You’ve spent a lot of money on your wedding, but how do you get the most out of the leftovers? We have some creative ways for you to feel like you haven’t wasted your time and money by recycling wedding items!
You’ve got the groom, the dress and the bridal party, but is it that simple? We’re here with a big wedding planning checklist so you don’t forget anything.
Most usual engagements are at least a year long. You may be in a spot where you only have a few months to plan or over a year. You can make the wedding planning time less stressful no matter your timeline if you make checklists!
Let’s plan on a 12 month long engagement. The first list on your wedding planning checklist needs to be budget. How much do you want to spend on your wedding? Keep in mind unforeseen costs too and what are you willing to compromise on? Who is paying for the wedding? It’s usually a tradition for the bride’s family to pay, but these days it’s more common for the groom’s family to cover some cost as well. At this point in time, you also will want to make a guest list. This can get tricky with everyone wanted everyone involved so be sure to make your wishes clear.
10 months out you’ll want to start the fun of wedding dress shopping and venue selecting! You may fall in love with the first dress you try on but keep an open mind. Sometimes what you envision doesn’t quite match up to how it looks actually on you. You will want to start looking at invitations and take engagement photos if you want. We’ve put together a wedding planning checklist to keep things easy:
- Book hotel rooms/blocks for guests
- Send out save the dates around 9 months before the big day
- Buy wedding dress
- Register for gifts
- Select bridesmaid’s dresses
- Meet with florist and other rental accessories
- Book rehearsal dinner venue
- Hire musicians/DJ for reception
- Hire Officiant
- Book the honeymoon, guest transportation and your own transportation on the wedding day
- Buy/rent the tuxedoes
- Choose your cake
- Buy wedding bands
- Hair and makeup trial
- Select groomsmen’s attire
- Brainstorm guest favors
- Select readings (from any religious texts you may want in the ceremony)
- Meet with Officiant and invite them to rehearsal dinner
- Send out wedding invitations and/or rehearsal dinner invitations
- Dress fitting
- Marriage license
These are only a few of the myriad of things you’ll want to keep track of. You may find it helpful to hire a wedding planner to help keep everything on track! No matter what, enjoy your wedding day because you’ve certainly worked hard enough planning it!
When it comes to the best wedding flowers there are quite a lot of choices for you! Which ones do you gravitate towards – roses, lilies, daisies, plumeria, dogwood or lilacs?
This year, we are seeing a lot of orange and butter yellow shades. These flowers compliment both summer and fall weddings. You can use Peonies, Icelandic poppies, Juliet roses, chrysanthemums, carnations, and ranunculus to make a beautiful bouquet or bouquets for your bridesmaids. Add a delicate chandelier and you’ve got a very romantic space.
Another trend we are loving this year is moss! Who would have thought this greenery would replace the lush leaves we’ve been seeing for years? Moss adds a fabulous fairy tale element to your wedding space. Technically moss isn’t a flower, but you can add flowers to it to make it gorgeous. You can use a moss wall as an indoor ceremony backdrop or place it as a runner down the center of a long banquet table. Different flowers can be placed in the moss to add a great splash of color.
Another flower we love is the arthurium. It appears like a tropical flower but can be placed with more traditional flowers like tulips, roses, celosias, calla lilies and mini gerberas. The arthurium gives your bouquet a very unique look. This flower is especially fun for both summer and fall due to the range of colors it comes in.
In today’s social media craze it’s hard to put that phone away, but you may consider it for your wedding. There are several ways even the best-intentioned friend can ruin the big day. They may forget to put their phone on silent (that includes no buzzing), obstructing the professional photographer’s view at the peril of taking and posting their own blurry, inadequate pictures on social media.
There are a few ways you can help your guests get “unplugged” for your ceremony. The reception is a better time for guests to be on their phones.
You may have your officiant greet guests and kindly remind them to turn off their phones before the ceremony starts. You could also kindly say that you’d prefer them to enjoy the moment instead of trying to capture it on film – that is what the professionals are there for. If you’re concerned that the photographer or videographer won’t get all the angles and if so, then consider hiring a team of two or three.
It might also be a good idea to remind guests to unplug with signs before they enter the ceremony site or on your wedding website. It is not proper etiquette to print it on the invitation. You also want to avoid confiscating phones. That sends a negative message to your loved ones and it creates more problems than it solves. You may also offer an “altar photo op”. During the ceremony, the bride and groom can turn to face the audience. At that time, you may invite them to take pictures and then put their phones away for the remainder.
An unplugged wedding is a simple way to enjoy the day and not worry about people crowding each other or getting in the way. It might also take the pressure off your guests or family as well. They can relax and have the memory captured for them by professionals.
We discuss today the pros and cons of having a First Look on your wedding day! Most brides don’t let the groom see their dress until the wedding day. Some brides like to let their groom see them just before the ceremony for a great, intimate moment together before they walk down the aisle.
The Pros of having a first look:
- If you or your husband to be are feeling nervous before the big reveal it’s nice to have the first look to reassure each other. Not only will the photographer capture real moments, but it’s a great way to spend a little time just the two of you. You can take time to truly connect before the chaos of the celebration.
- The time of day can also impact your decision to have a first look. If you’re getting married in the winter the light fades pretty early. So, having a first look earlier ensures you can use natural light for great photos.
- Another reason is just practical. A first look gives you time to get those pictures out of the way so you can get to the cocktail hour and reception sooner.
The Cons of having a first look:
- If you are a traditional couple that can be the only reason needed to skip it. If you want the magic of the moment when you’re walking down the aisle that’s not a problem.
- Timing can be an issue as a con as well. If you get married earlier in the day then that means your time table will need to be pushed up as well. You may have to get ready earlier and that also possibly means your bridal party may have to get ready too. Some brides include their party after the first look too
- It’s not as private as you think. The photographer and assistants or videographer may be far away, but they’re still there to capture the moment. If you’re camera shy you may not get the genuine moment you want.
Last year we saw a lot of outdoor wedding venues, but this year it’s all about the Indoor Wedding Reception! This is a great option for those brides who want to tie the knot in a season where the weather may not cooperate. Summer can be blistering hot and humid, winter can get snowed out. We have some great indoor wedding reception decorating ideas.
If you choose a venue with tall ceilings we love the draped look. This can be elegant if you stick with a neutral white or pale shade. If you’d like a more jazzy look use a colored fabric or add lights in the drapes. The draped ceiling gives your venue a romantic, soft vibe. The draped ceiling will also work for a rustic indoor wedding reception or if you’d like to dramatically change a plain space.
We also love decorative pillows for your indoor wedding reception. If you want a more relaxed and inviting appeal try getting some comfy and warm pillows for your guests to sit on. This is also works well for cultural weddings where it may be more customary to sit on pillows.
Another way to decorate for your indoor wedding reception is to hang flowers. Your guests may thank you for not putting huge center pieces on the table. Big center pieces may block their view of each other and the bride and groom. This trick is also a fun way to bring the attention up if you don’t like the flooring of your venue. Hanging flowers creates a more intimate space. We love simple and lush bouquets that invite your guests into a romantic landscape. If you don’t want to spend money on all the hanging flowers you can always use a projection and light show – with flowers!
No matter what you choose to do for your indoor wedding reception we love the idea of keeping it all inside! That way you get to control the temperature, sound and lights!
You’ve got the date, the bridesmaids and the reception hall all picked out, now comes the wedding dress! We are loving some 2018 wedding dress trends that really make you pop as you walk down the aisle.
- Statement veil. Your wedding dress might be the centerpiece but you can also jazz it up with an amazing veil! You might be a bride who doesn’t want to wear one but think about it for a second – a beautiful, flowing veil that cascades over your dress and trails behind you. We’re sure we are seeing this “dramatic veil” search due to the Royal wedding that just took place. Megan Markle’s veil was stunning and you can utilize her elegant style too! We love the simpler wedding dress paired with the intensity of the statement veil.
2. What else goes perfectly with your wedding dress? Diamonds! This year we’re seeing a lot of stacked rings. You can customize your rings and it’s okay to cross jewelry designer lines. You get to pick the color, cut and style. What could be more fun than the first engagement ring – how about more rings on the wedding day? Some engagement rings also come as a stackable set. So you get to wear the engagement ring first and then it layers beautifully with the wedding bands.
3. Another wedding dress trend we’re seeing is bell sleeves. What’s more whimsical or flirty than bell sleeves? It might be a little retro but give it a try! We think you might be surprised at how flattering these flare sleeves are. The style sleeves can look great on modern sleek dresses, vintage wedding dresses or even mini dresses. There are a lot of variety in bell sleeves so that you can go bohemian or keep it more medieval.
What is the color of the year you may ask? We answer: Ultra Violet! Brides, this year this blue based purple hue is very in and we have some creative ways to use it.
- Reception decoration : Ultra Violet is a versatile color and perfect for spring or summer weddings. The deep blue base could also work well for fall. We love using flowers with this shade for your reception center pieces. Tree peonies, ranunculus, and heirloom garden roses can come in this pretty shade. We also love using Ultra Violet for ribbons on the back of chairs with decorative clips or table runners.
2. Add Ultra Violet to your cake. Most people think of wedding cake as white so why not accent it with beautiful purple blossoms or a geode effect? We love that this color can not only be used an accent but also as a main color.
3. Your wedding party. If you’re a daring bride you may even wear the color yourself but it also looks great on bridesmaids and groomsmen! We love the pop of elegant violet against a handsome tux or suit. It’s a great shade for skin types as well. You can still give your bridesmaids a choice in the style of dress but the color will unite your wedding party.
No matter what you choose to do with Ultra Violet it’s a great color that it very hot right now! We know you’ll be seeing a lot of this hue in weddings this spring and summer!
As a new bride it’s tempting to rush out and tell everyone and invite all your friends to the big day but we’re giving away tips on how a smaller wedding party can make your life easier! Just because some friends are not IN the wedding doesn’t mean they can’t have a good time or enjoy the celebration with you.
We aren’t just talking about bridesmaids and groomsmen either. Having a small wedding party in terms of guests will help cut down costs. The average cost per guest for a wedding is $100 so multiply that by 100 guests and it adds up. Keeping your guest list limited is the first way to cut costs.
However, let’s address the small wedding party itself. Keeping your bridesmaids to three or four close friends will save you a lot of headache. For one, it’ll make things easier to stay organized. It’s hard enough to plan an entire wedding so be sure your bridal party makes things easy for you.
It’s easier to take photos after the wedding ceremony as well with a smaller wedding party. You can fit everyone in the same frame and have time to try fun pictures like goofy shots or even use props. Along with photo taking a smaller wedding party allows you to let your bridesmaids have more flexibility with their choice of dresses. If you are comfortable letting your girls pick their own styles the less people makes the “mix and match” look classy instead of messy. You could also give them the option to rent a dress instead of buy. Happy bridesmaids make for great photos!
A small wedding party will both cut costs and allow you more control over your big day!
While it’s typical to have a Saturday afternoon/evening wedding there’s nothing wrong with having a daytime wedding either. If you’re an early bird bride and think an 11am service is for you then check out our tips!
The first thing you’ll want to do is make sure your bridal party is on board and those alarms are set. A daytime wedding will usually require a much earlier start. A daytime wedding is also a great option because lunches are usually cheaper than dinners. After the ceremony, your guests can go straight to the reception venue where lunch could be served as soon as noon. You can still cut the cake, have dancing, mingling and speeches like an evening wedding. The only difference is the time.
Guests should be finishing their meals around 1pm. What should you serve? Most people do lighter fare like chicken or fish with a vegetable and starch. But going with the traditional beef option is up to you. Some couples love to do brunch for a daytime wedding! You can get fun and creative with festive drinks, waffle bars and juice bars.
As far as entertainment goes, the daytime wedding typically only lasts until 2:45 or 4:30pm. What happens after that? You and your groom can spend time alone or go to a spa for some couples time. If you’d still like to hang out with your guests suggest local activities like zoo’s, museums or games that you could all participate in. You can also limit this gathering to only close friends and family for a more intimate celebration.
For the daytime wedding it’s also a bit more casual. For men think morning coats or a lighter color like gray or navy rather than a full tuxedo. As for the bride, you can still opt for the glamorous wedding gown but perhaps with a few less bells and whistles. But it’s your day and you get to wear the dress of your dreams! A daytime wedding can be a lot of fun and a little more casual so that you can enjoy the rest of the big day.