Planning your own wedding seems easy in the beginning. You’ve got family support. Or maybe you just have time – up to a year or more to plan your big day. So you say to yourself, “I can do this!” You turn to the internet and lo and behold there are wonderful free planning lists that tell you what you are supposed to do x months before your wedding. There are lists, checklists, spreadsheets, even apps to guide you through the process. The problem is that all those kind of resources are great for what I call the “macro” planning stage, getting all the major pieces in place like picking your venue, buying your dress, and finding your photographer. But then comes the “micro” stage – you know, all the fine DETAILS and LOGISTICS of the wedding day. That’s where all those great resources go strangely silent. Which explains why planning your own wedding seems easy in the beginning, until one day you wake up and reality smacks you in the face. And you realize you need help. (more…)
Everyone knows that choosing a wedding venue is one of the first important decisions a couple makes when planning their wedding. In fact many couples are having to choose their venue 1-2 years before their wedding just to save their date. But when couples make a quick decision, mistakes can be made. And these mistakes directly affect the budget and many of the decisions that are made afterward. So here are 7 key factors you should consider when choosing a wedding venue: (more…)
“Wedding planning is so stressful. I just want to get this day over with so I don’t have to stress about it anymore! ” Sadly, as a wedding coordinator I hear brides talk like this when they first come to me. When you think about it, it makes no sense. Couples plan their wedding for a year or longer, spend thousands and thousands of dollars in order to make the day special and then are just ready for it to be over already! What is it about wedding planning that is so stressful and what can be done to reduce the stress of wedding planning?
I could talk about many ways to reduce stress, but if I had to hone in on just one thing for this article it would be SYSTEMS. Why are systems important? Consider the following: (more…)
What’s the worst thing that could happen?
It’s only natural to have a few fears leading up to your wedding day. What if it pours down the rain right in the middle of the outdoor ceremony? What if I embarrass myself in front of the guests? What if a vendor doesn’t show up?
Even if ALL of above happened, which is highly unlikely, it STILL would not be the worst thing that could happen on your wedding day. You might get wet, have a good laugh, and make do without the vendor, and still ENJOY the sweet moments with the man you are pledging your heart to IN SPITE OF the unique imperfections of your wedding day. After all, you will be loving him throughout a lifetime of imperfections that will be yet to come! 🙂
And so that leads us to truly the worst thing that could happen on your wedding day. (more…)
Burritt on the Mountain in Huntsville, AL is a popular wedding venue for good reason. The location boasts of natural beauty while also providing attractive practical features that make for a great wedding venue.
Having coordinated weddings at this venue, One Day To Treasure has summarized the following points of consideration for couples searching for the perfect wedding location. (more…)
1. Our vintage china is just flat out prettier than the plain old white china you can rent from the party rental store at comparable prices! Our china can even be mixed and matched with modern elements. All of your planning efforts will be worth it when you hear your guests “oohing and aahhing” over the gorgeous place settings.
2. Your tables are the main attraction because that is where your guests will spend most of their time! Tables where all the details have been carefully attended to make a statement – they give your wedding that special classy feel that will be remembered. We understand this. Let us pull together the centerpiece elements that suit your style, or you can choose yourself from our growing inventory! We don’t just have vintage pieces; we also carry rustic chic, elegant and contemporary styles which can be blended for a fabulous look. (more…)
If you are planning your own wedding, you may wonder if you really need a “day of wedding coordinator”. Unlike a full wedding planner, this a professional who comes alongside you in the final weeks or even months of your wedding planning to flesh out all the details and execute your plan on your wedding day so you can relax and enjoy being the bride. The question is – is a day of wedding coordinator essential or a luxury you could do without?
The answer to that question does depend on a few factors. Is your wedding a small, casual affair? Are you relying on mostly volunteers and friends with very few actual wedding vendors? In both of those situations, a professional day of wedding coordinator may not be needed. Otherwise, if you are not using a full wedding planner, I believe a day of wedding coordinator should rank high on your wedding budget priority list. Here are a few considerations:
- A day of wedding coordinator is about more than just “the day”. A good day of wedding coordinator (DOC) will get to know you personally and truly understand the vision for your wedding. She will be like a trusted friend you can go to whenever you have questions, particularly in the last hectic month leading up to your wedding.
- Not all DOC’s are created equal. Some step in a few weeks before your wedding and some the month before. Others may step in 2-3 months before your wedding to help you through the final logistics of your wedding planning. I would always recommend using someone who begins at least a month before your wedding so you can have someone who has time to get to know, tie all loose ends and think of all those last details. (If you are looking for a wedding coordinator in the Huntsville, AL area you will be happy to know that even with our standard package, we step in a full 2 months before your wedding!)
- What do you want to be doing the last week or two before your wedding? This is an important factor often overlooked. Your wedding isn’t just about the day – it’s also about the days before the day. Will your family be arriving from out of town? Do you have special friends you’d like to share a last “single” moment with? Moms of the bride – do you want to have a last special moment with your daughter? The last weeks will still be busy, even with a day of wedding coordinator. But as your DOC spends her time preparing a detailed master timeline so the day will flow smoothly, calls your vendors, and double-checks information, you can be relieved of that workload and focus on the relationships that matter most.
- No matter how organized you are, it is impossible to be the director and star of the same production. Weddings have lots of components and details that must all come together according to a set time frame. That means someone has to be in charge if you want the day to unfold seamlessly and flow naturally.
- While some venues may have a “venue coordinator”, this should not be confused with a day of wedding coordinator. The venue coordinator has a more narrow focus – to make sure everything runs smoothly at the venue. A DOC has both a broad and in-depth focus. She will know everything about your wedding – the things you want and don’t want to happen. She will manage the other vendors, see to it that all tasks are completed according to your wishes, develop a timeline, and handle everything behind the scenes. She will also help you pull together the details of your wedding during that final month or two.
While it may be unsettling to think about turning over all your plans to someone else & entrusting someone else to execute your vision for the day, a good day of wedding coordinator will do just that. She will not do things her way, but your way. She is a person who specializes in mastering the small details, so you can be freed from those concerns. After working so hard to plan your wedding, it makes sense to use a little bit of the money you save to truly enjoy it!
Is there one thing that all couples should never cut in their wedding budget? I believe so. And no, I’m not talking about the professional photographer or the entertainment or even the wedding coordinator! The one thing you should never cut in your wedding budget is the one thing that matters most to you. Don’t cut it, economize it, or otherwise compromise on it. Here’s why:
When you are planning a wedding and the budget is tight, the natural response is to look for ways to save money, going down your budget line by line. The problem with that approach is that the one thing most important to you will stick out in your budget like a neon sign – a big expensive neon sign – because it usually isn’t cheap. It’s that one thing you’ve decided to splurge on. It’s pricey because it’s that thing where price wasn’t the most important factor. Whenever you’ve dreamed about your wedding day, you knew you just had to have this one thing if you were to truly have a day of your dreams.
I am a person that tends to look at the bottom line. It’s a good quality…most of the time. And yet, sometimes in life, and especially on an day as important as your wedding day, you want to at least experience something that wasn’t dictated by price but by your heart. When it’s something very close to your heart, you want that on your very special day. Years later, when your wedding budget is a thing of the distant past, you will view the day with fondness particularly because of that special element you got to share with the person and people you love. You don’t want to look back, always thinking, “Why didn’t I…?”
Does that mean you should ditch common sense and drive yourself into debt to afford the wedding of your dreams? Absolutely not. You must set a wedding budget in the beginning and stick to it throughout, and it has to be within the realm of what you can afford. What I am suggesting, however, is that you determine that one important thing and then build your budget around it. Look for ways to cut back and economize in the areas that are not as critical to you. There are many great ideas out there for doing just that. You can even watch our video, “How To Slash Your Wedding Budget” for some great tips. Here’s where the old adage, “Follow your heart,” may not be as trite as it sounds. Write in your most important thing on your budget in permanent ink and prepare to have no permanent regrets on your most special day.
If you are a bride taking on the responsibility of planning your wedding, stop first and honestly evaluate yourself to see if you have what it takes. If you are convinced this challenge is one you can conquer, make sure you avoid these 5 “rookie” wedding planning mistakes as you begin this amazing adventure.
- Concentrating only on the majors. First, you must absolutely get organized. The bare minimum requirements are a planning binder which captures all your notes & research, contacts, vendor information, etc along with wedding planning checklists, to-do lists, and the internet at your fingertips. But while these things are necessities for hitting the major planning points, most “free” wedding to- do lists and things you see on-line do not delve far enough into the minor planning points. In other words, having a guide to tell you when to pick certain vendors or purchase invitations is one thing. But these tools generally won’t alert you, before you spend hours making your handmade escort cards, that they won’t work at your outdoor wedding because the wind will blow them over. This is where even one consultation with a wedding planner at the beginning stages could prove very beneficial.
- Trying to do too much in too little time. This is the Pinterest-victim syndrome I commonly refer to. There are many DIY projects a bride can do to save money or add personal touches, but most underestimate the time required to complete these projects. If you are going to do your DIY projects, make sure you plan to complete them EARLY in the planning process if possible. You don’t want to still have time consuming projects on your plate when you get down to two months or sooner before your wedding. Instead of trying to do too much, begin by choosing one or two “high impact” areas that you want to personalize. If you find yourself sitting around on a Saturday with nothing to do, you could always consider adding to your list.
- Not starting at the beginning. When starting out on a wedding planning adventure, a bride may have already fallen in love with a certain vendor or color or look and may immediately lock in a choice that will affect all other choices. This may work out ok, but the smarter thing to do is to start at the beginning. Lock down the big 3 first: budget, estimated guest list, and theme. Then immediately proceed to the biggest chunks of your wedding budget: venue, food, photographer and possibly decor/equipment. It will be easier then to determine how much you can afford for centerpieces or your floral arrangements once these are decided on.
- Letting details overwhelm you. It’s true that planning a wedding is a task composed of numerous details. But instead of being driven crazy by all the thoughts that swarm in your head, sometimes it’s best to seek a little professional advice. Having an expert put you on the right track can alleviate a lot of anxiety. If you know you will utilize the services of a wedding coordinator a month or two before the wedding, you can rest a little easier knowing a professional will be helping you pull together all the logistics at the end, while you focus on main tasks at hand.
- Impulse decision-making. It’s really important to stick to your budget and theme once you determine them. You will always fall in love with something pricey. When you go to try on wedding gowns or look at rings, someone will try to convince you to buy something out of the price range you determined. It’s best to be prepared and be armed with level-headedness when heading out to such vendor meetings or on wedding shopping excursions. If you can make room in your budget for the pricier item by cutting back on something else, great. If not, take at least a day or two to think it over, enough time for you become less emotional in your decision making.
Avoiding these pitfalls should help you to start planning your wedding with confidence and success. If you have any other tips, please feel free to comment and share.
When a couple first gets engaged, it’s pure bliss. Their minds instantly travel to that glorious day as they stand in front of their closest family and friends, pledging their undying love for one another as husband and wife. The only obstacle standing in their way? The wedding. Actually, the wedding day should not be thought of an obstacle, but when a couple decides to start planning their own wedding, it can be a daunting task.
It takes a special kind of bride to plan her own wedding. Not everyone has what it takes. And to be clear, I’m referring to a traditional wedding including the ceremony and reception, guests, food, dessert, music, etc. I wouldn’t recommend going completely solo, as this post explains, but if you do have what it takes, you can be that savvy bride who saves money for the honeymoon and furniture, and yet still shines on the stage of her own beautiful wedding day sprinkled with her personal style and creative touches.
Here are qualities that every bride needs heading into this endeavor:
- Time. You can not be under any delusion. Planning this kind of event requires time. If you do not have someone who can be devoted to this undertaking for several months, it will turn out to be less blissful and more stressful that what you anticipated.
- Organization. You need training and quality tools for the task at hand. General planning checklists you find on-line won’t cut it. You can consider this blog one of your tools but you will need a few more which I will cover in detail in future posts.
- Decisiveness. One of the biggest blessings of planning in a wedding in this day and age is the overwhelming amount of wedding planning information, ideas, & inspiration available via the web. That’s also one of the biggest curses if you like everything you see! You must be a bride who can thoroughly research options, find what speaks to you, and then stick to it. You must avoid being a Pinterest victim, which I will discuss in future posts. Decisiveness also applies to the ability to decide on a budget and stick to it, no matter what those higher priced temptations are that may be calling your name.
- Resourcefulness. This quality includes the ability to know the right places and right sources for the information you need, and the ability to adapt the ideas you find to fit your wedding, your budget, etc. I hope to share in future posts some of the best resources for planning.
- Style. Professional wedding planners will guide the process in developing a style and theme for the wedding that ties all the elements of the day together. As a DIY planner, you must do the same. You will not have the wealth of experience and resources at your fingertips that a professional planner will have, which is why you must rely on tools (#2), the proper internet resources (#4) and the ability to come to a decision (#3) without trying to do too much or mix in every adorable idea you come across. Without a style and theme, you will not be able to hone in on exactly what you need while dismissing those wonderful ideas that simply don’t fit.
- Discipline. You will need to set goals over the course of your planning months and achieve those monthly goals so you aren’t stressed out by too much to do at the end. Procrastination will not work. You must discipline yourself to do what needs to be done, while still making sure you have time for that Friday night date with your fiancee. After all, you are getting married!
So, if all these describe you, then you just might have what it takes to begin your own wedding planning journey. Please understand I wouldn’t recommend anyone try to finish the journey going solo if at all possible. It’s really not a luxury to join forces with a good day-of-wedding coordinator – it’s practically essential for most weddings. And coordinators that step in to the rescue during the last month or two are worth their weight in gold, because no one can anticipate all the details which must be accounted and planned for when you’ve never planned a wedding before. Besides, you will have to turn over the controls to someone else anyway to run the show on the day, and who better than a pro who can identify loose ends, tie everything together and execute the plan? That way you can switch back to being the bride and enjoy every moment of your most special day!