all, the best option is to have a limo take the groomsmen to the ceremony first, and then pick up you and yours bridesmaids. But then you may have members of the bridal party asking you how they will be getting home if they’re traveling in a limo, causing you unnecessary stress. These are all things that need to be decided prior to your wedding day. Don’t forget!


Time For Pictures: Ah the infamous time for photographs. There can never be too much time allotted for photographs. Guests hate it, photographers love it, and brides and grooms are clueless about it. The traditional way of taking photos following the ceremony usually results in posed family photos, people getting annoyed, and few quick shots of the bridal party and you and your new husband. A cocktail hour is a good way to keep your guests entertained while giving you some time to take great photographs. However, if photos are important to you, then consider taking photos before the ceremony. It’s not considered traditional but it’s becoming more and more popular. Photographers are calling it “First Look.”  It gives you some additional photos capturing the very moment you and your groom see each other for the first time. We decided to do this and they are some of our favorite photos! Taking pictures prior to the ceremony definitely results in better pictures, and more time to enjoy each other on your wedding day! Trust me, you will not regret taking your photos before the ceremony. And your photographer will love you for it.

Photos By JKay

Backup Weather Plan: When choosing your wedding date and the type of wedding you are having, hopefully you figured the weather into the equation. Do you have a backup weather plan? If your ceremony is being held outside, do you have an alternate location? If the reception is outside, do you have tents? Another time to have a weather backup plan is for your photo time. Have an indoor location picked out just in case it rains or if it’s unbearably hot or cold outside. You don’t want to have a ton time for photographs and then end up getting none because of the weather.

Vendor Love: Hopefully you chose your vendors and know what they will be doing for you on your wedding day. Your vendors are all doing you a service. It’s just as if you were getting your hair done, or being served at a restaurant, just more focused on you and your wedding! If you can, please give your vendors tips for their services. It’s not required, but it is in good taste. Also keep in mind that the vendors that are at your wedding will be on a similar schedule to you. Therefore, as humans, their dinnertime is most likely the same time as yours. Provide meals for your vendors. It can be the same thing you are serving your guests, or something else, like a sandwich or pasta. They will greatly appreciate it.

These are certainly not all of the things that tend to be looked over when planning a wedding, but they’re the first that came to mind for me. If you have a wedding planner, expect for these things to be touched upon prior to your wedding. However, if you do not have a planner, as a lot of brides don’t, these are some great things for you to remember! I want everyone to have the best wedding possible, and part of having the best wedding is avoiding any possible pitfalls your might encounter on your wedding day!

Is It Too Soon…?

Now that the planning has begun, you may start asking yourself, “How soon is too soon…?” or “Is it too early to….?”  When it comes to vendors, it just depends on the type of vendor you are looking for, the time of year you are getting married and most important your location.

For instance, if you are planning an April/May/October wedding in the “Holy City” of Charleston, which is considered one of the top places for a destination wedding, I would recommend you book your vendors as early as possible. But overall, there is pretty much an order to stick to when it comes to booking vendors. One thing to keep in mind too… the best vendors book up fast!

Courtesy: K. Harrelson

1. Find and book your wedding planner.  It doesn’t have to be a full wedding planner who will plan every detail for you.  It’s just a good idea to meet with a planner to discuss ideas and get vendor recommendations.

2. Choose your date and book your venue. These two go hand-in-hand. If you have a venue that you love, but they’re not available for the day you want, you can flexible with your date. Or if you’re set on a date, you can shop for venues that are available for your wedding day.

3. As soon as you’ve booked your venue and you have your date, you will want to nail down your photographer. By now you should have a good idea of the style of photography you like . Meet with a couple photographers, and then book your favorite ASAP!

4. Consider hiring an event design and decor company. It will cover a couple different vendors for you, and the majority of the time save you money (in rentals, fees, and delivery). These companies usually encompass lighting, flowers, draping, rentals and basically the all around look and decor for your wedding. They’ll handle setting everything up and tearing everything down for you too, which is a big plus. If you’re not going to use an event decor company, you’ll need to find your florist and vendors for lighting, draping, and any rentals.

5. If your venue doesn’t provide food already, find your caterer!

6. Decide if you want a live band or a DJ to handle the music for your wedding. Do your research- ask for recommendations, look on Wedding Wire or The Knot.

7. Definitely consider hiring a videographer/cinematographer for your wedding day. There is nothing like actually seeing the events of the day in real action.

8. Finally, there’s any other vendors that you might need- a photo booth, cigar rollers, day-of coordinator (if you didn’t already hire one for step 1), etc.

This list is based on what books up first, based on my experience. It’s very common for good vendors to be booked a year out. This is especially the case for popular wedding dates and seasons. Pretty much, it’s never too early to book your vendors- although something like 5 years is a little iffy. The earlier, the better. If you figure it all out early on, you can enjoy being engaged, planning other aspects of your wedding and planning on starting your life with the person you love!

Wedding 101: Picking the perfect date

You just got engaged and the first question everyone asks after wishing you congratulations is, “When’s the wedding?”

For some, it may be easy to decide on the date as many people go with the day they met their significant other or the anniversary of their engagement. But for others, picking from 365 days can be overwhelming.

Here are some things to keep in mind when picking your date:

  • Consider the season

Do you want blooming flowers in Spring, a warm Summer’s day, the cool Autumn breeze or a Winter wonderland wedding? Depending on your job as well, that might play a factor in when you get married. In the south, and this may sound crazy, one thing many brides keep in mind another season. That’s football season. Many ladies and their future husbands check their team’s schedules to make sure it’s a weekend they aren’t playing or an away game before setting their date.

  • Deciding what day for the ceremony

Traditionally, weddings are held on Saturdays but it’s become more common for weddings to be held on Friday nights or Sunday afternoons.  Your budget may also be a factor in deciding what day to get married. Many venues and vendors offer discounts if you get married during the week or on Sunday. Be sure to ask about that!

  • Getting married around holidays

When picking a wedding date, you should also be considering the holidays that might fall on the date that you have chosen. It might help you plan a wedding that matches with the spirit of the said holiday. You can have a wedding on the Fourth of July with your own fireworks to give life to the ceremony.

You might pick a wedding date that falls on a holiday weekend if you expect guests coming from other places. The long weekend can make their trip less hectic. But then there might also be a risk on picking dates on long holidays. Your guests may already have their own plans of going somewhere else.

  • How long should you be engaged?

This is a question many people wonder but it’s totally up to you and your future spouse. In my opinion, I say give your self a year to plan your wedding. That way you have time to plan without stressing as well as saving money to pay for the big event. It’s possible to have a short engagement or one that lasts several years.

Most importantly, before making a final decision, run it by close family members and friends, especially ones you hope to have in your bridal party. You will absolutely want to include these people in your day!