Category: Wedding Planning
Wedding bells. Flower petals. Dancing lights. Stars. Romance. All in one day is a whirl wind of fun, affection, and sharply focused enthusiasm. After that day, and even after the honeymoon, you will be settling into life again, but this time with a partner in crime! So, because wedding planning doesn’t seem to stop at “I do”, here is a quick checklist to help new couples gain there footing in post-wedding chaos and changes.
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Kim and Matt had a fantastic destination wedding in Key Largo. Their ceremony was at the San Pedro Catholic Church and their reception at the Marriott Resort, right on the water. The weather was typical Florida Keys perfect, the bride radiant as a Florida sunset. See below for more photos from this event.
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If you care deeply for the environment and want to keep things eco-friendly, there are plenty of ways you can make your registry green as grass:
Believe it or not, you can still indulge in a romantic, all-expenses-paid trip halfway across the world without damaging the earth. As many couples are beginning to find out, eco-tourism is an easy way to achieve just that! With the help of organizations such as Elevate Destinations, you can choose from many resort locations with sustainable practices in place. You can also bypass the hotels completely and instead volunteer with local communities while learning how to live sustainably.
Turn Your House into a Green House
Sometimes you don’t need to look any further than home. You can register for all the materials you need to begin an organic garden, as Jacob and Alisha did in their registry. If you still need help furnishing the rooms in your house, you can request various sustainable products such as compostable trash bags, or a rug made from all-natural fibers.
Give Back to the Environment
Who said your loved ones have to give you housewarming gifts that you might not necessarily need? Instead they can contribute to a green cause of your choice. Tim and Freya, for instance, gave loved ones the choice of donating to CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). Planting trees on your behalf is also a great way to add that much more oxygen to the atmosphere.
There are so many ways in which protecting the environment can make your wedding day that much more special. And frankly, just creating an online registry is an act of being green it is completely virtual: no shipping, no gift wrap, no need for returns!
Your Engaged! Hurray!
Day 1: If you got engaged during the day then your day starts the day of your engagement, but if you got engaged in the evening or night, then your day one of engagement starts the following morning. On day one, you should NOT start making your list of to-dos. It is way to early! Take a breath. Day dream. DO call your family and close friends and share your good news, but DO NOT forget to cuddle with and stare deep into the eyes of your soon-to-be husband. Day one is a day for excitement and romance.
Day 2-3: On day two and three, you still should be in la-la-land. Giddy, happy, excited, and not worrying about the money. On day two, feel free to start browsing wedding blogs, looking at pictures, and start putting together a wedding inspiration board. If you are on Pinterest, you may already have a wedding board with all the good ideas you have seen over the years, but it is a totally different thing when it is a real wedding you are looking to create. You might want to peruse through that secret wedding board first and pick out what you really like and get rid of the stuff you know you have no interest in realistically doing. Then by day three, start looking at nailing down a color scheme or wedding themes that really speak to you and your relationship. So, DO start looking around and picking out your favorite wedding styles, colors, and themes, but DO NOT think pinning it means it is set in stone and again DO NOT start pricing things out or building your enormous checklist. It is not time to stress out yet.
Day 4-5: Day four and five are questions day. By day four, you should write out a list of questions you have on wedding planning, budgeting concerns, and logistics (i.e. dates). DO NOT think you are going to have the answer to every question by the end of the day, but today is a day to start looking at what it is you are going to need to do over the coming months. After creating a list, circle or start the ones that your are most concerned about and then start asking those questions. This could mean Googling wedding traditions, venue prices, looking for a wedding planner, sitting down with your fiance and discussing a time frame, who you’re going to ask to pay for what, and how involved and who will be involved in the wedding planning and decision making process. Then by day five you may want to meet up with parents or whoever you want involved in the planning process to have an initial planning meeting. If you are meeting with parents, I would suggest keeping it simple. Work off your list and keep it on topic. Write down issues or tasks that get brought up, but DO NOT try to solve every single one. This can be more of a celebratory engagement pre-planning planning meeting. DO start figuring out what goes into planning a wedding , DO develop a working or tentative budget and who is paying for what (It is important to establish this early), but DO NOT try to plan everything in one evening.
Day 6: On this day feel free to look at planning tools, but concentrate on figuring out what your time table is going to be. Pull out your and your fiance’s calendars and start seriously talking dates. This can be tricky because it is tempting to try and accommodate everyone you love around you, but it is important to pick a date that is right for your. Sure, it wouldn’t be the best idea to pick a date that you know is the same as your cousin’s graduation, but don’t take into account Uncle Rod’s work schedule or around your parent’s vacation schedule. Pick a day that works for you and the important people will be there. If you can’t decide on an exact date, then try and narrow it down within a two week time frame. After you pick your date or date time frame, pull out the list of to do’s and questions you generated at your pre-planning planning meeting, and look at what tasks or decisions need to be done by when and create a tentative timeline. This is where your DO want to start working with online planning tools and organization. It may seem way fast to already be nailing down the date by day six of your engagement, but you really can’t do anything until you know when you are going to be getting married.
Day 7: This is appointments day. Taking a look at your time table, call and make appointments for the tasks you need to accomplish first. For example, if you have decided you want to hire a wedding planner, then you need to make an appointment with one. Or, if you have the exact date, then you will probably need to start looking at venues. So, you would need to make appointments for venue tours. After you have set up your initial appointments, gone over your timeline, and set a budget cap, then it is time to relax. DO go out on a date and DO NOT worry about any more planning today!
By day seven, you will not be even close to being done, but if you follow this timeline, then you will have proactively set yourself up to be organized, relaxed, and ready to tackle the challenge of wedding planning. Quite honestly, if you reach day seven with a date set and even the vaguest sense of what you need to do first, then you will be in pretty good shape!
There are many ways to say, “thank you” after a bridal shower. Some people like to send cards and some prefer emails, but you have more than just these 2 options! Here are some creative ways to show your thanks:
Customize your thank you notes with photos of you and your significant other to personally say, “thank you” to your guests. And to make it even more personal, wear a shirt that says “thank you” in the photo or pose with a sign.
Create a DIY frame that says, “thank you” on it. With this personal touch, your guests would be sure to bring it home with them.
Place your favors, whether candy or other goodies, in a box and print the words “thank you” on top. It adds a nice touch to your favors and makes for a tasty treat.
Wedding planning is stressful. There are lists out the gazoo, money crunching, body crunching, and navigating the tension between family. So, when you get engaged and decide on that big wedding wahoo, you are signing up for a whole lot of stress, but do you want that stress to leak over to the actual wedding day? Heck no! What would be the point of spending hours persuading your favorite band to play at your wedding if you are not going to stop an dance? Here are a few tips that will help you enjoy your special day!
1. Set everything out to get ready the night before, including but not limited to the dress shirt you will wear while getting ready.
You are not going to want to wake up and then start searching for that eye shadow you planned on wearing. That would just be asking to start out on a stressed out foot. Get everything together ready before you go to bed the night before. Better yet, create a list of all the things you need and have your maid of honor get everything together. Then, there is the dress shirt. That may seem like an odd addition, but wearing a pull over t-shirt is easily the easiest mistake you can make for your wedding prep. How? Makeup done, hair done, and then whoops….the shirt got stuck on a pin. A dress shirt works wonderfully in that it is a button up. If you are more of a country girl, a flannel works too!
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Etiquettes for Wedding Dress Shopping
So, now you are engaged, and you are oh-so happy and ready to start to create your dream wedding. One of the first things a lot of brides want to do is to find that perfect dress. Out of all the wedding planning tasks this is the one that is the most sentimental and actually requires so delicate handling. As you decide who to have with you, just remember that the more people you invite, the more opinions you will have to hear. There is a reason shows like “Say Yes to the Dress” are so entertaining!
Mom Gets Dibs
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New Years Resolution: “Don’t Turn Into A Bridezilla While Planning my Wedding”
Every year marks a new beginning, a new chance to set new goals and the great possibility of reaching them. When you get married, it is a new beginning to; it is the start of a new life, a new adventure. We want you to enter into this new adventure with a cool head, positive feelings, and minimal stressors. New year resolutions are often seen as a chance to shed off the bad parts of the previous year, but just like what happens before the new year doesn’t magically disappear, what happens before your marriage doesn’t magically disappear. Angry words, breakdowns, and frustrated fighting can leak into the relationships you have with your spouse, family members, in-laws, and friends after the wedding. Apologies can be made,and time can heal, but wouldn’t be better if bridges weren’t burnt in the first place? So, as you enter into this new year, and the stage of planning your wedding, make this resolution of not turning into a stressed out, easily angered, Bridezilla. Make it and then keep it by creating a plan and using resources designed to keep you stress-free and happy.
1. Start by reading up on the wedding planning process.
Reading articles like this, and the many others found here on WeddingAces and our Wedding Collectibles Blog is a great place to start because it will help you familiarize yourself with all the little details that goes into planning a wedding and start you off with creative ideas on how to get it done; giving you not only the what, but also a how. Once you start getting ideas and a more tangible grounding on what it is that goes into planning a wedding, then you can start your crazed planning journey.
2. Make your life easier by getting organized.
Some brides will use checklists to keep track of all of the things they need to do before their big day. Resources like WeddingWire’s free planning tools are great for keeping yourself organized during the chaos of wedding planning.
Figure out your checklist based on the timeline you have to plan. Is your wedding date in a year? 6 months? 3 months? Don’t know? Stop. Figure that out and then start planning. If you don’t have an end point you can’t figure out what pace your planning needs to go.
3. Use a checklist and wedding binder
Something else that is useful alongside a wedding checklist is creating a wedding binder. This will help you keep all of your information together in one place that is easy to take with you as you visit vendors and venues. Some people will keep everything online with the intention of easy access online. This could work to, but often it is easier to keep a clear mind and focus, when you don’t have the temptation of any easy click to Facebook, Pinterest, and other social media time sucking websites. When creating a wedding binder create dividers to help organize the info in you binder. It is easiest to do it in categories like photographer, cake, reception, caterer, wedding dress, etc. The Well-Organized Woman (wow) has some great recommendation on how to categorize your binder. Whatever you do, just do whatever it is that keeps your thoughts organized and your mind sane.
4. Take a day off
Just like with work, school, cleaning the house, gardening, and doing pretty much anything, you will need to take a break. This is a great time to go with your fiance out on a romantic date, have a relaxing mother daughter day, or a girls day with your best friend, all with one rule: No wedding talk (Unless it is girlish giggles of being oh so excited).
Wedding bells, white dresses, lace, and burlap table runners. Flowers, rings, and handwritten vows. Candle centerpieces, twinkle lights, and wedding cake toppers. Your wedding day is meant to be a magical experience, and it is one thing that you get to plan out and design especially for yourself (and your groom, of course!). It is one of those moments in life that you will want to share with friends and family. Brides will often spend extra attention to making sure everyone important is there: parents, siblings, cousins, high school best girlfriends, etc. As the guest list grows and the side dishes and party favors are selected, a very important detail can sometimes be lost in all the invitation stamps and cake tastings. Always remember, your wedding day is not about your parents or friends being with you on your special day, it is about you and your groom.
How to Keep the Wedding Craziness From Taking the Focus off Your Love For Your Groom
1. Treat Your Groom Right
Plan out ways to dote on your groom. For the most part, when people think about a wedding they will think first about the bride and how she needs some pampering to help her de-stress. Here is the thing, even if the wedding planning is going the traditional route with the groom not being all that involved with the details, he will still be the one supporting the stressed out bride. This could involve anything ranging from bursting into tears at unexpected moments to angry rants or death stares that imply the immediate possibility of instantaneous combustion.
If any of this seems like a possible scenario, or even if it doesn’t, you need to make sure you are taking the time to say, “I love you” and cut the man loose for a breather. This could be done by encouraging him to go out for a sports night with the guys, buying him something he wouldn’t buy for himself like cuff-links or a golf-themed grilling set, or on a smaller scale leaving him secret and creative messages to find in his clothes pockets, shoes, or work bag. By spending the time thinking up ways to make him smile and say, “I love you,” you will concentrate on all of the reasons you fell in love in the first place. This will allow all of those worries to melt away and for you to come to love your groom more deeply every day.
2. Go on Dates
So, maybe you are making sure your groom gets the time to himself to relax and you are letting yourself get your nails done or a neck massage every other week, but are you continuing to grow or fuel the love you have for one another? One of the biggest mistakes a couple can make as the head toward those wedding vows is to forget to spend real time together. What qualifies as real time? Alone time that isn’t filled with wedding talk, or, in other words, a date. Go see a movie; go rollerblading or bowling; hike a trail; walk along the beach, or kayak in the ocean. Sit down to a romantic dinner at a restaurant that is hard to get into and then go get dollar ice cream cones at the closest McDonald’s. Plan a midnight picnic and lay down together so you can count the stars or rent your favorite two player video game and pull an all night gamer fest. Whatever your poison, do it. Spend time together and remind each other every day that you love one another and absolutely love being together.
Let Yourselves Fall More in Love Every Moment You Are Together
Brainstorming for that Killer Bachelorette Party
The bachelorette party is a not only a fun night, but is important for the bride because it is one piece of the wedding process that is designed to make her feel special AND to let off some of that wedding stress. This is a night that is typically meant for the bride to be hands off in the planning process, which is why we recommend having the maid of honor and bridesmaids take over. The goal is to surprise, excite, and spotlight the bride. So, with that in mind, here are a few fun ways to help your bride have fun at the center of attention.
First off, you will want to deck out your bride in some bride to be gear. The reason we say this is because it is a quick and essential way to set your bride apart and get her that added attention. She doesn’t need to wear everything bride-to-be, so when shopping, guide yourself on what the bride will feel slightly embarrassed to wear (giving her that perfect bride blush), but not what she will refuse to put on or walk out in.
The options for bride-to-be accessories run from a simple scarf with a bride charm (this would be the most subtle), to personalized t-shirts and jackets (the most personal), fun bride tiaras, veils, and sashes (the biggest spotlight), and the bridesmaids. By coordinating the bridesmaids in bachelorette party tees, you will basically be creating a very big red arrow pointing out your party and your bride. Bridal Party Tees has some spunky, bride to be and bridesmaid t-shirts that would help spice up the night and spotlight the bride. If you are looking for a more cost effective option, try bride and bridesmaids iron ons paired with plain t-shirts at Walmart or target. You could even have the party guests bring their own t-shirts and make your party wear as part of your activity.
Speaking of the activities, there is a lot more you can do with a bachelorette party than going out drinking. Of course, if that is the route you want to go, then go all out, but if not, there are endless options for your bachelorette party. For example, instead of doing only a bachelorette night, why not take the day? Spend a day with your closest girlfriends at a day spa, get massages, sit by a pool, get your nails done, and just relax. After a day of relaxation, go out to a nice dinner and stay late for drinks or end with an in home cooking lesson and still stay late for drinks. Having multiple phases to your bachelorette party give your party members flexibility is they have a busy schedule, so if they can’t make the spa day, they can come to the dinner.
Another great idea is to look at what is going on in your community. Are there any concerts, movies, or plays in the park? Is there a great band playing or a fun comedian show nearby? You could go to dinner, hit an outdoor concert, and then end back at home with a game of who gave what lingerie. The main thing is to give yourself time to be with your best friends, relax, have fun, and just celebrate. The bachelorette party is a night free of things to take care of, and open to excited sequels, laughter, and maybe a few tears. Make it a night you will never forget.