Want To Know The REAL Stress Behind Wedding Planning?

Want To Know The REAL Stress Behind Wedding Planning?

The reality, here, is that I love weddings. I do (no pun intended). But boy, I thought parenting was tough—whew!—but being a wedding planner may just be more challenging, even Forbes agrees, as they listed “Event Planner” as #8 in their Top 10 Most Stressful Careers of 2015.
I’m sure I’m in the minority when I announce “I love my job”, but where else could I assign my Type A mindset to a 24/7 (no 9-5 day here!) job? Being in the wedding planning industry means that I apply my highly conscientious, goal-oriented personality to each and every couple’s wedding, i.e., counting each chair at each event to ensure each table has the right allotted chairs for each guest, and that there’s enough silverware, glasses etc. per guest (I’m also that parent who made another whole batch of made-from-scratch muffins just so there was one more  to bring for the teacher, too).  I’m sure I annoy others from time-to-time with my Type A tendencies, but at least in the workplace, others know they can put their trust in me to get things done, and that I’m determined in achieving outcomes.

Photo Credit: London Wedding Planning

Photo Credit: London Wedding Planning

So  believe me, I definitely am the type who loves to delve deep with my couples, when we’re getting into the planning and bringing the vision to life. But even from my perfectionistic mindset, do you want to know the REAL stress behind the wedding planning? It’s thinking that EVERYTHING in planning the wedding is important.

These days, there’s a lot of decisions that go into the wedding planning process, but I hope you’re in agreement with me when I say that it’ll be irrelevant in five years, to recall what shade of ribbon your mother-in-law wore in her wristlet, whether you served salmon instead of shrimp cocktail for an entree, or whether your bridesmaids join the groomsmen arm-in-arm down the aisle or just go solo (all true story “worries). If you haven’t gone through the wedding planning before, everything you read, see on Pinterest, or hear from friends seems attainable and once again, important. I’m here to remind you that it’s not. Believe me when I say, paying an extra hour to extend your reception so you’ll have more time to mingle and dance with your guests is well worth your investment than paying for a luxury-vintage headpiece that you may wear for four hours.

So when you’re up in the wee hours of the morning wondering about where to have the cocktail hour, or if the exotic flowers you have in mind are in-season, delegate the worrying to us, we’ll help get you started in all the “true” important areas of you day!

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2015 Wedding Trend: The Personalized Wedding Proposal Videography

2015 Wedding Trend: The Personalized Wedding Proposal Videography

At the beginning of each year, after the hustle and bustle of the holidays are over, I begin to wonder with amazement, what trends will hit the wedding industry. Here we are, mid-June with half of the year of 2015 over—simply mind blowing—and while any wedding planner like myself would love to discuss what fabric is hot on the runway or which color is taking the lead in the centerpieces, right now my thoughts are on the technical side of things: specifically, Videography. While I realize we live in a “must have it now” type of routine (keeping in mind, I grew up in the age where the stench of flash cubes lingered long after the button on the camera was pressed, and I had to send in my film to be developed), most couples are not reaching for the “GoPro” camera to record their wedding day, unless of course they’re skydiving.

While Videography is certainly not a “touchy-feely” moment up there with selecting the paper suite, wedding gown and wedding florals, it is definitely something most of our couples have been opting for. As a matter of fact, number one answer to a recent Facebook poll we did on  “name the top thing you most regretted about your wedding planning”, was not selecting a videographer for the wedding day (I know that’s one of my personal top regrets). Seems like the majority of couples choose their wedding day photographer early in advance, but Videography seems to get “booted to the back of the line” when it comes to booking a skilled videographer team. I’m here to make you think differently about that choice with personalized wedding proposal videography!

Much fanfare is spent on dialing up the “wow factor” for the wedding day, but let’s not forget that as a precursor, there is usually a proposal in which someone is asking those famous 4 words…why not execute the drama, there?  While flash mob proposals may make for an unforgettable video, the current trend in popping the question is keeping it personal, but still recording it “live”.  A friend and local wedding film producer, Matt Van Ness from MV Film Productions, recently shared with me how he accomplished this with a lovely couple who appeared in Matt’s film under the guise that they were models for images and film for a “stylized wedding shoot”. While shooting a scene in the English Garden backdrop at Wickham Park, the bride-to-be turns around to find her boyfriend-soon-to-be-finance on bended knee under the canopy. What a tear-jerker! Matt is an anomaly in this business, having started his business while still in high school! While he and his team have talent and and offer extraordinary film footage, their customer service is unparalleled in the industry. Watch the film below or click here to view it in a separate window/tab:

Want to chat more about Videography proposals or find out how we can help you find the right industry professionals for your big day? Take a sec and give us a holler, we promise we’ll holler back!

Cheers!
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The Top 25 Things Brides Forget On Their Wedding Day--YOURS FREE when you schedule your get acquainted session!

The Top 25 Things Brides Forget On Their Wedding Day–YOURS FREE when you schedule your get acquainted session!

Like Game Of Thrones? Then You’ll Love Our Game Of Thrones Styled Shoot

Like Game Of Thrones? Then You’ll Love Our Game Of Thrones Styled Shoot

Styled shoots are the epitome of event design–the designer gets to pick everything involved! From that perspective, it certainly has its merits, but it sometimes can be more difficult in planning a wedding (especially with the managing of everyone’s schedules!) in that the sky’s the limit.

 

I absolutely love the drama and rich glamour of the Game of Thrones show — the gorgeous goddess style gowns, the castles, the grand decor. So, as a wedding planner, it didn’t take me long to realize that all of those elements would we perfect sources of inspiration for a styled wedding shoot! As soon as the idea popped into my head, my creative side was immediately abuzz with ideas about how to bring the concept to life. Bill Miller’s Castle here in CT was by far the most perfect backdrop I could’ve envisioned for the shoot. The inside is full of incredible stone walls, fireplaces that harken back to centuries past, and beautiful old furnishings and tapestries. When you step through the door, it truly feels like you’ve stepped back in time or on the set of the Game of Thrones!

Photo Credit: Michelle Wade Photography

Photo Credit: Michelle Wade Photography

The best part about working with a group of talented contributors, is of course the excitement of getting featured in print or online. Well our Game of Thrones style shoot was picked up by Reverie Gallerie! For jaw-dropping style and seduction, I’m thrilled to share our shoot featured on Reverie Gallerie.

 

Cheers!

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Expert Tips On The Importance Of Inclement Weather Wedding Planning…And Not Just The Rain!

Expert Tips On The Importance Of Inclement Weather Wedding Planning…And Not Just The Rain!

Here in the Springtime of the North East, it is constantly a mix of rain, drizzle, and even hail. While each wedding we’re involved in brings about its own various worries, I can say with confidence that every couple we work with worries about the weather. Sure, a cloudy and rainy day may not be your first overall desire for the plan of the day, but if there’s a plan in place, it can allow for you and your guests to be comfortable, while allowing for some glorious photography, and stylish rain gear.

 

Heart-shaped Puddle Captured by Chris Ringuette

Heart-shaped Puddle Captured by Chris Ringuette

 

Photo By Philip Dehm Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Photo By Philip Dehm Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Being a wedding planner in New England, we’ve pretty much seen it all, having planned weddings  through Hurricane Irene and Superstorm Sandy, as well as the freak “Snowtober” storm Alfred we got right before Halloween back in ’11. Here are some expert inclement weather wedding planning tips which will allow you to appropriately plan around Mother Nature:

Always Have A “Plan B” For The Ceremony (And Not Just Outdoor Ceremonies)

Planning for an alternate location for an outdoor ceremony and photos goes without saying, but did you know that you should also prepare and plan for an alternative ceremony location for non outdoor ceremonies too? You never know when a burst pipe, broken air conditioner or last minute construction (yep, we’ve been through all 3 of these!) can deter your church or ceremony site.  Just in case, you also may want to consider booking a tent as “tent insurance”—a tent reserved on deposit “just in case”, and determined 1-2 days before the wedding whether or not you’ll use it.

Prepare To Keep Your Guests Comfortable

In similar fashion as the above tip, always, always plan to keep your guests comfortable, either cool, warm or dry. We have the know-how to help you with planning for outdoor weddings—be sure to have plenty of umbrellas around, or better yet, offer valet parking; offer fans (hand-held or electric), blankets or pashminas (these make fabulous favors!), and shade too. For indoor festivities, be sure the space offers heat and air conditioning (and that they work!), and be sure that either of these can be offered at a last minute request, if needed (note: there may be an additional fee involved). Lastly, if having a tent, be sure that your tent comes with sides which can be closed (we all know rain likes to come-in slanted!). If you haven’t hired a day-of coordinator, be sure to designate an individual who will be available to close the sides (and knows how to operate them!).

View More: http://jasonlovesmaggie.pass.us/cheryl-dave

Down The Aisle Team Closing Tent Sides

 

Don’t Forget Your Suppliers

With us by your side as your planner/coordinator, you can rest assured that not only will we be in touch with your suppliers/vendors the week or two prior to the wedding, but the lessons we learned from hurricanes and snowstorms, we also confirm details for alternative arrangements should the florist not be able to get the flowers delivered in time, the caterer having to seek another type of fish because the market supplier couldn’t deliver during a storm, or making alternative transportation plans when roads are not passable. Be sure that when confirming the details, you are checking on how inclement weather issues can be sorted out.

Whether we’re helping with your weather planning intricacies, or coming up with ways to keep your guests comfortable, we’re here to guide you. Reach out to us, we’ll share in solution planning for all potential weather-related wedding mishaps!

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10 Ways To Wow Your Wedding Guests

10 Ways To Wow Your Wedding Guests

Working in the wedding industry is often like juggling 3 glass balls—if one is dropped, not only will it shatter, but of course someone is bound to notice the misfortune. When I am coordinating a wedding, one of my favorite advantages I enjoy, is that most of the time I completely “blend-in” with the guests. I’m dressed like a guest (no, it’s not like hotel staff, we don’t wear name badges or anything), and so guests just assume I am one most of the time. This allows me to pick-up on the chatter surrounding the days’ events, and by this, I’ve come to discover 10 Ways To Wow Your Wedding Guests.

1. Guests Like Unexpected Hors d’oeuvres 

Food is like the weather, it’s there in front of everyone and just begs to be a topic of discussion. Anything served that is an “ordinary” choice—think fruit and a veggie spread during your cocktail hour—will of course satisfy your guests, but doesn’t do much to bring them out of their comfort zone. Offer them an item that they won’t find at a local bistro.

Photo By Curtis Poe CC BY-SA 2.0

Photo By Curtis Poe via Flickr

2. Hire Entertainment

Whether you hire a local artist to sit on hand to replicate a painting of your ceremony, a caricaturist to render drawings of guests, a fortune teller, or a celebrity impersonator to liven things up, live entertainment is fun for guests and always a way to make an impression.


3. First Dance Before Cocktail Hour And Immediately Join Your Guests 

Guests are expecting the newlyweds to have their first dance, but what’s not expected, is having it at the start of the cocktail hour. Open the “first act” of the celebrating with the first dance at cocktail hour followed immediately into mingling with your guests (note: this logistically works if all the formal portraits are taken ahead of time).

4. Mingle And Make It Interactive

Sometimes it gets tough, “circling the tables” to greet your guests and say hello. Instead, why not make it interactive and join your guests in an activity? Have a dance instructor on the dance floor, teaching how to salsa or swing. Or have an interactive bar where guests are led by a mixologist to self-mix their drinks.

5. Open Tasting Bar

Guests feel pampered when they’re “taken care of”, and one way that’s quite simple to make a wedding enjoyable in the eyes of your guests, is with an open-bar. Even this route, there are many ways to keep the costs down, one way is to offer wines from a nearby winery, offer specialty drinks, or a certain type of liquor for a “tasting bar”.


6. Decrease Your Wait Times

Let’s face it, no one likes to wait—it makes people impatient and annoyed. While this is not necessarily a way to “wow” your guests, reducing the wait times during your receiving line (have only your parents or just your best man and maid of honor) or shortening your gap of time between ceremony and reception makes for less cranky guests.


7. Uniquely Displayed Seating Cards

More than just a folded “tent” card, the way to direct guests to their seats can be a fun moment to show your creative side.

 

 

8. Offer Specialty Coffees After The Meal

Coffee and tea is expected after the meal, so why not mix it up a bit, and keep the tradition with a new twist? Surprise your guests at the end of the meal with baristas hand-passing trays of cappuccino, espresso, or coffee with coffee with Bailey’s, Kahlua, or Whiskey.

9. Chose A Dramatic Backdrop For Your “I Do’s” 

From gothic architecture and majestic mountains  to aqua sun-kissed waters and historic mansions, choosing a distinctive site for your ceremony/reception will make a smashing impression. Best yet, it minimizes the need for rentals and DIY, as Mother Nature offers the décor.

 

10. Let The Season Inspire Your Menu

Talk to your caterer about creating your menu by inspiration from the season. Crab cakes and finger foods go great for an outdoor summer wedding, while hearty spiced squash soup and warm cider takes the chill out of winter.

Whether it’s help on how to make the most impact with your menu or bar, where to scale-back and where to spend, or adding personal touches Down The Aisle, LLC is your prime source to assist in “wowing” your guests! Let’s chat!

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Coordinating Your Paper Suite: What’s Essential And What You Can Skip

Coordinating Your Paper Suite: What’s Essential And What You Can Skip

Compiling and coordinating your invitations and other paper necessities (aka your “paper suite”) can be exciting at first glance—combing through colors and paper is fun, but taking it a step further to fonts, texture, weights, and graphics, well it becomes a bit overbearing. Quite simply, we’re providing you with the 3 necessities you’ll need and the 3 you don’t.

Essential: The Invitation –

Simply put, the invitation is a letter in writing asking the recipient to join in your festivities of your wedding. Without this item, your intended guest would not know that they were invited.

Heart Bling invite by Penny Ann Designs, Etsy

Heart Bling invite by Penny Ann Designs, Etsy


Essential Or Can Skip: The Response Card –

The response card is the item that requests the RSVP response, and usually will have two blank spaces—one for the guests to add their name and one for them to indicate how many are attending. Sometimes there is an added line for the guest(s) to indicate their meal selection. If using a response card, you’ll need to add postage for this card for it to be mailed back to you. You can forgo using RSVP cards and envelopes, eliminating bulk and extra postage to your ensemble, by instead using a postcard, or guests can RSVP directly to your wedding website—just be sure to add this information somewhere.

RSVP by Freckled Stationery, Etsy

RSVP by Freckled Stationery, Etsy

Can Skip: The Reception Card –

The reception card is usually a separate, smaller card indicating “reception immediately to follow ceremony” with the details of the reception location. Although providing information on the reception is a must, the reception card itself is not a “must”—this information can also be added at the bottom of the invitation.

001d_Blue & Brown Invite

via Down The Aisle

Essential: The Thank You Note –

Whether you have indicated a “thank you for coming” by giving a shout out at the reception, or have provided a printout, a proper, hand-written thank you card is always required for everyone who has come to the wedding (and given you a gift).

 

Photo Credit: Mulberry Lane Studios via www.bridalguide.com

Photo Credit: Mulberry Lane Studios via www.bridalguide.com


Can Skip:
Envelope Linings and Tissue Overlays –

In the not so distant past, these were used during the printing process when the ink from the printing press, did not dry completely and the ink smeared onto the invitation. The tissue overlay (sometimes made from onion skin—imagine crying when opening someone’s invitation?) would prevent the ink from smearing onto the envelope and other items within the invitation.  With today’s perfected printing process, these are unnecessary, and just add to the final bill or increase postage.

001b_Black Jacket Invite

Essential Or Can Skip: The Invitation “Inner” Envelope –

This is the envelope in which the invitation is placed into before slipping into the “outer” envelope which is addressed to your guest. Again, drawing on decades past, when invitations were hand delivered, the inner envelope served its purpose so that guests always had a clean, crisp envelope. As with the tissue overlays above, this can easily increase postage costs.

If you are planning to keep this tradition and use the inner envelope, note that you would be only addressing your guests’ titles and surnames on the inner envelope. Example: “Mr. & Mrs. Hamilton”. The printed side of the envelope faces away from the front of the envelope.  And it is not acceptable to use computer printed labels on the outer envelopes (but using your printer to print on the envelope directly is okay).

found on ehow
Essential Or Can Skip: Direction Cards / Maps / Accommodations –

While this information is handy to have available, save postage costs by posting this information on your wedding website. If you are planning to include it in your stationery, save costs and have both sides printed. For those who are having their ceremony at a separate location than the reception, you may include directions to the reception in your wedding program.
Looking for help with putting your paper suite together or with gathering your RSVP’s? We have an invitation concierge for that, find out more here!

We'll Tackle Your Invites And RSVP's!

We’ll Tackle Your Invites And RSVP’s!

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Featured Wedding: Summer Wedding In Mystic Seaport

Featured Wedding: Summer Wedding In Mystic Seaport

Picturesque Weddings In Connecticut

Of course I’m biased, but I find that Connecticut is quite lovely, especially when it comes to picturesque wedding sites.  For our couple, the demands and travel of their work schedule meant very little time for venue research. Also placing an utmost value on the quality of the food and non-traditional menu of comfort food stations, meant many venue options were “out”. One of the tasks Down The Aisle is most often involved in, is researching and narrowing down venue choices for couples. Full of history, beauty, and of course pop-culture for the film “Mystic Pizza”, we were delighted when the charming Mystic Seaport was the final selection for Beth and Jason’s venue choice.

How They Met

After meeting at a UCONN football game in the fall of 2011, it took more than two months to meet again to finally go on a “date”—their work, both in the insurance industry, take them out of town often. Once they did began to date, things moved pretty quickly, and they were engaged the following year.

STD Pic

Getting Ready

The bride and her bridal party enjoyed each other’s company while getting ready together in adjoining hotel rooms. Hair and make-up were done by Matteo Ambrose, a visionary who has worked with the likes of Adele and celebrity models.

View More: http://jasonlovesmaggie.pass.us/beth-jason

View More: http://jasonlovesmaggie.pass.us/beth-jason

View More: http://jasonlovesmaggie.pass.us/beth-jason

 

A Perfect Summer Wedding 

The day was a perfect summer celebration in June—not overly hot, no humidity. Encore-bride Beth and Jason married in the scenic town of Mystic, CT. The ceremony was held at Greenmanville Church, on the premises of the Mystic grounds, was an old fashioned New England meetinghouse, built circa 1851. The bride was escorted by her son.

View More: http://jasonlovesmaggie.pass.us/beth-jason

View More: http://jasonlovesmaggie.pass.us/beth-jason

While walking the Mystic Seaport grounds as newlyweds scoping for an area to take portraits, the marina was the perfect spot. With dozens of boats lined up parked along the walkway,it was the perfect romantic spot for portraits before having dinner at sunset.

View More: http://jasonlovesmaggie.pass.us/beth-jason

 

View More: http://jasonlovesmaggie.pass.us/beth-jason

 

 

Beth’s two most memorable parts of the day, was what she refers to as “hyjacking a boat” (randomly, a couple graciously offered their boat to shoot photos) and getting a card from her soon husband-to-be just hours  before the ceremony.

So excited that we were able to be a part of their day!

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The Talent:

Ceremony: Greenmanville Church, Mystic
Reception Venue: Latitude 41/Coastal Gourmet Catering
Photography: Jason Loves Maggie Photography
Justice of the Peace/DJ/Emcee: Keith Alan Productions
Florist: Scott’s Flowers
Stationery: Tulaloo 
Wedding Gown (Pronovias) & Tuxes: Bridal Trousseau on Main
Beauty: Mateo Ambrose Beauty
Wedding Planning & Day Of Management:  Down The Aisle

 

 

 

Wedding Planning When Parents Are Divorced Or Remarried

Wedding Planning When Parents Are Divorced Or Remarried

 

So you are at the point of the wedding planning process where you are ready to dive-in to making the guest list come alive—the invitations. We’re not going to lie, it’s not one of the most smoothest or glamorous parts of the wedding planning, especially when there are multiple parties chipping-in with the wedding expenses. Having divorced parents, remarried parents, or parents who are dating new partners does seem to complicate things, particularly with regard to invitation wording, who escorts the bride down the aisle, and the first dances.

Of course in writing this blog, I can’t help but think back to the recent movie The Big Wedding . In the movie, the long-divorced parents of the groom, played by Robert De Niro and Diane Keaton, pretend to still be happily married when their adopted son’s ultra-conservative biological mother (played by Susan Sarandon) decides last minute to attend the wedding (the late Robin Williams also makes a cameo).

The-Big-Wedding-Diane-Keaton-Robert-De-Niro-Susan-Sarandon-e1366999573237

Photo courtesy of www.craveonline.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While this may not pan-out in the real world, we can help provide some assistance in the complex world of wedding planning with divorced parents, significant others, remarried parents, or parents who are dating new partners. We’ve got just the tips to help you with etiquette in this area:

Invitation Wording

Photo courtesy of Tulaloo  stationery www.tulaloo.com

Photo courtesy of Tulaloo | www.tulaloo.com

Traditional Wording When Bride’s Parents Are Still Married and Hosting:

Mr. and Mrs. David Rogers
request the honour of your presence
at the marriage of their daughter
Jessica Lynn etc…

Invitation Wording When Parents Are Divorced

One of the most common questions we’re asked is, how do I word the invitations when our parents (or both sets) are divorced? Here are some common examples:

Rule of Thumb: The bride’s mother is always listed on the invitation first (if groom’s parents are divorced, his mother’s name is first before his father and step-mother)

Listing Bride’s Parents – Both Divorced, One Remarried and Both Co-Hosting:

Mrs. Darlene Rogers (or Mrs. Darlene Cody Rogers, if she prefers to use her maiden name too)
Mr. and Mrs. David Rogers
request the honour of your presence
at the marriage of their daughter
Jessica Lynn Rogers
to
Bruce Andrew Collins etc…


Listing Bride’s Parents – Both Divorced and Remarried and Both Co-Hosting:

Mr. and Mrs. Ashford Landry  (bride’s mother and new married name)
and
Mr. and Mrs. David Rogers (bride’s father/step-father)
request the honour of your presence
at the marriage of their daughter
Jessica Lynn Rogers
to
Bruce Andrew Collins etc…

If both set of parents are hosting, and there’s a step-parent involved, also hosting, then it would be:

Mrs. Darlene Rogers (bride’s mother)  (or Mrs. Darlene Cody Rogers)
and Mr. and Mrs. David Rogers (bride’s father and step-mother)
along with (or “and”)
Mr. and Mrs. Robert Collins (Groom’s parents)
request the honour of your presence
at the marriage of
Jessica Lynn
and
Bruce Andrew etc…

Biological Parents AND Step-Parents: Escorting The Bride And First Dances

It is common practice that someone “gives the bride away”, but that decision is a personal one, and shouldn’t be made with what “tradition” dictates—that it must be the father-of-the-bride.

If there is discord between your father and/or step-father, you could certainly put the drama to rest by not selecting either of them, and instead chose another well-respected relative (uncle, brother, or even your mother) or a close friend of the family. For those who are close to both their father and step-father, why not include them both? You could have both of them—one on each arm—escorting you down the aisle; or you can have one walk you down, and the other can “present” you to your groom, or lift your veil. We’ve even had a bride who had a father escort half-way down the aisle, and the step-father escorting the remaining part of the aisle. This could certainly work for the groom and his mother/step-mother as well.

The Bride Is Escorted By Her Mother

The Bride Is About To Be Escorted By Her Mother

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
When it comes to the father/daughter and mother/son dances, the same approach can be taken: you can include both sets by either dancing two separate songs (upon request, DJ’s can shorten songs so it’s not an 8-10 minute process), or dance to one song but alternating partners. Either way, in whatever form it’s taken, the decision to include both a parent and step-parent/life-partner will allow all those involved to feel a part of a momentous occasion.

Ready to get some clarity surrounding your wedding etiquette with divorced parents? Contact me to schedule a complimentary consultation so we can pull it all together!

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Holiday Survival Guide For The Bride-To-Be

Holiday Survival Guide For The Bride-To-Be

It starts with Black Friday…The holidays can be a time of wonder and marvel, but then it could also be a true test of our inner strength. Juggling the demands of added pressures from our families or work to “do more” (bring-in festive “healthy” treats for the kids’ school), can easily put us over the edge. The holiday season can surely reconnect us, but the disrupted schedules, travel, cooking, decorating, and last minute shopping stress can bring on stress faster than a sugar rush from a cookie swap indulgence. Hmmm…sounds familiar, right? Because it sounds a lot like wedding planning!

Whether you’re newly engaged this holiday season, months into your planning, or days before your wedding, each level brings its own amount of stress similar to the holidays. We have the Holiday Survival Guide!

001a_Snowflake Invite

 

Don’t Over Indulge Just Because The Moment Grabs You – The holidays are a time for gathering with friends and loved ones, and with that brings the feeling of “why not just one more…”. Whether that be the extra cookie (or two) you added on your plate, the extra guest (or two) added to your list, or the extra thousand (or two) you just added to your dress budget, all of these can become intensified when you’re feeling spiritual/giving/festive. If you want to stay within your budget, you may want to postpone some of your wedding-planning decisions until after the new year when you’ve passed the temptations and gained insight.

 

Fill Your Cup To Fill Up Others – Yes, it’s the truth that we’ve all heard many times, but at the holidays, we may get to the gym less, sleep less, and re-connect with ourselves less. Whatever way you feel most relaxed and at ease, be sure to take the time for yourself so that you don’t get burnt out. Chances are if you’re exhausted and you have a mile long to-do list for your wedding tasks, your fiancé will certainly appreciate your calm demeanor when you’ve had some “you” time.

 

Setting The New Tradition: Where To Spend The Holidays – Deciding on which side of the family to spend the holidays with, is always a tricky subject for newlyweds, however, it’s really not that different for those who are engaged. When the invite to attend Aunt Margaret’s soiree is put out there, set the precedent now by not giving the tried-and-true answer of “let me get back to you, I need to talk with my fiancé first”. This sends the message that you’re a combined team now, and won’t just say “yes” to the first invite. Read more on “How To Decide Where To Spend The Holidays”.

 

The Holidays Are Everyone Else’s Holiday Too – You’re surrounded by many, and you may want to spend time chit-chatting the latest planning news—the new bridesmaids color you’ve found, or details on the tasting you just went to—just keep in mind that while your family is interested in learning the newest details and they are interested, it’s still the holidays for everyone else. Consider catching everyone up in a “New Year’s” letter/email update.

While the holiday season is the slow time for wedding professionals, it’s yet a busy time in meeting prospective clients. Give us a shout, and we’ll connect you with the best talent, to help you skip the January rush!

Happy Holidays!
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There’s More To Wedding Planning Than Planning A Wedding: Visualization

There’s More To Wedding Planning Than Planning A Wedding: Visualization

There’s More To Wedding Planning Than Planning A Wedding: Visualization 

The minute the ring is on the finger, friends and family are informed, the planning begins. But should it? Since I’m in the profession as a wedding planner/coordinator, I meet many brides-to-be who get overwhelmed with the wedding planning process.  Once I am hired as a couple’s planner (different than a day-of coordinator in which I orchestrate and manage the day, but the couple does their own planning), at our initial meeting, we move away from the planning process, and I immediately have them instead think of the day itself.

Lead Planner, Christine, At A Consultation Appointment

Lead Planner, Christine, At A Consultation Appointment

Yes, sounds a bit backwards, but taking the couple to the actual day, and having them envision (I even ask them to close their eyes to do this): what they’re wearing, what the day feels like—whether it’s a hot summer evening or a crisp afternoon—which guests are there supporting them and what are they feeding on, which hues and colors are surrounding them. I call this moment their “visualization”…all of this takes the pressure off of wedding planning, and instead, draws-in the ambiance and the spirit of the day. From there, we put together a preliminary budget, and then I assist in pulling together all these attributes to find the right location and vendors who will fit their select style and budget.

Kasey Matson Photography

Kasey Matson Photography

One of the reasons wedding planning gets overwhelming (this is no cat-out-of-the-bag secret) is that much of what is in the media, makes it feel that you’re pushed into this box—someone else’s box (checklist, song choices, etc.). Couples tend to forget what their wedding day really is about—joining in marriage and having fun with their family and friends—and instead focus so much on the “visual competition” (my term for Pinterest and any other eye candy that makes the impossible seem possible). What many brides don’t know, is that it’s near impossible to pull all this together themselves (which usually prompts prompts delegating a non-professional “aunt Suzy” at the last minute), and then seem shocked when they look back and realize there wasn’t any fun. On the day of, it will feel like paparazzi following you around all day. You may feel dazed and not in the moment. Family members can be overbearing. Budgets are a necessary evil. Wedding regret is real.

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When we work with our couples, we offer not only peace of mind, but we’re offering an experience. There is no running from salon to salon to find the perfect dress, because we know where to search first. There are no crickets waiting for a response after leaving a voice mail/sending an email because we have a solid, reputable network to recommend. You won’t be reaching for an impossible feat because we’ll help you pull your head out of the clouds. When you’re feeling off track, we’ll remind you of the early “visualization”. There will be a minimal amount of running around the weeks leading up to the day, because we are taking care of it all the checks-and-balances and communications with the vendors for you. On the day of, you won’t be trying to follow a timeline or worry about where you should be at such-and-such time, because we staff one of our assistants to personally stay with you the whole day so you are carefree.

Your “visualization” is yours and deserves precision preparation. Your post-wedding talk (sadly, everyone will gossip) should be positive. I’m so proud to say my occupation allows me to contribute to this! Let’s chat more how we can help!
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Planners Christine and Daniela | Jason Loves Maggie Photography

Planners Christine and Daniela | Jason Loves Maggie Photography