Tag Archives: planning

Trickle Down Effect

Your bridal experience is likely limited to attending weddings and, even if you have been in a bridal party, you are probably unaware of the scope of work planning requires. Therefore, what should be a fun, exciting time often becomes overwhelming and sometimes even dreaded. A great way to avoid this is by figuring out the single aspect most important to you and, surprisingly, everything else will fall into place with much more ease and less stress. A few examples follow:

Dress: Perhaps you can’t get a very casual, informal gown that could double as date night dress out of your mind. From that, without even knowing, you have made the rest of your planning infinitely simpler. It has lessened the likelihood of formal venues, fancy stemware, over-the-top decorations and many of the formalities that go along with ornate, unduly embellished ball gowns.

Flowers: If, for example, you are determined to surround yourself with blush peonies, you have automatically narrowed down the time of year (as they have limited availability) and homed in on a range of complementary colors for both your wedding party and decorations. Also, you have unofficially set a welcoming and familial tone.

Venue: Most important may be exchanging vows in the large, gilded cathedral you were raised in. Accordingly, gone are the less formal dressing options, bohemian style details and whimsical, DIY additions many brides who opt for less formal/less expensive weddings include.

There are exceptions to everything. You may decide to mix and match a bit of everything and, of course, it will come together flawlessly. However, choosing a focal point from which to branch out is a method to save time, energy and help you enjoy the planning process as much as possible.

Minimal Assistants

It goes without saying that, as a bride, you likely have a plan (or at least a clear vision) in place regarding most of your wedding day details. Making your ideas come to life may be challenging for many reasons leaving you wishing for sole responsibility over every component. Unfortunately, that is an impossibility as outside help, whether from friends and family or hired professionals, is required. However, every decision including the amount of assistance you want or need and from whom it comes is yours to make.

Remember that the period leading up to your special day is not just exciting for you but for those close to you as well. Many will offer their time, advice and skills to ease your burden and lower your stress level. While usually successful, occasionally their good intentions lead to uncomfortable situations and hurt feelings.

One objective of your wedding is for your guests to enjoy themselves which includes being able to take in everything going on around them. If someone offers to provide their services on the day of for something other than what you want, kindly pointing out some of the special things they would miss is a great way to decline the offer while avoiding being offensive.

Unsolicited offers will not just come for your ceremony and reception but may arise throughout the planning process too. Fortunately, those are easier to handle. During this time, you can include the individual(s) in different yet equally meaningful ways making it seem as if you are not being dismissive. For example, if your mom is determined for you to wear her veil and your heart is set on a birdcage, invite her to help you choose just the right one and offer to sew a piece of the veil inside your gown or to use it as a wrap around your bouquet.

All intentions are good when those who love you offer a lending hand as difficult as that may periodically be to keep in mind. However, it is the one day that all attention is on you and your future husband. Therefore, while always doing so kindly and with consideration, you should not feel guilty for ensuring that what you envisioned is exactly what materializes.

I’ll Take Care of You

Part of your wedding includes the experiences that you have along every step of the way and those often impact the decisions you make. It is important that each element is made to seem just as meaningful to those involved as it is to you and that you’re made to felt like just a number or source of income.

For example, if while dress shopping, you are rushed to make a decision or only one of many being tended to simultaneously, most likely, you’d be peeved and shop at another location. If a photographer gave you a stringent amount of time he/she would be willing to be of service and was completely rigid and uncompromising, certainly you would look elsewhere.

The same can be said about your venue. Never can one roam around a location unattended and the personality and flexibility of the wedding contact have what may seem a minor (but is actually quite an important) impact on where you choose for your ceremony site. Aside from showing you the grounds, that individual will help you in many ways that a wedding planner would (at no cost) in the sense of ensuring that everything you want is just as you request but also tend to the smallest details as they have intimate knowledge of each aspect of the facility. Wedding planners are good go-to guides but usually end up having to reach out to the wedding contact so if you find an amiable one, you can save money and cut out the middle man.

Not only should contact via phone or email via easy, you should receive both a prompt and accurate response to any unforgotten questions or concerns you may have. Pliability is important as it is your day and if someone is unkind or insensitive, it makes a negative impact on your decision as it’s a reflection on the locale as a whole as well as others from the location who may be involved.

Kindness is key. While purchasing a gown or choosing your flowers, while your interactions are important, in actuality, most likely are quite limited. A wedding coordinator is different from a wedding planner as they know the ins and outs of your ceremony site and are more invested in assisting you and making sure everything is perfect. Therefore, a coordinator can be crucial in your planning experience and your interaction should be strongly considered.

Avoiding Snaf(who)s

When planning a wedding, you will spend countless hours, months and sometimes years making sure that every detail is covered and everything is as perfect as it can possibly be. While the focus is certainly on you and your soon-to-be husband, it is important that your guests have an enjoyable time as well and that their feelings, expectations and desires are taken into consideration too. Inevitably, there will be some snafus but there are things you can avoid and do so in tasteful and thoughtful ways.

Chances are that many people at your wedding will not know one another as they come from both you and your fiancé and, most likely, haven’t met. As most strangers don’t tend to intermingle, if you are going to have an extended period of time between your wedding and reception, it is imperative (not to mention appropriate) to have some sort of diversion/entertainment for your guests. Plan for appetizers and cocktails to be available, rent a photo booth, have some games set up or anything else to keep your guests occupied so they don’t even notice the lapse in time.

Taste your food beforehand and give it some thought as two of the biggest gripes about weddings are that the food is either inconsistent in quality or that there are things that some of your guests, whether due to allergies, dietary restrictions or simple dislike, cannot eat. Choose a company that is reputable and is known for the first chicken breast, for example, tasting the same as the hundredth. Also, it is very important to make sure that you ensure an ample amount so that no one leaves feeling hungry.

Specify just who is invited on your invitations so you are not caught off guard and the location is not crowded to the point of being uncomfortable. It is prudent to either add specific names or include a check box for “plus ones” if they are welcome. Additionally, doing so can easily and tastefully avoid any issues if you choose to have a wedding in which children are not invited. All of these will help you to avoid unexpected guests as well as irritation, discomfort and a calamity of other errors.

At your reception, obviously, you choose those most important to you to give the toasts. Keep in mind a couple of things however. First, do exactly that. You don’t need to ask each relative, friend or everyone you’ve ever known to say something. Also, remember that many people who do so make references to times and events that a vast number of your guests will both have no knowledge of and/or in which they find no significance. The only thing worse than hearing about things you are not interested in is hearing about them for a prolonged period of time. Let your toastees know prior to the reception to keep it short and sweet. Have them choose a few important moments and express their wishes for you in a concise manner. That way, everyone can enjoy the speeches and memories and then the party can go on.

Respect your guests enough to spend some time considering the date you choose so it can both be special to you and not interruptive to them. There are many dates that you might not even think would be intrusive but often are such as any time around holidays as, for example, invitees from out-of-town may be less inclined to attend because they are accustomed to spending those times with their families. Days such as Friday where people either have to take off work (such as your wedding party) or attend after a long day are also not the best idea. Of course, perhaps there is a particular day that means so much to you that you insist on it and those who either can or choose to attend do and those who are not available for whatever reason don’t. The most important thing (if you are not set on a particular day) is to check the availability of those who are most meaningful to you and whose presence you want the most.

These are just a few of the things you should consider that, while may add additional time and effort into the planning process, will certainly make things easier as well as be worthwhile for both you and your guests in the end.

I’ll (Re)Consider It…

There is a sense of excitement and anticipation when you are proposed to that is often overwhelming as it is a moment that, perhaps has been long-awaited, will change your life forever and symbolizes the start of something new and incredible. It is only natural to want to dive right in and start planning and getting everything in order. There are so many aspects to weddings that can easily seem overwhelming so it is understandable to want to start checking as many things off of your list as quickly as possible. However, there are some things (of which these are just a few) that you should take some time to think about.

Perhaps choosing a dress is the most important. It is easy to see a gown you like or remember the one you grew up thinking you would want to wear and choose it immediately. Because the thing that all of your guests and your fiancé anticipate most is seeing you walk down the aisle as well as being the most important thing you will ever wear, you should take time to make sure you have made the perfect choice. Have some fun and try on different shapes and styles as you may find that the dress you thought you would never like turns out to be the one you can’t imagine not having.

Selecting who will be in your bridal party is another thing you need to put some thought into. After all, you can’t say “Oops. I didn’t mean that and want to take it back.” Because you were a bridesmaid for someone doesn’t obligate you to make them one of yours. If that were the case and you had prior “always been the bridesmaid but never the bride,” potentially you would have 10+ in your wedding party. Your budget will play a part in selecting the number you have but make your selection (whatever the number) carefully.

There is obviously a fun feeling in knowing that, for the occasion, you will get numerous gifts that you ask for on your registry. While there is a temptation to just go into stores and randomly pick and choose things that suit your fancy, the wise and prudent route to take is to spend time considering what you actually need. Recognize the items that you already have as well as those of your fiancé and ask for what you are lacking and will actually use. Additionally, spend a minute considering items in different price ranges as, while many guests want to give you a gift, they may not have very much money to spare. If you select things in different price ranges, everyone can get something that you want without having to worry or feel guilty for the amount they spend.

Upon hearing that you are engaged, people will innately have countless questions for you but it is important to remember that you don’t have to have the answers immediately. Enjoy your engagement and put some thought behind the decisions you make as you can never go back and recreate that day.

It Themes to Me

A wedding day is an overwhelming task to plan and takes an immense amount of time and consideration, but no matter how you look at it, the majority of weddings have some sort of theme. Some are subtle enough that they may be missed (even by you), some noticeable and others over the top, but typically, a theme is what ties everything together. Some brides associate the phrase “theme wedding” with something tacky that they would never have while others choose one either to celebrate something important to them or simply make the planning and shopping more streamlined and easier to stay focused on. Consider the following…

If you choose a color for your bridesmaids’ dresses, the same is used for the groomsmen’s handkerchiefs or ties and is additionally incorporated in the chair decorations, floral arrangements etc. at the reception, some may call that a “scheme” but it is a theme as well. That is the type of theme that even you may not notice until you look back at your photos and think “Goodness. Everything about our wedding was (fill in the blank)”.

Perhaps there is something, whether a day, place or thing that is very special to both of you that you would like to focus on. For example, let’s say that you met your future husband in Hawaii randomly when on a family vacation and the two of you returned and it was where you were proposed to. Of course, that would be very meaningful to both of you and something you might want to showcase. You could emboss an illustration of the islands on your invitations and/or thank you notes, choose tropical flowers such as Plumeria and yellow Hibiscus which are very representative of Hawaii for your bouquets or make your cake topper a couple dressed in board shorts and a grass skirt.

If you wanted to take things a step further, you could choose leis for your bridesmaids instead of traditional bouquets or have them handed out to your guests as they enter the ceremony site. By no means, however, do you need to have hula dancers at your reception, outfit your wedding party in grass skirts or roast a pig at your reception.

Without a doubt, those who you invite to your wedding will recognize the meaning behind the small nuances and those who don’t (i.e. the guests of your guests) will easily understand when getting an explanation from who it is they came with. It is not necessary to go overboard and make your special day over-the-top to the point that it takes away from the meaning and reasoning behind your marriage. After all, you still want it to feel like a day in which you are committing your lives to one another and too much can easily be a distraction and take away from that.