Order for Hiring Wedding Vendors

Planning a successful wedding happens over a period of time. For those who appropriate organization, this is your time to shine! The more methodical and organized you are with your approach, the easier it will be to pull everything together for the big day.

While there is no single order that a couple must follow when hiring wedding vendors, here are a few things to consider when assembling your wedding team, including practical order you can follow for hiring the right people.

  1. Wedding Planner
    If you plan on hiring a wedding planner, this is the first call you should make. Your wedding is an important event, and you will want someone on your side who will help take care of details and bring your vision to life. They are a great resource for securing other vendors and walking you through an appropriate planning timeline.
  2. Photographer or Videographer
    We recommend finding someone to take photos and videos immediately after securing your planner. Right now, vendors with talent in this area are booking fast. Since your wedding will be an emotional time filled with laughter and joy, you want to secure the right person to creatively capture memories of this day.
  3. Music Vendor
    Music can bring a wedding reception to life. You’ll want to find someone who can make their own playlist with a good mix of music and will keep the party lively. They may also be the person who announces important events such as cutting the cake, throwing the bouquet, and the first dance. It is appropriate that you are particular with who you choose to hire.
  4. Officiant
    Next, look for someone to officiate the ceremony. Your wedding officiant is responsible for reviewing the order of service, the readings, music selections, and vows.
  5. Caterer
    If a caterer is not already included with your venue, hire someone around nine months prior to your event. Find a vendor who offers a variety of selections and is willing to be flexible with menu choices.
  6. Cake
    Next, find a baker and plan a date for tasting! Yes, wedding cakes are beautiful, but we want you to find someone who will create one of the right size, color, and taste.
  7. Florist
    Close to the five-month mark before your wedding, search for a wedding florist. You may want to customize a few items, and this will allow time for them to plan and prepare. We suggest you find a florist who is knowledgeable, confident, and has experience with weddings.
  8. Others
    Once the vendors listed above are secure, search for someone to help with invitations, hair and make-up, transportation, or anything else you need help with on your wedding day. Ask your coordinator for a list of vendors who can help you with the small details and for ideas they have taken from past events that they have organized.

Steps for Finding the Perfect Wedding Dress

Now that you are engaged, are you dreaming of finding your wedding dress?

If you are eager to hit the bridal shop to try on different styles and find the picture-perfect fit, then this timeline can help you determine when it is best to gather your support team and start shopping.

When should you try on dresses?
It is essential to understand that finding and fitting the right wedding dress is a process. Your dress will need to be ordered, shipped, altered, and pressed before your wedding date. Some dresses are made to order, and it can take up to six months to piece together. But, even if you are purchasing off the rack, it is likely you will still need time to make adjustments.

With this in mind, we recommend you begin dress shopping as soon as you have secured the venue. Ideally, you will have eight to ten months for find your dress and have it returned and ready to wear on the big day.

What are the steps for finding the right dress?
Since selecting the right dress is more than simply hitting the store and buying what you like, we have created a simple timeline set you on the right shopping path.

  1. Choose a style. You may already have a style in mind but do some online research and purchase and peruse a few bridal magazines. Trends change year to year, and you may find yourself leaning towards a look that you want to try first. It makes your trip to the bridal shop more efficient when you already have an idea of what you like. Although, we do recommend you try on a few varying styles, you may be surprised with what you fall in love with!
  2. Choose your budget. Decide how much of your wedding budget you plan to spend on your dress. Remember to add in taxes, shipping costs, alterations, and the added cost of your veil and accessories.
  3. Set an appointment. Many bridal boutiques will require and appointment to try on gowns. It is likely that they will have an attendant available to walk you through the process, so they need to have you on the schedule to provide the best possible service.
  4. Make your purchase and allow time for your dress to be created and packaged for shipping.
  5. Once your dress has arrived, make an appointment to try it on and determine what needs to be altered.
  6. After the final alterations, have your dress steamed or professionally pressed and hung in a sealed bag until your wedding date.

How to Cope with Wedding Planning Anxiety

A wedding to-do list can seem quite overwhelming. Whether the stress circles around planning vendor meetings, family dynamics, or budgeting dilemmas, wedding anxiety is a real thing.

If your feelings are overwhelming and you are unable to cope, seek professional assistance. If you simply need tips on how to calm your nerves and keep your planning on track, here is some guidance to help along the way.

Acknowledge, then manage.
First, acknowledge your stress! Determine what are your triggers and where they stem from. Are you nervous about family dynamics, budget, everything running smoothly, how you can manage your time, or even a mix of all these elements?

Start managing this stress with a positive mindset. If there’s a problem, you can still work to fix it. If there’s a solution, it can be found. But be realistic and honest with yourself and your partner about your expectations. Then take a deep breath and work through each item one by one. Start with the triggers that are most important to you. And, if necessary, set appropriate boundaries.

The truth is, some of your triggers may be seen as monsters to you, but when you really think about it, you may find they aren’t really all that scary after all. Perhaps you’re a perfectionist who wants a flawless wedding day. But don’t forget to think about your guests and what they’ll actually notice if your plan goes awry. Perhaps you are nervous about your timetable. Then set aside some amount of time every day or week for wedding planning can help you achieve a better life-balance. Rationalize and tackle each trigger item until you have perspective or an action plan in place. Taking power over each scenario will help you feel more in control.

Seek support from your inner circle.
Next, talk to your partner about the stress you are feeling. This is a kick-start for your life together and a great time to begin working through tough situations as a couple, even if the conversations are difficult. Outline your values and create a mutual understanding over how to set priorities or define boundaries. Decide and ask for what you need personally to find the energy to tackle a seemingly overwhelming to-do list together.

If you have a maid-of-honor and trusting wedding party, then they are your support. If you don’t, then now is the time to make your selections and ask for help. Your friends and family are there to help you organize, plan and offer moral support.

Take a step back.
It’s always good to take a break once in awhile to clear your head and regroup. Concentrate on other aspects of your life like family, friends, or work that have fallen by the wayside. Plan a spa day, get a manicure, or find time to exercise. It is possible that you could just need a break.

Lastly, plan a date night with your partner and try not to discuss the wedding at all. Click here to see how planning a date night may just be the stress-reliever you need.

The Latest in Wedding Registry Trends

The evolution of wedding registries has been ongoing for decades. We have found that the more things change, the more they stay the same. While couples used to spend hours selecting crystal and fine China, now they are focused on finding items that show off their personality and add meaning to the home.

Make a statement.
Adding household items to your registry will never go out of style, but couples are now elevating these selections to high-end pieces that spark conversation and stand out from the ordinary. Quality is customary when picking decorations or items to entertain guests, yet the statement is what matters most. Couples want their house to be reflection of their relationship. Items like furniture, art and décor all reflect the couple’s personality. As the saying goes, “a room is a reflection of the people who live there”.

Items for travel.
Following two years of isolation and social distancing, couples are now eager to travel and create memories abroad. Vacation plans are ramping up across the globe as people try to make up for lost time. Luggage accessories, items that create comfortable flights, and even cash donation pages are showing up on wedding registries everywhere as couples are excited to put travel plans into motion.

Creating memories.
One of the best ways to ensure a long and happy relationship is by regularly doing things together as a couple. Being gifted a cooking course, dance class, photography session, or couples massage can bond newlyweds in a way that material items never will accomplish. Therefore, experiences are now becoming popular gifts for the bride and groom. Many couples want to keep the romance alive by scheduling frequent date nights. The goal is to continue connecting even after the honeymoon stage has ended.

If you are interested in traditions registry ideas or finding practical items to include, click here.

How to Handle a Vendor Cancelation

You will spend a lot of time researching, interviewing, and selecting your vendors for your wedding. It is unfortunate and unlikely, but there are times when a vendor needs to back out at the last minute. This causes a lot of stress for you, but there are a few things you can do to take control, pull things together, and make it all work smoothly.

Try to stay calm.

Your first priority should be to calm yourself down and take a deep breath. If you feel anxious about the whole situation, just take a few minutes to release some stress. When you finish, you should try to relax and be proactive. Ask the vendor who canceled for a suggestion on who else you can call. If they don’t have a resource, let your wedding planner know immediately. They should have a bank of vendors who are more than willing to step in. If you do not have a planner, ask your other vendors for suggestions. Many vendors are in co-op groups or have worked together at weddings in the past. If all else fails, find a friend who can step in to help. Your last resort would be to DIY the task. Ask a local baker for a cake. Ask a local florist for suggestions. Ask a friend to take your photos. Create a playlist for your reception. It is likely that someone can step in to help. Remember, your wedding is about your celebration, so a missing vendor can’t ruin the entire day.

 Get online.

In the event that you can’t find a recommendation, begin searching online. There are local wedding Facebook groups and you can do a search on the internet for local vendors. As long as you tie the knot, everything will be okay, and remember to stay positive.

3 Key Elements That Help Create a Comfortable Wedding

Planning a wedding is a huge undertaking. While you may have a checklist of vendors to book, appointments to organize, and finances to arrange, the less obvious details are what actually make your wedding successful and deserve your focus. Here are a few planning secrets that will help make your wedding a smash.

Thoughtful Date Planning
You may have an ideal time of year to tie the knot but be thoughtful to your guests before mailing save-the-dates. Perhaps you want to get married over the holidays. Consider family events and tricky travel dates first. While a Christmas wedding seems romantic to you, your guests may feel disappointed when your event falls on the same weekend as their annual family gathering.

Black-out dates can also cause concern when your guests need to book a hotel room. Investigate events taking place over your desired weekend to see if room blocks or separate reservations will be hard to come by. Some months are busier than others, just be mindful of those who will need a place to stay.

Allow Plenty of Space
Ask your wedding coordinator how many guests you can comfortably fit in your venue. If that number is less than the amount of people on your guest list, it is time to consider other options. Even if this is your dream location, it’s not a good idea to pack people in like sardines. The rule of thumb is between 25-30 square feet per person so there is space to move comfortably.

Timing is Everything
If you want to include certain traditions in your ceremony, understand that some guests may have a hard time sitting for an extended time. Try to keep the ceremony capped at the thirty-minute mark. After you say your vows, don’t let your guests wait too long for you to take photos, even if there is entertainment and food available. Guests can get frustrated if they wait too long for the reception to begin.

At your reception, you also need to balance your time well. Try to say hello to each of your guests and thank them for attending. Most people will be respectful of your time and understand they cannot hold a long conversation. Remember to focus time on your new spouse and have fun with your wedding party. You are the host!

How to Choose Bridesmaids Dresses for a Spring Wedding

If you are getting married, it’s likely that you have already thought about what kind of wedding party you want. You’ve probably selected the ceremony site, chosen your favorite vendors, and made plans for the rehearsal dinner.

Now is the time to start thinking about your wedding party and what they will wear. But picking an option within your color and style theme is only the beginning. While the process seems fun, it is not quite as easy as you may think. Before you start shopping, you should know a few basics to help you make an informed decision.

Consider the Weather.
If you live in an area where spring weather can range from freezing temperatures to sunny and warm, you may want to look for dresses that can be worn under a wrap or jacket. If you’re not sure what to expect in terms of the weather, look for dresses that can layer nicely so your girls are comfortable if it gets a little chilly.

How formal is your wedding?
If you are hosting a casual wedding, there are many ways in which to go about choosing your bridesmaid dresses. You can choose from a variety of short, flowing, and colorful dresses. Alternatively, you could give each girl a few choices within a range of options and let them choose what suits their style and personality best. Then, you can offer matching accessories to tie the look together nicely.

If you’re going the formal route, then consider length and fabric. Typically, a knee-length dress or longer is considered “formal.” Dresses made of bridal satin, brocade, or charmeuse look classy for a dressy event. This is the time to let your bridesmaids rock that long, gorgeous ballgown of their dreams!

Consider body types.
It is important to consider which styles look flattering on the unique body types of your bridesmaids. If you want your girls to wear matching dresses, consider picking a maxi style which is long a flowing and a little less formal, the sheath look, which is long and fitted for any style wedding, or an empire waist that clinches the narrowest point of the bust and flows nicely from there. If you are willing to let your girls mix and match, let them try on various styles and purchase the one they feel the most beautiful in.

Think about the cost.
It is likely that your bridesmaids will purchase their own dress, so you should be mindful of the cost. Perhaps one or two bridesmaids can afford to spend a bit more money on a dress than another, so be considerate of everyone’s budget before making your final decision.

An affordable bridesmaids’ dress ranges between $100 and $200 for a typical wedding. With that price, you can select something that will look great on everyone. Make sure you pick a dress that they will be excited to wear again!

Wedding Trends for 2022

Weddings are back in a big way. People are feeling more comfortable gathering in groups again, are anxious to get out of the house, and look forward to celebrating something positive. If you are planning a wedding for 2022, here are the top trends to look for so you can plan your event in style.

Colors

Some brides are choosing bright and bold colors to enhance their wedding. There is no hue or color scheme, it is just a bold mix of colors that blend. Pops of color can draw attention to certain accents, blend beautifully in floral arrangements, and create beautiful contrast to tie your motif together. If you like the idea of bold colors, consider mixing red and pink. The contrast between the two is striking!

If bold is not your thing, earthy tones will be a hit for weddings this year. Consider using tans, rose hues, beige, and nudes to focus on the environment.

 Personal Touch

A lot of brides are steering away from tradition and adding a personal touch to their wedding plans. Favors and decorations that are meaningful to the bride and groom take precedence over things that are not. Some couples are willing to walk away from traditions that feel forced or non-intimate, even if it is a long-term family tradition. The main focus is celebrating. Ditching the formality and having a good time is priority.

Destination Weddings

People are eager to travel again, and destination weddings will be a big hit in 2022. Many couples are ready to leave the house and explore the world again because they are tired of being indoors. Wouldn’t it be great if you made your wedding a vacation as well? You may be surprised at the number of people who are willing to travel for your destination wedding. For the hottest wedding destination spots, click here.

How to Host a Black-Tie Wedding

When you dream of the perfect wedding, do you imagine formal ball gowns and a seated dinner? A black-tie wedding is one of the most formal events you can host. It’s a wonderful opportunity to show off your wedding and make your guests feel as special as they are. Black tie weddings are usually accompanied with dressy attire and a traditional atmosphere. Below are the “must-do’s” for planning a black-tie wedding.

You may also sense hesitation from your guests about attending or dressing up for a black-tie wedding. But, if you let your guests know it’s a “fun” event, they may not be as intimidated by the idea. Black tie does not mean your guests have to wear a tuxedo or a ball gown. In fact, some wear “formal” attire to a black-tie event as a sign of respect to the happy couple. Formal does not mean stuffy, and a black-tie wedding can be the perfect excuse for your guests to wear those gorgeous heels and sparkly accessories they’ve been hoarding in the back of the closet. If you choose to allow a more casual dress code, make that clear in the invitation. Some couple will allow cocktail dresses or suits for men instead. It’s better for your guests to be prepared so they don’t have to buy a new outfit if possible.

A black-tie wedding is usually accompanied with a seated dinner and live entertainment. A wedding invitation to a formal wedding will request a guest response with a dinner selection between two or three options. Dinner is served by a wait staff and may have four courses or more. While guests are enjoying their elegant dinner, live entertainment will be in the background. The couple will usually hire a band for who will amp up the party after food is served for dancing.

Formal wedding events can end with a parting gift for guests to take home. It is important to thank each guest who came to celebrate your fabulous wedding with you.

 

How to Give Your Bridal Party an Honoring Toast

As you are getting ready for the big day, you have your maid of honor, bridesmaids, and parents to help you. They play an important role in your wedding. They’re there with you on your wedding day, too. They’re there to celebrate with you and support you as you say, “I do.” Think about a time during the rehearsal dinner or wedding when you can let them know how much they mean to you.  Maybe it’s easy to talk to them in front of a crowd, or maybe you’re not sure you can handle the idea. Planning ahead of time is really helpful. Here are some ideas on how to put together a toast that will make your bridesmaids feel honored.

A decent toast should last no more than about three to five minutes. First, introduce your bridesmaids to your guests and thank them for agreeing to be a part of the wedding party. Next, talk about why they are so special to you and why you appreciate having them in your life. Mention how long you have known them and then tell a personal story of your past together. Let them know you will be happy to look back at your wedding album and see photos of them standing by your side as you make one of the biggest commitments of your life.

When it is time to wrap up your toast, raise a glass and ask your guest to take a sip in honor of your girls!