Let's face it, these days everything seems expensive and complicated.. Weddings are no exception. After working with 55+ brides, we decided to create a list of tips to help achieve your dream wedding.
- Have a theme. No, not like an over-the-top excessively crazy theme.. But have a delicate theme woven throughout your event. Think simple and classic. Take elements of what makes you who you are and throw that into the mix. You can weave it in from the details of the dress to the decor at the reception. Love anything vintage or retro? Add some lace, pearls, candles and antiques to your reception decor. Find a dress with lace embellishments versus the standard strapless ballgown. Love riding horses and wearing boots, add that western flair to your day. Think outside the box! Search pinterest for decor you can make yourself. You'll be amazed when you search out centerpieces. You can make them from just about anything.. Tin cans, mason jars, vases (check out goodwill for those!), pitchers... The list just goes on. Trend spot: try searching out organic and boho weddings for some serious pinspiration! (That's a word!) You'll likely be inspired by the whimsy you'll find.
- Think OUTSIDE. Obviously the month in which you marry really matters here. But seriously, folks, get married and party outside!! With $50-100 worth of white Christmas or patio lights you can create gorgeous reception decor, especially after the sun goes down. Purchase these after the holidays are over for deep discounts in the seasonal clearance. BE SURE you have a photographer who shoots manually, not on automatic so you are guaranteed to have amazing photos after dark.
- While we're on the topic of photos.. Hire a photographer you enjoy talking to. This is someone you will be spending your big day with, someone who is entrusted with your most precious memories. Make sure you mesh well and that their skills are ones you are going to be pleased with (do not let people experiment or learn their photography skills on your wedding day- we've seen this go South a time or two). Ask to see work samples, make sure that they have more than one camera!! Ask about second shooters. You're spending so much time, money and energy on making this day special, you want to capture every bit of it. Make a pinterest list of must-have shots so your photographer can get a feel for your style and preferences. Be sure not to pin beach wedding photos if you're getting married inside a church in January. (This drives us nuts. Kidding, but seriously- pin photos that relate to your day and the style you've decided to go with.) Creativity and flexibility is HUGE the day of the wedding. Everyone loves the amazing photos they see online, but not everyone is willing to do what it takes to make the shots happen. Awesome shots take time, ability to move in the dress, and willingness to try new things.
- Plan! But not too much! There is nothing worse than being followed by a bridesmaid with a three page list broken down into five minute increments. (Not kidding here. Not kidding at all.) Your day needs a timeline, a rough idea so all of your professionals know what you expect. Communicate with your caterer, DJ, photographer and florist in advance to be sure the day will come together. Remember that no day is flawless, roll with that, embrace the changes and resist stressing out over minute details that don't matter. The day will be over so fast, enjoy every minute. Pick a dear friend you know you can count on to keep things on track, you have more important things to do! (Just remind her to do this job with sweetness!)
- THE DJ... Will make or break your reception. This needs to be someone who can talk to a crowd and do it well, without insulting anyone. Someone who won't get drunk and yell at your guests or make unwanted toasts. (We have seen it all..... NOT KIDDING.) Find someone that your friends have used, someone that comes with recommendations. DJ's don't have to be expensive to be good. Ask us, we know about six we can recommend! The same goes for any professional you hire, be sure their reviews are consistently good.
- Fresh flowers are gorgeous, but don't break the bank for something that lasts one day. There are plenty of faux florals at Hobby Lobby and Michael's that mimic the real deal quite nicely. Keep your arrangements simple to keep from over powering the dresses and accessories in your photos. Look to balance your details.
- Cakes can be budget killers. We've seen cakes that cost $350 and up. And unfortunately, some of those cakes don't taste so great (unless you have a passion for eating loads of fondant). Some of the most gorgeous cakes we've seen are simple. Think homemade cakes, layered and adorned with live flowers, removed after the cake cutting. Don't forget - your cake can be small, and you CAN serve cupcakes to your guests. People LOVE cupcakes, and they can be inexpensive.
- Feed your people. Hungry people are crabby people, AND sadly we've been to a few weddings where people literally passed out. Serve a simple lunch to your wedding party while you're getting ready, make sure everyone gets something in their stomachs. You don't want to stop the wedding to care for ill attendants, or worse yet, pass out while saying your vows. (Photographers, videographers and DJ's love to be fed dinner too when working a long day- just had to throw that in there. Some contracts require it, so be sure to read those!)
- Last tip for today: take time to capture sunset shots. Escape from your reception for just a few moments to bask in that gorgeous golden light. It's a nice chance to hold onto your new spouse and stare into their eyes. Soak in the moment. The reception with all the people can wait 10-15 minutes! This is a chance to capture amazing memories you won't want to miss.