Email Address

One unexpected aspect of wedding planning that people don’t think of is the amount of emails that you get. We all do this even outside of wedding planning, we go to a website a box pops up and says ‘Save 10% by giving your email below’ and we give our email. Most times you don’t even buy anything from the site, but the ‘what if’ factor is always there and saving 10% here and there especially at wedding time, can really add up and save.

One big way to combat this is by creating a new email account for just your wedding alone. Don’t think of this as your new married email, this is purely so you don’t get spammed from every bridal company around to your personal email. This email should be ‘Nickiesplanningawedding@gmail.com’ ‘Bridalcrap@yahoo.com’. Because once you really start the planning process you will get so much bridal and wedding stuff thrown your way, your head will spin. This is especially helpful if you go to bridal conventions and shows, a lot of these places will give out your email address to third parties, and before you know it you’ll get over 100 emails a day just for wedding stuff.

This will allow you to keep your personal email for your daily important emails so that you don’t miss a credit card bill or an email from your favorite aunt. Because trust me once you sign up once for a bridal email they won’t stop sending you stuff once your wedding is over. And this will allow you to not have to spend half your day unsubscribing from every email you get, just to clear room in your email.

Advertisements

Honeymoon

Honeymoons are an essential part of the planning process of weddings. People use them to unwind after the stress of planning the event or as a chance of a lifetime to go to a bucket list destination. Each one is personal to the couple and should not be something that is over looked.

Traveling as newlyweds could be the start of a lifetime of adventure together not just the start of the marriage. Traveling can be a stressful experience for some so following these Do’s and Don’t’s allow you to focus on what matters…or doesn’t.

Do’s & Don’t’s:

  • Do plan this adventure together. One person monopolizing this trip is not how a marriage should start out.
  • Don’t expect not to be tired…you just planned one of the most stressful experiences. Don’t expect to have all the energy to run around.
  • Do plan off days on your honeymoon if you plan on traveling around the destination, having down time is the reason behind a honeymoon after all
  • Don’t use you married name on travel documents if you have not legally changed it yet. Make sure all travel documents state what is on your government ids.
  • Do something you haven’t done before…a honeymoon is great place to start checking off some of your marriage bucket list items.
  • Don’t buy family souvenirs… it’s great thought but no one really wants a dancing coconut, focus on yourselves.
  • Do plan it months after the wedding. There is no hard and fast rule saying you have to leave the day after your wedding, take time to enjoy the aftermath and if your destination isn’t in season with your wedding doesn’t mean you have to skip it.
  • Don’t go bankrupt… make sure you plan your honeymoon along with your wedding and add it into the budget so there are no surprise costs.
  • Do involve family and friends, nothing like a trip to solidify a new family.
  • Don’t involve family and friends…this is the time to get away from everyone and enjoy the newlywed lift
  • Do relax and enjoy it, after all it is still a vacation!

Phone Etiquette

One of my biggest ‘Pet Peeves’ at any event is how people do not put their phones down and enjoy the moment. This is happening across the board everything from wedding to concerts, people don’t know how to live in the moment without capturing it on their phones.

With the advancement of technology there needs to be a universal rule to phone etiquette at events, and it needs to be the same one as being in a theater. Silence the phone and put it away till the show is over.

This rule only applies to the part of the event where you (the guest) are sitting still, in silence, facing the same direction. There is nothing worse than looking at professional photos or videos after an event and seeing half the guests faces blocked because their phones are where the faces should be… or worse an IPAD! If the hosts of the event wanted your photographic skills they would have asked for them before hand.

Receptions are fair game, this is where you should take photos, be loud, have fun and show it all off on social media and where that carefully crafted hashtag comes into play. But not a moment sooner!

One other aspect of the phone etiquette that I wish I didn’t have to state but see far too often is: stay seated at events especially weddings and baptisms. There have been far too many times that I see people get out of their seats and stand in the altar or aisle to get the ‘best photo’. And this happens throughout the entire event! not just the beginning or end, but in the middle of the bridesmaids walking down. People are oblivious that they are literately standing in the way of the event and usually the people who the hosts paid thousands of dollars to take photos.

Who Pays for What?

When it comes to weddings there are some aspects of the wedding that can cause some additional stress on the Bride and Groom and what is expected from their families. One of the first items I tell all to discuss with their families is money. You ( Bride and Groom to be) cannot expect your friends and family to shell out thousands of dollars for your wedding without first discussing with them. Many people feel uncomfortable discussing these topics but when wedding planning starts these talks are needed so that you, your family and friends do not go into debt to make your dream come true.

Below is a traditional list of who pays for what. Always remember these items are not set in stone, so discussing options with each group is the proper thing to do.

Bride

  • Grooms Ring
  • Wedding gift for the Groom
  • Gifts for the bridesmaids
  • Bridal party luncheon (Meet and Greets for the party is a must!)
  • Transportation for bridal party to wedding

Groom

  • Engagement Ring and Brides wedding ring
  • Wedding gift for the bride
  • Gifts for the groomsmen
  • Marriage license
  • Officiant’s fee
  • Wedding wear
  • Honeymoon
  • Boutonnieres for the groomsmen, father, grandfathers
  • Bridal bouquet
  • Corsages for mothers & grandmothers
  • Transportation for groomsmen to wedding

Bride’s Family

  • Engagement party
  • Invites
  • Wedding planner or coordinator
  • Wedding dress
  • Reception
  • Vendors
  • Ceremony
  • Their own attire
  • Gifts for the couple

Grooms Family

  • Rehearsal Dinner
  • Alcohol at the reception (optional)
  • Their own attire
  • Gifts for the couple

Wedding Party

  • Their own attire
  • Best Man & Groomsmen host the bachelor party
  • Maid (Matron) of Honor & Bridesmaids host the wedding shower and/or bachelorette party
  • Gifts for the couple

Weddings Dress Shopping

What Lola Wants Lola Gets”

Wedding dress shopping is one of the first items that brides check off their list. Wedding dresses can take anywhere from four to six months to be delivered, so many brides want to get in early to find the right dress with time to spare for alterations.

Be mindful of what your wants and needs are when going wedding dress shopping. Look at bridal mags to see the shapes and styles that you like, and this will help you form a budget for your dress. Also dresses do not have to be white and from a bridal shop, if this is not your style don’t go with it. First and foremost you have to be comfortable on your wedding day and if that means you get it off the rack from a local department store or consignment shop, then go for it.

One of my favorite quotes from the movie “Monster-in-Law” staring Jennifer Lopez is, “I’m making the dress to fit my body, not the other way around”. This quote is great because it reminds women to love the body that they have and to know that you don’t have to go on fad diets and extremes to ‘fit’ into the perfect dress for your wedding day. I’ve heard horror stories of women who went to extremes for their weddings only for the dress to not fit right on the day of because of amount of weight they loss between fittings. Remember all dresses can be altered but not to a different design.

Another aspect of dress shopping is to think about who you are bringing to the dress shop to see you try on dresses. Heavily opinionated people should be left at home, you don’t need to cry or be upset on this day, because your Great-Aunt Betty makes mean comments with each dress you try. Bring the people who will lift you up and give honest but constructive comments. And if that means that you go alone on a few excursions to try on dresses till you find the right one, so be it.

Remember you are Lola and Lola gets what she wants.

Invitations

Invitations are one of the most crucial elements to planning an event. They will set the theme, give guests all the vital information, and ensure that you have everything organized.

One aspect of my blog is to give people the truth of events, the good and bad and everything in between. I want people to know that mistakes are to be made and no one, including myself is perfect.

One error I made with invites happened a few years ago for my best friends Bridal Shower. I along with the five bridesmaids sat around the maid of honors kitchen table and worked on the invites on the computer. We had all the information outline from the Date to the location and all her registry information…or so we thought. What we realized once we got the invites sent to us was that we (I) forgot to make sure the time of the event was written down. I was so embarrassed and frustrated at myself, but there was nothing we could do, so we had to come up with a solution. That solution was to make labels with the time on them, and fix them to the envelope. Hindsight we should have put them on the back of the invite, but in the end everything worked out great, people showed up on time and had a blast.

Another aspect of those invites that I tell is that when you mail out invites, stagger sending them out and bring them to different locations. If you drop all invites in one mailbox, that means only one post office location gets them, when they are mailed out they are sent through a machine and sometimes invites get stuck together going through the mail machine and that is how items get lost in the mail. I tell people that once they have all the invites done, start dropping them off at different locations, work, parents house they will allow less items to go through the runner and helps prevent loss of invite.

There are a lot of other aspects to the invitations process, and I plan to outline them in other posts, but for now this post will be used as a cautionary tale of some of the oops of event planning.

To my fellow maids…

Being a bridesmaid is an exciting time for not only the maids but for the bride.  It allows us all together and celebrate this occasion as friends.  There are a few tips and tricks that I’ve recently learned from being in my first wedding, that would benefit others.

Just spend the money. If you agreed to being in the wedding, no matter how many times you try to keep within budget something will happen and you’ll need to shell out a little more.  Being a maid will cost you upwards of $2,000, and when I say $2,000 I truly mean $2,000. Everything from the dress and alterations, to shoes, accessories and parties will start to add up very quickly.

You can say no.  Weddings cost a lot of time and money, so if your friend is approaching engagementville and you can’t afford the ticket, just say no. Be honest with your friend, tell them that you crunched the numbers and as much as you’d love to be in it, it just isn’t financially feasible. If your friend doesn’t understand that, then maybe they aren’t friends with you.

One way I wished we did for the dress was try to find one in a department store instead of a bridal shop.  The dress that we got was great, but the way they build the dresses are built leave little to be desired for, and the cost can be sliced in half just by doing the department store route.

Find a tailor in your area, don’t depend on the tailor at the bridal store.  Even though they do this for a living and normally have contracts with different bridal stores, they can cost double what a local tailor will charge.  Get recommendations from friends and family in the area, to ensure you get the best price and work available.

Don’t let the bride convince you to get colored shoes.  One trend I wish would be obliviated, it cost extra money and 9 times out of 10 the shoe color will run and be uncomfortable to wear. By shoes at a local store, or just all wear black.  Black goes with all color schemes, and you are likely to wear them again.