Monday, April 9, 2012

All Things Wedding

Before I get started, HAPPY EASTER!

This is part III of All Things Wedding where I give some kind of "top 5" list that is wedding related. I'm thinking I will have one more after this, and then it will be The Big Day. Depending on how the week goes, this might be the last one! These are my top 5 tips for brides-to-be. I've mentioned some before, but I think they are worth repeating.

I’ve said this before and I will say it again, do not feel the need to DIY everything or have every aspect of the wedding be super personalized. I think everyone definitely wants their wedding to feel like ‘them’, but people get SO stressed out trying to make every aspect unique that they don’t enjoy the process. I’m all about enjoying the process (obviously, since I’m in mourning that it’s almost over) so I personalized certain things and other things I went with what’s ‘typical’ (but still beautiful) and therefore easy and stress free. Yes our wedding is about us, but it’s also about everyone else there who loves and supports us and most of all, a sacrament we are receiving and a commitment we are making.

Get a day of coordinator. Seriously. Best money you will ever spend. There are SO many things we would have to delegate out to poor, unsuspecting friends or family if we didn’t have our coordinator. Sure, they would be willing to help out, but I want them to all just relax and enjoy. More importantly, there would be so many things I would have to think of on the day of, that I just don't want to be worried with! I wouldn’t recommend spending an arm and a leg on an actual planner (because I had lots of fun planning myself!) but the day of coordinator is there to make sure your day runs smoothly and you can hand the control over and just enjoy. As a control freak, I’m actually really enjoying relinquishing some of it! I don't know about where you live, but where we live there is a decent amount of competition, so we got a coordinator for a STEAL. Since we booked her, her price has doubled for the package we have! But that means there is probably someone else out there just starting out who is now the 'steal' in town.

If you can’t swing bridal portraits in your budget, definitely have a ‘dress rehearsal’ before your wedding. My photographers are super amazing and my portraits AND session were under $200, but just as valuable as having those portraits for a lifetime was the fact that it was the first time I had everything on. It all worked out perfectly… every last accessory… but I kept thinking, what if the necklace looked bad with the dress or was a really weird length? What if the veil caught on beading? I wouldn’t have known without putting it all on at one time. Plus, if you are like me and having your picture taken for an hour straight feels very unnatural, it’s great practice for the wedding day!

In this day and age, I don’t know if there’s anyone who doesn’t have a wedding website, but I really recommend it for many reasons. The most important was that I had to answer a lot less questions because we gave out the website on our save the dates and reception cards. That way, even if they lost it once, they got it again. We of course have answered plenty of questions, but I know tons of them didn’t need to be asked because we put so much info on the website. Plus, it was really fun to work on together! It also helped to keep us organized and remember what needed to be done. “Oh, there’s a guest accommodation section? Yeah, I probably should pick a hotel.”

If you are a control freak like me, do whatever you need to do to relinquish some of that. I had to do a LOT of self talking, but it has really paid off. There have been so many minor things that I could have let myself get wound up about, but it just isn’t worth it and would cause more than the normal wedding stress. For example, I noticed that some people I knew would need a hotel room weren’t on the block. I gave two of them a reminder. A day or so before the block closed, I checked again… still nothing. I got frustrated, picked up my phone to text another reminder thinking “They have had months to do this and the info has been on my facebook AND the website!”. So I set the phone down, realized that I’m no one’s mother, and went back to what I was doing. It’s not the end of the world if they have to pay full price or stay elsewhere. I did what I could, and I wasn’t going to stress myself out trying to control everyone who I knew needed a room. If they weren’t concerned, why was I? It has also come in handy with some small day-of details that I have told the coordinator she can handle however she feels is best. Will I remember/care if the bridal portrait is in this place or that place? Absolutely not. So instead of using brain cells to make the decision, I let her do it. Ahhhhh, relief. 

It's too late for me :p but what are your favorite tips for future brides?


  1. I really have no idea of anything on weddings what are some things a "day of coordinator" would do? Just so I know for future reference if you don't mind..

    I've heard that about bridal portraits. I know a girl that used her potential hair person on a trial the day of her bridal pics and it was helpful so she knew what she wanted the day of. She also got engagement pics done for the same reason.

    Ugh I know the thing about control! That will be an issue with me and I hope they found a hotel room!

    1. You're right- I raved about having one but didn't really say what all she does lol. What doesn't she do is the better question :). We paid the cheapest rate which meant we didn't get to use her until 6 weeks before the wedding. It was perfect for me because I actually wanted to do all the planning.

      Beginning six weeks out, we meet with her every other week and she asks all kinds of questions so we know we aren't forgetting anything. She is the contact for all the vendors at that point, so I have no stress of vendors contacting me. If anything goes wrong the day of, she will handle it without me even knowing (unless it's something major where I have to make a decision). She gives me a 'bridal concierge' which is someone who will be with me all day while I get ready in case I need anything. She is setting up and cleaning up the reception site, which was the main reason why we were excited to book her. We didn't want to be worried with that or make our family do it. She is storing all our stuff before hand and will take it back to her office after and we just pick it up after the honeymoon. She will hand out all the tips to the vendors the day of. She can also organize the rehearsal but our church doesn't allow that since they have their own people. She will be the go to person for anything we might need during the reception.

      We paid $600 for her and feel like we got a huge value. We did get a discount (maybe $100) and now found out she is charging $1200 for the same service! It makes sense because she does SO much work and also has to pay an assistant as well as another worker, so I had no clue how she was making money off the $600. But glad I got her before the price went up!

    2. And after writing that novel lol-
      I did my trial hair/makeup the same day as bridal portraits too. The hair people acted like that wasn't normal... but you better believe I wasn't going to pay for the trial, then pay for it again for pics lol! I went straight from the trial to the studio.

    3. OMG that is an awesome deal for a lot of little things you won't have to worry about. Since I've never really been involved in wedding planning I never realized how many little things like tipping vendors there were to worry about.

      I know I'd use my trial person for the portraits too! It seems dumb to pay for a trial and not go anywhere/do anything fancy that day!

  2. You are much more organized than I ever was!

    My only advice is to keep things as simple as you like. Just because it's a tradition doesn't mean you HAVE to do it. We didn't have any flower girls or ring bearers, throw the bouquet, or have an open bar (there was one in the restaurant or we wouldn't have even had a cash bar). The world won't end if you don't have customized reception tables either. :)

    1. Good points! I agree. We decided to do without ring bearer/flower girl just to cut some stress. We debated about alcohol for a long time and finally decided on beer/wine (no cocktails).

    2. I agree with keeping it simple too (even though I'm not married). I keep telling people it will be BYOB! I know I'll be on a strict budget and since I don't really drink idk that I'll want to pay for it but who knows who I'll marry and such. I had a friend that got married and they just had wine which was a nice medium.

      Right now our family has NO little kids to be the ring bearer/flower girl so unless my fiance has little kids or my sister has kids b4 I get married I probably won't have them either. Besides I think it just annoys the little kids more than anything.

  3. As mad as I am at the videographer, I'm equally as mad at the coordinator - how could she have let this slip?? I hate that you may regret having relinquished some control and having trusted someone with something this big. Argh.