Just Engaged: Tips From Real Wedding Planners

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You just got engaged and are feeling overwhelmed with all the questions on where to start. In addition, you’ve probably got a lot of people whispering in your ear. Good news, we have a few tips from the pros to help you get started.

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Tip One: Enjoy the Moment

First off, take a deep breath, relax and enjoy the thrill of becoming engaged! So many brides quickly get caught up in all of the details about planning weddings (Pinterest boards can be deadly!) – that they don’t take a moment to fully cherish this beautiful moment in their life. You need to take it all in, and celebrate in private with your hubby to be, as the big day will come soon enough to celebrate with all of your friends and family!  – Infinity Weddings & Events – Karina Brown

Tip Two: Spread the Word!

Family and close friends will love finding out from you in person.  How about hosting an intimate brunch to personally announce your big news to your close family?  If they are far away, a phone call is more personal than letting them find out second-hand or via email or social media like everyone else. – Birch & Bunny Wedding & Events – Laura Richert

Tip Three: Before Jumping In . . .

Determine the scope. The budget and size of guest list will start you out on the right foot.  Once you have figured out at least a range for these questions you will be better able to move forward either on your own or with the help of a professional Wedding Planner.  Your planner will help you prioritize, create a detailed timeline and budget, track expenses and recommend vendors.  These custom vendor recommendations are ones who match your style, personalities, budget, needs and experience level. – Birch & Bunny Wedding & Events – Laura Richert

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Tip Four: Set a date!

Don’t wait too long as, dependent on season, a lot of vendors tend to book up quickly! If you have your heart set on a specific venue, you may have to start with checking what dates are available and go from there. Choosing a date does not need to be a big task or a difficult one – but it is super important as, with wedding planning, everything can become time sensitive. On top of setting a date, you need to narrow down your guest list. Most venues have a maximum capacity and there is nothing worse than paying a deposit on your perfect venue only to find out all of the guests you’ve invited cannot attend due to restrictions (talk about a nightmare!).  – Infinity Weddings & Events – Karina Brown

Tip Five: Saying Yes To The Dress

Find that perfect dress (or suit)! Shopping a year in advance is a great idea, as you don’t want to become stressed and crammed for time. Dresses take time to order in as they often come from out of city. On top of that, if you need any alterations to be done, you need to ensure that you have plenty of time for the dress to be fixed. – Infinity Weddings & Events – Karina Brown

Tip Six: Beware Of Social Media

We all love to post on social media and well, it is the way of the world now.   I strongly suggest holding information that you share about your wedding to a minimum though. This is where a lot of couples get confused and overwhelmed over unsolicited comments and advice. The vendors that you have hired are the experts and do this for a living so it is important to lean on them for guidance on your big day. – LP Events – Lesley Plumley

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Final Tip:

Make the day about the two of you and what you want!   Stay true to your vision and you will be much happier.

Don’t sweat the small stuff. Things happen and may not always go your way. It is important not to lose sight of what you are doing; marrying your true love. Hire vendors that work with you to create a dream day for you and your partner. – LP Events – Lesley Plumley

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How To Be The Best Bridesmaid Ever

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Photo credit: Morgan Marie Photography

Being asked to be a bridesmaid is super exciting and an honor, but it does involve a lot more than just showing up on the day of the wedding. From financial expenses, emotional support and helping with planning it can sometimes be tough. But no worries, we have some tips that will make the whole process go smoothly. You’ll be a bridesmaid pro!

1. Be Upfront

If you are concerned about the financial costs or time commitment be upfront with the bride right away. Having a discussion early on before committing to being in the wedding party is the best way to go about things.

2. Be A Team Player

In a group of girls, there are bound to be disagreements along the way. Try your best to get along with the other girls and work together. The bride will already be stressed out with wedding planning and doesn’t need the added stress of her friends not getting along.

3. Don’t Delay Ordering The Dress

You may think you have lots of time, but the sooner you get the dress the better. Waiting to order your dress last minute will only stress out the bride even more. Don’t forget you may need to get alterations!

4. Budget

Often you will have quite a bit of time between when you are asked to be a bridesmaid and the day of the wedding. Keep in mind all of the expenses that go along with the role and make sure you budget accordingly. It’s always best to budget for a bit more than you think you will need, so you’re not in a tough spot when it comes closer to the wedding day.

5. Offer Assistance In Planning

Check in with the bride and see what you can do to help with the planning. There’s a lot that goes into planning for a wedding and the bride could use your help and support to help make things easier!

6. Consider The Bride When Planning The Bachelorette Party

If you’re helping plan the bachelorette party, make sure you plan the event according to what the bride would enjoy. Not everyone is into the typical bachelorette party night out. You can ask the bride what she would prefer to do to make sure she will be happy in the end! If she’s not into partying there are so many alternative ideas to choose from.

7. Be Prepared

Prepare for anything on the day of the wedding. Make a checklist beforehand of items to pack with you on the day of, and make sure you include an emergency kit!

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Top Tips For Choosing Your Wedding Party

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You said yes! You’ve set your wedding date and now it’s time to decide who you want standing by your side on your special day. Your wedding party is there to support you, not only on your wedding day, but on the days leading up to your wedding. Choosing who will stand up with you on such an important day can be overwhelming, so here are our top tips to help make the decision easier!

1. Choose Who You Are Closest To, Not Who You Feel Obligated To Ask

One of the most important pieces of advice when choosing your bridal party, is to make sure everyone you choose is someone who you are close with. They should be your favorite people who you couldn’t imagine your day without. Don’t ask someone to be in your wedding just because they asked you, and you feel obligated to return the favor.

2. Consider The Size Of Your Wedding

Keep in mind the size of your wedding when deciding how many people will stand up with you. If you are having a relatively small, intimate wedding you will want to keep your wedding party fairly small as well, with a recommendation of no more than 4 on each side.  If your wedding is larger in size you could decide to have up to a dozen members in your party. Remember that the more people you ask, the more details there will be to organize and schedules to work around.

3. Think Of The Future

Ask yourself “will we still be friends 10, 20, 50 years from now?” If you can’t picture them being a part of your life for years to come, should they really be in your wedding party?

4. Set Your Expectation & Be Upfront

When you ask your friends and family to be in your wedding party, make sure you lay out your expectations for involvement right off the bat. Be sure they are aware of the time commitment you expect, level of involvement when it comes to helping with planning, as well as costs they should expect. With that being said, don’t expect everyone to say yes. If they don’t think they will be able commit to your set out expectations or financially can’t afford the cost of being a bridesmaid or groomsmen, don’t hold it against them. It will be best to get this out in the open right away.

5. Make The Decision As A Couple

Last but not least, make the decision as a team. Have a discussion together of who each of you want to be a part of this special day. Don’t feel the need to have a perfectly even amount of men and women standing with you. You don’t want to be choosing someone just for the purpose of evening out sides. You will just need to get a bit creative when it comes to the processional.

Credits:
Photography by Alan Maudie Photography

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5 Fun Ways to Keep Kids Entertained At Your Wedding

Kids can be the life of the party but sometimes they need a little assistance staying entertained. Here are a few ways to keep the kids entertained on your big day so you can relax and enjoy every moment.

1. Create a Care Package

 

Pull together a few items such as markers, coloring books, candy, a disposable camera and silly putty in a little package available at their seat. This will give them something to play with and entertain themselves during speeches.

 2. Grab A Prop & Strike a Pose

 

Kids love photo booths, that’s just a fact! Have a few fun props available and let them take it from there. It will keep them entertained and you will end up with some great pictures in the end.

 3. Have An Open Treat Bar

 

Have a table set-up with all the kids favorite treats such as candy, cookies, chips, pie, etc. This allows them to pick and choose their favorite treats and provides you with a moment of silence while they munch down.

 4. Let Kids Be Part Of The Celebration

 

Clink, clink, cheers! When it comes time to cheers to the couple, what better way to get the kids involved than their very own glass of cheer! Have a special non-alcoholic beverage available like milk & cookies so that the kids can join in on the fun.

5. Entertainment Can Be Simple

 

If you’re looking for an easy way to entertain the kids, ask your DJ to play some kid friendly music to light up the dance floor. Fog machines or bubble machines are also a crowd pleaser.

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How To: Create A Wedding Day Backup Plan

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We all want our wedding day to be perfect but sometimes things don’t quite go as planned. From the weather acting up to someone forgetting the rings, being prepared will help create a stress free day. Here are a few tips on how to create a backup plan for your big day.

1. Plan for all Weather Types

When planning an outdoor wedding we all hope for the perfect weather, but sometimes Mother Nature has a mind of its own. Make sure you plan for the worst! Talk to your venue and create an alternate option that can be set-up indoors quickly in case of last minute weather.

2. Universal Décor

Rain or shine, you want your wedding to be perfect, but keep in mind that if something does come up you want to make sure your day can go off without a hitch. Have a simple décor back up plan that your coordinator can put in to action in case there is a change in the winds.

3. Have a Day of Contact

Have someone coordinating with your vendors for final details & payments on the wedding day. This allows you to relax and enjoy celebrating your big day without any last minute hassles.

4. Bring an Emergency Kit

Pack a bag with items that are commonly forgotten or missed on the big day. Some must-have items we recommend including is: pocket flats, spare rings, water bottle, granola bars, umbrella, earring backs, bobby pins, hair spray, scissors, lip stick, extra copy of vows and a phone charger.

5. Don’t Stress Over What You Can’t Control

Remember that you have no control over weather or other people’s forgetfulness. Just enjoy your day!

Credits

Photography by: LV Imagery

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How To Get Social For Your Big Day

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Social Media is a great tool you can use to collect and share memories from your big day. With all your guests having cameras on their phones these days you can use this to your advantage. Here are a few ways to get social on your big day.

1. Create Your Own Hashtag

Asking your guests to use a custom wedding hashtag will make it easier for you to search and view your images on social media. We suggest picking something that is easy to type and remember.

2. Get Tagging

Don’t be afraid to ask your vendors and guests to tag you in posts. This will allow you to see some fun photos that you might not normally see.

3. Download and Collect Through Your Wedding App

There are tons of wedding apps out there that help organize and gather pictures from your big day. Get your guests to download the app and provide them with the wedding ID and then you’re off to the races.

4. Make a Personal Snapchat Filter

Making your own snapchat filter is another way to get your guests involved and excited to share photos. It creates a unique and fun element that will encourage your guests to post more.

 5. Assign A Social Media Liaison

You don’t want to be stuck on social media all day, so assign a couple people from your bridal party or guests to be in charge of taking and sharing the photos for you!

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Top Things To Do The Week Of Your Wedding

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You only have a week left until you say “I Do”! Before the big day arrives you want to make sure you have everything in order and checked off your to-do list. Here are ten of the top things you should do the week of your wedding!

1. Send Final Payments To Vendors

Pay all your vendors prior to the big day if possible! That way you won’t have them trying to track you down on your wedding day for payment. If you want to tip your vendors the day of, designate a family member or bridal party member to handle this.

2. Photo List

If you have in mind certain photos you absolutely want and people you want included, make sure you write out a list beforehand for your photographer.

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3. Marriage License

Go to the courthouse or registration office and get your marriage license that week if you haven’t already. Make an appointment ahead of time if you can.

4. Break In Your Shoes

Make sure you break your wedding shoes in before your wedding day. Your feet will thank you! Wear them around the house that week and pack an extra pair for dancing just in case.

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Photo credit: Laura Ivanova Photography

5. Emergency Kit

You never know what you’re going to need that day, so come prepared! Bring an emergency kit with everything from hair spray to bandages and a sewing kit.

6. Try On Your Wedding Dress

Get into your dress one last time before the big day and make sure everything fits perfectly!

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Photo credit: Brooke Images

7. Pack Your Honeymoon Bags

If you’re leaving for your honeymoon right after the wedding, make sure to have all of your bags packed beforehand, including your carry on bag! This will be one less thing you have to worry about the day of your wedding.

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8. Check In With Your Bridal Party

Send an email to all your girls & guys and confirm that everyone knows where and when they need to be on the big day. Also, make a point of delegating any important tasks for the day.

9. Call Any Guests Who Didn’t RSVP

Reach out to anyone you haven’t heard from yet. It’s best to know the final guest numbers than to be surprised the day of with last minute guests.

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Photo credit: Rhythm Photography

10. Rest & Relaxation

Last but not least take a moment, relax and spend some quality time with your partner and make sure you get a good sleep the night before!

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All products featured in this post can be found on weddingstar.com

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Indoor Vs. Outdoor Weddings

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When planning your big day, you must decide whether you want it to take place indoors or outdoors. Whether you decide to have it in the backyard, on the beach, countryside, church or community hall, your perfect location is out there and can be a beautiful affair. But both indoor and outdoor affairs can have their perks and disadvantages.

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Photography By:
Brooke Images

Outdoor Ceremonies

 

The fresh air, the blue skies, and standing under the shining sun are all enticing reasons to getting married outdoors. Here is a list of a few pros and cons for an outdoor wedding:

Con: Mother Nature
There is always an uncontrollable risk to an outdoor event, which is the weather. So make sure you have a back-up plan just in case.

Pro: Personal Touch

A benefit to an outdoor wedding is that it can be more personal to you as a couple. You can pick a location that matches your style as a couple and that has true meaning. For example the farm you grew up on or the mountains you like to climb.

Pro: Personalize The Decor

There is also greater opportunity to personalize the décor. With an outdoor wedding you are starting with a blank slate and can decorate to match your style. You can choose the style of chair or bench for your guests, arch or pedestal for your ceremony.

Indoor Ceremonies

 

If you’re looking for something with a bit more control, an indoor wedding may just be your cup of tea. Here is a list of pros and cons to consider an indoor wedding:

Pro: Unique Style For Every Couple

Indoor locations have their own personality. Whether you choose a church, historical building, or greenhouse there is a unique style for every couple.

Con: Space Limitations

Indoor weddings do have more space limitations depending on the location.

Pro: Air Conditioning and Availability

Even though there are space limitations there are other benefits such as A/C, space personality, and year-round availability.

Both indoor and outdoor ceremonies have pros and cons. But they both can make for your perfect day! For tips on how to personalize your day click here.

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Wedding Advice From Real Brides

View More: http://jvephoto.pass.us/winterstyleshoot

Photo by Jennifer Van Elk

Brides who are planning their wedding want to know first-hand what other brides would have done differently on their wedding day if they could. Here are some top responses we’ve received from real brides, sharing their best wedding advice.

Do: Take Time To Eat

“My only regret was not having food available for myself and my bridesmaids after pictures and before the ceremony. We had a late wedding (ceremony at 5) and were all so hungry by the time the ceremony started… so ya, if I was doing it again, I’d have food (and wine!) “ –Cynthia

“Make someone set you aside a plate of food for afterwards! I was starving. During dinner you’re likely to be too busy taking photos and greeting to eat”-Peyton

Do: Research & Spend The Money On An Experience Photographer

“I wish I picked different photographers. I went off recommendations and experience but they focused on quantity not quality. I have 1300 photos of my wedding day, yet there’s more photos of the staff than of just me (the bride). They also blurred out me a few times to focus on the background. It was just very disappointing.” – Sammie

“Completely regret my photographer. Spend the money, that’s one place to splurge and then save somewhere else.” –Jac Lynn

“Photography.. really REALLY do your research and don’t cheap out. If they don’t have a Facebook page pass on them.. I thought I had a good one. I’ll never forgive myself” – Chantal

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Photo by Brooke Images

Do: Have A Clear Idea On Photos You Want

“Took more pictures with my entire family/extended family. We have photos with everyone by themselves but not a single group photo of our families together. (Like aunts/uncles/cousins) Make sure you get every single photo you want as those are the only thing that last a lifetime. “ –Eilea

“I wish I put more emphasis on photos with family members. I told my photographer to speed through it so we can start the reception and now I don’t have half the photos I wish we did.”–Carolyn

“ I used my aunt as a photographer and she wasn’t really up to date on newer more adorable poses but she did it for cheap so I used her…I wish I would have paid more and had a better photographer” – Brianna

Do: Splurge On A Videographer

“Get a videographer. Your day goes so fast and you don’t get to see everything. I would give anything to be able to watch my wedding video back but I never got a videographer. “ – Tiffany

“Even if you have to sell your right arm to do it, get a videographer! This is my #1 regret, not having one. I wish I could relive the day through videos.” – Beth

“All the other ways that we cut corners to save money turned out great but I really regret not getting a videographer… Not sure where the money would have come from but I really wish I had made it a priority and figured out a way to pay for it.” –Lauren

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Photo by Alan Maudie Photography

Do: Take Time To Thank Your Guests

“Taking two moments as bride and groom to address and thank all of our guests for attending. We had intentions on doing this, but after speeches and dinner, it slipped the itinerary. We greeted each table, but I feel like taking the microphone and thanking the guests as a whole would have been nice as well.” – Courtney

Do: Coordinate Carefully With Your DJ

“I got a “great deal” on a DJ, but he didn’t play any of the songs we requested. Lots of old stuff and repeats. If my MC didn’t tell him to play certain songs we may not have had a first dance! It was the worst part of my wedding for me, but people still danced and no one remembers what songs were played anymore (except maybe me).” –Amanda

Photo by Rhythm Photography

Do: Make Sure You Have Enough Time

“I wish I wrote down that the ceremony started a half hour earlier on the invites. We ran late waiting for guests so everything else got cut short. “ – Kristy

“I wouldn’t have changed anything except I would’ve made the reception longer. I felt like one minute we were eating dinner and the next someone was tapping me on my arm telling me there was half an hour left” – Lala

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Top Three Destination Wedding Tips

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Photo Shoot Location: Reynisfjara-Black sand beach near Vik, Iceland

Destination weddings are becoming more and more popular. They also involve extra attention when it comes to planning and preparation for the big day. Today we are sharing with you expert advice from event planner and Weddingstar Ambassador Phoebe Lo.  Here are her top 3 destination wedding tips:

1. Work With Professionals

Enlist the services of an experienced planner with a background in destination wedding planning, especially in the location you have selected for your celebration. Expect to work with both hometown and on site vendors and service providers to tackle the countless logistical details that all come together to customize your event.

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featured above: Small Gold Decorative Candle Lantern / Medium Decorative Candle Lantern / Heart Shaped Sand Ceremony Vase Set / Just Married Sandals

2. Planning Is Key

Thorough preparation is crucial when planning a destination wedding. Be knowledgeable about customs and border regulations that may affect what you can pack. Consider all aspects of the transportation and have a backup plan in case of bad weather. To help ensure your planning does not have gaps, envision a walk-through of all the activities, starting from the moment you depart from your home.

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featured above: Gold Compass Wedding Favor

3. Pack & Go Style

In spite of the spectacular scenery, this remote location required a few critical accessories to help set the stage. Here are a few points when travelling to a foreign destination with décor products. Checked luggage is stowed as cargo so expect extremely cold temperatures and rough handling. Securely wrap all fragile items. Upon arrival, a custom agent may require you to prove ownership, so take along purchase receipts and detailed information. But, have a plan B just in case an item is not allowed through customs.

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featured above: Heart Shaped Sand Ceremony Vase Set-The Adventure Begins

If you are planning on having a destination wedding, make sure you keep these tips in mind!

Credits: 

Event Design and Planning: 
Phoebe Lo Events
www.phoebeloevents.com

Photography:
Rhythm Photography
www.rhythm-photography.com

Model:
Sally Leung of Sally Leung Fitness
www.sallyleungfitness.com

Desserts and Sweets: 
Cakelaine
www.cakelaine.com

Jewelry and Accessories:
The Loved One
www.thelovedone.ca

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