Planning a wedding can be an amazing, wonderful, fun-filled time. It can also be crazy, hard, frustrating and anxiety inducing.
On a number of occasions I felt like I was drowning in the less than awesome. There is so much to do when planning a wedding. So many things to decide. What theme do you want? What will the colors be? Gold or silver? What venue(s) do you want?
Its so easy to lose track of the all of the good things, for the anxiety to take away from this wonderful time in your life. Don’t let it.
I’ve put together a list of my favorite planning resources that have helped ease some of my stresses, hopefully they will help you too!
The KnotLiterally everything you need to plan your wedding can be found on The Knot. The website has so much inspiration for brides to be from dresses, to decor, to cakes. It also has some really great tools like a planning checklist, budget planner, guest list planner, and free website builder.
EvernoteFor all of you digital gals out there, this app is great for keeping your notes on the go. To do lists, questions to ask vendors, due dates. You can keep it all in the palm of your hand.
NotebookIf you’re old school like me, a coiled notebook is the best place to keep all of your lists, thoughts, dreams and plans. I like to tape inspiration pictures in mine.
PinterestWith an endless supply of inspiration, Pinterest can be a great place to get a lot of ideas. Just try not to get overwhelmed, or try to make everything you see on Pinterest happen. Or your wedding could end up looking like it has multiple personality disorder, or that Pinterest threw up all over it.
Friends and FamilyThis one can be dangerous, I know. Too many opinions can be a huge problem. But if you have someone you trust, who’s been down this road before, who understands your vision, and who isn’t trying to make your wedding their own, use them. My Matron of Honor, Megan, has been a total life saver through this entire process so far. She helps keep me on track, brings me back to earth when I need to be thinking more realistically, and helps me decide what details are important and which ones are not (read: they all are, I’m basically Bridezilla).
What wedding resources are you finding or did you find helpful?
Did you take part in the #GetNoticedNow webinar Helene hosted last night? It was amazing. Seriously, so good. I have to admit, I went in not knowing what to expect, but Helene blew it out of the water. I finally understand alt text on images. So I’m considering that a major win.
After the webinar I had a thought; what if all of us little guys tried to help each other get noticed. So I decided to offer up spots on my sidebar for free to all the attendees of the webinar. Just head on over to my sponsor page and use promo code #getnoticednow (all lower case) to sign up for that!
J.W.’s parents were visiting us for three weeks and they went home yesterday, so last night was the first time, in what feels like forever, that we got to hang out on the couch together watching tv and just generally enjoying being by ourselves. Don’t get me wrong we loved having them here, we really did, but having the house to ourselves last night felt like heaven.
I had 100% intended to participate in Wedding Wednesday yesterday, but procrastination and cuddles on the couch got the best of me, and then before I knew it, it was time for the webinar. So here we are, WW one day late.
One of the first things I did after we got engaged is sign up on theknot.com. Actually it was more like, open up the account I already had and replace Channing Tatum as the groom and put in the date we thought we wanted. What can I say? I’ve always been a dreamer.
Next came facing the checklist. It was overwhelming at first and still is at times, but I’ve found it helpful. Its helped me stay focused on the items that are important right now and to not get distracted by the things that aren’t as time sensitive.
I’ve complained a few times (here and here) about how much the planning is stressing me out but now that we’ve made some decisions its getting a lot better, and I can spend more time being excited about spending the rest my life with J.W.Here’s what we’ve been able to cross off the list the past few weeks.
Pick a City and SeasonChoosing a city wasn’t difficult. J.W. is from the city we live in and my family is only three hours away so it made sense for us to plan our big day here in Corner Brook, NL.
I’ve always known that I wanted a summer wedding and I refused to entertain the possibility of any other seasons.
Set a DateThis one wasn’t as simple as picking a date we liked. We both knew we wanted to get married next year but venues around here book up fast so we basically had to call around find out what dates they all had available, then pick the venue and date that worked best for us. Thankfully we found a place that was available around the time we wanted.
The big day will be August 27, 2016
Research and Choose a Reception VenueWe decided to choose our reception venue before making decisions about a ceremony venue simply because the reception venue is what books up fastest around here and would ultimately determine our date. Corner Brook has quite a few venue options however a few were eliminated as possibilities immediately because they can’t accommodate as many people as we require (J.W. and I both have large extended families). Others were eliminated based on price (here’s looking at you Humber Valley Resort), or their aesthetic (no rustic places for this girl). In the end we had to choose between two places Jennifer’s, a beautiful restaurant and bar downtown, and the Greenwood Inn, a local hotel.
We chose the Greenwood Inn because its convenient (our guests can stay there), they allow us to do our own decorating (and provide us time to do so), we get a free hotel room for two nights, and the pricing was the best.
Research and Choose a Ceremony VenueI never would have guessed that it would be hard to find a ceremony venue, however it seems that most people around here either have church ceremonies or civil ceremonies outside. Neither of which were an option for me. The only place I could find was the new atrium at Grenfell. It was pricier than I had anticipated and planned to spend, but it is beautiful. Floor to ceiling windows, lots of natural light, modern, and a big staircase for me to make a grand entrance. All things I love.
PS. there were zero photos online of this place for me to look at prior to my site visit. But thanks to my new SEO skills, someone should be able to find some in the future. Thanks Helene!
Research and Choose and OfficiantThis was possibly the easiest decision to make. Even easier than saying “YES!” I’ve known who I wanted my officiant to be for years. Jacqueline is a family friend. She’s known me my entire life. She’s a beautiful person, down to earth and spiritual. I’ve been to a ceremony she has done, and it was lovely. And I love that she donates 100% of the fee she charges to charity.
Research and Book a DJAgain, this one was a bit of a challenge. Mostly because I couldn’t find contact information for the people who were recommended to me. I guess they operate it as a cash side job, and not an actual business. But I was able to find DJ Prime Sound, and they’re available at a reasonable rate, so another item bites the dust.
And there you have it. We have so much accomplished yet so much left to do. Next on our list, figuring out our bridal party, booking a photographer, and trying on more dresses. In the meantime I plan to soak up as much time enjoying this experience with J.W. as possible.
Are you planning a wedding? How’s it going? Any tips?PS. I’m mostly excited about the dresses. And finding some killer shoes. Le Duh.
My parents came to town last weekend.
JW and I had dinner with them Friday evening at the Crown & Moose. Tons of pub food and beers were consumed. And unfortunately for my dad and JW lots of wedding talk occurred.
Saturday my mom and I decided to visit my city’s only bridal salon. I didn’t have high expectations thankfully, because I didn’t have the bridal experience at all. But the purpose of the visit wasn’t to find a dress but to more or less find out what I was looking for in a dress. Although I had a great time with mom I wasn’t as successful narrowing down a style as I had hoped. We did however determine that some of the dresses with the beautiful backs that I love have strap styles make it look like the dress is swallowing me whole. So there’s that. Pictures were taken, but it turns out my mom is pretty terrible behind the camera.
That evening my aunt and uncle cooked supper and we had a super informal meet and greet of our parents/engagement celebration. It was a wonderful evening and somehow there were no pictures taken, sorry about that.
It was a good weekend, but my mom called on Monday concerned that I wasn’t happy about getting married. Apparently I wasn’t acting like an excited bride-to-be. Let me be clear. I am unbelievably happy about marrying JW, but so many questions were directed my way about the wedding over the weekend, that I guess it was hard for me to hide how overwhelmed I’ve been.
I’ve always picked apart other peoples weddings. Not in a judgmental sort of way (okay maybe a little) but in a way where I took notice of the things I did or didn’t like about them and made mental notes for when my turn came. Because of that I always thought that I knew exactly what I wanted my wedding to be. However since beginning to plan my own big day I’ve come to realize that I don’t actually know what I want, I just know what I don’t want.
1. Church Ceremony
JW isn’t a fan of organized religion and for the most part neither am I. We also come from families who have different religious backgrounds (his is Pentecostal and Salvation Army while mine is Roman Catholic) and our grandmothers are both praying for a wedding to be held in their respective church. Its easier to choose neither than it is to offend either side. Also, having a civil ceremony gives us a lot more control over the things we will or will not include. And even with not having it in a church it will still be a romantic and spiritual event.
2. Outdoor Ceremony
The weather in Newfoundland is predictably unpredictable. It is entirely possible for us to experience all four seasons in one day. I don’t want the stress of worrying about whether or not the weather will cooperate, and dealing with having a Plan B in case it doesn’t. I don’t want to be rushing around buying umbrellas at the last minute, have my guests freeze to death, or have my veil blow away in a nor’wester. Also, both mine and JW’s grandmothers are hard of hearing; an outdoor location would have a lot of background noise which would make it difficult for them to hear the ceremony. I don’t want them to feel isolated during the part of the day that is most important to them, and what is essentially the “wedding”.
3. Photographers Who Don’t Dress Professionally
Few things irritate me more than wedding vendors who show up in leggings and crocks looking like they don’t belong. If I’m trying to achieve elegance on my Big Day, I don’t want the people I’m paying looking like they just left the gym. #sorrynotsorry
4. Candy Bar
I know some people love them and I don’t mean to offend, but around these parts candy bars are incredibly over done. The excitement has worn off them. They can be expensive to prepare for and people usually end up with tons of candy left over. This is not a positive to me, because I will eat them all. #hefferinthemaking
5. Rustic Theme
Again, incredibly over done. I don’t want my wedding to look like the last six weddings my guests attended. Also, as much as I am outdoorsy, rustic weddings just aren’t my thang.
What things would you not want/did you not want your wedding to have?