Hi, everyone! So I think that I should begin by introducing myself… My name is Adrean and I have been working here at Love’s Flower Shop on and off since about 2014. I am 100% new to the blogging world but I am going to do everything in my power to make this particular blog page the best that it can be…. Starting with our very first play-by-play, top-to-bottom, straight from the mouth of the bride (and the planner) documentation of what exactly it takes to make a wedding happen.
On April 21st of this year, I will be getting married (exciting, I know)! And in order for any of this to make much sense, I think I need to share a little back-story on my fiance and I.
Daniel and I met through a campus ministry called Chi Alpha at Arkansas Tech University through a mutual friend and we had a connection right away. Kind of like that fairy-tale “love at first sight” thing that is so cliche it could only possible happen in the movies… fast forward a little to December of 2016; Daniel gets down on one knee, asks me to be his wife and of course my answer was a resounding “YES!” But what happened next caught me off guard…
Now, mind you, I had been planning weddings for two years at that point so you would think that planning my own would be easy, right?? WRONG! I learned very quickly that there was SO MUCH MORE that went into making a wedding come together than I had ever imagined. So, as a bride and as a wedding/event planner, I would like to share with you a few of the things that I learned right off the bat and have taken to heart:
SET YOUR BUDGET – I seriously cannot stress this enough. And I don’t mean set a budget for your wedding overall. I mean set a budget for your dress, your cake(s), your bridal party, your food, your rings, etc.
Book early- To some, this probably seems like the obvious thing to do. But you need to know that wedding vendors (i.e. florists, planners, venues, bakers, photographers) are booking weddings sometimes a year or more in advance. This means that if you don’t get your date on their books ASAP, then you may not get who you want.
Research, research, research- This is your WEDDING DAY. Make it count! When you are looking to book your vendors, never use the first one that you get a quote from without first exploring your options. Look them up on Facebook, take a glance at their website, see if you can find reviews for their work on Google, call them and see if you can set up a meeting.
Pinterest- Some of you may cringe a little at that word, BUT it can be such a useful tool for figuring out what you like! Below I’ll be adding some of my own Pinterest wedding inspiration.
These are by no means the extent of the tips that I could give you, but they certainly have come in handy for me during this period of planning. Be sure to tune in next week, especially you newly engaged ladies and gentleman, because I’ll be discussing all of the vendors that you’ll need to make your big day as smooth and care-free as possible!
When it comes to wedding planning one of the most important detail is to nail down your wedding venue. With the wedding business booming, more and more venues are popping up all over the country with all types of themes and amenities, so it’s important to know what you’re envisioning for your perfect day before you start touring venues.
When you do begin touring there are multiple questions you need to ask you venue:
How many hours are we given? Does this include a rehearsal time?
Many venues require parties to be completely cleaned out by midnight, so if you’re planning on rocking all night long this is one question you don’t want to miss!
We most always suggest having a rehearsal the night before, especially with large wedding parties. This always helps calm the bride and gives some sense of organization on the wedding day.
What is allowed for decor and exits?
This is important for many historical venues. They may restrict rose petals, confetti, rice, and many venues do not allow sparklers within a certain distance of the building. If you dream of a sparkling exit to your day, you may be limited.
Do you have preferred or required vendors?
There aren’t many but some venues may require you use certain caterers or other vendors for your wedding. If you planned on having Aunt Betty cater or had your heart set on your favorite Italian place, be prepared to turn down some venues.
What amenities and services are included?
Some venues will include linens, cake cutting, clean up, or a bridal brunch in their fees. This is a great way to save some money or time and something you definitely want to be on the lookout for!
What is the down payment? When is the final payment due?
Once you’ve found your dream venue this is vital information to have. If you can immediately afford the down payment you need to go ahead and reserve your date, especially if you want to get married during their busy time. Final payment date should immediately put down in your bridal planner/ calendar so you can ensure you’re paid in time!
On your wedding day you want everything to go as smoothly as possible. You’ve hired a planner or coordinator to help things along but you’re being hit with time lines from everyone. Your photographer has a timeline, your DJ, cake, caterer are all showing up at different times, and you feel a little helpless. This is where a Day-Of Itinerary can help.
Most planners and coordinators will help you set up your day-of itinerary (also known as flight plans or schedules) by combining all of the different timetables you’ve been given into one timeline while also setting a plan for when you want to do dances, exits, and compiling song lists. Not only will this help with organization, but it will allow everyone to know where they should be and when.
When making our itineraries, we typically try to start with the photographers time table and then add in arrival times of the DJ, Cake, and caterer. Next we add in the name and order of bridesmaid and groomsmen and the songs chosen by the bride for processional, unity ceremony, first dances, etc. Below is an example of what one of our itineraries looks like!
We typically give a copy of this to both mothers, the DJ, the Photographer, the venue coordinator, and the officiant so that everyone is on the same page!
At the beginning of this year, we partook in our first bridal shows! We loved getting to meet the brides and hear about what they wanted for their wedding day as well as getting to show off what we can do! Check out some of our tables from the Conway Bridal Expo below!
When attending a wedding, it might seem a little awkward to take home a gift. Now we’re not talking about stealing one of the happy couple’s gifts, but a gift from the happy couple themselves! Most couples want to have some type of favor that guests can take home to remember their wedding and thank friends and family for the love and support they’ve shown throughout the couple’s relationship. Don’t be afraid to take home what was meant for you!
These favors are going to have your guests begging to take them all home!
This is a great suggestion for big party families that lets your guests kick off their heels and dance in comfy shoes all night!
If you’re having an outdoor wedding in the winter time, these are a must have! Your guests will appreciate your thoughtfulness and they will fly off the table!
If you’ve got a green thumb, you might want to share the love! This is a great idea because every time one of your guests looks at their plant, they’ll think of you and your wonderful wedding!
This is perfect for an outdoor wedding or reception to protect your guests eyes! Not to mention, it makes adorable pictures!
It may seem like the boys are going to have an easier time finding wedding clothes than the girls,but your groom’s tux is just as important as your dress!
There are just as many options for guys as there are for girls. First you have decide whether you want your man in full suit, or maybe just in a vest? You can also choose between just a nice white shirt, suspenders, a flannel, or the full tux. It’s completely up to you and him! We’re going to go through a few of the options and let you pick your favorite!
Suits are probably the first thing you’ll think about when dressing your guy but there are different styles and fits, just like wedding dresses. You can also choose to buy or rent. If your guy needs a new suit, it might be just the time to splurge but if you’re going for the full top hat and tails, it will probably be smarter to rent.
It may seem simplistic but a white shirt can make quite the statement. You can go boho with an open collar and no tie, or go bold with a black shirt and a black tie. Just make shirt the shirt is pressed neatly on the day-of and don’t wait to try it on until the wedding day!
Ties v. Bowties
Options are endless when it comes to picking out your man’s neckwear. You can match your bridesmaid gowns or go for a cool floral. Just make sure your groom and his guy know how to tie their ties or may be best to go with the pre-tied.
Other accessories we’re seeing a lot of are suspenders, special socks, pocket squares, and cufflinks. The possibilities are never-ending when it comes to specializing your groom. Cuff links with the location of your first date, pocket squares that match your bridal party, anything that shows off his style as well as yours. Don’t be afraid to personalize it!
Matt and Star’s Colorado mountain wedding at the Silverpick Lodge and Sow’s Ear restaurant jut north of Durango, CO, photographed by Telluride wedding photographer Ben Eng. Floral arrangements by April’s Flowers, hair and makeup by Lemonhead Salon, music by Aiko Aiko, cake by The Flour Sack, and planning services by Occasions.