Planning A Wedding…While At Work

Wedding planning might be a full-time job, but chances are you’ve also got that other full-time job — you know, the one you had long before he put that ring on your finger. Even if you’ve hired a hands-on wedding planner, you probably still need to decide on some things yourself. How to deal? Plan for some serious, um — let’s call it multitasking. Here’s how to find the time do it all without winding up in hot water with your boss.

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When to Do What

Finding Vendors: Daytime 
Researching vendors online — checking out sites or reading other to-be-weds’ recommendations — is an obvious one for that spare five minutes before you have to run into a meeting. One caveat: Make sure the volume on your computer is turned off, or at least way down! If a digitized version of “Wedding March” starts blasting, you are so busted.

Finding Inspiration: Daytime
Here’s another instance where the Internet is your best friend — browse for gowns, bouquets, and more online. You’re more likely to have an aha moment the more you see, so spending time online is a good way to get through the doldrums of your work day (like mid-afternoon, when lunch is ancient history and it feels like the end of the day is never going to come).

Know your priorities

Sure, you might need to finalize the guest list today, but don’t do it at the expense of a huge work project. In the long run, you’re much worse off compromising a work deadline than a wedding one.

Visiting Vendors: Free time
Unless you’re just doing a drive-by to check out their digs, keep actual vendor visits to your days off or weekends.

You’re going to want to visit most vendors as a tag team, so you’ll need your fiance with you. More importantly, if you really like the vendor, you can talk much longer without worrying about going over your lunch hour. Better to play it safe and plan visits for when you know you don’t have work commitments.

DIY Stuff: Nighttime
Did you really think you’d be able to assemble programs at your desk? Or that your boss won’t notice you printing out 200 favor cards on the color printer? Wedding projects (like tying the bows on all those favor boxes) are definitely a nighttime activity — kick back with a glass of wine and a DVD of the last season of Grey’s Anatomy while you fold 300 sheets of vellum.

Making Lists: Anytime
Playlists, guest lists, and even to-do lists — whether you manage them online or on paper, keep these at your fingertips so whenever you think of something, you can update them.

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3 Tricks for Not Getting Caught

Stay on Task

You want to fly under the radar — if it’s blatantly obvious that your work time has become wedding time, you risk the wrath of your coworkers or even worse, your boss. You can’t let wedding planning take up your entire day, but you can definitely let it replace time you would have spent instant messaging. The key: Stay on top of your normal tasks and goals, and don’t let planning affect your performance.

Go Online

Do not, we repeat, do not bring your wedding binder to work. A notebook full of decor ideas and fabric swatches is way too obvious (unless perhaps you’re an interior decorator). Leave the real deal at home and add ideas to a digital notebook (like the one on TheKnot.com) at work. You can save articles, photos, and gowns you like — and remember, if you really need something you can actually hang onto, you can always print out the pics.

Watch Your Back

It should be obvious, but use your best judgment when it comes to planning your wedding while you’re supposed to be working on your work (you know, the stuff they’re actually paying you to do). Don’t leave a wedding-related web page or document on your screen if you have to step away from your desk — close or minimize it. And keep more than one window open so if someone comes by it’s easy to tab over from your reception site’s floor plan to something more legit.

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4 Ways to Max Out Your Free Time

Your Commute

In the subway? Read wedding magazines or go over your lists. On the train or a bus? Use a laptop or Blackberry to email or surf the web wirelessly or, if it’s not too loud, make a few quick check-in phone calls with vendors before their day gets too busy. Driving? Use the voice notes feature on your cell phone to record any sudden bursts of inspiration. No matter how you commute, use your iPod or CD player to preview potential ceremony or first dance tunes — you’d feel lazy sitting around your house doing it, but if you’re stuck in traffic, why not crank up Pachelbel’s Canon in D?

Your Lunch Hour

Plan to devote at least a few days a week to vendor phone calls. The key is to plan out your conversation beforehand and make a list so it can be swift and tactful. That way, you’ll still have time to enjoy that grilled chicken salad.

Your Workout

Don’t just watch CNN scroll by while you’re pedaling away on a stationary bike. Instead, use some of the time for wedding-related reading (for example, print out a bunch of ceremony or vow ideas to read over). If you go to the gym at the end of the day, that’s a good time to read back over your to-do lists, check off what you’ve completed, and jot down notes for what you need to do next.

Making Dinner

Whether you’re waiting for the oven to preheat or unwinding while your fiance does the work, use the time in between prep work and mealtime to hop online. A watched pot never boils anyway, right? Hit the message boards, Real Weddings, or gown search on TheKnot.com and make that spare 5 or 10 minutes count.

3 Things to Watch Out For

Limit Your Sources

If you’re asking your coworkers for a bit of wedding advice — even something simple like, “Do you like periwinkle better than peach?” — make sure they’re on your invite list. The more a work pal feels involved in your wedding, the more she’ll feel snubbed when that big square envelope doesn’t arrive. The exception: if you’ve already made it clear your guest list is going to be limited.

Get Your Apology Accepted

You’re running late handing in an update on a project, your boss comes over to check on you, and — uh-oh — you’re on TheKnot.com message boards. How do you deal? First, fess up. In this case, honesty is the best policy. Tell her the project’s actual status, and say that you just needed a minute to clear your head before plunging back into your work. Then try not to let it happen again. If you arouse your superior’s suspicions, you’ll be monitored that much more closely.

Protect Yourself

Look up your company’s policy for computer use. No employer wants you to use your computer for personal reasons, but what you need to check out is just how extensively your online activity is monitored. If it seems like Big Brother is watching, you may need to scale back your at-work wedding planning — but don’t worry, you’ll still find a way to get it all done.
(Reblogged from The Knot)

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New Year, New Bridal Shows

So that most popular time of year to get engaged has just passed so many new girls have a sparkly ring on their left hand and now they are ready to start planning their big day.

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Here’s a look at some of the upcoming bridal shows across South Carolina! MARK YOUR CALENDAR!!

 

CHARLESTON:

* Sunday, January 13th – The Charleston Bridal Show – The Marriott Hotel (Lockwood Blvd) – Noon until 5pm

* Sunday, February 17th – Southern Bridal Show – Charleston Area Convention Center – Noon until 5pm

* Sunday, August 18th – Southern Bridal Show – Charleston area Convention Center – Noon until 5pm

 

COLUMBIA:

* Sunday, January 6th – WNOK Bridal Expo – Columbia Metro Convention Center – 1pm until 5pm

* Sunday, February 24th – St. Andrews Woman’s Club Bridal Showcase – State Fair Grounds – Noon until 5pm

* Sunday, July 21st – 2013 Summer Carolina Bridal Showcase – Columbia Metro Convention Center – 1pm until 5pm

* Sunday, September 22nd –2013 Fall Carolina Bridal Showcase – Columbia Metro Convention Center – 1pm until 5pm

 

MYRTLE BEACH/FLORENCE:

* Sunday, January 6th – BRAVO! Bridal Expo – Florence Civic Center

 

UPSTATE:

* Saturday, January 5th – Weddings With Style – Hyatt Downtown Greenville – 10am until 3pm

* Saturday, January 19th – Anderson Wedding Festival – Anderson Civic Center – 10am until 3pm

* Saturday, January 26th – Spartanburg Wedding Festival- Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium – 10am until 3pm

* Saturday, February 9th – TD Wedding Festival – TD Convention Center, Greenville – 10am until 3pm

The Perfect Holiday Wedding

Holiday weddings are truly spectacular. Many bride and grooms choose to get married in their favorite element, which is often snow! There is something beautiful and cheerful about the holidays and snow. There are many reasons to have a holiday wedding too! First, you save money on decorations at numerous venue locations as they are already decorated for the holidays. Second, it’s a great time to have a wedding if you know out of town guests will be in town for the holidays.

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Take the time to add fun and special wintertime and/or holiday details to your wedding like an all white wedding, or giving throw blankets as favors, and serving hot buttered rum as specialty drink. If you want over the top, have an ice sculpture with fake snow in a room with dripping chandeliers, and don’t forget the bling!

 

Source: Pinterest

Want your cake to sparkle plus taste amazing? Order a white frosted sugar cake with each layer a different festive holiday flavor like, rum cake with a cheesecake filling, spice cake with a creamy cinnamon filling, and classic dark chocolate cake with a cranberry sauce filling, yum! Lots of candles will not only create a romantic atmosphere but also a cozy atmosphere, so choose a venue that allows candlelight and maybe a fireplace. Wintertime wedding dresses are so much fun to find, because you can actually wear the new trend of sleeves and will feel comfortable and not hot, like summer brides must face with this latest wedding trend.

Remember to take a few of these wintertime issues into consideration when planning your wedding. First, consider the weather, does it snow mostly every winter season where you live? Second, flights are more likely to be canceled during the winter months, remember that for out of town guests. Many of your friends could be out of town visiting their family around Christmas time, so remember to send a save the date cards as soon as you are engaged.

Enjoy planning your holiday wedding; it’s a fun time to get married!  For some ideas, be sure to follow TLC Events on Pinterest.. and check out some of our Winter Wedding Pins!

Source: Pinterest

Reblogged from MEGA Weddings & Events

“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!

Just Engaged?

Labor Day has passed, autumn is almost upon us ….which means it’s the start of “engagement season”! (Yes, we have a term for it.) I don’t know about you, but my Facebook page is starting to blow up with engagement announcements! I absolutely love newly engaged couples because there is SO much love and excitement around getting engaged!

But then soon after that excitement wears off, you’re hit with the reality of the fact that you have to plan a wedding– something that you most likely have no clue about, right?! Sure, you’ve been in a wedding or two, or maybe one of your close friends recently got married, but things are different when it’s YOUR wedding! And if you’re anything like me, you have NO idea where to start. Well, don’t fret, because I am here to help you out! I have compiled the 10 things you need to do first to get started with your wedding planning.


1. Set a budget

You shouldn’t be doing anything before sit down and talk about & decide on a budget. Sit down with your parents, family members, or just the two of you, figure out who is contributing, how much they can contribute, and what your total budget will be Then you can move on to #2!

 2. Choose 2-3 possible dates

To be safe, choose 2-3 possible dates to have your wedding. Think of the time of year, the weather, work schedules/vacation time, holidays, and yes, even football season (or whatever sport your fiance/family is crazy about). Then choose your #1 preferred date, and have a #2 and #3 available in case your preferred date isn’t available. This is extremely important because venues book up fast…some even book up to a year and half in advance!

 3. Start your guest list

Of course you want to invite everyone you know to your wedding. But here’s my warning for you: 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 $20,000. This means that you will have $100 per guest. 

So as you see, starting your guest list and knowing your estimated maximum guest count early is super imporant! And keep in mind that guest counts usually go down by the time your wedding day comes around- and believe me… it’ll get really easy to cut the people you haven’t talked to in forever from the guest list.

Here are some ideas on how to control your guest list… or use this flow chart…

 4. Decide on your wedding’s style & colors

Vintage, modern, classic, eclectic, handmade, rustic… there are SO many styles out there! The beauty of “wedding styles” is that they also coincide with decor and details, and so knowing from the beginning will help you later on.  No need to design your whole wedding right now though- just know the general look and feel of how you want your wedding to be.  It’s also a good time to decide on what colors you may want to have incorporated into your big day… Once you know that, it’ll be easier to move on to #5… 

 5. Decide on your venue

So all of the first 4 steps can essentially be done all in one sitting. That’s easy, right? Well once you have all of those decisions made, you can start researching and visiting venues. When you’re researching and you find a venue that you like, I highly recommend contacting them and asking if they have any of your possible dates available. If they do, then go ahead and schedule a time to tour the venue. Give yourself a few (1 to 3 max) weeks to tour all of your possibilities (depending on how long you have before your wedding date of course), crunch numbers, envision your wedding there (or not), and then book your venue! Once you have your venue booked (meaning deposit made and contract signed), your date is secured… you are just steps away from getting MARRIED!

6. Research

First and foremost, if you didn’t already hire a wedding planner during the first 5 steps…I strongly suggest you consider one….They will be able to give you great recommendations and save you time & frustration!

Vendors:

Researching potential vendors is HUGE. There are so many great wedding professionals out there now, and you want time to be able to choose the right ones for you. You definitely don’t want to be rushed, but at the same time, time is of the essence. (If you don’t have a wedding planner, go to here’s what you need to know when hiring your vendors.)

When you’re researching, be sure to check out the vendor’s portfolio, bio, pricing info (if they have it available) and their blog. Feel free to do research on every single type of vendor you need, but the ones that are crucial and book up quickly are the photographer, florist, and caterer (if applicable).

Moving on, the next steps are going to pertain to these 3 things. [After you’ve completed the following steps for the previously mentioned vendors, then you’ll move on to your entertainment, event decor, rentals, invitations, videographer and cake. And then you’ll go on to hair and makeup, transportation, tux rentals, favors, and any extras.]

Part 2 of Research is…

WEDDING DRESS!

Yes, it’s in caps because it’s *that* exciting! Isn’t it pretty much the very first thing you wanted to do- look at wedding dresses?! I mean, come on, who doesn’t like wedding dresses? 😉 But in all seriousness, you want to be sure that you research the types of dresses you like and the stores that carry them.

7. Inquire With and Interview Vendors

So by now you’ve done your research and you know what vendors you like. Now it’s time to contact the vendor, find out if they’re available for your date, ask about pricing/cost (if you want to), and schedule a consultation. I recommend meeting with up to three of each type of vendor, one if you already absolutely love them and they sell you right away, two if you’re pretty set but want to know other options, and three if you’re not sure. It just really depends on you, your decision making skills, and your taste. 🙂

8. Hire Your Vendors

Of course the next step is to make your pick & hire one of those vendors that you’ve met and fallen in love with. After your consultations, try to let vendors know your decision a week or two from when they provide you with an estimate/proposal. And then hooray! You’re one step closer to your wedding day! Important note: Once you’ve hired someone, please let the other vendors that you met with know that you won’t be going with them. I know it sucks to do it and yes, you might feel awkward, but it has to be done- they have to know! A nice, simple email will suffice.

9: WEDDING DRESS!

Alright, so you have some of your vendors booked… now it’s time to take a break and go wedding dress shopping! I don’t think this needs much explanation.

10: Design & Detail Inspiration

Remember back in the first 5 steps when I had you decide on your wedding style? Well with the second round of vendors you will meet with next (florals, decor, invitations, rentals, cake) you’ll need to have a good idea of what you want your wedding to be like, so it’s time to focus on design and details! What do you want your wedding to look like? Design is more of a general term, and details is more of the specifics (and where your personality can really shine through too!). This too is something that requires lots of research… which in the wedding world we like to call INSPIRATION! 🙂 I’m sure many of you have probably already started saving photos of things that you like and are Pinning away for your dream wedding. After all, this big, beautiful wedding world here on the internet does almost solely revolve around design and details! But you want to make sure that you have enough inspiration to be able to accurately convey to your potential vendors what it is you want for your wedding. And then in the same breath, you don’t want to have too much inspiration either!

Don’t forget to bring your inspiration with you to your consultations! You can probably even just pull up your Pinterest boards in your meetings- which I think is absolutely amazing.

Once you get to the last step for your first set of vendors, then move on to the next set! Wedding planning is like a roller coaster- you’ll go really fast at full-speed, then you’ll slow down, and then you’ll speed up again. Yes it’s normal, and it’s okay to have a lull in planning. Basically that roller coaster ride just keeps going until you get married. 😉

Enjoy Your Wedding Day

Let’s face it. Just because you’re a “bride”, it doesn’t mean that you should act a certain way on your wedding day. All brides are different. Because  they’re people, and people have different personalities. But no matter who or what or where, I’m pretty sure that most brides want to enjoy their wedding day, right?

You’ve been planning this day for months, constantly immersed in the details, and having nightmares dreams about what will go on during your wedding day. You can’t help but worry/think about that one goofy groomsman or if guests’ favors will be put in the correct place. And so, a few tips for you to help you enjoy your wedding day…

* Have a day-of coordinator. I know, I’m a broken record about it, but it’s totally the truth. Keep in mind that a day-of coordinator (aka DOC) doesn’t just walk in on the day-of your wedding. A DOC will work with you weeks prior to your wedding to make sure all of the details are taken care of. You won’t have to worry about how things are going to get done while you’re busy getting beautified on the day of your wedding. And you will have time to soak up your wedding day in all of it’s lovey/joyful/amazing glory.

* Have a general timeline. You don’t have to stick to the timeline exactly, but it’s always good to have the order of events in mind. (Wedding 101: Wedding Day Timeline) If you have a DOC, she will handle the timeline for you and make sure you’re not running behind or dilly dallying too much. If you don’t have a DOC, know what time you have to be ready, and then plan to be ready before that time. We all know that the worst feeling is being rushed, and that feeling can be even worse on your wedding day.

* Don’t forget to spend some time with your new husband! A first look is the best way to do this, plus it greatly eases any issues with available photo time. If you don’t do a first look, definitely make sure to sneak away for photos with just the two of you!

* Family photo organization. Let family members know that they will be wanted for photos after the ceremony so they don’t wander off.

 * And the ultimate wedding day tip: no matter what happens, remember that at the end of the day you will be married!

If you have a tip to add, please share it in the comments! I hope everyone is able to enjoy their wedding day even more now!

Wedding 101: Wedding Day Timeline

The biggest part of your wedding is the actual wedding day. You spend months planning for it, and then in a mere 8-12 hours, it’s over and done with. Of course you want your whole wedding day to go smoothly, which is why you should create a Wedding Day Timeline.

If you have a wedding planner or coordinator (which of course you know I HIGHLY recommend), he or she will create your timeline for you. You can of course also make your own timeline. I recommend some of the Google Docs from Style Me Pretty to help you with the order of events.

Either way you decide to go, you will need to think about certain things for your wedding day. You could have a certain order of events in your mind already, whether it’s something that you’ve thought of, or just one particular thing you want to be sure to include. And so, I give you some common tidbits that are necessary to think of when creating a Wedding Day Timeline.

 

– Hair and makeup appointments. Don’t forget to list times and locations

– Time of arrival to ceremony location for bride and groom (especially necessary if needing to stay “hidden” from each other), and transportation to and from ceremony if needed

– Time for photos before and/or after ceremony

– Time to bustle your dress

– Will you and your new husband be attending the cocktail hour?

– Announcement/Grand Entrance into your reception (and who will be announced- bridal party and parents, just bridal party, etc)

– Time of First Dance

– Time dinner will be served/buffet opened

– Time of Father/Daughter and Mother/Son Dances

–  Cake Cutting

– Toasts

– Garter/Bouquet toss, if applicable

– Exit, if applicable

– Any special events, such as a cultural dance or special tradition

 

As you can see, there are several different things that need to be considered when creating your wedding day timeline. (All the more reason to have a coordinator, right?) If you have a coordinator for your wedding, you won’t have to worry about anything having to do with the timeline on the day of your wedding. He or she will just simply let you know when things are about to happen, and you just go with the flow. If you don’t have a coordinator, try to designate someone to keep track of time and let you know about when things should be happening. (You don’t want to dilly dally and have guests start leaving before you cut the cake!) So use these tidbits to create your Wedding Day Timeline in order to ensure a smooth wedding day for yourself and your guests! Good luck!

Wedding 101: Finding Your Vendors

Something that I had a really hard time with when planning my wedding was finding quality vendors. How was I to know that they were good to work with and what their work was like? We all know that Google is great, but sometimes it doesn’t always return the best search results when searching for something in particular. And so, I thought I would share some tips for finding vendors, as well as a few sites.

Tips:

* Location: You don’t have to look within the city your wedding is taking place in. If your wedding is in your small hometown but you live in a larger city, you can choose a vendor in your larger city. Some vendors have different travel policies, but usually if it’s 1 to 2 hours away, it’s no big deal to them. The key is to have vendors that you LOVE, not vendors that you’ve settled on because they were the only ones available.

* Reviews: You want to see past client reviews on the vendor. Use Wedding Wire or some other reviewing site, and if there isn’t anything online, ASK. Ask on forums like Weddingbee, or ask other vendors you have booked.  They can usually give you some feedback, and if all of that fails, ask the vendor to give you a list of past clients that would vouch for his or her work.

* Friends and Family: Talk to your friends and family about their vendors that they had. This can go one of two ways. You could have loved their wedding and check out their vendors, or you could have hated their wedding and know not to check out their vendors. And keep in mind that just because your sister-in-law loved her photographer, it doesn’t mean that you will too.

 * Meet:  You want to LOVE your vendors, so make sure you meet them before hiring. Meet a couple of vendors if you need to. Keep in mind to look at their work and make sure their style suits you and your wedding too. Don’t let their personality overpower your decision- if you really liked their personality, but your gut feeling says their style won’t fit your wedding, go with that feeling.

Around the Web:

Site Directories are awesome. Some are free, some are paid, and some are based on client recommendations. More and more blogs and wedding sites are getting better and better vendor directories, which I love to see! Here are some of the sites that have directories providing some great vendors:

WeddingWire: Wedding Wire is the greatest. Previous clients are able to review their vendors on a scale of 1 to 5, and you can read these reviews to get an idea for what their past clients think of them. You can also see their website and a portfolio of their work. It’s a great place to go when searching for vendors!

Style Me Pretty Little Black Book: I know what you’re thinking- vendors on the SMP Little Black Book are going to be too expensive for your wedding. That’s what I thought too. But now that I’m in the industry, I can tell you that Little Black Book members are most likely NOT too pricey for your wedding. All LBB vendors are preapproved and hand-selected by the SMP crew, so you know that you’re going to have a great experience. And a cool thing is that you can view a vendor’s portfolio on the LBB too.

Wedding Chicks Vendor Directory: Along with having a great blog, Wedding Chicks has a great growing vendor directory. You can’t see a vendor’s portfolio, but if you follow the Wedding Chicks blog, you may see a post or two or million from the vendors in their directory.

EAD Vendor Guide: The Elizabeth Anne Designs Vendor Guide is awesome too. Vendors are listed by category, and then divided up according to the state. The EAD vendors are approved by the site, so it’s a pretty select list.

BestWeddingSites Vendors: Another great location-based vendor directory, starting with the state, and then more concise with vendor type.

Of course, I also have a list of vendors to love, so just ask me for a copy if you are interested.

Even I still use these resources when finding vendors that I haven’t already worked with, or when a bride comes to me with a particular vendor in mind. And if you have another great resource for finding vendors, please share, and I’ll add it to this list! More than anything, no matter how much planning you do, the majority of your wedding is going to be reflected by your vendors, and of course you want them to be great! So definitely search for your vendors and do your research on them. And if you don’t have time to do that…hire a wedding planner, and they can do the searching for you! 🙂

Avoid Getting Burned Out

For many brides, you get engaged and can’t wait to start planning the big day. You’ve been dreaming about it forever, so you think you know everything! But rushing the process (unless you really need to if you’re getting married in 2 months) can really burn you out!

It’s tremendously easy to do. When you have wonderful wedding magazines like Martha Stewart Weddings, Brides, The Knot coupled with awesome websites and blogs like Martha Stewart Weddings, Style Me Pretty,  (and, this one, TLC Events) you’ll catch a case of information overload.

Do you go with the table runners? Mason jars and wildflowers or clear vases with simple white flowers? Lace gown or ball gown? DJ or band?  Add in the million questions you receive from family in friends, the stress of managing a budget and planning the largest party you probably have every planned and you’re stuck with an overwhelming feeling of the pieces just not falling into place. So, how do you avoid it?

1. Ask for help. Also known as hiring a wedding planner.  Hiring a planner doesn’t mean you’re out of the picture, it just means that you’ll have help.

2. Define a clear focus for your overall design / vision. Pick a color palette and stick with it.  Opt for details that complement your personal style but add that touch of flair. Do not feel like you have to use every trend on every magazine page and blog.

3. Don’t let the details become bigger than the purpose. Yes, details are what help give personality to the wedding.  But the couple, marriage and celebration are the most important.  If you focus on the purpose, the details fall in place.  It’s when you get wrapped up in the details that the wedding starts to lose focus…

4. To do lists! Create a list of all of your to-do’s, enlist the help of your fiance, and prioritize what’s important and necessary, what isn’t and what needs to get tackled now and what can wait til later. 

5. ENJOY the process. As overwhelming as it can be, the last thing you want is for the engagement and planning process to take over your life.  I always tell my couples that if it is too much work, you’re doing it wrong. Re-evaluate how you’re tackling the tasks and don’t forget to ask for help.

6. Step away from the inspiration when you have solidified your ideas and vision.  It never fails that once you have finalized those details, you get sucked into other inspiration and develop a case of “I should haves.” You don’t want that. Re-visit that inspiration only in moderation.

7. Involve friends and family.  When you delegate tasks (like crafting or putting labels on envelopes or water bottles), it makes the process seem less daunting and stressful, and much more enjoyable.

While there are a number of other ways to beat wedding burnout (like a good glass of wine every now and then), these tips will help to keep you from going crazy.  When things start to get overwhelming or tiring, take a break.  No one said you had to eat, sleep and breathe wedding planning once you’re engaged.

And, most importantly, be sure you are having fun. That’s what matters the most!

Wedding 101: Vendor Meetings

Ah, vendor meetings. You have to go to them when planning a wedding, there’s just no way around it (unless you’re from out of town and can get away with phone and Skype meetings). Here are a few tips to help you out for when you go to vendor meetings…

 

– Bring stuff. Stuff? Yes, stuff.  This includes photos, magazines, swatches, things that you’ve bought, etc etc. It will help the vendor know what kind of wedding you want. It’s hard to convey things in terms of words, especially when that thing is a vision that is in your head. It ALWAYS helps the vendor to be able to see what you like!

 

– Don’t bring a posse of people. You and your fiance or you and your mom (or whoever is helping you with decisions and/or paying) would be suggested. And if the person paying isn’t you and they’re always cutting down things that you want, don’t bring them to initial meetings.

 

– Schedule. Most all vendors keep schedules, and if they give you an available time it’s because that’s what they have available. I personally ask brides what days are better for them, and then find a time in my schedule to accommodate them, but some may have a set day and/or time when they schedule meetings. And keep in mind that if it’s wedding season, weekends are going to most likely be out of the question for a meting.

 

– Know what you want (as best you can). This ties in with the photos, but know why you are meeting with that vendor. And if you have no idea about what you might want, tell them truthfully so they can allow for their creative juices to flow and create something for you.

 

A few extra sidenotes:

If you don’t hear back from a vendor less than 12 hours after you’ve emailed them, don’t email again. We got it, but we do have to try to sleep and/or get work done.  If you call or email Friday, Saturday, Sunday, or Monday, please wait patiently for a response. We are working through the weekend .

All of these tips should help you be prepared for meeting with your vendors. It’s better to know than not to know, right?