30 Essential Wedding Planning Tips and Tricks

A wedding is only a one-day event, while a marriage may last a lifetime. Smart wedding planning always considers the importance and implications of financial freedom, which embraces the wisdom that a married couple should enter into married life without incurring wedding debt.

 

Cover all your wedding planning bases with these expert tips no soon-to-be-wed should be without.

Pink and green barn wedding reception from Eden Designs

PHOTO BY SARAH ELIZABETH DUNN PHOTOGRAPHY

When planning your wedding, there are things that are nice to know, and then there are things you need to know—advice so essential that any bride who’s lucky enough to hear it thinks, “I’m so glad someone told me that!” If you’re wondering whether there’s something you may have missed (or even if you’ve got everything under control), check out our indispensable planning secrets below.

1. Guests Come First

Get a grip on the approximate number of guests you’ll invite before settling on a venue. This will ensure there’s ample space for your crew. As a rule of thumb, allow for 25 to 30 square feet per guest. That may seem like a lot, but it’s not if you count the space you’ll need for the tables, bustling waiters, the band and a dance floor.

2. Investigate Wedding Blackout Dates

Know ahead of time if your wedding date falls on the same day as a trade conference, charity walk, or other local event that could affect traffic and hotel room availability. Here’s a handy list of potentially problematic wedding dates coming up in the calendar.

3. Listen to Mother Nature

Heed the weather and other potential annoyances. Guests have been known to skip out early from hotter-than-hot summer tent weddings and improperly heated winter loft receptions. Bugs (gnats, deer flies and mosquitos) also swarm in certain areas during certain seasons. Consider renting pest control tanks to alleviate the problem or including bug repellent in guests’ gift bags. And if you want a sunset ceremony, make sure you know when to say your vows by checking SunriseSunset.com.

4. Check Your Credit

Take advantage of the high cost of weddings and sign up for a credit card with a rewards program. Whether it gives you…

Read more: https://www.theknot.com/content/expert-wedding-planning-tips-and-tricks

Should Your Sister Be Your Maid of Honor? Six Things to Consider Before You Make that Decision! – Guest Blog by Julia-the-Intern

“Everyone has their own set of quirks and trust us when we say yours will likely make an appearance at some point during the wedding planning process. Your maid of honor should be someone who understands you and who knows when to step in and offer suggestions and support, and when to leave you alone.  Your maid of honor is going to be many things, a friend, a confidant, an assistant, but most of all she’s going to be someone you can lean on when you feel overwhelmed. So when you make the choice as to who gets the coveted role, make sure it’s someone you know will have your back and who you can trust to be there for you no matter what.

Brooke Ponzio asked her older sister (immediate right) to be the MoH, but her little sister was also a bridesmaid.

If you and your sister have spent the past 20-some years painting each other’s nails while gossiping, then she’s obviously going to be your Maid of Honor when you get married. But it’s not as simple for sisters who don’t have a close relationship with one another, or for a bride who has more than one sister. You may feel that your best friend you’ve known since middle school would be a better match for the position, but unfortunately, choosing whomever you want may cause drama.

If choosing a maid of honor were like selecting the candidate with the most impressive resume, then it would be a less painful process. But, unlike in the professional world, you’ll have to interact with rejected candidates, possibly for the rest of your life, at family gatherings or social events.

Luckily for you, there’s good news! There are ways to ensure that everyone is happy about whom you choose for the coveted position. So before I enter Dr. Phil mode, here’s a taste of how a maid of honor scenario can go terribly wrong.

One of my friends from college got engaged about six months ago and set the wedding date immediately. She decided, against her mother’s wishes, to choose her childhood best friend as her Maid of Honor instead of her sister. Her sister was blindsided and felt hurt by the news. The result was that my friend’s sister refused to be a bridesmaid, and I was asked to fill her spot.

As much as I didn’t want to be in that uncomfortable position, I accepted, hoping my friend and her sister would resolve the issue so I could once again be a guest at the wedding. My friend eventually apologized to her sister and explained why she chose her best friend. The reasons were not malicious. It was just that my friend’s best friend was incredibly responsible and willing to help organize the wedding, a task my friend’s sister would loathe. After a screaming match between the two, they worked it, out and I was back to sitting in a lovely wooden chair in the audience.

To avoid a situation like my friend’s, should you make your sister your MoH? There is no universally correct answer, so here are five important questions to ask yourself, as well as my thoughts on the matter:

Read more: http://weddingsinvieques.com/sisterasmoh/

Your Bridesmaids Are Not Accessories, and Other Truths

“Your wedding day is just an extension of your very real, very imperfect life. And your job is to find a way to honor the important people in your life, while letting them wear clothes they look good in. And please, if the word bridesmaid is screwing you up, drop it. Start calling them your Bridal Brigade, or your non-bridesmaids or your sisterhood of awesome. Whatever you call them, they are damn good ladies, and they are your friends. Their job is to be awesome and to provide you with a shield of back-the-heck-off sanity on your wedding day. So let them do it. And I promise they won’t let you down.”

I have a confession to make. We didn’t have bridesmaids at our wedding. And you know why? Because I think the wedding industry has this whole “Bridesmaid” concept all wrong. Even if Kristen Wiig has it all right. Thanks to years of indoctrination by wedding magazines and TV shows, it’s easy to stop seeing our bridesmaids for what they are: a bunch of girls who we love so much that we ask them to stand up for us while we make enormous vows. Nope. That’s not what bridesmaids are! (Silly.) Instead, we’ve come to view bridesmaid-dom as the ultimate friend contest. It’s a time for our girlfriends to prove how much they love us by throwing us showers and bachelorette parties and dropping everything else in their lives to help us during the grueling 18 months leading up to our wedding day. Also, bridesmaids are accessories! Obviously! On your wedding day, they’ll prove what good taste you have by standing up there arrayed in gorgeous outfits (though, obviously, not outfits that are prettier than yours, duh). Everyone will look at you, with your chic friends and know that you have a very, very great life.

You know how I know that the wedding industry has it dead wrong when it comes to bridesmaids? Because the number two tip you’ll hear for cutting your wedding budget (after the loathsome “cut the guest list” tip, which deserves its own post) is “If you need to cut your wedding budget, cut your bridal party. You’ll save money on gifts and expenses.” As if you’d want one of your best girlfriends to not ask you to stand up for her on her wedding day because she couldn’t afford to buy you a silver frame, or matching pearl earrings, or whatever gift you’re going to be touched by, but probably never use again. All this leads me to believe that the wedding industryrather profoundly misunderstands the idea of friendship, because it looks at friendship (like it looks at everything else) as a commodity.

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/meg-keene/your-bridesmaids-are-not-_b_1328019.html

4 TIPS FOR CHOOSING BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES YOU AND YOUR LADIES WILL LOVE

“Choosing bridesmaid dresses are a crucial yet stressful part of every wedding. Unless your entire bridal party consists only of models, chances are everyone is going to have a different body shape.  Bridesmaids come in all shapes and sizes and therein lies a lot of the difficulties of getting each bridesmaid fitted out to her happiness and comfort. It isn’t impossible but it will take some planning and consideration for each bridesmaid involved. Now that you’ve found your dream dress, it’s time to start another gown shopping journey: the quest for the perfect bridesmaid dresses. No matter your wedding style or the size of your bridal party, we’ve got everything you need to know to find the right dresses for your girls. “

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Choosing bridesmaids dresses is one of the first planning decisions you’ll make as a bride, and one of the most stressful for some. Finding a style that is flattering to all your bridesmaids is a task that forces you balance your bridesmaids needs and wants with your personal wedding vision, and can set the precedent of how you and your bridesmaids will interact during the engagement period. If there’s total drama over the dresses, it may turn off you and your bridesmaids from wedding activities right off the bat. A great experience can get everyone excited for spending the next 6 months to a year together.

Since most brides have never had to choose bridesmaids dresses before, it’s hard to know the DOs and DON’Ts for the process. Here are some pointers for choosing amazing dresses that your bridesmaids will love, and you’ll be excited about.

Read more: http://www.weddingpartyapp.com/blog/2013/12/10/4-tips-choosing-bridesmaids-dresses-ladies-will-love/

BRIDESMAIDS: WHO TO CHOOSE?

“Choosing your Bridal party is one of the primary decisions you will make as a bride. These girls will be by your side through the entire wedding process and help you stay calm the day of. When making the decision, you want to make sure you are choosing wisely.  If you follow these few steps you are sure to make the best decisions for your big day. Weddings are a lot of work. You are about to host what may just be the biggest party you’ll ever throw. Your attendants are meant to be your team, your helpers, in this ambitious endeavor.  There are a lot of reasons not to pick someone as your bridesmaid. A sense of obligation is one reason. Picking only those who will look good in your chosen bridesmaid dress is another.”

Bridesmaids

OK, so you’ve decided to get married. You’ve chosen the engagement ring, flashed it about a bit, and told your family and friends your happy news. Then it strikes you – who will you have as your bridesmaids? How many? What will they do? What happens if you have too many? ARGH!

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BRIDESMAIDS: WHO TO CHOOSE?

Written by    Last updated: July 9, 2013

OK, so you’ve decided to get married. You’ve chosen the engagement ring, flashed it about a bit, and told your family and friends your happy news. Then it strikes you – who will you have as your bridesmaids? How many? What will they do? What happens if you have too many? ARGH!

Bridesmaids

It’s a common dilemma and one that we often see on our forums. Problems range from the best friend who is lovely but lonely and a little, shall we say, jealous, to the expectations of your family who decide that little Joe’s cousin’s daughter twice removed has never been a flower girl and this is her ONLY CHANCE.

Before you know where you are, instead of the two close friends you envisaged, you have a team of very small, confused little girls in frocks who you hardly know and probably won’t meet again until they are 18. Believe me, girls, it happens!

SO, deep breaths ladies. How DO you choose?

Well, a bridesmaid is not only a pretty prop for the wedding pictures, she is also there to DO a JOB. And it’s an important one. She’s the one who will help you plan the day, come with you to fittings, listen when the stress of organising the reception overwhelms you, and be there when you want to talk.

On the day itself, she will calm your nerves, make you drink your tea through a straw so you don’t smudge your makeup, tell you how stunning you look and give you the 360 degree once over to make sure there is no VPL and that you have your shoes on the right feet.

Read more: http://www.confetti.co.uk/organising-planning/bridesmaids-ae-who-to-choose

Revive Your Marriage: Revive Your Attitude

“When you and your partner get stuck in a cycle of negativity and resentment, it’s tempting to declare that your relationship is officially over. Long-term, committed love never is. But we’ll never find the intimacy we long for if we walk away, because the problem doesn’t lie entirely with our spouse. Until we learn to resolve conflicts God’s way, turning to him in prayer, following with wholehearted surrender in whatever he asks us to do, and fighting for those we love with everything we’ve got, we’ll continually move from one broken relationship to the next.”

Revive Your Marriage by Cultivating a New Attitude--and choosing to let some things go.

Today our topic is Revive Your Marriage through Reviving Your Attitude!

I have a friend that we’ll call Laura. Laura married her husband Jeff right out of university. Jeff came from a blue collar family, and was the first to pursue higher education among his immediate relatives. He was a hard worker, and Laura loved that about him. He was focused. He was responsible.

When they had children, Laura stopped working to stay at home, because Jeff was now a corporate exec in a multinational company. And Jeff worked. A lot. In fact, he worked at least six days a week, and of those six days, was only home two or three when the children were still awake. Fourteen hour days were par for the course.

Laura spoke with him about this at length when the kids were young, and his response was that he knew the kids were safe with her and thriving, but he needed to put in these hours so that they could reach their dreams, and be able to retire early and give their kids so many great experiences and opportunities. Laura told him that she thought the kids wanted more of him. He replied that this would mean having to leave his job, and there’s no way he’d find another one that would let him be home more at even half the income, so it wasn’t an option.

And this is where Laura made a decision that likely many people would find difficult, if not wrong.

Read more: http://tolovehonorandvacuum.com/2012/09/revive-your-marriage-revive-your-attitude/