Small budget and a BIG Pinterest board? You might be setting yourself up for disappointment.
One of the first things I ask my new clients to send me is their Pinterest Board. This is like a little magic look at what the couple has as an expectation for their special day. As much as I love using this site it also makes me very sad. There are so many options, so much to look at! So much to inspire to be like as a couple but unfortunately Pinterest is NOT reality for 99% of the couples getting married today. I hate to be the bearer of the bad news but its either you hear it from me now or you find out the hard way on your wedding day....
Your wedding is NOT going to look like your Pinterest Board. Your wedding is going to be amazing, It is going to be perfect. Perfectly yours. But it will NOT look like your Pinterest Board.
OK drink that in, read it again. Now breathe.
Unless you have a HUGE budget and Martha Stewart as a fairy godmother your Pinterest Dream Wedding Board is not going to come to life.
Here are a few factors that will play into this:
So often I want to just call Pinterest and ask them if they know what they are doing to people!?! They are giving them a false sense of reality and then when the couple realizes they can not actually afford all that they have pinned in their boards they are let down and nothing seems 'good enough'. That truly breaks my heart. Yes, I am a wedding planner but I am also realistic. Weddings are but one day, one very important day, but one day nonetheless in the trip known as you life which you will take with your new husband/wife. That is what is important. Stop comparing yourself to all of those other weddings and just plan yours. Don't set yourself up for unrealistic expectations only to have them crushed when the it comes down to the bottom line of how much things cost.
This blog come out of a place of love. I have chatted with far too many couples who have an unrealistic expectation for their wedding day because of the ideas they have on their Pinterest Board. Ask them after their wedding what the day was actually like. They will tell you it was perfect- but nothing like what they had 'imagined' it would be like.
Now keep pinning but pin cautiously. Do not walk into your florist or your cake maker with unrealistic expectations otherwise you will be very disappointed. Think clearly and logically and it will save you a lot of heartache in the long run. Trust me.
Happy planning & thanks for reading!
For those of you who know me personally or who have worked with me you inevitably have heard me talk about managing expectations as being a huge part of my job. This is often one of the most challenging parts of my job- managing expectations of everyone involved and keeping things realistic. In the very connected, smart phone world we all live in now there are constant streams of information coming at you in all forms. From the second the ring is placed on the hand and someone says "YES!" the expectations start stacking up. Is the ring nice? Is it big enough? Will you get married this year? How big will the wedding be? What style wedding will you have? What will your dress/suit look like? Each and every person involved with a wedding has to manage their expections for this big day. I talk about it so often that it never really dawned on me that this is my topic- this is what I will start a blog series about. I will call it Great Expectations (original huh?) and in each installment of this series I will talk about a specific person or couple and the expectations they have for their role in the wedding day. I will write about the mother of the bride, the maid of honor, the LGBT couple, the parents who are paying for the wedding etc, etc and all the expectations that will need to be managed with each role. My wheels are already spinning thinking about this so stay tuned for all that is to come!! I will be launching my first installment of this series soon and who knows how many installments I will write but I have a feeling I will not run out of wedding expectations to discuss!
Stick around - you are going to want to read what I post!!
Thanks for reading :)
My clients come to me with a lot of different questions and concerns throughout the time we are working together but one topic that comes up time and time again concerns the wedding guests. I have been meaning to write this blog for quite some time now but after having a lengthy conversation with one of my couples a few days ago I realized it was time... hope this helps!!
This blog is directed to anyone who is invited to be a guest at a wedding! Here are some tips to make sure that you are the PERFECT wedding guest! It was hard to number these from 1-5 because in a lot of ways they are all just as important! So here you go- here are 5 things you can do - or not do- to be the perfect wedding guest!!
# 1. Do NOT wear white, ivory, cream or any other color that resembles white, ivory or cream if the bride is wearing white, ivory, cream or anything that resembles white, ivory or cream.
I am not even kidding about this one. I can't make these stories up if I tried. It happens and it happens more than you would think and in my opinion it is just plain rude.
#2. SHOW UP TO THE WEDDING ON TIME!
There is nothing worse than holding a ceremony for a guest who is arriving late. NOT fair. NOT cool.
#3. Do NOT get in the way of the professional photographer or videographer.
It does not matter how long you have been shooting, how great your camera or how important it is for you to have pictures- the couple has trusted their very important wedding day to these individuals. They do not want to see the back of your head in the middle of the aisle or you standing up in the church with your iPad up in the air taking pictures or video. Leave it in your bag and please, PLEASE do not get in the way of the professionals!! All the pictures are always posted online so you can see them there when they come out. I promise.
(You're welcome to all of the photographers and videographers who just yelled "AMEN" when they read this. Its ok- I have your back!!)
# 4. RSVP on time.
The majority of couples send out their Save-the-Dates and wedding invitations well in advance. Respond as soon as you can! If you have a work issue or something that is keeping you from knowing if you can attend let the couple know! Please just respond- it is the WORST thing when a couple has to track down their guests to ask if they are coming well after the due date has passed.
# 5. DO NOT ask for a plus one if you are not given one.
These decisions are largely based on $$- do not put that pressure on the couple to do something that they might not be able to afford. Putting together a guest list is one of the hardest things an engaged couple has to do. Trust me when I say that most couples planning a wedding wishes they had deeper pockets to be able to do things a little different. If you do not receive a plus one you are not being punished, or left out or something of that nature. They had to make cuts somewhere and this is how it is.
I hope I did not offend anyone with this blog and maybe, just maybe there are a few of you out there who will learn a thing or two after reading this. A girl can dream, can't she?!?!
Do you have anything else you want to share? Let me know! Comment on this blog with anything else you wish all wedding guests knew so that they too can be the perfect wedding guests!
Thanks for reading,
Beautiful Blooms for the Month of Your Wedding
From elaborate floral arrangements as centerpieces to the simplicity found in boutonnieres, flowers are some of the most versatile elements in a wedding day. They can transform a ceremony space, honor special guests and represent you and your partner as a couple. With a creative imagination and a knowledgeable florist, the options are limitless. Unfortunately, this factor also makes it easy to go over budget.
When exploring floral options for bouquets and décor, it is crucial to keep in mind that flowers are seasonal. They bloom during different times throughout the year; some grow best during the spring, while others are most common during the fall. Florists are charged more in shipping and labor costs when they purchase flowers that are out of season, resulting in higher fees for brides and grooms.
Flowers can still bring an unparalleled level of timelessness and elegance to a wedding, without the high cost. One must simply choose to include flowers that are in season. Follow our guide to discover the top flowers that are thriving during the month of your wedding! Not only will they coordinate with seasonal wedding themes, they will also be easily accessible, and therefore, cost effective.
Each of these can flowers serve as beautiful statement pieces throughout your wedding. Find the best bloom for you!
January: Alstromeria, Chrysanthemum, Sweet Pea
February: Lilium Casablanca, Lily, Rose
March: Freesia, Orchid, Ranunculus
April: Iris, Tulip, Calla Lilies
May: Poppy, Lilac, Peonies
June: Zinnia, Tuberose, Sweet Pea
July: Delphinium, Cosmos, Hydrangea
August: Gardenia, Chrysanthemum, Dahlia
September: Juniper, Liatrus, Sun Flower
October: Misty Blue, Asiatic
November: Chamelaucium, Stephanotis, Star of Bethlehem
December: Amaryllis, French Tulip
All the best,
~ Love your favorite Newburyport Wedding Planning Team from Detailed Engagements!
Bubbles and Bites
Out with the old and in with the new; the biggest trend for cocktail hour? Tasting stations galore. Give your guests the chance to sample an assortment of foods. Try the classic mac ‘n cheese bar or an oyster shucking station! Food trends for 2015 also suggest serving family style meals rather than individual entrees. This is the easiest icebreaker and will spark guest interaction!
Similarly, beverage trends opt for providing guests with sample sizes of classic beers, wines and mixed drinks. These smaller portions could help keep costs down!
The most loved wedding flowers are not going anywhere! We will be seeing more of the signature three: peonies, ranunculus and English roses mixed in with tons of greenery to create romantic bouquets. Mint, ivy and magnolia leaf are some of the leading herbs that will be used generously in bridal bouquets and centerpieces. Also trending are oversized flower petals, which are a flawless way to add drama to wedding day décor.
The Pantone Color Institute® is the ultimate source of information on the fashion industry’s most popular color trends and forecasts. Marsala has been chosen as the Pantone color of the year! Named after the sweet Sicilian dessert wine, Marsala offers rich, earthy and sophisticated tones to compliment a variety of themes. Although, the dramatic hues of this color are most prominent when used on textured surfaces. It is a perfect shade for napkins, bouquets, and bridesmaid’s dresses. Pantone experts have also picked sixteen beautiful colors to best represent the trends found in spring, 2015. A mixture of warm and cool tones combine to create a soft, minimalistic approach to the nature like elements often found during the spring. Some of our favorites are Scuba Blue, a striking and exciting shade, Toasted Almond, a bronzed neutral, and Dusk Blue; a peaceful and muted tone.
Each of these trends can be easily incorporated into your wedding day.
Personalize them & make them unique to you!
All the best,
Kaitlin is one of the INCREDIBLE team members here at Detailed Engagements. Stay tuned to see the blogs that she is writing for all of you!
7. "How long have you been in business? Do you have a business license?"
The longer someone has been in business the more experience and connection hopefully they will have! If someone does NOT have a business license they may not be taking this serious and are still acting as though this is a hobby.
6. "Do you carry your own liability insurance?"
This is a great question to ask ALL of your wedding vendors. You will feel much better knowing that everyone on your team has everything covered. We hope to never have to use this but it is nice to know it is there just in case.
5. "How many events/weddings like mine have you done on your own?"
And note to ask "like mine". Each wedding is so different but if you are planning one outside in a backyard vs in a hotel ballroom the logistics are much, much different! You will want an experienced person on your side who has been through anything and everything that you may encounter along the way and not someone who has never done this before. This is an area that spending a little more money will really help you. You "buy" the expertise, the advice and guidance along the way and your day will do much smoother when your planner knows what they are doing- trust me!
4. "Besides what is quoted in your proposal, is there anything else we will need to pay you?"
How about travel? Overnight accommodations? Outside expenses? You do not want to be surprised by anything. Ask ahead of time and save yourself the headache later.
3. "Is this your only job?"
When starting out in this industry most people will do this "on the side" and work another job, sometimes another full time job. It is important to ask your planner if they have another job because this will tell you how available they will be to you. Will they be available at the drop of a dime in the middle of the day on a Tuesday or will they need to call you back when they are out of work. This is why paying for an established, experienced planner is often the way to. This is my only job. I live, sleep, breath everything weddings! It keeps me focused and super organized. It also keeps me from becoming burnt out from trying to do too much.
2. "How many weddings do you take a year? How many weddings and events do you expect to have around the time of our wedding?"
My team and I only take a limited amount of weddings/events each year and this allows us to give as much attention as possible to each and every client. You will want to know that your planner can do the same.
1. And the # 1 question you need to ask a wedding planner before you sign on the dotted line with them is:
"Can I see your references and reviews?"
This is self explanatory. Read what their past clients have to say about them. This will give you a great sense of what it is like to work with them and what they are like to work with! The best gift anyone can give someone is a referral and sometimes not giving one at all speaks volume. Any vendor who has a lot of very good reviews about them online is a great person to hire! Look to see how long they go back as well. Do the 5-star reviews go back a few years and all say the same thing? You will be able to see right away if people are happy with someone's services and if you go with them you will be too.
So often I see the final decision on a wedding planner based strictly on price and how much it will "cost" the client to have them. If you do not hire the right professional to handle one of the most important days of your life it may COST you a lot more than just a little bit of money if you chose to hire an inexperienced planner to work with.
Remember that the wedding planner is the person you will work the closest with throughout the planning process so you need to make sure that you and your fiancé are very, very comfortable with the person you chose to work with.
I try to coach my clients as much as possible to make an educated decision not an emotional one when it comes to picking anything for their wedding. This way everything is thought out and will not be regretted later on. The same should apply when picking a planner.
Hope this helps you make the best decision possible.
Congrats- you are ENGAGED!! It is so exciting, such a happy time!! CELEBRATE!!! Tell all of your friends, tell your family, put it on Instagram, Snapchat it, change your Facebook status but DO NOT BOOK ANYTHING for your wedding until you read this.
Trust me- you will thank me later.
Below are 5 common mistakes I see far too many newly engaged couples making. I want to save you before you make the same mistakes!
5. Getting so excited that you invite everyone you know to be in your bridal party!!
You are so excited and they are so happy for you and before you know it the words "Will you be my Bridesmaid?!?!" come out of your mouth!! Stop, step back and think this one out. It is not so much about the size of the bridal party but the people that you have in it and your favorite pal from work may not be the best person to have standing next to you at the alter. Being in a bridal party is expensive and the bigger the bridal party you have the more money it will cost you and them! Really, really think about this before you ask someone to be by your side on such a special day.
4. Booking a vendor because your friend used them.
I know the above statement shocks most people to hear from me because referrals are how I built my business. The highest compliment I can receive is when a happy client sends someone my way and they book with me! All business owners will tell you the same thing, especially a small business owner! All that being said make sure you do some research before you book anyone for your wedding- even if your friend/family/coworker loves them. Check out their reviews, get quotes and compare them to at least 2 other options. Just because your friend was happy with someone does not always mean you will be- things like price, style and personality may make someone not the best option for you but a perfect fit for your friend. Just make sure you do your research and at the end of the day book someone because you like their work, their pricing fits in your budget and you genuinely want to work with them- not just because your friend/coworker/family member used them.
3. Booking a venue before you finalize your guest list. This sounds so simple but its on the list- so it happens! People get caught up in everything- the emotion and excitement of it all. Before you know it they are signing on the dotted line for a venue before they know if it will actually work for their wedding. Do not get caught in a tough situation which can be 100% avoided.
2. All wedding, all the time.
Focusing on the wedding and only the wedding could easily have been the #1 mistake that newly engaged couples make! Try, as hard as it may be, to enjoy your engagement and all that comes with it! Just because you are getting married and planning the best wedding of the decade does not mean that you should let it consume you 24/7/365. The world is still spinning around you- enjoy it! Let yourself enjoy the ride and all that comes with it. Continue to date each other, make time for friends and family and do not start every conversation with "So here is my wedding update!". Life will be much better this way, I promise.
Drum roll please…
1. Hands down THE BIGGEST mistake I see so many newly engaged couples make is booking a venue, a photographer, a florist or buying that must-have dress before they have The Budget Talk.
Until you have that talk with each other and/or your parents you should NOT spend a penny on anything for your wedding day. Let me repeat this one because it is THE biggest mistake I see people make and I wish I could yell this from the roof tops to make sure that no one makes this again-- have the budget talk BEFORE you book or buy anything for your wedding! Have an honest conversation, write down what is important to you and your fiancé and then look for the pieces of the puzzle that will make your dream day a reality. The last thing you need it to stress about money for your wedding because you failed to prepare.
What is that saying I love so much? Oh yeah, its this-
When you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
Do not FAIL at anything when it comes to your wedding.
So there they are folks- the top 5 mistakes I see newly engaged couples make far too often.
At the end of the day as long as you make an educated decision and not an emotional decision you will be ok. When in doubt- stop, step back and sleep on it. Then decide. This is a good life rule in general but especially important when planning your wedding!
Hope this helps and keeps your stress level down!
Detailed Engagements is pleased to announce that we have been named by North Shore Magazine as Reader's Choice for the BEST Wedding Planner AND also BEST Event Planner in their BONS 2014 Issue!
A huge thank you to all who voted for us! We are very excited to have received this honor!
Tiffany J. Learned
& my Fabulous Team!
Here in New England I am often planning for at least some part of every wedding day to be outside. From a beautiful oceanfront ceremony to a cocktail hour on the terrace, many couple choose this region for the breathtaking landscape as the backdrop of their special day. But we all know Mother Nature is fickle and can serve up just about any kind of weather on any given day. Everything will be OK if you are prepared. Here are 10 tips for planning for potential rain on your wedding day!
1. Have a back up plan- this is a no- brainer. If you having anything outdoors please, please have a back up plan! Another site for your ceremony. A tent company on standby. Make sure you have options if the forecast looks like it will not be all you are hoping for.
2. EMBRACE the rain! The photos will be AMAZING!! The color, the lighting, no one will be squinting! Think Wellies & puddle jumping= makes for great photo-ops! Pack some towels to dry off after and go for it!
3. Buy gear to match your color scheme- Have fun with the colors of rain gear you pick! Have all shades of your wedding colors for your girls, white for the bride(s), black for the groom(s)! Have fun! Go buy out all the shawls, pashminas and wraps and offer them to the wedding party and your guests. This will color coordinate your pictures too if you pick the colors for them! Bonus!
4. Set up a deadline for making the call inside or outside and stick to it! Set up a cutoff time to decide when you are going to pull the plug on the outside events and stick to it. This will give the tent company, catering company and everyone else a chance to adjust, make staffing changes and set up the proper equipment they need. This should NOT be a last minute decision! Give your vendors proper time to adjust accordingly.
5. Be flexible & be realistic! If you are having an outdoor event remember it can and might rain, snow, hail or be windy. Work with it. Go with the flow. If you have a good plan A, plan B and plan C and are willing to make any of them work you will be fine! Anything can happen. The pictures you see on Pinterest and in WellWed magazine are not always what will happen for weather. If you are realize that your day will be just perfect!
6. Think of all the people involved! Are your guests going to have wet bottoms from the wet chairs? Make sure someone wipes them off! Is the ground going to slippery when wet? Have someone help walk women in slippery shoes to where they need to go. Are your bridesmaid's dresses going to be see through if they get wet?!?! Let them wear coats! Think ahead and avoid any of these from happening.
7. Can't do outdoor photos the day-of the wedding- no problem! Do it after. If your dream was to have outdoor formal photos on the day of your wedding and the weather just is not going your way- just skip it! Set up a time when the weather will be nicer, have your hair done, throw on your fancy wedding attire and go do it! Your photographer will be happy to help you! This way you can go to all those amazing places you wanted to go have your photos taken at anyways and without a strict timeline to work with! You can take your time and get some pretty awesome pictures in beautiful weather. Sounds like a win-win to me!
8. Buy cheap, clear plastic tarps! Go to your local super store or hardware store and buy a few clear plastic tarps. If the forecast is iffy this is a quick cover-up for anything you would not want to get wet. If the forecast says rain for an hour before your ceremony then clearing to sunny- cover all your chairs, aisle, and flowers with plastic and then right before your ceremony pull it off and you have yourself a dry place to get married! Simple and cheap enough!
9. Warn your guests! Give them a good heads up! Mass text message. Update your Facebook status telling people that it might be muddy, windy, cold etc. They will listen and dress appropriately!
10. Bring extra shoes for everyone. Think about where you are walking when you are outside. Wet ground? Don't wear heals or anything you can slip in. Forgo the fancy shoes and wear boots if you can. Once you get inside change into your gorgeous shoes! Save them for when it is safe to put them back on. Have flip flops for your guest to put on if they get soaked. Towels by the door would be really handy and maybe even some socks for any soaked feet. Your guest will thank you and have a better time if they do not have wet feet!
11. Hay!! For next to nothing you can use hay to spread over an area outside that is going to be muddy if it gets wet! The hay will help soak up the water and keep your feet, and your guests, happy and dry!
12. Use professionals and TRUST THEM! Professionals will all know exactly what to do and have done this before! I have back up for the back as I tell my clients! If the power goes out- I got it! If you need a tent- I have the owner of the tent company on speed dial! This is for sure a reason to hire a wedding planner like myself and my team at Detailed Engagements- we have it covered! We can make those last minute calls that need to be made and still deliver you the day of your dreams. When you use a professional, it gets done, things are fine and all the bases are covered long before the day of the event. I have a game plan and a back up plan! I have you covered. You just have to show up in your oh-so-cute rain gear and smile. Because I've got this!
So if you are looking at a forecast that includes a few too many rain drops for your liking as long as you follow my tips above you will still have the day of your dreams!
7 Ways to Protect Your Wedding Guests from Mosquitoes
Protecting your guests from mosquitoes is one of several challenges of having an outdoor wedding. Please consider the 7 tips below to help in keeping your guests comfortable.
1. Pre-treat your ceremony and reception space with an outdoor fogger and possibly mosquito traps if budget allows.
2. Light tiki torches filled with citronella oil and place around perimeter of your reception and/or ceremony space. *Purchase these items at the end of the summer season for huge savings!
3. Provide guests with a selection of mosquito repellents.
4. Keep outdoor space well groomed and dry. Mosquitoes are attracted to high grass and standing water.
5. Consider an early afternoon celebration. Mosquitoes mostly appear at night when the air is moist and cool.
6. Stage one or two electric fans. Mosquitoes are not great flyers and will have a difficult time navigating through a gently breeze.
7. Inform your guests that you are hosting an outdoor celebration. Hopefully this will encourage them to wear light colored protective clothing.
Protecting your guests from mosquitoes should be a top priory if having an outdoor wedding. If you know a couple planning an outdoor celebrating, please share these important tips on how to help keep those nasty little buggers away!!!
Hope this helps!
This blog is for all of my fabulous bridesmaids out there who are trying their absolute best to give their brides the shower of their dreams.
You asked her what she would like, you have talked about it a few times and now it is time to get planning the shower. You are planning an event just like a wedding. You need to answer the first 3 questions just like the happy couple did: What is your budget? Guest List? And when? Well we know the couple gives you the guest list- so check. That is done. The when is easy. Any time before the wedding. Ok that can not be that hard to figure out, you gave yourself plenty of time to plan and let people know. Ok so that too is done. Now the budget. Oh the budget. Your bride wants a "simple" wine tasting for a shower. At a local vineyard, It goes along with her wine themed wedding! It will be amazing :-) But how are you and the 4 other bridesmaids going to pay for it!?! The bride gives you a 100 person guest list. Her wedding is 200 people…
OK first get up off the floor. I am going to help. It seems like this is too much. You have your own bills. Maybe you just got married or you are planning your own wedding. You just started going back to school or changed professions. So unless you win the lottery you need to get creative and FAST!
Think about your options.
1. Time of year: Where do you live? Are you in one of the area which has an "off season"? Venues are much more likely to discount their booking fees if you book offseason.
2. Time of day or day of week: is your bride hell-bent on the oh-so-common Sunday brunch or can you get creative? Could you do an afternoon soiree and save yourself some money? What about a Thursday night cocktail party? 2pm on a Saturday? Not really lunch time, not really dinner time so just serve some appetizers and you're done! All great options and you will have a blast!
3. Menu items: Most reputable venues will work with you based on the "Per Person" cost you can afford. If you find a venue you like try to work with them before you book to see if they can work the menu to fit your budget and the $$ you are looking to spend.
4. Skip the invites and send an email instead! Today everyone is connected to some sort of electronic device and will probably lose the invite anyways. Keep everything online and save yourself some $$ and time! This will make it easier for the guests to find the information when they need it too! If you have a few people who will need the actual printed invite (think Grammie) then send out a couple of hand written cards. This will make them feel nice by getting something in the mail and still save you $$!
5. SKIP the favors!! Who really uses the mini-frames anyways? I can not say it enough and I will not even waste time explaining this one- skip the favors and save some money! NO ONE will be offended. If you do not have a lot of money to work with this is a no-brainer.
6. Throw the shower at your home! Or the private residence of someone you know! Save money on site-fees and there will not be any limits on how long you can be there. You will be able to make all the food for the shower and save some serious $$!
There are so many ways to get creative with a shower and save you money but my biggest piece of advice I can give you is - JUST ASK! Just like anything else the wedding/event industry is sales too! See something you would like but just seems a little out of your budget- just ask for a discount! Haggle if need be. People will work with you and it never hurts to ask for a "better" price. You might not get it but the answer is always no unless you ask!
Hope all of this helps!
Good luck and happy planning!
It happens. The inevitable. Someone at some time during the planning process will be in tears. I can not say it enough- I have NO idea why but weddings bring out the WORST in people just as much as they bring out the BEST in people.
So I have found myself saying "Cheers to no Tears!!" more than I thought I ever would have. ( you can use it but it is my tagline and I am trademarking it so give me a little credit or something please! haha)
So how can you as the bride, you as a bridal party member or you as the mother of the groom keep the tears from flowing and keep me saying Cheers to No Tears? It is simple. Think kindergarten. Think simpler times. Think about what your mom always told you:
Say "I am sorry"
This is so overly simple that right now you are laughing but think about it. What is the last argument or topic about the wedding that got you mad or made you cry?? Now what could you have done differently to change that? Could you have shared something? Cared a little more about the other person's side of things? Or could you have just said "I am sorry"?
99.9% of the time this will stop, mend and move along in a merry way most of the troubles. Most fights I see in wedding planning are simply put based on selfish can't-see-past-their-own-nose ways of looking at things. I have been there. Been on both sides. And I am willing to bet that as you are reading this you have been too. We all have been on both sides. It is just about being conscious of it and doing better next time.
This goes for brides, grooms, parents, siblings, wedding party members and even guests. Take a breath. Step back. Can you share? Care? or simply say I am sorry? To make this all better? I bet most heated topics that come your way will be very easily solved by doing one, two or all three of these things!!
I wish I only had to write about all the happy, amazing times that wedding planning can be but I am a realist and that just isn't always the case. So instead I wanted to share how I am trying to keep the peace with my clients, any weddings I am in and my own wedding. Hope this helps!!
So let's all say it together--- CHEERS TO NO TEARS!!!
You got the ring…. CONGRATS!!
But now what?!?
Once you have the ring there is a lot to think about and sometimes things become overwhelming and fast!
My goal is ALWAYS to make the wedding planning process as easy as possible. I thought a simplified list of what to do first when you get engaged is the best way I can help!
1. Establish a budget!!
Without a realistic budget you will waste your time. Trust me. Once you have a budget that you and your fiancé are both comfortable with then and only then you can start the planning process. Everyone you chat with will ask what your budget is right away. With a # in mind you can start planning. Without it it is nearly impossible.
2. Establish a guest list!!
Once you have established your budget put together your guest list. When you are answering the question of Where the guest list is very important. It will help you narrow down your search. You will not want to fall in love with a venue which can not fit your guest list.
3. Pick a date!!
Or at least a time of year you want to be married. If you have a special date in mind that is great! But if you are flexible you may be able to book your perfect venue in the "off-season" when things are cheaper- saving you $$.
When you begin the planning process everyone you speak to will ask you the same questions:
How many guests?
And now you know your answers!
So the next item on your to-do list is to:
What is important to you? What is important to your fiancé?
How about your parents? Your family?
There are some things on planning checklists that may prove to not be that important to you while others are on the must-have list. As different as each and every couple is so is your priority list. Is it the food and music that top your list? Or is it getting married on the beach? Put it down on paper and this will help with allocating your budget and make your life easier, trust me!
5. Get yourself organized!!
Create a folder on your computer and make subfolders inside of it. Each category needs a separate folder and still each folder may have many documents and folders inside them! Make ones for: Venue, Ceremony sites, Dress styles, Food ideas, Guest list etc etc. All of these will help you stay organized and keep the rip-your-hair-out-stress away! Having things labeled and simplified will make your life much, much easier.
And on that note here is the last item on your To-Do List after your get that ring:
Take a minute out to enjoy this moment.
Live in the moment and truly just take it all in.
This will only happen once in your lifetime, enjoy it!!
Put your glasses up- Cheers!!
It is much more common now for couples who are getting married to have lived together before the wedding. In other parts of the world living together before marriage hasn't had the social stigma that is had in the United States. Up until the 1970's, American couples living together were considered to be "living in sin". Times sure have changed and the number of unmarried U.S. couples who live together before marriage has jumped from approximately 500,000 in 1970 to several million today (source:Wartik). It is estimated that up to 70% of couples will cohabitate before marriage.
This means that most of the couples who are getting married now will not have much to register for in preparation for their wedding. Gift registries are designed for couples to start their lives together and get all the things for their home that they need. Most couples will find this difficult if they have lived together for some time already. So here are a few tips to help with what to do:
*Upgrade!- So you have lived together for quite some time and have everything you already need. Well now might be the time to upgrade! How are your pans? Time to get new ones? Register for the ones you may not be able to afford on your own! If someone gifts them to you, great! If not, you already have pans and everything else you need. No harm, no foul.
*Honey Moon Money!!!- Sites like HoneyFund.com and HoneymoonWishes.com have popped up in the last few years for just this reason- couples do not feel right registering for gifts for their homes so asking guests for contributions for the honeymoon is a no-brainer to some!
*Spread the word- no gifts!- If you really feel strongly about not wanting gifts think about skipping the whole registry all together. You really can not ask people not to give you gifts on the invitation, it is just not proper etiquette but you can ask your family, friends and wedding party to do so on your behalf. Tell you parents to spread the word. Ask your bridesmaids to skip the shower in lieu of a nice engagement party instead. Have them explain to guests that their presence at the party is present enough to you and your fiancé.
*Cash? Is that an option?- Well, you should never ask ask for specific gifts, monetary or otherwise. What you can do is let them know (if they ask) that you would prefer cash gifts. Let your parents, siblings, wedding party, and close friends know too-- and if your guests ask them, have them relay your preference. But do NOT announce it in a formal way to your guest and whatever you do do not mention it on the invitation! If guests are curious, they'll ask someone close to you what types for gifts you would like to receive. Still, some guests will want to buy you material gifts- so it is a good idea to register somewhere for a few items. And of course, be sure to accept and acknowledge every gift gracefully. That means send out thank-you notes!! As for monetary gifts, let the giver know how you intend to spend their gift in a thank-you card!
OK so I I finished this blog and saved it as a draft about a month ago, then this morning I came across this crazy cool website. So there is another option added to this write-up! Check it out and let me know what you think!
*ZOLA!!!- And now the cream of the crop… www.ZOLA.com where you can register for really anything you want! One stop registering for all of you gift needs! Want to register at HomeGoods? Done! Want to register for Honeymoon Funds? Done!! Want to register for cash gifts? Done! All at the same site! Give your guests one link to follow and all your gift needs are taken care of. Thank. You. ZOLA!!
Hope all of this helps and makes this part of the process just a little bit easier :-)
Hello all & sorry I have not written anything in a while! Things have been super busy but I am back on track and will be posting new blogs regularly so keep checking back often to see what new topics I will be talking about.
I found the picture to the left on DestinationWeddingMag.com about a month back and immediately shared it on my FB page www.Facebook.com/DetailedEngagements. This caught a lot of people's attention and I was told was actually used by more than a few people who were putting their guest list together! When putting the guest list together there are SO many factors at play here but the biggest one that I hear talked about is the cost. My rough estimate is $100 per person, think of each one of your guests as a $100 bill. Not to seem rude but are they worth a $100 bill to you? And for the majority of us $100 will not even cover it!
So to help with the question I so often get asked of how to deal with the Guest List problem I have come up with a few questions to ask yourself:
1. Are they worth a $100 bill to you? Can you see yourself handing over a crisp, 100 dollar bill of them to come to your wedding? If the answer is no then wipe them off your list right away!
2. Will you be introducing them to your fiancé on the day of your wedding? If the answer is yes then for 99% of people this will wipe them off of your guest list. There will be some extenuating circumstances which will allow for people who fall in this category but will still get an invite. These are people who live very far away but you would still like to have at your special day.
3. Is it so important for your parents to have them their that they will pay for their invite? If so then invite them. If they have not done anything to personally offend either yourself or your fiancé then it should be fine if they come. You parent's best friends from high school or church should be there. Your family is proud of you and wants to show you off on one of the most important days of your life- let them :-)
These three very simple questions should help you with all those maybes that you have on your guest list! If you still have a question about someone after looking at the flow chart and asking these 3 questions then invite them to your wedding! For some reason you are having a hard time figuring it out so maybe that is a sign- just invite them!! Good luck and let me know how you make out!
You are getting married! To the love of your life! To your best friend! That is amazing! And so very, very exciting! But it can sometimes be stressful. The who, what, where and how of the wedding planning process can sometimes make things over-the-top stressful. But if you can stay organized and control the things you can control the little things that come out of no where will not seem so bad.
1. Item & short description
2. Full cost of item
3. Deposit Due
4. Amount Paid to Date
5. Balance Due
6. Date must be paid in full
This way you always have a running actual cost on your wedding. If your wedding is
12 months away you can look at that total cost due and figure out how much you
need to put aside each week or month to comfortably be able to pay for the wedding.
Staying organized and staying ahead of things will keep your stress DOWN!! Unfortunately there will always be things that will come up and throw a little curve ball at you but the more you can organize yourself the better off you will be. Event planners and wedding coordinators like myself do this all the time. This is how we stay ahead of things and are able to work on many events at a time without missing a detail. I did not name my business DETAILED Engagements by accident!!
Hope this helps!
All the singles ladies… in your bridal party.
To the bride: Remember way back when before the ring? Before the perfect forever partner? Before the we’s and us’s, when it was just I and me? Yeah, remember that time in your life. And now think about your single bridesmaids. Put yourself in their shoes. Stand back and look. No really- take a step back. And when you think you are far enough removed from the wedding take another step back. These are your friends, you family, your loved ones. Treat them like this. Treat them how you would want to be treated.
To the bridesmaid: There is nothing like a wedding to point out how single you are. Nothing like sitting at the head table in a bridesmaid gown all alone without a date when a slow song comes on. You awkwardly go to the bar. You dance with the children. You look for a drunk groomsman to dance with. But you are still single. Thanks for not giving you a plus one is what you want to say to the bride but you didn’t. It is “her” day and you didn’t want to ruin it. I get it. But you should be able to speak up. There is nothing like a wedding to giantly point out that you are single. At least if you had a date there you would feel better. Oh she told you that only people who are married get dates? Or people who have been in long, committed relationships? Oh that makes it feel better said no one. Ever. Speak up. If something hurt your feelings speak up. Its ok. I get it. And so will the Bride and Groom.
And now back to you my lovely bride. I know you mean well. You really are trying to do best by everyone and I of all people completely understand that I really do! I do not want you to think that I am knocking you at all. I just know, and have seen first hand how hard it may be to be on each side of things. I have been the single bridesmaid and I am always the one worried about the cost of the guest list. But think about what is more important. Your single bridesmaid having a great night or saving that $75? In the grand scheme of things I think you know what to do.
Hello and thanks for stopping by my new website and blog! Hope you enjoyed what you have seen so far and will stop by ofter to see all the new exciting things I will be adding and posting about.
This blog is going to be about REAL weddings, with REAL people and REAL budgets. I will blog about all the fun things we all love to see- colors, flowers, dresses and everything else shiny and wedding-related but I will also be blogging about the real issues that come up when dealing with a wedding. Weddings can bring out the best and the worst in people and I will be blogging about how to deal with many issues that come up. I am by no means an expert but I have done this a LOT and have been in and around weddings and special events for a long time now. I have seen the smiles, the tears and EVERYTHING in between. If there is a topic you would like to see written about or a question you have just send me an email at Tiffany@DetailedEngagements.com and I will answer as many as I can. I will always keep your identity private so no need to worry. Are you in a wedding? The mother of the bride? The sister of the bride? Are you ready to pull your hair out? Send me an email and I will help you out! I want this blog to be about all the fun & love a wedding can be about but I always want to help ease any difficult situations that come up in the wedding planning process. One day, one wedding or anything like that is NEVER worth loosing a friend or starting a family war. Get through it. Things may get tough but things can get better. I really hope to help.
Check back soon and often to see the topics I will be blogging about!
Happy Wedding planning to everyone!
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