Hi There Beautiful People…first I want to say THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU to anyone and everyone who has been reading my blog for the last year or so now! I really appreciate all of the feedback and connections that I’ve been able to make over the last year! I’m naturally a person that keeps to myself so being so open about something as personal (but not THAT personal) as fashion is still hard for me to open about, so thank you for allowing me to be me!
An extremely exciting, nerve-wrecking, yet still magical event just happened in my life in late September! I recently got married and have been waiting for months to share the event details with all of you! Now that I finally got my professional photos back, I will be dedicating the next several Wednesdays to blog about some of my wedding tips!
I am dedicating the next 10+ Wednesday’s to share every detail I possibly can in regards to my wedding planning process. We (really ME) began to plan our wedding in the summer of 2016 if not earlier and we got married 9/23/2017, and I used every last moment I could to plan our wedding.
Few things about me that may or may not affect how wedding planning goes;
I am religious but we did not have a religious wedding ceremony – this will dictate a significant amount of details in the wedding.
I am a complete perfectionist so every detail was absolutely KEY
With that said, there were still some minor errors in our wedding so I want to make sure I share those as to paint the real picture not the glorified version.
I did not hire a planner and absolutely refused to! I’m a project manager by day and I truly treated the wedding like any other high-level client project, client being myself this time! Now with that said, if planning, organizing, and coordinating are like an absolute nightmare for you, then a wedding planner may be worth the investment!
This first post will really talk about wedding planning in general and organization. Organization is key and is truly your best friend from here until your wedding date. The more you’re organized as the bride the better your wedding will truly be (unless you hire a planner).
So you recently just got engaged to the love of your life! Swoon! You’ve sent all your friends and family a picture of your beautiful left hand (nails done!) and BAM there it is blinged out with that new shiny rock! Ok now what? We all know you’ve secretly started a private Pinterest board decked with wedding inspiration photos, themes, and ideas. Well once the excitement has settled, and the world now knows you are a bride-to-be and the next must-stalk-on-social-media-to-know-everything-that’s-going-on there a few things you are going to want to get started with right away
1. Wedding USB and Cloud Service
This was probably by far the most important piece of information I could share with you. As you start to plan your wedding, invest in a small USB that you can save all of your wedding files to. The day of the wedding you will need to add this to your “day-of bag” because if you need to access anything, the last thing you want is to say to yourself, “I know exactly what you’re talking about! That’s on my laptop at home!”
You do not know what is going to happen to you on the day of wedding!
Wedding Horror Story: Bringing my wedding USB with every file I’ve ever used or needed for the wedding was the best decision I made. 10 minutes before our wedding was scheduled to start, I was told my officiant had NOT arrived. Yes, that is correct, my officiant had NOT arrived and actually thought the wedding was scheduled for the following day! It is truly a bride’s worst nightmare! Fortunately for me, I had my wedding USB on hand and already had the entire ceremony saved, in the event my officiant forgot (didn’t think she would actually forget the wedding!). We were able to ask one of our really good friends to be our minister for the wedding and he would get ordained after the fact.
It all totally worked out, and we were all happy to have an officiant that personally knew us. There were no changes to what I originally planned, except the individual, and I thank God that I was smart enough to prepare for the worst. Moral of story: create, update, and bring a wedding USB and upload the entire USB to Google Drive, Dropbox, Evernote, or any other cloud service just in case the USB gets damaged!
2. Wedding Contact List
This is something you want to start in the beginning of planning but remember this is going to be an ongoing topic for the duration of your wedding. As you add new vendors and meet new people you will need to write down everyone’s contact information. I would recommend adding a section where you can take important notes. This can be where you met them, who referred you to them, some topics that were discussed in any meetings, or any other vital information that would pertain to that contact.
Always remember to keep it up to date, in case there is turnover within your vendor company.
3. Wedding Timeline
This was something my venue provided and it really came in handy leading up to the wedding. If your venue does not provide you with a DETAILED timeline for the day of then feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send you a blank template, like the one shown here! This should be something that you want to keep updated and share with all of your vendors 4 weeks before the wedding. Hopefully you don’t have too many changes that would affect your vendors, but usually you will (just being honest). Send a timeline again 1-2 weeks before the wedding whether or not you have changes. You can never be too careful when it comes to your wedding!
Quick Story: My wedding venue assigned me 2 people as my day-of coordinator and the third person ended up being the day-of coordinator. However even she quit working for the venue part way through and independently contracted. Long story short, shit happens that is out of your control! Just remember it always works out, but it always works a lot easier when you’re on top of your shit!
4. Wedding Venue Map
This is something that is optional and dependent on the kind of person you are. Myself, I am a very visual person and like to SEE how something is going to be laid out and presented. Also, if you’re like me and insistent on having several table styles and chair styles then having a map with all of the furniture laid out for dinner, cocktail hour, etc. helps you see how your table styles should be spread out. For example, I wanted to include farm tables, square tables, 2 sizes of round tables, and 2 types of seating styles. In order to achieve a symmetrical layout, I used the map of the venue to strategically place the tables and orient them to my liking.
Our venue provided us with this and was created using some software so ask your venue first if they have anything that at least has the floor layout of the space you’re renting. If not, then here are some strategies;
Outside Wedding: This one is easy, thank you Google Maps and even greater thank you satellite image! Screenshot a satellite image view of the area your ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception will be and WALLA there’s your map.
Inside Wedding: Ask you wedding venue to create a sketch or something for you! If they can’t or refuse then you probably will need to create your own at this point. However, I did say in the beginning of this section that the venue map was optional and not a crucial planning piece. Your choice!
5. Create Your Pinterest Board- Wedding;
Most of you probably already have a Pinterest account set with wedding boards, so no need for me to go into much detail there. If you don’t already have some wedding inspiration photos, I would recommend finding some and saving them immediately! One of the first questions most vendors will ask you is, “Do you have any photos you can show me of how you want your…” and insert anything from wedding dress to plate setting!
Therefore, organization is key! I’ve listed my recommended wedding boards below. Obviously you can choose to use or not use the ones listed, but I found it easier to give each category its own board so when I go to the florist I can show them all of the wedding boards I have for flowers and event design as well as wedding themes and food presentation. It is ok to overshare then under share. Remember that each vendor is a professional in their respective field so don’t be scared to let them creative with your inspiration and make it unique to you. You always have the power to say no if you don’t like something, you are the bride after all!
Recommended Must Have Pinterest Boards
Themes: rustic, modern, Parisian, etc as well as color schemes
Dress Styles maybe combine men’s outfit options
Furniture and Layout (welcome table, cocktail hour)
Flowers and event design
Must Take Photos
Hair and Make-Up
Wedding Games: iSPY game with disposable cameras, to each is their own – ex: ways to remember a deceased family
6. Online Wedding Profile
There are a lot of online tools to help you plan for your upcoming wedding. The days of 100+ pages of wedding planning tools in a 50lbs book is gone. There are a lot of great online resources out there including The Knot, Bridebook, Brides, Honeyfund, Lover-Ly, the list goes on and on.
I personally did not like any of these platforms however, The Knot does have a countdown list of items that you should address (example items below) 1 year before the wedding, 9 months before the wedding, 6 months, etc. etc. which I found extremely helpful to print and post in places I frequent such as my desk at work, fridge, and in my wedding planner (whichever method you choose).
Microsoft One Note: If you’re simplistic and want something that’s user friendly with great organization, then I would recommend Microsoft One Note. It’s also cloud based so you can access all of your wedding information from anywhere and you can share your Wedding One Note with your vendors.
If you’re not familiar with One Note, it’s Microsoft’s version of an online notebook. I recommend checking it out if you haven’t tried it yet.
Excel: You’re probably going to use excel at some point in the planning process of your wedding. I recommend using it to track contact information for your vendors, addresses for your guest list, as well as all of your financials and budgetary. I’m a believer in one excel document and creating multiple tabs for each category, but each is their own!
For any of you that are interested in what my wedding blog posts will consist of I’ve included my blog post schedule below! Please let me know if there is anything you would like me to discuss in detail or anything topic that I may have missed that you may want some insight to!
Wedding Blog Schedule:
Wedding Theme: Venue Selection and Accommodations
Wedding Dress and Bridesmaid’s Dresses
Florist and Furniture, if any
Videographer, Photographer, and DJ
Hair and Make-Up
Extras: Photobooth, Weed Bars, Games, Translator
Bridal, Bachelorette, etc.
As always, thank you all so much for reading my blog! Chat with you all next week!