Tag Archives: wedding planning

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Wedding Planning

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?

Leave a comment

Filed under Wedding Planning

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Wedding Planning

Wedding Style Dictionary

There have been several times when brides tell me that they have a vision in their mind of what they want their wedding to be like, but they can’t think of the words to describe it.  And so, the Wedding Style Dictionary was born.  Here’s a little something to help brides out as they come up with what there wedding style will be…… ENJOY!!

backyard: (adj) located or occurring in a backyard

beachy: (adj) characterized by beaches

bohemian: (adj) pertaining to or characteristic of the unconventional life of a bohemian; (n) a person, as an artist or writer, who lives and acts free of regard for conventional rules and practices

casual: (adj) Being without ceremony or formality; relaxed

chic: (n) style and elegance

classic: (adj) of the first or highest quality, class, or rank; traditional or typical

contemporary: (adj) of the present time; modern

country: (adj) of, from, or characteristic of the country; unpolished; rustic

dainty: (n) something choice or pleasing

dapper: (adj) neat and trim in appearance; very spruce and stylish

delicate: (adj) marked by daintiness or charm of color, lines, or proportions; marked by fineness of structure, workmanship, or texture

destination: (n) a place worthy of travel or an extended visit

elegant: (adj) marked by elegance; of a high grade or quality

eclectic: (adj) composed of elements drawn from various sources

french: (adj) of, relating to, or characteristic of France, its people, or their language

fresh: (adj) having its original qualities unimpaired

garden: (adj) of, relating to, used in, or frequenting a garden; of a kind grown in the open as distinguished from one more delicate

glamourous: (adj) full of glamour; excitingly attractive :: glamour: (n) an exciting and often illusory and romantic attractiveness; alluring or fascinating attraction —often used attributively

green: (adj) relating to or being an environmentalist political movement; concerned with or supporting environmentalism; tending to preserve environmental quality

hollywood: (adj) of or characteristic of people in the American motion-picture industry; of or characteristic of a Hollywood film

homemade: (adj) made in the home, on the premises, or by one’s own efforts

minimalist: (adj) extreme spareness and simplicity

modern: (adj) of, relating to, or characteristic of the present or the immediate past; of, relating to, or characteristic of a period extending from a relevant remote past to the present time; involving recent techniques, methods, or ideas

preppy: (adj) relating to, characteristic of, or being a preppy; relating to or being a style of dress characterized especially by classic clothing and neat appearance

punk: (adj) of or relating to punk rock; relating to or being a style inspired by punk rock

quaint: (adj) marked by beauty or elegance; unusual or different in character or appearance; pleasingly or strikingly old-fashioned or unfamiliar

relaxed: (adj) freed from or lacking in precision or stringency; set or being at rest or at ease; easy of manner

romantic: (adj) marked by the imaginative or emotional appeal of what is heroic, adventurous, remote, mysterious, or idealized; of, relating to, or having the characteristics of romanticism

rustic: (adj) of, relating to, or suitable for the country;

simple: (adj) free from vanity; free from ostentation or display

shabby: (adj) clothed with worn or seedy garment; threadbare and faded from wear; ill-kept

swank: (adj) showy display ; fashionably elegant

tropical: (adj) of, relating to, occurring in, or suitable for use in the tropics

tuscan: (adj) of, relating to, or characteristic of Tuscany, the Tuscans, or Tuscan

unique: (adj) distinctively characteristic

vintage: (adj) of old, recognized, and enduring interest, importance, or quality; dating from the past

whimsical: (adj) resulting from or characterized by whim or caprice; lightly fanciful

 

*All definitions from the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary*

Leave a comment

Filed under Wedding Planning

Newly Engaged? 10 Steps To Start Planning Your Wedding!

I love to find amazing articles to get information to readers of this blog.  I found this amazing article on theeverylastdetail.com.  Check it out!!

I don’t know about you, but my Facebook page is starting to blow up with engagement announcements! I absolutely love newly engaged couples because there is SO much love and excitement around getting engaged!  But then soon after that excitement wears off, you’re hit with the reality of the fact that you have to plan a wedding– something that you most likely have no clue about, right?! Sure, you’ve been in a wedding or two, or maybe one of your close friends recently got married, but things are different when it’s YOUR wedding! And if you’re anything like me, you have NO idea where to start. Well, don’t fret, because I am here to help you out! I have compiled the 10 things you need to do first to get started with your wedding planning. (This is essentially a combination of two of my posts from last year, but I thought I would make things a little easier this time around.) And no, this is not a list that tells you to get your nails done and buy the first wedding magazine you see. Those are just a given, right? 😉

So before we get started… FULL DISCLOSURE:

1) I was a wedding planner before being a full time blogger. I was certified and I planned several weddings from start to finish. I’m not just pulling this stuff out of thin air 🙂

2) I was NOT a wedding planner when I planned my wedding. In fact, my mom pretty much planned it.

3) Everyone’s weddings are different, and you may not do things exactly as I recommend. This is meant to be a general guideline for you. 

Okay, now that I have that out of the way, let’s get started! I’ve created a little checklist that you can download for quick reference, and then descriptions are all below!

Newly Engaged? 10 Steps To Start Planning Your Wedding!

1. Set a budget

You shouldn’t be doing anything before deciding on your budget. Don’t even look at anything! I know, I know- it’s a tough conversation, but it needs to be discussed and decided on before anything else. Sit down with your parents, family members, or just the two of you, figure out who is contributing, how much they can contribute, and what your total budget will be. Then you can move on to #2!

 2. Choose 2-3 possible dates

To be safe, choose 2-3 possible dates to have your wedding. Think of the time of year you prefer, the weather, work schedules/vacation time, holidays, and yes, even football season (or whatever sport your fiance/family is crazy about). Then choose your #1 preferred date, and have a #2 and #3 available in case your preferred date isn’t available. Because venues book up fast- some even book up to a year and half in advance!

 3. Start your guest list

This is another tough one because yes, of course you want to invite everyone you know to your wedding. Well consider this your warning: the more people you have, the more you have to spend. (This is why you do your budget first.)

Example: You want to have 200 guests. Your budget is $20,000. This means that you will have $100 per guest. Well, that really ritzy hotel you love? Yeah they’re not even going to be close to $100 per person for food and beverage. And that doesn’t include flowers, decor, and all your other vendors!

So as you see, starting your guest list and knowing your estimated maximum guest count early is crucial. And keep in mind that guest counts usually go down by the time your wedding day comes around- and believe me… after a while, it’ll get really easy to cut the people you haven’t talked to in forever from the guest list. 😉 

 4. Decide on your wedding’s style

Yep, you heard me- wedding style. If you’re new here, you’ll soon discover out that I’m HUGE on knowing what style of wedding you want. Vintage, modern, classic, eclectic, handmade, rustic… there are SO many styles out there! The beauty of “wedding styles” is that they also coincide with decor and details, and so knowing from the beginning will help you later on.  No need to design your whole wedding right now though- just know the general look and feel of how you want your wedding to be. Once you know that, it’ll be easier to move on to #5… 

 5. Decide on your venue

So all of the first 4 steps can essentially be done all in one sitting. Pretty cool, right? Well once you have all of those decisions made, you can start researching and touring venues. When you’re researching and you find a venue that you like, I recommend contacting them and asking if they have any of your possible dates available. If they do, then go ahead and schedule a time to tour the venue. Give yourself a few (1 to 3 max) weeks to tour all of your possibilities (depending on how long you have before your wedding date of course), crunch numbers, envision your wedding there (or not), and then book your venue! Once you have your venue booked (meaning deposit made and contract signed), your date is secured- and you my friend, are well on your way to getting MARRIED! 🙂

6. Research

[This one is twofold. So many of the things involved in planning a wedding happen all at once. Get ready ;)] First and foremost, if you didn’t already hire a wedding planner during the first 5 steps, I strongly suggest you consider one. They will be able to give you excellent recommendations and will save you lots of time and frustration.

Vendors:

Researching potential vendors is HUGE. There are so many amazing wedding professionals out there now, and you want time to be able to choose the right ones for you. You definitely don’t want to be rushed, but at the same time, time is of the essence. (If you don’t have a wedding planner, go to this post for tips on finding, researching, and inquiring with vendors.) When you’re researching, I recommend that you check out the vendor’s portfolio, bio, pricing info (if they have it available) and their blog. Feel free to do research on every single type of vendor you need, but the ones that are crucial and book up quickly are the photographer,videographer, and caterer (if applicable). Moving on, the next steps are going to pertain to these 3 things. [After you’ve completed the following steps for the previously mentioned vendors, then you’ll move on to your entertainment, florals/event decor, rentals, invitations, and cake. And then you’ll go on to hair and makeup, transportation, tux rentals, favors, and any extras.]

Part 2 of Research is…

WEDDING DRESS!

Yes, it’s in caps because it’s *that* exciting! Isn’t it pretty much the very first thing you wanted to do- look at wedding dresses?! I mean, come on, who doesn’t like wedding dresses? 😉 But in all seriousness, you want to be sure that you research the types of dresses you like and the stores that carry them. And read this post. [Personal experience in a nutshell: I traveled 5 hours to go to a store that had the designer I liked- and I ended up taking my dress home that very day (after months of dress craziness- read here).]

7. Inquire With and Interview Vendors

So by now you’ve done your research and you know what vendors you like. Now it’s time to contact the vendor, find out if they’re available for your date, check on their pricing (if you want to), and schedule a consultation. (I think this is what I myself felt awkward about. When you’ve never done it before, it’s just weird, you know?) It’s NOT weird though- in fact, it’s pretty darn fun! The vendors will get to know you, you’ll get to know them, you’ll get down to business, and then you let them know in a few days if you want to hire them or not! I recommend meeting with up to three of each type of vendor- one if you already absolutely love them and they sell you right away, two if you’re pretty set but want to know other options, and three if you’re not sure. It just really depends on you, your decision making skills, and your taste. 🙂

8. Hire Your Vendors

Of course the next step is to pull the trigger and hire one of those vendors that you’ve met and fallen in love with. After your consultations, try to let vendors know your decision a week or two from when they provide you with an estimate/proposal. And then hooray! You’re one step closer to your wedding day! Important note: Once you’ve hired someone, please let the other vendors that you met with know that you won’t be going with them. I know it sucks to do it and yes, you might feel awkward, but it has to be done- they have to know! A nice, simple email will suffice.

9: WEDDING DRESS!

Alright, so you have some of your vendors booked… now it’s time to take a break and go wedding dress shopping! I don’t think this needs much explanation.

10: Design & Detail Inspiration

Remember back in the first 5 steps when I had you decide on your wedding style? Well with the second round of vendors you will meet with next (florals, decor, invitations, rentals, cake) you’ll need to have a good idea of what you want your wedding to be like, so it’s time to focus on design and details! Know that when I say “design and details”, it really just means what your wedding will look like. Design is more of a general term, and details is more of the specifics (and where your personality can really shine through too!). This too is something that requires lots of research… which in the wedding world we like to call INSPIRATION! 🙂 I’m sure many of you have probably already started saving photos of things that you like and are Pinning away for your dream wedding. After all, this big, beautiful wedding world here on the internet does almost solely revolve around design and details! But you want to make sure that you have enough inspiration to be able to accurately convey to your potential vendors what it is you want for your wedding. And then in the same breath, you don’t want to have too much inspiration either! As luck would have it, I have a few different posts devoted to design and details that should cover everything…

“Finding Wedding Inspiration and Making It Your Own”

“Inspiration, Not Replication”

“Why Every Wedding Needs Details”

“What Exactly Are Details?”

“Wedding Details Inspired By YOU!

Oh and don’t forget to bring your inspiration with you to your consultations! You can probably even just pull up your Pinterest boards in your meetings- which I think is absolutely amazing. 🙂

Once you get to the last step for your first set of vendors, then move on to the next set! Wedding planning is like a roller coaster- you’ll go really fast at full-speed, then you’ll slow down, and then you’ll speed up again. Yes it’s normal, and it’s okay to have a lull in planning. Basically that roller coaster ride just keeps going until you get married. 😉

Wow so that was LONG and absolutely FULL of information! I hope all of this will help some of you out and get you going on the right path as you start planning your wedding! There are of course other things that have to be done as you get closer to your wedding, but all of this will definitely get you started and prepare you for what is to come. And if you have any questions, please know that I’m here to answer them – leave them in the comments!

And remember, sometimes things are done differently depending on your own situation, so it’s totally fine if you don’t follow these steps exactly! In my experience as a wedding planner, this order has shown to be the best way to go. 🙂 And most of all, don’t forget WHY you’re planning a wedding! HAPPY PLANNING!!!

Leave a comment

Filed under Engagement Things, Wedding Planning

10 Wedding Planning Tasks to Delegate

Great advise this week.  I found this amazing tidbit on Wedding Aces , check it out!!

Overwhelmed yet?  Chances are, unless you hired a full-service wedding producer, you are going to find yourself overwhelmed at one point or another in reviewing the “to do” list.  Monthly check lists are great motivators and very helpful (check out the helpful planning guides offered through WeddingWire) – when reviewing the tasks, consider each line item with the analysis:

  • Do I have to do this?
  • Do I want to do this?
  • Do I want this but don’t necessarily want to do this?
  • Who would want to do this?

Yes, it can be hard to let go, but trust me – and your friends, family and fiance – you don’t have to do it all.  In fact, you likely have family and friends (and a fiance) who want to help.

Here are 5 wedding items that the groom could manage:

  1. Shop for and select his and his groomsmen’s formal attire.  He’ll have help from his best man to make sure measurements and orders are sent to the tux shop.
  2. Research and plan the honeymoon.  Sure, you’ll likely want some input, but as for the details – let him run with it!
  3. Research and arrange the marriage license. It doesn’t take much time or effort, honestly; and its one thing that is absolutely required, so placing this easy task squarely in your partner’s hands should allow it to be checked off even quicker.
  4. Design your wedding website. This is a fun project; and with a number of pre-designed wedding styled websites to chose from, the technical know-how doesn’t require formal training.
  5. Keep track of the wedding budget. A big part of married life is money management, so why not start establishing communication and financial habits via the planning of your wedding?

Here are 5 more items that could be delegated:

  1. Research. In the beginning, there are wedding magazines and blogs and lots of opinions and suggestions coming your way from friends and family.  Recruit the opinion of those your trust most to ‘get’ your style and likes (and dislikes) and ask them to help research: venues, floral design, vet wedding professionals and narrow down a selection to chose from – you have valuable resources and people who want to share their opinion: go for it!  Set up a Pinterest board and allow others to pin their ideas, too.  You never know what stellar reception idea might come from someone else posting a cool find!
  2. Assembling favors, invitations. Ok, this one involves you; but it’ll take no time at all if you invite others over for an assembly party: tie ribbons, assemble invitations, address envelope.  Add munchies and a movie and you have a party!
  3. Assemble Restroom Amenity Baskets. Your guests will love a basket or decorative box of hand lotions, soaps, mouthwash, mints, etc. waiting for them in your reception restrooms; its a great project for a friend or relative to take on.
  4. Assemble an Emergency Kit. A professional wedding planner will come to your wedding with a kit of “just in case” things (like over-sized clothes pins for bustling the dress, stain treatment, an extra bow tie…) but a friend or bridesmaid can assemble just-in-case items for your bridal suite.  Things like deodorant, bottled water, a portable hand-held fan, aspirin, ponytail holders and hair pins, feminine products, even drink straws (so as to not smudge your freshly applied lipstick!) will be a nice relief to not have to worry about.
  5. Welcome Gift Bags. When your out-of-town guests arrive at at their hotel, having a “welcome” gift bag or box waiting for them is a delight!  Stocked with snacks and refreshments, itinerary and maps, CD of music to inspire the weekend, list of local attractions, its an easy project to delegate to a creative (local) friend or family member.  If you want to craft the gifts yourself, than delegating the delivery and handling of the bags to someone else is a huge relief on your time when the wedding day approaches.

What do you think?  Are you finding it hard to let go or ask for help?  What have you successfully delegated?

Leave a comment

Filed under Wedding Advice, Wedding Planning

Wedding Planning: Wedding Dates to Avoid in 2013, 2014 and 2015

Wedding dates are hard enough to decide but it always nice to know which days wouldn’t work in advance.  I noticed this post on the Knot this week and thought it would be something interesting for all of my readers to consider…. enjoy!!

Personally Significant Days

Check your own calendar for college reunions, family weddings, anniversaries or other events, like big conventions or festivals in your city (call your local chamber of commerce), and any annual occasions that involve your family or close friends.

Holiday Weekends

Holiday weekend weddings have pros and cons. You’ve got an extra day for the festivities (and recovery!); plus, a Sunday wedding is often less expensive than a Saturday one would be. However, costs of travel and hotels may be higher. And if you’re looking to marry around Valentine’s Day, be wary of your floral bill, especially if you’ve got your heart set on red roses — they’ll likely be more expensive than at any other time of the year. Likewise, reception sites often charge a higher fee for a New Year’s Eve wedding. Also consider the impact of a holiday weekend on your guest list: Some families have standing plans or traditions that they’d prefer not to miss.

 

Martin Luther King Jr. Day (always a Monday)
Weekend of January 19-21, 2013
Weekend of January 18-20, 2014
Weekend of January 17-19, 2015

Presidents’ Day (always a Monday)
Weekend of February 16-18, 2013
Weekend of February 15-17, 2014
Weekend of February 14-16, 2015

Mother’s Day (always a Sunday)
Make sure your moms are okay sharing this weekend with your wedding. And ask yourself, do you want your anniversary to fall the same weekend as Mother’s Day when (or if) you become a mom?
Weekend of May 11-12, 2013
Weekend of May 10-11, 2014
Weekend of May 9-10, 2015

Memorial Day (always a Monday)
Weekend of May 25-27, 2013
Weekend of May 24-26, 2014
Weekend of May 23-25, 2015

Father’s Day (always a Sunday)
Like you would with your moms, check with your dads about doubling up on this day. And grooms, make sure you’re okay with celebrating your anniversary the same weekend as Father’s Day if you decide to have kids.
Weekend of June 15-16, 2013
Weekend of June 14-15, 2014
Weekend of June 20-21, 2015

Independence Day
Thursday, July 4, 2013
Friday, July 4, 2014
Saturday, July 4, 2015

Labor Day (always a Monday)
Weekend of August 31-September 2, 2013
Weekend of August 30-September 1, 2014
Weekend of September 5-7, 2015

Numerically Quirky Dates

11/12/13 falls on a Tuesday
4/10/2014 (a palindrome) falls on a Thursday
12/13/14 falls on a Saturday

5/5/15 falls on a Tuesday
5/10/15 falls on a Sunday
5/15/15 falls on a Friday

Columbus Day (always a Monday)
Weekend of October 12-14, 2013
Weekend of October 11-13, 2014
Weekend of October 10-12, 2015

Halloween
Avoid it if you’re terrified that someone might actually show up in costume (and embrace it if you want them to!).
Thursday, October 31, 2013
Friday, October 31, 2014
Saturday, October 31, 2015

Thanksgiving (always a Thursday)
November 28, 2013
November 27, 2014
November 26, 2015

New Year’s Eve
MondayTuesday, December 31, 2013
Wednesday, December 31, 2014
Thursday, December 31, 2015

Religious and Cultural Holidays

Be mindful of religious and cultural holidays (your own and those of your guests) when planning your wedding. There may even be restrictions at your house of worship as to whether you’re allowed to marry at these times.

Palm Sunday
March 24, 2013
April 13, 2014
March 29, 2015

Easter Sunday
March 31, 2013
April 20, 2014
April 5, 2015

Passover (begins at sunset the night before)
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Saturday, April 4, 2015

Tisha B’Av (begins at sunset the night before)
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Tuesday, August 5, 2014
Sunday, July 26, 2015

Rosh Hashanah (begins at sunset the night before)
Thursday, September 5, 2013, until nightfall on Friday, September 6, 2013
Thursday, September 25, 2014, until nightfall on Friday, September 26, 2014
Monday, September 14, 2015, until nightfall on Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Yom Kippur (begins at sunset the night before)
Saturday, September 14, 2013
Saturday, October 4, 2014
Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Hanukkah (begins at sunset)
Thursday, November 28, 2013, until nightfall on Thursday, December 5, 2013
Wednesday, December 17, 2014, until nightfall on Wednesday, December 24, 2014
Monday, December 7, 2015, until nightfall on Monday, December 14, 2015

Christmas
Wednesday, December 25, 2013
Thursday, December 25, 2014
Friday, December 25, 2015

Kwanzaa
Thursday, December 26, 2013, until Wednesday, January 1, 2014
Friday, December 26, 2014, until Thursday, January 1, 2015
Saturday, December 26, 2015, until Friday, January 1, 2016

Eid al-Fitr (dates may vary based on how each family observes)
Thursday, August 8, 2013, until Friday, August 9, 2013
Monday, July 28, 2014, until Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Friday, July 17, 2015, until Saturday, July 18, 2015

Eid al-Adha (dates may vary based on how each family observes)
Monday, October 14, 2013, until Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Saturday, October 4, 2014, until Sunday, October 5, 2014
Wednesday, September 23, 2015, until Thursday, September 24, 2015

Ram Navami
Saturday, April 20, 2013
Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Saturday, March 28, 2015

Krishna Janmashtami
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Sunday, August 17, 2014
Saturday, September 5, 2015

Days of Remembrance

We’re talking about historically significant days (like the anniversary of September 11) that may be off-limits if you come from a big military family. Or, that could make them all the more meaningful — it’s up to you to decide.

Patriot Day
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Thursday, September 11, 2014
Friday, September 11, 2015

National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day
Saturday, December 7, 2013
Sunday, December 7, 2014
Monday, December 7, 2015

Major Sporting Events

If you’re die-hard sports fans — or if you’re worried your guests might have a hard time choosing between your wedding and the big game — avoid getting married during popular sporting events. And if a lot of your guests come from the same alma mater, watch out for homecoming weekends and bowl games that might conflict.

Super Bowl Sunday
February 3, 2013, in New Orleans
February 2, 2014, in East Rutherford, NJ
February 1, 2015, in Glendale, AZ

Final Four and March Madness
Saturday, April 6, 2013, and Monday, April 8, 2013, in Atlanta
Saturday, April 5, 2014, and Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, TX
Saturday, April 4, 2015, and Monday, April 6, 2015, in Indianapolis

Unlucky Dates

If you’re superstitious, you might want to watch out for these historically inauspicious dates from across several cultures.

The Ides of March
For ancient Romans, an “ides” was simply a date that marked the middle of the month — until Julius Caesar was assassinated on March 15 in 44 B.C. Since then, “Beware the Ides of March” has become the mantra of this superstitiously unlucky date.
Friday, March 15, 2013
Saturday, March 15, 2014
Sunday, March 15, 2015

Friday the 13th
The unluckiest date of the year has questionable origins. Some historians say it comes from the 13 diners who were present at the last supper, but the famous Code of Hammurabi doesn’t include a 13th law, which suggests this superstition is as many as 3 millennia old. And it wasn’t until a successful novel titled Friday the Thirteenth was published in the early 1900s that Friday became part of the unlucky equation.
September 13, 2013
December 13, 2013
June 13, 2014
February 13, 2015
March 13, 2015
November 13, 2015

Leap Years
Greeks and Romans thought that starting any new life event — from getting married to baptizing a child — in a leap year would bring bad luck.
Next Leap Year: 2016

Leave a comment

Filed under Wedding Advice, Wedding Planning