Friday, August 27, 2010

Tid Bit #5- How to Handle those Crushed Wedding Dreams...

Once you begin planning a slowly realize that there are some things you have always "dreamed of" that are just not attainable.

Whether it is the $20,000 designer gown or the $15,000 worth of flowers. I mean, I realize that some people can afford these things, but let's be honest, not me or anyone I know!!!

Then there are instances when the photographer you have always dreamed of is booked, or the venue you have always imagined your reception in is booked for the next 2 years. One of my recent favorite stories is about my river-region-bride-friend, Elizabeth. Y'all remember Elizabeth? Ok, good. Well she is an avid wedding blog reader, and she loved the idea of using beautiful elaborate fine china for her reception. When she dropped this bomb on her sweet mom (duuurrring a floral consulation), she basically laughed in her face. And what did Elizabeth say? "MOM, You are CRUSHING MY DREAMS!" These things really happen, folks. . . And it is alllll gonna be alright. Let's sing together now, "everything's gonna be alright, everything's gonna be alright!"

Ok now that we got that out of our system, let's talk about your next step.

The next step is pretty simple:

Take a deep breath, get over it, and move on :)

We have to remind ourselves that we can't have it ALL but we can have a lot! There are tons of ways to fit amazing things into your budget and schedule, but it is not all going to work. Occasionally you just have to give up a couple things. You have to decide what is MOST important to you.

Is it the dress? The flowers? The venue? The food? The band? The photographer? The invitations?

Of course you can put a heavy emphasis on a few of these things, just know your personal wedding priorities.

So when you feel like this...
or this...
turn that frown upside down.
Because you are getting MARRIED!

PS I promise Elizabeth and I do have other friends. I will introduce you to them soon. They are pretty legit. :)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Tid Bit #4: Spreadsheets!

Ok kids, the lesson today is not super duper exciting, but it is super-dee-duper important.

Who here loves Excel? I personally hate it and am usually confused by the whole thing. NONETHELESS, it can be a saving grace while planning a wedding!

The GOOD news is, you don't necessarily have to use formulas. You can just use it to keep your guest list straight. But if you want to get really wild and crazy, you can do the simple formula to add up your total number of guests . And as you get your response cards in (if you are doing response cards), you can put those numbers into the spreadsheet. I am not currently offering Excel lessons, but I hear it is pretty powerful. Seriously, if you just spend some time with it, it can save you a lot of head aches.

Other things spreadsheets can help you with:

-Your Buuuudget (painful word...I know...we will talk about this later)
-Floral proposals
-To-Do lists
-Thank you notes
-Shower lists
-Schedules (wedding week, wedding day, etc...)

What Mom and I did was make one master spreadsheet that included the full name, address, guest (if applicable), yes/no RSVP, final number attending per family/couple, and gift received.

This list served not only as our guest list, but also a thank you note to-do list. Killing two birds with one stone here, people. Amen to that.

That is all for now!

Until next time...get going on those spreadsheets!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

River Region Bride: Elizabeth

Meet Elizabeth.
Elizabeth is a dear, dear friend of mine who just so happens to be a River Region bride. She is currently planning her wedding for this fall. It has been so fun to be in on some of the plans and to watch her go through this process. She loves cute little details so y'all get ready to be blown away! She has some really great ideas that have made me occasionally reconsider decisions I made for my own wedding! Dang! Haha, basically she is extremely creative and I think y'all are going to LOVE the way her fabulous fall affair turns out.

Quick facts:
Wedding Date- November 20, 2010
Reception- 129 Coosa Street
Rehearsal Dinner- Capital City Club
Dress- Mother's wedding dress altered at Tang's
Cake- Brenda's Bakery (334-365-0191)
Flowers- Barbara Haisten (my Mother-in-Law!)
Bridesmaid Dresses- J.Crew
Invitations- Crane & Co. purchased at Richardson's Pharmacy (334-262-5775)
Photographer- Meagan Gibson
Key Colors- Yellow and Grey (with hints of gold, silver, and white)

Elizabeth and her fiance, Evan in Maine!

Another cute shot of the happy couple!

Elizabeth and I on my wedding day last November! Our wedding dates are exactly a year apart (well plus/minus one day...11.21.09 and 11.20.10)! Ok Ok Ok we both choose the Auburn football off sue us...we care about football....we live in the South...and we mainly just LOVE AUBURN. War Eagle. Ok wow.

Elizabeth's fabbbbulous ring that was passed down by her grandmother!

Admiring the gorgeous antique bling.

So, ladies and gents (if there are any out there), be ready for some more details from Elizabeth's wedding coming up! I know they are so excited to become husband and wife and I just cannot wait to witness it. Cheers to Eliz and Ev!
PS Check out she and her sister's awesome cooking blog HERE.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Tid Bit # 3- Get going on the...dun dun dunnnn....THANK YOU NOTES!

I know, I know. It can be pretty rough. I was not the best thank you note writer myself. We have even had a mail thief at our apartment (not joking) so who knows if my thank you notes even ever got to their destination!!!! AGH.

Anyway, the best thing you could ever do for yourself is to not wait until after the wedding to tackle that loooong loongggg list of notes. If you have a shower, try to get those done within a few weeks. Unfortunately, that is the easy part. The hard part is staying on top of the notes for the wedding gifts coming in as you get closer to the big day. Going back to our very FIRST Tid Bit...write it all down! When you get a gift in the mail, or someone drops it off at your house, just keep a list nearby where you can scribble it down. It may be smart to even write the date that it was received. If you want to get real wild, you could keep a spreadsheet on your computer!

If you have hundreds left after the wedding, don't panic. Just take it in strides and have your GROOM help you! Do something really easy for dinner and both knock out 10 a piece. That would be 20 over with in one evening!

Emily Post has some pretty serious but smart rules, so if you are curious about these standards check them out HERE.

ANNDDD if you are in need of some super cute notes to write your lovely thank yous ETSY! Etsy is one of my favorite places to find unique things for weddings. It is kind of like the ebay of everything crafty, artsy, vintagey, and awesome.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Tid Bit #2- Have a HELPER!

Like Luke from Little Acorn Photography suggested, having a reliable "helper" during the wedding planning process is priceless. Every single bride needs someone they can count on to help them with planning, stressing, list making (hehe), meetings, etc... Whether this is your mother, your sister, your Maid of Honor, a friend, a roommate, or a professional wedding planner, find someone to be your right hand man!

I will be the 1st to admit, without my Mom, there is a good chance that BJ (the husband) and I would have had to elope. She literally booked the church 30 minutes after we got engaged and had some quality to-do lists going from day 1. She always pointed me in the right direction when my head was spinning or when I was trying to make a silly decision :) She awed as I tried on wedding gowns, Oh and she literally picked out the bridesmaid dresses. I was convinced it was a bad idea to put my girls in strapless dresses, but Mom found one that was just perfect and I could not say no! (Thank you beautiful designer Jenny Yoo). The main thing is, she was always right. She could often see the big picture that I could not. She made things happen and happen smoothly!

So, ladies, find someone you can rely on. Someone that loves you and loves to plan. Someone that can handle a little stress and knows your style. Someone that won't be afraid to tell you no and won't be afraid to tell you that you are THE most beautiful girl in the world.

Look at my beautiful helper in the picture at the top...followed by a picture of the rest of my team of helpers (my sisters and nieces)!!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Tid Bit #1- Make Lists!

I am occasionally going to throw random "Tid Bits" of advice out there to you brides/future brides/MOBs/bridesmaids/wedding lovers.

My first one is something I learned while planning my own wedding last year.

What is it you ask??


Ok Ok Ok...I am not the best at making a neat, readable, sensible list, but I HAVE to make a list or nothing will get done. If you are like me, you like that feeling of crossing something off. It makes you feel like you are actually getting somewhere in the overwhelming wedding planning process.

Some of my Mom and my lists looked like this...

This is actually very neat for us. Most of our lists were random words written at every angle all over a notepad. But hey, we did it!

However YOU do lists, just do it! It will be nearly impossible to get through planning a wedding without knowing what you have done and what is left.

Here are some ideas of lists to make/work on: guest list (duh), thank you notes, flower ideas, vendors to contact, shower plans, bridesmaid things (dresses, shoes, jewelry, etc...), any DIY materials to purchase...

These are just a few very basic thing. I know you are probably yawning right now, but seriously, any time something pops in to your head about the wedding or events surrounding the wedding, WRITE IT DOWN. :) ... Right Mom?