Tuesday, 10 July 2012

All The Pretty Details

Quite a while ago, I said I would share some tips on wedding planning and given that one of my best friends just got engaged (congratulations, Lindsay & Ross!!), my sister-in-law is about to get married in a few weeks, and some of our good friends are in the midst of planning their nuptials, I thought it was perfect timing! I was also inspired by our anniversary, which is coming up next week! Now of course, these are only tips based on my experience last year, but I hope they're useful for all the brides-to-be (and their doting fiances).

As soon as you're engaged and all the excitement of the actual proposal has died down a bit, you quickly move onto thinking about the big day and all those logistics, well the girls do at least. After Jim and I got engaged in Nantucket two years ago, I had a few ideas (maybe more than a few) about what I wanted our day to look like, but wedding planning was still largely uncharted territory for me since none of my close friends had been through it. I started out by visiting Style Me Pretty several times a day, which I still do now to scour the stunning weddings. I also regularly checked Oncewed (loads of pretty weddings with pretty details), Green Wedding Shoes (again pretty weddings with eclectic twists), Style Me Pretty California (more SMP but with a little extra sunshine) and The Knot (a great resource for protocol, seating charts for the reception, guest list manager, galleries for everything you can imagine and helpful tips). I'll be the first to admit, all the options for every aspect of your wedding can be a bit overwhelming, but if you just go with it and embrace your vision, it will be such a fun experience!

To me the main things to nail down in the first couple of months (if you're planning a yearlong engagement) are the venue, photographer, your dress and colour scheme. I highly recommend both getting a photographer and videographer as you can relive the experience for years to come (I love watching our video, but only once in a while because I always cry!). The catering (if not included with the venue), florist, bridal party attire, hotels, honeymoon and all the details can come later. But even before all of this, you should establish your headcount and budget, which of course can be very challenging and complicated. One of my friends lent me a 'workback schedule' as we call it in the PR world, and this helped out so much. It's basically a checklist of everything that needs to be done month by month. Key to keeping you on track! If you have the luxury, hire a wedding planner for the month (or more) leading up to the wedding. You won't be able to do it all on the big day, so you need someone who knows your vision and can bring it to life.

Here are a few more bits of advice for the brides-to-be...

Your photographer and videographer are invaluable and they capture the most important memories so invest wisely and if you can, opt for the albums - they turn out so well! And if you're able to, do the engagement photos - you get amazing portraits with personality and the chance to get comfortable with your photographer before the big day. 
Your venue for the ceremony and reception really set the mood of the entire wedding so really think about what you want it to represent and how you want to feel on the day - ceremony inside or out, venue on the water or in the mountains. All of your details will follow the tone of the venue.
'First Looks' are a good idea and from experience, I don't think it made it any 'less special' for us. It actaully allowed us to be alone together in the moment. You also get some really great photos!
Have fun with all the details. I poured over the wedding sites and searched high and low on Etsy for my ring pillow and brooch, and craft sites like Save-On Crafts and Cost Plus for things like lanterns and wedding favours. Mixing pricey and budget items can help save costs and it allows you to splurge on things that matter (maybe shoes!) and then save on other things like string lights.
Enjoy your wedding party and all the fun moments at the bachelor/bachelorette parties, rehearsal dinner and of course, the big day. This is the one time you're going to have them all together to celebrate the two of you so enjoy it all!
Flowers were a main element of our wedding that really helped bring the garden party theme to life. Depending on how flowery your venue is, you may not need a lot, but they can definitely make everything look a little more beautiful.
Remember, it's always, always, always about the couple and the day is really about what you want. Try not to let others' opinions influence you too much, because when you look back on your big day you'll want to know that it was exactly what you wanted.

[Images via WhatShanniSaw]

1 comment:

  1. Keira,
    Loved this post! Such great advice for brides-to-be: ) I'm SO EXCITED for Lindsay & Ross and looking forward to everything leading up to the big day! I'll only get to be the Mother of the Bride once, so I'm going to enjoy every minute! Take care and hope London is treating you well :)


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