Nicole here, today writing about planning your wedding and why it should be fun and how to make sure it is along the way. It's really different being on the other side of wedding planning. There's a ton of things I am learning and seeing from the eyes of the bride which is well... eye-opening. No pun intended but I'm not mad about it. Anyway, back to my blog post. Today I'm going to talk about some tips I have for how to keep your eye on the prize (wedding band? husband? babies like in ten years, no but really I'm in no rush?!) and away from the stress that may come with planning one of the most important parties of your life. Here's some things I've run into during the planning process and how I got through them... and continue to get through them... Oh and along the way, here are some pictures from Instagram that are some inspiration for our big day!!! ;)
WE'RE OVER BUDGET?!!?!?!
Being a wedding planner and seeing all the amazing weddings it has been almost impossible for me to reign in what I want. I spend more hours than most since it's my job brainstorming wedding ideas, floral ideas and trust me when I say I want every little detail to be freaking crazy. So... I've had to really reign in and pick and choose what's most important to me. Prioritize is the name of the game. For every bride (& groom) it'll be different.
Some might care more about having the coolest most rad band in all of their city while we care more about having a really badass really wildly designed party with more flowers than you can count. Some might care more about an extravagant sit-down dinner while we care more about having a really quick delicious dinner of our favorite foods (TACOS) so we can hurry up and get to dancing. Some might care about a beautiful 4-tier elegantly designed cake and while I wish I had the budget for it... we had to cut back on fancy desserts to be able to afford some of the other details that are more important to us. Some might care more about hair and makeup while others care more about a really fantastic dress that's double what they should have spent.
So my tip... splurge where it matters to you. And skimp where it doesn't matter quite so much. Talk to your fiance about what's important to them and make sure they're included in the decision. This is going to be one of the biggest parties you are ever going to throw... unless you're like some crazy celebrity or millionaire and can afford crazy parties all the time... sooooo think about what's most important to you and adjust the budget accordingly in your favor.
And my other tip... you probably will go over budget in certain areas. But do not freak out or stress. Take a deep breath and move forward. Unless your wedding is in a month and there's really nothing you can do about it, likely your wedding is at least 4-12 months or more away. So it's okay if you splurged and spent a little more than you originally planned on your photographer.. or your dress... or fill in the blank... You have time and with some creativity you can most likely figure out some ways to cut back in other areas... like maybe DIY some centerpieces and only hire a florist to do the other ones... or cut the cake in half and have the rest in sheet cakes or don't have a rehearsal dinner but just invite people to meet you out at a bar for example... There's always ways to make it work even if it means getting crafty and doing some DIYs... which leads me to my next topic.
THERE ARE SO MANY DIYS I WANT TO DO.
You guys. When I say my brain never stops I mean it. I'll be doing something totally non-wedding related like watching the most recent episode of The Royals and next thing you know I have this idea for how I want to make tassel napkin rings/cuffs... what are they actually called I'm not sure but that's completely irrelevant because next thing you know I'm starting to actually make 200+ tassel napkin wrappy-doo-dads.
Working in the industry I really want our wedding to have lots of handmade touches. Lots of DIYs. And the worst part about it? All the things that I make I have the excuse that we can re-use at other couple's weddings, therefore I justify easily all those purchases at Target and Home Depot and the copper pipe centerpieces, table #'s, photobooth, etc. I'm making and so on.
So my biggest tip if you plan to DIY a lot of things for your wedding is to get started sooner rather than later. Crafting for our big day has been so much fun for me. It's maybe my most relaxing part of the week as I usually spend Mondays creating and designing things while catching up on my TV shows. The last thing I want is to feel stressed the week of our wedding so getting a head start and working on the craft projects gradually is not only a major stress-reliever as most of the crafts I am doing are mindless repetitive (except the copper pipe centerpiece... that hurt my brain a little) but it also is all part of the fun and the adventure. AND... when we bring all these little details together on the big day!? It'll be that much more meaningful as the things we've made have been made throughout the year and some of them even made together.
I HAVE TO HAVE __________.
This one goes back to budget... that I have to have _________. Okay, awesome, so you have to have those indigo batik linens from Nuage Designs that cost too much? Cool, so where can you cut back on budget to make it all fit together? For me, getting some funky linens for our high boys meant cutting back on tablewares. Sorry 'bout it guests, you're eating tacos with bamboo forks and plates and that's that, you don't get fancy gorgeous rose gold flatware that I love so much or beautiful light gray plates and copper mugs to drink your drink out of it because well shucks... those linens really overdid it.
Budgeting for your wedding is all about give and take. I also think that it's all about thinking about what makes the most impact, what gives you the most bang for your buck?? For example, I often tell clients that having a big focal point or a big installation goes a lot farther than having a lot of little centerpieces. For example, if you have 20 guest tables why not have 4 HUGE centerpieces that really draw your eye and are memorable and then maybe fill in the rest with something more simple. You can make a much bigger impact with those big elements than having a ton of small centerpieces that don't draw your eye and become lost in the space. So again, it really comes down to give and take. Spend a little more here then let's pull back here. Spend a little extra on the flowers then let's not have real glassware at the bar because let's be real.... Alex's signature "Mason Mule," tastes just as good and does the same trick in a plastic disposable cup as it does in those beautiful copper mule mugs that I really don't need because I chose the damn fancy linens....
I WANT MY GUESTS TO HAVE THE BEST TIME EVER.
The pressure is on when it's on your own wedding. This is something I really noticed once I got my chance in the Bride Seat. At the end of the day... we want our guests to have the best time ever. That being said... there have been some things that we have thought of and done that is a bit different because we just want the partying to commence.
1. We did not want a sit-down dinner because well... if you know me then you know I am not the most patient of human beings. So for us... we wanted a buffet and we wanted it to be quick and fast because we want the party to get started and that means, eat your taco and let's dance. By the way... I highly recommend Chazito's and their food truck if you love tacos.... oh em gee. I can't even wait to grub on some really fantastic food...
2. Our first dance, father/daughter, mother/son will take place at the cocktail hour. There's actually three reasons we are doing this... one being that the lighting will be better not under the tents for the dances and two being that we wanted to get these out of the way so that after dinner it's just party time with no other interruptions and three well.... that's a secret. So our plan is to crash cocktail hour then lead the whole party into eating so that once eating is done we can get straight on the dance floor.
What things are most important to you for your big day??? And last but not least, I hope you found this somewhat helpful while considering your wedding plans.
[Image Credits] #1 The Everygirl, photo by Coco Kelley // #2 Something Vintage // #3 Bombshell Extensions // #4 My Lovely Events // #5 Work Party // #6 Create Cultivate // #7 Rish Bridal // #8 Amy Osaba Events // #9 Layered Vintage