Assign certain tasks to your fiance. Men actually like to help (believe it or not) especially if they know that you can trust them with making decisions. For example, have your fiance do some research and narrow down 3 DJ's to choose from. It'll be more fun to go through the joys (and sometime pain) of wedding planning together!
Select vendors that have the same aesthetic/style who can deliver services that will match your vision (for example, if you are doing a whimsical wedding, don't book a florist who only makes traditional rose bouquets). Instead, find a florist who can create bouquets with interesting textures and shapes to give a more whimsical and fun feel. Create an email account just for wedding related matters and turn on the notification alert (make sure to always check the junk mail because sometimes vendor emails go directly there).
This one is obvious but sometimes overlooked. Send out invitations that will give your guests a first glimpse your wedding day. For example, if you're doing an outdoor garden wedding, add some greenery and florals to the invitation. If you're doing a ballroom wedding, use fancy scrolls to add a touch of elegance. This will create the setting for your guests. To manage your RSVP's, I recommend using The Knot or Zola (which is password protected so that strangers can't RSVP to your wedding).
Here are links to some wedding vendors that I've worked with and trust:
Stationery: Kayla Taylor Designs
Calligraphy: Kari Dawn Avenue
Fine art stationery &accessories: LaPomme Et La Pipe Press
Florals: Modern Day Events & Floral
DJ: DJ Guy Voss
Wedding gowns: Memories Bridal & Evening Wear, Spring Sweet
Robes for bride, bridesmaid and flower girls: Le Rose
Venues: Greencrest Manor, Laffayette Grand Banquet, The ballrooms at Amway Grand Plaza, Loft 310, CityFlatsHotel in Grand Rapids
Start a vision board of how you imagine your wedding day will look like like. As a starting point, select 2-3 color palettes and find images that speaks to you. Then put together all of your images into a collage either via Pinterest, Layout or use The Knot galleries. You can then share your vision board with your friends, family and vendors so that everyone involved in the wedding can have an idea of what you're trying to achieve. Lastly, I recommend describing your vision board in 2-3 words so that you stay focused as you're putting together all the details (i.e. avoid buying props just because it's cute and cheap).
Wedding planning is no small task! There is so much that goes into the planning process (from selecting your venue to the color of your groomsmen's tie). Here are some of my tips to help with the planning process:
I believe engagement sessions are important because it helps you get more comfortable in front of the camera. It also gives me the opportunity to get to know you a personal level and hear your stories (I especially love hearing how people meet!).
Things to consider before your engagement session:
1) Decide what scenery you'd like (i.e. nature, beach, at-home life-style, city, etc)
2) Dress up! Wear something nice that will go with the overall scenery. For example, if you're doing a lifestyle engagement session at home, don't wear a form fitting dress. Instead, get into something cute and cozy where you can easily cuddle up with your fiance during the photo shoot. If you chose a beach scenery, wear something light and flowy.
3) Avoid matchy-matchy outfits which can be a bit corny. Instead, coordinate the outfits so that it complements each other through texture, patters and colors.
Here are links to some dress shops that I absolutely love for engagement sessions:
For men, I recommend wearing a light sweater with khakis which typically will go well with most settings. If you want more of a more formal look, just simply add on a blazer!
Yes you are a superwoman but you can't do it all, especially on your wedding day. You'll want to enjoy every second of it. From following brides around all day, here are my suggestions for a stress-free day:
1) Hire a day-of-coordinator or assign a family friend to take care of business. You don't want to be setting up, cleaning up and on the phone with vendors all day long. In fact, put your phone away for the day so that you're not answering phone calls and texts all day long - it'll be less stressful!
2) Get your solo portraits taken as soon as you have your dress on, makeup on and hair done while everything is still in place.
3) Believe it or not - the two most complicated things that I see at every wedding are 1) how to fold pocket squares and 2) how to pin boutonnieres. Have your fiance lookup youtube videos (such as this one) ahead of the wedding.
4) One question I often get asked the most is: how much time do I really need for portraits? I always recommend at least 1.5-2 hours in total for family portraits, bridal party pictures, bride and groom pictures and solo portraits. To shorten the time between the ceremony and reception, I recommend doing as many bridal portraits before the ceremony (for example, even if you're not doing a first look, get the bridal party portraits done separately before the ceremony).
This is where your happily ever after story actually begins... when you experience life together and write your own story. Cherish your time together. Make every day count. Be intentional with all that you do. Create fun memories. Take lots of photos and put them in a album (or see here for more ideas on what to do with your photos) so that you can look back on those memories.
I hope the tips and resources above were helpful and I hope you'll enjoy your wedding planning process.!