Tips to Make Your Wedding Planning Easier

Planning a wedding can seem overwhelming, there are many details to bring together.  If the thought of making it all happen at the right time creates anxiety, here are a few tips to help keep you on the right track.

Lists, Lists, Lists
If you are a list lover, this is an easy step for you.  If lists are not your thing, give it a shot anyway. The point is – wedding planning can be a lot to store in your head. Here are organizing pieces that are easier to maintain with a list.

  • To do’s – A planning list on paper will help you see your tasks in order so you can check them off as you go.
  • Vendor list – Create a list of vendors you need to visit with names, addresses, phone numbers, and emails. It is a good idea to keep your vendor’s contact information handy, even saved in your smartphone.
  • Guest list – You will refer to your guest list for showers, pre-wedding parties, invitations, and thank you cards.
  • Wedding musts and wishes – As you are planning, write down the MUST happen items for your wedding alongside your list of wishes. Rather than throwing everything in all at once, this will help you prioritize and keep your budget under control. Your wish list items can be included through the process once you determine how your finances align with your preparation.

Hire a Planner
If you have the funds in your budget to hire a wedding planner, DO. It will be well-worth the expense. This person can ease your load by taking on tasks and details for you. She understands the planning process from start to finish and is a great resource for top wedding vendors.

Just Ask
If there is something extra you want for your wedding, ask. Whether is it a vendor, your coordinator, the reception hall, or a helpful comrade; sometimes the answer is “yes” if you simply ask! Perhaps you can expect a simple “no” for special circumstances and become pleasantly surprised to hear that “yes” is a possibility.

Save a Paper Trail
Keep a folder with a copy of all agreements and contracts. Even take note of the verbal agreements and promises to be stored in this file. You never know when this will come in handy. Your records should back up your demands in a crunch.

If you are interested in more planning tips, here is a checklist you can follow.

Responsibilities of Your Maid of Honor

The maid of honor at your wedding plays a particularly important role.  She is there to help with tasks big and small, calm your nerves when you feel emotionally unstable, and keep the energy positive.  So, be selective with who you ask to take on this responsibility. Here is a list of items your maid of honor will tackle on and before your wedding day.

Host a bridal shower
Many brides have a pre-wedding shower for friends and family to bring gifts before the event. While some gatherings may call for a collection of registry selections, others have a particular theme in mind. Typically, the maid of honor will host at least one of these events. She will help coordinate the guest list, arrange refreshments, and keep of log of what you receive. Most importantly, she is there to help you create positive memories leading up to your wedding day.

Lead the bridesmaids
Your bridesmaids will need to order dresses, attend fittings, show up to certain events, and host a bachelorette party. Your maid of honor is there to lead the way. She can make sure all your ladies have taken care of these details and are there to help you with any extra task thrown your way.

Be your crutch
Inevitably, something will go wrong, which is okay. Your maid of honor is there to help fix any given situation, but also to keep you calm. You have enough stress already so leave the extra burden up to her. It is her job after all!

Outside of unexpected hiccups, she is also there to take over the tedious tasks and details that you shouldn’t stress over. She will even be by your side at the altar to hold your bouquet while you say your vows and fix the train on your dress as you walk down the aisle.

Sign the marriage license
One important, traditional task your maid of honor has the privilege of participating in is the witnessing of your marriage license. Her memory will be with you, documented forever!

Wedding wrap-up
As you take off for your honeymoon, your maid of honor will stay behind to make sure the gifts are taken safely to your home, any items you left behind are collected, and any rental items are returned. It is time for you to simply relax.

 

Your Wedding Invitations Guide

Now that you are engaged, congratulations! As you begin organizing details, take some time to find a style of wedding invitation that is right for you.  Here is a guide to helping you begin the selection process as well as understanding how to properly address and insert the correct wording.

Style

First, determine whether you plan to have a casual or formal event and keep your setting in mind.  Will your wedding take place indoors or outdoors, in the evening or early afternoon? Are you planning a destination wedding, or something at your local church? Each of these factors can play a part when deciding which invitation to choose. A formal wedding invitation is better suited for an indoor wedding in the evening hours where a sit-down dinner will be served.  A casual invitation is better suited for an early afternoon wedding on the beach. It is essential that the formality and style of your selection corresponds with your atmosphere.

Colors

Have you already selected the colors of your bridesmaid’s dresses and floral arrangements? If you have a shade in mind, wedding invitations are a perfect avenue for introducing your color theme.

Addressing

Before you order your wedding invitations, pre-plan who will be included on your guest list.  Always order additional invitations in the event you need to extend a last-minute invite. Address your envelopes to clearly reflect who you plan to include.  If you are hoping for a family along with their children, address your envelopes to the “Family of….” If you only intend to invite the couple, address the invitation to “Mr. and Mrs.…” For the singleton who is engaged, be sure to include their fiancé. In this instance, or in the instance of a single person who you want to bring a guest, write “Mr. or Ms.….and Guest” While most single adults are allowed to bring a date to weddings, if you are keeping your numbers low and only want to invite him or her, be sure you only address the invitation to the name of the person you plan to include. Here are more tips on how to keep your guest list small.   Here is a guide to knowing when you should allow a “plus-one.” Make sure you include response cards and envelopes with postage to keep your RSVP list in order.

Wording

This part should take most of your attention and time. It is essential to include the name of the bride and groom, the exact wedding location and time, parent’s name if they are taking part in wedding payment and planning, and any other pertinent information your guests will need to know. Avoid adding registry information or logistics. If you want to include anything additional such as these items, add them to a card or small note within the envelope. Feel free to add a poem, or something unique to make your invitation special, but remember to keep it simple with few words. Too much information in a small space can be overwhelming. Here are some invitation mistakes to avoid. If you are planning a reception following your ceremony include a note stating “Reception to follow” so all guest can plan ahead. Optional elements to include in your envelope are, reception details, directions, registry information, and anything else.  Wedding website details can be added to your invitation or as an optional add-in.

The Perfect Time to Serve Dessert at Your Reception

Timing your wedding reception is key to keeping your guests engaged and having a good time. While there is a typical order of events, when you serve dessert will determine how the rest of the evening will flow. Here are some tips to helping you plan ahead.

Let it flow

If you are hosting a sit-down meal, let the courses flow naturally and offer your sweet treats once the main course is complete and the dirty plates have been removed. At this point, direct everyone’s attention to the cake display and begin serving slices as soon as you finalize the cutting celebration. If you are hosting an open buffet, let your wedding coordinator determine when your guests are wrapping up their final course. Then you can cut the cake and set out dessert alternatives.  Find great options for a sweets table here.

Don’t delay

Some guests will be ready to leave after dinner is served, yet they will want to see the newlyweds cut their cake. While dinner should not be rushed, do not delay for too long! Timing your dessert will allow these guests to fully enjoy your celebration and head home before the party and dancing takes over. You can leave the sweets on display and available for your long-term party guests to enjoy throughout the evening.

Setting the party mood

Cutting the cake is a great way to direct the attention of your guests away from their table members and towards the happy couple. This can lead smoothly to toasting and first dances. It is understood to be the finality of your meal and the introduction to the reception party. Have fun with it and allow the DJ to take the floor. It’s only fun from here!

 

Making the Most of Your Wedding Day

The day is finally here!  Whether you had a long engagement or planned your nuptials soon after saying yes, waiting to walk down the aisle can seem like an eternity. Now that the stress of planning is behind you and you have finally reached your wedding day, here are a few ways to make it one you are sure to enjoy.

Stay positive.
Yes, you have the choice to stay positive regardless of what goes astray. Your ability to allow yourself to go with the flow (regardless of what goes wrong) can make or break your wedding day. The truth is, most unforeseen circumstances are out of your control. The caterer may bring the wrong appetizer, the DJ may fall ill, your bridesmaids may get into a disagreement; it is all okay! The focus is getting married and surrounding yourself with the people you love. If you succeed in making that happen, nothing else matters. Choose to take small obstacles with a grain of salt…you will be glad you did.

Put on a smile.
Smiling is contagious! Everyone around you will feed off your energy and undoubtably, the bride can set the tone of her wedding. When your wedding party sees you smile, they will follow suit, and that energy will be noticeable when you walk down the aisle. According to Psychology Today, “The feel-good neurotransmitters – dopamine, endorphins and serotonin – are all released when a smile flashes across your face…” So, even if it may be difficult to muster up a smile, do it anyway! Today is a day to focus on celebrating your new marriage.

Laugh and have a good time.
So, now we asked you to keep a positive attitude under all circumstances and maintain a smile, but now we ask you to take it a step further. Laugh as much as you can on your wedding day. If you embarrass yourself or if a vendor makes a mistake, just laugh it off and stay lighthearted. The small details (even the mistakes) are what make your wedding unique and memorable. When you finally make it down the aisle, have fun with your vows. When you hit the dance floor as a newlywed, enjoy the music and act silly as you dance.  You worked hard to make this day special and you should enjoy every minute of it!

Tying the Knot Before Your Wedding Day

I was surprised the day I showed up for my niece’s wedding only to find out that she had visited the courthouse a month prior to legalize her marriage.  Although the information was not public, I thought the ideas behind her decision were too smart to stay hidden.  Here are a few reasons why tying the knot before your wedding day could be a wise plan.

If You Must Postpone

Unfortunately, there are events out of our control that require weddings to be postponed. The world was shocked when businesses shut down for COVID-19. If you are in this situation and eager to say your vows, move forward with your “I do’s” at the local courthouse on the date you planned and celebrate with friends and family later. It can be devastating to give up your original wedding date, but this is one way to make the best out of a bad situation. You will have a unique memory of your wedding day for years to come.

Destination Weddings

If you are planning a getaway on the coast to celebrate your marriage, considering having a small ceremony at home for those who cannot attend. Perhaps you have relatives who are unable to travel for work or health reasons. They will feel extra special witnessing you legalize your marriage before you hop the plane.

A small ceremony at your local courthouse can also help eliminate hours researching and gathering proper documentation to get married in a different state; on top of assuring your license will transfer back home. Let your destination wedding simply be your dream ceremony without the added legal stress.

Nerves

Yes, the number one reason to go ahead and legalize your marriage it to simply calm your nerves. There is a lot of pressure to make your wedding day perfect. A year of planning, organizing details, and meeting with vendors can be overwhelming. As soon as you close in on the big day, it seems something inevitably will go sideways. There are too many details involved for all things to be perfect. A mix of creating perfection, remembering your vows, being the center of attention, and being inescapably pulled in every direction is enough to make even the calmest bride feel flustered.

A visit to the courthouse relieves a significant amount of pressure. Simply inviting parents or a couple of friends creates a more intimate and relaxed environment.  You can recite your vows without feeling like you are on stage and laugh at your mistakes. It is unbelievable how easy-going your wedding day can be if you choose to get pre-hitched. Just think of your big event as a party to celebrate your new marriage, not a day that must turn out perfect.

Once you finally reach the day of your big celebration, here are some tips to help keep you calm before walking down the aisle.

Beauty Appointments You Must Make Before Your Wedding

Your calendar is full, and you are running all over town pulling details together. One major piece to remember in the chaos is YOU! Leave some space for these important self-care appointments. You will be thankful when you walk down the aisle not only looking, but feeling your best.

Nails

Schedule a Mani-Pedi and bring along your bridesmaids. This is a great way to unwind and spend time with the girls. Ask in advance if you can pop the bubbly and include a snack tray to make it even more festive.

Hair

You may have secured a stylist on location for your wedding day, but don’t forget a maintenance appointment. Trim your split ends and include a deep conditioning treatment one to two weeks prior. You want your hair honeymoon ready after all! This also allows your stylist to focus solely on up-do and curls on your wedding day.

Makeup

Not every bride has a make-up artist on site. Plan a visit with a professional one or two weeks out and include your maid of honor. Ask for tips on proper application and take notes on how to create an extra pop for photos.

Tanning

Whether you prefer the tanning booth or a spray, it is important that you make this appointment within one week prior to your wedding day. You want to allow time for your tan to set so you walk down the aisle with perfectly glowing skin. Tans will fade over time so try to not to make your appointment too early.

Massage

This one is for you. You have worked hard preparing for this big moment, it’s time to relax a little. A massage is a great way to reduce stress and ease any tension you have developed through your planning. This is also a great way to escape by taking your mind off wedding details. You deserve it!

Checklist Items That Can Wait

After celebrating your engagement and the wedding planning begins, suddenly you realize how many details there are to cover. It can be overwhelming. While some items need to be checked off right away, others can be put on hold. Here are a few things that can wait for a later date.

Dress Shopping

Every bride is eager to get out and try on wedding dresses. After all, who doesn’t want to feel like a princess? But hold off, there are more pressing matters that need your attention in the beginning. Dress shopping can wait six to eight months prior to your wedding date. This allows plenty of time for fittings, alterations, shipping, and final touches…don’t worry. If you are eager to daydream, find a collection of bridal magazines and start considering your must-haves for the perfect ensemble anytime!

Music Selections

While it is a good idea to select a band or a DJ in order for them to hold your date, there is no need to panic over music selections right away. Write down any songs your have in mind for your first dance or the perfect father-daughter moment. There is no need to spend hours making music selections in the beginning. Music professionals have plenty of suggestions with the ability to put a playlist together close to your wedding date. Allow time to get inspired by looking online, attending weddings, or asking friends for now.

Seating Charts

You may already have an idea of who clicks well together and who needs to be seated on the opposite side of the room. These considerations are a great start.  But hold off on a seating chart until you begin receiving your RSVP cards in the mail. It can be a tedious process to dive into, especially if you are unsure about the final guest list. For now, consider putting together your invitations instead. When the time is right to finalize the seating chart, here is a guide to get you started: https://edmundswasteremoval.com/tips-creating-seating-chart/

The Honeymoon

OK, we know. It is nearly impossible to think about other things when you have a vacation with your sweetheart on the horizon. Typically honeymoon plans need to be organized six months in advance. For now, talk about your dream honeymoon together and just start brainstorming ideas to get you on the same page. Leave the travel planning to flight purchases until a later date.

Etiquette Behind Wedding Attire: How Do You Know What to Wear?

Have you ever been invited to a wedding and wondered, “What should I wear?” You’re not alone. In fact, there is etiquette behind the answer. While it is obvious that you don’t want to show up dressed like the bride, we don’t want you to be stumped. Here is a guide to help you find the perfect outfit.

Casual

Casual weddings are based on a few factors. If you are confused based on the invitation alone, consider the couple. Are they the type to throw a formal event, or is their personality more suited to a casual get-together? Here are also a few giveaways that can help you prepare.

Morning weddings – typically weddings that take place early in the day provide a more casual setting. No need for cocktail dresses or stilettos. A pretty, and tasteful sundress with casual pumps or sandals are typically OK unless otherwise noted. Avoid flip flops, even in the most laid back of settings.

Outdoor weddings – An event taking place outside is likely to require clothing and shoes that make it easy to move on varying surfaces. Flip-flops are still out of the question but also avoid shoes that are difficult to maneuver on grass, cobblestone, or pavers with large gaps. This is also a time to find a dress or suit that will not expose too much bare skin if caught unexpectedly by the wind.

Beach weddings – While oceanfront weddings typically rank at the top of the causal wedding list, this is not the time for shorts, T-shirt, tanks and flip-flops. Remember, this is still an important celebration where your respect is a must. Pretty hats, sunglasses, flowing dresses that cannot accidentally expose too much skin are acceptable. This is also not a great time to show up in a fancy cocktail dress and pumps. You can also feel out of place when overdressed as you can underdressed.

Dressy

Formal weddings typically occur later in the day or early evening. However, depending on the venue, there may be a few exceptions.  When in doubt, just ask. Here are a few factors that may be a sign that it is best to dress in your Sunday best.

Church weddings – What would your grandmother want you to wear to a church service? Consider that question when you are selecting your attire. The rule of thumb is to dress up more for weddings occurring in the late afternoon or early evening. Even church weddings that occur earlier in the day require semi-formal attire that is a little dressier than an early outdoor or beach event. If occurring over the warmer months, you can get away with dressy sandals early in the day.

Evening weddings – Evening weddings are typically the most formal, especially for sit-down dinner receptions. This is the time to show off that fancy cocktail dress, gorgeous new shoes and clutch you’ve been dying to pull out of the closet. As long as your dress is tasteful and doesn’t match the bride, wear it with pride.

Unique Rehearsal Dinner Ideas

Rehearsal dinners are coordinated for a purpose. Tradition states that the groom’s family plans and covers the cost of this event. Held the evening before your wedding and following a brief practice of your wedding ceremony, this dinner allows time for the wedding party, close friends, and family to celebrate the couple in an intimate setting. There is more time to toast, share stories or videos, and wish the couple a lifetime of happiness prior to the big event. If you are searching for unique ideas for your rehearsal dinner, here are a few that will inspire.

Host a backyard barbeque. For a casual atmosphere, consider a backyard barbeque. Whether the dinner is potluck or catered, this environment will keep things easy going and stress-free so the couple can unwind from months of hectic planning.

Enjoy a night of fine dining. Some couples prefer a more upscale rehearsal dinner. If you want to dress up and enjoy a luxurious night out at a popular restaurant, this is the time to do it!

Host a cocktail party. Set up like a wedding, some couple like the idea of serving fancy appetizers, cocktails, and even a sit-down dinner or buffet. If you really want to splurge, hire someone to provide background music to enhance the celebration.

Create a theme. Sure, everyone is gathered for one central purpose, but spruce up the excitement and serve your guest with a theme in mind. Provide food, cocktails, and décor that match your motif.

Add in the extras. Outside of dinner and toasting, add an element of fun that everyone can enjoy. Bring in a photo booth and save the pictures for your album, hire a magician to entertain the crowd, or even play some silly games that involve everyone there. The sky is the limit!