Monthly Archives: February 2013

Why Every Wedding Needs DETAILS!

Details details. If you haven’t noticed, it’s what I’m ALL about. It’s what I am 150% passionate about. I could talk your ear off about wedding details. DUH, the name of this site IS Every Last DETAIL. But not every bride has the innate ability to know what details she needs or how they should be done. Heck, I didn’t know for my OWN wedding- I just knew I wanted them! So let’s do a little “Wedding Detail 101″, shall we?

So what are wedding details?

Basically I consider wedding details anything that adds personality to a wedding. Anything that reflects you and your fiance, anything that makes a wedding look pretty, anything unique. The possibilities really are endless. There are some details that are pretty integral parts of a wedding, and then there are some that just kind of optional. But for the most part, in my world, you can’t have a wedding without these details…

– Invitations

– Bouquets

– Boutonnieres

– Centerpieces/Tablescape of some sort

– Cake

– Linens (including napkins)

And then you can eek out a wedding without these details, and some weddings don’t even need them, but I HIGHLY suggest having the following…

– Table numbers/names

– Escort cards or seating chart/method of some sort

– Menus

– Favors

– Drink accents (coasters, stirrers, special glass with names on them)

– Mr & Mrs chair decor

– Fun extra pieces of decor (banners, bunting, chandeliers, etc etc)

– Guestbook thingamagig…something for guests to leave their mark somehow and let you know they were there

– Signs

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How do you decide on wedding details?

Coming up with and deciding on wedding details is NOT an easy task. For some people it just comes easy. For some they cannot for the life of them thing of what to do. It helps if you know your wedding style and keep that in mind. It also helps to remember to keep your personalities in mind. You want your wedding to reflect you, and it’s going to do that with the details.

Don’t forget to look at the whole picture when coming up with your details. All too often there are details that juuuuust don’t quite go with a wedding. Like signature drinks inside mason jars for a glitz and glam elegant wedding. Eh, not so much. Signature drink mason jars for a casual outdoor wedding… DING DING DING! Get my drift? Keep in mind where your wedding is, what all of the other details are, and of course the STYLE of your wedding.

Okay, so now we’ve gotten all of the wedding detail “basics” out of the way! Now I can move on to the individual details for future posts! If you have any questions about all this, feel free to ask in the comments!

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Finding Wedding Inspiration & Making It Your Own

This  is about taking wedding inspiration and applying it to your own wedding. It’s about making your wedding YOURS- not anyone else’s, not the wedding I featured yesterday, not the last wedding you saw in a magazine. I know it’s said so many times, over and over. “Be true to yourself,” or “Do whatever is right for you”, things of that nature, blah blah blah. But it’s the truth. So how do you actually take all of the inspiration out there and make it your own?

Really, when you’re planning your wedding, sometimes you just don’t know what to do to make it your own. I get that. I was totally there. I’m the first to admit that my wedding was a pretty run-of-the-mill-ballroom-of-country-club wedding with not that many awesome details (although I am still pretty proud of our EVOO and aged balsamic favors). What I ran into when looking for inspiration for my wedding was that I loved everything. I really couldn’t decide and I was all over the place. I was a designer’s worst nightmare because I had a specific look in my head, but didn’t know how to convey it. So today I thought that I would sort of “outline” the process of looking for inspiration and then applying it all to making it your own for your wedding!

1. You want TONS of inspiration for your wedding. Colors, flowers, details, dresses, themes, etc etc- inspiration is the key. You will spend hours going through blogs and magazines, saving photos, tearing out pages, scrolling through pages. Look until you’ve exhausted all of your options and feel content about what you’ve found. And then go to the next step…

2. So now that you have tons of inspiration, how do you narrow it down? Narrowing down your inspiration is really important to do, but many forget to do it. This is where you really have to know your style and what is going to reflect you best. You probably have a whole folder on your computer dedicated to photos that you’ve seen that you like, right? And another separate folder of pages you’ve torn out of magazines. (And if you’re internet-savvy, different Pinterest folders too!) Go through them to weed out some of the inspiration images you’ve saved. Refine your inspiration. And then do it again a few days (or weeks) later. Most of the time you’ll start to see a recurring pattern in your inspiration, whether it’s a type of flower, colors, a style, etc. It usually happens, so don’t worry about making it happen. Let your inspiration speak for itself. 🙂

3. You have your “refined” inspiration now, but you don’t quite want to completely replicate that one wedding you loved that you saw in a magazine. Now is the time to look to you and your fiance’s personalities to help you refine your inspiration even more. Sure, you really like that one favor. But when your guests get a packet of seeds at their seats, are they going to pick it up and say, “Now THIS is totally your name here and your other half’s name here!” Maybe they will, but maybe they’ll be totally confused as to why they’re getting seeds from you because you don’t even own a potted plant. See where I’m going with this?

Thursday Tips: Finding Wedding Inspiration & Making It Your Own

Invitation Suite by ELV Vendor Gourmet Invitations, Photo by Kristen Taylor Photography

You want your wedding and everything about it to be a reflection of you and your fiance. Think about the two of you together as a couple- what you like to do together, a favorite hobby, favorite food, music, style, something that the two of you share. Even if you think it’s stupid, it could always be integrated into your wedding in some manner- especially if you’re working with an event designer. I have seen some pretty awesome things come to fruition because of a designer! Seriously, it can be anything- because it’s YOUR wedding! 🙂

4. And now come the decisions. What aspects of your wedding are you going to really infuse your personalities into, and what are you just going to buy or rent? What are you going to DIY? It all depends on what route you’ve decided to take- everyone’s situation is different. Ultimately, just know that when you want your wedding to really reflect you, it’s most likely going to take some work- whether it’s amongst yourselves or with a designer. But it’s so worth it. 🙂

I wanted to lay all of this out because I had no idea how to take my inspiration and make it my own when I was planning my wedding. Which resulted in it being pretty plain. But often times we get caught up in needing to have certain things a certain way for weddings. So much that we can forget about what was originally wanted and envisioned from the get-go. Sometimes what you originally wanted completely changes in the process of planning your wedding (thanks to all of the inspiration out there). This is all totally fine, because it needs to be YOUR wedding.

The bottom line is this: find your inspiration, refine it, and make it your own. No rules, no restrictions, just your. Own. Wedding. Then you’ll without a doubt have YOUR wedding.

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Choosing Your Date – Dates,Times, and Cost of Weddings

Let’s have a little chat about choosing the date and time of your wedding. It’s something that you all have to do very early on in your planning process. You can’t really do anything without choosing your wedding date, and then shortly thereafter you have to choose the exact time that you want everything to occur. I received this cute little infographic by TurboTax all about dates, times, and how the cost of your wedding can be impacted by both of the factors, and so I thought I would start off with that…

{Thursday Tips} Dates,Times, and Cost of Weddings

Free Tax Filing, Efile Taxes, Income Tax Returns – TurboTax.com

And now for some of my thoughts and insight into all of this…

Locations: It’s true that the cost of weddings are dependent on the specific location of where you have your wedding. If you’re on a tight budget and you live in a city where the cost of weddings are higher, you may want to perhaps get married in your smaller hometown or find a venue outside of the city. Example: My friend lived in DC, but chose to get married in our small Florida hometown. It was either spend $30,000 on an wedding for 50 people in DC, or spend the same amount and have 150 people in our small hometown. 🙂 

Time of Year: Ah yes, the time of year can play a HUGE factor in what your wedding ends up costing, but also in the availability of vendors and venues! The most popular/least popular wedding months are going to vary by your location though. I know in Florida, the most popular months are March, April, October, and November- because the weather is the nicest in those months. So for your location, if you want to know what the most popular months are, think of when the weather is the best. 🙂

Time of Week: Weddings that occur on days other than Saturday are becoming a lot more common. It makes sense- who ever said that you absolutely had to get married on a Saturday anyways?! Of course you’ll want to think of your guests when choosing the day of the week to get married, but if you want your wedding to be on a Wednesday, I say why not?! Besides, you could possibly get a lesser rate for your venue rental! But I’m not going to promise that you can get any “discounts” from other vendors, because service is service and product is product no matter what the day of the week is. 🙂

Time of Day: It’s true- the time of day can have a huge impact on what you end up spending. Mostly because all of the other times of day that are available- morning, afternoon, later evening- result in less food and alcohol. Well, except for later at night- that would most likely result in more alcohol, if you have a partying crowd. 🙂

Brides, what are your plans? Have you chosen your wedding date and time yet? How did you come to your decision?

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Wedding Budget 101

Who’s Paying?

Talk with your families about who will pay for what: Some brides’ families still pick up the entire tab, but more and more groom’s families are participating too. How do you bring up the conversation? For many couples, talking to each family separately is the best way to have truly open discussions. When you do talk, here are strategies for determining your initial budget.

  • Ask both of your folks to commit to a specific dollar amount, and then add up all the contributions to create your budget.
  • Alternatively, it may be easier to ask each set of parents to finance a particular aspect of the wedding (such as the ceremony, honeymoon, or catering) instead of just committing to a dollar amount.
  • Decide how much you two can contribute between now and the wedding. (37 % of the couples we polled say they’re planning to contribute financially to their wedding.)

Cost Considerations

If you’re planning on a formal candlelit dinner in the grand ballroom of that amazing hotel downtown, your budget is clearly going to have to be much bigger than if you’ve sketched out an afternoon tea and dessert party in your parents’ pretty backyard. In general, there are several major factors that will really affect what you’ll need to set aside.

Guest List Size
There’s a per-head cost for food and liquor, and these two are typically the biggest expense in the whole wedding, so changing the guest list size is the surest way to increase or decrease your costs. On top of that, you’ll save on all your other details, including décor, stationery, favors, and rentals, because you won’t need as much of everything.

Wedding Setting
Some cities and towns are just more expensive than others. New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles are the obvious culprits, but small towns and remote destinations can entail greater costs if things like flowers and talent have to come from afar. Tourist towns can also up your wedding price tag during peak season. Likewise, certain venues are more expensive than others. Some — such as a city park — come with no (or low) fees. Others might cost you the equivalent of a year’s college tuition. Also, be aware that many popular locations have head count minimums, meaning they won’t host a wedding that’s too small, and some may also have a per-head minimum that requires a certain type of event.

Date and Time
Highly sought-after seasons and days of the week are pricier for obvious reasons. An evening reception is usually more expensive than a brunch or afternoon reception, not only because of higher catering costs for dinner, but also because people tend to drink less during the daytime, and many couples choose to go more low-key on elements like lighting, music, and décor during the daytime.

Wedding Style
The more formal the affair, the more expensive, because you’ll have to match the site, food, and musical entertainment to the overall upscale tone. The outlay for a full six-course meal is typically greater than for a cocktail soiree with mostly hors d’oeuvres; the fee for a twelve-piece band is greater than that for a DJ or a quartet; all-out décor like lighting, specialty linens, and dramatic floral displays also will run up the bill. Plus, fancier affairs tend to be larger.

How Much Do You Actually Need?

Just like buying shoes, an apartment, or a pair of jeans, when it comes to financing a wedding, you should figure out how much you need to spend to get what you want. Set your expectations accordingly. Knot Note: The average cost for a 150-person wedding is about $25,000 (higher in urban areas).

  • Here is a basic breakdown of what you can expect to pay:
    Reception: 48%-50%
    Ceremony: 2%-3%
    Attire: 8%-10%
    Flowers: 8%-10%
    Entertainment/Music: 8%-10%
    Photography/Videography: 10%-12%
    Stationery: 2%-3%
    Wedding Rings: 2%-3%
    Parking/Transportation: 2%-3%
    Gifts: 2%-3%
    Miscellaneous: 8%
  • To avoid stress, allot about 5% of your budget for a “just-in-case” fund.
  • If you’re paying for your honeymoon yourselves, remember to budget for that as well.

How Much Can You Save?

As soon as you’re engaged, start putting aside as much of your income as you can for the wedding. Saving 20% of your monthly income is a good — though painful — goal. The longer your engagement, the more you’ll be able to sock away.

  • Ways to save: Limit your spending on small stuff (renting movies instead of going out; going to Starbucks once instead of twice a day; downloading just the song you love instead of buying the whole CD). These changes will hardly affect your quality of life, but after a year, the extra cash will cover some wedding essentials.
  • Make the most of your money: Instead of stashing your money in a low-interest savings account, consider buying CDs or opening a money-market account. The interest rate can be double that of a savings account. Just check the fine print to avoid penalties.

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