Monday, January 31, 2011

Wedding Stationary (part 1)

The Wedding Stationary is one of my favorite parts of the wedding. (Oh, who am I kidding, I love it all!!) But the stationary is a great place to set the tone for your big day. There are several parts to the stationary: the save the date cards, the invitations and response cards, the programs & placecards used at the wedding and then the thank you notes.

There is such a variety of styles and colors that you can use and since the save the date card (if you decide to send one) is the first thing that your guests will see, it is fun to use this opportunity to share your wedding theme/style/colors.

I really like a save the date card with a picture of the couple on it. (This can be a great time to use those engagement photos you got!)

You can even get a magnet save the date card!

There are so many sites you can look at online to get inspiration. All of the pictures above are from Wedding Paper Divas. The main thing is to have fun with it and be yourself!

Friday, January 21, 2011


This can be a touchy topic. The dreaded budget. As a little girl we plan a wedding in our head that is fit for a princess, and probably has the cost of one, but in reality, unless you really are royalty (or have enough money to hang out with royalty), your wedding will have a budget. There are many different types and sizes of budgets, but there will be some kind of budget to stick to when planning your wedding day.

Of course the first step is deciding how much your total budget actually is. This needs to include everything. There is so much that goes into creating your special day and you want to be sure you have enough money for each and every part. So be realistic when deciding how much you have to spend overall and then break it down into all the areas that you need it.

Food, flowers, your dress, his tux (or whatever the groom is wearing), a photographer, a videographer, musicians/DJ (or both), rings, transportation, ceremony & reception site, decorations, invitations, programs, favors, a planner/coordinator, cake, emergency costs, the honeymoon. (I threw that last one in there because if you are paying for your wedding yourself, and you are wanting a honeymoon, you need to keep those costs in mind when deciding on a budget for your wedding.)

Whew! That list can get long and overwhelming in a hurry! You also have to decide where your wedding budget is coming from. Are you paying for everything yourself, are the parents in charge, or are you splitting costs between you? Traditionally the wedding day costs would be the bride's parents responsibility, the groom's family would cover the rehearsal and the groom would take care of the honeymoon. However, for many reasons, including the fact that couples are waiting longer to tie the knot, the rules have changed. Discuss these budget options up front with everyone who is involved and decide what will work best for you. Just keep in mind, this is NOT the time to start a family feud because you want to spend all of your little sister's college fund on your dream wedding!

There are some great websites you can use to help in the budget planning process. The Knot is a great wedding website. They can help with ideas for colors, pictures, locations, favors, vows, and more. Basically their website covers any and every wedding planning question or detail. Here is their wedding budget page. If you become a member, which is free, you can access many helpful lists, including a tool that helps you create a budget list specifically for you.

Here is blog about creating a wedding on a tight budget that could be helpful no matter what your total budget.

After deciding on a budget, actually sticking with it is the hard part. Don't be too hard on yourself, there are areas where you will go over, just remember that means you will have to give up something in another area. Deciding what is the most important to you, and getting that done first (or at least a confirmed total price) will help set the tone for the rest of your budget.

A beautiful wedding doesn't have to cost so much it causes tension between you and your husband-to-be or your family. As long as you are all on board with the initial budget, and try your best to stick with it, you should be able to save yourself the "arguing over budget" stress that can come with wedding planning. When it comes to wedding costs there is a good chance an emergency of some sort will come up near the end of the planning time and it will not be a cheap fix. This is why I would advice a special "emergency fund" in your budget. Since it was already in your budget you won't be stressed at the last minute cost that came up! (Or if you don't end up needing the emergency money you budgeted, you will have a little extra cash for your honeymoon!)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Location, location, location

Deciding where to celebrate your big day can be stressful, you want to be sure it is as convenient as possible for your guests to get there, but you also want it to be uniquely YOU.

Deciding on a location will also help you decide what type of wedding you are going to have. If the location you are in love with only holds 50 people, you aren't going to have a wedding with 200 guests. The other side to that is if you know you want 200 people at your wedding, you don't want to choose a location that can only comfortable hold 100 guests. (If you already have a specific number of guests in mind when you are starting your wedding planning process, my advice to you would be to only search for locations that can accommodate the number of guests you have in mind.)

Location can also be a big part of the decorating and style selection for your wedding. A destination wedding, outdoor wedding, church wedding, etc. will help you set the tone for your invitations, colors, a theme (if you want one) style of dress, and more. You don't want to choose a huge ballgown with fur trim if you decide on a beach wedding.

However, this is your day and you don't have to do anything by any specific rules. Most "wedding rules" from your mother's and grandmother's day are now thought of as basic ideas or guidelines that you can use to help you with your wedding plans...but you don't have to necessarily follow them anymore. That is, you don't have too, but you can do them all if you want, and that would be perfect as well. This day is about celebrating you and your groom's love and commitment to each other, so do it exactly the way YOU want to. If you want to wear running shoes instead of high heels under your dress and ride a bicycle built for two off into the sunset after exchanging vows at a local park, that is exactly what you should do.

I think the best way to make decisions about your wedding is to do what is comfortable to you as a couple. Of course you don't want to offend grandma, or bore your friends, but finding a happy medium that is representative of you and your groom should be what you aim for. If you are inviting the people who truly love and know you best to your wedding, (which is who you should be inviting!) they won't be able to be anything but happy for you as they celebrate this wonderful day with you.

An old barn, a beautiful church, your parents backyard, a grand hotel ballroom, a remodeled old house, a mountain top, a theater, the beach, a castle, a downtown loft, a vinyard...the list could go on and on. Choosing where to say your "I do's" can be overwhelming, because the possibilities are endless. But don't let that overwhelm you, see it as beeing freeing. You aren't restricted to one thing, or one "correct" place to swap your vows.

This day is all about the important commitment you and your groom are making to each other. Choosing to spend your lives together, and celebrating that with friends and family is an amazing step in your relationship. Choosing where you do this can be a great way to show how special this moment is for you.

However, I do want to say, if you aren't able to do it where you want, for one reason or another, don't let that ruin anything...although the location is an important part in the wedding plans...what it all boils down to is what you are doing on this special day, not where you are. The atmosphere for a wedding is changed by the location...but not what is happening, a happy and beautiful wedding can take place anywhere. So if it turns out you cant get the original location you dreamed of, let me reassure you, although it may seem like the end of the world at the moment, in the long run what you will remember about the day is who was there to celebrate with you and the memories you made.

Picking out your wedding location, in my opintion, is really one of THE most important parts of the wedding planning process.

Congratulations and happy planning!

Monday, January 3, 2011

A New Year, A New Goal & a Giveaway!!

Since I started this blog last Summer, I have done ABSOLUTELY nothing with it! So one of my biggest goals for 2011 is to keep up with my wedding blog.

Weddings are my passion, and I want share my love of weddings with the world. A blog (when properly maintained and updated) seems like the best way to do it. I am thinking weekly updates will be the plan. In these updates I will share all sorts of ideas & pictures from weddings I see online, or from a wedding I did (whether it be from that week or in the past.) I will talk about themes or trends I am loving, or maybe about a local venue, photographer, florist, etc. that I feel deserves some extra attention.

Making it in the wedding business is all about being seen, and passion for what you do can only take you so far. You can be great at what you do, but if no one sees you, they won't know to call you...I want to improve my possibility of being seen, as well as other vendors who are in this wonderful business.

I am really excited about all that 2011 holds and I am looking forward to sharing this year with you!

To kick off the New Year right I am a part of a great giveaway, hosted by Chuck Williams Photography. I worked with them at a wedding last Summer and loved them! (Be sure to check out their blog, website or facebook page.)
Here is the link you need to go to if you would like to try to win!!
This giveaway is open to all engaged couples (I know the Holidays are a busy time for popping that ever important question of "Will you marry me?") So if you got engaged over the holidays and want a chance at winning some great wedding related prizes, please check out the giveaway here. It is running through January 31st 2011.

Again, this is open to all engaged couples so pass the word along to your friends and good luck!!