What I’ve Learned from the Wedding Industry

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The more I am immersed in this industry, the more epiphanies I have and the more lessons I learn. I’ve discovered things I never thought I would need to know and I’ve been able to apply the lessons I have learned in an effective way. As a way to share the wealth, so to speak, I’ve decided to share a few tidbits of information I’ve picked up along the way!

1. It’s Not All Glamour and Glitter. This is a thriving, hardcore industry with serious business people and lots of responsibilities. Yes, the fun part of working with weddings makes the job exciting and the sweet moments make it rewarding, but working in weddings does not mean all we do is daydream.

2. Check the Little Details. Check them all. Every. Last. One. Once, I got everyone all ready for a cake-cutting and champagne toast, but forgot to uncork the champagne. A friend of mine worked a wedding that included a piano that was never tuned, so the bride walked down the aisle to an off-key mess. Needless to say, these lessons have stuck with us and are some of the first things we check now, as well as other things you might not think about immediately.

3. Effective Communication Takes A Lot of Forms. Working with a variety of personalities and connections, from brides to vendors, you need to be able to quickly figure out how someone wants to receive communication, and then tailor your communication to them.

4. It’s OK to Play. With the details, that is!Sometimes brides have an idea but no plan, and sometimes there is a plan it just isn’t the best plan. If you can find the best way to do something, and explain how it’ll work effectively, don’t be afraid to speak up and offer differing ideas. While respecting the bride is important, they shouldn’t scare you.

5. Ask Every Question. Even if you feel like you’re giving the bride the most obnoxiously thorough grilling of her life, it’s ok. And necessary. You don’t want to end up in the thick of the big day with questions, so clear everything up early on.

I am lucky enough to be a part of one of the most important day in people’s lives! I’m having fun, no matter how stressful it can be at times, it is fun and exciting and new and great every day. I really do love this industry and I hope to keep growing and learning as much as I can. Hopefully my lessons can help you all grow too!

The Best Planners for Getting Your Life (and Wedding) Together!

If you’re like me, finding a good planner is like finding the Holy Grail. We all have our own preferences of what we like to see and what works best for us. However, there are so many different planners out there with so many different setups, that there is bound to be a perfect planner out there for everyone.

To help you all find the right one for you, I’ve put together a list of some of the best planners for the stylish bride and her fast-paced life!

1. Day Designer – $60

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I used the Day Designer for 2014 and I loved it! It’s sturdy and pretty, classic and functional. Each day received its own page in the planner with an hourly breakdown of your daily schedule, a daily to-do list (one of my favorite features), as well as spaces at the top of the page for your three most important tasks for the day and things like dinner plans and deadlines. This planner also includes month-at-a-glance pages with tabs, important date organizers. It even has worksheets at the beginning of the planner to help you get inspired and figure out your priorities for your year and your life, and your wedding if that’s a major focus for the year!

2. Simplified Planner – $58

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The Simplified Planner is very similar to the Day Designer, but a bit simpler (how about that!) Each day is given its own page complete with hourly scheduler, to-do list, notes block and a space to plan out dinner. It too has a month-at-a glance page with cute little monthly tabs. This planner doesn’t have quite as many bells and whistles in terms of worksheets and goal organization, but it does have a couple pages at the front to help you learn better time management–super important when planning a wedding!

3. Kate Spade Agenda – $36

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Who doesn’t love Kate Spade. The cover designs seem to call to you, and then you open it up to this charming little planner. This has the perfect combination of ringed pages and bound covers, with the rings cleverly concealed. The days in your weekly schedule aren’t formatted with times so you don’t have to feel restricted to a standard schedule note style; you have the freedom to write whatever you need to know or do for the day! Monthly views (with cute little tabs!) keep you aware of what’s ahead, and pockets help you keep track of all the little things in life and wedding planning.

4. Graphic Image Desk Diary – $98

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I love this planner. It looks like something someone with her sh*t together would carry and thoughtfully jot down appointments in perfect handwriting. Maybe having this planner will make me that girl! The smooth cover with foil year detail looks professional and pretty, and you can add your initials for free! Your schedule is laid out in a weekly view, with the time of day running along the side to keep you on track. There are also monthly view pages, holidays, expense reports and maps (just in case your phone is out of battery).

5. MyAgenda – $30 (On Sale!)

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This is a favorite among my friends! The days are all laid out in a weekly view, and there are spaces for notes and reminders at the bottom of each day. My friends would use these spaces for notes about homework from their different classes or different organizations they were in, but you could use it to keep things in mind that pertain to the most important parts of your life, like family or wedding planning! There are also extra note pages at the back, pages for important dates, monthly views and expense reports. Add personalization to the luxurious cover and you’re bound to feel in control of your life!

These planners will help you keep your life, and your wedding planning, on track. And they’re all perfect additions to your new year preparations! Which one would you use?

Money-Saving Months

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As if the beautiful snow and coat atmosphere weren’t enough of a reason to have a winter wedding, another bit of motivation may be in the savings that can come with the season.

Months like November, January, February and March are often considered “off-peak” season, leading to a savings of 10-30 percent compared to “peak” months of May through September.

In the winter months, venues and vendors are hungry for business and can be more apt to give you a deal.

So when trying to decide when to have your big day, consider the savings that come with the winter. That coupled with the cheer and warmth of the holiday season seems like a win-win to me! What do you think?

Pretty Pink Winter Wedding Ideas

I love winter weddings. Even though it’s cold outside, they always look so warm and pretty. One of my favorite colors to incorporate into a winter wedding is pink! Just because it’s not spring doesn’t mean you should leave out this pretty color, especially if it’s a favorite shade of yours! You can work it in through little touches like the cake or boutonnieres, or make a bigger impact with pink flowers and decorations or even your attire. Mix in gold and muted or neutral tones to make the pink stand out and add a warmth to the overall look.

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What To Do After the Proposal

 

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It finally happened! You’re engaged! Congratulations! That sparkler on your hand must be the greatest feeling in the world, and I bet you can’t stop staring at it.

But once the bewilderment, shock and excitement calm down a bit, you’ll probably be wondering what the next steps are.

1. First thing: Call your VIPs! Your parents and best friends will want to know as soon as it happens, so be sure to break the news to them ASAP!

2. Take care of the ring. You’ll want to make sure that you get it sized, so that you can be sure you’ll have it forever. You’ll also want to get your ring insured (just in case you do happen to lose it haha).

3. Get a manicure. Frivolous, but necessary! You will be showing your hand to a lot of people now, so you want your nails to look as good as they can!

4. Start initial planning talks. I guarantee you, people will be asking as soon as it happens if you have a date set. It’s ok to want to enjoy just being engaged, but before too long, you’ll want to talk with your fiancé about your ideas for the big day.

But wait! Before you do anything else, set your budget! Once that’s decided, you can try to start figuring out when you want to get married and what components are important to you both.

5. Pin your heart out. Gather as many ideas and as much inspiration as your brain can handle!

6. Enjoy this time. Before you know it, the engagement will be a crazy stressful time full of decisions and planning. Take the time to enjoy this part of your life for the commitment that you have made to each other and be present in each others’ love and company.
The newly-engaged stage of your relationship is probably the most overwhelming, but having some guidelines will definitely help!

I should know, (drumroll please) I just got engaged! I will share pictures and plans as they come along, but right now, I’m taking my own advice and enjoying it for what it is.

Ceremony Backdrop Inspiration!

Part of my internship tasks lately has been to research options for ceremony backdrops for one of my clients. Initially, I wasn’t clear on the event’s style or mood, so I looked at everything and hoped something stuck. Through this research, I have found some really cute and creative options for ceremony backdrops, options that go beyond an arbor or pipe and drape! If you want something different in your ceremony pictures, take a look at all the inspiration below!

Twinkly Lights

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Balloons

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Doors

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Floral Garland

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Scrolls

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Pinwheels

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Frames

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Ribbons

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Paper Patterns

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Flower Wall

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Wood

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I love that there are so many options, and so many ways to customize these and other ideas to fit the style of each wedding and couple. I would love to try a few of these out someday, but I’m going to have a hard time deciding! Which would you use? Do you have other ideas for backdrops?

5 Tips for Planning a Destination Wedding

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So you want a destination wedding. And why wouldn’t you? Picturesque mountain views or calm coastal scenes make for ultra romantic weddings (and killer pictures). But how to pull it off? If you’re thinking of having a wedding away from home, check out these tips for a smooth, exciting event that’s just as idyllic as you imagined!

1. Start Early! This goes for planning and communication. It may seem like you have plenty of time, but things will sneak up on you. Research your options, make sure things seem doable for you and your guests. And when you do decide on a location, make sure to send your save-the-dates as soon as you can because you want to give guests enough time to book their travel.

2. Hire a Local Wedding Planner. With most of the wedding planning happening between local vendors, it can be good to have someone in the area of your wedding to work with everyone on your behalf. They know the area, how things will best work, and the best vendors to hire. Let them figure out the logistics of your vision (and take on most of the stress of the execution). When you hire a wedding planner, it makes the destination wedding seem more like a vacation, even in the planning process.

3. Stick to your Budget. Destination weddings can add up quick. Costs for things like food and rentals can be broken down as per-person expenses. And with each resort or hotel offering things that seem to one-up the next, it can be tempting to be a big spender. Having a firm budget, and really sticking to it, can help to avoid feeling extra money pains later when you get the bills from your big day.

4. Make it Easy on your Guests. Let them know how much you appreciate them coming so far for you. Create little welcome baskets for their hotel rooms with local goods or your favorite snacks and treats. Include a map of the area or a list of fun local activities to do.

5. Bonus Option: Second Reception! If there were some people who you wanted with you on your big day that couldn’t make the trip, give them a chance to celebrate with you. Once you return from your destination wedding or your honeymoon, host a casual get-together with everyone else important to you!

Has anyone had a destination or out-of-town wedding? Any other tips or advice for those looking to plan one?